Getting real: One more Dreamer in jeopardy and other immigration news – December 15, 2017


Osman Enriquez was among the many DACA renewal applicants who saw their applications rejected by the government for being late, after languishing for weeks at a United States Postal Service processing center in Chicago. After extensive press coverage, ICE acknowledged the mistake and said they would be allowed to reapply – but they need to wait until USPS and ICE have sorted out the names of those who were affected and sent them notice to reapply.

In the meantime, they have no status, no work permits, no protection. Enriquez was waiting for his notice when he was put in deportation proceedings. Continue reading

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Terror suspects and other immigration news – December 13, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 4.45.49 PM

Any excuse for an attack on immigrants —  that’s the explanation for the latest Trump tweets blaming the immigration system for the Bangladeshi bomber in New York City. Because Trump is pushing for an end to both the diversity visa and family visas, he is trying to blame the immigration system for admitting dangerous people. What his rhetoric fails to note is that both Akayed Ullah and Uzbeki Sayfullo Saipov were radicalized here in the United States, years after they immigrated.

Like any other visa applicants, these two were subject to intensive scrutiny at the time they applied, with checks on background and criminal records. Nobody gets a visa without security checks, but even the most stringent security checks cannot predict how someone’s life and beliefs will change over time. Blaming the immigration system for Ullah and Saipov makes no more sense than blaming the U.S. army for terrorists Timothy McVeigh, Wade Michael Page, and Kevin Harpham.

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Refugees, Dreamers, and other immigration news – December 12, 2017

United We Dream from Twitter

United We Dream photo from Twitter

Minnesota saw a big drop in refugee arrivals in 2017, and will likely see even fewer in 2018, as the Trump administration attack on refugees continues. DACA and the Dream Act battle continue to dominate immigration news, as Congress continues to drag its feet on passing a clean Dream Act before the end of the year. In addition to thousands of Dreamers and allies demonstrating and talking to representatives in DC, United We Dream has mounted a jumbotron display facing the Capitol to keep their story in front of lawmakers every day through the end of December.

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Somalia deportations, MN immigration stories, and other immigration news – December 11, 2017

Airport gate sign

Fotolia image File: #31551397 

More than a hundred Somali immigrants were taken from around the country to a detention facility in Louisiana to be flown back to Somalia – despite the ongoing civil war and the October bombing in Mogadishu that took more than 500 lives.

Despite the clear dangers in Somalia, this year has seen a record number of deportations. Many of those deported to Somalia this year were immigrants whose asylum claims were denied; others were U.S. permanent residents with criminal convictions.

At least five Minnesota men were among those scheduled for deportation. Three received temporary stays, and two were on the flight that was turned back. Those on the flight are still scheduled for deportation. Continue reading

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Travel ban, Dream Act and other immigration news – December 8, 2017


Hawaii v. Trump was argued in the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday. Here’s a transcription of the eloquent (and short) closing by plaintiff’s attorney Neal Katyal, and here’s the CNN video of the entire hearing.

In Minnesota immigration news – the Hennepin County commissioners voted to give legal assistance to people in jail and facing deportation, and to require that immigrants being booked into Hennepin County jail be told of their right to refuse to talk to immigration officers — their right to remain silent, their right not to get on the  phone with ICE.

Northfield gave preliminary approval to establishing a municipal ID, with a final vote to come next week – and now Minneapolis is considering doing the same.

Meanwhile, in Washington, Congress passed a short stop-gap budget bill, good until December 22 – which means

  1. 122 Dreamers continue to lose DACA protection every day, with more than 11,000 losing DACA since September 5, and
  2. Advocates will continue to phone Congress members, demanding a clean Dream Act before the end of the year

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Challenging bigotry in Willmar and other immigration news – December 7, 2017

A Willmar city council member whose racist, anti-immigrant positions have drawn strong local criticism failed to show up at a council meeting where he was the topic of debate in a public forum. A few of his defenders made racist comments during the forum, but city council members and Human Rights Commission members denounced the comments, and insisted that Willmar is and must remain a welcoming city for all of its residents.

The bigoted comments and actions of a few local residents stand in sharp contrast to other evidence of integration of immigrants into the community – such as the October 2017 election of the high school’s first Somali-American homecoming queen. At that time, reported the West Central Tribune,

“The students said their parents and adults at school have set a good example.

“School leaders have shown students they don’t have to segregate and stay away from people who aren’t just like them, said Tyler Johnson, the homecoming prince.”

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DHS reports on 2017 and DACA December continues – December 6, 2017

Caution migrants wikipedia

California road sign, from Wikipedia, public domain.

As you’d expect, the DHS press release with end-of-year figures for immigration enforcement touts more arrests, more deportations, more enforcement. But that’s not necessarily true – and definitely not the whole story.

As reported by NPR , arrests at the border plunged to historic low levels, while arrests in the interior increased.

And who are these people being arrested in the interior? Anyone and everyone. While ICE boasted that 92 percent had criminal records, most of those “records” are immigration-related, violations. Aside from the immigration violation question, the 92 percent figure makes no distinction between a charge and a  conviction or between an arrest for jaywalking and an arrest for murder. Continue reading

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