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: December 9, 2017
- Justices, Divided 5-4, Let Trump Shield DACA Documents - The vote was 5 to 4. Justice Stephen G. Breyer, writing for the court’s four-member liberal wing, issued a 10-page dissent. The dispute over the documents arose in five consolidated lawsuits in California that accused administration officials of acting unlawfully when they abruptly rescinded the program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. The plaintiffs include four states — California, Maine, Maryland and Minnesota — and Janet Napolitano, the president of the University of California. As secretary of homeland security in the Obama administration, Ms. Napolitano signed the document that established the program in 2012.
- City DREAM Act supporters join rally in Washington - Members of the group "Make the Road New York," along with thousands of immigrants, made their way to Washington for a protest. This comes as hundreds of thousands of young people across the United States are in danger of losing their temporary protected status in the U.S. They are covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which President Donald Trump has said he wants to end. Congress has until March to pass a fix to the program.
- Arrests For Illegal Border Crossings Hit 46-Year Low - New data released by DHS show that Border Patrol arrests are actually at a 46-year low. Border officers apprehended 310,531 people for being in the country illegally in fiscal 2017, a 25 percent decrease from the year before. Meanwhile, arrests by agents with ICE in the interior of the country spiked from the year before to 143,470 immigrants — mostly Central Americans. <
- Judge permanently blocks Trump sanctuary cities order - A federal judge permanently blocked Trump’s executive order to cut funding from cities that limit cooperation with U.S. immigration authorities. U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick rejected the administration's argument that the executive order applies only to a relatively small pot of money and said Trump cannot set new conditions on spending approved by Congress.
- Trump ends temporary protection for Haitians, forcing out nearly 60,000 who came to U.S. after earthquake - The Trump administration is ending a temporary residency permit program that has allowed almost 60,000 citizens from Haiti to live and work in the United States since a 2010 powerful earthquake shook the Caribbean nation. The United Nations last month ended a peacekeeping mission in Haiti that, at its peak, included more than 10,000 troops. Its new mission is comprised of about 1,300 international civilian police officers and 350 civilians who will help the country try to reform a deeply troubled justice system.
- Immigration arrests at New York courthouses up 900 percent, advocates say - “The exponential increase in ICE courthouse arrests reflects a dangerous new era in enforcement and immigrant rights violations." Last year, the advocacy group Immigrant Defense Project documented 11 arrests or attempted arrests in New York. That number went up to 110 this year, mostly in New York City, the publication reported. About 20 percent of individuals detained by ICE did not have prior criminal convictions; 16 percent were there for desk appearance tickets or offenses that didn’t warrant an arrest. Some of the immigrants were arrested in family court and even at the Queens Human Trafficking Court.
- Civil Rights Group Warns States: Don't Bar Immigrant Students From Schools - A Washington-based civil rights group has issued a stern reminder to attorneys general in all 50 states and the District of Columbia that all students, regardless of their immigration status, can enroll in K-12 public schools. A school district cannot: refuse to enroll a student enrollment because he or she does not have a birth certificate; bar a student because of a foreign place of birth and should accept foreign birth certificates when verifying age; or require a driver's license or state-issued identification from a parent.
- 'New York is not a safe haven,' warns new Buffalo head of ICE - "Everyone is fair game," Feeley said during a recent interview. "I think people want us to apologize for what we do, and that's not going to happen." Thomas Feeley, a 21-year veteran of ICE, is on the front lines of Trump's immigration clampdown, a role that also puts him at the center of one of the country's most polarizing political debates.
- U. S. judge bars Pentagon from blocking citizenship applications by immigrant recruits - A federal judge has ordered the Defense Department not to block fast-tracked citizenship applications that it promised to about 2,000 foreign-born U.S. Army Reserve soldiers under their enlistment contracts. U.S. District Judge Ellen S. Huvelle of Washington issued a rare preliminary injunction saying that while the lawsuit can move ahead, the government cannot in the meantime withhold a form that three named Army plaintiffs and other military members in similar situations need to start the vetting for citizenship.
- Trump allows refugee admissions to resume with new, stricter screening rules - President Donald Trump on Tuesday allowed the resumption of refugee admissions into the U.S. under new, stricter screening rules but ordered nationals from 11 countries believed to pose higher risk to U.S. national security to face even tougher scrutiny.
- College Leaders Urge ‘Legislative Fix’ for Dreamers - Nearly 800 college and university presidents signed a letter to leaders of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives calling on them to “pass a long-term legislative fix as soon as possible to protect Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. “Children brought to the United States at a young age did not have a choice in the matter and are today Americans in every way but immigration status,” the letter from the college presidents states. “It remains in America’s best interest to enable them to use their knowledge, skills and energy to continue to make the strongest possible contribution to our country.”
- ICE Chief: 'We're Going to Quadruple Workplace Crackdowns' - Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will extend its war on undocumented immigrants to their employers, the agency’s acting chief said.
- 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.
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