On Thursday morning, June 7, House Republicans will meet privately and at length, trying to come to an agreement on Dreamers and immigration legislation. If they don’t, the focus shifts to the discharge petition, which needs only three more signatures.
The Trump administration received another slap-down from a federal judge on Wednesday, as a U.S. district judge in Philadelphia sided with the city, saying that blocking federal grants to punish the city for ‘sanctuary’ policies was “arbitrary and capricious” and that the city’s policies are “reasonable and appropriate.” That’s similar to a Chicago federal judge’s ruling in April.
Stories from the border continue, with an attorney describing the “unforgivable” impact of separation on children, Vox reporting on the government’s insistence that asylum applicants must apply at border stations while at the same time barring them from approaching border stations, and increasing numbers of immigrants arrested at the border.
Stories from the big ICE raid on a garden center in Ohio continue to unfold. ‘We should be treated like human beings, not like animals’, insists one U.S. citizen caught up in the raid.
One more win for ‘sanctuary’ cities in Philadelphia
“U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson said in his ruling Wednesday that the conditions the federal government placed on the city in order to receive the funding are unconstitutional, “arbitrary and capricious.”
“He also wrote that Philadelphia’s policies are reasonable and appropriate.”
Judge sides with Philadelphia in sanctuary city fight (PBS NewsHour, 6/6/18)
“Philadelphia has said as a so-called “sanctuary city,” it will only turn over immigrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement if they have a warrant signed by a judge. The city was fighting federal efforts to block grant funding as a result of the policy.”
Children, asylum, and the border
I work with children separated from caregivers at the border. What happens is unforgivvable. (Vox, 6/6/18) A lawyer with Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) tells of two children, ages 12 and 5, separate from their mother at the border, despite their tears and pleas to stay with her. Their mother was deported after two weeks. The children were later placed with a relative in the United States.
“They remembered every detail of the horrifying moment when immigration officials took their mother away. The 7-year-old kept saying over and over how she was having trouble going to school because she missed her so much. Only her mom knew how to do her hair just right each morning, she said. Her brother, a few years older, told us he had to take care of his little sister after their mom was taken away. They were terrified of never seeing her again.
“What could we tell them? We didn’t know if or how they would see their mother again, either.”
What you need to know about the Trump administration’s zero tolerance immigration policy (Politifact, 6/6/18) History and summary of policy.
“From May 6 to May 19, 658 children were separated from their parents due to the zero-tolerance policy…”
“The Trump administration justifies its “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting everyone who crosses into the US illegally — including asylum-seeking parents who are separated from their children by being placed in criminal jails — by saying that people who want asylum should seek it the “right way”: by presenting themselves at an official port of entry into the US (like an official road checkpoint at the US-Mexico border) rather than coming into the country illegally between checkpoints.
“But some immigrants who try to seek asylum the “right way” are being turned away and told there’s no room for them now. And there’s evidence that border agents are physically blocking some asylum seekers from setting foot on US soil — in other words, from triggering a legal right to claim asylum in the US — to begin with….
“Federal law and regulations specify that anyone who comes to the US without legal status, and claims a fear of persecution, has the right to an interview to determine whether that fear is credible; then, if they pass that interview, they have the right to formally seek asylum.”
Border arrests exceed 50,000 for third month in a row (Washington Post, 6/6/18) That’s far above 2017 levels, but right in line with previous years. Nearly 11,000 migrant children were in custody at the end of May, with shelters at 95% capacity.
Ohio garden center raid
‘We should be treated like human beings, not like animals’ (Norwalk Reflector, 6/6/18) Rodolfo Reyes told the story of the immigration raid on Corso’s Garden Center in Ohio.
“A bunch of cops came running into the warehouses, pointing guns at people,” he said. “Everybody was scared. They tied everybody’s hands up with black zip ties. Even we (my daughter and I) were tied up even though we’re U.S. citizens.”…
“I know they’re doing their job and some of them are not U.S. citizens, but we are human,” Reyes said. “We should be treated like human beings, not animals. I am a U.S. citizen. But it doesn’t matter where you are or who you are or where you are from. We are supposed to be treated like humans. We shouldn’t be treated like animals. Everybody was running, and they were throwing dogs on the people and pointing guns. That’s ridiculous. That’s too much.”
“Reyes said some workers tried to use their cell phones to take photos or videos of the raid, but police “wouldn’t allow” them to use or have their phones and “started pointing their guns at us again.” Reyes said the agents then confiscated some of the devices.”
‘Utter chaos’: ICE arrests 114 workers at immigration raid at Ohio gardening company (Washington Post, 6/6/18)
“Agents surrounded the perimeter of the Castalia location, blocking off nearby streets as helicopters flew overhead, AP and local television stations reported. They arrested 114 workers suspected of being in the country illegally and loaded many onto buses bound for ICE detention facilities. Dozens of the workers’ children were left stranded at day-care centers and with babysitters, local activists wrote on social media….
“The agency’s acting director, Thomas D. Homan, who will be retiring this month, said last year that he had ordered agents to increase the number of worksite inspections and operations by “four or five times” this year. The aggressive efforts, Homan said, are meant to deter people from entering the country illegally and “protect jobs for American workers.”
“The morning of the raid, the Ohio Landscape Association wrote on Facebook about a labor shortage affecting the green industry in Ohio and beyond. “There is not a large enough workforce to fill our seasonal positions,” the organization wrote. “We need congress to pass legislation to provide more Visas now. The additional 15,000 Visas being issued does not meet the need.”