Trump loses on border wall; fear as national policy; and more immigration news – May 2, 2017

Wall mural Nogales McIntosh

Border wall mural, photo by Jonathan McIntosh, used under Creative Commons license

Not only did Trump lose on his bid for $1.4 billion for his border wall project – the 1,665 page bipartisan budget deal that Congress will vote on this week also does not fund hiring of more ICE agents and does not bar “sanctuary cities” from getting any federal funds. The budget deal does provide for $1.5 billion for border security, but with specific restrictions so the money cannot be used for a wall. Trump will get another shot when Congress votes on next year’s budget in September, but the bipartisan budget deal that runs from now to September is a big loss for the president.

Fear as national immigration policy

While Trump has not been able to make any substantive changes in immigration law, his pronouncements have changed enforcement practices and created a heightened climate of fear.

‘It’s life and death’: border crossings continue despite the Trump effect (The Guardian, 5/1/17)

“There are, however, two problems with this policy of fear: it is worsening a humanitarian crisis by exposing people to abduction, extortion and murder and it may stop working.

“There is already anecdotal evidence in McAllen that the numbers of arrivals from Central America – principally Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras – are rebounding….

“When Trump won, the message was to rush before the wall arose. Now the message appears to be that the president’s bark is worse than his bite.

“Late last year, the McAllan reception centre received almost 2,800 people weekly. After January that plunged to 50. Last week it ticked up to about 100. It’s too soon to divine a trend but Sister Norma had a hunch.”

Too Scared to Report Sexual Abuse. The Fear: Deportation. (New York Times, 4/30/17)

“Cristina, an immigrant from Mexico who arrived in the United States as a teenager in the 1980s, began to apply for a special visa for victims of abuse that would set her on a path to citizenship and her own freedom. Then last month, she told her lawyer that she no longer wanted to apply. She was too fearful, she said, not of her husband, but of the government….

“Since the presidential election, there has been a sharp downturn in reports of sexual assault and domestic violence among Latinos throughout the country, and many experts attribute the decline to fears of deportation. Law enforcement officials in several large cities, including Los Angeles, Houston and Denver, say the most dangerous fallout of changes in policy and of harsh statements on immigration is that fewer immigrants are willing to go to the police.”

And other immigration news …

The Day Without Immigrant Workers Has Begun (The Nation, 5/1/17)

The protests and strikes flooding the streets today are powered by communities that have been particularly ferociously attacked by Trump: people of color, migrant workers, low wage workers and fast food and service workers with the Fight for 15 campaign. These movements reflect the parallel and intersecting currents of American labor radicalism, and the global momentum of International Workers Day.

“Many of the leading groups are striking for migrant rights.”

Course teaches Somali culture in central Minnesota (Star Tribune, 4/30/17)

“Much of the discussion will surround chapters of “From Somalia to Snow: How Central Minnesota Became Home to Somalis,” a new book by local educator and writer Hudda Ibrahim.

“With Hudda’s book coming out, it was the perfect text for that,” said Ron Pagnucco, a professor at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University and part of the community empowerment organization.”

Former FAIR Leader Julie Kirchner Appointed to USCIS Ombudsman Position (Immigration Prof Blog, 4/30/17)

“FAIR has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group for its extreme anti-immigration positions.  According to the SPLC, ‘Since its founding in 1979, FAIR has push an agenda centered on a complete moratorium on all immigration to the United States and defined by vicious attacks on non-white immigrants. Its founder was white nationalist John Tanton, an avowed eugenicist who created the modern anti-immigrant movement in the United States.'”

Despite Trump, millions hope to win what could be the last U.S. green-card lottery (Washington Post, 5/1/17)

“The lottery’s premise is simple. It’s not connected to employment or family members in the United States. Instead, the only requirement is that entrants be adults with a high school diploma or two years of work experience. Winners can bring spouses and children. Citizens of countries that have sent 50,000 people to the United States in the past five years — such as Canada, China, India, Nigeria and Mexico — are ineligible to participate.”


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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