Protecting Immigrant Communities Newsletter: 6/15/20

June 15, 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:

Mother and daughter face starkly different border policies; ACLU and TCRP file first lawsuit against the Trump administration’s expulsion policy. Hundreds of children have been expelled under the CDC’s emergency order. Magdalena and her daughter are plaintiffs in one of the first court challenges against this directive.
CBS News

Immigration officials bought dirt bikes and boats instead of food and medicine, report says a 2019 audit discovered that CBP used part of a government advance of $4.6 billion on items beyond those specified by Congress.
Los Angeles Times

DOJ ‘reassigned’ career members of Board of Immigration Appeals after they rejected recent buyout offers. This step dilutes the independence of this appeals board as it leaves room for new hires more willing to carry out the Trump administration’s immigration policies.

Action Items:

Dismantle Anti-Blackness at Home with this Undocu Guide
United We Dream has created a guide for undocumented families to have the tough conversations about anti-Blackness at home. Access the guide here to begin that process with your family. This guide is also available in Spanish

Call to Free Immigrant Women Detained at T. Don Hutto
According to a recently released woman from T. Don Hutto detention center, there are unreported active COVID-19 cases at this facility. Grassroots Leadership asks the community to #FreeThemAll by calling Taylor local officials and demanding intervention with ICE.

Stand Alongside DACA Recipients and Organizers by Staying Informed
The 8th anniversary of DACA and the looming Supreme Court decision are right around the corner. Immigrant rights groups, like RAICES, are prepared to stand alongside DACA recipients. You can stay updated with their actions by filling out this form.

DACA Decision Digital Rally and Community Webinars
In anticipation of the Supreme Court’s upcoming DACA decision, United We Dream will host informational webinars including the Home is Here Digital Rally, a DACA Update Webinar, and a Webinar for Educators. RSVP here to learn how the Supreme Court’s decision will affect you, those around you, and what you can do about it.

COVID-19 Resources for Immigrants:

ACLU Border Community Watchline: Blog Post and Informative Video
The ACLU Border Rights Center has launched a telephone and text service for border residents to report Border Patrol activity around areas that offer essential services. The Children’s Defense Fund-TX has created an informative video and blog post to explain what this Community Watchline is, why it matters to the communities CDF-Texas works with, and how community members can best use and share it.

Five Ways to Help Ensure Pandemic-EBT Reaches Immigrant Families
During this pandemic, immigrant families have been excluded from most forms of government assistance. P-EBT may be one of the only resources they can access. Therefore, it is important to ensure immigrant families can reach this resource through these five steps compiled by CLASP. These include creating multilingual outreach materials, including public charge information in outreach materials, and reaching out to trusted community members to spread the word.

Children’s Defense Fund Public Charge & COVID-19 Conversation 
Are you and your community confused about public charge, especially during the pandemic? CDF made English and Spanish language video explainers to help. See this informative video to answer questions like:

  • What do the rules say?
  • What programs are safe to use?
  • How can I best protect my family during this time?

Share this video, available in both English and Spanish, with your networks. You can also download the presentation slides here to access all the information and resources referenced during the video.

Other Recent News of Interest:

ACLU files lawsuit against border coronavirus restrictions
This lawsuit will determine whether the government can close the border to children and undercut their protections based on the assertion that it is necessary for public health.

ICE expands virus testing of detained migrants amid criticism
ICE now offers voluntary COVID-19 tests at their detention facilities in Tacoma, Washington, and Aurora, Colorado. The agency is considering expanding testing to other facilities.

Detained migrants say they were forced to clean COVID-infected ICE facility
Migrants in an Arizona facility state that they were forced to clean this center without proper protective equipment. This facility has one of the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The Government is Flying Customs and Border Protection Predator Drones Over American Cities
CBP is regularly flying predator drones above American cities, including areas farther than 100 miles from the border. This includes above a Minneapolis protest in collaboration with unspecified federal law enforcement.

Democrats Are Calling For An Investigation Into The Trump Administration Denying DACA Recipients Federally Backed Housing Loans
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued conflicting comments regarding changes around this policy, leading Democrats to call for investigation.

Trump officials cut immigration court interpreters after misstating costs, report finds
The department’s erroneous cost estimates have led to the replacement of court interpreters with pre-recorded interpretation videos.

Judge blocks deportation of Honduran boy in what could be first step in unraveling Trump admin policy
Since March 21, the Trump admin has been citing public health to deport migrant kids before they can seek asylum regardless of whether they have COVID-19.

Immigration detainees held hunger strike in honor of George Floyd and other victims of police brutality
ICE has alleged that the strike was initiated through external coercion, a claim that has come under fire from immigration advocacy groups.


Thanks so much for reading and staying informed.