Links and stories – March 30, 2017

Judge Derrick Wilson extended his order blocking Trump’s travel ban and refugee ban, after hearing arguments from both sides on Wednesday. According to AP, Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin “argued that the ban’s implied message is like a “neon sign flashing ‘Muslim ban, Muslim ban’ that the government didn’t bother to turn off.” Apparently the judge agreed. The Los Angeles Times reported:

“U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson’s original order halting the travel ban was issued March 15, a day before the ban was to go into effect, in the form of a temporary restraining order. At a hearing in Honolulu on Wednesday, federal lawyers asked Watson to either dismiss that order or narrow the restrictions to apply to fewer parts of the travel ban.

“Instead, Watson said he would turn the order into a preliminary injunction, which has the effect of extending his order blocking the travel ban for a longer period.”

If you have been following the story of the Minnesota 8, you’ll want to read this update: four of the eight have been deported to Cambodia. This is a Tumblr update by the Release MN 8 group, not a news article, and it also asks for continuing support. If you don’t know the Minnesota 8 story, this City Pages article is a good place to begin. City Pages also reported, earlier this month, that Ched Nin had been released and that Chamroeun Phan got a last-minute – and only temporary – stay of deportation.

This Army veteran served his country. Will his undocumented wife be deported? (Washington Post, 3/29/17) The article begins with Ricardo Pineda and his wife, Veronica Castro – but there are many other stories.

“It is unclear how many veterans or their relatives have been deported or are in deportation proceedings. ICE officials said they don’t keep track.

“But one deported veteran, Hector Barajas-Varela, runs a small shelter called “The Bunker” in Tijuana, Mexico, for others who have lost the right to live in the United States because of drug convictions or other crimes. Although he has housed 20 deported veterans since 2013, Barajas said he has made contact with a total of 311 who have been returned to 36 countries.”

In U.S. Restaurants, Bars And Food Trucks, ‘Modern Slavery’ Persists (NPR, 3/29/17) Labor trafficking is as widespread as sex trafficking.

“They come from places like Vietnam, China, Mexico and Guatemala, lured by promises of better-paying jobs and legal immigration. Instead, they’re smuggled into the U.S., forced to work around the clock as bussers, wait staff and cooks, and housed in cramped living quarters. For this, they must pay exorbitant fees that become an insurmountable debt, even as their pay is often withheld, stolen or unfairly docked.

“In restaurants, bars and food trucks across America, many workers are entrapped in a form of modern slavery. That’s according to a new report by Polaris, an organization that fights human trafficking and helps survivors.”

Trump Might Not Be Able to Defund Sanctuary Cities (Newsweek, 3/28/17) What could Trump cut? Not at all clear, though some estimates range up to $26 billion. DOJ grants, which Attorney General Jeff Sessions might be able to cut, are “a fraction” of that – and generally go to police departments.

“Assuming they don’t abandon their tolerant stances on immigrants, five states, 106 cities and more than 630 counties could possibly lose funding….

“But, while signing an executive order might be easy, implementing it is not. Under the 10th Amendment, the federal government cannot make states or local governments enforce national laws. It can push them to do so by withholding funding, but not if a court deems it “coercive.”

Police union warns of Trump’s sanctuary city plan (The Hill, 3/29/17) The Fraternal Order of Police, which endorsed Trump before the election, now opposes his sanctuary city defunding threats.

“President Trump could put public safety at risk if he intends to cut federal grants to so-called sanctuary cities, leaders of the largest police union in the country are warning.”

Protests erupt at Sacramento town hall meeting as ICE director answers questions about immigration enforcement (Los Angeles Times,3/28/17)

“Speaking at a packed gym in Sacramento, Thomas D. Homan, acting director of the federal immigration agency, said immigration officials do not target immigrants at churches or students at schools. Nor do they seek out victims at hospitals, he said, or witnesses at courthouses….

“Attendees shouted and cursed, chanted and held up protest signs. “Lies!” some yelled when the officials said authorities did not target immigrants who did not pose a danger to the community.”

The Beauty Pageant to Build Trump’s Border Wall is Beginning (The Guardian, 3/29/17) Legislators in some states are considering proposals to ban any companies involved with a wall from getting state contracts.

“Notably absent from the list of interested contractors are any of the large, multinational corporations that would probably have the capacity to carry out the 1,000-mile, $21bn project….

“The Catholic archdiocese of Mexico wrote in an op-ed that any participating company would be “immoral” and that its shareholders and owners “should be considered traitors to the homeland”.

Trump Is Relocating Immigration Judges To Speed Deportations. It May Not Work. (Huffington Post, 3/28/17)

She helped deport hundreds of undocumented immigrants. Now she’s fighting for them. (Washington Post, 3/28/17)

With Fewer Available H-2B Visas, Employers Struggle To Find Seasonal Workers (NPR, 3/28/17) Southern cities may have filled positions already, but later-season Northern cities are out in the cold.

“A cap was reached on the number of short-term work visas provided under the H-2B program, which brings in low-skilled labor for nonagricultural jobs that U.S. employers say they can’t fill closer to home. This occurs mostly in landscaping, seafood processing, maid and other hospitality services.”

Deportation Fears Prompt Immigrants To Cancel Food Stamps (NPR, 3/28/17)

“Advocates say the concerns seem to be twofold. Unauthorized immigrants, who can’t get benefits themselves, are worried about getting deported if they receive benefits for their children. And lawful permanent residents are worried that receiving government aid — which they generally have to wait five years to do — will jeopardize their chances of becoming citizens.”

He created a project for those formerly illegally in the U.S. to tell their stories, but few want to now (Los Angeles Times, 3/28/17)

“The presidential election was a few days away and [Miguel] Luna had just launched an online photo project that he called “the Power of U.”

“U stood for undocumented, and the idea was to share the stories of the formerly undocumented, and of their parents and grandparents. He would take their photos and gather their tales and then give each a black pin to wear, bearing the white letter U.”

The election changed his plans:

“Luna doesn’t include people who are still undocumented in his project. He’s afraid of putting them in harm’s way.

“He focuses instead on permanent residents and citizens. But these days, even they worry about putting less-secure relatives at risk.”


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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