Court actions halting Trump’s travel ban were the biggest immigration news this week. Judges in Maryland and Hawaii issued orders for a nationwide halt to parts of Trump’s executive order barring residents of six-mostly-Muslim countries and suspending refugee admissions. U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang in Maryland, like Judge Derrick Webster in Hawaii, said the ban discriminates on the basis of religion, violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The Maryland judge issued a preliminary injunction, blocking the travel ban on six mostly-Muslim countries until trial. The Hawaii judge issued a temporary restraining order, blocking both the travel ban and the refugee ban.
Links to some of the reports, interviews and analysis appear below. Other stories in today’s news include a St. Patrick’s Day focus on Irish immigrants, how deportation changes scare domestic abuse victims, Minnesota immigration news, and more.
Court actions on travel, refugee ban
Second federal judge blocks parts of Trump’s revised travel ban (The Hill, 3/16/17)
What’s next for Trump travel ban 2.0? (Washington Post, 3/16/17)
“Here are the government’s options, and the path that analysts say administration officials are most likely to take as they seek to restore Trump’s new travel ban.
(1) Ask for appellate court intervention, and do it quickly…
(2) Review the vetting procedures, with an eye on issuing something short of a ban…
(3) Restore the old order? Not if Trump wants to win, analysts say.”
In Stinging Blow to President, Hawaii & Maryland Judges Block Trump’s Second Muslim Ban (Democracy Now, 3/16/17) Amy Goodman interviewed ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt, who represented the ACLU in the Maryland case:
LEE GELERNT: I think the judges rightly saw that, and they saw that a few tweaks here or there would not eliminate—you know, what they said is, this doesn’t eliminate religious discrimination, because, to a reasonable observer, it’s clear what the president was trying to do. And the courts have said, “Don’t psychoanalyze government officials.” Well, there’s no need to psychoanalyze here. The president stated, “We want a Muslim ban.” And that’s what happens when you say we want religious discrimination. The courts push back. …
AMY GOODMAN: So, what’s the difference between the Maryland and the Hawaii stays?
LEE GELERNT: Right, so that’s a good question. So, what the Maryland judge said is, “I don’t think there’s enough evidence in the record to ban the refugee—to block the refugee part,” but the six-country ban, which is the critical part, he did block. The Hawaii went further and said, “I’m going to block even the refugee part.” But I think the critical thing about Maryland that’s different than Hawaii is, it’s a longer injunction. It’s what’s called a preliminary injunction. It will last through trial. The Hawaii judge only issued a short injunction that will expire in a few weeks.
Federal judge in Hawaii puts Trump travel ban on hold (Star Tribune, 3/16/17)
Immigration law attorney John Keller, of the Immigration Law Center of Minnesota, said Wednesday night that he’s “once again extremely pleased that the independent judiciary can see these orders for what they are….
“What we are seeing again is that the track record of hostility against Muslims during the presidential campaign continues to be the chief thing the courts weigh these orders against. Eighteen months of direct promises to discriminate against people because of their religion – the courts can’t ignore that, even with a dressed-up executive order. … As long as these orders continue, there will be litigation. “It’s important for all Americans, especially those from countries that don’t have independent courts, to see that even presidents are being held to account when they do something that’s not constitutional.”
Want arguments in favor of the travel ban? See these:
- The dangerous precedent set by judicial attacks on the travel ban (Atlantic, 3/16/17)
- The Legality of the 3/6/17 Executive Order, Part III: The Establishment Clause (Lawfare blog, 3/15/17)
St. Patrick’s Day Special
White, Irish and undocumented in America (CNN, 3/16/17)
An estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish immigrants live in the United States …
“It is easier being illegal here when you’re white,” Shauna, an undocumented Irish immigrant, tells CNN. “It’s not easy, of course, you have that paranoia but there isn’t the racial element. It’s a bit easier to stay under the radar.”
Deportation changes scare domestic abuse victims
Chief Justice of California Objects to Immigration Enforcement Tactics at California Courthouses (Immigration Prof Blog, 3/1/6/17)
“As Chief Justice of California responsible for the safe and fair delivery of justice in our state, I am deeply concerned about reports from some of our trial courts that immigration agents appear to be stalking undocumented immigrants in our courthouses to make arrests.
“Our courthouses serve as a vital forum for ensuring access to justice and protecting public safety. Courthouses should not be used as bait in the necessary enforcement of our country’s immigration laws.”
ICE agents make arrests at courthouses, sparking backlash from prosecutors and attorneys (Los Angeles Times, 3/16/17)
“Last week, Denver City Atty. Kristi Bronson also told several media outlets that she had to dismiss prosecutions against four separate domestic violence suspects because the complaining witnesses, all of whom are in the country illegally, were afraid ICE might either learn their location through a court docket or send agents to the courthouse when they appeared to testify. Bronson’s comments came weeks after a video surfaced showing ICE agents waiting to arrest someone outside a Denver courtroom.”
Trump Deportation Vow Is Scaring Domestic Abuse Victims From Coming Forward (Buzzfeed, 3/16/17)
“Even people who work with these issues are saying they have not seen this level of fear.”
Minnesota immigration news
In Minnesota, unauthorized immigrants wait and worry (MPR, 3/16/17)
“Adelina and Jorge, whose last names we are not using, and their four children have lived in Worthington for more than 20 years. They’re worried they may be deported if President Trump begins a widespread immigration crackdown.”
Largest ICE sweep since election nets 26 in Minnesota (Star Tribune, 3/16/17)
“One of those arrested in the Twin Cities was a church member, a factory worker who along with his wife was dropping off his son with a caregiver just off Lake Street one early morning last week…. The Incarnation member authorities arrested on Lake Street last week had lived in the United States for about nine years and had no criminal convictions, Capouch said. But he had returned to the United States after he was deported in 2011 to rejoin his wife and his now-8-year-old son, a U.S. citizen. Capouch said the boy was traumatized by witnessing his father’s arrest.”
ICE arrests 86 in 5 Midwestern states (AP via MPR, 3/16/17)
U.S. immigration officials arrest 26 in Minnesota during 3-day operation (Pioneer Press, 3/16/17)
Trump wants $4.1 billion for border wall (Politico, 3/16/17) and Trump’s Border Wall Gets Billions in Budget Proposal (New York Times, 3/16/17) Of course, that’s far less than the projected $21+ billion cost of the wall, and no one knows where the money would come from, how the wall would be built, or what it would look like. Details, details …
Rep. Gutiérrez Speaks Out After Being Handcuffed for Demanding Answers on ICE Raids & Deportations (Democracy Now, 3/16/17)
“Much has been reported on the case of Francisca Lino. She’s a Mexican national. For 12 years, she has reported dutifully to ICE and to Homeland Security, and each year they said, “Come back next year.” She is a mother of four American citizens, and an American citizen husband. And they have been showing discretion in terms of their enforcement action towards her—until this last meeting. And they won’t reverse their decision. We asked them. We demanded they reverse that decision. They keep saying to us, in a very—in this contradiction of terms, they keep saying to the American public, “We’re going after the criminals. We’re going after the bad people, the people that are out there to do harm.” Well, they’re not. Francisca Lino, she’s a mom. She’s a—and she’s reported for 12 consecutive years. What changed? The only thing that changed was that Donald Trump got sworn in as president of the United States…”
Families are going hungry so Trump won’t deport them (Washington Post, 3/16/17) Legal immigrants may be eligible for food stamp benefits (SNAP) after living here for five years; unauthorized immigrants are never eligible, but their U.S. citizen children may be. Now, say SNAP workers, many are afraid to use the benefits they are eligible for.
“Legal immigrants worry that receiving SNAP could reflect on them negatively during the citizenship vetting process. Undocumented immigrants, applying on behalf of their children, are increasingly wary about any interaction with the government.”
Miami-Dade commissioner backs off proposal barring police from enforcing immigration laws (Miami Herald, 3/16/17)
ACLU Lawyer Esha Bhandari on Your Rights If Border Agents Try to Seize Your Cellphone at the Border (Democracy Now, 3/16/17)
“The number of searches skyrocketed under President Obama, reaching 25,000 last year. But the number is expected to be far higher this year. According to NBC News, more than 5,000 devices were searched in February alone. That’s more than the entire number searched in all of 2015….
“The legal question is unsettled….
“But for citizens, citizens can certainly refuse to give their password. They have a right to re-enter the country. If they do, they face the risk that they will be detained for longer, maybe up to several hours, and that their device is seized, and they may not see it for days or weeks.”