Treating immigrants like dogs – or not; dying to get to Europe; and more immigration news – July 7, 2017


We know who America doesn’t want: military recruits contributing vital language skills, high school robotics teams from Gambia or Afghanistan, Wisconsin dairy farm workers who have lived here for decades, pro-democracy Syrian activists, young people who have lived here most of their lives, anyone from Iran and five other mostly-Muslim countries targeted by the Trump travel bans.

Now we know what kind of immigrant America does want. The Los Angeles Times reported on July 5  that one Iranian immigrated to the United States without a question or a second look: an abused dog.[

“The pug was whisked to the U.S. without a hitch. But the dog’s rescue, amid uncertainty about the ban, illustrated the anxiety that accompanies traveling to Iran in the Trump era.

“In the current environment, the possibilities of complications are greater if the Iranian traveling to the U.S. is a human being, said Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council, which advocates for better U.S.-Iran relations.
“It’s astonishing that you have a greater chance of coming to the United States if you are a dog than if you are a relative of an American citizen,” Parsi said.

Dying to get to Europe

Smugglers are abandoning migrants in the middle of a desert the size of Texas (Washington Post, 7/5/17) Adoara is one of hundreds of thousands of West African migrants risking death as they flee war, persecution, and poverty. The 22-year-old woman was one of a group of 50 abandoned in the desert by smugglers.

“There is sand and only sand for hundreds of miles in the Tenere. As it shifts in the wind, it covers the rutted tracks of vehicles, and any sense of direction is lost. Slowly dying of thirst, Adoara resorted to drinking her own urine. She and the others buried the dead under the shifting sands until they were too exhausted to perform those last rites.

“Six survived, including Adoara.”

Migrants feared drowned off Morocco (BBC News, 7/4/17)

“Rescue services managed to retrieve three “exhausted and disorientated” men from a half-sunk rubber dinghy near Spain’s Alborán Island.

“It is believed many more were originally on board.

“A coastguard spokeswoman said they had likely drowned, adding that rescuers were still surveying the water where the boat was found.”

Almost 50 refugees feared drowned in the Mediterranean (Al Jazeera, 7/5/17)

“So far, 60 refugees and migrants have died trying to cross the waters to Spain from North Africa since January, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

“The UN’s migration agency said 6,464 people reached Spain after crossing the Mediterranean between January 1 and June 25 this year.

“In total, at least 2,247 people have died or are missing after trying to cross the sea into Europe via Spain, Italy or Greece this year, the IOM said.”

Europe’s migrant crisis threatens to overwhelm Italy, even as flows to Greece dry up (Los Angeles Times, 7/4/17)

“More than 85,000 people fleeing poverty and violence have risked the perilous Mediterranean crossing to reach Italy this year, a 20% increase over the same period in 2016, according to figures from the International Organization for Migration. At least 2,150 others have died trying….

“At the height of the migration crisis in late 2015, EU leaders set up a quota system to try to relocate up to 160,000 asylum seekers from Greece and Italy within two years. But some countries refused to take part, and officials say the number of people resettled will fall far short of the goal.”

A European alt-right group wants to take to the sea to stop rescuers from saving migrants (Vox, 7/6/17) The “Identitarians” use art and social media to target immigrants and Muslims and to raise money for their actions.

“A group of European 20-somethings who call themselves “Generation Identity” want to stop migrants from coming to Europe by intercepting the humanitarian ships working to rescue migrants in distress. Modeled after the actions leftist groups like Greenpeace have taken to obstruct whaling ships and nuclear submarines, this new form of anti-immigrant protest isn’t merely symbolic; it could have literal life-or-death consequences for people fleeing war zones, political chaos, and economic privation.

“That’s because Generation Identity wants to explicitly target humanitarian boats that race against time to save the lives of refugees. It’s only June, and already the United Nations has confirmed some 2,247 migrant deaths in the Mediterranean — a number that rises almost weekly in warm months. In 2016, 5,000 died making the voyage.”

And in other immigration news

DOJ questions whether some sanctuary cities are complying with immigration law (AP via PBS News Hour, 7/6/17) They are going after 10 jurisdictions: New York, Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia, California, Connecticut, Miami-Dade County (FL), Cook County (IL), Milwaukee County (WI), and Clark County (NV).

“In a strongly worded statement, the department said some of the 10 jurisdictions under scrutiny insist they are compliant with the law, while they defiantly refuse to cooperate with efforts to detain and deport immigrants living in the country illegally. The Justice Department said it was reviewing policies of the jurisdictions to determine whether they should lose some federal grant money for failing to prove they are adhering to federal immigration law.”

Metro Transit police consider new policy on immigration queries (Star Tribune, 7/6/17)

“Metro Transit Police Chief John Harrington said his advice to 180-member force is, “You are not immigration agents, that is not what you’re expected to do.” The changes to the current policy will eliminate ambiguity and add clarity, the transit agency said.

“The department has proposed a policy that says its police officers may not contact, detain or arrest a passenger for the sole purpose of determining whether he or she is undocumented. That is, unless someone’s immigration status is relevant to a broader crime or investigation, such as human trafficking, smuggling or terrorism.”

ACLU sues Miami-Dade over detention of immigrants (AP via Orlando Sentinel, 7/6/17)

“Miami-Dade County is violating the U.S. Constitution by detaining people without a warrant to comply with Trump administration immigration policies, the American Civil Liberties Union says in a federal lawsuit.

“The ACLU and other attorneys sued in Miami on behalf of a Honduran-born U.S. citizen who was held in jail without charges because an immigration officer had requested deportation proceedings.”

U.S. Citizen Detained by Mistake Sues Miami-Dade Over Immigration Enforcement (New York Times, 7/5/17)

“The detainer was not only unconstitutional, Mr. Creedle’s lawyers said, but also uncalled for. Mr. Creedle was born in Honduras but gained United States citizenship through his father, who is also a citizen. The government let him go once it realized the mistake.

“It goes to show just how sloppy this is,” said Rebecca Sharpless, a lawyer representing Mr. Creedle and the head of the University of Miami Law School’s immigration clinic. “What immigration does is check a box on a boilerplate form saying they have probable cause to hold someone in custody, and that is supposed to be constitutionally sufficient to detain them.”

Detained Immigrant Children Are Entitled to Hearings, Court Rules (New York Times, 7/5/17)

“A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, ruled that immigration authorities must abide by a 1997 legal settlement that established a policy for the detention, release and treatment of minors in immigration custody.

“That agreement, named the Flores settlement after the teenage girl who brought the original case, stipulated that a child in deportation proceedings be afforded a bond hearing before an immigration judge.”

Supreme Court orders reargument in indefinite detention case (The Advocates Post, 7/6/17) Kids are not the only ones held in indefinite detention. The Supreme Court had a case involving adults on its docket, but decided to wait until next term to decide.

“Last week, the Supreme Court ordered reargument in Jennings v. Rodriguez.  The case challenges whether detention for indefinite periods of time without review defies the constitution.

“This year, there could be up to 500,000 people detained in federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers, jails, and private prisons. While some are detained a few weeks, others may be held for months or even years while they challenge their removal before the immigration courts and on appeal.”

After Trump’s immigration crackdown, a desert clinic tries to save lives without breaking the law (StatNews, 7/6/17) Meet a 75-year-old retired doctor, a border crosser bitten by a poisonous snake but too afraid to go to a hospital, a geologist-turned-ambulance driver.

“Small nonprofits like No More Deaths and the Samaritans try to keep those people alive. But for the volunteers, providing even the most basic services out here is a legal high-wire act. They’ve been arrested while driving migrants to the hospital (the felony charges were eventually dismissed). They’ve had run-ins with the Border Patrol. Fellow citizens accuse them of abetting illegal immigrants. They’ve been told that their patients should be left to die.”

Couple gets prison for defrauding immigrants (, 7/6/17)

“A San Antonio couple was sentenced Thursday to six months in prison for defrauding immigrants out of thousands of dollars that the pair used for luxuries that included prime Spurs tickets and designer shoes….

“The pair admitted that between March 2015 and May 2015, they conspired to collect legal fees from incarcerated immigrants and their families using false pretenses.”

Targeted immigration arrests in San Diego area have more than doubled under Trump (San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/3/17)

“Obama’s priorities focused on people convicted of felonies or multiple misdemeanors. Trump’s policy includes people charged with any level of crime and those who have final orders of removal, meaning an immigration judge has already signed off on their deportations.”

Minn. immigrants who hoped to serve in military could face deportation (MPR, 7/6/17) Those military recruits who are now facing deportation? MPR talks to two from Minnesota.

“Zhang and Yonggi both entered the U.S. as legal immigrants with student visas. They expected to be in basic training by now and assigned. Both could face deportation.

“Zhang, who speaks Mandarin and has a degree in psychology, said she’s struggled with trying to explain her decision to serve as a woman in the U.S. military to her family back in China. The uncertainty over whether her decision to enlist will ever lead to military service is even harder to justify….

“Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., is one of the lawmakers proposing bipartisan legislation that would protect the recruits whose visas expired amid delays. She is the senior Democrat on the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.”

Scandinavian Power in Minnesota Politics (Hibbing Daily Tribune, 7/3/17) Aaron Brown tells a story of old immigrants.

“See, northern Minnesota exemplified the quintessential “melting pot” of American industrialization and immigrants. July 4 became not just something to celebrate, but a shared cultural experience that brought together different and sometimes disagreeable people. In this manner, a foreign born population became American, though not entirely like the rest of the country.

“One group of immigrants had an outsized impact in making Minnesota what it is today. Swedish-American author Klas Bergman details the story in his new book “Scandinavians in the State House: How Nordic Immigrants Shaped Minnesota Politics,” published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press.”











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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