DACA developments and other immigration news – November 13, 2017

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The U.S. Post Office in Chicago “lost” some DACA renewals for weeks – and now USCIS says that means the applications are denied. Even though the Post Office publicly acknowledged that the applications were mailed weeks ahead of the deadline – USCIS won’t budge.

Hundreds of Minneapolis student walked out of schools on Friday to demand a clean Dream Act to protect DACA recipients. Their protest cam the day after a major protest in DC and student walkouts across the country. With DACA renewals no longer allowed, an estimated 122 people lose their DACA protection each day, becoming vulnerable to deportation.

Post Office Fails to Deliver on Time, and DACA Applications Get Rejected (New York Times, 11/10/17) Applications mailed weeks ahead of the deadline were rejected – because the post office delivered them late.

“According to lawyers from across the New York region, in at least 33 other cases, unusually long Postal Service delays resulted in rejections of DACA applications, throwing the lives of their clients into frantic limbo….

“On Thursday, in a rare admission from a federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service took the blame. David A. Partenheimer, a spokesman for the post office, said there had been an “unintentional temporary mail processing delay in the Chicago area.”

“But the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency said nothing more could be done; the decisions were final.”

 

Minneapolis students walk out to protest DACA decision (Fox 9, 11/10/17)

“Hundreds of students walked out of school Friday and marched through south Minneapolis to bring attention to the Trump administration’s decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects many young immigrants.

“Forming the Interracial Student Movement just three weeks ago, Angelica, a junior at Southwest High School, and Jackie a sophomore at Hiawatha organized a crowd who walked out of an estimated 18 schools across Minneapolis Friday. Both teens say this is personal because they themselves are undocumented, determined dreamers.”  

Thousands of immigrants are losing their DACA protections already (Vox, 11/10/17)

“Republican leaders in Congress are in no hurry to pass a bill to address the fate of the 690,000 unauthorized immigrants who were protected from deportation and allowed to work in the US under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which the Trump administration announced in September it was bringing to an end.

“Their reasoning is simple. The Trump administration named March 5 as the end date for DACA — meaning Congress still has four more months to work something out. …

“One problem. The March 5 deadline really is artificial — it doesn’t actually mark the date when immigrants will start losing their DACA protections. That is, as far as anyone can tell, already happening. And it’s only going to accelerate over the next several months.”

Thousands of DACA Recipients Are Already Losing Their Protection From Deportation (Center for American Progress, 11/9/17)

Each day that Congress delays acting on the Dream Act from now until March 5, 2018, approximately 122 people will lose their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protection. That is 851 people each week, and more than 7,900 since the announcement. The logic behind this number is straightforward: The 22,000 eligible DACA recipients who did not successfully apply to renew their DACA will, as a result, see their DACA protections expire in the 181 days between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018….

“Without DACA these young people will no longer be protected from detention and deportation. This is especially worrisome given that DACA recipients entrusted the federal government with personal identifying information for themselves and their family members long before the Trump administration expanded its deportation priorities to cover just about any unauthorized immigrant.

As DACA Winds Down, DREAMers Turn Toward Different Futures (NPR, 11/10/17)

Unlike many other DACA recipients, Andrea and Claudia came to the United State with their parents legally.

“Their father, an architect, got a job in Texas, allowing him to get a work visa that covered the entire family.

“Once here, Andrea and Claudia’s parents started the process to get permanent residency — a process that took more than 20 years.

“By that time they became citizens, three of the four De La Vega kids had aged out of their parents’ protection and were left with no legal status”

Schmidt: Deporting international students ‘literally insane’  (USA Today, 11/8/17)

“The comment came as Schmidt, who now leads the Google parent company Alphabet, was asked at an MIT conference how the U.S. should retain top young talent in fields like computer science and artificial intelligence (AI).

“’The first and most obvious thing to do is: Don’t kick them out,’ Schmidt said, to a round of applause. He added, ‘I would much rather have them be in America … I’d rather have them here. And I’d like them to be working for Google.’”

A Trump Official Behind the End of DACA Explains Himself (The New Yorker, 11/10/17) Not much of an explanation.

“To your knowledge, did the ‘day-one book’ include any policy proposals that would affect DACA recipients?” she asked Hamilton at one point, referring to a collection of policy proposals that the Administration planned to pursue as soon as the new President took office. (Hamilton had been in charge of compiling the day-one book.) “Answer that with a yes or no,” one of Hamilton’s lawyers interjected. “Maybe,” Hamilton replied. He declined to elaborate.”

And in other news

The Rohingya are facing genocide. We cannot be bystanders (The Guardian, 11/11/17) Salman Rushdie and dozens of others call for help in an open letter.

“Over the past two months, more than 600,000 Rohingya people have been driven from their homes, had their land destroyed, and endured torture and rape while searching for safety. Remember what happened in Rwanda? Now, pay attention to Myanmar….

“We must not be bystanders to this genocide. We cannot allow people to be slaughtered and burnt out of their homes, while the world watches.”

Immigrants in Minnesota (American Immigration Council, 11/10/17) A new fact sheet presents data on Minnesota’s immigrant population, including:

  • More than 8 percent of Minnesota residents are immigrants, while nearly 7 percent are native-born U.S. citizens with at least one immigrant parent.
  • The top countries of origin for immigrants were Mexico (13.9 percent of immigrants), India (7.2 percent), Somalia (5.7 percent), Laos (5.5 percent), and Ethiopia (4.6 percent).
  • 224,718 immigrants (49.2 percent) had naturalized as of 2015, and 77,692 immigrants were eligible to become naturalized U.S. citizens in 2015.
  • More than three in four immigrants (77.5 percent) reported speaking English “well” or “very well.”

Across Wisconsin, recent rises in hate, bias incidents spark concern (MPR, 11/12/17)

“A student at a middle school near Milwaukee drew a stick figure with a swastika on its face. The image held a gun pointed at another stick figure, which had the name of the student’s Jewish teacher on it.

A voicemail left on the phone of a leader of a local Jewish organization said, ‘Pack up your bags with all of your other kikes and get the f— out of our country.’…

“’The Trump presidency has emboldened a lot of these groups,’ said Arno Michaelis, a former white supremacist from Milwaukee who now works to heal racial divisions through his group, Serve 2 Unite. ‘Having an administration that is blatantly anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim is basically enacting policies that are in line with white supremacy ideology. The narrative of white supremacy is that there are too many immigrants in our country. Trump’s policies reflect that attitude.’”

U.S. program for Central American child refugees to end Thursday (Reuters, 11/8/17)

The U.S. State Department will stop accepting new applications at midnight on Thursday for a program that allowed children fleeing violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to apply for refugee status in the United States before leaving home.

“As of Aug. 4, more than 1,500 children and eligible family members had arrived in the United States as refugees under the CAM program since it began in December 2014, according to the State Department. More than 13,000 people have applied for the program since it began, it said.”

Facing deportation, Lucio Perez adapting to life in Amherst church sanctuary (The Republican, 11/12/17)

“Living at First Congregational Church for the last month, he misses his wife and children. …The church has given sanctuary from deportation to Perez, a Springfield resident who entered the U.S. illegally from Guatemala in 1999. He moved into the church Oct. 19, the same day he had been ordered to fly back to Guatemala.” 

More Jurisdictions To Provide Legal Defense For Immigrants At Risk Of Deportation (NPR, 11/12/17) A growing number of cities – and the state of New York – are providing legal defense in immigration proceedings.

Providing legal counsel to undocumented immigrants does not mean they will be immune from deportation. But there’s evidence their likelihood of staying in the country will increase.

“A recent report from the Vera Institute found free legal defense for immigrants in New York City was associated with an increased likelihood of immigrants’ court visits playing in their favor. Four percent ‘of unrepresented, detained cases’ at one New York City court initially had ‘successful outcomes,’ the nonprofit says. After providing legal defense, that number went up to almost half.”

Border Patrol losing agents faster than it can hire new ones (Los Angeles Times, 11/12/17) The GAO and the Inspector General’s office issued separate reports on the Border Patrol. Despite Trump’s demand for hiring 15,000 more agents, the Border Patrol still has not been able to hire enough to meet the 2011 congressional mandate, which required 21,370 agents. Agents are quitting faster than they can hire new ones.

“‘Neither CBP nor ICE could provide complete data to support the operational need or deployment strategies for the 15,000 additional agents and officers they were directed to hire,’ the [Inspector General’s] report said, adding that the agencies faced ‘notable difficulties’ in making hires.”

 

 

 

 

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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, www.tcdailyplanet.net, 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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