Speaking of Home and immigrant stories in St. Paul, and other immigration news – September 19, 2017

For artist Nancy Coyne, it’s personal:

“My family grew up in Europe, and would have been killed in Europe, and massacred during the Holocaust, and also massacred by the first period of the persecution of Jews, had we not fled,” she said. (CBS)

Coyne created a new exhibit in the skyways that connect downtown St. Paul, with an artist’s vision illuminating the lives and stories of Minnesota immigrants from all over the world. The exhibit, which officially opened on Monday, September 18, will run for six months. Coyne said in a press release:

“Planning for this project began long before the more recent immigration policies became a national discussion, and long before downtown Saint Paul residents and businesses raised concerns over the security in the skyways,” said Nancy Ann Coyne, Speaking of Home principal. “However, it is more important than ever – to make immigrants feel welcome here — while the nation debates immigration policies, travel bans and sanctuary cities, two of which are Saint Paul and Minneapolis.”

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Sanctuary wins, immigration politics heats up and other immigration news – September 18, 2017

judge's gavel weissparz

Photo by wp paarz, used under Creative Commons license.

In the same week that another federal judge ordered the feds to leave sanctuary cities along, California and New York adopted the policies that make them, in effect, sanctuary states. Meanwhile, immigration policy is back in all three rings of the Washington circus. DACA and the Dream Acts, border security, border wall, amnesty – it’s all fodder for Twitter, Breitbart, et al. Continue reading

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Waffling on DACA and the Dream Act, and other immigration news news – September 15, 2017


Just in case you missed this news last night – Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer went to dinner with Trump and emerged saying they had a deal on a Dream Act that would protect Dreamers, add some border security, but not pay for a wall. So they say. Since then, Trump’s position has changed repeatedly.  I’m writing this at about midnight – but I won’t even try to say what the current position is, because it will probably change by morning.  Continue reading

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Closing the door to refugees and other immigration news – September 14, 2017


Fresh from a (limited and temporary) Supreme Court victory for its refugee ban, the Trump administration is considering how far it can go in lowering the number of refugees admitted to the country next year. Last year, President Obama set the number for fiscal year 2017 at 110,000. In January, Trump lowered that number to 50,000. Now White House adviser Stephen MIller wants the fiscal year 2018 number to be even lower, at one point arguing for a limit of 15,000. DHS is pushing for 40,000.

Any of these numbers represent historic lows in U.S. refugee admissions, abdicating any claim to leadership in humanitarian response to a worldwide refugee crisis. Before Trump, the lowest limit set since the Refugee Act of 1980 was 67,000, set by Ronald Reagan in 1986. In theory, the president could set the number of refugees admitted in 2018 as low as he wants – down to a single refugee. Continue reading

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Travel ban revisited and other immigration news – September 13, 2017


The travel ban is literally being litigated to death – it was supposed to be a temporary ban and, after all the legal challenges, hearings, orders, appeals, and rulings, it seems likely to expire before the Supreme Court issues a final decision. The travel ban was set to expire 90 days after issuance and the refugee ban 120 days after issuance. The Supreme Court has set arguments on the consolidated case for October 10, and will rule at some later date.

DACA news in second section below… Continue reading

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Immigrant workers will rebuild after hurricanes, and other immigration news – September 12, 2017


U.S. dependence on immigrant workers – documented or undocumented – is highlighted by the prospect of rebuilding after hurricanes. The construction industry is particularly dependent on immigrant workers, and has been chronically short of workers in recent years. So what will happen with rebuilding in Texas and Miami? Will officials rush in to arrest undocumented workers as they rebuild the cities? Or will they turn their heads, as they have been doing on E-Verify compliance?

DACA news – in the second section of this post – ranges from arrests at a border checkpoint to the latest lawsuit against the rescission of DACA.   Continue reading

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Hurricanes, immigration forms, and other immigration news – September 10, 2017


IMG_3769Hurricanes have wreaked havoc on Texas and now on Florida. Immigrants were crucial in rebuilding New Orleans after Katrina, and will be needed in Texas and Florida, too. Documented and undocumented, immigrants make up a crucial part of the construction industry.

The hurricanes also make everything harder for immigrants who need to make applications or renew permits, including DACA permits. The October 5 deadline for DACA renewal applications will be tough to meet, even without the loss of money and papers in hurricanes. For more, see the DACA section below. Continue reading

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