Dreamers hear only waffling from Trump as Republican attorneys general threaten to sue to end DACA. At the same time, Trump has – belatedly – increased the number of H-2B temporary worker visas to allow more immigrant workers for seasonal industries heavily dependent on their labor.
Immigration activists fear for future of ‘Dreamers’ program (The Hill, 7/16/17) Trump waffles again:
“It’s a decision that I make and it’s a decision that’s very, very hard to make. I really understand the situation now. I understand the situation very well. What I’d like to do is a comprehensive immigration plan. But our country and political forces are not ready yet,” Trump said Wednesday.
“There are two sides of a story. It’s always tough,” he added.
“A White House official speaking on background said no determination has been made on the future of the program.”
Mixed message from Trump on DACA sparks frustration from Dreamers as well as critics of illegal immigration (Los Angeles Times, 7/16/17)
“But instead of clear policy, Klingenfuss and thousands of other DACA recipients have faced mixed messages, contradictory leaks and a lack of clarity about their future. Inside the administration, there has been talk of deportations, only to have the president himself sound a less dire tone.
“It’s been very typical of this administration to give really good news and follow it with really bad news,” Klingenfuss said. “We really don’t know if they are going to change their minds the next day.”
Trump officials open border to 15,000 more foreign workers (Washington Post, 7/17/17) The new visa allocation is for the H-2b temporary, non-farm worker visa, which include seasonal industries such as tourism and construction.
“Businesses’ petitions will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, and granted without regard to industry type, geographic location or firm size, the officials said. Given that the summer is half over and that normal processing time takes 30 to 60 days, the officials recommended that businesses pay the $1,225 fee for expedited processing within 15 days.”
DHS Provides Additional Foreign Worker Visas on ‘Made in America’ Week (The Atlantic, 67/17/17)
“One of the first orders of business of the White House’s “Made in America” week is providing companies the opportunity to hire foreign workers under the H-2B visa program.
“The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday that it will add 15,000 seasonal visas to fill H-2B non-agricultural jobs. “
Deportation and threats of deportation
Citizens rally to help Willmar man make plea for asylum (West Central Tribune, 7/16/17) Melvin Siu has lived in the United States for 16 years, in Willmar for the last 10. He has a wife and two children.
“Safety is one of our biggest worries,” said Catalina Morales, an organizer with ISAIAH, a faith-based organization of over 100 congregations in Minnesota working on social justice issues. It is working to help Siu. Morales said that two of Siu’s relatives were recently murdered in Guatemala, one just after he returned from the United States. She said ISAIAH will plead for asylum for Siu due to the danger he faces.”
Living in fear of President Trump’s deportation drive (BBC, 7/16/17)
“Maria is also afraid to walk her son Joseph, nine, to the school bus in the mornings.
“Many of the mothers along her street peer through curtains as their children walk to the bus, texting each other updates on each child’s progress as they walk down the street on their own.
“This takes a toll on Joseph, also a US citizen, who is now afraid to go to school at all.
“I tell him: ‘It’s OK love, you go to that bus,'” said Maria. “But he’s told me I’m scared I’m going to come back and you’re not going to be in the house.”
Foreign-born recruits, promised citizenship by Pentagon, flee the country to avoid deportation (Washington Post, 7/16/17)
“Rafeeq’s student visa was set to expire on Aug. 1. He faced a decision: wait for the Pentagon’s bureaucracy to untangle itself as the Trump administration seeks to expand deportation powers, or flee.
“He chose to flee. On June 11, Rafeeq went to Vancouver to apply for asylum in Canada. His biggest fear with deportation is the chance that Islamic State militants would prize his capture if they uncovered his attempt to enlist.
“I can’t go back to Kirkuk,” he said. “They would kill me.”
A Defender of the Constitution, With No Legal Right to Live Here (New York Times, 7/16/1)
“Ms. Mateo is setting out to practice law in a new era: President Trump, whose vows to seal off the border with a wall energized supporters, has made clear that all undocumented immigrants could be deported. Some immigrants have responded by going into hiding while others prepare to return home.
“Ms. Mateo is among those confronting the administration even though doing so carries with it personal risk.”
And in other immigration news
Trump’s Real Immigration Endgame Comes Into View (Vanity Fair, 7/13/17)
“In addition to wanting to restrict the overall number of legal immigrants, they want to shift to a merit-based system in which foreigners who are granted entry, for example, hold advanced degrees or demonstrate a particular “extraordinary ability” in their given field. That dovetails with the White House’s desire to “limit citizenship and migration to those who pay taxes and earn higher wages.” Last month, in a display of his infinite generosity, particularly toward those who haven’t “made a fortune,” Trump promised that legislation banning legal immigrants from coming into the U.S. if they were expected to rely on any kind of welfare would be coming “very shortly.”
“The move will likely appeal to Trump’s base. Unfortunately, a restrictionist immigration policy could backfire for the same set of voters. In April, 1,470 economists wrote an open letter to the president explaining that, actually, the economy benefits from immigration, describing it as “not just a good thing” but “a necessity.”
Trump administration eager to start crackdown on legal immigration (New York Magazine,7/13/17)
“In addition to reducing the overall number of immigrants entering the country, the legislation being drafted would shift the U.S. immigration system from favoring family unification to admitting people based on “merit, skill, and proficiency,” as Trump once put it. :
How two ICE programs let sheriffs cash in on immigration crackdown (Austin Statesman-Recorder, 7/15/17)
“Four Texas counties applied for ICE programs that create profit motive for arresting people in U.S. illegally.
“One lets local officers enforce federal immigration law. The other pays local jails to house ICE detainees.
“ICE says the two programs are operated independently and are valuable tools for immigration enforcement.”
Palestinian Refugee’s Odyssey Lasted 480 Days; How He Came to Arizona (New Times, 7/14/17)
“War and suffering in Gaza led the 31-year-old Palestinian and another refugee, Hisham Shaban Ghalia, on a perilous journey through Central America and Mexico to the Nogales port of entry to the U.S. They both spent months on end languishing in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility in Florence as judges considered their case as “stateless” asylum-seekers from Gaza City.
“In a diplomatic twist, Hammouda and Ghalia were considered stateless not because they’ve been denied citizenship; instead, the U.S. doesn’t recognize Palestine. Immigration authorities had nowhere to deport them to, leaving them caught in a labyrinthine asylum case.”
After a Harrowing Flight From U.S., Refugees Find Refuge in Canada (New York Times, 7/16/17)
“Razak Iyal and Seidu Mohammed became the public face of desperationamong refugees in the United States after President Trump’s election. A trucker found them half-frozen north of the Canadian border on Christmas Eve. They had walked — sometimes waist deep in snow — across farm fields to avoid being deported from the United States. Their fingers were so severely frostbitten that all of them had to be amputated — with the exception of Mr. Iyal’s right thumb….
“Three refugee-supporting organizations, including Amnesty International, have started a legal challenge to Canada’s designation of the United States as a “safe country” for asylum seekers under the pact, the Safe Third Country Agreement.”
White House sends new U.S. citizen welcome letter from the president – signed by Barack Obama (The Independent, 7/15/17)
“Aisha Sultan’s UK-born husband became a US citizen and received the customary welcome letter from the President, however it was not written by Donald Trump.
“The US government is still using a letter signed by President Barack Obama. “
Migrant Crisis: EU to curb rubber boat sales to Libya (BBC, 7/17/17)
“EU foreign ministers have agreed to restrict exports of inflatable boats and outboard motors to Libya in a drive to curb the smuggling of migrants….
“Meanwhile Luxembourg has warned that EU funds may be helping to drive migrants into Libyan “concentration camps”.
Some passengers on Vueling jet delay migrant deportation (BBC, 7/17/17)
“A group of passengers could face hefty fines after delaying a Vueling flight in Barcelona out of sympathy with a Senegalese migrant on board.
“The Senegalese man, in handcuffs, was eventually deported to Dakar on the flight. The jet took off after police had come on board to stop the protest.”