Links and stories – April 7, 2017


The Penna Group rendering, which displays two groups on either side watching each other through the mesh. Courtesy of the Penna Group

Build a wall from sea to shining sea? And Mexico will pay for it? Not exactly. DHS Secretary John Kelly admits they are not planning a wall across the entire U.S.-Mexico border, Mexico won’t pay for a wall, and even some Trump supporters living on the border say it’s a bad idea, Nor is a wall the only border problem – a new bill in the Senate wants to stop Customs agents from searching U.S. citizens’ phones and social media accounts when they return from traveling abroad.

PHOTOS: The Many Possible Shapes Of Trump’s Border Wall (NPR, 4/5/17)

“Among the submissions are walls with solar panels, wire mesh and sloped, slippery surfaces. There are even walls that are no walls at all — statements standing instead as protests of a policy that from the start has drawn a lot of resistance.”

Trump’s border barrier hits a wall (The Atlantic, 4/6/17) Pamela Taylor, age 88, voted for Trump. She lives on the border, she thinks the border wall is a bad idea, and she’s ready to fight against it.

Wall won’t span the entire U.S.-Mexico border, Homeland Security secretary concedes (Los Angeles Times, 4/5/17)

“Kelly’s statement was the administration’s clearest official acknowledgement that there will be no wall along the entire border, something he and other officials have suggested somewhat less directly in other forums.”


A Fight to Restore the Constitution at Customs Checkpoints (The Atlantic, 4/5/17) Customs officials insist on (and a 2008 Supreme Court case allows) the right to stop U.S. citizens re-entering the country and search their cell phones, including social media accounts. Now two Senators have introduced a bill to outlaw the practice

“To allow agents of the state to access all that on a whim, to ogle honeymoon photos, probe political beliefs, peruse texts, and more, makes a mockery of the Fourth Amendment and limited government, and does precious little to make Americans safer. An effort at restoring the Constitution at the customs kiosk is long overdue.”

Refugee stories

‘I’m an illegal immigrant’: Mona Ali is tired of hiding from the American dream (City Pages, 4/5/17)

“She cannot hold certain jobs, cannot complete school, cannot leave the country, nor work toward citizenship — the only thing that could ensure her stay in the one country for which she holds allegiance.

“The reason I want to come out with it now is because I’m tired,” Mona says. “I’m tired of not being able to do what I want to do, not just what I need to do to survive. I follow the rules. I pay taxes. I don’t know what it’s like to be in the back of a cop car. I’m getting gray hairs now. It’s about time I live the way I want to live.”

Central American Immigrants in the United States (Migration Policy Institute, 4/5/17) Good overview of reasons pushing refugees north, who came, and when, from 1980s to present.

Trump administration says no longer considering separating women, children at border (Reuters, 4/5/17)

“A DHS official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the agency has changed course in part because of the sharp decline in women attempting to travel to the United States with their children.

“Only 1,125 children traveling with guardians, who are mostly women, were apprehended at the southern U.S. border in March, according to data released on Wednesday by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.”

And in other news

Feds Raid Suspected $50M Visa Fraud Ring Near Los Angeles (NPR, 4/5/17) The EB-5 visa gives permanent residency to applicants who will invest at least half a million dollars and will create at least 10 U.S. jobs. If that sounds like wealthy people can buy their way into the United States – yes, that’s how it works. The program is supposed to “encourage job creation in rural communities and targeted employment areas, neighborhoods where unemployment is 150 percent above average.”

“Filings in federal court allege that the California Investment Immigration Fund sought money from more than 100 Chinese investors, and in the process helped many of them to obtain U.S. green cards through a visa program called EB-5.

“But, says FBI Special Agent Gary Chen in those filings, those projects were never built.”

Spring breakers in Mexico chanting ‘build the wall’? Mind the fake news  The Guardian sent a reporter to check out the story, and found: “There is, however, a complication. The story is largely false. There is no xenophobic surge in Cancún.”

What some colleges are quietly doing to help undocumented students (Hechinger Report, 3/28/17) While they resist student calls for a declaration of sanctuary, they are establishing offices to provide support and assistance.

 They met with immigration officers to apply for legal residency — only to be arrested by ICE (Washington Post, 4/6/17)

“According to two former Department of Homeland Security officials, someone like Arriaga — someone who has no criminal history, has been in the country for a long time and whose wife and children are U.S. citizens — would not have been a priority for deportation during the previous administration.

“Arriaga would have been a “very, very, very, very low priority for removal,” said John Sandweg, a former acting director of ICE.

“Our position was, ‘Don’t waste your time getting this individual. Go get a criminal instead,’ ” said Sandweg…”

HPD chief announces decrease in Hispanics reporting rape and violent crimes compared to last year (Houston Chronicle, 4/6/17)

“When you see this type of data, and what looks like the beginnings of people not reporting crime, we should all be concerned,” Acevedo said during a news conference at HPD headquarters. “A person that rapes or violently attacks or robs an undocumented immigrant is somebody that is going to harm a natural born citizen or lawful resident.”

“Acevedo said he frequently talks with members of the Hispanic community about their growing fear of reporting crime.”

83 Percent of the United States’ Top High School Science Students Have Immigrant Parents (Teen Vogue, 3/16/17)


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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