The Week Ahead: Feb. 13-17

Communications Associate

February 13, 2017


“If you only have legal labor, certain parts of this industry and this region will not exist. If we sent all these people back, it would be a total disaster.”

— Harold McClarty, fourth-generation farmer in Kingsburg, California, Feb. 9


Travel Ban and Refugee Executive Order Remains Blocked

The executive order that prohibits travel into the United States by anyone from seven Muslim-majority countries continues to be on hold after a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday unanimously upheld a temporary restraining order that halted it.

The court ruled that the Trump administration provided no evidence that people from the seven countries had committed terrorist acts in the U.S., undermining the administration’s argument that the ban is needed for national security reasons. The court also rejected the administration’s claims that courts cannot review a president’s national security assessments.

The administration may appeal for the case to be heard en banc by a larger panel of Ninth Circuit judges or to the U.S. Supreme Court. The administration also may consider rewriting the executive order to comply with the Ninth Circuit’s ruling.

Immigration Raids and Deportations Continue as Enforcement Heightens

Last week U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began a series of raids targeting undocumented immigrants around the country. Reports indicate that many targets are longtime residents of the United States who do not have violent criminal backgrounds.

Targeting otherwise law-abiding immigrants contributing peacefully to their communities causes fear and uncertainty, including the threat of family separation, among immigrant communities. To mitigate this fear, ICE must be transparent in setting removal priorities, targeting those who truly pose a danger to the community at large and being forthcoming with the public and affected communities about what actions they are undertaking.

Using law enforcement resources efficiently means focusing on violent criminals and maintaining trust between immigrant communities and law enforcement agencies. Because our current broken system is not consistent with our values, we instead need an approach that focuses on violent criminals, not otherwise law-abiding members of the community.


Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:


RELIGION NEWS SERVICE: 500 prominent evangelicals take out full-page ad supporting refugees
By Emily McFarlan Miller
February 9 2017

More than 500 prominent evangelical Christians from every state have signed on to a letter addressed to President Trump and Vice President Pence, expressing their support for refugees.

The “Still We Stand” petition, coordinated by World Relief, ran Wednesday (Feb. 8) as a full-page advertisement in the Washington Post. It reads in part:

We live in a dangerous world and affirm the crucial role of government in protecting us from harm and in setting the terms on refugee admissions. However, compassion and security can coexist, as they have for decades.

Christians are called to love their neighbors as themselves, and that includes “the stranger and anyone fleeing persecution and violence,” according to the letter. And ministries like World Relief, one of nine agencies authorized by the U.S. State Department to resettle refugees, want to welcome “many thousands more people than would be allowed under the new executive order.”

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LOS ANGELES TIMES: Not just ‘bad hombres’: Trump is targeting up to 8 million people for deportation
By Brian Bennett
Feb. 4, 2017

When President Trump ordered a vast overhaul of immigration law enforcement during his first week in office, he stripped away most restrictions on who should be deported, opening the door for roundups and detentions on a scale not seen in nearly a decade.

Up to 8 million people in the country illegally could be considered priorities for deportation, according to calculations by the Los Angeles Times. They were based on interviews with experts who studied the order and two internal documents that signal immigration officials are taking an expansive view of Trump’s directive.

Far from targeting only “bad hombres,” as Trump has said repeatedly, his new order allows immigration agents to detain nearly anyone they come in contact with who has crossed the border illegally. People could be booked into custody for using food stamps or if their child receives free school lunches.

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ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Arizona border sheriffs press new DHS chief for more resources
By Rafael Carranza
Feb. 9, 2017

Gen. John Kelly made his first visit to Arizona as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

The newly confirmed secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Gen. John Kelly, visited Arizona on Thursday, touring the U.S.-Mexico border with Gov. Doug Ducey as well as meeting with local law-enforcement officials.

Arizona’s four border sheriffs said they had a lengthy discussion not only about President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall but also what their departments need to help keep the border safe.

The DHS secretary visited Texas last week and will head to California on Friday. He told Congress this week he hoped to learn about the needs of border law-enforcement groups, especially as it relates to the border wall.

His visit took place on the same day one of the departments he oversees, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, deported undocumented Phoenix woman Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos to Nogales, Sonora. Activists claimed her removal after living in the U.S. for decades reflected Trump’s executive action strengthening immigration enforcement.

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