On Thursday, Trump rejected a bi-partisan immigration proposal, telling Senators in a meeting that he doesn’t want immigrants from Africa and Haiti—“all these people from shithole countries,” but would prefer more immigrants from countries like Norway. His comment, first reported by the Washington Post, was not denied by official White House spokespersons.
Immigration and budget talks quickly faded into the background, as the world reacted to the latest blatantly racist remarks by the president of the United States, including articles in Der Spiegel in Germany, Le Monde in France, La Jornada in Mexico, the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia, and the BBC in London. Vox tried to explain How a day that started with a bipartisan immigration deal ended with a “shithole.”
Beyond exposing—again—Trump’s racism, the day’s events made a DACA deal appear even less likely.
More on DACA and Dream Act
House Republicans introduced a hardline immigration bill that includes everything wrong with Republican proposals. The New York Times report quotes Lorella Praeli of the American Civil Liberties Union, who accurately and succinctly described the bill as a “collection of hard-line provisions designed to sabotage, rather than advance, the possibility of a bipartisan breakthrough.”
Meanwhile, over in the Senate, NBC reported negotiators were “close” to a dea—but, according to Senator Jeff Flake, that deal includes provisions on the wall, ending family migration, and ending the visa lottery, all of which should be deal-breakers. This was the deal that was rejected by Trump in his meeting with Senators on January 11.
As for that federal court decision suspending the DACA recission, no one actually knows what happens next. There’s no process now for renewing DACA status, though that’s what the judge ordered. And there’s no word on when the next court will rule on the government appeal. The order could go into effect until the appeals are heard, or it could be put on hold until after the appeal. And what happens if the Trump administration simply does nothing: does not accept renewal applications, does not process them, or denies them all?
TPS news and analysis
Several perspectives on the end of TPS come from El Salvador via the New York Times:
“The influx of returning Salvadorans would saturate an already dismal job market. But there is danger, too, for those returning.
“People think, ‘Anyone who comes back from the U.S. has money,’ so they’ll be extorted,” Mr. López said. “If they try to start a small business,” they will be asked for additional extortion payments.
“He added: “The children who return will suffer cultural shock. Their parents can try to tell them what it will be like here, but it’s one thing to hear about it, and another to actually live it. And even their parents will feel like strangers.”
In Minnesota, Hamline William Mitchell Law School professor Ana Pottratz Acosta told Public News Service, “People who have been out of the shadows – working legally, paying taxes, contributing to the economy for 17 years – are now going to be forced into the shadows and forced to live a life as an undocumented person.” Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota Executive Director John Keller agreed that Salvadorans with TPS have no options now, but pointed to another solution, saying that “We’ll have an election and this status for El Salvador will exist into the next Congress, so we shall see.”
And in other immigration news
- One more heartbreaking story: a Vietnamese mother was twice denied a visa to attend the funeral of here 22-year-old son, a Navy veteran who died of leukemia. His father, a business owner in Arkansas, said he didn’t understand why his ex-wife was denied a visa, “He’s already done for this country, but what has this country done for him? What did this country do for him?”
- In New York City, protests erupted after ICE detained Ravi Ragbir, Executive Director of the New Sanctuary Coalition, a network of faith and community groups that advocates for immigrants. Ragbir was held after he went to immigration offices for a routine check-in. He has been battling deportation since 2001. He fainted when told he would be detained, and was taken away handcuffed and in an ambulance.