From DACA to Melania: the good news, bad news, and just plain weirdness

judge's gavel weissparz

Photo by wp paarz, used under Creative Commons license.

UPDATE/CORRECTION re DACA applications: Good news from the courts: Monday afternoon, a second U.S. judge blocked the Trump administration from ending DACA. While there might be a legitimate way to end DACA, the New York federal court said, the way Trump did it was not legit. This decision went farther than the earlier California ruling, with the New York federal court saying the administration has to accept “initial” DACA applications, as well as renewals.

“Defendants thus must continue processing both initial DACA applications and DACA renewal requests under the same terms and conditions that applied before September 5, 2017, subject to the limitations described below.”

Does “initial” mean “new”? The National Immigration Law Center thinks not. I thought that “initial” meant “new” — but they’re the experts, so I’m making this correction. 

More from Reuters, CNN, New York Times.

If you want it, here’s the 55-page text of the order.

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide by Friday whether it will take an expedited appeal from the California federal court ruling enjoining the DACA rescission.

Bad news from Congress:

And so it begins — the Senate debating immigration, promises made, promises broken, agreement nowhere in sight. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell weirdly began by saying it was time to “let a thousand flowers bloom,” a quotation from Mao Tse Tung that seems out of place for a Republican stalwart. Now he says that he will only give the Senate this week to come up with a solution for DACa, and then they have to move on to other things.

Time Magazine reported on the inauspicious beginning of the less-than-week-long debate:

“[P]ublic optimism about the chance to negotiate quickly curdled on Tuesday morning after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed a vote on an amendment that would curtail federal funding to so-called “sanctuary cities.” His Democratic counterpart, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, rebuffed the suggestion, calling instead for a vote on a bipartisan bill from Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Chris Coons of Delaware that would not fund Trump’s border wall.”

More from the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Hill,  

Weird news about Melania, her parents, and immigration

Twitter teems with charges that Melania’s parents have no diplomas, that they came here as “chain migration,” and so on. The memes maintain that Melania herself came here illegally and then got residence by marrying Trump. Not quite true, according to the Washington Post and Melania’s lawyer, who says she “self-sponsored” as outstanding model. Lots of questions remain, both about the date of her immigration and the dates of her employment and about what kind of visas her parents have. They, of course, are the “distant relatives” that Trump denounces when he talks about “chain migration.” More questions than answers, because the Trumps aren’t answering questions about their own family’s immigration status. 

And in other immigration stories:

Durbin: Olympic gold medalist’s story is the story of immigration in US (The Hill, 2/13/18) Yes, Chloe Kim’s parents were immigrants. So were the parents of Mirai Nagasu and others. And Maame Biney is an immigrant herself—from Ghana.

State report: Minnesota needs immigrants to fill jobs and maintain economic growth (MinnPost, 2/13/18)

“Goodwill and compassion aside, Minnesota needs more immigrants to fill job vacancies, sustain economic growth and expand the labor market, which has been shrinking over the years as baby boomers continue to age out of the workforce.” 

The White House’s weekly ‘immigrant crime’ tally includes non-crimes and nonimmigrants (Washington Post, 2/9/18) In short—the White House lies about immigrants. But that’s not news.

“It has been apparent for more than a year that the Trump administration sought to use the power of the White House to push out negative stories linking immigrants to crime. …

“What arrived on Friday morning, though, was not a quarterly report on crime. It was an attempt to depict immigrants as criminals broadly.

“As it turns out, there is plenty of research into the question of whether immigrants are more likely to commit crime: They are not. First-generation immigrants (those who were born in other countries) are much less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans. That is all immigrants, but there is also no indication those here illegally are more likely to commit crimes than those born in America.”

When Border Searches Become Unreasonable (National Review, 2/12/18) The most newsworthy part of this story is not that the Border Patrol is unreasonably aggressive and intrusive in its searches, but that even the conservative National Review think so.

“Even among supporters of strict immigration law enforcement, warrantless searches within the United States should be troubling as an infringement of our ancient freedoms. That they are occurring deep within the United States and without a reasonable connection to border crossing also means, taken in conjunction with more recent Fourth Amendment rulings, that the policy must be seen as increasingly unlikely to pass constitutional muster.” 

Immigration is becoming a 2020 litmus test for Democrats (Vox, 2/13/18)

Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) all voted against every recent spending bill because they have not seen a vote on an immigration fix. They did it again on Thursday night, joining a handful of other Democrats voting against a long-term spending bill.

“The intraparty debate about whether or not to vote against government spending bills over DACA says a lot about where the Democratic party’s base is at — and how much influence that base has among the party’s rising stars.

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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