Links and stories – March 3, 2017

dream-act-nowTrump says he has sympathy for DACA recipients (“Dreamers”) but that the law is rough. And getting rougher – ICE agents continue to arrest Dreamers, as detailed in today’s top stories. Also in this round-up: talking about immigration reform, helping arrestees in California and deportees in Mexico – and a horror story from Texas, which began with an Obama administration detention. 

DACA stories

Dreamer detained by ICE agents while in the process of DACA renewal (The Guardian, 3/2/17)
‘Dreamer’ detained in Mississippi after speaking out about fears of migrants in country illegally (Los Angeles Times, 3/2/17)
The Court Fight Over A Detained DREAMer Could Have A Major Effect On All DACA Holders’ Rights (Buzzfeed, 2/27/17)

Daniela Vargas, whose brother, Daniel Vargas, was the first DACA recipient arrested under the Trump administration’s new, get-tougher deportation push, came to this country from Argentina at the age of 7. Now 22, she was arrested in Jackson, Mississippi, after speaking at a rally and news conference focused on DACA. The Los Angeles Times article explains:

“Vargas, who has no criminal history and hopes to become a math professor, was granted DACA status in 2012 and again in 2014, according to Peterson. The Obama administration program, for immigrants brought into the country illegally as children, allows them to work legally and shields them from deportation. 

“In November, Vargas’ DACA status expired as she tried to save up the $495 fee to renew it. After she raised enough money, her law firm filed a renewal application in February.”

In a statement, Thomas Byrd, a public affairs officer for ICE, described Vargas as an “unlawfully present Argentinian citizen” who was taken into custody during a “targeted immigration enforcement action.”

New travel ban will exempt current visa-holders, sources say (Washington Post, 3/1/2017)

Trump’s immigration opening falls flat with key audience: Democrats (Reuters, 3/1/17)

“Any goodwill Trump may have sparked with his mention of a chance for “real and positive immigration reform” in Tuesday’s speech, his first to a joint session of Congress, was soon dashed by rhetoric that Democrats said tarred and misrepresented most immigrants.
“The speech he gave was one of the most anti-immigrant speeches that we heard any president ever give,” Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer said on Wednesday.”

Talking about immigration reform

Immigration activists open to negotiating with Trump (The Hill, 3/2/17) The “compromise” could be accepting second-class status of permanent legal residence with no path to citizenship – which would at least mean undocumented people living here now would not be deported. But most immigrant rights activists remain convinced Trump is not serious about any kind of immigration reform.

“But immigration experts are skeptical Trump has the attention span or the desire to pass a sweeping immigration overhaul, a deeply complicated undertaking that has failed twice in Washington in the last decade and would represent an about-face from Trump’s hard-line campaign stance against illegal immigration and crackdown on migrants since he took office.”

What ‘Taking the Shackles Off’ Really Means (Brennan Center for Justice, 2/28/17) (Opinion article)

“There is no reason to think that anyone who matters within the Trump administration is working on how to deal with the adverse economic ramifications of the coming immigration sweeps. And there is no reason to believe that anyone who matters within the Trump administration is working on how to deal with the looming problem of handing badges and weapons to unqualified Border Patrol recruits….

“It says something significant that some local police officials are telling Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents not to identify themselves as “police” when they stage their raids. It says that veteran law enforcement officials understand what it means when government agents take “the shackles off” when treating civilians. It means abuse and neglect. It means harassment and humiliation.”

Helping arrestees and deportees

Mexico City’s deportee work program hopes to help ousted migrants resettle (The Guardian, 3/2/17)

California lawmakers want to provide attorneys to immigrants facing deportation. But who gets the help?  (Los Angeles Times, 3/2/17)

“Amid a tense political battle over the nation’s borders and who should be expelled from the country, California lawmakers this legislative session are on an emergency track to develop what is likely to be the largest legal defense program in the U.S. for immigrants swept into the federal removal process.”

Meanwhile in Texas

Asylum Seeker Battling Brain Tumor Removed from Texas Hospital in Handcuffs, Taken to Private Jail (Democracy Now, 3/2/17) The story is gruesome, but ends with good news: “Hours after our broadcast, Amnesty International announced Sara Beltran Hernandez will be released from detention today to be with her family and to seek treatment for a brain tumor.”


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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