Grandma Myrtle and other immigration news – August 10, 2017


Would any of us be here today under Trump’s immigration proposal? (Villager Publishing, 8/9/17) Bill Holen writes from Colorado:

” My grandmother, Myrtle, born of Swedish parents who spoke no English, came to America with little money. Only a strong Swedish work ethic and a will to succeed brought them to northern Minnesota to acquire a land grant to establish a successful farming business. That farm still exists today.

“My grandmother did not speak English until she was 13. She gave birth to two daughters, both of whom served in World War II, as did several of her brothers. Several of her grandchildren served in Korea and Vietnam, one of whom died in Vietnam. When Myrtle finally died at 99, she left behind her Swedish Bible, which she read every night.

“Trump’s proposal would have refused her parents and I would not be writing this column today.”

Deportation orders up under Trump, fewer prevail in immigration court (Washington Post, 8/9/17) In the first six months of the Trump administration, immigration court orders to leave the country were up by 31 percent over the same time period in 2016, totaling 57,069. Only 16,058 individuals got positive rulings, down 20.7 percent from 2016.

“But officials did not say how many of the orders were issued in absentia, meaning to immigrants who did not attend their hearings and therefore could not immediately be deported.

“The Washington Post reported last week that thousands of immigrants, some seeking protection from violence in their homelands, have missed their court dates in recent years, often because they did not know about them or were afraid to show up.”

But wait … 

ANALYSIS: How does Trump’s newest deportation report compare to Obama’s? (NPR, 8/9/17)

“Early indications would suggest that even though there is a marked increase between the 2017 data and data from the last few years under the Obama administration, the Trump numbers are lower than 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 under Obama….

“In addition, if you take EOIR data from 2009-2011, the monthly averages for Obama were actually higher in all categories than the 2017 Trump numbers from the DOJ….

“But for 2013–2016, the Obama monthly averages were lower than the current Trump ones. “

Immigration Raids Are Sweeping Up More People Who Weren’t Targets (Time,8/9/17)

“In a four-day operation at the end of July, ICE arrested 650 people. Of those, 457 weren’t targets of the raid. In other words, a full 70% of the immigrants swept up in this operation were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time….

“I know that a lot of my colleagues are getting clients who literally are pastors, or people that qualify for DACA but they just happened to be visiting a family member when ICE was there, so they just got swept up,” he said.

Legal Group Files Complaint About Georgia Immigration Judges (U.S. News, 8/9/17) The Southern Poverty Law Center sent a letter to the Executive Office of Immigration Review.

“The letter says immigration judges at the Stewart Detention Center routinely violate due process rights, have made comments that indicate prejudice against immigrant detainees and failed to show the necessary patience, dignity and courtesy.?

Jailing Immigrants Means Money and Jobs for Poor Areas. Is This Deal Humane? (KQED, 8/2/17)

“Inside his cell in the Yuba County Jail, Rafael was vomiting again, too weak and dizzy to stand. He is HIV-positive and has hepatitis C. Without treatment, the two can be a deadly combination. But Rafael, 27, had not been treated for hepatitis C in six months, his medical records show….

“Yuba County is among about 200 U.S. cities and counties that hold ICE detainees in local jails and private prisons under multimillion-dollar contracts with the federal government. Nationally, an average of 37,706 people a day are locked up, facing deportation. That’s 17 percent more than in fiscal year 2016, according to ICE data….

“Conditions at the jail have been notorious for so long that the county has been under court order to improve them for 38 years.”

‘I can have you killed’: Afghan woman fears husband after US denies asylum (The Guardian, 8/9/17) Shakila Zareen’s asylum application was approved after her husband shot her in the face in 2012 – but on June 23, USCIS reversed the decision, leaving her stranded in India, where her husband, who is associated with the Taliban, still threatens her.

“She woke up in a hospital the next morning after miraculously surviving the shooting and a gruelling seven-hour drive to Kabul. She traced her fingers over her bandaged face and realized that half of it was missing. Someone told her she had miscarried; she hadn’t even known she was pregnant. She was 16 years old….

“It’s very easy for them to come to India,” she said of tormentors. “They threatened me that India is only a step away, and that they can find and kill me any time.”

In El Paso, Mother of Young Cancer Patient Gets Six-Month Stay of Removal from ICE (NPR, 8/8/17) Apparently the attention brought to her case by news media and social media was enough to get a temporary stay of removal.

“Maria De Loera was facing possible deportation but news that her eight-year-old Alia Escobedo had battled cancer twice got local and online attention over the past few days. According to CBS 4, Escobedo was back in the hospital after her fights with lung and bone cancer. De Loera told CBS 4 that “she applied for political asylum in 2014, after her husband was killed in Juarez.” It was during this time that her daughter became sick.

“Asylum was eventually denied but the family was granted a stay of deportation twice because of Alia’s condition,” CBS 4 said in a report over the weekend. “Until this year when their request for renewal was denied.”

Bernalillo County commission votes against rolling back immigrant-friendly resolution (New Mexico Political Report, 8/9/17)

“The Bernalillo County Commission reiterated its commitment to being an immigrant-friendly community. On Tuesday night, commissioners voted 4-1 against a provision that would have rolled back that status.”



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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