Migratory Notes 72

Asylum system overhaul, the other family separation, cost of smuggling

USCIS plans to swear in 14,000 new citizens in nearly 175 ceremonies between June 28 and July 10. This ceremony with U.S. servicemen and families was on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Willam Coleman)

Happy Independence Day! In honor of the 4th, we are publishing an early newsletter, and just highlighting a few stories from the week. We will be back next week with the full newsletter.

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A sweeping overhaul of asylum under consideration by the Department of Justice would make anyone prosecuted with illegal entry ineligible for asylum, reports Dara Lind for Vox. And it would codify AG Jeff Sessions’ efforts to restrict asylum access for victims of domestic and gang violence.

A copy of the draft legislation obtained by Vox reveals changes that would lock some of the most vulnerable asylum seekers out of protection in the U.S, in particular from Central America. “In effect, under this new regulation, combined with the zero-tolerance prosecution initiative, no one would be able to come to the US and get asylum unless they presented themselves at a port of entry,” writes Lind. “Many asylum-seekers simply don’t have that option.”

Family Separation
Two siblings are left to fend for themselves amidst a rotating cast of relatives after their mother’s deportation in a workplace raid. Their father was deported years ago. The experience is an example of the other type of family separation, this one happening inside the country, as the Trump administration ramps up workplace raids and enforcement, reports The Washington Post.

The ACLU has has taken on 170 “Trump-related legal actions,” reports The New York Times in an in-depth profile of the organization and its leadership. One of those has been the case against family separation.

Some detained immigrants prosecuted under zero tolerance have been able to establish basic communication with their children. But detention centers full of separated migrant parents remain a hive of anxiety, as parents receive little or no information about when or how they may be reunited with their children, reports The Marshall Project.

The Rising Price Tag to be Smuggled
What is the cost of migration? A decade ago it was $1,000 to $3,000 to be transported across the border from Central America. Today it’s often more than $10,000. The New York Times reports on the granular details of what $12,000 can buy you on the journey north: the drivers who conceal migrants in trailers and buses, the safe houses, and the bribes that pass into the hands of Mexican police officers.

‘Great Immigrants, Great Americans’
Every 4th of July since 2006, the Carnegie Corporation releases a list of 38 immigrants — now naturalized citizens — who deserve tribute. This year, the honorees include musician Regina Spektor; actor Kumail Nanjiani; and Art Acevedo, Houston’s chief of police.

The Paul & Daisy Soros Foundation announced the recipients of its 30 scholarships for immigrants and their children who are pursuing graduate school in the United States.

Jobs, Fellowships & Awards

Immigration Resources & Opportunities

Recently released immigration books (got one, send it over)

Podcasts & Immigration News


Reporting resources, tools and tips

That’s all for Migratory Notes 72. If there’s a story you think we should consider, please send us an email.

*Daniela Gerson is an assistant professor at California State University, Northridge with a focus on community, ethnic, and participatory media. She is also a senior fellow at the Democracy Fund. Before that she was a community engagement editor at the LA Times; founding editor of a trilingual hyperlocal publication, Alhambra Source; staff immigration reporter for the New York Sun; and a contributor to outlets including WNYC: New York Public Radio, The World, Der Spiegel, Financial Times, CNN, and The New York Times. She recently wrote How can collaborations between ethnic and mainstream outlets serve communities in the digital age? for American Press Institute. You can find her on Twitter @dhgerson

*Elizabeth Aguilera is a multimedia reporter for CALmatters covering health and social services, including immigration. Previously she reported on community health, for Southern California Public Radio. She’s also reported on immigration for the San Diego Union-Tribune, where she won a Best of the West award for her work on sex trafficking between the U.S. and Mexico; and before that she covered a variety of beats and issues for the Denver Post including urban affairs and immigration. Her latest story is What ice cream flavors can teach us about the changing California Dream. You can find her on Twitter @1eaguilera

*Yana Kunichoff is an independent journalist and documentary producer who covers immigration, policing, education and social movements. She was project manager for Migrahack 2016 in Chicago. She has also producedfeature-length documentaries and a pop-culture web series for Scrappers Film Group; worked as a fellow with City Bureau, where she won a March 2016 Sidney Hillman award for an investigation into fatal police shootings; and covered race and poverty issues for the Chicago Reporter. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Atlantic, Pacific Standard and Chicago magazine among others. You can find her on Twitter @yanazure