Tough Choices for Immigrants

Cruelty Is Not a Family Value

From photo by Fibonacci Blue, published under Creative Commons license.

While the punitive public benefit regulation will force hard choices on many immigrant families, other tough choices already abound, some imposed by law and more by deliberately harsh policies and practices. Continue reading

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New Regulation Threatens Legal Immigration

#StandOnEveryCorner in St. Paul

#StandOnEveryCorner in St. Paul

The weekend’s biggest immigration news broke on Saturday evening, as the Department of Homeland Security posted online a long-threatened 447-page proposed “public charge” regulation. The regulation can be used to deny permanent legal residence to immigrants if they, or anyone in their household, has received certain public benefits, or if the government believes they will do so in the future. The regulation will not take effect until after a public comment period. Continue reading

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Due Process Under Attack


Once again using his power to overrule immigration judges, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a new edict that orders no discretionary termination of deportation cases. He wrote that judges “have no inherent authority to terminate removal proceedings even though a particular case may pose sympathetic circumstances.”   Continue reading

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By the Numbers: Immigrants in America

#StandOnEveryCorner in St. Paul

#StandOnEveryCorner in St. Paul

Several recent reports gave important new data on immigrants in the United States. Continue reading

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Lowest Refugee Numbers Ever

img_2537Back from a long weekend on Lake Superior, to the not-unexpected news that Trump has cut refugee numbers again, setting the cap for fiscal year 2019 at a historic low of 30,000. Last year, he reduced the cap on refugee admissions to 45,000 and then imposed measures that reduced the actual number of refugees admitted even further. By the time this fiscal year ends on September 30, the actual number admitted for fiscal year 2018 will be far lower.

The actual number admitted this year is 20,918. That’s far below even the post-9/11 lows of 27,000 in 2002 and 28,000 in 2003. Canada, which has one-tenth the population of the United States, will resettle more refugees. Continue reading

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Art of the Deal: Asylees, Deportees, and Budgets


This graphic is from the Southern Border Communities Coalition, with a call that dates back a few months, but is still relevant. One current link to call Congress about the ICE and CBP budget request is here: TAKE ACTION: Tell Your Members Of Congress To Stop Funding Efforts To Rip Families Apart, And Lock Up And Deport Our Immigrant Neighbors!

Trying to catch up, as the week slips away from me. Yesterday’s big news included a new deal to allow about one thousand parents to re-apply for asylum, a Trump push to pay Mexico to deport Central Americans before they can reach the U.S. border, and money to fund the deportation machine. Meanwhile, the clock continues to tick on for immigrant kids still separated from their parents 48 days, 49 days, 50 days after the court ordered them reunited. That’s a gross understatement of their suffering: some of the kids were ripped away from their parents months before the court ordered their return, and have been separated for almost half a year. Continue reading

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What This Country Needs: More Jail Beds for Immigrant Kids

HHS tent city Tornillo

Tornillo tent city detention center (ORR photo

Remember the tent city in the Texas desert serving as a “temporary shelter” for children? It started with 360 beds, grew to 1,200, and now now the ironically named Department of Health and Human Services has announced plans to more than triple its size. Way back then (in June), HHS needed to open the tent city so they had room to put the children snatched from their parents at the border. Now that policy has been stopped, or so we are told, but HHS needs more beds for unaccompanied minors. Continue reading

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