‘No asylum here’ and other immigration articles – May 5, 2017


Despite U.S. and international law, Border Patrol agents are increasingly refusing even to allow an interview with an asylum officer.

Getting in doesn’t always help. U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr., a senator who has supported increased funding for border enforcement tried to stop the deportation of a 25-year-0ld Honduran woman and her 5-year-old son, in danger from the gangs they had fled. He failed. They were deported, despite his day-long barrage of pleas to the Trump administration.

Recognizing the difficulty of facing the immigration system, a growing number of cities provide legal assistance to immigrants. 

In a day of frantic tweets, a senator pleaded with Trump to stop a deportation. It didn’t work. (Washington Post, 5/4/17) the 25-year-old mother and her 5-year-old son were deported.

At about 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. took to Twitter with a message: “It’s urgent.”

The senator, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, had learned that a mother and her young son were in the process of being deported to Honduras, Casey said, despite the child’s apparent eligibility for a Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. A photo of the boy had landed on his desk, along with a note saying he had “nowhere to go.” The mother “witnessed the murder of her cousin in Honduras and was being pursued by gangs,” he said.

“Despite that, the Trump admin is planning to put them on a plane TODAY,” Casey said. “A plane ride that can very likely lead to their death.”

‘No Asylum Here:’ Some Say U.S. Border Agents Rejected Them (New York Times, 5/3/17)

“By the time Francisca, Armando and their two surviving children made it to the United States border in late February, they were hungry, exhausted and virtually penniless. But the couple, who said that a son had been killed by a gang back in El Salvador and that their daughter had nearly been raped, thought they had finally reached safety.”

Anyone asking for asylum is supposed to get an interview with an asylum officer – but the border patrol agent said no. He told them that the United States was not granting anyone asylum.

“Customs agents have increasingly turned away asylum seekers without so much as an interview, according to migrants and their lawyers, in a trend first noted several months ago and that appeared to accelerate after President Trump’s inauguration.”

Should Taxpayers Sponsor Attorneys for Undocumented Immigrants? (The Atlantic, 5/4/17) Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Washington, DC, Austin …

“Unlike most criminal defendants in the United States, undocumented immigrants facing potential deportation are not constitutionally guaranteed counsel if they aren’t able to afford a private attorney. While for years attorneys and advocates have pressed for publicly funded lawyers in immigration courts, it wasn’t until Donald Trump’s political ascendency that immigrant-friendly local governments began turning those calls into policy—by allocating funding for pro-bono legal services.”

And in other immigration news

Denver City Council debates sentencing changes that could protect some immigrants from deportation (Denver Post, 5/3/17)

“Under federal law, an immigrant — whether living in the country legally or illegally — could face deportation if convicted of a crime that carries a maximum sentence of a year in jail. So, any immigrant who is convicted of a city crime, including a curfew violation or panhandling, would be at risk for deportation.

“The most intense discussion during Wednesday’s safety committee meeting.centered on whether Council should go a step further and reduce the maximum penalty for all city crimes to 364 days, which would eliminate the deportation risk for all immigrants.”

The Trump Administration Has Already Botched Its New Programs on Immigrant Crime (Washington Post, 5/4/17)

“Last Wednesday, the first day VOICE was operational, DHS-VINE’s “illegal alien perpetrators of crime” included minors, with children as young as 2 years old.
“Even Trump hasn’t classified Salvadoran toddlers as dangerous public safety threats, but that is exactly what the new database was showing. One search result, for example, showed as many as 10 minors for every 40 detainees listed. The new “illegal alien perpetrators of crime” terrorizing American victims were still using pacifiers.”

Film and food: Sharing the stories of immigrants with conservative America (NPR, 5/4/17) Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine, the couple behind the Jaems Beard award-winning Perennial Plate show, have positive experiences with immigrants – and they want to use their platform to change minds and hearts.

But some of his family members and friends, who see posts in their newsfeeds from right-wing pundits and their ilk, are nervous and worried about immigrants and refugees, he says. Some of them don’t know any actual recent immigrants, which only adds to the disconnection.

“This doesn’t make them ‘bad,’ ” he says, “but I do think it’s time to get more positive stories of immigrants and refugees in front of audiences that don’t normally see that narrative.”

Sean Spicer clashes with press over definition of a wall (The Guardian, 5/4/17)

Turning defensive, Spicer pointed and said: “That is called a bollard wall. That is called a levee wall. There are various types of wall that can be built, under the legislation that was just passed.”

Two new reports from the Migration Policy Institute: 

Advances in U.S.-Mexico Border Enforcement: A Review of the Consequence Delivery System (May 2017)

“As the Border Patrol has shifted towards greater use of formal removal and away from voluntary return, its use of consequences and allocation of resources—including expedited removal, lateral repatriation, and criminal prosecution via Streamline—have been measured and guided by CDS. Overall, the share of migrants apprehended more than once in the same fiscal year fell from 29 percent in FY 2007 to 14 percent in FY 2014.”

A Revolving Door No More? A Statistical Profile of Mexican Adults Repatriated from the United States (May 2017)

“Overall, the share of Mexican returnees saying they intended to return to the United States fell from 95 percent in 2005 to 49 percent in 2015. … [T]his trend has profound implications for governments and communities on both sides of the border. For Mexico, it highlights the importance of building out reception services to ensure the successful social and economic reintegration of repatriated Mexican adults who can contribute to future economic growth in Mexico. Such programs, as well as economic conditions in both Mexico and the United States, will determine whether the revolving door of migration continues to slow.”


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, www.tcdailyplanet.net, 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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