Newspapers from Los Angeles to New York to Mankato and Minneapolis disagree with the Trump-Republican anti-immigration legislation. They lead today’s news report, which also includes an article from Willmar about immigrant businesses there.
Do you know if you would qualify for a visa under Trump’s plan? Time magazine has a quiz to count your points and assess your “merit.” Full disclosure: With a score of only 18 points, I wouldn’t even get a place in line.
Editorial: Trump Embraces a Senseless Immigration Proposal (New York Times, 8/7/17)
“Mr. Trump and the senators behind this bill seem to believe that immigrants who are admitted to America because they have family ties possess few skills and are of little value to the country. That’s simply not so. About 41 percent of legal immigrants, the large majority of whom are relatives of citizens, have at least a bachelor’s degree, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center report.”
Editorial: Hard lines in court and at the border won’t fix our broken immigration system (Los Angeles Times, 8/7/17)
“[C]utting legal immigration at a time when birth rates are at a historic low could hurt the future economy — and add stress to Social Security — as the workforce ages. Again, any such proposal should be part of a broad overhaul.
“Humane immigration reform should be in reach. Congress almost got there in 2013 with the “Gang of Eight” Senate-passed reform bill that, while imperfect, was far better than the status quo, and that offers a framework for another try. Immigration reform is one of the nation’s most pressing problems, and if Congress doesn’t find a fix, it will go down as yet another example of how the Republican Party might know how to campaign, but it doesn’t know how to govern.”
Editorial: Our View: Immigration: Newcomers vital to U.S., local economies (Mankato Free Press, 8/7/17)
“The nation’s demographics demand a higher level of immigration. The baby boomers are aging out of the workforce (10,000 of them retire daily) and there aren’t enough native-born Americans entering to replace them. Just half of native-born Americans are in their prime working years (ages 25-64); more than 72 percent of immigrants are.
“This makes immigrants net contributors to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Immigrants paid about $328 billion in taxes in 2014, according to one estimate. Immigrants also start businesses at a higher rate than native-born Americans. Almost 6 million people work at immigrant-owned companies in the United States.”
Trump’s ill-timed plant to limit immigration would hurt Minnesota (Star Tribune, 8/8/17)
“That makes this a terrible time to constrict the flow of immigrants. It’s why several leading business organizations have come together as the Minnesota Business Immigration Coalition to advocate for the kind of federal reform that would serve this state well. It would include a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who have no criminal record; an easier process for employers to legally hire immigrants; and enlargement of both permanent and temporary admissions of foreign-born people, with flexible limits that can respond to the needs of industries as the economy ebbs and flows.”
Survey provides picture of ethnic businesses in Willmar (West Central Tribune, 8/8/17) A survey by the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Authority showed almost 70 businesses – about 12 percent of all the businesses in Willmar – owned by ethnic minorities.
“Backman said the EDC has identified 31 East African businesses, 27 Latino businesses and at least eight Asian businesses….
“New Americans bring with them their families, new ideas, cultural experiences, and entrepreneurial spirit,” Backman wrote in the executive summary of the report. “New Americans in Willmar have been establishing new businesses in the community.”
Third #ReleaseMN8 Member Issued Deportation Relief by Judge (Southeast Asia Resource Action Center [SEARAC], 8/7/17)
“After almost a year in detention, Sameth Nhean and his family breathed a sigh of relief when an immigration judge granted him a 212(h) waiver canceling his deportation and allowing him to regain his green card. Nhean has been fighting his deportation alongside members of the #ReleaseMN8 campaign since August of last year. Originally scheduled to be deported in March, he was issued a last minute stay or removal when a judge agreed to reopen his immigration case.
“Despite the judge’s finding that Sameth should reunite permanently with his family, the Trump Administration’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to appeal the decision and refuses to release Nhean from detention.”
“It took the FBI fewer than 24 hours to acknowledge last year’s stabbing attack at a St. Cloud shopping mall as a possible act of terrorism….
“But following Saturday’s bombing of Bloomington’s Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center, law enforcement and local media outlets have yet to use the word “terrorism” in describing the incident.
“That has some of the Muslim community and others saying there’s a double standard at play in discussing the attack.”
And in other immigration news
Children’s Authors Take On the Refugee Crisis (New York Times, 8/6/17)
“The wave of children’s books about Muslim asylum seekers is arriving amid the worst refugee crisis the world has seen since World War II, as millions of civilians — many of them children — flee the wars and insurgencies in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. …
“Some of these new novels explore perilous journeys, as refugees entrust their lives to smugglers and navigate war zones controlled by rebel groups and extremists.
Others focus on the discrimination and sense of displacement faced by Muslim asylum seekers. “The Lines We Cross,” a young adult novel by Randa Abdel-Fattah released by Scholastic in May, centers on a teenage Muslim refugee from Afghanistan who is accosted by Islamophobes and nationalists in Australia, where her family runs a restaurant. “
Deportation put on hold for man detained by ICE after dropping daughter off at L.A. school (Los Angeles Times, 8/8/17) Romula Avelica-Gonzalez has been in jail since February – now the Board of Immigration Appeals has granted an emergency stay of removal, preventing his deportation while the BIA reviews his case. He is currently held at Adelentado Detenction Facility, with bail hearing is set for August 30.
‘We don’t feel OK here:’ Detainee deaths, suicide attempts, and hunger strikes plague California immigration facility (Los Angeles Times, 8/8/2017) The Adelantado private prison, operated by the GEO Group, has seen five reports of attempted suicides since December.
“Among those held there are asylum seekers, people caught in immigration sweeps and those identified by authorities as potentially deportable after landing in jail. Some have lived in the U.S. for decades, others were sent to Adelanto soon after crossing the border….
“Detainees and advocates have long complained of medical neglect, poor treatment by guards, lack of response to complaints and other problems. Government inspectors have also noted significant deficiencies at the facility — often related to medical care.”
It’s a familiar calamity: Dad is in immigration jail, baby No. 4 is on the way, and Mom is struggling (Los Angeles Times, 8/7/17)
“It is not a good use of government resources to keep prosecuting this father of three — soon to be four — with a minimum criminal record who has done nothing but contribute to the community since he’s gotten here. It does not serve the public interest to tear that family apart.”
“No, it really doesn’t. Scream all you like about illegal immigration, but honestly, removing a man like this from his family only costs taxpayers in the end. It’s short sighted and counter-productive.”
LA leader to Feds: ‘We’ll have to sue’ if you don’t clarify new sanctuary rules (Los Angles Daily News, 8/8/17)
“[Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer] sent a letter to Department of Justice officials seeking “written guidance that unambiguously clarifies” the rule, which requires that the city notify the Department of Homeland Security at least 48 hours before it plans to release “an alien in the jurisdiction’s custody” wanted by U.S. immigration officials.”
Blocked in the Balkans: the refugees that Europe won’t allow in (The Guardian, 8/8/17) The refugees – whose numbers include about 900 unaccompanied minors – were headed for the EU when the doors slammed shut.
“As a result of the arrival of large numbers of people into southern Europe that accelerated two years ago this month, there are 7,600 refugees in Serbia, according to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR). Most live in 18 state-run asylum centres that provide basic necessities. Many are starting to prepare for the long haul.”
That includes applying for asylum in Serbia, but prospects are bleak.
“Out of more than 1,000 asylum claims launched in 2016, only 70 were decided upon. More than half of those were rejected.”
‘Apply by fax’: Before it can hire foreign workers, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club advertises at home – briefly (Washington Post, 8/7/17) Read the article for details on how brief, and how obscure, the ads for U.S. workers were. Mar-a-Lago, which Trump calls his “Winter White House,” wants to hire 35 waiters, 20 cooks, and 15 housekeepers on temporary H-2B visas for the winter season.
“The club’s request for visas stood out because it came in the middle of “Made in America Week” at the White House, as Trump and his administration sought to highlight his push to remake U.S. trade policy. Even as Trump urged other U.S. businesses to “hire American,” his business was gathering evidence to prove that it couldn’t.”
Around Mar-a-Lago, No Deportation Exemption for Trump Supporters (The Intercept, 8/7/17)
“Gonzalez, a father to three U.S.-born daughters, came to the United States in 1997 to live with his brother. He entered using a tourist visa, attended school, and worked in a restaurant. A few years later, he traveled to Mexico to visit his parents. He didn’t understand immigration policy at the time — very few teenagers do — but if he had, he would have never left. He tried to re-enter the U.S. using the same visa, but border agents told him it wasn’t valid and sent him back. After four years in Palm Beach, Gonzalez couldn’t imagine returning to life on his family’s farm, so he crossed the southern border illegally.
“When you cross the border illegally, you don’t think of any of it — you’re just looking for a better life, you want to be at a better place,” he told The Intercept. “You don’t think you’re committing a crime.”