Just Saying No to Asylum Seekers

treating refugees as the problem is the problem

How many ways can Trump say no to asylum seekers? He started as soon as he was inaugurated, with the Muslim ban, then moved on to bar people at the southern border. Among the ways to say no to asylum seekers:  

Courts frequently enjoin these nay-saying executive orders and regulations, but the Ninth Circuit just ruled that one big barrier can stand—except in the Ninth Circuit. Confused? Here’s what happened: Continue reading

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Asylum Delayed, Justice Denied


Nearly nine thousand asylum seekers sit in immigration prisons, despite having shown credible or reasonable fear of persecution: the initial immigration decision that allows them to proceed with their asylum cases in court. They sit in prison for months or years, generating enormous profits for the private prison systems that hold most of them. They sit, separated from families and often far removed from the courts where their cases will be held, from family members in the United States, and from lawyers who might help them prepare their cases—because the Trump administration policy is to punish them for asking for asylum.  Continue reading

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More Restrictions on Legal Immigration: Fear as Public Policy

DACA rally - Portland - Joe Frazier

Photo by Joe Frazier, DACA rally in Portland, published under Creative Commons license.

Not content with sending asylum seekers back to danger and kidnapping, rounding up Mississippi poultry workers and separating them from their children, and posturing about border walls, the Trump administration today announced further moves against legal immigrants, effective October 15, in the so-called public charge rule.  

U.S. officials abroad have been using this rule for months, upping the “public charge” denial rate for visa applicants from Mexico from seven during all of fiscal year 2016 to more than 5,000 in the first ten months of the current fiscal year. Worldwide, the number of “public charge” visa denials escalated from 1,033 in FY 2016 to 12,179 in the first ten months of FY 2019. 

The increase in “public charge” denials comes in spite of all evidence showing that immigrants use public benefits less often and for shorter periods of time than native-born U.S. citizens. Temporary visitors (tourist, students, etc.) are not eligible for any public benefits and most legal permanent residents are not eligible until they have lived in the United States for five years. But  hey—why bother basing public policy on facts?  Continue reading

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Magdalena in Mississippi

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You have probably seen her by now: the 11-year-old girl pleading through her tears

“The governments—Government, please put your heart! Let my parents be free and everybody else. Please don’t leave the child with cryingness and everything.” 

The government responds, “This is business as usual for us.”  Continue reading

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Living in Fear in the United States

HPzvJxmxQIWAulXZGMoitwIf you want to know how the El Paso massacre and the hate speech spewing from Trump’s Washington and his thousands of Facebook ads targeting immigrants affects U.S. citizens and immigrants, check out journalist Aura Bogado’s Twitter account. Yesterday, she asked: “Latinxs: how do you feel in public right now? What do you think about? Is there anything you’ve visibly or verbally changed, and if so, why?” The answers are still pouring in:  Continue reading

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After El Paso


I am outraged. Saddened. Sickened. And horribly unsurprised. Another white nationalist with a gun has massacred the targets of his hate. Past targets have been women, African Americans, Jews, Muslims, LGBTQ people. This time this young white nationalist man targeted immigrants and Mexicans and killed 20 people.  Continue reading

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: This Week in Immigration News

what. have we. become

Good first, because we need some good news: Today, August 2, U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss threw out Trump’s anti-asylum rule, which said no one entering without authorization could apply for asylum. A California judge had already ordered a temporary halt to enforcement of the rule while the court heard arguments and made a decision on the merits. Judge Moss simply said no: the rule is illegal and it’s out.   Continue reading

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