What Department of Homeland Security said about DACA and other immigration news – June 19, 2017


On June 15, the Department of Homeland Security issued a memorandum that withdraws all support for DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of American Citizens and Legal Residents) and the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) expansion ordered by President Barack Obama in 2015. However, the same memorandum affirms that the original 2012 DACA program remains in effect – at least for now. This reverses a Trump campaign promise to abolish DACA, which currently protects about 800,000 young people and has widespread popularity:

“But once in office, Mr. Trump faced a new reality: the political risks of targeting for deportation a group of people who are viewed sympathetically by many Americans. In some cases, the immigrants did not know they were in the country illegally. Many attended American schools from the time they were in kindergarten.”

The DACA protection, however, remains tenuous, as a DHS spokesperson pointed out in a New York Times interview:

“There has been no final determination made about the DACA program, which the president has stressed needs to be handled with compassion and with heart,” said Jonathan Hoffman, the assistant secretary for public affairs at the department. He added that John F. Kelly, the secretary of Homeland Security, “has noted that Congress is the only entity that can provide a long-term solution to this issue.”

‘Dreamers’ to Stay in U.S. for Now, but Long-Term Fate Unclear (New York Times, 6/16/170
DAPA and DACA+ Rescinded by DHS Secretary Kelly (ImmigrationProf blog, 6/16/17)

It’s official: Trump is keeping 750,000 unauthorized immigrants safe from deportation (Vox, 6/16/17)

Kelly revokes Obama order shielding immigrant parents of U.S. citizens (Washington Post, 6/16/17)

Trump Ditches His Promise to ‘Terminate’ DACA (The Atlantic, 6/16/17)
Trump Administration Rescinds Immigrant Protections But Preserves More Significant Ones (Mother Jones, 6/16/17)

DACA will stay, but administration says no to DAPA, expanded DACA (Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, 6/16/17)
As DACA turns five, what’s ahead for DREAMers? (Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, 6/13/17)
Rescission of Memorandum Providing for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”) (Department of Homeland Security, 6/15/17)

Frequently Asked Questions: Rescission of Memorandum Providing for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”) (Department of Homeland Security, 6/15/17)

And in other news:

Supreme Court backs Iowa DACA immigrant over state’s ID theft charges (The Daily Reporter, 6/15/17) The Iowa Supreme Court came down on the side of compassion and common sense, ordering dismissal of charges of forgery and identity theft:

Writing in favor of the decision, Justice Wiggins said, “After (DACA) protection coaxed Martinez from the shadow of deportation to acquire lawful immigration status and work authorization, the Muscatine County Attorney charged her with crimes for previously using the fictitious documents to obtain a license and employment. Importantly, there is nothing in the record to indicate that her use of the fictitious documents caused anyone harm. As Martinez approached adulthood, she had to figure out a way to survive in a country her parents brought her to as a child.”

Getting chosen to come to America was her dream come true. Then Trump won. (Vox, 6/16/17)

“The dream had been a long time coming. Abdi Halane, 28, fled war in her native Somalia as a child. She’d spent most of her life in Kakuma, a refugee camp in Kenya: marrying at 15, a mother of two by 20, divorced by 25. All that time, waiting to find out where she’d be able to build her life.”

She was accepted as a refugee to go to the United States. Then Trump issued his travel ban, which stopped her.

“Trump’s ban has been challenged in court successfully; the order is not currently in effect. Since Trump became president, thousands of refugees have been resettled in the US. However, Abdi Halane’s case remains in limbo as she waits to renew her medical certification. All she can do is check her status online.”

Latest news on the Trump travel ban (ImmigrationProf blog, 6/16/17) Trump changed the effective dates of the travel ban so that it will not expire while the courts are considering its legality.

“The Supreme Court has finalized the briefing schedule in the review of the Fourth Circuit travel ban case.  The final brief — the U.S. government’s reply brief — is due on June 21.

“Yesterday, President Trump issued an executive order keeping the travel ban in play while the courts continue to consider its lawfulness…”

In rural America, fewer immigrants and less tolerance (Washington Post, 6/17/17)

“Rural residents are more likely than people in cities or suburbs to think that immigrants are not adapting to the American way of life. The poll also finds that these views soften in rural areas with significant foreign-born populations.

“I think it’s just people not getting out there and knowing their neighbors,” said Adam Lueck, who lives in a rural part of Minnesota and thinks immigrants strengthen America….

“Knowing an immigrant is actually associated with a more positive attitude about immigrants,” said Mark Hugo Lopez, director of global migration and demography for the Pew Research Center. “Not 100 percent that they’re great. But more of a connection and a feeling that immigrants are not necessarily a problem for the economy.”

One Ohio Town’s Immigration Clash, Down in the Actual Muck (New York Times, 6/18/17) Willard’s Chamber of Commerce planned a welcome-back party for migrant workers returning to work on farms. Then some local residents organized against the party – and the migrants. The party was canceled, and farmers worry about how they will harvest their crops.

“For decades, the farmers have relied on migrant labor from spring to fall. Depending on how quickly they work, field workers can earn up to $18 an hour, compared with Ohio’s $8.15 minimum hourly wage. Many return year after year to do the strenuous seasonal work, sometimes in temperatures that soar to 100 degrees. (Local residents largely steer clear.)

“Seven in 10 field workers nationwide are undocumented, according to estimates by the American Farm Bureau Federation. In Willard, it is probably no different.

“Without the Hispanic labor force, we wouldn’t be able to grow crops,” said Ben Wiers, a great-grandson of the pioneer Henry Wiers, who bought five acres here in 1896, noting that he considers many workers at Wiers Farms, which cultivates more than 1,000 acres of produce under the Dutch Maid label, to be friends.’

Texas companies tie worker shortages to immigration fears (AP in Santa Fe New Mexican, 6/18/17)

“One-third of the approximately 20 employees Martinez uses to build new homes and commercial spaces have recently fled the state, spooked by a combination of a federal immigration crackdown by the Trump administration and a tough anti-“sanctuary cities” law approved last month by Texas’ Republican-controlled Legislature.

“I took a big hit since my workers started hearing crazy stories about being deported, and they panicked,” said Martinez, who relies on immigrants in the U.S. illegally for labor and has failed to find replacements for the physically grueling, precise work.

“The Americans I hire can’t last in this job more than half a day,” Martinez said.”

Farm family leaves for Mexico, amid questions over immigration crackdown (Madison State Journal, 6/18/17)

“Hernandez worked on the Knoepkes’ farm in Pepin County for 16 years. He shared that home with his wife and two young sons, Thomas, 5, and Liam, 4.

“That day, at Thomas’ last day at Noah’s Ark Preschool, he cried as he told his classmates that he will not be starting kindergarten with them in the fall. He had never been to Mexico….

“The Hernandez family left, in part, because of the threat of deportation — which could ban them from returning to the United States for 10 years — and what they described as increasingly harsh rhetoric by President Donald Trump and others toward immigrants, especially those here illegally.”

Ground Zero recovery worker from Queens targeted by immigration authorities for deportation (New York Daily News, 6/18/17) He fled Colombia when his brothers, both police officers, were killed by rebels. Since he worked on the 9/11 clean-up, he has had respiratory problems and other illnesses. And he is married to a U.S. citizen.

“A Queens man put his health on the line to help remove hazardous material from Ground Zero — and now immigration authorities want him removed from the country over a 30-year-old criminal case.

“Carlos Humberto Cardona, 48, was one of about 41,300 people ICE agents took into custody during the first 100 days of the Trump administration. But Cardona is fighting for his freedom — with a Brooklyn federal lawsuit and a state clemency bid.”

Immigrant father sought by authorities speaks out (Las Cruces Sun-News, 6/17/17) ICE agents pursued him from a hospital to his son’s school to his church, rear-ending his vehicle before he managed to make it safely to the church.

“Surrounded by dozens of supporters and his two sons, Jorge Taborda set aside fear as he shared an emotional story that many had not heard until Saturday.

“Taborda, speaking publicly for the first time since immigration authorities arrested his wife and oldest son last month in Las Cruces, said he, too, was targeted by agents on May 9.

“But, unlike his wife and son, Taborda found refuge at a Catholic church in Las Cruces, and has since managed to avoid the same fate as his wife, Francia Elena Benitez-Castaño, who was deported to her native Colombia on June 7 after being detained for about month in El Paso by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

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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