August 30, 2017
“DACA is a blessing. God has given it to you, so use it. Go to school and turn that blessing outwardly and bless your community, your church and your family.” – Dmarcos, MCC client and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient
“He didn’t speak much English. He didn’t come from money. He hadn’t finished high school… Manuel is just about the highest-value immigrant possible, and if we forget that, then we forget something elemental about America.” – Republican Senator Jeff Flake (Ariz.)
Border wall: On July 27, the House approved a set of spending bills that included $1.6 billion for border wall construction. President Trump has threatened a government shutdown if the final budget does not contain funding for the wall; his administration has already waived environmental laws and other regulations for wall construction in California. Segments in Texas would cut through a wildlife refuge and a national butterfly center (map). Advocacy toolkit
Migrant deaths in the U.S-Mexico border region are increasing, including four migrants trying to cross the Rio Grande river and ten who perished in a truck in San Antonio. (More from CNN and the Washington Post.) Meanwhile, a video shows U.S. border officers telling a young immigrant to drink liquid meth.
Enforcement: The Trump administration has ramped up immigration enforcement, making everyone without documentation a priority for removal including long-time residents and mothers. This is putting an enormous strain on immigration courts – 600,000 cases are pending with wait times of up to 5 years. A veteran ICE agent has raised concerns about the disturbing changes in enforcement practices. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights expressed deep concern over recent deaths and overall conditions in U.S. detention centers.
Central American migration: A program allowing some minors from Central America to come to the U.S. was terminated by the Trump administration on August 15, leaving thousands fleeing danger with no good options. In the U.S., many asylum seekers are not showing up for their day in court, either because they cannot find a lawyer and do not understand the process, or because they fear being deported directly out of a courtroom. A 3-year-old from Honduras spent half his life in detention. An NPR series describes how immigrant teenagers are being falsely accused of being gang members (part 1, part 2, part 3). Know-your-rights
DACA/Dream Act: Recent reports indicate the Trump administration may end the DACA program (action alert, additional resources). A House version of the DREAM Act was introduced on July 26 (bill text, summary, comparison chart). And the White House may be considering a “compromise” to provide protections for Dreamers paired with legislation to fund the border security and enforcement and to reduce legal immigration.
- RAISE Act: Would drastically reduce immigration to the U.S., prioritizing skills over family connections. Washington Post | NY Times | Cato | MPI analysis | NIF paper
- Border Security for America Act
- “Smart wall” bill
- Sheriff Arpaio pardoned
- NAFTA talks begin
- Braceros organize after one worker dies
- Christian Century: Why churches still matter for immigration reform
Sept. 11, 4:00 p.m. EDT: Interfaith Immigration Coalition webinar: DACA, Temporary Protected Status, refugee travel ban (more information will follow).
October 10-15, 2017: Borderlands Learning Tour
MCC articles and resources
- More than just paperwork
- The power of presence
- Newly updated web resources: Seeking asylum in Canada, Current legislation
- Updated resources for advocates on ICE raids & community arrests
- Know-your-rights videos for parents and other sponsors of unaccompanied children (English and Spanish)
- The Luchadoras of Georgia: Stories of immigrant women and families fighting Trump’s deportation force
- Humanizing deportation / Humanizando la deportación
Central American migration
- American Immigration Council: Complaints against Border Patrol agents continue to go unanswered
- Office of Inspector General report on hiring thousands of new Border Patrol agents
Temporary Protected Status
- A statistical and demographic profile of the U.S. Temporary Protected Status populations
- Backgrounders: Haiti, Honduras, El Salvador
Florida: More than just paperwork: MCC’s immigration work in south Florida is making a difference for students like Dmarcos
Illinois: Governor signs Illinois TRUST Act
California: Resources to support the California Values Act (SB 54) which would limit the entanglement of local law enforcement and federal immigration enforcement
State legislation: Wave of state immigration laws in 2017
Send us your local stories and events
Update created August 30, 2017, by Tammy Alexander, Senior Legislative Associate for Domestic Affairs.
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