June 26, 2017
MCC job opening: Immigration Project Coordinator
“I don't want to be in a detention center. I don't want my children to be here. So I thought, ok, let's finish myself, they may release my children.” –Samira, a mother from Afghanistan seeking asylum, detained since December, who recently tried to commit suicide
Asylum seekers: Not only are asylum seekers being held in detention for long periods, but many are being illegally turned away at the border. The Texas legislative session ended without passage of a bill to license two family detention centersas child care facilities. The American Medical Association adopted a resolution opposing family detention.
U.S.-Mexico border: More than a dozen Anabaptists participated in the annual Migrant Trail, a 75-mile walk through the Sonoran Desert in Arizona to bring attention to the deaths of migrants. The walk was particularly emotional for one participant, whose nephew had recently died migrating through Mexico.
Refugee/travel ban: On June 1, the Trump administration appealed a Fourth Circuit Court ruling blocking its refugee and travel bans. The U.S. Supreme Court could rule on the case as early as this month. The Ninth Circuit upheld a similar injunction on June 12.
Enforcement and detention: The Trump administration is reportedly considering ending Temporary Protected Status for immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Ten immigrants have died in detention so far in fiscal year 2017, the most since 2011. Menand women at the Adelanto immigrant detention center in California are continuing their hunger strike to protest conditions (ACLU suit).
The increased crackdown on immigrants, which is ensnaring even some previously given reprieves by the Obama administration, is leading to big profits for private prison companies. The use of surveillance devices in deportation searches has raised civil liberties concerns.
FY 2018 budget: President Trump’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 would dramatically increase funding for immigration enforcement. Advocacy resources | Dismantle, Don’t Expand report
Intersection of immigration and criminal justice: Two sisters were arrested for drug possession but, because one was born in a refugee camp, their outcomes were very different. In California, a new report from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice details how crime and violence decreased as immigration increased.
- The Protection of Children Act (H.R. 495) would dramatically reduce protections for unaccompanied children seeking asylum in the United States.
- A border security bill being drafted by Sen. Cornyn (R-Tex.) and Rep. McCaul (R-Tex.) reportedly contains new harsh mandatory minimum sentences for immigrants, “Kate’s Law,” and 10,000 additional detention beds per year.
- The Agricultural Worker Program Act (S. 1034, H.R. 2690), introduced in both the House and Senate in May, would provide a path to immigration status for undocumented agricultural workers. Fact sheet: English | Spanish
- Updates: The Davis-Oliver Act (H.R. 2431) which would expand local police involvement in immigration enforcement and increase criminal penalties for immigration violations, passed the House Judiciary Committee on May 24. The Anti-Border Corruption Reauthorization Act (H.R.2213) which would weaken the screening process for applicants to Customs and Border Protection jobs passed the House on June 7.
- Can faith leaders get through to John Kelly? Challenging the DHS chief on deportations
- An inside look at an immigration court inside the LaSalle detention facility
Orlando 2017 Mennonite Church USA convention: Be sure to check out these seminars!
- Church responses to immigration enforcement and deportation
- In the news and in our prayers: Immigration
- People on the move in Asia and the U.S.
- People on the move: A migration exercise (youth)
September 11-15: MCC Immigration Law Training
Peace Lab Podcast, Episode 14: Immigration justice with Tammy Alexander and Saulo Padilla
Advocacy resources to respond to an unfaithful budget (IIC)
A history of the sanctuary movement (podcast)
Illinois TRUST Act goes to Gov. Rauner’s desk as national model for common-sense and constitutional state-level immigration policy
Under the shadow of Trump, dismantling Obama’s deportation machine: Communities are fighting back against an immigrant prison in rural Georgia
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Update created June 26, 2017, by Tammy Alexander, Senior Legislative Associate for Domestic Affairs.
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