The Week Ahead: Feb. 6-10

Communications Associate

February 6, 2017


“We need to find the proper balance between policies that will continue to protect the homeland from terrorism and criminals, but in a way that is thoughtful and doesn’t turn away from 241 years of American values. Law enforcement is on the front lines to keep communities safe, and we rely on relationships of trust, respect and engagement. When orders are issued that have fundamentally tough impacts on our communities and when we have lawful permanent residents being detained, confusion starts taking hold and rumors start flying. Instead of enhancing public safety, it is a detriment to public safety.”

— Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, Jan. 31


Judge Freezes Travel Ban Executive Order

A federal judge in Washington state on Friday halted President Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and temporarily halting the refugee resettlement program. This weekend federal agencies suspended implementation of the order and began the process of allowing those who previously had been banned to travel again.

On Sunday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit denied the Justice Department’s request to immediately restore the travel ban. The situation remains in flux amid appeals, although the federal appeals court is expected to decide quickly whether to keep the hold on the travel ban in place. A panel ruling could be released within a week of the administration’s response to briefs from states challenging the ban.

House Homeland Security Committee to Examine Border Policies

The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday to discuss approaches toward the U.S.-Mexico border.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly will be a witness at the hearing and will discuss his plans related to the border. Other witnesses include local officials from Texas and Arizona.

Local leaders have continued to express concern regarding the administration’s executive order on border security and immigration enforcement and what it would mean for their communities.


Summary of immigration legislation introduced and government reports on immigration:


WALL STREET JOURNAL: Police Officials Are Wary of Bigger Role in Immigration Enforcement
By Zusha Elinson and Shibani Mahtani
January 31 2017

National police groups are split over President Trump’s plan to compel local law-enforcement agencies to help enforce federal immigration law, days after he signed an order to cut off federal funds to cities that shelter illegal immigrants.

Police chiefs from the nation’s big cities largely opposed the plan. However, sheriffs—who are typically elected officials responsible for running jail systems—tended to favor the plan.

Many police chiefs worry that enforcing immigration policy will take them away from their primary mission to prevent and investigate violent crime, and make immigrants less likely to report crimes.

“The key concern is if police become involved with day-to-day immigration enforcement that the people who are here illegally will not in fact call the police. They’ll be afraid that basically sets them up to be victimized,” said Darrel Stephens, executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, which represents chiefs from 68 of the country’s largest cities.

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TUSCALOOSA NEWS (Editorial): Christian ideals do not include a wall
February 1, 2017

The Bible leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Two people from different religious traditions can read the same passage and take very different stances on the message. And a lot of things changed between the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Yes, many Americans hold fast to the idea that the United States is a Christian nation and want our elected leaders to profess Christian ideals and govern by them. Many others argue for the separation of church and state, that the nation is a melting pot and religious values should not interfere with public policy.

There’s little doubt that this country is wrestling with its cultural identity and, like it or not, religion plays a big part in that process.

But there’s also little doubt that while much of what we’re told in both the Old Testament and New Testament is open for interpretation, these ancient texts offer crystal clear instructions when it comes to immigration.

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BOSTON GLOBE (O’Malley Op-Ed): Doing what is just for immigrants
By Seán P. O’Malley
February 2, 2017

NEW TIMES teach us about new duties. This aphorism certainly applies to immigration. The migration of people, in some form, is as ancient as recorded history. Migration today is a reality of being citizens in an interdependent, globalized world, where goods, services, money, and ideas move with astonishing speed and volume across national boundaries and entire regions of the globe. People also move in unprecedented numbers across national frontiers, sometimes by choice and more often threatened by coercion, conflict, and natural catastrophes. For those coming to the United States seeking our assistance in time of need, we are called to consider our choices and the obligations of our duties.

Many Americans are focused on the need to strengthen our country and assure the safety of our people from terrorism. This is a grave responsibility for our leaders. But President Trump’s recent executive order on immigration has produced astonishment and confusion in our country and in the international community.

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