Caravan and Border Crossings: Rhetoric vs. Reality

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Border wall mural, photo by Jonathan McIntosh, used under Creative Commons license

From Fox News to the Washington Post, news outlets echo Trumpian rhetoric about a huge increase in border crossings and a giant immigrant caravan heading north to the U.S. border. As usual, reality is far more complex than rhetoric. Continue reading

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Separating Families by Revoking Temporary Protected Status

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By revoking Temporary Protected Status (TPS), the Trump administration will separate hundreds of thousands of parents from their children and grandchildren. U.S. government reports said their home countries are not safe for return, but the Department of Homeland Security ignored those reports and ordered an end to TPS anyway. A federal court in California has temporarily blocked the order, saying there is good reason to believe that racism, not legal reasoning, motivated the termination of TPS for people from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan.  

You can hear the stories of people traveling on the TPS Caravan for Justice TONIGHT in St. Paul—Tuesday, October 16, at 6 p.m. at Woodland Hills Church, 1740 Van Dyke Street, St. Paul.

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Family Separation: Back Again

IMG_0816Trump is “actively considering plans that could again separate parents and children at the U.S.-Mexico border.” He says there is now a huge increase in undocumented entries. That’s not true. He says it is legal to hold children for unlimited time, as long as their parents are in jail with them. That’s not true. He says that the previous family separation effort deterred immigrants and decreased the number of people crossing without documents. That’s not true either.

“There is literally no evidence that this will deter families from coming

“Ultimately, the Trump administration’s goal is to stop people from crossing into the US to seek asylum to begin with. (While the administration maintains that its goal is simply to stop them from crossing illegally into the US, they have also limited intake for asylum seekers at legal ports of entry, claiming they don’t have the resources to process them.)”

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“Public benefit change” = “Family Separation Pure and Simple”

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Yesterday, Trump’s new “public benefit” regulation was posted on the Federal Register, and the 60-day comment period began. PLEASE TAKE ACTION. You can comment as an individual. You can tell your friends and religious congregations about this travesty. You can tell your representatives in Congress that you want them to oppose the regulation. Click here for one action link or click here for another.

This regulation could be called immigration for the rich: it severely limits family reunification in particular, and immigration in general in a number of disturbing ways: making immigrants who receive a list of public benefits ineligible for permanent residence, emphasizing income and education level as criteria for permanent residence, and penalizing people for being too old (over 62?), too young (not yet working age), and for having chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes.

Below, you’ll find links to (and quotes from) some excellent articles and background.  Continue reading

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Minnesota Immigration News: Scream Town to City Council

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From political campaigns to Halloween Scream Town, “Minnesota Nice” fails utterly to protect immigrants from Minnesota Nasty this year. The good news: across the state, resistance to prejudice remains strong and growing. Continue reading

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“We can either be afraid or we can fight, and it is much more effective to fight.”

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From its first day, the Trump administration has tried to stop immigrants, to punish immigrants, and to foster anti-immigrant prejudice. It is not working. Every repressive, anti-immigrant move is met with greater resistance from the majority of Americans who understand that immigrants enrich this country and that repression and prejudice are wrong. And immigrants keep coming, despite all attempts to build legal or physical walls.  Continue reading

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Appalling Conditions in Immigration Jails

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Adelanto. Tornillo. Stewart. The names of immigration jails march across the headlines, with reports of abuses, neglect, suicides, and medical malpractice. For those who might be tempted to dismiss news reports, last week brought an official report from the Department of Homeland Security revealing horrific details of routine abuses at Adelanto, a private, for-profit prison in California:

  • “A dentist who said detainees could use “string from their socks to floss” for dental hygiene, as the facility only provides floss to detainees who pay for it.
  • “A disabled man who was confined to his wheelchair for nine days and nights without being allowed to sleep on a bed.
  • “A blind man with limited English and more than a dozen others who were held in disciplinary segregation even though they had not been found guilty of any rule violation.
  • “Detainees waiting weeks or months to see a doctor, and in some cases, more than a year to see a dentist.
  • “Nooses made out of braided bed sheets hung from vents at 15 out of 20 cells inspectors visited, which could aid suicide attempts.”

Adelanto has had at least seven suicide attempts, and one man died in March 2017 after hanging himself with bedsheets. Continue reading

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