A teenage immigrant poet ranks among the best in Los Angeles, moving audiences to laughter or tears.
“A Dream in Five Days.”
Sitting on the desert
Dying for a drop of water
It’s not fun thinking about your family
About everyone you left behind
No beauty so close to bones
In less than one week
Maybe someone will stare at my skeleton the same way
Raise your head
Our mother did not teach us to stay down
The desert taught us to keep fighting
In front of us there are obstacles we must break
Brothers and sisters
Do not be ashamed of who we are
At 18, this L.A. high school poet often makes audiences go silent (Los Angeles Times, 6/6/17)
“Tahay is a poet, and at 18, considered among the best in the city. The high school senior has performed and competed not just in Los Angeles but in San Francisco and Washington, D.C….
“He suggested that Tahay try out for the Get Lit Players, a performance team made up of the program’s top poets. Months later, after she grew stronger onstage, he recommended her for Brave New Voices, the most elite team of all.
“Tahay quit the track team, her job and her social life to dedicate herself to poetry. She was accepted as one of the six best youth poets in the city.”
Fair Treatment Denied (Report by Immigrant Legal Rights Center, 6/5/17)
“A person subject to expedited removal is usually detained before their deportation, has no right to appeal the decision, and is not usually afforded enough time to communicate with her family members or seek out legal counsel. The tremendous authority held by immigration officers to unilaterally order someone’s removal without any input from a judge raises serious concerns about lack of oversight and accountability, as well as the need for a recourse or remedy for the unknown number of immigrants who are mistakenly subject to expedited removal and deported in error. Disregarding these serious due process concerns, on January 25, 2017, President Donald Trump signed Executive Order 13767 (EO 13767), Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements, which directed DHS and its subcomponents to drastically expand the use of expedited removal.”
‘Catch and release’ immigration policy remains largely intact, despite President Trump’s campaign promises (Christian Science Monitor, 6/6/17)
“[I]mmigration attorneys, government statistics and even some officials from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which falls under Mr. Kelly, suggest that despite the DHS chief’s statement, there has been no clear change to the catch-and-release policy.
“That’s in large part because there are legal constraints on who can be detained and for how long, due to a shortage of beds and a court ruling limiting the stay of women and children in custody to 21 days.”
Can America’s farms survive the threat of deportation? (The Atlantic, 6/5/17)
“Since Donald Trump took office in January, ICE has been newly empowered and encouraged to target undocumented immigrants with criminal records for deportation—a practice that winds up capturing a huge number of undocumented immigrants without criminal records, too. But, while the Trump administration may be more zealous about enforcement than previous administrations, they have not actually changed any laws. Existing immigration legislation has long been at odds with the U.S. economy and with farming communities across the country. Trump’s aggressive rhetoric is only having an impact because of the legal framework buttressing it. Which is why, after a string of ICE arrests cut through the local Hudson Valley farm community, word quickly spread among Hispanic farmworkers there that nobody is safe.”
Congressional delegation tries to stop farmer’s deportation (AP via Star Tribune, 6/6/17)
“Hawaii’s congressional delegation is urging U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to stop the deportation of a Hawaii coffee farmer….
“President Trump has claimed that his immigration policies would target the ‘bad hombres,’ ” Judge Stephen Reinhardt said in an opinion issued last week. “The government’s decision to remove Magana Ortiz shows that even the ‘good hombres’ are not safe.”
For undocumented mom, somewhere to shelter but nowhere to run (New York Times, 6/5/17)
“Ingrid Encalada Latorre, 33, spent the last six months living in a red brick Quaker meetinghouse in Denver, one of hundreds of religious communities in the United States offering refuge or other help to immigrants facing deportation. Supporters of these churches say they keep families together. Opponents say they harbor criminals at the expense of citizen parishioners who could use their aid.”
ICE detains 70 in Dallas, Oklahoma suspected of being in the U.S. illegally (Dallas Morning News, 6/6/17)
“Sixty-four are men, and six are women. Sixty-two are Mexican nationals, three are from El Salvador and one each is from Cuba, Guatemala, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. “
Immigration arrests at N.J. courthouses having a ‘chilling effect,’ attorneys say (The Record, 6/5/17) Two months ago, the NJ Supreme Court’s chief justice wrote to immigration officials asking that they stop arresting people at courthouses.
“But attorneys and advocates told lawmakers Monday that the problem is much larger than what Chief Justice Stuart Rabner acknowledged in his letter to John F. Kelly, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The majority of such arrests are not happening in state criminal courts, but rather in and around municipal and family courts.”
Missing: New York immigration judges (WNYC, 6/6/17)
“At least eight of New York City’s 29 immigration judges had been sent to Texas and Louisiana since March to conduct hearings in person or by video. Six judges were out for different parts of the month of May, alone….
“The federal building is home to the nation’s busiest immigration court, with a backlog of 80,000 cases. By redeploying so many judges in such a short period of time, immigration lawyers fear the delays will grow even longer. Meanwhile, attorneys near the border question whether these extra judges are even necessary.”
“On a single day in May, when almost 400 hearings were scheduled to take place in immigration court, WNYC counted 60 people who didn’t have judges.
“The Executive Office for Immigration Review runs the nation’s immigration courts. It says staffers typically mail a notice if a judge is out or a case is delayed, but they don’t always go out in time. As for why people are coming to court without judges, the agency explained that they are technically assigned to ”visiting judges.” But it acknowledged these judges don’t actually exist. “
Chicago union creates ringtone to curb immigrant deportation (ABC-7, 6/5/17)
“Unite Here Local 1 launched the Spanish-language ringtone on its website Sunday. The union has a large immigrant membership. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the ringtone’s message is “Say nothing. Sign nothing.” It aims to let immigrants know they have the right to remain silent and ask for an attorney if immigration agents arrest them.”
“Well what probable cause do you have to question his immigration status,” the attorney further questioned, and the agent responded, “based on his booking record.”
According to Rubio Lopez, his client had no major criminal history, just traffic violations and being pulled over by police.
“He has no violent crimes, he is a very soft-spoken individual – he is very caring and compassionate, and his family very much wants him back,” Rubio Lopez said….
“People should care about this because terror comes in many forms, it doesn’t just come by ISIS, it doesn’t come from lone wolfs, it’s coming from our government, it’s coming from people who wear a badge that says ICE, they are storming into courthouses, they are ripping apart families and to me it is terror,” Rubio Lopez said.
Winston-Salem veteran, fiancée run into immigration barriers (Winston-Salem Journal, 6/5/17) A Winston-Salem veteran wants to marry a Ukrainian woman. They applied for her fiancée visa in August – and still haven’t gotten any decision from the U.S. government. .
“So Boyenger, 29, a disabled Iraq War veteran, has left his job stocking shelves at a local grocery store to move to Ukraine.
“There, he’ll marry Aksonova, 28, and figure out the rest as it comes.”
The article describes a grueling interview by U.S. Embassy officials in Ukraine, and the impossibility of getting any decision or answers.
“How can you overcome their objections if you don’t know what they are?” Boyenger asked. “Nobody talks about legal immigration,” he said. “We can’t tell people, ‘You have to follow the law to come here,’ and then make it so hard.”