Saying Yes to Refugees

refugees-are-better-vettedNorth Dakota and Canada want refugees. 

North Dakota’s Republican Governor Doug Burgum wants refugees. He says local governments will have to be willing, but that doesn’t sound like an obstacle. 

“Advocates for refugees said they didn’t believe any of the state’s largest cities, where refugees typically settle, would turn them away….

“Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney agreed. He said his city needs refugees to grow its economy.

“’I have 33 businesses that say they will take as many (refugees) as they could,’ Mahoney said.” Continue reading

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Shipping Asylum Seekers to Guatemala

what. have we. become

The Remain in Mexico policy forcing asylum seekers back to Mexico in between court hearings was bad. Deporting Honduran and Salvadoran asylum seekers to Guatemala is much worse—and the flights have begun

“We are being asked to violate human rights,” one asylum officer told Buzzfeed News. Guatemala is not safe for asylum seekers. The government and police are riddled with corruption, violence from gangs and political killings drives Guatemalans themselves from the country, and its asylum system is small and ineffective.  Continue reading

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Voices of Conscience: Asylum Officers Speak Out

never-again-is-now-wideAsylum Officer Doug Stephens stood up.

“After careful consideration and moral contemplation,” he refused to participate in the “Migrant Protection Protocol” program, also known as “Remain in Mexico.”  This program sends asylum-seekers to live in danger and homelessness in Mexico for months, while they wait for court dates for their asylum cases.

Stephens met with his supervisors in August and then wrote an extensive memorandum explaining his conclusions as an attorney and an officer sworn to uphold the laws and constitution of the United States. Part of his scathing indictment of the MPP program describes the process: Continue reading

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Minnesota Immigration News: November 15 2019

IMG_3334Just a quick round-up of the good, the bad, and the ugly in Minnesota immigration news during the first part of November. And there is a lot of good news, beginning with election results from November 5. Continue reading

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DACA: Supreme Court Today

Roeder Supreme Court

Photo by Phil Roeder, published under Creative Commons license

On November 12, the Supreme Court considers whether the Trump administration violated  legal procedure in its attempt to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: DACA. The September 5, 2017 order cancelling DACA has been challenged in federal courts across the country, with three separate courts ordering temporary suspension of the order while cases are litigated. The challenge that the Supreme Court will hear is summarized in The New Yorker:

“A team of lawyers from the firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, along with several groups of DACA recipients, advocates, universities, and multiple states nationwide, will argue that the President ended DACA without properly considering the impact the decision would have on its seven hundred thousand recipients and their families—more than a million people in total. A federal statute called the Administrative Procedures Act requires the government to provide transparent and substantial reasons for adopting public policies, whereas the Trump Administration, these groups have argued, acted in an ‘arbitrary and capricious’ way, a violation of the law.”

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Only Wealthy Immigrants Need Apply

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Image by piviso from Pixabay

The latest brick in the invisible wall that the Trump administration is building to keep out legal immigrants: enormous fee increases for all kinds of immigration applications, coupled with abolition of fee waivers for those who cannot afford them. The new rules will impose a $50 fee for asylum applications, the first time the United States has ever imposed a fee for desperate people fleeing violence, and that’s just the beginning. 

“’This is blood money,’ said one asylum officer. ‘Only a bully says, ‘I won’t protect you unless you pay up.’” 

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Alejandra Barrera and Ajay Kumar: Medical Neglect and Denial of Bonds

what. have we. become

Report after report—and court case after court case—show the U.S. government’s inhumane treatment of asylum seekers from around the world. That includes detention without bond, denial of medical care, and abuse by guards, especially in private prisons. Read Alejandra Barrera and Ajay Kumar’s stories and then take action to demand human rights protection for asylum seekers. 

Alejandra Barrera, a transgender woman seeking asylum in the United States, was held in the “trans pod” of the Cibola detention center for more than a year and a half, the longest detention of anyone in the pod. During her time there, she became a leader in pointing out abuses by guards and denial of medical care to transgender immigrants in detention Continue reading

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