[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.
Customs and Border Protection Gains an Extra Layer of Secrecy
The Trump administration quietly designated the entire Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, which polices US borders, as a “Security Agency,” allowing them to further shield themselves from public view. Read more here. The Nation
Supreme Court Allows Trump’s ‘Public Charge’ Rule to Proceed
“The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Trump administration to move forward with plans to deny green cards to immigrants who are thought to be likely to make even occasional and minor use of public benefits like Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers.” The new effective date will be February 24, 2020. Read more here. The New York Times
1. Call Congress to Oppose Funds for the Department of Homeland Security
Taxpayer dollars shouldn’t fund abusive immigration policies, increased detention, or an unnecessary border wall or barrier. Join the ACLU in calling on Congress to refuse to bend to Trump’s abusive immigration policies. “No wall. No beds. No more agents. No family jails. We won’t allow our taxpayer dollars to fund DHS’s abuse of immigrants.” Click here to find your representatives contact information and a short template of what to say.
2. Send a Postcard to Congress Opposing ICE’s Harmful Detention Contracts
Right now, ICE is working to extend contracts for three Texas detention centers that will prolong detention in the state for the next 10 years. Detention Watch Network member Grassroots Leadership is doing everything they can to make sure we don’t see a continuation of these facilities, but they need your help. Fill out this form and Grassroots Leadership will send a postcard on your behalf to your representatives and members of key committees with the power to intervene.
3. Share the North Carolina Justice Center’s Informational Videos on Public Charge
Our friends at the North Carolina Justice Center recently posted helpful informational videos in both English and Spanish on five important things that immigrants should know about the public charge rule. Watch and share the videos to help fight the fear of public charge.
Public Charge Resources:
The PIF campaign has great new resources (with LOTS of language translations) to help people stay informed on public charge. You can find them at: protectingimmigrantfamilies.org/know-your-rights
Other Recent News of Interest:
- “President Trump added six countries to his list of nations facing stringent travel restrictions, a move that will virtually block immigration from Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria, and from Myanmar, where the Muslim minority is fleeing genocide.” The New York Times
- “The private prison industry is set to be upended after California lawmakers passed a bill on Wednesday banning the facilities from operating in the state. The move will probably also close down four large immigration detention facilities that can hold up to 4,500 people at a time.” The Guardian
- “The Trump administration is deploying law enforcement tactical units from the southern border as part of a supercharged arrest operation in sanctuary cities across the country, an escalation in the president’s battle against localities that refuse to participate in immigration enforcement.” The New York Times
- Construction crews began blasting sites within Arizona’s Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument as part of the construction of President Trump’s border barrier, and the affected areas include sites sacred to Native American groups, according to a congressman from Arizona and advocates. The Washington Post
- The White House is asking for a boost to this year’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) budget, a proposal that includes 60,000 detention beds — 6,000 more than last year’s budget proposal and around 15,000 more than ICE actually received. Axios
- Attorney General William P. Barr announced Monday that the Justice Department would sue two so-called “sanctuary” jurisdictions — including the state of New Jersey — over policies he considers overly friendly to those in the country unlawfully, as part of a renewed effort to get cities and states on board with the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration. The Washington Post
- “I was feeling really deceived — all of my sacrifice had been in vain. Now I’m being thrown to Guatemala.” BuzzFeed News
- The mother of a 5-year-old Guatemalan boy sued U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement over the medical care he has received in detention for a head injury suffered before the family was arrested. ABC 12
- The day Margarita Del Pilar Fitzpatrick applied for an Illinois driver’s license upended her life. When a clerk offered to register her to vote in 2005, the Peruvian citizen mistakenly accepted, leading to long legal battles and eventually deportation. The Associated Press
- “The next Trump administration action taken against high-skilled foreign nationals may be to limit the length of stay for international students after they are admitted to the United States.” Forbes
Thanks so much for reading and staying informed.