This week immigrants and allies march on Washington demanding a clean DREAM Act before the end of the year and a renewal of TPS (Temporary Protected Status) for Haitians and others. Besides prayer vigils, rallies, and protests in Washington, advocates will visit Congressional offices and stage actions across the country. In Minnesota, marchers from the Marshall area will go to Congressman Collin Peterson’s local office on Wednesday.
Even as the focus on Capitol Hill intensifies, ICE continues its push to deport everyone – targeting an immigrant because he spoke to a Seattle newspaper, and preparing to deport Somalis back to the violence-wracked country where a massive truck bomb recently killed 512 people.
Democrats rejected the latest offer for a Republican DACA fix: it would have put Dreamers in a permanent second-class status with no way to citizenship – ever. One of the objections of Dream Act opponents has been that if Dreamers get citizenship some day, they would bring in millions of relatives. The Migration Policy Institute explains in detail why that would not happen, beginning with the long road to citizenship and bars to visas for may Dreamer parents.
Meanwhile, more DACA recipients lose their status each day – the latest count is more than 10,000 since September 5. Continue reading
The twins and their parents came here from Colombia in 2001 to escape death threats – now their parents are being deported. The twins can stay for now – because of DACA. Marcy Suarez lost her home in Honduras to a hurricane and came here – she has DACA protection, for now. Bambadjan Bamba has been here since age 10 – with DACA, he’s a highly successful actor. They are all among the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients who could lose the lives they have built in the United States after March 2018. Continue reading
In Atlanta, traffic stops trigger immigration detention. In Boston, an undocumented mom is afraid to let her children go trick-or-treating. On the border, Central American parents seeking asylum are sent to immigration detention and their children are taken away and put in foster care. In Denver, ICE agents ambush people on the courthouse steps. Across America – stories of fear generated by the everybody-is-a-target immigration enforcement of the Trump administration. Continue reading
Recent Minnesota news: work to change county jail practices in Hennepin County, to streamline U-Visa processing, and to help people become citizens.
Two long-form articles paint a big picture of factors driving immigration: Moyers & Company describes long-term U.S. involvement in Central America and how it helped create conditions that drive refugees out of their countries, and The Intercept makes the connection between TPS and climate change. Continue reading
Eric Matute Castro and his son, family photo via Buzzfeed news
Buzzfeed reported on three fathers forcibly separated from their very young children by U.S. immigration authorities as they asked for asylum. Eric Matute Castro crossed the border with his three-year-old son, Royer:
“One of them said ‘If you want violence, you’ll have violence,’” Castro told BuzzFeed News. “I came to this country fleeing violence, if I wanted violence I would’ve stayed there.”
Ultimately, Castro said, one of the immigration agents grabbed him and another grabbed his son, Royer Matute Ramirez. He considered holding on and pulling Royer, but knew that would just end up hurting his son.
“I was sobbing, I’ve never felt anything like that moment when they separated me from my son,” Castro said. “I would’ve done anything they asked to let me stay with my son. If I had a gun and they asked me to shoot myself I would’ve done it.”
Three men and their sons crossed the border together. Castro, who fled Honduras under threat of death, was separated from 3-year-old Royer. Carlos Batres Aguilar was separated from his 12-year-old son. Salvadoran Jose Demar Fuentes was separated from his one-year-old son, Mateo. Immigration authorities told Buzzfeed that Jose Demar Fuentes could not prove his relationship to his son – Fuentes and advocates said he carried his photo ID and his son’s birth certificate.
The Star Tribune summarizes the situation for more than 300,000 people with TPS:
Ten countries are on the list of Temporary Protected Status recipients:
El Salvador: since 2001, with an estimated 200,000 people qualifying
Haiti: since 2010, about 50,000
Honduras: since 2001, 58,000
Nepal: since 2015, between 10,000 and 25,000
Nicaragua: since 1999, 2,600 (slated to end in January 2019)
Somalia: since 1991, 350
South Sudan: since 2011, 20
Sudan: since 1997, 500
Syria: since 2012, 4,500
Yemen: since 2015, 500-plus
Liberia has a similar deportation reprieve called Deferred Enforced Departure. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services does not know how many Liberians have it, but 4,200 were eligible when DED for Liberia started in 2007.