Immigration News: May 24, 2023

Most of the rhetoric about immigration and the border is filled with fear and lies. The Border Security Expo, with its focus on high tech weapons and surveillance, is one example of the fear-filled politicization of the border. Another is Senator Tim Scott, whose announcement of his candidacy for president appealed to anti-immigrant supporters with one more lie. 

[New York Times] “Here’s the truth: If you’re hearing about the border, it’s likely that somebody is trying to scare you. …

“The dreaded post-Title 42 surge didn’t come. In fact, encounters between Border Patrol agents and migrants dropped 50 percentafter the ordinance was lifted. But that’s not to say everything is fine. The Biden administration has now put in place a new — and harsher — set of border measures, which may or may not survive a legal challenge from immigrant rights organizations and the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Behind all these maneuvers and stopgaps, the United States has no coherent immigration policy, and politicians have little motivation to discuss the issue honestly. Along with the rest of the world’s wealthy countries, we contort our laws so we can duck our treaty obligations to receive refugees. …

” The carnivalesque images from the Border Security Expo … portray yet another way to imagine the border: as a business, an entrepreneur’s playground, a corporate profit center in which you can get rich in direct proportion to popular fear.

“The customer is you. The customer is us. And the advertisements are all around.”

In his speech announcing his candidacy for president, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.),made the utterly false claim that “hundreds of people” on the terrorist watch list are crossing our borders. Expect to see more anti-immigrant lies as the campaign continues. Apart from the fact that most of the more-than-a-million people on the watch list have nothing to do with terrorism, most of the “hundreds” cited by Scott were stopped at the northern border, not the southern border. And are they “crossing?” Nope …

[Washington Post] “They aren’t. The people listed in the data cited by Scott’s spokesman were stopped at the border; they did not cross. As for the people who tried to sneak over, they may have briefly entered the country but they were caught. 

Stephen W. Yale-Loehr, an immigration law professor at Cornell Law School, said using the phrase “crossing our borders” was an exaggeration. “They were caught at the border, either at a port of entry or between a port of entry,” he said. “So perhaps ‘caught attempting to cross the border’ would be more accurate.” 

Denise L. Gilman, co-director of the Immigration Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law, noted in an email that the encounters with people on the watch list are not common and the “numbers are minuscule in the scheme of the numbers of border crossers who arrive in the United States.” Both Gilman and Yale-Loehr noted that not everyone on the watch list is a terrorist. “It is well documented that many people are erroneously placed on watch lists and that there are other significant problems with these lists so that an encounter with a person on the list does not really mean an encounter with a terrorist,” Gilman said. Scott’s statement “forms part of a trend that suggests that there are security risks or crises at the border when there is simply no evidence that asylum seeker arrivals at the border raise any security threat,” she added.”

And in other news

​​Reps. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.) and Veronica Escobar (D-Tex.) have introduced an immigration reform bill that they hope will garner bi-partisan support. They were quickly joined by eight bi-partisan co-sponsors.  

[Washington Post] “The result is a roughly 500-page bill called the Dignity Act that, among other things, would provide billions of dollars for border security measures, create pathways to citizenship for some undocumented migrants already in the United States, update the legal immigration process, and establish “humanitarian campuses” on the U.S. border that would process asylum claims in 60 days. … 

“The partnership is the first bipartisan bill since 2013 that includes a path to citizenship for adult undocumented immigrants and changes legal immigration pathways that have prevented many from acquiring visas. It is also the first time a group of women have pushed such reforms, given that the notable “Gang of Eight” from 2008 and those who spearheaded the 2013 effort were largely White men.”

The Ninth Circuit overturned a federal district court decision that had held a U.S. deportation law unconstitutional on the basis that it deliberately discriminated against Mexican citizens.

[AP] “A federal appeals court has ruled that a U.S. deportation law that fueled family separations at the southern border is “neutral as to race,” striking down an unprecedented Nevada ruling that had determined it was racist and unconstitutional

“The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals made that determination Monday in its long-awaited decision on the law known as Section 1326, which makes it a crime to unlawfully return to the U.S. after deportation, removal or denied entry.”

Texas (of course) is suing over the CBP One app.

[Politico] “The lawsuit targets a rule that was proposed earlier this year, and went into effect as the Title 42 public health order ended earlier this month. The rule presumes migrants to be ineligible   for asylum if they have entered illegally and have failed to claim asylum in a country through which they have already traveled.

“While the rule has received criticism from left-wing activists, who say the rule limits who can claim asylum in the U.S., it has also seen criticism from conservatives for the connected use of the CBP One app — which allows migrants to make appointments at a port of entry to be processed.”

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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