Dreamers, headline writers and other immigration news – June 15, 2017

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Reporting on immigration can get complicated, but you’d think the Washington Post could do better than this June 12 headline: Trump Administration Grants Work Permits to Thousands of Illegal Immigrants

The story is actually about DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. That’s an Obama executive order that suspended deportation for hundreds of thousands of young people who had been brought to the United States as children. Many of them grew up here and never knew any other home. DACA gave some kind of security, as well as work permits, to those who met its strict requirements, submitted the application and extensive documentation, including fingerprints and criminal background check, and paid the $465 application fee. If granted, DACA permission was good for two years, and after that, the DACA recipients could re-apply (and pay another fee) for a two-year extension.

The Washington Post article is about that specific story: extending temporary and limited protection and work permits to these young people.

“Trump had called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program an “unconstitutional executive amnesty” during his campaign. But statistics from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released last week showed that more than 17,000 new DACA applicants were approved for the program in the first three months of 2017.

“In addition, 107,000 immigrants already enrolled in DACA had their two-year work permits renewed during that time…”

Trump has moved from calling for an end to DACA to telling DACA recipients that they can “rest easy.” That angers many of his supporters, who want him to issue an executive order ending DACA. On the other hand, many of his opponents are angry because of his administration’s arrests and deportations of some DACA recipients.  Continue reading

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More from the courts, deporting Iraqi Christians and Kurds, and other immigration news = June 14, 2017

Almost lost in yesterday’s reporting over the Ninth Circuit decision against the Trump travel ban were two other important immigration cases. In the first, an Atlanta federal district judge ordered ICE to reinstate Jessica Colotl’s DACA status. Colotl is a 28-year-old paralegal and immigration activist whose DACA status was revoked for what the judge found to be no reason at all, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution report:

“In the 33-page preliminary injunction he issued Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Cohen  wrote that federal immigration authorities have “failed to present any evidence that they complied with their own administrative processes and procedures” in terminating the Lakeside High School graduate’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status.

“He also wrote that Colotl has at all relevant times met the eligibility requirements for DACA. Cohen ordered the government to reconsider its decision to cancel her DACA status and her application to renew it consistent with its procedures.”

In the second case, the Supreme Court ruled that immigration law may not discriminate on the basis of gender. Continue reading

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On to the Supreme Court for Trump travel ban, and other immigration news – June 13, 2017

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Photo by Phil Roeder, published under Creative Commons license

Now that both the 4th and 9th Circuits have ruled against Trump’s travel bans, the cases are on their way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The most immediate questions are:

  1. Will the U.S. Supreme Court grant a writ of certiorari, accepting the two cases for review?
  2. Will the U.S. Supreme Court issue a highly unusual stay of the orders of the 9th and 4th Circuits while the appeal is briefed and argued?
  3. Will the Supreme Court expedite the Trump administration’s appeal, as the administration asked – and if so, how fast will the hearing and decision come?

Continue reading

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One more court says no to Trump travel ban

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With today’s ruling, both the 4th and 9th Circuits have ruled against Trump’s travel bans, the cases are on their way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The most immediate questions are:

  1. Will the U.S. Supreme Court grant a writ of certiorari, accepting the two cases for review?
  2. Will the U.S. Supreme Court issue a highly unusual stay of the orders of the 9th and 4th Circuits while the appeal is briefed and argued?
  3. Will the Supreme Court expedite the Trump administration’s appeal, as the administration asked – and if so, how fast will the hearing and decision come?

NOTE: The text of this post will be included in tomorrow morning’s Immigration News summary.

The Ninth Circuit ruling gave an additional rationale for finding the travel ban illegitimate: it violates the Immigration and Nationality Act prohibition against discrimination on the basis of nationality, which meant Trump “exceeded the scope of the authority delegated to him by Congress.”

The unanimous ruling also allows the Trump administration to proceed with internal studies of security measures — which gives the Supreme Court even less reason to expedite its own consideration of the case, or to stay the 4th and 9th Circuit rulings.

Continue reading

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Unauthorized pumpkin seeds and other immigration articles – June 12, 2017

Under the Obama administration, immigration officials closed the deportation case of a woman from El Salvador. Under the Trump administration, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement filed to reopen the case at the end of March. Her attorney said the woman has not been charged with any crimes in the United States. Reuters reports:

When [her attorney] queried ICE, an official said the agency had been notified that her client had a criminal history in El Salvador, according to documents seen by Reuters.

The woman had been arrested for selling pumpkin seeds as an unauthorized street vendor. Government documents show U.S. authorities knew about the arrest before her case was closed.

So she now faces deportation for the crime of unauthorized pumpkin seed sales. Years ago. In El Salvador.

Like some 81,000 other unauthorized immigrants who had significant ties to the United States and posed no threat to public safety, the woman from El Salvador received “administrative closure” during the Obama administration She was not considered a priority for deportation.

All that has now changed. The Trump administration reopened 1,329 previously closed cases from March 1 to May 31, according to the June 9 Reuters report. During the comparable period in 2016, the Obama administration reopened only 430 cases.

“This is a sea change, said attorney David Leopold, former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. “Before, if someone did something after the case was closed out that showed that person was a threat, then it would be reopened. Now they are opening cases just because they want to deport people.”..

Continue reading

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Deporting everyone and other immigration articles – June 9, 2017

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Family deportation stories can break your heart. We need to share the heartbreak that these families feel, to strengthen our resolve to stand in solidarity, to work for justice, to end the deport-everyone-absolutely-everyone policy pushed by a heartless regime. So here are deportation stories: the Rodriguez family in Texas, the Motino family in Ohio, Claudia Rueda in California, and more. Read them – and act.

Out of Time (Houston Chronicle, 6/6/17) Juan Rodriguez has lived in the United States for 16 years. He has tried to get legal residence, but after more than $30,000 in legal fees and multiple attorneys, he has nothing.He has checked in with ICE 25 times over more than 10 years. On February 10, accompanied by his U.S. citizen wife and their three U.S. citizen daughters, he went to check in again.

The officer stopped typing and took a long look at Juan, who remembers distinctly what he said next.

“See, we have a problem here. You are not a priority for this country anymore …”

“But I am a father, sir. I have three daughters to take care of. I am a good man, sir. I am a good worker. I …

“Things have changed, Mr. Rodríguez,” Juan said the officer told him. “We will have to deport you.”

Continue reading

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Trump’s new executive order courts and other immigration articles – June 8, 2017

img_2530The Department of Justice set up seven new immigration courts to implement Trump’s January 25 executive orders. The Guardian reported on one of the courts – staffed by a rotating cast of judges pulled from other immigration courts for two-week stints, isolated and far from lawyers and legal resources, and

“fraught with technical flaws that make it tougher to act on behalf of clients and to ensure smooth running of the judicial process: broken fax lines make it hard to send and receive documents, teleconferencing systems often fail when a lawyer is patched in remotely, and there are chronic difficulties contacting prosecutors who have no direct phones lines at the new venue.”

Ordinary immigration courts pose huge obstacles to unrepresented immigrants. These are worse.  Continue reading

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