March 28, 2017
Funding for the border wall, deportations, detention: President Trump’s supplemental budget request for the rest of Fiscal Year 2017 includes $3 billion for immigration enforcement, including $1 billion for border wall construction. For FY 2018, the president’s request includes $2.6 billion for border security. Republicans, Democrats, and border residents are raising concerns about the border wall.
Other news and resources:
- Fatima Avelica watched her dad get arrested by immigration officials while taking her to school
- Trump administration sends judges to immigration detention centers
- Texans receive first notices of land condemnation for Trump’s border wall
- Embattled borderlands story map
Proposal to separate mothers and children: Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly wants to deter families coming across the border (mostly mothers with small children fleeing violence in Central America) by separating them—putting the mothers into detention and the children into shelters or foster care. As one volunteer lawyer working with the families put it, “The only way to deter desperate refugees from traveling north is to address the causes of their desperation. Making them more desperate—layering added trauma on families that have already suffered violence and terror—is gratuitous and cruel.” Various faith-based and immigrant-rights groups, as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics and UNICEF have spoken out against the policy.
- In their search for asylum, Central Americans find the U.S. is closing its doors
- Human Rights First: Violations at the border
Immigrants commit fewer crimes: Two recent reports confirm what many past studies had already shown—that immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than U.S. citizens. A report from the Cato Institute finds that undocumented immigrants are half as likely to be incarcerated as U.S.-born citizens. Another report from the Sentencing Project reaches a similar conclusion and goes on to say, “Policies that further restrict immigration are therefore not effective crime-control strategies. These facts—supported by over 100 years of research—have been misrepresented both historically and in recent political debates.”
Federal courts temporarily halt refugee and travel ban: On March 15, a federal judge in Hawaii blocked portions of President Trump’s new refugee and travel ban executive order one day before it was scheduled to go into effect. The next day, a federal judge in Maryland issued a similar ruling.
Photo: A section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Arizona, 2015. MCC courtesy of Al Doerksen
MCC action alert: Oppose efforts to build walls and criminalize immigrants
April 21-24: Ecumenical Advocacy Days, Washington, D.C.
May 1: Day without immigrants: Marches and other actions planned across the country
May 25-June 2: MCC Global Anabaptist Peacebuilders (GAP) Institute for young adults, Fresno, Calif.
“Recent Raids and Cuts to Refugees,” webinar recording and slides (Interfaith Immigration Coalition, March 13, 2017)
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Update created March 28, 2017, by Tammy Alexander, Senior Legislative Associate for Domestic Affairs.
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