Immigration News: May 12, 2022

Ukrainian refugees
Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Six million. As of today, more than six million refugees have left Ukraine since Russia’s invasion on February 24. Millions more are internally displaced by the war. 

And in other news: 

Axios brings together some statistics from other publications, which show some of the economic benefits of immigration to the United States. 

“Three stats to chew on:

1. “Founder frenzy: 44% of Fortune 500 companies have at least one founder who is an immigrant or the child of immigrants, according to stats from New American Economy, founded by Michael Bloomberg. 

2. “Upward mobility: Even the children of immigrants who fall in the poorest quarter of the U.S. end up in the middle class, Princeton researchers found.

3. “Self-made wealth: 80% of America’s millionaires — foreign- and U.S.-born — are first-generation.”

Immigration court in Chicago has more than 110,000 pending cases. More than half the migrants in the system have no attorney. That means worse outcomes for them, and often delays in proceedings as well. Now there’s some hope on the horizon, with a new program to provide public defender representation. 

[Chicago Sun Times] “Cook County public defenders have represented about a dozen people facing deportation proceedings in the first two months of a new program aimed at expanding free legal services to immigrants, officials announced Monday. 

“The program, called the Immigration Unit Pilot, has been in the works since 2020 when the Cook County Board allocated money for the public defender’s office to provide legal services to immigrants facing deportation. In late February, the unit — which includes two staff attorneys, a supervising attorney and a paralegal — started taking on cases of those facing deportation proceedings in Chicago’s immigration court.”

And now Arizona joins Texas in the political stunt of busing migrants to Washington, DC. Worth noting: this is a free ride for migrants, who otherwise would have to pay for their own transportation to rejoin family members while waiting for their immigration court dates. 

[KAWC] “C.J. Karamargin, press aide to Gov. Doug Ducey, said the first bus arrived Wednesday at the nation’s capitol after leaving Yuma on Monday. He said 20 people, all who volunteered, were on the bus.

“Karamargin said the migrants were from as far away as Uzbekistan. None were from Mexico.”

One more time: no charges against a Border Patrol agent who who and killed a migrant.

[Intercept] “Men who were traveling with Carmelo Cruz Marcos, a 32-year-old Mexican migrant who was shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent in southern Arizona earlier this year, told investigators that the agent and his colleagues appeared to tamper with evidence and concoct a cover story following the fatal incident.

“After months of silence in the case, the Cochise County Attorney’s Office announced on Monday that it had insufficient evidence to bring charges against the Border Patrol agent, Kendrek Bybee Staheli, for the February shooting and that the agent’s actions appeared justified under Arizona self-defense laws. …

“In an interview with authorities, Staheli described fearing for his life during his encounter with Cruz, claiming that Cruz picked up a rock as he attempted to take him into custody, causing the Border Patrol agent to open fire. Staheli’s partner, who did not witness the fatal encounter, said Staheli was distraught after killing Cruz and asked to be held.

“Migrants who Cruz was traveling with, later interviewed by county officials, provided a more chilling version of events, with one claiming that the agents appeared to move Cruz’s body after he was killed and that Staheli’s partner told him things would be fine so long as Staheli said he was scared and that Cruz threatened him with a rock.”

Octaviano Ortiz has lived in the United States for 23 years. His deportation order is based on a 2010 drunk driving conviction, for which he completed his sentence. Now he’s faced with a terrible choice: to leave behind his wife and children or to move everyone to an uncertain future in Mexico.

[Chicago Sun-Times] “‘My children wouldn’t have the same life that they have here,’ Ortiz said in Spanish, a father of four whose children range from 14 to 2 years old.  …

“In recent weeks, Ortiz said he’s gone back and forth on if his whole family will relocate to Mexico or if he will go on his own. He’s particularly worried about his youngest son who was born prematurely and still has regular medical appointments. 

“’If I take him to Mexico, he would lose the help,’ he said. ‘But if I go and leave my wife, she would have to work and the boy wouldn’t be able to get his therapy.’ 

“He said he doesn’t think his children will have the same health care resources in Mexico as they do living in the Chicago area.”

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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