Dreamers and DACA and other immigration news – May 17, 2017

no-human-is-illegalDreamers were born in another country but raised here, brought here as children but without official authorization. In 2012, President Barack Obama issued an executive order called DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. DACA doesn’t give legal permanent residence, but it does give temporary protection from deportation and temporary work authorization to many Dreamers.

The current administration’s generalized hostility to immigrants includes DACA recipients – just ask Jessica Colotl or Juan Manuel Montes or Daniel Ramirez.

Some states have also acted to bar Dreamers from public universities. Freedom University was founded in Georgia in response to the state’s ban on undocumented students in five leading public universities. South Carolina and Alabama also ban undocumented students from public universities. Texas was once a leader in welcoming DACA students – now the legislature is considering barring them from work-study. But in Nebraska, hardly a hotbed of liberalism, legislators this week passed resolutions supporting DACA.

Today’s immigration news includes DACA stories and more.

An Underground College for Undocumented Immigrants (The New Yorker, 5/22/17) Georgia banned undocumented immigrants from its top five public institutions of higher education. Now Freedom University of Georgia (T-shirt logo: “F.U. Georgia”) offers an alternative. Just as the ban echoes Georgia’s resistance to integration in the 1960s, Freedom University draws strength from the civil rights movement and Freedom Schools of that era.

“Each year, about three thousand undocumented students graduate from high school in Georgia, but their opportunities for college are severely limited. At the public universities they’re still allowed to attend, they must pay out-of-state tuition, more than double what state residents pay. To matriculate at private colleges, they have to apply as international students, and often that doesn’t allow them to qualify for the financial aid they may need. Many of them have given up on applying altogether.”

Freedom University’s mission is both academic and activist.

“Professors at Freedom University wrote students recommendations and gave them application advice. They called colleagues and admissions offices, even showing up in person. The strategy was imperfect and laborious, but last year six of the school’s twenty-six students received full scholarships—to Dartmouth, Eastern Connecticut State University, Hampshire, Berea, and Tougaloo. Those who didn’t get in continued their coursework at Freedom University.”

Texas moving to exclude ‘dreamers’ from college work-study  (AP on WTOP, 5/16/17)

“Texas legislators are seeking to deny work-study aid to immigrants attending public college under a temporary residency permit, a move that starkly contrasts with a policy enacted 16 years ago that positioned the state as the nation’s most welcoming place for foreign-born students.

“Under the proposal, which is on the verge of clearing the Texas Legislature, only individuals eligible for federal financial aid would qualify for the state’s off-campus, work-study program.

“That group includes U.S. citizens, permanent residents and refugees. It doesn’t include students who came into the country illegally as children and have a work visa allowing them to stay longer, or immigrants granted permission to stay in the country because they were crime victims.”

Nebraska legislators adopt resolutions in support of refugees, DACA  (Omaha World-Herald, 5/16/17)  Nebraska has about 3,300 residents with DACA protection and last year resettled 1,441 refugees, for the highest per capita rate in the country.

“Senators voted 24-1 to approve a resolution voicing commitment to the immigrants granted work authorization under a federal program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. They voted 21-7 to adopt a separate resolution saying the Legislature believes in protecting refugees regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age or sex.”

And other news:

Welcome ends in Minn. for hundreds of West Africans from Ebola regions (MPR, 5/15/17)

“On Sunday, between 200 and 500 people living in Minnesota are expected to lose the temporary protected status they were granted when Ebola ravaged three West African countries.

“That’s according to Abdullah Kiatamba, executive director of African Immigrant Services in Brooklyn Park, Minn., who along with other immigration leaders is calling the termination premature.

“Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are still reeling from the aftermath of Ebola, he said, and it will take them years to recover.”

Indian Americans reckon with reality of hate crimes (NPR, 5/15/17)

“Unlike many of the Sikh and Muslim victims of past hate crimes, including those which occurred after 9/11, Kuchibhotla was Hindu. He was, in other words, an everyman figure in the eyes of many in India, and just as importantly, his death comes against a backdrop of rising white nationalism and disaffection.

“For Bay Area activist Anirvan Chatterjee, the shootings in Kansas served as “a huge wake-up call” for Hindu Americans.”

Gov. Brown’s budget proposal includes an extra $15 million to help Californians facing deportation (Los Angeles Times, 5/14/17)

“Proponents say the legislative proposals come as lawyers and advocates across the country have sought to increase government-funded access to counsel for immigrants. The movement has centered on showing that many immigrants would be granted relief if they had the resources to prove their cases and that for some, the repercussions of deportation could lead to death.”

“I Still Need You:” The Detention and Deportation of Californian Parents (Human Rights Watch, 5/15/17) A new report from Human Rights Watch finds:

“A key finding is our estimate that more than 10,000 parents of US citizens are detained in California each year. Another is that nearly half of the detainees had no criminal histories and that, among those with criminal records, those convicted of relatively minor non-violent offenses (such as immigration offenses, drug use or possession, or DUI) outnumbered those convicted of violent felonies by nearly three to one.”

School turns away immigration agents looking for fourth grader (New York Post, 5/15/17)

“An immigration agent tried to search for a fourth-grader at Queens school — but was sent packing by staff, according to city officials….

“The lone agent from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service didn’t have a warrant and he was dismissed by an administrator and a school safety official, a Department of Education rep added.”

Supreme Court Immigration Watch: The 2016 Term – Look Out for Six Decisions (Immigration Prof Blog, 5/15/17) Immigration Prof lists and describes the six cases, all of which may be decided by the end of June.

AP News Guide: What to know about travel ban appeals (AP in Washington Post, 5/15/17) Who said what and when and where?

“On Monday a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle heard Hawaii’s lawsuit challenging the ban, which would suspend the nation’s refugee program and temporarily bar new visas for citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

“Last week, judges on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, heard arguments over whether to affirm a Maryland judge’s decision putting the ban on ice.”

Opinion: Immigration is at the heart of U.S. competitiveness (Harvard Business Review, 5/15/17)

“Forty percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants. Intel founder Andy Grove was a refugee from communist Hungary. Apple cofounder Steve Jobs is the son of Abdulfattah Jandali, an immigrant from Syria. Today, the trend continues. A recent study of billion-dollar startups found more than half were founded by immigrants. Our next generation of great companies, too, will depend on immigrants — as will the American economy as a whole.”

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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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