Today’s policy news includes three explanations of border practices and Trump’s indefinite detention policy, new research on discriminatory refugee admissions, growth of an emergency response network in San Diego, and how people with money can get a green card.
Real people, real stories looks at personal impacts of immigration policies, including the recent raid in Tennessee, a DACA recipient and medical student, and The Notorious RBG swearing in new citizens.
“The Trump administration can only tighten the screws on immigrants; it can’t slam the door on them entirely. The laws and policies that Trump and his officials refer to as “catch and release” are actually legal protections for specific vulnerable populations — groups like children, families, and people who claim they’re in deadly peril if they’re sent home — that Congress and the courts have decided need to be treated with extra care.
“The White House disagrees. To the administration, anyone crossing into the US without papers should be treated as a potential invader, and anyone who disagrees doesn’t believe in borders. But it is rapidly approaching the limits of what it can do on its own to put that vision into practice.”
“A video obtained by NBC News shows U.S. Border Patrol agents attempting to break international law by forcing an injured and mentally unstable man back into Mexico by falsely claiming that he is not in their custody, failing to identify him and assuming he is Mexican because “he looks like it.”…
“Under an agreement between the U.S. and Mexico, Mexican nationals must be properly repatriated through the Mexican consulate, a process that includes fingerprinting and confirming the person’s identity. Only then can they be sent back across the border on foot or by other means.
“If a migrant is not Mexican, such as the tens of thousands crossing from Central America each month, the migrant must be deported by plane back to his or her home country….
“… [A] recent survey by the American Immigration Council of 600 immigrants who were sent back to Mexico found that more than half of the respondents did not receive their repatriation documents and just as many were not asked if they feared returning home, the preliminary question for assessing asylum claims.”
New border policies could have a big impact on families, children, and asylum seekers (Immigration Impact, 4/10/18)
“The first policy was announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and called for a “zero-tolerance” policy for “illegal entry” prosecutions anywhere along the southwest border. These specific prosecutions, in which the federal government has systematically prosecuted unlawful border crossers in group hearings with little-to-no due process, already exist in some form in Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico. …
The second policy, announced in a presidential memo, calls for “indefinitely detaining every person apprehended along the southern border until a determination is made in their immigration case.”
European refugees are still making it to America, but many others are not (Niskanen Center, 4/10/18)
“At the halfway point of fiscal year 2018, the Trump administration has resettled 87 percent of the European refugee cap, but other regions are lagging far behind. Just 21 percent is filled for Africa, 20 percent for Latin America and the Caribbean, and 16 percent for the Near East and South Asia, according to data from the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center. The U.S. has resettled just 23 percent of the overall refugee cap after six months.”
Emergency response network to aid immigrants grows amid ramped up enforcement (San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/9/18)
“Some bilingual volunteers work as dispatchers who answer calls from immigrants in distress. Other volunteers are responders who go to where the reported enforcement activity is taking place to verify that it’s happening and document the arrest. They also help connect the affected family to resources to help them and their loved one — such as free immigration attorneys if the immigrant’s case qualifies.”
The surest path to a green card may be an investor visa—at least for anybody with $500,000 to spare (Los Angeles Times, 4/10/18)
“Foreigners can qualify for permanent U.S. residency — a green card — if they invest at least $1 million in a new business venture that creates at least 10 jobs. The threshold drops to $500,000 for investments in high-unemployment or rural areas.
“To apply for the visa, potential investors must file a petition known as an I-526 to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. If the petition is approved, the investor applies to the State Department for the visa — which allows permanent residence on a conditional basis. Once an investment project meets the requirements, the investor gets a green card. Immigration attorneys say the whole process can take up to two years.”
Real people, real stories
The day after Trump’s ICE raid in a small Tennessee town, 550 kids stayed home from school (The Intercept, 4/10/18)
“Interviewees described local authorities surrounding the meatpacking plant. “Some workers described them as blocking exits but not actually participating in the action itself,” Teatro said. With roads around the plant blocked off and a helicopter monitoring the situation from above, witnesses recalled “ICE storming in” from multiple entrances, according to Teatro. “It was like the building was just taken over by ICE.”…
“According to the advocates, a group of lawyers, working out of a nearby school that stayed open through the night, volunteered to take up cases. The lawyers presented the government with documentation expressing their intent to provide representation, the advocates said, but were denied access to the detainees inside the armory as they were processed and moved to detention centers in the region. (ICE declined to comment on whether lawyers were denied access to detainees or non-deportable, work-eligible immigrants were arrested.)…
“She added, “Multiple people have said they arrested everybody, all the workers; they arrested all the brown people; or they left behind the white supervisors.”…
“Raul, a 16-year-old, explained that every adult in his life was arrested during the raid — including his mother, his uncle, and his aunt. The teenager described the anguish of facing his 2-year-old sister, knowing that their mother was gone and not knowing when, if ever, she would return. “I don’t know what to tell her,” Raul said, in Spanish.”
My dad helped put me through med school. He may be deported before I graduate. (Huffingotn Post, 4/7/18)
“Earlier this year, my father went for his routine check-in and was swiftly arrested and detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Now, my dad is behind bars and being treated like a criminal.
It felt as though the whole world turned against me and my family. Questions flooded in: When will they deport my dad? He has back problems; will he receive his medication? Will I ever see my dad again? …
“My father is not a criminal. He is a hardworking father who aspired to provide for his family, contribute to his community and see his three daughters graduate from college. My education, my future here, and my ability to give back to this country will all be disrupted if my father is deported.”
Justice Ginsburg urges new citizens to make America better (New York Times, 4/10/18)
“Justice Ginsburg told them that her own father arrived in this country at 13 with no fortune and no ability to speak English, and yet, she would soon be administering the oath of citizenship to them as a member of the highest court in the land.
“Across the packed rows of seats at the historical society’s Upper West Side theater sat people from 59 countries, with first names like Islam, Hussein, Kazi, Angie and Sunday, and with professions as diverse as pastors and pediatric cancer doctors. Two men from Guinea sat in the third row and learned they were both named Mamadou Alpha Diallo, both taxi drivers.
“We are a nation made strong by people like you,” Justice Ginsburg said.”