Immigration News for July 22, 2021

Today’s news: immigrants in rural Minnesota, news from the border, and the rest of the stories. 

Immigrants in Rural Minnesota

In an editorial, the Swift County Monitor advocates a path to citizenship for Dreamers. 

“Dreamers are the children of illegal immigrants brought here by their parents. Many have known no other home. They attend our elementary schools, high schools and colleges. They serve in the military. They are nurses, teachers, welders, construction workers and engineers. They are neighbors and friends. They are essential to rural Minnesota’s growth and prosperity….

“We should not be Republican or Democrat when it comes to supporting citizenship for Dreamers. We should be communities looking to see our school class sizes grow instead of fall. We should be businesses welcoming new customers rather than being boarded up. We should be industries encouraging replenishment of our labor force rather than looking to relocate or expanding elsewhere because of a labor shortage….

“The immigrants show the same work ethic that our grandfathers and grandmothers showed when they arrived in America, a quality that appears to be fading among succeeding generations of our own citizens. America’s greatness comes from its immigrant heritage. To ensure future greatness, we must support a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and pass comprehensive immigration reform.”

A new report on immigrants in rural Minnesota focuses on four communities: Austin, Pelican Rapids, Willmar, and Worthington. (KAAL TV

“‘Not every community sees the importance of being welcoming but sooner or later, they’re gonna realize it’s the immigrant communities that are helping their communities thrive and become larger,’ Martha Castanon with Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, said. ‘It may take some time  but they’ll get there eventually.'” 

​​Here’s a link to the full text of the report

On the Border

The largest migrant shelter in Tamaulipas has been ordered to close in just five days. That will leave 600 migrants, including children, out on the dangerous and violent streets. (Rio Grande Valley News)

“Pastor Hector Silva, the shelter director, was caught in the middle of the media storm on calls with attorneys, NGOs, and reporters — one question wouldn’t leave his mind.

“’Why now?’ Silva wondered during an interview with The Monitor.

“The shelter was founded 17 years ago on the same location, and slowly expanded to reflect the growing migration trends in the area. 

“’Why are they telling me now? Why didn’t they tell me 14, 16 years ago? Why now?’ Silva insisted.”

A few weeks ago, leaks said the Biden administration would end the Title 42 bar to border crossings by the end of July. That is nine days from now, and no action yet. (CNN)

“Immigrant advocates claim that the public health order, which is separate from nonessential travel restrictions, has put migrants in harm’s way, leaving many, including those seeking asylum, in dangerous conditions in Mexico. …

“Over recent weeks, the Biden administration has coordinated with nongovernmental organizations to identify vulnerable migrant families in Mexico and allow them to enter the United States, instead of turning them away. It was among the first moves that appeared aimed at gradually easing the Trump-era policy, though when it will ultimately be pulled back remains in question.

“The administration also recently revised the order to officially exempt unaccompanied minors from being turned away at the US-Mexico border.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s war on immigrants is moving forward, despite opposition from some of the targeted counties. (Wall Street Journal)

“Texas has begun arresting and jailing migrants for trespassing, as Gov. Greg Abbott pursues a new plan aimed at illegal border crossers that is dividing counties in the state….

“Hundreds of law-enforcement officers from across the state and country have been sent to the Texas-Mexico border in recent weeks to begin arrests. Civil-rights groups have questioned the move, saying that states can’t legally enforce federal immigration law…..

“Officials in the Rio Grande Valley—the busiest immigration sector in the country, according to CBP—aren’t participating in the state disaster order and said the impact of illegal border crossings is similar to previous upswings, most recently in 2019, 2018 and 2014. They said increased immigration numbers haven’t affected their budget or crime numbers….

“A Rio Grande Valley law-enforcement official called the plan problematic, saying his agency wouldn’t tolerate people being arrested for trespassing without complaints from individual landowners.”

After the city of Laredo sued, the Border Patrol will temporarily stop sending buses of migrants from other sections of the border. (Rio Grande Valley News)

“Webb County’s declaration follows the city of Laredo’s lawsuit filed Friday against the Department of Homeland Security urging a federal court to grant a temporary restraining order to keep migrants from arriving to Laredo from other Border Patrol sectors. …

“Hospital availability is among the highest concerns for the city, which only has two major hospitals, a population of about 260,000 and a rising number of COVID cases and hospitalizations, the mayor said.” 

More people are coming from Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua, and other countries in South America. 

“Border officials are encountering migrants from more distant countries, rather than just Mexico or the Northern Triangle, according to the latest public figures from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency. (Axios)

“Why it matters: These longer journeys to the U.S.-Mexico border underscore the desperate situation many migrants face in their home countries, as well as the multi-dimensional diplomatic, economic and moral challenge the United States faces trying to control their flow north.” 

And in other news

Every report brings more evidence of abuse and misconduct in for-profit detention centers. Even worse, immigrant detainees lack access to 911 to report crimes and witnesses may be deported. (Los Angeles Times)

“A Times investigation found that since 2017, at least 265 calls made to police through 911 and nonemergency lines have reported violence and abuse inside California’s four privately run federal detention centers overseen by ICE. Half the calls alleged sex crimes, including rape, sexual assault and abuse against detainees. The rest were to report assault, battery and other threats of violence against detainees and staff. 

“In only three cases in which detainees said they were victimized did records show a suspect was charged, The Times found, and in two of those, the suspects were deported before they could be arrested. One case involving two victims — a staff member and a detainee — is pending….

“Unlike in prisons and jails, people in ICE detention are not serving time for crimes — they are being held while immigration judges decide whether they should be deported. Many are asylum seekers, and most have no criminal history. The federal government is responsible for their safety.” 

Should Democrats be able to include immigration in the budget reconciliation package? Yes—the huge economic impact of these changes is clear. (America’s Voice)

“Data demolishes age-old nativist tropes about immigrants being a drag on the economy and tells us what everyone familiar with immigrant communities already knows: bringing more immigrants out of the shadows would be a significant boost to the American economy. 

“The budget reconciliation package being considered by the House addresses a number of overdue changes that would not only create a more humane existence for the millions of undocumented people in this country, but also provide benefits for U.S. citizens and residents. It would grow the economy, create jobs, increase wages, boost tax revenue, and even reduce the national deficit.”

Sahan Journal talked to an immigration lawyer at the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota to find out what DACA recipients need to know about the latest DACA decision. (Sahan Journal)

“DACA has been tossed around through the courts for almost a decade, and the program’s recipients have become numb to threats over their status. But that doesn’t mean DACA recipients should just ignore the latest announcement, explained Mackenzie Heinrichs, an immigration attorney and fellow at the nonprofit Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota. Heinrichs specializes in responding to changes with DACA.”

Today the House voted to add 8,000 visas for Afghan allies facing danger and death after the U.S. pullout, and to speed up visa processing. Will Republicans in the Senate delay, filibuster, or vote yes? (CNBC)

“The bill passed overwhelmingly in a 407-16 vote, with all “no” votes coming from Republicans. It will now move to the Senate. 

“The vote comes as U.S. and coalition forces near the end of their withdrawal from Afghanistan. Thousands of Afghans who assisted the U.S. and NATO during America’s longest war are waiting for visa application approvals as the Taliban continues to seize more territory in the war-torn country. 

“’The phrase life and death gets tossed around a lot in this chamber. But this bill is truly that for thousands of our Afghan friends. The Taliban is intent on hunting down and killing Afghans who have served alongside Americans the past 20 years,’ said Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., who introduced the bill last month with 24 bipartisan members of Congress, on the House floor ahead of the vote.” 

A conservative county in Iowa realizes: we need immigrants. (New York Times)

“The reason we have so many jobs open is that we don’t have enough workers. That’s why the Biden administration needs to make the immigration process easier and faster. Sure, many immigrants will flock to our urban areas, but many others come from rural, agrarian backgrounds. They are familiar with many aspects of the work in rural areas: farming, food production and manufacturing….

“More immigrants will also increase our tax base and help stabilize Social Security. The immigrant population is already growing here, and they are successfully contributing.”

In 2020, the Trump administration sent federal officers into Portland to crack down on racial justice protesters. Since then, Portland public officials have been unable to get answers to their questions about the deployment. Now Oregon Senator Rob Portland is holding up Biden’s Border Patrol nominee until he gets answers. (BuzzFeed)

“In a June 9 letter to Mayorkas, Wyden asked for information on which agencies or units the agency deployed, what training federal officers receive on how to engage with protesters, and whether all officers had identifiable badges with names and personnel numbers. Wyden sent a similar letter to the DHS and DOJ last year.

“‘The previous responses I have received on this matter fell well short of answering all my questions and did not meet the standards necessary for me to perform my constitutional oversight responsibilities on behalf of the Oregonians I represent,’ Wyden said in his letter.”

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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