Immigration News: November 29, 2022

Photo by Phil Roeder, published under Creative Commons license

ICE does not have resources to arrest and deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. So it has to make choices. 

The Trump administration told ICE agents, “Arrest everyone.” That often meant going for easy arrests of people who had lived in the United States, working, sending their children to school, checking in with ICE on a regular basis, for decades. The Biden administration went back to the pre-Trump priorities: focus enforcement resources on “individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security.”

Texas and Louisiana sued, saying that DHS has no authority to set enforcement priorities. Today (November 29), the Supreme Court is hearing arguments on the case.  The potential consequences of the case go far beyond the policy prioritizing threats to public safety, national security, and border security. 

[NPR] “The outcome of the case could have major implications — and not just for immigration enforcement. Former Department of Homeland Security officials and immigrant advocates say the case could hinge on the question of how much discretion law enforcement agencies have to decide how and when to enforce the law. 

“‘A cop doesn’t pull over every speeder on the highway,’ says Jeremy McKinney, the president of American Immigration Lawyers Association. ‘So you have to make choices. All that the Biden administration was attempting to do was make choices, just like every administration before it.'”

[Roll Call] “‘A decision that gives the states the right to sue on that basis “would inject the federal courts into all manner of policy controversies at the behest of States seeking to secure by court order what they could not obtain through the political process,’ the DOJ wrote in a September court filing at the Supreme Court.

“Amber Qureshi, staff attorney at the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, said a Supreme Court ruling that the states have the right to sue in this case ‘would allow any state to sue the federal government for virtually any policy where they complain that they have incidental costs associated with that policy.’ …

“Earlier this year, the Supreme Court decided in an unrelated immigration case that lower courts do not have jurisdiction to issue certain forms of injunctive relief in immigration class actions. Now, the high court will decide if the federal immigration laws similarly bar judges from vacating immigration policies.

“If the high court decides that judges also may not issue orders to vacate immigration policies in this context, it could hinder the ability of all potential litigants — states as well as immigrant advocates — to have certain kinds of immigration policies blocked in court, legal experts said.”

 And in other news

St. Cloud, like many Minnesota communities, has seen a growing population of first and second generation immigrants. That shows up in schools, where 40 percent of students come from homes where a language other than English is spoken. St. Cloud schools are responding with a dual-language Somali-English immersion program, adding to popular existing Spanish and Chinese language immersion programs. 

[Sahan Journal] “Students in a dual language immersion program will receive instruction half the day in Somali, and half the day in English. In current research, the dual language immersion model is emerging as the best option for students no matter what language they speak at home, said Lori Posch, executive director of learning and teaching. 

“The program will be offered starting next fall at two elementary schools in the district. It’s believed to be the first Somali language immersion program in Minnesota, and possibly in the nation.

“’We know that being bilingual—trilingual, in some of our students’ cases—really is a huge benefit in terms of brain development,’ said Posch.”

When Russian police came for them, two Russian anti-war activists fled. They did the right thing, coming to the U.S. border, handing over their passports to authorities there, asking for asylum. Instead, they were jailed and denied medical care. This is not how the system is supposed to work. 

[New York Times] “They had fallen in love their first year in medical school in Russia, joined by their commitment to building democracy in a country where any remaining hope of it was disappearing.

“When Russia pushed into Ukraine early this year, Mariia Shemiatina and Boris Shevchuk, who had married and become practicing physicians, posted videos of the bloodshed and antiwar messages on social media. …

“The police called her family in search of the couple, who had gone into hiding. Certain that they were on the brink of being conscripted to serve as medics on the front lines, or imprisoned for their political activity, the couple decided to flee.

“They managed to make it to Mexico in mid-April. Two weeks later, they drove to a U.S. port of entry, handed over their passports and requested asylum, expecting their first taste of true freedom. Instead, their hands were cuffed, their feet shackled and they were flown to remote immigration detention centers in rural Louisiana. It would be six months before they would see each other again.”

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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