This weekend saw lots of Minnesota immigration stories. The most hopeful was the release of one of the Minnesota 8, which happened in late February, though I didn’t see any report until now. Other stories include immigrant costs and contributions to Minnesota’s economy, the debate over drivers’ licenses for unauthorized immigrants, and sanctuary preparation in Minnesota churches. Other international and U.S. immigration stories follow the Minnesota section.
Cambodian Deportation Halted Due to Groundswell of Community Support (Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, 3/8/17)
“Following months of sustained community advocacy, long-time Minnesota resident Ched Nin was released to his wife and their five children in late February after being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for over six months. Ched was detained by ICE in August and processed for deportation to Cambodia because of a 2010 conviction for which he had already completed his sentence….
“He was released after an immigration judge granted him a 212(h) waiver and regained his green card on the grounds that his family would suffer extreme hardship in the event of his deportation….
“Some of the “Minnesota 8″ families have been informed that their loved ones are among those who will be deported in the following weeks.”
Professor Bruce Corrie:”U.S. Census data [showed] they contributed to the economy in very powerful ways, as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs, taxpayers, human capital with talents and skills, cultural assets. I call this ethnic/immigrant capital. Immigrants and minorities are assets, not deficits.”
Refugee resettlement costs are up but still a small part of welfare programs (Star Tribune, 3/10/17)
“Minnesota chips in generously to help refugees adjust to life in the United States, but these costs make up a small fraction of the overall tab for public assistance programs….
“To Mark Sizer, [Stearns] county’s human service administrator, tackling this question offers a chance to dispel some misconceptions. He says some residents asked why refugees get free housing, cars and groceries. They do not….
“A Migration Policy Institute study found refugee men are employed at a higher rate than their U.S.-born counterparts and refugee women at about the same rate as the native born. Refugee reliance on public benefit programs drops off sharply over time, though it remains higher than for the native born.”
“ISAIAH says there’s no timeline for when these houses of worship will need to be ready to host immigrants, but that it could be any day. Faith leaders say their spaces will be ready when they’re needed.”
Latest on the travel/refugee ban
Other states continue to join Washington in opposing the latest Trump travel/refugee ban, and a judge ruled that the old injunction does not apply to the new executive order. Another federal judge made an exception for one Syrian refugee family. Meanwhile, Afghans who worked for the U.S. and are therefore at risk of retaliation will not get visas.
Federal judge refuses to apply previous travel ban stay to Trump’s new order (The Hill, 3/10/17)
“The collapse of the U.S. special visa program is part of a larger closing of U.S. borders to people fleeing war and political violence.”
Immigration in Europe:
Anti-immigrant anger threatens to remake the liberal Netherlands (Washington Post, 3/10/17)
The Smuggler (Reveal, 3/11/17)
“In 2015, French radio reporter Raphael Krafft was covering the refugee crisis in France, which like the U.S. is closing its borders to refugees. On a reporting trip to Italy, he was confronted by a refugee who asked him to help his family cross the border into France.
“As a journalist, Krafft was supposed to be objective, but the plight of the family and other refugees he met compelled him to get involved. In this episode of Reveal, he recounts what happened next and how it changed the course of his career and life.”
‘I am scared’ — an Italian doctor’s reaction every time a new boat load of refugees arrives in Lampedusa (Business Insider, 3/10/17)
“He told French newspaper Le Figaro that it was his job to analyse the bodies, scars, and wounds. He even had to saw the leg off a dead refugee’s body recently as police wanted to perform a DNA check.
“These memories haunt me,” he said, but keeps track of everything on a USB stick, and writes to not forget.
“One never gets used to dead children, women who died after giving birth during the sinking, their babies still attached to them by the umbilical cord,” Bartolo writes.
And in other immigration news:
US immigration: 50 extra judges to help tackle backlog (BBC, 3/10/17)
In A ‘Sanctuary City,’ Immigrant Residents Still Fear Police (NPR, 3/12/17)
“People are wary about leaving their homes or spending money. The streets of the small town, dubbed by some as “Little Mexico”, appear quieter. Business is slower. And those who rely on the immigration community for labor, many of whom are already facing a shortage, are concerned about the economic implications of the crackdown.”
Texas Border Town Economics (NPR, 3/12/17)
Even Before the Wall, Migrants Find the U.S. Forbidding (New York Times, 3/10/17)
Trump Immigration Crackdown Is Great For Private Prison Stocks (New York Times, 3/10/17)
“Nightmarish as the last two months have been for immigrants threatened by detention or deportation, it has been a marvelous time for two companies that stand to benefit from the Trump administration’s policies. … operating for-profit prisons and immigration detention centers for states and the federal government.
“Since the election, CoreCivic’s stock price has climbed 120 percent, and Geo’s has gained 80 percent.”