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IMMIGRATION POLICIES, ANALYSIS, AND RESOURCES

The Immigration Domain tracks and reports on policies that deal with illegal and legal immigration, refugee resettlement and sanctuary cities. This domain tracks policies emanating from the White House, the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the US Border Patrol, and state and city government policies that respond to federal policies.

Latest Immigration Posts

 

President-Elect Joe Biden’s Immigration Plans

President-Elect Joe Biden’s Immigration Plans

President-Elect Joe Biden’s Immigration Plans

November 22, 2020

Policy Overview
President Elect, Joe Biden has hefty goals for immigration reform and policies. After election, he seeks to undo much of the Trump Administration’s initiatives and policies he found to be detrimental to our core values. On his first day in office, Biden pledges to make DACA permanent and provide a road map to citizenship for people illegally living in the US within his first 100 days. Biden plans to end construction on Trump’s border wall immediately, raise the cap of refugees admitted to 125,000 in 2021, eliminate the practice of separating families at the border, and end the current travel bans on certain Muslim-majority countries.

Biden proposes a high-tech approach to the US border rather than a physical barrier. He wants to enlist the cooperation of a network of organizations, non-governmental organizations, legal non-profits, and refugee assistance agencies to assess the humanitarian needs of migrants. He seeks to expand existing opportunities for immigrants who served in the US Armed Forces, immigrants already residing in the US, and for expanded legal immigration through family-, work-, and humanitarian-based visas. Through these efforts, Biden aims to modernize the American immigration system and uphold its status as a global beacon of freedom and asylum.

Engagement Resources

  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • Border Network for Human Rights: network to engage education, organization and participation of border communities to defend human rights and work towards a society where everyone is equal in rights and dignity.
  • World Health Organization: the WHO provides updated information surrounding COVID-19 and global responses
  • Center for Disease Control: the CDC provides updated information surrounding COVID-19 and the US responses
Court Rules Against Trump’s Unlawful Shutdown of DACA

Court Rules Against Trump’s Unlawful Shutdown of DACA

November 22, 2020

Policy Summary

In June 2020, the Supreme Court barred the Trump Administration from carrying out a plan to shut down DACA (see brief #95). The Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) allowed nearly 800,000 young people – “Dreamers” – to avoid deportation and remain in the United States to work and study.

In July, the Department of Homeland Security – under Acting Secretary, Chad Wolf – issued a memorandum that effectively suspended the DACA program. The memorandum violated the Administrative Procedure Act and was capricious in nature. Last week, a Federal Judge in New York upheld this decision and declared the memorandum unlawful as Wolf was not lawfully serving as Acting Secretary. He was installed as a part of a series of several hasty actions to get people to the top of the Department through circumventing standard procedures. Therefore, he not only lacked the authority to hold his temporary position, but his actions were also void.

Analysis
This decision serves as an undeniable reminder that the Trump Administration is not exempt from the Rule of Law and cannot bypass official procedures. The efforts to reverse the DACA program were amongst its greatest pledges and the Supreme Court judgment firmly asserts the American Dream and core values are more important than acquiescing to a fanatical administration. President Elect Joe Biden has vowed to reinstate the original Obama era program when he assumes office.

Engagement Resources

  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • Border Network for Human Rights: network to engage education, organization and participation of border communities to defend human rights and work towards a society where everyone is equal in rights and dignity.
  • World Health Organization: the WHO provides updated information surrounding COVID-19 and global responses
  • Center for Disease Control: the CDC provides updated information surrounding COVID-19 and the US responses
An Update on the Status of the 666 Immigrant Children Separate from Their Parents

An Update on the Status of the 666 Immigrant Children Separate from Their Parents

By  Linda F. Hersey

November 16, 2020

USRESIST NEWS has made an effort to track down the whereabouts of the 666 immigrant children separated from their parents but no one is really sure. To the best of our knowledge some are in ICE detention centers, some are in foster homes, some with relatives but sadly it is difficult to really know even the names of the children and where they are.

A federal  court-ordered search for deported families separated from their children at the U.S. border is severely hampered by the Trump administration’s refusal to fund location efforts and a failure to collect the most basic information on the families, such as a phone number.

The ACLU and other civil rights groups, meanwhile, complain that the federal government is continuing to separate families at the border and sending children to detention centers that operate with little outside oversight and under harsh conditions.

“A recent spike in apprehensions of migrant children crossing the U.S. southern border without a parent or guardian threatened to overwhelm the systems set up to care for them, and reinvigorated debate over the detention of minors,” the Council on Foreign Relations reported in a formal statement issued in October 2020. “Critics, including many in Congress, say the administration’s response is exacerbating a humanitarian crisis in Central America, breaking U.S. law, and violating international human rights norms,” the council concluded.

The Council on Foreign Relations reports that six children have died in the custody of immigration authorities since 2018. There is scant information on the conditions of their detainment or circumstances that led to their deaths.

The incoming Biden administration has pledged to establish a task force whose mission is to overturn many of Trump’s anti-immigration policies and reunite the families, though there has been no promise of asylum.

No budget under Trump to find deported parents

The Biden administration will have a large task in tracking down the parents of the 666 children orphaned under the so-called “zero tolerance” policy created by the Trump administration. The policy was implemented in July 2017 and stopped by court order in June 2018. According to the federal government, the children are with sponsors who are extended family members or caretakers assigned by the courts.

The Trump administration has not allocated a budget to cover finding and reuniting the families, with most of the location work done by volunteers, including attorneys, child advocates and religion-based organizations.

The Trump administration did little to document the background of the children forcibly removed from their parents – with some infants and toddlers taken from the arms of their mothers and fathers.  The ACLU has argued the government has been unable to provide any documentation that would enable advocates to “allow meaningful searches” to identify and find the parents.

The government does not have phone numbers or know the location of the children’s homes. Families separated from their children often are concerned about reprisal, and have not come forward. When contacted some parents have elected to leave children with relatives and sponsors in the U.S. where they are safer.

Many of the children are young. More than 125 children were under the age of five, when they were taken from their families in 2018.

Some children were placed hundreds and thousands of miles away, in so-called detention centers, such as the Homestead Temporary Center for Unaccompanied Children, in Florida, which was run by a for-profit company, Caliburn International.

For-Profit Centers Detain Children

The displaced children are at the center of a class-action lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union against the federal government that names as defendants ICE, the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement and U.S. Immigration and Customs. The ACLU is seeking damages for the defendants, including coverage of mental health treatment because of the trauma the children and parents suffered from forced separations. The goal of the ACLU also is to end new separations and reunite the youngsters with their families, in the United States.

Overall, the majority of immigrant children in federal custody are 15 years or older. These children arrived in the U.S. without an adult sponsor or were separated from their families at the U.S. border.

The Trump administration is accused of directing children into for-profit centers like the one in Homestead, rather than placing them with sponsors or nonprofit agencies that provide foster care. There is a large network of migrant detention centers in the U.S., with little outside oversight and anecdotal reports by parents and children of unsafe and harsh conditions.

Comprehensive Health Services, a subsidiary of Caliburn, had a $30 million contract to run the Homestead shelter at a cost of $1 million per day. The property sits next to a Superfund site that stores toxic waste, including arsenic and lead. A report by the Miami Herald revealed that the children’s detention center was never tested to ensure that chemicals were not leaching into their environment.

The federal government emptied the center in 2019 after press reports and photos drew wide-scale criticism and questions about the safety and welfare of the youngsters housed there. Officials claimed that the children were released to sponsors but there has been no real outside verification or accounting of all the children who were taken from parents, detained and then released.

Negative publicity had included one report about a young girl who ran away from the facility and was discovered hiding and weeping inside a filling station.  The center, often referred to as a children’s prison, became a disturbing symbol of the practices of the Trump administration of separating children from their parents immigrating from Central America.

Before the facility was shut down, it was estimated to be holding about a quarter of the immigrant children in federal custody, after they arrived in the U.S. alone or had been separated from their parents at the border. After a congressional delegation toured the facility in 2019, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland told reporters, “The Trump Administration’s actions at the southern border are grotesque and dehumanizing.”

Resistance Resources

American Civil Liberties Union has a mission to “realize the promise of the U.S. Constitution for all and expand the reach of its guarantees,

www.Aclu.org

Women’s Refugee Commission works to hold the U.S. government accountable and to ensure refugee children and families are treated humanely and fairly.

www.Eecommission.org

Council on Foreign Relations is an independent nonpartisan think tank that helps people and organizations better understand foreign policy choices facing the U.S.

www.cfr.org

Trump Adviser’s Ties to Anti-Immigration Policies and Hate Groups Scrutinized

Trump Adviser’s Ties to Anti-Immigration Policies and Hate Groups Scrutinized

Brief # 106 Immigration

Trump Adviser’s Ties to Anti-Immigration Policies and  Hate Groups Scrutinized

By Linda F. Hersey

October 29, 2020

SUMMARY

The Administration’s abject failure to secure identifying information on hundreds of migrant parents separated from their children at the U.S. border in 2018 raises new questions about the role of Stephen Miller, Trump’s senior adviser and chief architect of the plan, as well as Miller’s documented connections to organizations designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In a 2018 interview with The New York Times, Miller described as a “simple decision” the practice implemented by the Administration to separate parents from their children by deporting the adults and forcing the families to leave their youngsters behind, often in detention and facing an uncertain future.

That practice is under intense scrutiny again, as lawyers and advocates report that they cannot locate parents of 545 of those youngsters, whose lives are in limbo in the United States, including some who were infants when their parents were deported.

A primary reason for the challenges in finding the parents may be fear of reprisal by the U.S.

Published news reports in 2019 revealed that Miller sought to use the orphaned children to further target undocumented adults in the U.S. He advocated a plan to embed border agents in refugee agencies working to unite the youngsters with extended family members living in the U.S. after the parents were forced to leave and return to their home countries in Central America, according to the Washington Post.

The Department of Health and Human Services rejected efforts to embed the border agents at agencies whose mission and goal is to reunify the children with relatives already in the U.S., no matter their immigration status.

“Congress has made clear that it does not want those who come forward as potential sponsors of minors in U.S. custody to be frightened away by possible deportation,” the Washington Post reported in 2019 when the secret plan was revealed. “But, in the reasoning of senior Trump administration officials [including Miller], adults denied custody of children lose their status as ‘potential sponsors’ and are fair game for arrest,” the newspaper reported. Under the plan, ICE would have collected fingerprints, DNA and other information from people seeking to claim migrant children in government custody as relatives. If the claim was not supported, ICE could use the information as intelligence to potentially arrest and deport the individual.

The Southern Poverty Law Center in October 2020 is raising questions again about Miller’s role in the most controversial anti-immigration policies by the Trump Administration as well as his connections to identified hate groups, including the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).  Miller was a keynote speaker in 2015 at a CIS convention. Miller has expressed support for the ideology and writings of John Tanton, the founder of FAIR.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “FAIR leaders have ties to white supremacist groups and eugenicists and have made many racist statements.”  The group wants to “limit the number of nonwhites who enter” the United States, the law center reports.

Miller – in 900 emails sent to Bretibart News and later published by the New York Times – espoused his support for leaders of CIS and FAIR, and for other identified white nationalists and Far Right groups.  Numerous other media outlets also dug into the emails and published similar stories, including Newsweek and Sludge, a political news website.

“Leaked emails from White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller from 2015-2016 reveal an obsession with white nationalism, the Confederacy and the denigration of black and Hispanic communities,” Newsweek reported in December 2019.

Civil rights groups have stepped into the fray to advocate for immigrants experiencing threats of deportation and other legal barriers in the immigration system. Those groups include the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, based in San Francisco.

The group described immigration policies under the Trump Administration as “increasingly punitive.”

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights strives to “address the unmet legal needs of immigrants and, in doing so, to combat the civil rights issues plaguing the current immigration enforcement system,” according to its website.

ANALYSIS

Dozens of leading civil rights groups – a total of 59 — signed a letter demanding that Trump end Miller’s advisory role, according to The Daily Beast.

But that did not happen. Miller, a key Administration adviser, has had a pivotal role in shaping the harshest of anti-immigration policies under Trump, which span the deportation of parents without their children, a Supreme Court-challenged effort to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and another court-challenged policy to stop visas for individuals from Muslim-majority countries.

“Donald Trump and Stephen Miller have a  view on immigration that is very different from [what] Republicans have traditionally believed,” said Alex Conant, former spokesman for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, in an article published by The Guardian newspaper in  2017. Rubio, a Republican, came under attack by Miller, which was revealed in emails, when the Cuban-American senator explored a presidential bid in 2015.

Now Miller is back in the news as lawyers and human rights groups continue efforts to locate the families of 545 children displaced under the “zero tolerance” policy initiated and championed by Miller.

Resistance Resources

The Southern Poverty Law Center: Southern Poverty Law Center’s mission is to fight racial injustice and to oppose white supremacy, while advancing the rights of all people.

https://www.splcenter.org/

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights: The coalition includes 200 national organizations that work to support civil and human rights.

https://civilrights.org/heres-10-things-you-can-do-to-stop-white-supremacy/

Crime and Justice Institute: “A Framework for Public Safety” Report details how to protect U.S. communities during and after the 2020 presidential election.

https://www.cjinstitute.org/publication/elections/

The United Nations offers suggestions for overcoming racism and defending human rights in your community.

https://www.un.org/en/letsfightracism/

Children Remain Separated from their Families, as Election Nears

Children Remain Separated from their Families, as Election Nears

Brief #105 – Immigration

By Kathryn Baron

Children Remain Separated from their Families, as Election Nears

October 28, 2020

Policy Summary

In June 2018, a Federal Judge in San Diego delivered an order that children in government custody were to be reunited with their families. Volunteers, human rights defenders, and attorneys have worked tirelessly to locate and reunite families, but 545 children remain separated still. These children were separated from their families between July 2017 and June 2018. It is estimated that two-thirds of the parents of these remaining 545 were deported and sent back to their home countries without their children.

Analysis

Efforts to locate still-separated family members has been hindered by recent COVID-19 lockdowns and social-distancing measures both in the US and abroad. Volunteers have gone door to door in Guatemala and Honduras – where many of these parents are believed to be – as US government tracking systems had proven to be subpar. The US government failed to maintain accurate, reliable, and comprehensive data surrounding children separated from their parents at the US Southern Border under the Trump Administration’s Zero Tolerance Policy. In addition to this shortcoming, there are local roadblocks in Guatemala and Honduras that volunteers have faced: remote villages and limited access to technology, gang-controlled regions, and most recently, COVID-19.

Engagement Resources

  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • Border Network for Human Rights: network to engage education, organization and participation of border communities to defend human rights and work towards a society where everyone is equal in rights and dignity.
  • The ACLU: a non-profit with a longstanding commitment to preserving and protecting the individual rights and liberties the Constitution and US laws guarantee all its citizens. You can also donate monthly to counter Trump’s attacks on people’s rights. Recently, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit challenging the separation of families at the border.
  • Centers for Disease Control: the CDC provides updated information surrounding COVID-19 and the US responses
Trump Adviser’s Ties to Anti-Immigration Policies and Hate Groups Scrutinized

Nearly Half a Million Immigrants Face Deportation – The End of Temporary Protected Status

Policy Summary

In Los Angeles a Federal Appeals Court ruled the Trump Administration acted lawfully in terminating the Temporary Protected Status of hundreds of thousands of immigrants. These protections have allowed immigrants to live and work in the US after fleeing conflict and/or natural disasters in their home countries. The recent 2-1 ruling strips the legal immigration status from at least 400,000 individuals of Salvadorian origin, thus rendering them deportable if they do not leave voluntarily. Other countries that fall under TPS include Syria, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Nicaragua, Nepal, Honduras, Haiti, and Yemen.

Analysis
Beneficiaries of the program have about 200,000 US born children, so families could again be separated. More than 100,000 of the protected individuals work in essential fields: healthcare (at least 11,000), food-related (at least 76,000). The deportation of these migrants could negatively impact several aspects of the US economy and health system. However, if President Trump is not re-elected, the new administration may choose to uphold and continue the program.

Engagement Resources

  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • Border Network for Human Rights: network to engage education, organization and participation of border communities to defend human rights and work towards a society where everyone is equal in rights and dignity.
  • The ACLU: a non-profit with a longstanding commitment to preserving and protecting the individual rights and liberties the Constitution and US laws guarantee all its citizens. You can also donate monthly to counter Trump’s attacks on people’s rights. Recently, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit challenging the separation of families at the border.
  • Center for Disease Control: the CDC provides updated information surrounding COVID-19 and the US responses
Wolf and Cuccinelli Unlawfully Occupy their Senior Roles at DHS

Wolf and Cuccinelli Unlawfully Occupy their Senior Roles at DHS

August 24, 2020

Policy Summary

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), an independent investigative branch of Congress, has recently declared Ken Cuccinelli and Chad Wolf to be  ineligible to serve in their current positions. The Department of Homeland Security has not had a properly appointed leader since the resignation of Kjiersten Nielsen in April 2019. Under the Vacancies Reform Act, Wolf and Cuccinelli – the Acting Secretary of DHS and Acting Deputy, respectively, are unlawfully serving due to an “invalid order of succession.” The Vacancies Reform Act requires that temporary government appointments must be confirmed by the Senate. Legally, according to the GAO, the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency should have succeeded Nielsen. Instead, Kevin McAleenan – at the time, head of US Customs and Border Protection – was appointed by President Trump. Once appointed, he altered the order of succession so Wolf and Cuccinelli would have a path to their current roles.

The GAO is referring the matter to DHS Inspector General for review and if further actions need to be taken, the issue will be passed on to Congress. Department of Homeland Security was quick to defend with a statement disagreeing with the GAO announcementThey states that President Trump has made clear he prefers when senior officials serve in an acting capacity because it “gives [him] great, great flexibility.” None of the three major immigration agencies (CBP, ICE, or USCIS) have a Senate-confirmed leader.

Analysis

Trump’s affinity to appointing senior officials in an acting capacity exemplifies his blatant disregard for procedural dignity and heightens the culture of nepotism in the Trump Administration. Since the majority of Trump’s original fanbase has proven they are largely supportive of his anti-immigration efforts, regardless of the morality or procedures, it is unlikely the matter will be swiftly and justly prosecuted without a thorough investigation by the DHS Inspector General and pressure from Congress.

Engagement Resources

  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • Border Network for Human Rights: network to engage education, organization and participation of border communities to defend human rights and work towards a society where everyone is equal in rights and dignity.
  • The ACLU: a non-profit with a longstanding commitment to preserving and protecting the individual rights and liberties the Constitution and US laws guarantee all its citizens. You can also donate monthly to counter Trump’s attacks on people’s rights. Recently, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit challenging the separation of families at the border.
  • Center for Disease Control: the CDC provides updated information surrounding COVID-19 and the US responses.
A Summary and Review of Netflix’s Immigration Nation

A Summary and Review of Netflix’s Immigration Nation

By Kathryn Baron

Summary

In 2017, co-directors Christina Clusiau and Shaul Schwartz began filming a six-part Netflix docuseries called Immigration Nation. The Trump Administration reportedly tried to block the use of some footage in the film as it takes on a very direct and overt portrait of the US immigration system. Time described it as “empathetic storytelling and bold investigative journalism.” Throughout the docuseries, there is an overwhelming presence of cognitive dissonance in which immigration officials perpetually carry a “just following orders” and “it’s not up to me” attitude. By presenting case studies of individuals, families, and asylum seekers, Clusiau and Schwartz envelope the heavy day to day of the US immigration system while ensuring the viewers are exposed to the cruelties and dissociation that also occurs daily. Some of the individuals in the docuseries are a father separated from his 3-year old son – and wants to know “where are the good Americans?” – migrants freezing to death in the desert on their journey, a grandmother and granddaughter who fled after MS-13 attempted to force the 12-year old granddaughter into marriage, and a Ugandan woman whose husband sent men to pour acid on her after they separated.

The docuseries opened with a case for a man to be deported and upon arrest, no warrant was presented to the family, but instead, his wife was told to just believe they had a warrant when asked but were not required to show her. While in the holding cell, officers were very condescending and took a cell-phone video in mockery of him. Throughout the docuseries, there were a plethora of micro-aggressions and jokes made among officers at immigrants’ expense. Signs on the walls read “never turn your back on a prisoner!!!!!!!!!!” In another case of “precision policing” – the specific way in which many ICE officers said they target and arrest individuals – there were many people inside of the man in question’s apartment who all were taken in as “collateral.” During the Trump Administration, privatized ICE detention centers flourished and nearly all personability was lost. One deportation officer recounted nonchalantly a story of him buying coffee and a donut from a young man who kept questioning if the officer remembered him. The officer had no idea who he was until the young man told him the officer had deported his mother just the week prior. The officer laughed this off during his storytelling and explained that he upholds an “onto the next” attitude in his work.

Lastly, Immigration Nation covered the deportation of veterans – made possible during the Clinton Administration – and “wage theft” – in which many employers refuse to pay undocumented immigrants for their work. Through these cases, Clusiau and Schwartz show how  persistent and systematic rejection wore down many immigrants and broke their spirits causing them to lose hope in the “American Dream.”

It was made abundantly clear that for some law enforcement, their job was viewed as a “manhunt” and this quality is what contributed to the thrill and satisfaction they sought when entering law enforcement. Particularly officers of the ICE Fugitive Operations branch – the deportation officers locating, arresting, and removing fugitive migrants – and Homeland Security Investigation – which pursues organized criminal activity like human, arms, and drug smuggling. When ICE was established in 2003, there were 8 units. Now, there are 129 and the Trump Administration has successfully weaponized the immigration system and more than doubled the number of arrests. When asked if it is humane, Thomas Homan – former Acting Director of ICE – replied with “I think it is the law” while averting eye contact and fidgeting for a response.  The docuseries focuses in large part on the Trump Administration but ensures the audience that Trump has exacerbated an existing issue. The acceleration the Trump Administration needed to carry out mass arrests and deportations were built upon the momentum set forth during the Bush Administration in the post-9/11 era that weaponized and instilled fear in the American public re foreigners. The system is discouraging by design as a conscious strategy of prevention-through-deterrence is employed in a dismissive and detached manner. Regardless of growing global opposition, the Trump Administration does not recoil and instead creates physical and legal barriers.

Resistance  Resources

  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • Border Network for Human Rights: network to engage education, organization and participation of border communities to defend human rights and work towards a society where everyone is equal in rights and dignity.
  • The ACLU: a non-profit with a longstanding commitment to preserving and protecting the individual rights and liberties the Constitution and US laws guarantee all its citizens. You can also donate monthly to counter Trump’s attacks on people’s rights. Recently, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit challenging the separation of families at the border.
  • Center for Disease Control: the CDC provides updated information surrounding COVID-19 and the US responses
Trump Signs Memorandum to Exclude Immigrants from US Census

Trump Signs Memorandum to Exclude Immigrants from US Census

Policy Summary

On July 21, President Trump signed a Memorandum that would exclude undocumented immigrants from the US Census. Congressional districts are set to be redrawn in 2021, so this effectively bars undocumented immigrants from being included in this count. Persuading immigrant communities to partake in the US Census has been a battle and many civil rights groups expressed that  only recently were they able to communicate the benefits of the US Census to immigrants many of whom are suspicious about filling out the Census form.

President Trump attempted in 2019 to include a question on the US Census where individuals were to disclose if they were in the US legally (legal immigration or citizen) or illegally. This was shut down, but the Trump Administration has been relentless in its anti-immigration endeavors.  Trump will have reduced legal immigration by 49% next year if current policies continue. The ACLU and CASA have already made statements about their plans to take Trump’s order to court and challenge the Memorandum as unconstitutional. According to the US Constitution, Congressional Representation is to be determined based on “the whole number of free persons” not only those who are American citizens. While, this basis is outdated and overtly still a slavery-era provision, it explicitly dictates immigrants’ rights to be included in the Congressional redrawing of districts to occur in 2021.

Analysis

Weaponizing the US Census will harm employers and the national economy as well as immigrant communities. The US labor force and our economic growth is intrinsically tied to migrant workers ability to live and work in the US. If the anti-immigration policies continue, the average annual labor force growth is on track to lower by 59%. During a global pandemic that has undoubtedly rocked the US medical system, economy, and academic institutions, this decline would only further US economic depression and unemployment.

Engagement Resources

  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • Border Network for Human Rights: network to engage education, organization and participation of border communities to defend human rights and work towards a society where everyone is equal in rights and dignity.
  • The ACLU: a non-profit with a longstanding commitment to preserving and protecting the individual rights and liberties the Constitution and US laws guarantee all its citizens. You can also donate monthly to counter Trump’s attacks on people’s rights. Recently, the ACLU has filed a lawsuit challenging the separation of families at the border.
  • Center for Disease Control: the CDC provides updated information surrounding COVID-19 and the US responses
Trump Adviser’s Ties to Anti-Immigration Policies and Hate Groups Scrutinized

ICE Rescinds Order to Deport International Students – an Update to Brief #98

July 17, 2020

Policy Summary

The July 6 Directive from the Trump Administration covered in Brief 98 faced immediate backlash and swift legal action by institutions of higher learning, municipalities, and tech companies. Within two days, Harvard and MIT sued the government in Federal Court to have the Directive reversed and declared unlawful, touting it “arbitrary and capricious.” Many colleges and universities expressed their support for the legal challenge and hoped for a similar outcome. Several schools had begun to adapt their fall semester plans with the original Directive in mind in a fashion that would retain their international students, such as hybrid instruction as well as offering one-on-one sessions for international students. Last week, the Administration agreed to rescind their original directive and implementation and changed the ICE rule.

Analysis

As expressed in Brief 98, international students not only enrich the American higher learning system, but also play a large financial role in funding the institutions. As a result of the original Directive, professors and educators across a wide array of institutions began planning their learning around the Directive in a way that would ensure their international students would still be able to receive instruction in the US. These institutions had not only a financial prerogative to enlist hybrid learning styles, but a moral one as well. The reversal of the Directive further proves the important role education plays in the American Dream as well as the power of academic institutions to keep that dream alive.

Engagement Resources

  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • Border Network for Human Rights: network to engage education, organization and participation of border communities to defend human rights and work towards a society where everyone is equal in rights and dignity.
  • World Health Organization: the WHO provides updated information surrounding COVID-19 and global responses
  • Center for Disease Control: the CDC provides updated information surrounding COVID-19 and the US responses
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