The Week Ahead: April 2-6
April 2, 2018
‘No More DACA Deal’
President Trump declared via a series of tweets this weekend that there would be no deal addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, further complicating the predicament for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants left in limbo after Trump ended the DACA program last September.
The declaration comes after the president signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill last month that, despite multiple bipartisan proposals and negotiations, included no provisions for DACA recipients. Previously, the White House rejected proposed bipartisan compromises that would have traded DACA protections for wall spending.
Although the administration ended the DACA program last year, initial injunctions blocking the full termination of the program and allowing renewals remain in place as lawsuits play out in lower courts. However, the program could still end at any time, either judicially or administratively, leaving hundreds of thousands of Dreamers with DACA at risk. New DACA applications continue not to be accepted.
Caravan Heading toward U.S. Border Sparks Anger from Trump
A caravan of more than 1,000 Central Americans is traveling north through Mexico, and some may plan to seek asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border to escape poverty, violence and political unrest in their home countries.
The caravan, assembled by the group Pueblo Sin Fronteras and composed mostly of Hondurans, is intended to make the dangerous trip safer for vulnerable migrants whom gangs and cartels often target during the journey north.
The group has gained the attention of President Trump, who cited the caravan as part of the reason there would be no DACA deal. He also threatened to end the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) over the supposed inaction of Mexican authorities, despite extensive cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico on border security. As of Friday, the caravan had crossed into the Mexican state of Oaxaca with plans to catch a train further north, expecting to reach the U.S. border in about three weeks.
Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration: https://immigrationforum.org/blog/legislative-bulletin-friday-march-30-2018/
NEW YORK TIMES: The Myth of the Criminal Immigrant
By Anna Flagg
March 30, 2018
The Trump administration’s first year of immigration policy has relied on claims that immigrants bring crime into America. President Trump’s latest target is sanctuary cities.
“Every day, sanctuary cities release illegal immigrants, drug dealers, traffickers, gang members back into our communities,” he said last week. “They’re safe havens for just some terrible people.”
As of 2017, according to Gallup polls, almost half of Americans agreed that immigrants make crime worse. But is it true that immigration drives crime? Many studies have shown that it does not.
Immigrant populations in the United States have been growing fast for decades now. Crime in the same period, however, has moved in the opposite direction, with the national rate of violent crime today well below what it was in 1980.
CNN: How Trump is quietly rewriting US immigration policy
By Tal Kopan
April 2, 2018
The Trump administration doesn’t need Congress to pass a law or make a sweeping regulation to overhaul the US immigration system — it’s already doing it through a series of small moves that add up to dramatic change.
While the administration continues to pressure Congress to grant it broad new authorities, just the past week illustrates how substantial a change is already underway, with each individual move adding up to an effort that could have lasting effects on how the US welcomes and evaluates immigrants.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: ICE arrests farmworkers, sparking fears in the Central Valley over immigrants and the economy
By Andrea Castillo
March 31, 2018
Jesus Aceves was driving three of his fellow farmworkers to the tomato fields in the early-morning darkness when he saw lights flash behind him.
ICE agents pulled him over and asked for his license, registration and insurance and, most forebodingly, whether the men were in the United States legally.
Aceves and his passengers were taken to an immigrant detention facility. But none of them had been the target of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Three of the men had no criminal records. The most serious blots on the 44-year-old Aceves’ record were several convictions — the most recent in 2012 — for driving without a license.
That morning, an ICE spokesman said, agents went to a Kern County residence where they thought an immigration target lived. One of the men who got into Aceves’ car matched that person’s description, he said. The ICE agents followed.
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Welcomed in America, Bosnian refugee served as Marine, now patrols St. Louis County
By Lori Rose
April 1, 2018
Emir Hadzic and his family immigrated to the United States to escape the conflict in their native Bosnia. He soon enlisted in the military hoping to go right back.
“I kind of felt a calling,” he said. “The United States allowed me to start anew, and now America’s sons and daughters were going to my native country risking life and limb. I felt like I needed to be a part of that.”
Hadzic joined the U.S. Marine Corps, serving 20 years for a country he wasn’t born in. Now retired as a gunnery sergeant, his sense of duty, loyalty and gratitude to his adopted home still play a major role in his life. These days, Hadzic, now 40, serves St. Louis County as a police officer.