Links and stories – March 1, 2017

refugees-are-better-vettedSo what’s really going on in White House immigration policy? Within hours of each other, AP reported Trump to sign new travel order on Wednesday and the New York Times said Trump Signals Drastic Shift on ImmigrantsPresident Is Said to Be Open to Legal Status for Millions. The Los Angeles Times sees a different story: The real goal of Trump’s executive orders: Reduce the number of immigrants in the U.S. Does anyone know what’s going on?

Also in this news summary: the Minnesota 8, awaiting deportation to a country they have never seen. 

“Decade of Betrayal”: How the U.S. Expelled Over a Half Million U.S. Citizens to Mexico in 1930s (Democracy Now, 2/28/17)

The Kansas City Star editorializes: Trump’s silence on deadly Olathe shooting is disquieting.

“Trump has offered no words of condolence for the grieving widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who died from his gunshot wounds.

“The president has expressed no sympathy for Kuchibhotla’s best friend, Alok Madasani, who continues to recover from bullet wounds and the trauma.

“Trump usually loves to celebrate all-American heroes. But he’s passed on commending Ian Grillot, a bystander who leapt to take the gunman down before anyone else was harmed. Grillot was shot, too. …

“[W]ith each passing day, Trump’s silence is even more telling.”

Refugee women and children ‘beaten, raped and starved in Libyan hellholes’ (The Guardian, 2/28/17) “Militia-run detention centres in Libya are ‘no more than forced labour camps and makeshift prisons’, Unicef says” Yes – the article describes documented conditions as appalling as the headline.

White House effort to justify travel ban causes growing concern for some intelligence officials (CNN, 2/28/17) Trump wants DHS and DOJ to build a case for his travel ban.

“…this is an assignment that has caused concern among some administration intelligence officials, who see the White House charge as the politicization of intelligence — the notion of a conclusion in search of evidence to support it after being blocked by the courts. Still others in the intelligence community disagree with the conclusion and are finding their work disparaged by their own department.”

Since travel order lifted, more than 1,800 refugees from affected countries have entered U.S. (Pew Research Center, 2/24/17) That’s just about the normal rate over the past six months – but soon all refugee admissions will be shut down, because of Trump’s order cutting refugee admissions for the year from 110,000 to 55.000.

‘Day Without Immigrants’ Protests and Strikes Planned for May 1 (Moyers & Company, 2/23/17)

A software engineer is detained for several hours by U.S. Customs – and given a test to prove he’s an engineer (CNBC, 2/28/17)

The Minnesota 8

Refugees the Minnesota 8 face deportation to a land they’ve never seen (City Pages, 1/11/17)

“At the end of August, ICE detained eight Minnesotans of Cambodian descent. All were refugees who’d arrived legally as children, swaddled in the arms of parents fleeing the Khmer Rouge. Born in Thai refugee camps, they have never set foot on Cambodian soil. Most don’t even speak the language….

“When he was younger, [Socheat] got into the same sort of petty nonsense as Shorty, without a thought as to how it would affect his future. But a few months’ difference clinched their fates long ago. Whereas Shorty was brought to the United States just shy of his second birthday, Socheat made the odyssey in his mother’s womb, born into citizenship.”

All of the Minnesota 8 were convicted of crimes committed in their youth, ranging from breaking windows to homicide. All have orders of deportation, and have been regularly reporting to immigration authorities for years. They could not be deported because Cambodia would not accept them. Now time may be running out for the Minnesota 8:  VOA reports [Cambodians Face Deportations to Homeland They’ve Never Known VOA, 2/10/17] that the Cambodian government issued 36 travel documents in February, though it’s not clear whether any of these are for any of the Minnesota 8.

Read the City Pages article for individual stories of the Minnesota 8, their children and parents and spouses and families.







About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet,, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
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