Child Welfare

Protecting Immigrant Communities Newsletter: 7/15/20

July 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. If you wish to unsubscribe from this list, follow this opt-out link.

Lead Stories:

Judge delays ruling on ICE detention, meaning migrant parents and kids could be separated
Judge Gee ruled that children must be released from ICE detention by July 17th. Judge Boasberg will not rule until the following week on whether migrant parents should be released, meaning children and parents could be separated from each other on the 17th.

Congress Calls to Decrease ICE Detention as COVID-19 Continues to Spread
The latest budget proposal from Congress sees a significant decrease in funds for detention and immigration operations, signaling a commitment to reduce the number of people in ICE detention centers.

New Trump immigration policy would disqualify asylum for people from countries with spreading disease
The Trump Administration is working on a new set of immigration restrictions that could deny humanitarian refuge to anyone from a country with a disease outbreak, claiming that asylum seekers are a danger to public safety.

Action Items:

Submit a Public Comment to Stop Proposed Asylum Ban.
The public comment period is coming to an end to protest the regulatory adjustment the Trump administration seeks to pass. This regulation would make it essentially impossible to qualify for asylum in the U.S. The comment period closes at 11:59pm today, July 15. Please follow this link to read more, and click here for a guide (and the links) to submit a comment.

Join a Phone Bank to Keep Families Together
In order to prevent Family Separation 2.0, RAICES is asking that you join their phone bank or email your members of Congress. This Friday, July 17th, is the deadline for children to be released from ICE detention, possibly without their parents. By joining the action, you will be putting pressure on ICE and Congress to release all detained families together prior to this Friday’s Flores Hearing.

Free Pastor Steven
Pastor Steven is a Ugandan human rights activist and asylum-seeker that is facing imminent deportation, which would likely lead to his death. He is currently in ICE detention, where he faces a heightened risk of contracting COVID-19 – a particular threat to his life due to his diabetes. Visit this page from Angry Tias & Abuelas to learn more about Pastor Steven and how to fight for his safety.

Trump is Labeling Asylum Seekers as a Security Threat: Submit a Public Comment to Oppose this Proposal
A new proposed rule would bar those that passed through a country where COVID-19 is prevalent from seeking asylum in the United States. This rule could extend beyond the current pandemic, as it includes any communicable disease of public health concern. To voice your opposition and delay this proposed rule, submit a public comment before August 10th.

Speak Up to Defend TPS
Terminating TPS would up-end the lives of 300,000 individuals and their families. To voice your support for these families, share the Alianza Americas blog post in English and Spanish on TPS and the Ramos v. Nielsen case. You can also share Alianza Americas’ post on both Facebook and Twitter to spread the word. Tag your elected officials and use the following hashtags: #SaveTPS, #KeepingUSsafe, #PermanentResidencyNow, and #HomeIsHere.

COVID-19 Resources for Immigrants:

Apply for P-EBT: Texas Deadline Extended to July 31st
During this pandemic, immigrant families have been excluded from most forms of government assistance. Pandemic-EBT may be one of the only resources they can access, but many have yet to take advantage of this benefit. Visit this website before the July 31st application deadline to address all of your questions about what this benefit is, whether your family is eligible, and how you can access it.

Resources for Immigrants During the COVID-19 Crisis
The Immigrant Learning Center has compiled a list of resources for immigrants, refugees, parents, and educators. These include health, finance, legal and employment services, resources for combating discrimination, and immigration-related lesson plans and activities for distance learning.

Other Recent News of Interest:

Immigrant parents denied adequate medical care, should be released with their children, lawyers say
Lawyers representing immigrant families in detention centers filed a complaint against the Department of Homeland Security, stating that ICE has failed to provide adequate protections for COVID-19.

Trump’s Immigration Order Targeted Spouses And Children
The recent presidential proclamation, aimed at preventing entry for foreign workers in the United States, also targets spouses and children by singling them out as a “threat”.

Trump Says Upcoming Immigration Measure Will Include DACA
On Friday July 10th, President Trump said he plans on unveiling new immigration policies sometime in the next month. This plan includes some protections for DACA recipients.

Appeals Court Deals 2nd Blow to Trump Asylum Policy
Monday, a federal appeals court blocked a U.S. policy regarding asylum which denies asylum to anyone who passes through another country without first seeking protection there.

Immigration judges sue Trump administration alleging their free speech rights have been violated
A policy placed by the Justice Department’s Office of Immigration Review prohibits judges from speaking about policy or law. The judges argue that this violates their First and Fifth Amendment.

Former Eloy correctional officers blame negligence for huge COVID-19 outbreak
The conditions in this facility include rationing of masks and gloves and a culture that encourages staff to keep working even if they have COVID-19 symptoms.  

U.S. Visa Changes Leave Students in Limbo
The Trump administration announced that students whose classes were moving entirely online for the fall would be stripped of their visas and required to leave the United States.

ICE Just Became Even Less Transparent
The Trump administration quietly classified ICE as a security agency, protecting the identity of agency employees from public disclosure.

Arrests along Mexico border jumped 40% last month, despite Trump administration’s immigration crackdown
The Washington Post reports that the number of arrests along the Mexican border have increased by 40% in June, despite the Trump administration’s new policies on immigration.

‘It Was Like a Time Bomb’: How ICE Helped Spread the Coronavirus
Investigative work done by the New York Times and The Marshall Project reveals that ICE helped spread COVID-19. At least 3,000 detainees tested positive for the coronavirus, despite the limited access to testing.

ICE Offering ‘Citizens Academy’ Course with Training on Arresting Immigrants
This academy is launching its pilot program in Chicago before nation-wide implementation. Immigration advocates fear that the program will lead to racial profiling and violence.

The Trump Administration Must Resume Processing New DACA Applications
The agency must renew existing DACA applications and reopen the application process to more than 300,000 newly eligible applicants.

The US commitment to asylum-seekers is eroding away amid COVID-19
The administration has proposed regulation to justify the near total suspension of humanitarian protections at the border. The article details the effects of immigration policy in the border community of Ciudad Juarez.

New Report Finds Chilling Effect: Avoidance of Health Benefits by Immigrants
This report details the intersection between the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on immigrant families and the chilling effect caused by the public charge rule.

A Report on the Families of Karnes Detention Center
This report intends to illuminate the experiences of the families who were separated and detained at the Karnes family detention center, detailing the harms committed against migrants in detention.

The Need for Asylum Told Through Francisco’s Story
This blog post details the story of Francisco, a Guatemalan man who applied for asylum after seeing his family killed and narrowly fleeing death. Many others who have suffered like him have sought asylum in our country only to be denied due to the United States’ ever-restricting asylum system.


Thanks so much for reading and staying informed.