Sanctuary city attacks and resistance and other immigration articles – April 25, 2017

Sanctuary CityFrom News Day post: On April 21, the Department of Justice sent letters to nine jurisdictions “having laws that potentially violate 8 U.S.C. §1373:” — Sacramento, Chicago, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Miami, Milwaukee, New York, and Chicago. A press release accompanying the letters charged that “many of these jurisdictions are also crumbling under the weight of illegal immigration and violent crime.”

The press release charged that, “New York City continues to see gang murder after gang murder, the predictable consequence of the city’s ‘soft on crime’ stance.” That’s a flat-out lie, according to New York’s mayor and police chief:

“[NYC Mayor Bill] De Blasio said such remarks were “absolutely outrageous”. James O’Neill, head of New York’s police department, similarly rejected the justice department’s claims, saying they showed “a willful disregard for the facts”.

“O’Neill noted that 2016 saw the fewest shootings in New York City history since it began keeping records, and that since 1993, “murder has decreased 82%, shootings have decreased 81%, and overall crime has decreased 76%. These are the facts.”

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Latest attack on sanctuary cities meets major resistance

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From the campaign onward, Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric also targeted sanctuary cities. Since his inauguration, his administration has made three moves against sanctuary cities: an executive order, a failed series of ICE reports, and now Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ attack on nine sanctuary cities. With battle lines drawn, sanctuary cities are fighting back. Continue reading

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Holding health care hostage to border wall and other immigration articles – April 24, 2017

Wall of crosses Nogales McIntosh

White crosses with the names of those who have died crossing the US border adorn the Mexican side of the wall in Heroica Nogales, Mexico. Photo by Jonathan McIntosh, published under Creative Commons license

The border wall should be a non-issue by now, with immigration officials, Republicans on the border, and just about every person with any background information agreeing that it’s a stupid idea. Everybody, that is, except the president. With a government shutdown coming at the end of the month, Congress and the administration are scrambling to agree on some kind of spending bill. Democrats want the bill to include funding for the cost-sharing program that helps pay healthcare costs for low-income people, which leads to Trump’s latest big idea: holding health care hostage.

“Trump’s budget director Mick Mulvaney on Friday suggested a sort of tradeoff with Democrats: For every dollar of funding for the ObamaCare program, Democrats must agree to a dollar of funding for Trump’s border wall.”

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Celebrate Jeanette Vizguerra and other immigration stories – April 21, 2017

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Jeanette Vizguerra (Time, 4/20/17) An undocumented immigrant activist living in sanctuary is on the 2017 Time 100 list of “the most influential people in the world: the artists, icons, leaders, pioneers and titans who are shaping the future.”

“Jeanette moved to the U.S. to be a janitor, working as an outspoken union organizer and building her own company before becoming an advocate for immigration reform—a bold and risky thing for an undocumented immigrant. After fighting off deportation for eight years, she decided to go public with her story and sought refuge in the basement of a Denver church….

“She came to this country not to rape, murder or sell drugs, but to create a better life for her family. She shed blood, sweat and tears to become a business owner, striving to give her children more opportunities than she had. This is not a crime. This is the American Dream.”

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Deporting mothers and Dreamers and other immigration articles – April 20, 2017

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Maribel Trujillo was deported yesterday. She’s a mother of four U.S. citizen children from Fairfield, Ohio. Trujillo came to the United States in 2002, and was arrested in a raid on her workplace in 2007. Her asylum application was denied, and she has been checking in with ICE every year, and had a work permit. She renewed her asylum application, after her father was kidnapped in Mexico by a drug gang. Two days later, ICE showed up outside her home and took her away.

“Maribel is a very good example of why these policies are so misguided,” her attorney, Emily Brown, told BuzzFeed News. “If a mother of four US citizen kids who has no criminal record is up for deportation, then this is an inhuman policy that everyone needs to know about.”

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Hire American, Buy American (unless your name is Trump) and other immigration news – April 19, 2017

American flagOn April 18, President Donald Trump signed a “buy American, hire American” executive order, tailor-made for sloganeering and without any immediate legal effect. He ordered four cabinet departments to study things and recommend changes in the H-1B visa program for skilled workers.

Trump’s own business — Mar-a-Lago — doesn’t use high-skilled workers on H-1B visas. It uses low-skilled seasonal workers on H-2B visas. Just like his son Eric’s vineyard/winery business, which hires seasonal agricultural workers on H-2A visas. Daughter Ivanka’s clothing line doesn’t use immigrant workers, because the clothing is manufactured abroad. Oops – that might run afoul of the “buy American” part of the slogan — if anybody in the family really cared.  Continue reading

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What do the numbers tell us? and other immigration articles – April 18, 2017

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Syracuse University analyzes federal data in its TRAC project.

What Does New Immigration Data (or Lack of It) Tell Us About Trump’s First Three Months in Office? asks Latino USA.

The short answer: not much.

The Latino USA article begins by summarizing a report by Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, which has a long record of providing detailed and reliable data. TRAC’s “Immigration Court Post-Trump Cases: Latest Data” finds a pattern “not dissimilar” to Obama’s record, though it notes “a shift away from illegal entry as the grounds for seeking deportation and a rise in other immigration offenses, such as not currently having a valid immigrant visa which can occur if the person entered legally and then stayed beyond the period permitted under their visa.”

The real news from TRAC is that its analysis has just become more difficult:

“Unfortunately, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has started withholding other more comprehensive information that ICE previously released to TRAC in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. ICE does not claim the withheld information is exempt from disclosure, it simply claims past releases were discretionary and it is no longer willing to make many of these details available to the public.

“Because of these ICE refusals, TRAC is unable to update its online free web query tools that allow the public to view ICE activities under both the previous Bush and Obama Administrations.”

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