Child Welfare

Protecting Immigrant Communities Newsletter: 4/30/20

April 30, 2020 | Texas

[This is a bi-weekly publication produced by Senior Policy Associate, Cheasty Anderson. New issues will be posted here on this blog or you can subscribe to have them delivered directly to your inbox.]


Dear Partners and Friends,

Thank you so much for wanting to stay up to date on what’s happening. Here’s the latest roundup of immigration-related news, and our bi-weekly action opportunity.  Please let me know as things cross your desk that you think might be of value for our next newsletter, and as always, feel free to forward to folks who might want to join our list.

Lead Stories:

What You Need To Know About Trump’s “Immigration Ban”

President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday restricting certain categories of immigrants from entering the United States for 60 days, a move he said aims to protect the nation from the coronavirus and jobs for Americans at a time of excessively high unemployment and economic uncertainty. Read more here.

In Victory For Detained Immigrants, Federal Judge Orders ICE To Review For Release Every Person With Covid-19 Risk Factors

In a sweeping ruling, ICE has been ordered to conduct new assessments for every person at heightened risk of contracting Covid-19 in the custody of ICE, regardless of immigration case. Read more here.

Action Items:

Webinar: COVID-19’s Impact On Immigrants: Federal Gaps & Local Resources

Join the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative to learn about how HILSC shares how the federal law impacts immigrants: from those who are included to those excluded and resources they have available in Houston for anyone, regardless of immigration status. HILSC will cover health care, unemployment & cash assistance, rent & eviction, as well as food & nutrition. They’ll also discuss how Public Charge fits into these benefit programs. RSVP here.

Date & Time
Fri, May 1, 2020
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM CDT

Film Screening: COVER/AGE

A new short film showcases an affirmative campaign for immigrant access to benefits at the state level through powerful stories of impacted individuals. Join the California Immigrant Policy Center for the online broadcast of COVER/AGE, a short film about the California Health4All campaign which seeks to expand healthcare access for all, including undocumented immigrants. The virtual screening is on Wednesday, 4/29 at 2 pm PT / 5pm ET. This event is in partnership with the Center for Cultural Power, National Domestic Workers Alliance, and Working Films. The film is in English, Tagalog, and Spanish with subtitles in English. RSVP here.

Share the Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign’s Social Media Toolkit to Ask Congress For An Inclusive Stimulus Bill

Connect with your Members of Congress and ask for a COVID relief package that ensures the health and well-being of immigrant families.The PIF Campaign has developed a Take Action Social Media Toolkit with sample Twitter and Facebook posts. “We encourage you to spread the word and let your friends, family, and colleagues know that they can help #ProtectFamilies by using our tool to ask Congress to deliver an inclusive stimulus bill.”

Tell ICE: Release All Immigrants at Risk of Coronavirus

Use this form to join RAICES in sending an email to Daniel Bible, the ICE Field Office Director of ERO San Antonio, telling him to free detained families and other immigrants in detention, who are at unacceptable levels of risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Help RAICES amplify the letter they sent to Daniel.

COVID-19 Resources for Immigrants:

Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign FAQ on COVID-19 Relief Legislation and Immigrants

The PIF Campaign has developed a new FAQ document which provides answers to some frequently asked questions about public charge implications for families who are seeking public programs during the COVID-19 crisis and answers to questions about immigrant eligibility for programs under new and existing policies.

National Employment Law Project COVID-19 Resources for Immigrant Workers

NELP’s Covid-19 Resources for Unemployed and Frontline Workers includes information specifically for immigrant workers.

Freedom for Immigrants COVID-19 Hotline 

The National Immigration Detention Hotline is the nation’s largest immigration detention hotline, connecting immigrants in detention to their family, resources, and abuse documentation support at no cost to them. It was created and is managed by Freedom for Immigrants, and staffed by a team of highly trained multilingual advocates across the country.

Call: 9233 (from inside detention)
Call: 209-757-3733 (from outside)
Read more details about the hotline here.

New American Economy’s COVID-19 Information and Resources for Immigrants

New American Economy is working to produce the latest estimates that show how immigrants are part of America’s fight and response to the COVID-19 health crisis. They’ve also updated their website with helpful resources for immigrants. Find their page here.

Informed Immigrant’s Resources For the Undocumented Community During The Coronavirus Outbreak 

These English and Spanish language pages include national and state-based resources including food distribution sites, mutual aid funds, and health care accessible to undocumented and mixed status families. Please read and share to connect immigrant families with resources during this difficult time.

Other Recent News of Interest: 

Views from Alongside a Border: Expelled

  • Micheal Seifert, Policy & Advocacy Strategist for the ACLU of Texas, published a blog post about the real harm that asylum-seekers will face if they are deported as a result of the Trump administration’s coronavirus border expulsions. Views from Alongside a Border

ICE Tells Federal Judge The Court Has No Authority Over Its Detention Practices

  • U.S. immigration officials have told a Miami federal judge that the court has no authority over how the government chooses to detain and release immigration detainees, and that filing twice-weekly accountability reports to the court would be “unduly burdensome.” The Miami Herald

U.S. Supreme Court Refuses To Block Public Charge Rule During Pandemic

  • The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday rejected a long-shot bid by New York and two other states to suspend during the coronavirus pandemic a Trump administration immigration policy that denies legal permanent residency to certain immigrants deemed likely to require government assistance in the future. Reuters

Dreamer. Essential Worker. And Anxious About the Supreme Court’s Impending Decision.

  • “Trump didn’t have to end DACA. That’s a choice he made.” Mother Jones

Executive Order Halting New Green Cards Includes Exceptions

  • The order will affect thousands of people seeking to immigrate to the United States, but it does not apply to immigrants already in the country, nor to those seeking temporary visas. The New York Times

DeVos Excludes DACA Recipients, Foreign Students From Grants

  • The Trump administration is barring most international students and all students who entered the U.S. illegally from receiving emergency college grants approved by Congress as part of nearly $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package. Associated Press

In Win for Trump, U.S. Supreme Court Makes Deporting Immigrants for Crimes Easier

  • The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday made it easier for federal authorities to deport certain immigrants who have committed crimes in a victory for President Donald Trump’s administration. Reuters

U.S. Using Coronavirus Pandemic To Unlawfully Expel Asylum Seekers, Says UN

  • CDC recently issued order encouraging immediate deportation of non-citizens without valid documents, citing obscure quarantine law. The Guardian

As the U.S. Shut Down, Trump’s Legal Fight to Build Wall Ramped Up

  • In the past 12 months, the administration opened 41 cases in federal court to seize land to build a wall along the southern border of Texas. Nearly half of those cases – 16, or 39 percent – were filed in the past two months. Reuters

The Irony of Being Essential, But Illegal

  • The people who grow, harvest, and process our foods deserve a pathway to citizenship. Washington Monthly

U.S. Deportation Policies Are Spreading COVID-19

  • One of the few exemptions from the lockdowns are the near daily deportations: both flights from the United States and buses carrying migrants from Mexico continue to spill into Guatemala, undermining methods of controlling the spread of the virus. Elfaro

Refugees in the Time of Covid-19

  • Fleeing gangs and stalked by violence, thousands of asylum-seekers trapped in Mexico now face the pandemic. The Nation

ICE Has Tested A Tiny Fraction Of Its Detainees For Covid-19. Most Of Them Were Positive

  • At least 60% of immigration detainees who have been tested nationwide have the virus that causes COVID-19, according to federal data. The Miami Herald

The Coronavirus Is Testing America’s Commitment to People’s Constitutional Rights

  • The government’s reaction to COVID-19 in jails and ICE detention facilities must follow settled legal precedent on acceptable conditions of confinement. The pandemic does not change that obligation. The Atlantic


Thanks so much for reading and staying informed.