From opposite sides of the country, local governments fight back against the Trump immigration agenda. In Washington, Seattle sued the Trump administration over its threats to defund “sanctuary cities.” In Connecticut, Governor Daniel Malloy announced a new resource: a toolkit for families that fear someone will be deported.
Three immigrant stories come from Minnesota Women’s Press – my article about St. Paul’s LEAP high school for immigrant students; Hanadi Chehabeddine’s outreach to fellow Americans to explain her Muslim faith; and Tami Mohamed Brown’s account of her family’s immigration story.
Coast to coast resistance
“Saying that Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ threat to strip billions in federal grant money from so-called “sanctuary cities” is illegal and unconstitutional, the city of Seattle has sued President Trump and his administration, in a lawsuit that names Trump, Sessions and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly.
“We are not breaking any laws and we are prioritizing safety,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said, according to member station KUOW. “Bullying and misstating the facts will not stand in the way of how the real laws of this country are enforced.”
Malloy announces “toolkit” for families concerned about immigration enforcement (WTNH, 3/29/17) and White House fires back at Gov. Malloy over immigration order (WTNH, 2/23/17) Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy announced that the state has created a toolkit for families “concerned that a parent or guardian could be deported by the federal government.” The governor had previously told schools not to let ICE agents in and told police departments they do not have to help enforce immigration laws, and the White House denounced this action. The plan is downloadable in PDF format, from a page that says:
“To assist families who have concerns about immigration enforcement, particularly in regards to to the possibility of the deportation or detainment of guardians and the impact that it could have on their children, the State of Connecticut has developed a useful toolkit that people can utilize….
“If you are worried about what will happen to your children if you are detained or deported, you should make a family preparedness plan. We hope that you never have to use your plan, but having one may help reduce the stress of the unexpected.”
Minnesota immigrant stories
Global students in St. Paul (Minnesota Women’s Press, 3/28/17) More than 100 languages, more than 20 countries of origin – the challenges of multi-lingual education
Rebranding her faith (Minnesota Women’s Press, 3/28/17) Hanadi Chehabeddine builds cultural bridges through conversations and cups of coffee
My family’s green card process (Minnesota Women’s Press, 3/28/17)
“As a U.S. citizen, I still had no reason to doubt that the entire process to complete the visa application that would enable him – that would enable us – to live together in the United States could be anything but quick and easy and painless. All I knew of life as a white American woman was simple, streamlined, effortless….
“We had no idea that it would take well over another year for him to return to the U.S. – and I had no idea that the timeline, in comparison to the wait of some, was quick. I had no idea how lucky we were. “
More immigration news
‘Dreamer’ threatened with deportation in Seattle is released after weeks of detention (Los Angeles Times, 3/29/17) Daniel Ramirez Medina has been freed.
“I’m so happy to be reunited with my family today and can’t wait to see my son,” he said. “This has been a long and hard 46 days, but I’m so thankful for the support that I’ve gotten from everyone who helped me and for the opportunity to live in such an amazing country. I know that this isn’t over, but I’m hopeful for the future, for me and for the hundreds of thousands of other Dreamers who love this country like I do.”
Immigration crackdown enables worker exploitation, labor department staff say (The Guardian, 3/30/17)
“Multiple current and former DoL employees told the Guardian that Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric have caused panic among exploited undocumented workers across industries, preventing labor officials from conducting investigations and enforcing employment laws.
“[As] the Trump administration has increasingly instilled fear and anxiety in immigrant communities, the DoL’s Wage and Hour Divisionhas struggled to communicate with undocumented workers, according to two DoL sources, who described an atmosphere of low morale and frustration within the agency. As a result, it is becoming easier for employers to mistreat and underpay workers, said the DoL employees, who were not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity.”
“[The] judge’s decision came in yet another strongly worded ruling smacking around the Trump administration for revamping the legal language of the executive order to scrub away any implication of Islamophobic animus while still making political statements to winkingly acknowledge their real goal wasn’t going to change. “The Court will not crawl into a corner, pull the shutters closed, and pretend it has not seen what it has,” Judge Watson declared.”
“In the case of the Perez family, the new policy has left it without its main breadwinner. Perez has a job cleaning rooms, but without her husband’s income from washing cars, she cannot afford diapers, food, bills, even rent….
“Within days, Nunes Gutierrez raised $900 from people in Columbus to help Perez pay rent. She’s also connected the family with an immigration lawyer and organized their paperwork if Perez faces deportation herself.”
Greater Miami’s high-skilled workforce is fueled largely by immigrant talent, too (Miami Herald, 3/28/17)
“While immigrant labor most certainly powers the service economy in big numbers, the foreign-born comprise nearly four out of 10 of the professional workers in business, the sciences, tech, education, healthcare, media and the arts in the metropolitan area that spans Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. This 38.9 percent share swamps Los Angeles (31.6 percent), San Francisco (29.8 percent) and New York (28.1 percent) and is second only to San Jose, Calif., at 47 percent. And if one just looked at Miami-Dade, the professionals — the region’s “Creative Class” — would be 51 percent foreign-born.”
An undocumented immigrant hanged himself after 3 months in an ICE detention center (Miami Herald, 3/29/17)
“Authorities said Gonzalez-Gadba was arrested by U.S. Border Patrol agents near Otay Mesa, a community just south of San Diego. At the time of his death, the news release said, ICE was trying to obtain a travel document from the Nicaraguan government that would allow the agency to move forward with deportation. The release noted that, according to Department of Homeland Security databases, Gonzalez-Gadba had been previously deported to Nicaragua, in April 2016.”
These Hispanic contractors offered to build Trump’s border wall. Then the death threats began (Washington Post, 3/29/17)
“Work on the border wall has stirred such impassioned reactions that only a tiny fraction of the country’s nearly half-million Hispanic-owned construction firms are even considering profiting from Trump’s wall.
“Of the approximately 200 companies that have responded to the federal government’s two requests for proposals for a solid concrete border wall and another wall design, at least 32 companies are Hispanic-owned, according to a Washington Post analysis of a federal database.”
In Lawsuit After Lawsuit, It’s Everyday People Versus Trump (New York Times, 3/29/17)
“The papers each bore two names, one unknown, the other ubiquitous, facing off across the letter V. The V was important. It meant that in America, anyone could sue the president of the United States and hope to win.
“In New York, there was Darweesh v. Trump. In Colorado, Hagig v. Trump. There was also Ali v. Trump, Zadeh v. Trump, Bayani v. Trump, Albaldawi v. Trump.
“This was the same America whose president had tried to fence out the Darweeshes and the Zadehs of the world, declaring a ban on travelers from predominantly Muslim countries that trapped people in airports and interrupted lives. And the same America where an Ali or a Hagig could do what, back home, would have been the unthinkable: call a lawyer; stop the president.”