Immigration train wreck in Congress and other immigration news

train wreck

Photo by 826 Paranormal published under Creative Commons license

Over the weekend, Trump’s immigration train wreck continued to dominate immigration news stories. The White House fingerprints are all over last week’s debacle, from Trump’s veto threats on moderate, bipartisan plans to Trump’s demands for slashing legal immigration and removing legal safeguards in the deportation process. Republicans, with only a few exceptions, caved to the White House bluster and bullying. Though the immigration deal-making failed, March 5 no longer means the end of DACA: for the moment, two federal court rulings keep DACA alive, barely.

Around the country, arrests and deportations continue, and U.S. citizens and permanent residents rush to file visa petitions for mothers and fathers, spouses and children, brothers and sisters, fearing that Trump’s proposed ban on visas for close relatives could become reality.

In addition to analyses of DC immigration action, today’s stories include homes for young asylum seekers in Chicago, a young immigrant couple in love and fear, shameful scapegoating around the opioid crisis, and a senior ICE attorney charged with fraud and identity theft from immigrants. Continue reading

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Unhappy anniversary and immigration news—February 16, 2018

I began writing this daily summary of immigration news one year ago today. During that year, immigration news has grown steadily darker and more threatening, though some rays of hope still emerge. Like dark chocolate as a remedy for depression, those stories are important, especially as bad news dominates days and weeks.

Today’s bad news includes the Senate failure on Dreamer protection: NO on the pretty good McCain-Coons bill, and NO again on the not-so-good “centrist” compromise, NO from Trump who threatened to veto both of them, and NO from McConnell on any further debate. Continue reading

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“A mass deportation bill” in DC, mass arrests in Los Angeles, and more

U.S. Capitol dome_mct

U.S. Capitol (Photo by Mary Turck)

First, the Senate was going to debate the future of Dreamers from February 12 to March 5, though it would be in recess for a large part of that time. Then majority leader Mitch McConnell restricted the debate to one week, which was actually three days—Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday—and opened with a bill attacking sanctuary jurisdictions rather than legalization for Dreamers. Late Wednesday, a new “Common Sense Coalition” proposed a bill called “centrist” and “compromise.”

No way, tweeted Dreamers in Make the Road NY: “Make no mistake: this is a mass deportation bill that the immigrant community categorically rejects.”

In exchange for a 10-12 year path to citizenship for 1.8 million Dreamers, the bill would give Trump $25 billion for his wall and would bar any kind of temporary or permanent residence for Dreamers’ parents.

“Well, “centrist” is one word for a bill that protects Dreamers by selling out their parents; one can think of other descriptors,” said Slate’s report on the proposal. More in articles below, along with the ongoing ICE sweep in Los Angeles, and reporting on more misery for asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors. Continue reading

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From DACA to Melania: the good news, bad news, and just plain weirdness

judge's gavel weissparz

Photo by wp paarz, used under Creative Commons license.

UPDATE/CORRECTION re DACA applications: Good news from the courts: Monday afternoon, a second U.S. judge blocked the Trump administration from ending DACA. While there might be a legitimate way to end DACA, the New York federal court said, the way Trump did it was not legit. This decision went farther than the earlier California ruling, with the New York federal court saying the administration has to accept “initial” DACA applications, as well as renewals.

“Defendants thus must continue processing both initial DACA applications and DACA renewal requests under the same terms and conditions that applied before September 5, 2017, subject to the limitations described below.”

Does “initial” mean “new”? The National Immigration Law Center thinks not. I thought that “initial” meant “new” — but they’re the experts, so I’m making this correction.  Continue reading

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Toddler trials and family values

Mateo and father

Mateo and his father (Photo by Pueblos Sin Fronteras)

One-year-old Mateo is back with his mother, after 85 days in ICE custody. His parents fled violence in El Salvador, crossing the border and asking for asylum in the United States. Mateo and his father, Jose Demar Fuentes, 30, crossed into the United States in November. HIs father was jailed, and immigration authorities took Mateo away from him. They wouldn’t tell the father where Mateo was. They said they didn’t know whether he was really the toddler’s father, despite his name on Mateo’s birth certificate. Continue reading

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In DC, the same old story as the DACA time clock keeps ticking


On Saturday, the Los Angeles Times headlined White House floats an offer to keep legal immigration at 1 million per year instead of cutting it  

By Sunday, the headline was obsolete, just one more false promise. Instead, Republicans in the Senate introduced a bill that was essentially the same old Trump hard line, according to CNN, “including the proposals that would toughen immigration enforcement and limiting family-based visas only to spouses and children under 18 years old — a vastly reduced number of eligible immigrants from the current system.”

Up next in the Senate: Immigration, and nobody knows what will happen, said the Washington Post, analyzing all of the players and moving parts in the Senate.

The Senate is only one part of the puzzle. The House and the president also have to agree to any plan that the Senate devises. Continue reading

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Standing up and fighting back


From court action to coalition building, people across the country are standing up and fighting back against the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant actions. We need these stories, as an antidote to despair and as an inspiration to follow their examples, to stand up and fight back.

A second section below has links to this week/weekend/s Minnesota immigration news.
Continue reading

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