Elderly, disabled Americans need immigrants


Nationwide, one in four direct care workers are immigrants. The Washington Post reports a Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute calculation that there are “34,600 who are non-U.S. citizens from Haiti, Nicaragua (for which TPS will end in January), El Salvador (in September 2019) and Honduras (in July, unless the Trump administration decides to renew protected status for individuals from this country).” And that doesn’t count the Liberians—like Minnesotan Louise Stevens—whose DED will end on Saturday. Even immigrants with legal status may be affected if family members lose work permits and protection from deportation.

In other news today: ICE and Facebook, cops arresting a victim, forced labor and solitary confinement in private immigration prisons, and more DACA news.

When elderly call for help, a ‘chain’ immigrant often answers (New York Times, 3/25/18)

Irma Mangayan was lathering and rinsing a 92-year-old woman in Room 413 one recent afternoon when she received a page from another room. An incontinent resident had an accident, and Ms. Mangayan would have to clean it up.

“Before her shift was over at Belmont Village Senior Living, Ms. Mangayan would hoist women and men into their wheelchairs, escort residents using walkers downstairs to the dining room and then back and perform myriad other tasks that they once could do for themselves.

“Ms. Mangayan is a personal care aide, a grueling and low-paid profession that happens to be one of the country’s fastest growing. It is also increasingly filled with foreign-born, low-skilled workers like Ms. Mangayan, the kind now at the center of a national debate on immigration.” 

As Trump targets immigrants, elderly and others brace to lose caretakers (Washington Post, 3/24/18)

The two women have been together since 2011, a 96-year-old originally from Italy and a Haitian immigrant who has helped her remain in her home — giving her showers, changing her clothes, taking her to her favorite parks and discount grocery stores….

“But changes to federal immigration policy are putting both at risk. Haitian caregivers like Nirva, who got temporary permission to stay in the United States after the 2010 earthquake destroyed much of their homeland, now face a July 22, 2019 deadline for returning. If they and tens of thousands of other immigrants with similar jobs and tenuous legal status are forced to leave the country, Americans living with disabilities, serious illness or, like Dicenso, the frailties of old age could find themselves with few options besides nursing homes.

And many of those facilities could themselves be caught short of staff, at a time when more of the country’s aging baby boom generation could need care.” 

Liberia was founded by people enslaved in the US. Advocates say the US should not end an immigration program that helps them. (PRI, 3/26/18) Louise Stevens came to the United States with her then-two-year-old daughter some 18 years ago, escaping civil war in Liberia.

Louise Stevens works two jobs to pay the mortgage and put her daughter Elouise, a DACA recipient, through college in Minneapolis. She didn’t expect that her own immigration status is what would cause the most doubt for their future.

Stevens has Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), a program created in the Clinton administration to shelter Liberians in the US from their country’s ruinous civil war. Only about 4,000 Liberians are in the program; it does not apply to any other country….

One of Stevens’ jobs is as a caregiver at an adult care center. “The jobs that I’ve had for all these years, I would have no more,” she says. “I really don’t know what to do, to be honest. I really, really don’t know.”

“Her other occupation is on the assembly line of a medical technology company.” 

In other news

ICE uses Facebook data to track immigrants, internal email shows (The Intercept, 3/26/18)

ICE, the federal agency tasked with Trump’s program of mass deportation, uses backend Facebook data to locate and track immigrants that it is working to round up, according to a string of emails and documents obtained by The Intercept through a public records request. The hunt for one particular immigrant in New Mexico provides a rare window into how ICE agents use social media and powerful data analytics tools to find suspects.

“In February and March of 2017, several ICE agents were in communication with a detective from Las Cruces, New Mexico, to find information about a particular person. They were ultimately able to obtain backend Facebook data revealing a log of when the account was accessed and the IP addresses corresponding to each login. Lea Whitis, an agent with Homeland Security Investigations, the investigative arm of ICE, emailed the team a “Facebook Business Record” revealing the suspect’s phone number and the locations of each login into his account during a date range…

“[Facebook’s] report reveals that from January 2017 through June 2017, Facebook received 32,716 requests for data from 52,280 users. Facebook notes in its report that it complied with 85 percent of the requests and “approximately 57% of legal process we received from authorities in the U.S. was accompanied by a non-disclosure order legally prohibiting us from notifying the affected users.”” 

Lawsuit: Cops turned woman over to ICE for having Mexican ID (City Pages, 3/26/18)

One day in summer 2017, Myriam Parada was driving a carload of kids home after a birthday party for her younger sister.

“Parada’s passengers included that sister and other siblings, plus a couple cousins. Parada, then 20 years old, was driving in Coon Rapids when the vehicle was rear-ended by a 24-year-old white woman.

“According to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the woman who hit Parada’s car had racked up a dozen traffic-related convictions in the previous five years, including driving while intoxicated and speeding.”

The cop let that woman go. Instead, she arrested Parada for not having a Minnesota ID. 

Private prisons—forced labor, solitary confinement

Editorial: Immigrant detainees shouldn’t be coerced int $1-a-day prison jobs (Los Angeles Times, 3/24/18)

The private prison companies argue in court papers that the federal government authorizes them to run those voluntary work programs, and no one is compelled to take part. But according to a number of federal lawsuits by current and former detainees challenging the practice, the notion that the detainees have a choice is illusory. Given the imbalance of power between jailers and the jailed, detainees say they don’t feel they can refuse to work, and many report they have been coerced through threats of withheld privileges, such as family visits, and in some cases that they have been sent off to solitary confinement if they declined. That is atrocious.

ICE contractor says it doesn’t use solitary confinement. Photos of its isolation cells reveal otherwise. (The Intercept, 3/22/18)

“The Intercept obtained photos of a CoreCivic solitary confinement cell from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, through a Georgia Open Records Act request.

“The photographs are from the state police agency’s case file on its investigation of the death of Panamanian national Jean Jimenez-Joseph. On May 15, 2017, 27-year-old Jimenez-Joseph was pronounced dead after hanging himself inside an isolation cell in the CoreCivic ICE detention center in Lumpkin, Georgia. Shortly afterward, it was revealed that ICE had locked Jimenez-Joseph in solitary confinement for 19 days prior to his death.

“The photos show a tiny cell with bare concrete walls that is furnished with a bed, a toilet, two shelves, and a heavy metal door with two grates and an armored slot for providing confined detainees with their meals to eat alone.” 

DACA news

Planning for the unknown (The Wake, 3/26/18)

She’s leaning toward majoring in mechanical engineering. She currently works at a dining hall on campus, but she’s already looking at summer internships a few years down the road. An avid nordic skier, Keila is still trying to balance nordic practice, volunteering at a nonprofit near her home, and, of course, school.

“But in the back of her mind, Keila knows she can only plan ahead so far. Keila is a “Dreamer,” one of nearly 600,000 young immigrants who received protections under the now-rescinded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, commonly known as DACA.” 

Undocumented and old enough for DACA, but too late to apply (Washington Post, 3/22/18)

“Adolfo Martinez’s college plans always included applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Obama-era program that would allow him to qualify for in-state college tuition in Maryland and a work permit.

“But he didn’t apply as soon as he turned 15, the age of eligibility. The $495 application fee was hefty, and he was only in ninth grade.

“Then the Trump administration stopped accepting new applicants, as part of its plans to phase out DACA, which President Trump and his top deputies call an illegal example of executive overreach.” 

A timeline of DACA offers that Trump has rejected (CNN, 3/23/18)

“The White House has repeatedly rejected deals to fix DACA, the Obama-era policy he ended then implored Congress to save.” 

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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