More from the courts, deporting Iraqi Christians and Kurds, and other immigration news = June 14, 2017

Almost lost in yesterday’s reporting over the Ninth Circuit decision against the Trump travel ban were two other important immigration cases. In the first, an Atlanta federal district judge ordered ICE to reinstate Jessica Colotl’s DACA status. Colotl is a 28-year-old paralegal and immigration activist whose DACA status was revoked for what the judge found to be no reason at all, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution report:

“In the 33-page preliminary injunction he issued Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Cohen  wrote that federal immigration authorities have “failed to present any evidence that they complied with their own administrative processes and procedures” in terminating the Lakeside High School graduate’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status.

“He also wrote that Colotl has at all relevant times met the eligibility requirements for DACA. Cohen ordered the government to reconsider its decision to cancel her DACA status and her application to renew it consistent with its procedures.”

In the second case, the Supreme Court ruled that immigration law may not discriminate on the basis of gender.

High Court Strikes Down Law Favoring Unwed Mothers Over Unwed Fathers (NPR, 6/13/17)

Court rejects gender-based distinctions in citizenship laws (SCOTUSblog, 6/13/17)

“It was a hollow victory for Luis Ramon Morales-Santana at the Supreme Court today. Six of the eight justices who heard his case agreed with the 55-year-old that U.S. laws violate the Constitution by making it easier for children who are born overseas to an unmarried mother who is a U.S. citizen to acquire citizenship than their counterparts whose unmarried father is the U.S. citizen. That distinction, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote for the court, is “stunningly anachronistic.” But the court’s ruling may not help Morales-Santana, who became a lawful permanent resident of the United States in 1975, ward off deportation: The justices reversed a lower court’s decision that effectively conferred citizenship on him, holding that the higher bar that currently applies to unwed fathers and married parents should apply to all children born overseas who have one U.S.-citizen parent.”

ICE targeting Iraqi Christians, Kurds for deportation

ICE arrests in metro Detroit terrify Iraqi Christians (CNN, 6/12/17)

“My dad is Christian and Donald Trump is sending him back to a place that is not safe whatsoever,” Cynthia Barash said, referring to the persecution of Christians in Baghdad, Mosul and across the largely Muslim nation….

“In Michigan, many of the Iraqis detained have been living in the United States for years. Some have earlier convictions for minor crimes. Moayad, for example, had been caught with marijuana two or three decades ago and had been charged, his daughter said.

“He did something wrong 30 years ago. He didn’t do anything today, yesterday, a year ago,” Cynthia Barash said.”

U.S. targets Iraqis for deportation in wake of travel ban deal (Reuters, 6/12/17) Iraq agreed to accept deported Iraqis.

“Dozens of Iraqi Chaldean Catholics in Detroit, Michigan were among those targeted in immigration sweeps over the weekend, according to immigration attorneys and family members, some of whom feared they would be killed if deported to their home country where they have faced persecution.

“Kurdish Iraqis were also picked up in Nashville, Tennessee in recent days, attorneys, activists and family members told Reuters.”

Dozens of Iraqi nationals swept up in raids in Michigan, Tennessee (Washington Post, 6/12/17)

“Usama Hamama, an Iraqi-American supermarket manager and father of four, was dressing for church on Sunday morning when immigration authorities knocked on his door, handcuffed him and took him away.

“Hamama, who received a deportation order for a gun charge more than 30 years ago, was one of scores of Iraqi nationals picked up by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in sweeping raids in Michigan and Tennessee during the past week as ICE processes a “backlog” of some 1,400 Iraqis the U.S. wants to deport because they at some point committed a crime.”

And in other news

These researchers just debunked an all-too-common belief about refugees (Washington Post, 6/13/17)

“[A] new study shows that refugees end up paying more in taxes than they receive in welfare benefits after just eight years of living in this country.

“By the time refugees who entered the U.S. as adults have been here for 20 years, they will have paid, on average, $21,000 more in taxes to all levels of government than they received in benefits over that time span, according to a working paper released Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research that examined the economic and social outcomes of refugees in the U.S.”

For Minnesota’s farmers, temporary foreign workers provide relief from rural labor shortage (MinnPost, 6/13/17)

“Each growing season, workers from Ukraine, Mexico, South Africa and sometimes other countries make their way to Untiedt’s Vegetable Farm, an hour west of the Twin Cities, to help plant seedlings, tend to plants and harvest produce.

“The workers aren’t American citizens, but they are here legally; they have H-2A visas, a temporary permit that allows people from other countries to do seasonal agricultural labor in the U.S.

“The program is growing in Minnesota. Between 2011 and 2015, the number of H-2A workers requested by Minnesota companies more than doubled, from 512 to 1,177 (data include only approved applications).

A woman’s world for South Sudanese refugees (BBC, 6/13/17)

“An estimated 86% of the more than 900,000 South Sudanese refugees in Uganda are women and children, says the UN.

“Massive numbers have streamed in since the brutal civil war at home reignited last July. The flight from violence and chaos, often without time to plan, has left many families separated. Mothers and children run alone. Husbands and fathers are either staying behind to work, fighting, missing or presumed dead.”

EU warns three countries of legal action over refugee ban (Washington Post, 6/13/17)

“The European Union warned the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland on Tuesday that they have 24 hours to start taking in refugees under an EU migrant sharing plan or face legal action.

“But the three countries immediately rebuffed the threat and appeared ready to go to court.”

Coming, not going: Immigrant visa overstays on the rise (Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/9/17)

“Indonesia is no place for a gay man like V.S., whose survival in his Muslim-majority homeland meant a vigilantly closeted existence.  When he visited Philadelphia in 2001, he intended to return home after the six months allowed by his tourist visa were up. But in the city’s vibrant Gayborhood, he found acceptance for the first time in his life.

“I didn’t expect to stay. I just wanted to see what was going on here,” said V.S., now 45, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid repercussions.

“He remained here after his visa expired, taking his place among the growing ranks of “overstays,” whose numbers every year since 2007 have far exceeded those of immigrants who crossed U.S. borders illegally. Today, various studies show, overstays are the leading source of unlawful immigration, and make up more than 40 percent of the nation’s approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants.”


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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