Immigration News: May 20, 2022

As expected, a Louisiana federal district judge ordered the Title 42 bar to asylum seekers and other migrants to remain in effect. It’s a bad decision, both morally and legally, and an appeal must follow. But for now, the Trump-appointed judge’s order means continuing danger and despair for asylum seekers waiting on the border—and continuing disgrace for the United States as we turn away asylum seekers and betray both our own laws and international human rights covenants.

[Washington Post] “U.S. Judge Robert Summerhays issued a preliminary injunction, siding with states that argued the expected border influx would impose costs on them for services such as health care and education. …

“The ruling delivered a victory to Republican attorneys general who had sued to block the Biden administration from reversing the Trump administration policy.

“Title 42 is shorthand for the emergency public health order the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention originally issued in March 2020 to swiftly expel unauthorized migrants from the U.S. even as then-President Donald Trump downplayed the virus ravaging the United States. Biden rejected Trump’s anti-immigration agenda, but his administration maintained Title 42 for so long he ended up expelling migrants more times than his predecessor. …

“Expelling migrants simply created a revolving door on the border, officials said, sending migrants back to crime-ridden border cities in Mexico to try to enter the United States again. Officials said they planned to process asylum seekers and quickly deport or criminally prosecute other migrants who entered the United States illegally, a system they said worked smoothly before Trump shut down the border. …

“Other judges have found that applying Title 42 unlawfully restricts access to asylum laws – or that there is no evidence that it prevents the spread of coronavirus. Judge Emmet G. Sullivan in the District of Columbia ruled in separate lawsuits that it was unlawful to expel unaccompanied minors and migrant families.

“His decisions were later overturned, but the D.C. appeals court ruling in the family case said in a unanimous decision in March that the Biden administration could expel migrant families but not to countries where they may face persecution, citing “stomach-churning evidence” that the government has sent people to countries where they could be harmed.” 

And in other news

Immigration has always been complicated. Early European immigration to Minnesota was driven by economic conditions at home and hope for a better future. At the same time, this immigration was encouraged by economic subsidies such as the Homestead Act and was part of the genocidal expulsion of Native Americans. 

[Star Tribune] “The abridged explanation is that America’s westward expansion — and the displacement of Native people that accompanied it — reached Minnesota around the same time that Swedes and Norwegians were fleeing bad conditions in their home countries. Aided by free land from the federal government, new immigrants formed settlements and encouraged friends and family back home to join them. …

“The impetus for people to leave Norway and Sweden in the mid-1800s began with a positive development — falling child mortality rates. The population of those countries boomed, but the farmland supply and job opportunities couldn’t keep up. The resulting poor economic conditions and other factors, like religious conflict and industrialization, caused some people to seek an exit, said Bill Convery, research director for the Minnesota Historical Society. …

“The state created a Board of Immigration in 1867 to lure certain immigrant groups, for example, with Swedish immigrant Hans Mattson as its first leader. …

“‘Why do Scandinavians come to Minnesota?’ Convery said. ‘Because when Scandinavians were most in need, the greatest opportunity happened to be in Minnesota.’ …

“Despite Minnesota’s Scandinavian reputation, more people in the state actually report having German heritage.”

The 287(g)  program delegates federal immigration enforcement authority to local and state law enforcement agencies. The program ballooned under Trump. It is time to end it. 

[Washington Post] “Recently, the national ACLU issued a report, “A License to Abuse: How ICE’s 287(g) Program Empowers Racist Sheriffs,” on the draconian immigration enforcement program called 287(g). …

“Make no mistake: The program is a racist, anti-immigrant effort by the sheriffs to remove immigrants, particularly immigrants who are Black and/or originally from Central America, from their communities. We have heard time and again that this federally sanctioned local immigration enforcement scheme creates fear among the immigrant community, encourages racial profiling by local police and creates a xenophobic policing system in which non-U. S. citizens are treated as second class.”

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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