Migratory Notes 84
Tent city for children, zero tolerance indifference, a future without TPS
The New York Times Book Review published a round-up of new children’s books about immigrant experiences. Camille Andros and Julie Morstad’s The Dress and the Girl tells a young Greek immigrant’s story. Credit: Abrams Books
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After Trump canceled Temporary Protective Status for El Salvadorans, thousands of longtime residents were forced to consider relocating. The parents of a 14-year-old girl decided she would stay in the U.S. if they needed to leave — so the teen began learning how she might live her life alone in the country. “Maria explained that if she and Jose were ordered out of the country, they would leave Emily here, in the care of an American family for whom Maria used to nanny,” writes Jennifer Miller in the Washington Post. But that isn’t enough for the young girl’s mother. “Maria could arrange for a warm and loving family to embrace her daughter, but she could not protect her from a culture that felt increasingly hostile.”
Federal inspectors found nooses made from bedsheets hanging in the majority of cells in an ICE processing center with a high rate of detainee suicide attempts, reports the Los Angeles Times.
“When we asked two contract guards who oversaw the housing units why they did not remove the bed sheets, they echoed it was not a high priority,” officials with the Department of Homeland Security inspector general’s office wrote in a scathing report of health risks found at the Adelanto ICE processing center in Southern California.
When a county stops holding ICE detainees, where do they go? Often to remote places very far away. WNYC and Documented investigate the challenges raised by Hudson County’s decision to no longer hold ICE detainees at its county jail in New Jersey. “Community activists celebrated Hudson County’s decision, but immigration legal defense groups said that the move could incentivize ICE to quickly move all detainees from the jail and relocate them farther away, stunting their legal cases and preventing their loved ones from visiting,” Felipe De La Hoz writes.
Private prisons had their birth in the tough-on-crime 1980s; now they house the vast majority of undocumented immigrants detained in America, reports The New York Times ‘Retro Report’ video series.
Hundreds of migrant children were moved from shelters across the country to a tent city in the West Texas desert in the middle of the night, part of the federal government’s efforts to house a growing number of unaccompanied minors, reports The New York Times. As the population of migrant children detained has grown the average length of time they spend in detention has also doubled. Children described the tent city as ‘punishment,’ and advocates worry that the conditions don’t meet child welfare standard, reports HuffPost.
The New York Times also came out against the practice in an editorial, decrying the thousands of children ‘rotting’ in the desert and “the shame of this country’s treatment of vulnerable brown-skinned children, many of whom will spend a lifetime recovering from our failures.”
Zero Tolerance and Family Separation
An unpublished DHS report obtained by The Washington Post reveals that Trump’s zero tolerance policy was beset with problems from the start, including poor communication, lax planning and a lack of concern from the administration. Among the report’s findings:
- More than 800 migrant children were detained in Border Patrol cells for longer than the 72 hours legally allowed, some for up to 25 days.
- Limiting how many people could seek asylum at the border likely pushed desperate migrants to cross illegally.
- DHS lied about keeping a database that tracked separated families.
Mothers stuck in limbo inside detention centers with their children struggle with a mix of despair, bewilderment and hope, according to letters obtained by CNN.
In a radio and story collaboration, The Texas Tribune and Reveal challenge the claim that families were separated because they crossed the border illegally, reporting that dozens of families were divided even though they didn’t cross the border but instead asked for asylum at ports of entry.
DHS continues to maintain it didn’t separate children who were nursing from their mothers, but multiple claims have emerged that show otherwise, reports The Center for Public Integrity.
Asylum & Refugees
More than 13,000 people granted asylum status by the government are now at risk of having it taken away, reports NPR. Federal authorities are targeting immigrants, primarily from China, who received their status through asylum mills the government charged with fraud in 2012.
An Iranian refugee died of a heart attack while waiting to be allowed to settle in the U.S, reports The Los Angeles Times. Before Trump, he would have been a priority for admittance because of his need for life-saving surgery available in the U.S. Instead, caught in the travel ban and the slowdown of refugee admittance, he died 15 months after receiving approval to come to America without ever stepping foot inside the country.
Arrests at marriage interviews are becoming increasingly common in South Florida, reports The Miami Herald.
The case of one man illegally deported by ICE and then illegally detained upon his return to the U.S. after winning his case illustrates the way ICE is going increasingly rogue, reports The Intercept. ICE has been “emboldened by the political moment to exert authority even where it has none, and to defy the rule of law even when it claims to be enforcing it,” writes Alice Speri.
The Trump administration reportedly considered banning Chinese nationals from getting student visas over a fear that they were spying in one of Stephen Miller’s several aggressive immigration policy proposals, reports the Financial Times.
Local efforts against ICE have been victorious in at least a dozen communities around the country, from efforts to convince local police to stop cooperating with ICE or cancel data-sharing agreements, reports The Washington Post.
Economics of Immigration
Immigrants in the country illegally are paying more into the health care system than they are getting out of it — $8 billion more, according to a study released Monday, reports Kaiser Health News.
Two Republicans candidates vying for congressional seats in California have very different stances on immigration, reports the Los Angeles Times. One, in Orange County, warns of the danger of open borders, while the other has a warm relationship with a growing Latino community in central California.
- A bipartisan group of senators has proposed a bill to block ICE from arresting undocumented immigrants who come forward to take care of unaccompanied minors. (CNN)
- Starting October 1, USCIS will expand the number of people it places into deportation proceedings after their visa denials. (Politico)
Jobs, Fellowships & Awards
- The International Labor Organization is accepting applications for a reporting contest on labor migration coverage.
- The Los Angeles Times is hiring an immigration policy reporter. (DC)
- The Atlantic is seeking an immigration reporter. (LA, Texas, DC or NY)
- Freedom for Immigrants is hiring for several California-based positions, including development director and immigration bond fund coordinator.
- ProBar Immigrant Children’s Assistance Project is hiring various positions: a legal director, and staff attorney.
- Immigrant Justice Corps is hiring for several attorneys and a social worker.
- Define American is hiring a communications manager.
- FWD.us is hiring for several positions, including press and campaign manager positions
- ProPublica is offering student scholarships to a host of conferences, including NABJ, AAJA, and others
Immigration Resources & Opportunities
Recently released immigration books (got one, send it over)
- Deportation in the Americas edited by Kenyon Zimmer and Cristina Salinas explores deportation policy and its global impact
- We Built the Wall: How the US Keeps Out Asylum Seekers from Mexico, Central America and Beyond by Eileen Truax
- Vanishing Frontiers: the Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together by Andrew Selee explores the two countries intertwined histories.
- Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration by Dallas Morning News border correspondent Alfredo Corchado
- My Family Divided: One Girl’s Journey of Home, Loss, and Hope by Diane Guerrero with Erica Moroz
- From Here and There: Diaspora Policies, Integration, and Social Rights Beyond Borders, by Alexandra Délano Alonso, is the first book-length guide about consular services.
- Undocumented Lives: The Untold Story of Mexican Migration, about the Mexican government’s support for migration. PRI profiled the book’s author.
- The Making of a Dream: How a group of young undocumented immigrants helped change what it means to be American by Laura Wides-Muñoz covers the growth of the Dreamer movement.
Newsletters, Podcasts, & Facebook Groups
- The Global Nation newsletter and Facebook group from PRI’s The World.
- Refugees Deeply: a thrice-weekly newsletter on migration and displacement.
- Migration Information Source from the Migration Policy Institute offers a series of newsletters.
- Documented NY’s Early Arrival newsletter aggregates information on immigration in New York City.
- The Marshall Project newsletter: criminal justice news that regularly intersects with immigration.
- Politico’s Morning Shift newsletter: a daily read on employment and immigration.
- Give Me Your Tired, an (Im)migration Newsletter offers a weekly update on global migration.
- Radio Public curates a list of podcasts about immigration and migration.
- A is for America America’s Voice discusses immigrant politics and organizing.
- Only in America: National Immigration Forum’s podcast about the people behind immigration issues.
- Moving Stories is an app and curriculum to capture and share immigrant stories.
- Re-imagining immigration has resources and lessons to teach about migration, immigration, refugees, and civic empowerment through history, literature, and the sciences
- The Advocates for Human Rights and the Immigration History Research Center at UMN free curriculum that helps students learn about U.S. immigration through personal narratives: Teaching Immigration with the Immigrant Stories Project
- Imm-print publishes an Immigration Detention Syllabus.
Reporting resources, tools and tips
- Tools for covering ICE from the Columbia Journalism Review
- Migration Reporting Resources (Global Investigative Journalism Network)
- Resources for Investigating Visas (Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting)
- Reporting on Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Immigrants (90 Days, 90 Voices)
- Immigration Data Resources: An extensive, and growing, list of immigration resources curated by PRI’s Angilee Shah and shared as part of her presentation on finding immigration stories at NICAR 2018.
- Tips on covering immigration when you do not live near the border(Daniel Connolly, from IRE 2017)
If there’s a story or immigration-related opportunity 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 produced feature-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
Migratory Notes Advisory Board: Daniel Connolly, Maria Kari, Dan Kowalski, Paola Marizán, Roberto Suro, Phuong Ly, Fernanda Santos
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