The bad news from St. Cloud is that city council member Jeff Johnson wants to stop refugee resettlement. The good news is that his anti-refugee resolution drew quick and strong condemnation from civic and community leaders, including his fellow city council members and St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis. Now Johnson has delayed the planned introduction of his anti-refugee resolution from October 23 to some time in November – which may still be problematic, because he can’t introduce it without getting a second from at least one other council member.
In another Minnesota story, a farmworker faces deportation after years in Minnesota – back to Guatemala. He fled the country after three of his first cousins were killed – more below.
St. Cloud to consider resolution pushing for moratorium on refugee resettlement (Star Tribune, 10/18/17) City council member Jeff Johnson is pushing for a moratorium, but others say his resolution has no support on the council. He will apparently delay introduction of the resolution until November, after encountering opposition. A small but vocal group of St. Cloud residents have spoken in favor of a moratorium at recent council meetings.
“I think it’s unconstitutional,” Council Member John Libert said. “It’s inappropriate. I’m ashamed of him trying to pull it forward … we can’t tell people they can’t come here.”…
“Mayor Dave Kleis, who can’t vote on council resolutions, said Tuesday that he doesn’t see Johnson’s proposal as “reflective of the community,” and hopes the council instead approves language affirming that St. Cloud is a welcoming place.”
Leaders call council member’s refugee ban proposal ‘embarrassing, despicable’ (St. Cloud Times, 10/18/17) The draft resolution will have to be introduced and seconded in order to be discussed. Not at all clear that a council member will second Johnson’s ‘despicable’ resolution.
“I believe a moratorium violates the U.S. Constitution, particularly the equal protection clause,” [St. Cloud Mayor Dave] Kleis said, referring to the 14th Amendment. “We strive very hard to be a welcoming community. We work very hard to encourage people to come to the community. We should be focusing our efforts on making sure everyone succeeds.”
Central Minnesota farm worker faces possible deportation to Guatemala (Ag Week, 10/18/17) Three of his first cousins were killed in Guatemala – one shot, one poisoned, one chopped up with a machete. He fled, in fear for his life.
“It was Saturday, July 22, in Otter Tail County, that Julio got pulled over. Julio and the couple’s two children, Julio, 13, and Candis, 11, were on their way to visit Nancy. Nancy, who was born and raised in the United States, was working that weekend at a potato processing plant in Park Rapids….
“Nancy said the deputy called the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office immediately….
“Nielson noted that many community members including Mayor Terry Aasness, drove to the Twin Cities for a hearing in Julio’s case. At that hearing, a judge overturned a previous ruling that denied Julio’s argument that his life would be in danger if he returned to Guatemala.”
Democrats are taking a hard line on immigration – from the left (Vox, 10/18/17)
Don’t be fooled by the much-trumpeted “deal” that President Donald Trump reportedly struck with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to address the status of the 690,000 immigrants who will soon begin to lose their deportation protections as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program winds down. That deal is all but dead, if it ever lived to begin with. It’s been replaced by a hardline White House wish list — and by Democrats’ calls for Congress to pass a “clean DREAM Act” that would legalize DACA recipients without increasing immigration enforcement in return….
“Democrats didn’t lose much with centrists or conservatives by abandoning a commitment to “tough but fair” immigration enforcement, because they didn’t get much credit from those groups to begin with. But when they acceded to the demands of critics on the left, they were greeted with enthusiastic Latino support.”
Advocates worry the Trump administration might crack down on visa overstays (Star Tribune, 10/18/17)
“[V]isitors who overstay their visas have been an extremely low priority for immigration authorities, overshadowed by immigrants who enter illegally. But now some local immigrant communities are bracing for a crackdown.
“On the heels of a report last spring that showed almost 630,000 of more than 50 million visitors to the United States stayed after their visas ran out last year, the government vowed to step up enforcement. A new immigration wish list the Trump administration released this month included steps to discourage overstaying visas, such as making it a misdemeanor.”
How U.S. Foreign Policy Helped Create the Immigration Crisis (The Nation, 10/1817)
“We have trapped Latin American migrants between a foreign policy that drives them from home and a domestic policy that drives them back. A humane deal concerning the fate of the Dreamers, although unlikely, would be welcome. But the fundamental conflicts that poison our politics over this issue will remain.”
Federal authorities made dozens of requests to hold immigrants in Baltimore (Baltimore Sun, 10/18/17) FOIA requests provided the evidence, though local officials had denied such requests were made.
“Analysts say the state’s murky position might be a byproduct of the difficult spot in which local governments now find themselves: caught between federal court rulings that have questioned the constitutionality of holding immigrants without a warrant and a White House that has made immigration enforcement a top priority.”
Trump plans massive increase in federal immigration jails (USA Today, 10/17/17)
“The Trump administration is planning an increase in federal immigration jails across the country for the thousands of additional undocumented immigrants its agents are arresting.
“In recent weeks, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has put out requests to identify privately-run jail sites in Chicago, Detroit, St. Paul, Salt Lake City and southern Texas, according to notices published on a federal contracting website. It did not publicly announce its plans to house 4,000 more detainees at the facilities.”
Bishops’ migration chairman asks for extension of immigration status (Catholic News Service, 10/18/17) The Trump administration has taken a hard line on Temporary Protected Status, saying it will not extend TPS. TPS for Honduras will expire on January 5, and for El Salvador on March 9. Decisions on TPS are announced 60 days ahead of the expiration date. Nearly 300,000 people from Honduras and El Salvador have Temporary Protected Status. So do 59,000 Haitians – whose TPS protection will expire on January 18.
“There is ample evidence to suggest that current TPS recipients from Honduras and El Salvador cannot return safely to their home country at this time,” said Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Texas, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration. He cited a report issued by bishops’ Office of Migration and Refugee Services titled “Temporary Protected Status: A Vital Piece of the Central American Protection and Prosperity Puzzle.”
U.S. judge orders Trump administration to allow abortion for undocumented teen (Washington Post, 10/18/17)
“Chutkan said the teen’s immigration status was irrelevant and that she still had constitutional rights. She wrote that the teen will “suffer irreparable injury,” including health risks, if the government interferes with her abortion plans. Chutkan also barred the government from forcing the teen to reveal her abortion decision to anyone or retaliating against her or the federally funded shelter housing her in Texas. She did not immediately act on an ACLU request to apply her ruling to other minors in federal custody.”