Calling Out NPR on Tornillo Detention Center Story

HHS tent city Tornillo

NPR usually does a good job of reporting on immigration issues. This morning’s coverage of the Tornillo tent immigration jail was uncharacteristically incomplete, to the point of inaccuracy. Two of the problems are the characterization of the reasons for lengthy detention of immigrant children and reliance on a single source to describe the conditions at Tornillo detention center—the officials running the center. Unsurprisingly, those officials painted a rosy picture that has been contradicted by multiple earlier reports.  Continue reading

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Detain and Deport: This is punishment, not policy

rini border fence

Cambodian and Vietnamese immigrants who have lived in the United States for decades are targets of Trump’s deportation policies. So are undocumented workers, family members trying to sponsor migrant children now held in detention centers, and undocumented immigrants showing up for court hearings. Continue reading

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‘Temper Tantrum’ in the White House Over Border Wall

Representative Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer met with President Donald Trump December 11 in a meeting characterized by “finger-pointing, arm-waving and raised voices” over Trump’s demand for $5 billion for a border wall that Pelosi called “immoral, ineffective and expensive.” Government funding runs out on December 21, and Trump said he will not sign any extension of funding that does not include funding for his wall. During the campaign, he bragged that Mexico would pay for the wall, a position that was never plausible and that he has now abandoned.

The meeting descended into what Schumer called “a Trump tantrum, with no visible movement. Continue reading

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Denial, Delay, and Death on the Border

No way sign

Having survived a difficult and dangerous journey, members of the migrant caravans from Central America are coming to terms with the difficulty of actually entering the United States. Some are giving up and returning home, but most are staying in Tijuana and some are accepting offers of temporary status and work permits in Mexico while they wait.

The caravan at least provided a modicum of safety for those traveling with it. A new report from Associated Press found that migrants moving through Mexico to the United States face deadly dangers, documenting almost 4,000 migrants dead or missing in the past four years. Continue reading

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Sunday Morning Sermon: Immigration


I don’t usually publish posts on Sunday, but this week I read several inspiring messages from, for, and about people of faith and immigration. Here are a few excerpts from these messages and links to the full stories.

In YES Magazine, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith leaders speak to the moral response to migrant caravans:.

What is critical is realizing that all of us continually seek greater safety for ourselves and our families. And we believe that when called on by our faith traditions to provide that same safety and comfort to strangers, we are obligated to answer that call.”

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‘Wherever there’s a fight so hungry people may eat, I will be there.’

Jorge - World Central Kitchen

From World Central Kitchen’s Facebook page: “This is Jorge! He’s 14 and has been helping WCK at the Tijuana shelter. Jorge left Guatemala with his father because their lives were at risk — he barely had time to say goodbye to his mother. Bilingual and with big dreams, Jorge hopes to get in a school soon! #ChefsForThePeople”

Activist chef, shelter volunteer, dedicated doctor, soldier, citizen, murdered father, journalist … this week’s real people stories show the diversity of immigrant experience and contributions. Continue reading

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Welcoming the Tired, the Poor, the Refugees—to Jail

rini border fence

A special report from the American Immigration Council looks at who is held in immigration jails, and where, and for how long. Tens of thousands of migrants are held in custody every day, with numbers increasing by more than five times over the past two decades. The largest number—46 percent—now come from the Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, followed by 43 percent from Mexico. Some 79 percent of those in ICE’s 630 immigration jails are men, and 17 percent are under the age of 18. Continue reading

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