On Saturday, the Los Angeles Times headlined White House floats an offer to keep legal immigration at 1 million per year instead of cutting it
By Sunday, the headline was obsolete, just one more false promise. Instead, Republicans in the Senate introduced a bill that was essentially the same old Trump hard line, according to CNN, “including the proposals that would toughen immigration enforcement and limiting family-based visas only to spouses and children under 18 years old — a vastly reduced number of eligible immigrants from the current system.”
Up next in the Senate: Immigration, and nobody knows what will happen, said the Washington Post, analyzing all of the players and moving parts in the Senate.
The Senate is only one part of the puzzle. The House and the president also have to agree to any plan that the Senate devises.
Meanwhile, the administration moves ahead with all the punitive measures it can implement without Congressional approval. The Miami Herald reports that a draft DHS regulation would “ deny so-called “green cards” to legal immigrants and their children if they receive federal or state aid — even if the children are U.S.-born.” Covered benefits, according to Vox, include a “broad swath of local, state, or federal social services to which they’re legally entitled — even enrolling their US-born children in Head Start or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
The deportation machinery is in constant high gear, with arrests in courthouses, arrests of people who have been in the country for decades, arrests of parents taking their children to school: case after shocking case. The Washington Post summarized:
“But as ICE officers get wider latitude to determine whom they detain, the biggest jump in arrests has been of immigrants with no criminal convictions. The agency made 37,734 “noncriminal” arrests in the government’s 2017 fiscal year, more than twice the number in the previous year. The category includes suspects facing possible charges as well as those without criminal records….
“A Virginia mother was sent back to El Salvador in June after her 11 years in the United States unraveled because of a traffic stop. A Connecticut man with an American-born wife and children and no criminal record was deported to Guatemala last week. And an immigration activist in New York, Ravi Ragbir, was detained in January in a case that brought ICE a scathing rebuke from a federal judge. “
ICE set to deport undocumented father whose 5-year-old son is battling cancer (Huffington Post 2/10/18)
“Berrones has been living in the U.S. since he was 1½, when his parents brought him here in 1989, according to his wife, Sonia. In 2006, at age 19, Berrones was caught driving with a fake license and deported to Mexico. He then twice re-entered the country unlawfully to rejoin his family.
“In 2016, ICE granted Berrones a stay of removal based on his son’s illness. Even when it has grounds for deportation, the agency can use its discretion to grant stays and has commonly done so in the case of individuals caring for a sick child.”
“Lilian Calderon, who was detained last month by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is a 30-year-old mother of two young children who has lived in the United States since she was brought across the border at the age of three. Her detention has separated her from children who desperately need her care and raised the possibility that she could be whisked away to Guatemala, a country she barely knows.”
A day in Michigan’s only immigration court, where 3 judges decide the fate of thousands (Ann Arbor News, 2/8/18)
“Some of the immigrants have been here less than a year, while others have lived here for decades and started families and businesses, laying down deep roots. Some came here legally, and others came illegally.
“Some have spouses and children who are U.S. citizens, but without citizenship themselves are facing deportation because of past crimes, which can haunt immigrants and lead to deportation.
“Each case is uniquely complex, and many cases are deeply emotional for the families involved. Families sometimes end up separated.”
Deportations, despair and big court backups amid Michigan immigration crackdown (Ann Arbor News, 2/8/18)
“As a high school student in Detroit, he met his wife, Natalie, and today — 20 years after his arrival in the U.S. — they’re raising four kids in the Detroit suburb of Lincoln Park.
“But as a mixed-status family, their future is uncertain. Natalie Munoz, 30, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, was born in the U.S., as were her and Joazhino’s four kids — ages 12, 11, 7 and 11 months. That makes them U.S. citizens.
“Joazhino Munoz, 32, is not. Although he has no criminal record, the U.S. government wants him deported and he faces an uphill battle to stay in the country.”
ICE arrests went up in 2017, with biggest increases in Florida, northern Texas, Oklahoma (Pew Research, 2/8/18)
“The Miami area of responsibility, which covers all of Florida, saw the largest percentage increase in ICE arrests between 2016 and 2017 (76%). Next were the Dallas and St. Paul regions (up 71% and 67%, respectively)”
And in other news
Opinion: Trump concocted a story about a border agent’s death. The truth won’t catch up. (Washington Post, 2/9/18)
“This is the autopsy of a lie.
“On the night of Nov. 18, Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez was found dying on the side of an interstate in West Texas. There were immediate signs it had been an accident. Martinez’s partner, Stephen Garland (who suffered a head injury and doesn’t recall the incident), had radioed for help, saying he thought he ran into a culvert.
“But President Trump and his allies saw an opportunity to whip up anti-immigrant fervor. At a Cabinet meeting Nov. 20, Trump announced, with cameras rolling, that “we lost a Border Patrol officer just yesterday, and another one was brutally beaten and badly, badly hurt. . . . We’re going to have the wall.” He also issued a similar tweet.”
No evidence of homicide in border agent’s death cited by Trump (Washington Post, 2/7/18)
“A Border Patrol agent whose death last November fueled President Trump’s calls for a border wall appears to have died in an accident, according to FBI findings released Wednesday….
“None of the more than 650 interviews completed, locations searched, or evidence collected and analyzed have produced evidence that would support the existence of a scuffle, altercation, or attack on November 18, 2017,” the report added.”
“I have spent the past 18 months with about a thousand other people like me enlisted in the military in one of the worst kinds of limbo I can imagine: waiting for my military basic training to start, but facing the possibility that the country I’ve sworn to die protecting might deport me….
“Unless Congress reaches a deal on DACA that both Republicans and Democrats can agree to, some of our DACA statuses expire will expire, and we’ll be deported before we can join up and serve the country we see as our own.”
“Monthly apprehensions continued to drop into 2017, hitting 15,766 in April, when the downward trend reversed. Apprehensions rose each month to 40,513 in December. Migrant advocates said the “Trump effect” discouraging illegal immigration might be wearing off.
“But last month, apprehensions decreased again. It’s not clear whether the post-holiday decrease is seasonal, or whether it will continue.”
Migrant Deaths Remain High Despite Sharp Fall in US-Mexico Border Crossings in 2017 (International Organization for Migration, 2/6/18)
“The number of migrants who died crossing the United States-Mexico border in 2017 remained high, despite a 44 per cent decrease in border apprehensions reported by the US Border Patrol between 2016 and 2017.
“In 2017, 412 migrant deaths were recorded compared to 398 in 2016, according to IOM, the UN Migration Agency.”