Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sessions, Feere and Kirchner: The Rightwing Fringe Now Directs Immigration Policy

While the media remain focused on Syria and Russia, the Trump administration is signaling its intention to step up the repression of immigrants—and maybe their supporters as well.

Yesterday Attorney General Jeff Sessions called on federal prosecutors to increase the use of felony charges against people who entered without authorization, and to crack down on people “harboring” undocumented immigrants. Meanwhile, two former staffers from far-right anti-immigrant groups have now been given influential positions in immigration enforcement: the Center for Immigration Studies’ Jon Feere has been named adviser to the acting ICE director, while FAIR’s Julie Kirchner will be Feere’s counterpart at CBP. (Previous reports indicated that Kirchner would be chief of staff at CBP.) FAIR and the Center for Immigration Studies were both founded by “white nationalist” John Tanton.—TPOI editor

“F-ing Horrifying”: Sessions Outlines Immigration Crackdown in “Trump Era”

“The things they want us to do are so horrifying—they want to do harboring cases of three or more people,” the prosecutor continued. “So if you're illegal and you bring your family over, then you're harboring your kid and your wife, and you can go to jail.”

By Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams
April 12, 2017
In “the Trump era,” as Attorney General Jeff Sessions called it on Tuesday, immigration officials will undertake a harsh crackdown on undocumented migrants—a campaign one veteran federal prosecutor described as “fucking horrifying.”

In his speech at a border port of entry in Nogales, Arizona, “[t]he nation's top law enforcement official outlined a series of changes that he said mark the start of a new push to rid American cities and the border of what he described as ‘filth’ brought on by drug cartels and criminal organizations,” the Associated Press reported.

“This is a new era,” the immigration hardliner told Customs and Border Protection personnel. “This is the Trump era. The lawlessness, the abdication of the duty to enforce our immigration laws, and the catch-and-release practices of old are over.”[…]

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Hard-line anti-illegal immigration advocates hired at 2 federal agencies

Jon Feere. Photo: C-SPAN
By Maria Santana, CNN
April 12, 2017
(CNN)Two hard-line opponents of illegal immigration have obtained high-level advisory jobs at federal immigration agencies in the Department of Homeland Security.

Jon Feere, a former legal policy analyst for the Center for Immigration Studies, or CIS, has been hired as an adviser to Thomas D. Homan, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan.
Julie Kirchner. Photo: Twitter
At Customs and Border Protection, Julie Kirchner, the former executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR, has been hired as an adviser to Customs and Border Protection acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, said Lapan.

The hiring of Feere and Kirchner at the federal agencies has alarmed immigrants' rights activists.[…]

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