Tag Archives: Immigration

Federal Judge Blocks Trump’s Latest Travel Ban

HONOLULU (AP) — A federal judge in Hawaii blocked most of President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban Tuesday, just hours before it was set to take effect, saying the revised order “suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor.” It was the third set of travel restrictions issued by the president to be thwarted, in whole or in part, by the courts. U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson issued the ruling after the ban on a set of mostly Muslim countries was challenged by the state of Hawaii, which warned that the restrictions would separate families and undermine the recruiting of diverse college students. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the ruling “dangerously flawed” and said it “undercuts the president’s efforts to keep the American people safe.” The Justice Department said it will quickly appeal. At issue was a ban, announced in September and set to go into effect early Wednesday, on travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, along with some Venezuelan government officials and their families. The Trump administration said the ban was based on an assessment of each country’s security situation and willingness to share information with the U.S. Watson, appointed to the bench by President Barack Obama, said the new restrictions ignore a federal appeals court ruling against Trump’s previous ban. The latest version “plainly discriminates based on nationality in the manner that the 9th Circuit has found antithetical to … the founding principles of this nation,” Watson wrote. The judge’s ruling applies only to the six Muslim-majority countries on the list. It does not affect the restrictions against North Korea or Venezuela, because the state of Hawaii did not ask for that. “This is the third time Hawaii has gone to court to stop President Trump from issuing a travel ban that discriminates against people based on their nation of origin or religion,” Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin said in a statement. “Today is another victory for the rule of law.” Hawaii argued the updated ban was a continuation of Trump’s campaign call for a ban on Muslims, despite the addition to the list of two countries without a Muslim majority. Watson noted that Hawaii argues Trump hasn’t backed down on calls for a ban on Muslim immigration. Watson cited Trump’s series of June tweets “in which (Trump) complained about how the Justice Department had submitted a ‘watered down, politically correct version’ to the Supreme Court.” Other courts that weighed the travel ban have cited Trump’s comments about banning Muslims from entering the United States. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said a previous version of the ban was “rooted in religious animus” toward Muslims and pointed to Trump’s campaign promise to impose a ban on Muslims entering the country as well as tweets and remarks he has made since becoming president. In Greenbelt, Maryland, U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang called Trump’s own statements about barring Muslims from entering the United States “highly relevant.” In his previous ruling, Watson wrote, referring to a statement Trump issued as a candidate, “For instance, there is nothing ‘veiled’ about this press release: ‘Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.’ Watson’s ruling Tuesday said the new ban, like its predecessor, fails to show that nationality alone makes a person a greater security risk to the U.S. “The categorical restrictions on entire populations of men, women and children, based upon nationality, are a poor fit for the issues regarding the sharing of ‘public-safety and terrorism-related information’ that the president identifies,” Watson said. He also said the ban is inconsistent in the way some countries are included or left out. For example, Iraq failed to meet the security benchmark but was omitted from the ban. Somalia met the information-sharing benchmark but was included. Watson also found fault with what sorts of visitors are barred. For instance, all tourists and business travelers from Libya are excluded from the U.S., but student visitors were allowed. The judge said he would set an expedited hearing to determine whether his temporary restraining order blocking the ban should be extended. Other courts are weighing challenges to the ban. In Maryland, the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups are seeking to block the visa and entry restrictions. Washington state, Massachusetts, California, Oregon, New York and Maryland are challenging the order in front of the same federal judge in Seattle who struck down Trump’s initial ban in January. That ban — aimed mostly at Muslim-majority countries — led to chaos and confusion at airports nationwide and triggered several lawsuits, including one from Hawaii. When Trump revised the ban, Hawaii challenged that version, too, and Watson agreed it discriminated on the basis of nationality and religion. A subsequent U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowed the administration to partially reinstate restrictions against Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and against all refugees. Hawaii then successfully challenged the government’s definition of which relatives of people already living in the U.S. would be allowed into the country, and Watson ordered the list expanded. TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Far Fewer Refugees Finding Safe Haven In U.S. Under Trump Administration

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — As the number of displaced people around the world grows, fewer and fewer of them are being allowed to resettle in the United States as refugees. This year, refugee resettlement in the U.S. was cut by more than 40 percent compared to the previous fiscal year. In January, one of Donald Trump’s first actions as President was to freeze all Syrian refugee resettlement in the U.S. and to cut the overall U.S. refugee resettlement for the rest of the year. With more Syrians fleeing war, the Obama administration had set a goal of resettling 110,000 refugees for 2017. Trump slashed that refugee resettlement goal in half. The number of refugees worldwide has risen to the highest number seen since the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was founded in the aftermath of the Second World War. The global number of refugees has reached 22.5 million people, which includes 5.1 million Palestinian refugees, according to the UNHCR. In all, 65.6 million people had been forcibly displaced by the end of 2016. In the 2017 fiscal year, the U.S. resettled 53,716 refugees, down from 84,994 the previous fiscal year. The number of refugees to be resettled in the U.S. next year is likely to be even lower, as Trump pushes to cap the number of refugees admitted at 45,000 for fiscal year 2018 — a 19 percent decrease from fiscal year 2017. The International Rescue Committee, a non-profit humanitarian aid organization, has rebuked Trump’s 45,000 cap. IRC president and CEO David Miliband states, “For the lifeline of U.S. refugee resettlement to be cut at a time of record refugee numbers is a betrayal of America’s history, and of its identity. Further, when America cuts its numbers the danger is that it sets the stage for other nations to follow suit; A tragic and contagious example of moral failure.” Read Also: California Leads The Nation In Resettlement Of Syrian Refugees Late last month, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) criticized the cap saying, “California accepts more refugees than any other state — 9 percent of the U.S. total — and I’ve never been told about a problem. Simply put, our country is not doing its part to respond to this global crisis and there’s no good reason for that to be the case. We’re better than this.” Between 2002-2017, California resettled more refugees than any other state, with 105,000 refugees resettled, according to a new report released by Pew Research Center. In California, the refugee resettlement numbers have dropped sharply over the last fiscal year due to Trump’s refugee restrictions. In the last 12 months, California resettled roughly 35 percent fewer refugees than the preceding 12 months. According to U.S. State Department figures, most refugees who were resettled this year in California were from Iran, at 1,341, Iraq at 1,025, Ukraine at 846, and Syria at 641. Read Also: California Leads The Nation In Resettlement Of Syrian Refugees U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) and Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) both publicly approve of the 45,000 cap. Labrador and Goodlatte are also pushing for legislation that would give state and local governments the power to decide if they want refugees to be resettled in their communities, would give Congress, instead of the President, the authority to set the overall refugee ceiling for each year and would require immigration officials to review the publicly available Internet interactions and social media postings of refugee applicants. Goodlatte states, “The Trump Administration’s refugee ceiling for the coming year maintains our nation’s generosity toward those in need, and importantly, ensures limited resources are used wisely and our citizens are protected in light of ongoing terrorist threats.” IRC President and CEO David Miliband maintains that Trump’s cap is a blow not only to refugees, but to the reputation of the U.S. “This administration’s decision to halve the number of refugees admitted to America is a double-blow: to victims of war ready to start a new life, and to America’s reputation as a beacon of hope in the world,” Miliband said. By Hannah Albarazi – Follow her on Twitter: @hannahalbarazi.

ICE Says Routine Enforcement Suspended In Wildfire Zone

NAPA (CBS SF) – Local and federal officials made reassurances to undocumented immigrants impacted by wildfires in wine country, saying that routine enforcement is not taking place. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a written statement that the agency is “deeply concerned” about the devastating wildfires, which have killed at least 31 people and have scorched nearly 200,000 acres as of Friday morning. “In consideration of these distressing circumstances, ICE will continue to suspend routine immigration enforcement operations in the areas affected by the fires in northern California,” the agency said. ICE said it would make an exception in the case of a “serious criminal presenting a public safety threat.” The agency went onto say that enforcement would not be conducted at evacuation sites, shelters or food banks. Read more at CBSSanFrancisco.com

Poll: Most Don’t Want Young Immigrants Deported

WASHINGTON (AP) — Just 1 in 5 Americans want to deport young immigrants brought to the United States as children and now here illegally, the focus of a politically fraught debate between the White House and Congress. Americans also have largely negative opinions about President Trump’s signature immigration pledge to build a wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Just under half — 49 percent — oppose construction while 32 percent support it. On Sunday, Trump told lawmakers his hardline immigration priorities, including the wall, must be approved if he is to go along with protecting the young immigrants from deportation. About 800,000 young immigrants had been given a deportation reprieve under President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA, until Trump ended the program last month. He’s given Congress six months to act. About 60 percent of Americans favor allowing those young immigrants, commonly referred as “Dreamers,” to stay in the U.S. legally, compared to 22 percent who are opposed. Just 19 percent of respondents say all these childhood arrivals should be deported. Sixty-eight percent of Hispanics, 61 percent of blacks and 57 percent of whites favor extending protections. Eight in 10 Democrats favor allowing the young immigrants to stay legally. So do more than 4 in 10 Republicans. “For the ones who are already here, there should be a way for them to stay because it wasn’t their fault,” said Nik Catello, a 57-year-old independent film producer from Orange County, California. “But you have to give them a path to citizenship.” Showing sympathy for the young immigrants does not always translate into softer views on immigration. Catello, for example, favors the construction of a wall along the Mexican border. Among those who favor a border wall, 38 percent also favor allowing “Dreamers” to stay. “What you see is growing support within the voters overall in giving Dreamers a path to citizenship,” said Todd Schulte, president of FWD.us, an immigration advocacy group founded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “Giving Dreamers the ability to earn citizenship is the most popular bipartisan, not just immigration, issue, the single most united issue in the country.” When Trump ordered the phase-out of the DACA program last month, he gave 150,000 young immigrants the chance to quickly renew permits that are to expire before March 5. Officials say that more than 35,000 didn’t make his Oct. 5 deadline. And many others will see their status begin expiring after March 5, unless Congress acts before then. Trump suggested at the time that he was eager for a deal to settle the matter, telling reporters, “I have a love for these people and hopefully now Congress will be able to help them and do it properly.” He also tweeted that if Congress was unwilling to find a fix, he would “revisit this issue!” in six months. Trump had previously said he wanted a DACA deal to include significant money for border security and eventual funding for the wall. But the priorities released by the White House this week went far beyond that. The White House’s demands include limiting green cards to spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, hiring 10,000 more immigration enforcement officers and making it easier to deport unaccompanied children. The White House says the measures are to soften the impact on the U.S. caused by granting benefits to DACA recipients. Carolyn Kurtz, a 62-year-old retired engineer from Monument City, Colorado, who wants protections for young immigrants, said Trump hasn’t done “the research necessary” on immigration. “Do I believe that immigration should be more carefully monitored and maybe limited? Yes. But the way he wants to go about it is not the way to do it,” Kurtz said. She called the president’s stance “very close-minded.” Two-thirds of Americans — 64 percent — say they disapprove of Trump’s handling of immigration, and a similar percentage — 65 percent — say the same of his handling of foreign policy. Both of those are similar to Trump’s overall approval rating. The poll also revealed more Americans favor than oppose another aspect of Trump’s immigration policy — his latest travel ban. Forty-four percent favor it compared to 37 percent who say they are against the new rules. In September, the administration announced the most recent restrictions which affect citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen — and some Venezuelan government officials and their families. They are to go into effect Oct. 18. It was the administration’s third try at limiting travel after a broader ban sparked chaos in January and was challenged in courts across the country. The AP-NORC poll of 1,150 adults was conducted Sept. 28-Oct. 2 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points. Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods, and later interviewed online or by phone. Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.  

Trump Uses DACA As Bargaining Chip For Border Wall

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump told congressional leaders on Sunday that his hard-line immigration priorities must be enacted in exchange for extending protection from deportation to hundreds of thousands of young immigrants, many of whom were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Trump’s list of demands included overhauling the country’s green-card system, a crackdown on unaccompanied minors entering the country, and building his promised wall along the southern border. Many were policies Democrats have said explicitly are off the table and threaten to derail ongoing negotiations over legislation protecting young immigrants known as “Dreamers.” They had been given a reprieve from deportation and the ability to work legally in the country under President
Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, which Trump ended last month. In a letter to House and Senate leaders released by the White House, Trump said the priorities were the product of a “a bottom-up review of all immigration policies” that he had ordered “to determine what legislative reforms are essential for America’s economic and national security. “These findings outline reforms that must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients,” he wrote, adding that: “Without these reforms, illegal immigration and chain migration, which severely and unfairly burden American workers and taxpayers, will continue without end.” Trump announced last month that he was ending the DACA program, but he gave Congress six months to come up with a legislative fix before recipients began to lose their status. Trump suggested at the time that he was eager for a deal, telling reporters, “I have a love for these people and hopefully now Congress will be able to help them and do it properly.” He’d also tweeted that if Congress was unwilling to find a fix, he would “revisit this issue!” in six months. Trump had previously said he wanted a DACA deal to include significant money for border security and eventual funding for his border wall. But the priorities released by the White House went far beyond that. They included a complete overhaul of the green-card system that would limit family-based green cards to spouses and the minor children of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents as part of an effort to end what is known as “chain migration.” The White House also said it wants to boost fees at border crossings, hire 10,000 more immigration enforcement officers, make it easier to deport gang members and unaccompanied children, and overhaul the asylum system. And it wants new measures to crack down on “sanctuary cities,” which don’t share information with federal immigration authorities, among other proposals. “These priorities are essential to mitigate the legal and economic consequences of any grants or status to DACA recipients,” White House legislative affairs director Marc Short told reporters in a Sunday evening conference call. “We’re asking that these reforms be included in any legislation concerning the status of DACA recipients.” But it remained unclear whether the president considers each of the more than a dozen priorities to be non-negotiable or whether the White House sees them more as a starting point for negotiation with members of Congress. Officials on the call notably declined to say whether the president would veto legislation that did not include each and every one of them. Trump last month appeared to reach at least the broad outlines of a DACA deal with House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer in which he would agree to extend DACA protections in exchange for a package of border security measures.
While Trump made clear that he was not backing down on his wall demand, he and other administration officials said then that they would be comfortable with wall funding coming later, in a separate legislative vehicle. In a joint statement Sunday night, Pelosi and Schumer said Trump’s list of proposals failed “to represent any attempt at compromise.” “The Administration can’t be serious about compromise or helping the Dreamers if they begin with a list that is anathema to the Dreamers, to the immigrant community and to the vast majority of Americans” they wrote. “The list includes the wall, which was explicitly ruled out of the negotiations. If the President was serious about protecting the Dreamers, his staff has not made a good faith effort to do so.” Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said the president’s “draconian and anti-immigrant principles” threatened to jeopardize “the bi-partisan, bi-cameral progress that has been made to pass a legislative solution that will protect nearly 800,000 Dreamers.” “It is immoral for the President to use the lives of these young people as bargaining chips in his quest to impose his cruel, anti-immigrant and un-American agenda on our nation,” she added in a statement. The demands could also divide Republicans, several of whom have introduced legislation providing a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers in exchange for less drastic changes. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s spokesman Doug Andres said the House immigration working group will review the list and consult with Republican members and the administration.

Stockton DACA Students Anxious About Future On Last Day Of Renewals

STOCKTON (CBS13) – Young undocumented individuals across the country have only a few short hours left to send in their final renewal forms for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Thursday’s deadline is part of the Trump administration’s wind-down period as it moves to roll back the Obama-era policy for immigrants who were brought into the u-s as children. For the last five years, Sacramento State University student Rosa Barrientos has felt safe under DACA. But last month, like many young undocumented individuals, she lost hope. “I was really scared and really fearful of what was really going to happen. And it was just really heartbreaking knowing that this program that has protected so many youth was going to end,” she said. Barrientos was brought to the US from Mexico by her parents when she was only four-years-old. The program allowed her to work and go to school without the fear of being deported as long as she renewed with DACA every two years. “The first time I did it, I was really anxious just because it was gathering so much information and gathering all this paperwork from the past year of going to school and demonstrating that I was here in the country,” said Barrientos. After Thursday, DACA recipients will no longer be able to renew their permits as Congress decides the future of the program. “I am in a state of limbo, in other words, I don’t know what’s going to happen,” she said. El Concilio in Stockton helps about one hundred undocumented students every week. “Many of them came out of the shadows under the DACA program, enrolled in school or getting a college education, or serving in the military, many of them have opened up their own businesses and over 90 percent of them are working,” said Jose Rodriguez, executive director, El Conocilio. The organization received several grants that have been turned into scholarships to help these so-called dreamers pay for their DACA renewal fees.  Leaders say those who miss deadline, might just be out of luck. “More than likely, their visa will expire in March and so their protection from being deported is going to end, supposedly then. So, now all we have to do is advocate through Congress in the hopes we get some type of solution to this issue,” said Rodriguez. El Concilio also providing legal advice and counseling through its immigration programs.

Protesters Block Streets On Last Day Of DACA Renewals

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police detained protesters who shut down an intersection while calling for protection for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as kids. Authorities declared an unlawful assembly after a handful of marchers set up metal platforms and blocked traffic on the city’s west side Thursday morning. Thursday is the last day for people to renew work permits under the government program known as DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. DACA has shielded immigrants from deportation but is now nearing its end. After officers detained protesters in the street, a few dozen demonstrators lined sidewalks holding signs and chanting “stop deportation.” Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.