Twists and turns on travel ban and Dreamers and other immigration news – July 20, 2017

Roeder Supreme Court

Photo by Phil Roeder, published under Creative Commons license

Two more twists in immigration policy came on Tuesday:

The Supreme Court said yes to extended family ties exemptions from the travel ban and no to extended refugee exemptions. The court also set the travel ban case for oral arguments early in the next term: October 10.

The White House announced that Trump would not back legislation legalizing Dreamers.

But those developments came on Tuesday. By Friday, the president could have changed his mind again on Dreamers. 

Court hands each side a partial victory in dispute over scope of travel ban (SCOTUS Blog, 7/19/17)

“On the same day that it scheduled oral argument in the dispute over President Donald Trump’s March 6 executive order, the Supreme Court turned down a request by the federal government to clarify exactly what it meant when it said that individuals with a close family relationship could continue to apply for visas to enter the United States even while the freeze on new visas for travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries is in place. Today’s order left in place a ruling by a federal district judge in Hawaii that had defined the relationships more expansively than the government had wanted – to include, among others, grandparents and grandchildren. But the justices also put a portion of that lower-court ruling relating to refugees on hold while an intermediate federal appeals court reviews it.”

Supreme Court allows Trump refugee ban but keeps broader exemption for relatives (Washington Post, 7/19/17) The court also sent the case back to the Ninth Circuit for a full hearing, and set the underlying travel ban case for argument on October 10, very early in the next term.

“The Supreme Court’s action on Wednesday had two parts. In one, the justices said they will not disturb the lower court’s decision that expanded the definition of close family ties.

“But in another, the justices granted the government’s request to put on hold a part of the lower court’s order that would have made it easier for more refugees to enter the country. That order could have granted entry to about 24,000 refugees who were already working with resettlement agencies.”

Trump won’t support new plan to save ‘Dreamers’ from deportation (Miami Herald, 7/19/17) This is the White House position on Thursday – Friday could be different.

“A White House official told McClatchy that Trump would not sign a new DREAM Act being crafted by a bipartisan team led by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. and Dick Durbin, D-Ill. Another official, legislative affairs director Marc Short, also said the administration will likely oppose the Dream Act as it has in the past.

“It’s enforcement first. Then we can get to all these other things,” said the first White House official, who would not speak publicly because of the sensitivity of the discussions.

Trump’s wall: The inside story of how the president crafts immigration policy (Washington Post, 7/19/17)

“This portrait of Trump as a policymaker at the six-month mark of his presidency — culled from interviews with two dozen top administration officials, key lawmakers and other senior Republicans — shows a president driven by gut feelings, happy to mostly skim the surface but occasionally engrossed in details.”

And in other immigration news

How the Pentagon ending its deal with immigrant recruits could hurt the military (Washington Post, 7/18/17)

Ending MAVNI (Military Accessions Vital to National Interest) would mean fewer linguists and dentists, and much higher personnel costs as the military tries to recruit U.S. citizens to fill the positions.

American Dreamers (New York Times, undated) Repeating its editorial call to the president to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the New York Times publishes profiles of dozens of Dreamers.

With Speeches And Bright Dresses, Quinceañeras Protest Texas Sanctuary City Ban (NPR, 7/19/17)

“In Latino culture, quinceañeras are an important tradition to bring families together, to unite communities, to unite culture,” said Juarez, the young speaker. “We will not meet this law on its hateful level. … We will resist through celebrating our families and our culture.” …

“Arms pumping and looking fierce, the girls danced to a mashup of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Immigrants (We Get The Job Done)” and “Somos Mas Americanos” by Los Tigres del Norte.

“And with their symbolic rite of passage complete, the girls filed into the capitol to talk to legislators.”

The Immigration Effect (Pro Publica, 7/19/17) Extensive analysis of economic impacts of deportation and legalization options for current undocumented population, as well as the economic benefits of increasing immigration.

“In an analysis for ProPublica, Adam Ozimek and Mark Zandi at Moody’s Analytics, an independent economics firm, estimated that for every 1 percent increase in U.S. population made of immigrants, GDP rises 1.15 percent. So a simple way to get to Trump’s 4 percent GDP bump? Take in about 8 million net immigrants per year. …

‘Using the paper’s methods, we calculated that deporting the estimated 11.3 million undocumented people in this country would be an almost $8 trillion hit to the economy over the next 14 years. Legalizing them could boost GDP by almost $2 trillion in that same time period. “

Middle East by way of Minnesota: scenes from the St. George Middle Eastern Festival (MinnPost, 7/17/17)

“For the most part, the Islamic population in Syria and the Christian population got along just fine. That’s all changed, so the Syrian Christian population has been devastated, and we do what we can here to make sure that there’s aid and things that flow back to try to deal with the human fall-out of that.
“It touches our first-generation immigrants who are here very deeply, because it’s not abstract to them. What happens in Syria is literally happening to their fathers, their brothers, their family, and it oftentimes is not very pleasant. There are people in this church who go back and forth routinely to Syria, and they have close family there. Properties have been taken, churches have been destroyed.”


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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