The Week Ahead: Feb. 27- March 3

Communications Associate

February 27, 2017


“Business is business, and whether it’s the farming industry or the construction industry, we already have a resource issue. You already have a shortage of documented individuals. So if you have fewer and fewer undocumented, at the end of the day it’s going to have an impact on projects.”

— Bill Wilhelm, President of R.D. Olson Construction in Irvine, Calif., Feb. 22


New Policy Paper Highlights Enforcement Concerns Prior to Senate Hearing

A new policy paper addresses problems associated with immigration detainers, which are federal requests to state and local law enforcement agencies to detain individuals suspected of being in the U.S. unlawfully.

Some federal courts have clarified that states and localities are not required to honor immigration detainers that are not supported by a warrant or probable cause determination and have held that states and localities may be legally liable for civil rights violations arising from a detainer. For these reasons, many jurisdictions decline to honor ICE immigration detainers.

A Path to Public Safety: The Legal Questions around Immigration Detainers” lands ahead of a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on border policies and interior enforcement, including detainer policies, at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The paper addresses legal complications that often prevent cities and counties from honoring immigration detainers. The Trump administration has said it intends to make detainers mandatory and has threatened to punish so-called sanctuary jurisdictions by stripping federal grant funding. However, most state and local law enforcement agencies cooperate with the federal government on immigration issues, and most jurisdictions honor federal detainer requests accompanied by a warrant or court order.

Local law enforcement leaders are speaking against the administration’s immigration enforcement plans, citing concerns that the wrong approach would undermine public safety and community trust.

New Refugee- and Travel-Related Executive Order Expected this Week

Following the Ninth Circuit’s unanimous decision that blocked the administration’s travel ban and refugee executive order, President Trump is expected to sign a new executive order this week.

The new order is expected to make changes to attempt to satisfy the Ninth Circuit, including explicitly excluding legal permanent residents and dual citizens from the ban and providing an exception for some Iraqis who assisted the U.S. military in Iraq. It otherwise will closely resemble the original order, including applying to nationals of the same seven Muslim-majority countries identified in the earlier order who have not committed any of the recent acts of terror in the U.S. The court’s ruling did not address the initial order’s reduction of annual refugee admissions to 50,000 from more than 100,000, and that section of the order has remained in place. The new order is likely to be the subject of further litigation.

Trump Voters Express Concerns with His Immigration Plans Ahead of Congressional Address

Ahead of President Trump’s address Tuesday night before a joint session of Congress, Trump voters are concerned about his immigration approach.

In a southern Illinois county where Trump won with 70 percent of the vote, residents have reacted with an outpouring of support following the detention and pending deportation of a resident who has contributed significantly to the community.  One state over, Iowans elected Trump by 9 percentage points. But Trump voters there too are concerned about the president’s approach toward immigrants and immigration, among other issues.

And in California, farmers who voted for Trump are “deeply alarmed” about his immigration executive orders’ potential effects on their workers.

With Trump expected to lay out an optimistic vision for the country Tuesday night, the importance of immigrants’ contributions to such a vision cannot be ignored.


Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:


WALL STREET JOURNAL: Border Wall Faces Resistance From Texas Republicans
By Laura Meckler and Dudley Althaus
February 22, 2017

LOS INDIOS, Texas—President Donald Trump’s vision of a sea-to-sea wall on the U.S.-Mexico border is running into an unexpected obstacle: opposition from Republicans in Texas, where most of the unfenced land is located.

Many Texas Republicans say a better approach mixes additional fencing and more personnel, as well as better technology to monitor the state’s southern boundary, which is marked by the winding Rio Grande River and in vast stretches by formidable natural barriers.

“Our border is very different in different places,” said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican, on a trip to the border this week. He pointed to fencing in San Diego as effective in separating urban areas. “But as you know, many places in Texas are virtually inaccessible.”

Experts generally favor fencing for urban areas but not more remote places. Beyond that, a range of challenges unique to Texas make extensive construction there difficult.

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WASHINGTON POST: After Trump’s immigration order, anxiety grows in Florida’s farm fields
By Robert Samuels
February 25, 2017

Rumors about deportation raids started to circulate around the fields again, so Catalina Sanchez and her husband began to calculate the consequences of everything they did.

Cirilo Perez, 36, had to go to work because the tomato crop was getting low, and he needed to pick as much as he could as fast as he could. Sanchez’s medical checkup would have to wait — going to a clinic was too risky. What they fretted most about was what to do with their daughter Miriam — a natural-born citizen in the third grade — who they worried would come home one day to an empty trailer.

“When she leaves, I wonder if it will be the last time I see her,” Sanchez, 26, said on a recent evening.

As President Trump moves to turn the full force of the federal government toward deporting undocumented immigrants, a newfound fear of the future has already cast a pall over the tomato farms and strawberry fields in the largely undocumented migrant communities east of Tampa.

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NEW YORK TIMES: He’s a Local Pillar in a Trump Town. Now He Could Be Deported.
By Monica Davey
February 27, 2017

WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. — Ask residents of this coal-mining crossroads about President Trump’s decision to crack down on undocumented immigrants and most offer no protest. Mr. Trump, who easily won this mostly white southern Illinois county, is doing what he promised, they say. As Terry Chambers, a barber on Main Street, put it, the president simply wants “to get rid of the bad eggs.”

But then they took Carlos.

Juan Carlos Hernandez Pacheco — just Carlos to the people of West Frankfort — has been the manager of La Fiesta, a Mexican restaurant in this city of 8,000, for a decade. Yes, he always greeted people warmly at the cheerfully decorated restaurant, known for its beef and chicken fajitas. And, yes, he knew their children by name. But people here tick off more things they know Carlos for.

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