Child Welfare

Protecting Immigrant Communities Newsletter: 5/16/20

May 21, 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:

An Immigrant Who Tested Positive for the Coronavirus Has Died In ICE Custody

The ACLU said Wednesday that the immigrant “died because ICE refused to release him when he still had a chance to survive this deadly virus.” Read about it here.

U.S. Suspends Protections for Migrant Kids At Border, Expelling Hundreds Amid Pandemic

María does not know what to do. Her request for U.S. asylum was denied. Her authorization to be in Mexico, contingent on having an ongoing U.S. immigration case, has expired. Read about her story here.

ICE is Asking Parents to Choose: Remain Incarcerated Together, or Allow Family Separation. 

“Rulings under the Flores Settlement maintain that families cannot be detained for more than 20 days. To counter this, the Trump administration is “offering” families a binary choice: Remain detained as family or permit their child to be released to a sponsor & without the parent.” Read about it here.

Action Items:

Watch the Children’s Defense Fund-Texas’s Facebook Live Informational on Public Charge & COVID-19

View our conversation about Public Charge during the COVID-19 crisis. What do the rules say? What programs are safe to use? How can I best protect my family during this time? Find the Facebook Live recordings and informational resources in English & Spanish here.

Grannies Respond: Donate Pajamas to Asylum-Seekers

Grannies Respond has joined with Pajamas for Peace in an effort to donate pajamas to asylum-seeking families. Pajamas for Peace’s mission is to promote peace and bring comfort to children and families in need. When you order a pair of pajamas, Pajamas for Peace will donate one pair to the Grannies Respond group closest to your location and a pair will be sent to an asylum-seeking family. Click this link to order and use coupon code Granniesrespond20 at checkout for 20% off.

Protecting Immigrant Families: Federal Advocacy Toolkit

The Protecting Immigrant Families campaign is advocating for the next COVID-19 relief package to be inclusive of immigrants and to include provisions that ensure that immigrants have access to the health and economic supports they need. They’ve developed a Federal Advocacy Tool Kit to support state and local organizations’ asks to members of Congress. The toolkit includes all the resources needed to advocate on behalf of immigrants in a COVID 4.0 bill. Read and share to help make an impact on Congress.

Organizational Sign-On: Support the HEAL for Immigration Women and Families Act

The Health Equity & Access under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Women & Families Act will be introduced in the Senate for the first time by Senator Cory Booker next week. The HEAL Act reflects the principle that access to health care should not depend on immigration status. It removes the restrictive five-year waiting period so that all individuals are eligible for Medicaid and CHIP, including DACA recipients. Support the HEAL Act by signing on as an endorsing organization here.

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: 

ICE AIR Deportations: Has COVID-19 Changed Anything?

  • “The pandemic rages and ICE Air continues to shuttle detainees between detention centers and place them on deportation flights without regard for the safety of their passengers, employees or contractors. Read Witness at the Border’s comprehensive report on ICE AIR deportations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Witness at the Border

Trump Administration Plans to Extend Virus Border Restrictions Indefinitely

  • Orders that have effectively sealed the United States to migrants seeking protection from persecution would remain in place until a health official declared the virus no longer a threat. The New York Times

House Democrats Outline Immigration Priorities For Next Coronavirus Relief Measure

  • Progressives, minority caucuses push for protections. Roll Call

Hispanic Caucus Calls On Trump Admin To Investigate Working Conditions For Meatpackers

  • “The majority of these workers are either Latino workers or some of them undocumented or refugee workers from other countries,” Castro said in an interview. “So these are very vulnerable populations who don’t have a lot of political or economic power often to change their own working conditions.” POLITICO

90 Percent Of People Apprehended At Border Expelled Under New Coronavirus Order

  • Almost all undocumented immigrants apprehended at the southwest border in April were immediately expelled to Mexico as part of the Trump administration’s increased immigration controls amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Hill

Strict US Border Policy May Remain as Virus Eases

  • The U.S. policy of quickly expelling migrants apprehended along the Mexican border may have to stay in place even after coronavirus quarantine restrictions ease around the country, a Trump administration official said Thursday. The Associated Press

Advocates Warn of More Immigrant Deaths Without ICE Action

  • Lawyers and immigrant advocates are warning that more people will die of the coronavirus in U.S. immigration custody unless the Trump administration improves conditions and release more detainees. The Associated Press

While She Treated Coronavirus Patients, The U.S Denied Her A Green Card

  • A New York doctor who’s been treating coronavirus patients says she’s still reeling days after getting a devastating letter: Her green card application was denied. CNN

He Says He Has COVID And Has Never Been To Haiti. But ICE Still Wants To Deport Him There .

  • A detainee who has twice tested positive for COVID-19 and is still experiencing symptoms is among 100 individuals expected to be deported to Haiti on Monday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Miami Herald

Trump Deems Farmworkers ‘Essential’ But There Are No Safety Rules For Them. This Could Threaten The Food Supply.

  • The Trump administration has deemed the millions of people who are cutting lettuce, picking cherries, packing peaches and otherwise getting food from farm to table to be “essential workers” but is doing little to keep them healthy during the pandemic. POLITICO

Fear Of Deportation Heightened For Immigrant Doctors On H-1B Visas Amid Pandemic

  • Immigrant physicians account for nearly a quarter of all licensed physicians in the U.S. Their disability or death would make any dependent family members subject to removal. NBC News

U.S. Citizens With Immigrant Spouses Sue To Get Coronavirus Checks They Were Denied

  • “I feel violated,” says the U.S. citizen spouse of an immigrant who has paid thousands in taxes. NBC News

I’m An Immigration Attorney Ill With COVID-19. But It’s My Detained Clients’ Lives I Fear For The Most

  • Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I thought that as a pro bono immigration attorney I had a pretty strong grasp of what fighting an uphill battle against an unjust system looked like. Newsweek


Thanks so much for reading and staying informed.