Immigration News: June 27, 2022

White crosses with the names of those who have died crossing the US border adorn the Mexican side of the wall in Heroica Nogales, Mexico. Photo by Jonathan McIntosh, published under Creative Commons license

U.S. immigration policies kill people. The Title 42 bar prohibits most asylum seekers from entering the country. Without any other options, they try to enter covertly. Some pay smugglers to take them across the border. None of these choices is safe. Today at least 40 migrants were found dead in a tractor-trailer truck in Texas. Adam Isacson (WOLA) reports some of the other recent deaths, and calls Title 42 “a policy of death:”

• 10 migrants drowned in El Paso irrigation canals June 9-22.

• 20 Nicaraguans drowned in Rio Grande March 4-May 19. 

• 36 remains found this year in Brooks County TX, 110 in Pima County AZ. 

229 border-wall fall injuries since October in El Paso sector. 

[Washington Post] “At least 40 migrants were found dead in the back of a tractor-trailer in San Antonio Monday, according to two federal law enforcement officials briefed on the horrific finding.

“Rescuers pulled at least 15 others from the vehicle and they were taken for medical treatment, said one of the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to provide preliminary information. …

“The deaths come amid a surge in migration to the U.S. southern border, with the latest U.S. Customs and Border Protection figures showing that immigration arrests there in May rose to the highest levels ever recorded. CBP made 239,416 arrests along the Mexico border last month, a 2 percent increase from April, according to the totals.”

And in other news

After more than a year of political infighting and a partisan smear campaign, Harris County, Tex., Sheriff Ed Gonzalez has withdrawn his name from consideration for director of ICE. 

[Washington Post] “Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called him a “strong choice” and urged his swift confirmation to lead the DHS agency with an $8 billion annual budget and more than 20,000 employees worldwide. ICE detains and deports immigrants, but it also has an investigative branch, Homeland Security Investigations, that investigates crimes such as drug smuggling and human trafficking. …

“[Gonzalez] said that as a Mexican American grandson of immigrants, whose family had grown up poor, being nominated had been ‘the honor of a lifetime.’ Ultimately, he said, he felt he was no longer willing to wait for the Senate to confirm him.”

No—”ghost flights” are not real. They are a figment of the political imagination of anti-immigrant demagogues.

[New York Times] “By talking about supposedly secret nighttime flights, critics are creating an aura of mystery around a relatively straightforward issue: transporting the large number of unaccompanied migrant children who have been crossing the border for the past several years, whose arrivals have escalated since Mr. Biden took office.

“After being processed at the border, many of these children and teenagers are flown to federally licensed shelters around the country before being released to family members. Thousands of such flights have been a routine part of immigration operations in the United States for decades, including under former President Donald J. Trump.

“While the planes, operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, sometimes land at late hours of the night, they also operate during daylight hours, and they do not constitute covert or clandestine operations.”  

On Saturday, the Biden administration suspended its prioritization policy, which had focused enforcement actions on immigrants who posed a threat to public safety or national security. Now agents have no instruction son where to focus scarce resources or who to arrest.

[CBS] “The rules, part of a broader Biden administration effort to reshape ICE’s immigration enforcement functions, generally shielded unauthorized immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before November 2020 from arrest and deportation if they had not committed serious crimes.

“But Republican officials in Texas and Louisiana earlier this month convinced a federal judge to set aside Mayorkas’ rules on the premise that he lacked the authority to issue them. U.S. Judge Drew Tipton, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, also said Mayorkas’ memo was improperly enacted.

“Tipton agreed to pause his ruling to give the administration time to appeal, and the Justice Department asked the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to suspend his order. But the appellate court did not issue a decision on the government’s request before Tipton lifted the pause on his ruling on Saturday morning.” 

The New York Times published a selection of personal reflections of DACA recipients on the 10th anniversary of DACA.   Here’s part of Juan Carlos Cerda’s story.

[New York Times] “I recently applied to renew my DACA five months before my work permit was set to expire. But because of a computer glitch, several thousand applications, including mine, were delayed by six months. That meant I had to resign from my teaching job until my permit got sorted out.

“I worry about that happening again. I also worry that if the Supreme Court declares the program unconstitutional, I’ll have to work in the shadows, without health care, or that I’ll be deported. It’s hard to think about but it’s the reality.

“The future is not looking that great. I fear that I not only will lose DACA but also that the students I mentor will not be able to get permanent protections. ” 

After a year of earthquake, tropical storms, intolerable gang violence, and the assassination of the president, desperate Haitians risk death at sea and the likelihood of deportation to seek safety in the United States. .

[Time] “[In mid-June], a group of 67 Haitians aboard a small, rickety boat waved down the United States Coast Guard about 16 miles southeast of Great Inagua, Bahamas. The boat’s sail was torn, U.S. Coast Guard officials noted, and grainy Coast Guard footage showed its decks were lined with men, women, and children in distress.

“The Coast Guard’s rescue was among the latest in a growing list of encounters involving Haitian migrants attempting the dangerous journey to the U.S. by sea. As gang violence, poverty, and political instability worsen in Haiti, migrant advocates say the number of people attempting to come to the U.S. in vessels that are not built for such voyages is likely to continue to increase. …

“So far this year, the Coast Guard has interdicted nearly twice as many Haitians at sea than the previous five fiscal years combined.” 

One more state with drivers’ licenses for all! 

[WJAR] “The Rhode Island General Assembly approved legislation on Wednesday evening allowing undocumented immigrants to get a driver’s license in Rhode Island. 

“If the bill becomes a law, undocumented Rhode Island residents will be able to apply for a driving privilege card or permit.

“As it stands, 17 other states already have similar laws, including in Massachusetts.” 

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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