Immigration and Border Issues to Watch
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My Word (and welcome to it): The Dreamers Are Caught in a Political Nightmare (Oct. 8, 2017)
Updated: October 18, 2017
- Federal judge blocks Trump’s third travel ban - A federal judge on Tuesday largely blocked the Trump administration from implementing the latest version of the president’s controversial travel ban, setting up yet another legal showdown on the extent of the executive branch’s powers when it comes to setting immigration policy. The decision from Judge Derrick K. Watson in Hawaii is sure to be appealed, but for now, it means that the administration cannot restrict the entry of travelers from six of the eight countries that officials said were either unable or unwilling to provide information that the United States wanted to vet their citizens.
- Judge: DACA legal advice must be made public - A federal judge in California on Tuesday ordered the Trump administration to turn over emails, letters, memos and other materials related to its decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
- Trump plans massive increase in federal immigration jails - The Trump administration is planning an increase in federal immigration jails across the country for the thousands of additional undocumented immigrants its agents are arresting. In recent weeks, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has put out requests to identify privately-run jail sites in Chicago, Detroit, St. Paul, Salt Lake City and southern Texas, according to notices published on a federal contracting website. It did not publicly announce its plans to house 4,000 more detainees at the facilities.
- The White House Has a Disturbing Plan to Make Immigration Judges Speed Up Deportations - An overlooked statement in President Trump’s recently released list of DACA demands proposed that the Justice Department establish “numeric performance standards” on federal immigration judges to force them to speed up the pace of deportations. There are currently 600,000 backlogged cases, and imposing quotas would allow the administration to inhumanely shuffle asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants through like a factory.
- Justice Department Gives ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Final Warning on Immigrants - The Department of Justice (DOJ) sternly warned a group of major cities Thursday that they remain in violation of federal law by adopting so-called “sanctuary city” policies that shield undocumented immigrants from being reported to the feds. Cities on the attorney general’s warning list include New York, Philadelphia and New Orleans, as well as Chicago and surrounding Cook County, in Illinois. Big-city mayors, including New York’s Bill de Blasio and Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel, have openly defied federal instructions to turn in undocumented immigrants.
- 5 Ways Immigration Justice Is Reproductive Justice - The Trump administration recently announced the decision to end legal protections for young, unauthorized immigrants who came to the United States as children. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative was a measure to protect young immigrants from deportation; allow them to attain proper identification; and provide access to jobs and higher education. The decision to rescind DACA will have enormous consequences for immigrant families, particularly for women who often handle family responsibilities. The decision also marginalizes immigrants as undeserving of basic rights and freedoms, such as access to health care, the ability to parent with dignity, and the right to be safe and free—all of which are essential tenets of both immigration justice and reproductive justice. This column highlights five ways immigration justice intersects with reproductive justice.
- White House Makes Hard-Line Demands for Any ‘Dreamers’ Deal - The White House is also demanding the use of the E-Verify program by companies to keep illegal immigrants from getting jobs, an end to people bringing their extended family into the United States, and a hardening of the border against thousands of children fleeing violence in Central America. Such a move would shut down loopholes that encourage parents from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to send their children illegally into the United States, where many of them melt into American communities and become undocumented immigrants.
- Trump wants border wall funding, green card overhaul in exchange for DACA compromise - Trump's list of demands included overhauling the country's green-card system, a crackdown on unaccompanied minors entering the country, and building his promised wall along the southern border. Many were policies Democrats have said explicitly are off the table and threaten to derail ongoing negotiations over legislation protecting young immigrants known as "Dreamers." They had been given a reprieve from deportation and the ability to work legally in the country under President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which Trump ended last month.
- White House Plans to Demand Immigration Cut by Half in Exchange for DACA Fix - The White House is finalizing a plan to demand hard-line immigration reforms in exchange for supporting a fix on the DACA program, according to three people familiar with the talks — an approach that risks alienating Democrats and even many Republicans, potentially tanking any deal. The White House proposal is being crafted by Stephen Miller, the administration’s top immigration adviser, and includes cutting legal immigration by half over the next decade, an idea that’s already been panned by lawmakers in both parties.
- Most Americans Oppose Deporting “Dreamers,” Parents - Most Americans, 83%, think “dreamers” should be allowed to remain in the United States. This includes nearly six in ten Americans, 58%, who think “dreamers” should be permitted to stay and become citizens and 25% who believe they should be granted legal residency but not citizenship. Only 12% of U.S. residents say “dreamers” should be deported. Not surprisingly, there is a partisan divide. But, even 74% of Republicans, including a plurality — 42% — who say “dreamers” should be allowed to become citizens, oppose deportation. Most Democrats, 95%, and independents, 81%, say “dreamers” should be allowed to remain in the United States.
- Dreamers should be on high alert for DACA scams: AG Schneiderman - Undocumented immigrants brought to the country as kids should be on high alert for scams involving fraudulent services, the state’s top prosecutor warned Tuesday. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued the guidance in advance of a Thursday deadline for so-called Dreamers to renew applications to stay in the country under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created by executive order by then-President Barack Obama.
- Climate Change Refugees Face Militarized Borders - As more and more climate-ravaged communities are forced to relocate by droughts, floods and superstorms, the business of fortifying borders is booming. In his new book, Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security, Todd Miller travels around the world reporting on the corporate border militarization cash grab, and the emerging movements for environmental justice and sustainability. The hi-tech militarized barriers between developed and undeveloped nations are increasing. Built to keep out refugees driven by economic and political need, these borders are now faced by those fleeing the ravages of climate change, author Todd Miller tells Truthout in this exclusive interview.
- ICE Acknowledges It Targeted Sanctuary Cities in Its Most Recent Sweeps - ICE said it had intentionally targeted jurisdictions that don't permit its agents inside their jails. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested nearly 500 people in a series of four-day raids that targeted undocumented immigrants in so-called sanctuary cities across the country. Operation Safe City focused on jurisdictions where ICE agents are denied access to jails and prisons to interview immigrants.
- Potential Trump refugee cutback could affect Buffalo - Experts familiar with population trends in Buffalo said Trump's decision could be costly to Buffalo in another way. "There's a big difference between gaining population and losing population, and for Buffalo, this could be that difference," said David D. Kallick, director of the immigration policy initiative at the Fiscal Policy Institute, an Albany think tank. Buffalo has been losing population for decades. But the city's population has almost stabilized in recent years, thanks in large part to an influx of refugees and other immigrants.
- DHS planning to collect social media info on all immigrants - The Department of Homeland Security has moved to collect social media information on all immigrants, including permanent residents and naturalized citizens. A new rule published in the Federal Register last week calls to include "social media handles and aliases, associated identifiable information and search results" in the department's immigrant files. It is set to go into effect on Oct. 18 after a public comment period. The new rule could also affect U.S. citizens who communicate with immigrants on social media by making their conversations the subject of government surveillance.
- Trump Administration Revises Travel Ban To Expand Beyond Muslim-Majority Countries - The Trump administration is updating its travel ban, just hours before it was set to expire. In a proclamation signed by President Trump on Sunday, the travel restrictions now include eight countries, a couple of which are not majority-Muslim, as had been the case with all the nations in the original ban. Five countries in the previous ban remain under restriction: Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia. Chad, North Korea and Venezuela have been added. The latter two are the first nations included in a version of the travel ban that do not have majority-Muslim populations, which has been a key point in litigation challenging the ban as discriminatory based on religion.
- Judge rules in city's favor on sanctuary cities, grants nationwide injunction - In a ruling with national impact, a federal judge in Chicago on Friday blocked the Trump administration's rules requiring so-called sanctuary cities to cooperate with immigration agents in order to get a public safety grant. "I want to be clear, this is not just a victory for the city of Chicago," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "It is a win for cities, counties and states across the country who also filed amicus briefs on behalf of our lawsuit, and also the business leaders who also stepped forward on our lawsuit."
- Governor Cuomo Signs Executive Order Prohibiting State Agencies from Inquiring About Immigration Status - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today issued Executive Order 170 that prohibits state agencies and officers from inquiring about or disclosing an individual's immigration status unless required by law or necessary to determine eligibility for a benefit or service. Law enforcement officers will also be prohibited from inquiring about immigration status unless investigating illegal criminal activity. This prohibition against inquiring into status includes, but is not limited to, when an individual approaches a law enforcement officer seeking assistance, is the victim of a crime, or is witness to a crime. "As Washington squabbles over rolling back sensible immigration policy, we are taking action to help protect all New Yorkers from unwarranted targeting by government," Governor Cuomo said. "New York became the Empire State due to the contributions of immigrants from every corner of the globe and we will not let the politics of fear and intimidation divide us."
- Trump’s Travel Ban to Be Replaced by Restrictions Tailored to Certain Countries - President Trump is replacing his ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries with severe restrictions on visitors from nations he has determined do too little to protect against terrorists and criminals coming into the United States, officials said on Friday. The new travel restrictions could include indefinite bans on entry until vetting procedures and security cooperation improves, officials said. They will go into effect as soon as Sunday, after the conclusion of a 90-day policy review undertaken as part of the administration’s original travel ban. Officials said Mr. Trump will soon announce the list of countries subject to the travel restrictions. They declined to say whether the list would include all six countries from which travel was temporarily banned by a revised executive order in March: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
- Attorney General Sessions steps up anti-'sanctuary' rhetoric after setbacks - Sanctuary supporters counter that enlisting police cooperation in deportation actions undermines community trust in local law enforcement, particularly among Latinos, and they question whether Trump is really targeting dangerous criminals. "We're not soldiers of Donald Trump or the federal immigration service," Gov. Jerry Brown said in a CNN interview on Tuesday. He called the measure passed by California's legislature "a well-balanced bill."
- Six Dreamers Sue Trump Administration Over DACA Decision - Brought to the United States illegally by her parents as a child, Dulce Garcia is one of six immigrants who sued the Trump administration on Monday over its decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. Since it was authorized in 2012 by President Barack Obama, the program has provided protection from deportation and the right to work legally to nearly 800,000 young people. Garcia’s case, filed in San Francisco federal court, is the first to be brought by DACA recipients, known as Dreamers, since U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced earlier this month that the Obama-era policy would start winding down in March 2018, according to Garcia’s lawyers. It is among several lawsuits challenging the decision to end DACA, including two cases brought by state attorneys general.
- Trump Administration Rejects Study Showing Positive Impact of Refugees - Trump administration officials, under pressure from the White House to provide a rationale for reducing the number of refugees allowed into the United States next year, rejected a study by the Department of Health and Human Services that found that refugees brought in $63 billion more in government revenues over the past decade than they cost.
- The Trump Administration Plans to End a Refugee Program for Children - The Trump administration plans to stop accepting refugee applications from children with U.S.-based parents from three violence-riddled Central American countries — El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala — according to the summary of a presentation the State Department made recently to refugee organizations. The children will no longer be able to come legally to the U.S. Of course, they can still attempt to cross without authorization and then either request asylum or try to navigate the border region without being detained or injured — just the kind of dangerous illegal immigration that the CAM program was meant to discourage.
- Federal Court Says Trump Administration Can't Deny Funds To Sanctuary Cities - A federal judge in Chicago has ruled that the Trump administration may not withhold public-safety grants to so-called sanctuary cities. The decision issued Friday is a setback to the administration's efforts to force local jurisdictions to help federal authorities crack down on illegal immigration. U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber issued a temporary nationwide injunction in response to a lawsuit brought by the city of Chicago. The order prevents the Justice Department from withholding grant money until there is a final determination in the lawsuit, which could take months. At stake was more than $2 million that Chicago and its neighboring jurisdictions receive from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants.
- Cuomo prohibits state workers from asking about immigration status - Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order that prohibits state agencies and officers from inquiring about or disclosing an individual’s immigration status “unless required by law or necessary to determine eligibility for a benefit or service.” Cuomo’s order forbids state law enforcement officials from asking about immigration status unless they are investigating criminal activity.
- Poll: Most want ‘Dreamers’ to have a path to citizenship - A new Politico-Morning Consult poll finds 54 percent of voters surveyed think Congress should pass legislation that lets DACA recipients stay in the country and become citizens if they meet specific requirements. Another 19 percent say they think DACA recipients should be allowed to stay in the country and become legal residents.
- Trump, top Democrats agree to work on deal to save ‘dreamers’ from deportation - In a statement, Schumer and Pelosi said they had “a very productive meeting at the White House with the President. The discussion focused on DACA. We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides.”
- Relatives of Undocumented Children Caught Up in ICE Dragnet - In a shift from how it operated during the Obama administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement is cracking down on relatives who let undocumented kids stay with them after entering the U.S. Across the country, people who have taken in young undocumented relatives are being swept up in what ICE calls a crackdown on guardians who pay human smugglers. More than 400 people were arrested over the course of two months this summer as part of the new approach. Others are still dodging ICE interviews, have agreed to go through deportation proceedings or have gone on the run. Some of those affected admit that they paid “coyotes” to reunite them with their young children. But many are collateral damage: People who just happened to be in the house when ICE showed up, or relatives who agreed to take in teens after they traveled to the U.S. on their own.
- Appeals court: Grandparents not part of Trump's travel ban - Grandparents, cousins and similarly close relations of people in the United States should not be prevented from coming to the country under President Donald Trump's travel ban, a federal appeals court has ruled in another legal defeat for the administration on the contentious issue. "Stated simply, the government does not offer a persuasive explanation for why a mother-in-law is clearly a bona fide relationship, in the Supreme Court's prior reasoning, but a grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or cousin is not," the 9th Circuit said.
- Russians Flock to Trump Properties to Give Birth to U.S. Ci- While Trump rails against U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants, his Florida properties have become a playground for birth tourists from Russia’s upper crust. The Daily Beast has discovered several companies are advertising rentals in Trump properties to expectant Russian parents. While the Trump Organization does not directly profit from subleases of privately owned condos, it does benefit from Russian patronage of the nearby Trump International Beach Resort.
- For DACA Recipients, Losing Protection and Work Permits Is Just the Start - Losing the ability to work legally would mean, for an estimated 450,000 people, forfeiting the health insurance and other benefits offered through employers, according to the National Immigration Law Center. Another 290,000 recipients, the center said, may lose their eligibility for state-subsidized health coverage when their protection expires. The law center’s researchers also found that more than half of DACA beneficiaries will be forced to relinquish driver’s licenses. And while many might find work under the table or from sympathetic employers, they could not obtain most occupational licenses, like those required for nursing and cosmetology.
- 5 ways schools, colleges and universities are protecting DACA students - The Trump administration’s decision to end the DACA program prompted an outpouring of responses from New York educators and administrators who vowed to stand by students known as “Dreamers.” “As long as the kids are here, we have a constitutional obligation to educate them,” said Jay Worona, deputy executive director and general counsel for the New York State School Boards Association. “They’re presumed to be citizens until proven otherwise.”
- Five Former Education Secretaries to Congress: Save the 'Dreamers' - Five former education secretaries, who served both Democratic and Republican presidents, are calling on congressional leaders to come up with a legislative fix to save hundreds of thousands of so-called "Dreamers" from potential deportation, now that President Donald Trump has rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The letter is signed by officials from the past three administrations: Arne Duncan and John King, President Obama’s education secretaries; Rod Paige and Margaret Spellings, who served under President George W. Bush; and Richard Riley, who served under President Clinton.
- Here’s the New York-led lawsuit against Trump over DACA - New York, 14 other states and the District of Columbia have filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump and the federal government, claiming that by ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, President Donald Trump’s administration has violated the U.S. Constitution by discriminating against “DREAMers” from Mexico, who constitute 78 percent of DACA recipients. The lawsuit, announced by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Wednesday, also claims that by ending DACA, the administration violated due process rights and harmed states’ residents, institutions and economies.
- AAUW Responds to Rescinding of DACA Program - “AAUW is proud to be part of a community that fights for the civil rights of all Americans, including immigrants. We stand, and will continue to stand, with the nearly 800,000 Dreamers and DACA recipients. This action by the Trump administration is a firm rejection of one of America’s founding principles: that with hard work and education anyone can achieve their own version of the American dream. AAUW will continue to stand by immigrant students and strongly defend their right to an education. The future of our nation depends on it.”
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