Migratory Notes 19

The Duarte family in California. Their parents were recently placed in immigration detention.

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California Sunday Magazine’s powerful tale of four siblings left behind in Arizona after their single mother was arrested and deported (under the Obama administration) investigates the unintended consequences when immigration enforcement collides with a deficient child welfare system. Lizzie Presser writes movingly on the system’s failures to keep these children safe.
 
Deepa Fernandes, for PRI’s The World, tells the story of four other children who were left alone last month after their parents were deported. The couple were apprehended as part of the Trump administration sweeps of undocumented immigrants without criminal records who have lived for extended periods in the United States.
 
Enforcement
The head of ICE is telling Congress he needs more cash to increase arrests. Acting Director Thomas Homan said the agency is adding thousands of cases to its docket and deputizing local law enforcers for support, reports the Washington Post. “If you’re in this country illegally, and you committed a crime by entering this country, you should be uncomfortable,” Homan said. “You should look over your shoulder.”
 
Last week the 10th immigrant detainee died in ICE custody since Oct. 1, reports Huffington Post. The deaths come as DHS is increasing detention rates and critics say the agency is not providing adequate medical and mental health treatment.
 
The Trump administration has reopened hundreds of immigration cases that received a reprieve from the Obama administration, Reuters reports. At that time the focus was on those with criminal convictions and recent arrivals.
 
Deportation
The Trump administration has been working to get countries that had previously rejected deportees to accept them. Iraq recently agreed and over the last three weeks immigration officers have detained 199 Iraqi immigrants, most of them in Detroit, reports Reuters. CBS Detroit said that dozens of those arrested were Chaldeans, Iraqi Christians who fear persecution in Iraq, swept up after church on a Sunday morning.
 
A common deportation saga is emerging where undocumented immigrants who have spent thousands on immigration legal and administrative fees are apprehended and deported. El Diario follows one Ecuadorian grandmother in New York.
 
International adoptees are eligible for citizenship, but when their adopted parents fail to complete paperwork or there are clerical errors, adoptees can find themselves in limbo. Worst case, they can be deported if they have legal troubles, reports VICE. A Detroit man from South Korea was deported 37 years after he was adopted as a 3-year-old.
 
Consequences
In schools across the country, white bullies are using Trump’s words to taunt their ethnic classmates, and administrators are at a loss about what to do. Buzzfeed News reviewed 50 cases: In San Antonio, a student told a Filipino peer “you are going to be deported.” And in Louisville, Kentucky, a student followed a Latina peer around yelling, “Build the wall.” 
 
Labor
A tourism-dependent Michigan island is facing a tough summer after it failed to secure much-needed worker visas for jobs such as making beds and serving food, The New York Times reports. It isn’t the only place struggling to find workers after Congress effectively cut the number of summer visas in half by opting not to renew a provision that “allowed previous H-2B visa holders to return without being counted against the total number the quota.”
 
Farmers nationwide also continue to have trouble hiring and keeping workers. In New York’s Hudson Valley as much as half of the workforce is undocumented, writes The Atlantic. The shortage is impacting farmers’ decisions about what they will plant and be able to harvest.
 
Travel Ban
The Trump administration intends to take the travel ban case to the Supreme Court after a federal appeals court refused to reinstate the revised ban that bars new visas for people from six majority Muslim countries, reports the Los Angeles Times. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals was unanimous in its decision.
 
CNN explains that the court did limit the lower ruling regarding the inter-agency review of foreign countries’ vetting procedures. The administration continues to fight this battle on several fronts after other courts have ruled the ban violated protections against religious discrimination.
 
The fight at the higher court is gaining steam. The California Attorney General, joined by 15 other attorneys general, filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court opposing the travel ban, writing that the ban is overwhelmingly anti-Muslim, lacks national security rationale and would cause significant harm to states, according to the California Dept. of Justice.
 
Who’s in Charge?
Hardliner Kris Kobach is considered the man behind Trump’s voter-fraud obsession. In the past, he’s also been behind several plans to restrict voting and immigration laws. Kobach “once agreed with a caller to his radio show that a rise in Latino immigration could lead to the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of whites and has written scores of laws across the country to crack down on undocumented immigration,” reports the New York Times.
 
Catholic Bishops pledged to fight Trump’s immigration policies by creating a vision for comprehensive immigration reform, reports American Magazine, a Jesuit publication. One bishop said in a report to his peers that the church now seeks “to move beyond simple reaction to the various negative proposals we have seen lately.”
 
DACA
Although immigration authorities have arrested several DACA recipients, and despite Trump’s pre-election pledges to stop the program, the program for undocumented youth continues to grow. According to new data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in early 2017 more than 10,000 people applied for DACA, and 120,000 sought renewal. The Washington Post reports that Trump supporters see the continuation of the program as a violation of his campaign promise.
 
Follow up: Courthouse arrests, investor visas
The Trump administration renewed the so-called investor visa, reports The Nation. The EB-5 program allows about 10,000 foreign investors to buy their way to the front of the green card line if they promise to invest at least half a million dollars into a U.S. development project.
 
Denver is the latest place to get a letter from immigration enforcement doubling down on its privilege to make immigration-related arrests in courthouses, reports the Denver Post.

In Hindsight
A new study found that white voters’ views on immigration and Muslims drove them to cast their ballots for Trump. Politico reports that the main takeaway is that while most voters stayed loyal to their party white voters that switched from Obama to Trump did so because of their view on “immigration, blacks and Muslims — and, to a lesser extent, by their views on the economy and their own financial circumstances.”

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