Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Supreme Court won't let Trump travel ban hit grandparents

Several analysts said the signals from the high court increase the possibility that the case may never be argued or decided on the merits. The 90-day period for the six-country ban is set to run out in late September and the refugee halt is scheduled to expire soon thereafter. The justices also said last month they want the parties to address in their briefs whether the dispute could be moot.
By Josh Gerstein, Politico
July 19, 2017
The Supreme Court has rejected the Trump administration’s effort to subject foreigners who are grandparents or cousins of Americans to the president’s travel ban executive order, but the justices will allow the administration to block many refugees for now.

The Trump administration said grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunts did not qualify for a travel ban exemption, which was required by the high court for foreign citizens with close ties to U.S. people or institutions. But a federal judge in Hawaii disagreed with the administration’s interpretation and ordered officials to exempt a broader set of relatives.

The Hawaii judge also said refugees assigned to a U.S. resettlement organization were exempt from the ban. However, the justices put that part of the decision on hold Wednesday pending an appeal.[…]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Activist: Threat to DACA Is a Reality Check

Mixed message from Trump on DACA sparks frustration from Dreamers as well as critics of illegal immigration

Serrano-Taha said some DACA recipients became complacent and stopped fighting for others left behind by the program, despite the growing numbers of deportations during the Obama administration.…“It created a sense of entitlement,” Serrano-Taha said. “DACA has always been in danger, ever since it started. This should be a wake-up call. It’s a reality check.”

By Cindy Carcamo, Los Angeles Times
July 16, 2017
DACA recipient Melody Klingenfuss, a 23-year-old who lives in North Hills, feels like her immigration relief is under threat. Klingenfuss came to the U.S. on a tourist visa when she was 9.
Ever since Donald Trump was elected, Melody Klingenfuss has known her time in the United States could be limited.

The 23-year-old has temporary immigration relief under President Obama’s landmark Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which seemed imperiled amid Trump’s vowed crackdown on illegal immigration.

But instead of clear policy, Klingenfuss and thousands of other DACA recipients have faced mixed messages, contradictory leaks and a lack of clarity about their future. Inside the administration, there has been talk of deportations, only to have the president himself sound a less dire tone.[…]

Read the full article:

Monday, July 17, 2017

Could the DACA Threat Set Off a Big Immigration Fight in September?

February protest in Seattle. Photo: Ted S. Warren AP
A threatened lawsuit by anti-immigrant hardliners could put DACA on hold or even end it completely unless Congress takes action or the Trump administration decides to defend the deferred action program. The hardliners set the deadline for a response on September 5, the day Congress resumes, so it’s clearly an effort to spark a showdown on immigration policy the Congress within the administration.

What’s less clear is how immigrant rights activists are going to respond. Democrats in Congress are apparently looking for a compromise. McClatchy reports that Chuck Schumer, the Democrats’ Senate leader, is “asking if [immigrant] advocates will give in on any other parts of the immigration fight in order to save DACA.” Others are wondering why we would need to "give in to save DACA" when a poll last November found that the public already opposes efforts to repeal the program by a margin of more than two to one. –TPOI editor

The future of DACA suddenly looks very shaky
If Trump makes 780,000 young immigrants vulnerable to deportation again, all hell might break loose.

By Dara Lind, Vox
July 14, 2017
President Trump looks like he might be gearing up to touch the third rail of immigration policy in 2017: ending the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allowed young unauthorized immigrants to work legally and protected them from deportation.

Democrats are bracing for a second wave of an immigration crackdown this fall: White House adviser Stephen Miller is reportedly working with members of Congress on a bill to curb legal immigration, while Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly refused to assure members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus about the future of some immigrants currently protected from deportation.

But it’s DACA that could open the floodgates.[…]

Read the full article:

Democratic leaders to secretly huddle over strategy to save DACA

By Franco Ordoñez, McClatchy DC
July 11, 2017
Senate Democratic leaders will huddle secretly with immigration advocates Wednesday to find out what measures they will — and won’t —support as the clock ticks down on immigration issues that must be decided in the next 50 to 90 days, including the Obama-era policy that grants temporary legal status to immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.

Knowing that the deferred action program known as DACA — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — could be eliminated if it ends up in court, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other leaders are expected to hold a conversation with advocates on the realities of the political fight, pressing for unity and asking if the advocates will give in on any other parts of the immigration fight in order to save DACA.

“Schumer is a good person to be meeting with right now because he has to hold his guys together to block some of this stuff that is coming from the House,” said a congressional staffer who could not speak publicly about Democratic strategy.[…]

Read the full article:

Correction, July 18: The posting has been corrected to reflect the fact that the lawsuit against DACA  is threatened, not actually in progress.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

There Is No Evidence of an Illegal Immigrant Crime Wave: Why the “Elusive Crime Wave Data Shows Frightening Toll of Illegal Immigrant Criminals” Is Flawed

This blog post by Alex Nowrasteh, an analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, presents an important response to claims about a supposed “illegal alien crime wave.” In 2015 Fox News tried to counter the generally accepted research showing that immigrants are less likely to be convicted of crimes than the native born. Nowrasteh points out obvious errors in the Fox News report—such as a common misunderstanding of county jail statistics that we pointed out in 2008—and shows the questionable reliability of references to a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) report which is not publicly unavailable. (The references originate in a blog at the far-right PJ Media site. Rightwing provocateurs Gavin McInnes and Ann Coulter are responsible for similar distortions of Texas DPS data.)—TPOI editor
Rightwingers used dubious stats as "evidence" in debate on Kate's Law (H.R. 3004
By Alex Nowrasteh, Cato Institute
July 7, 2017
The House of Representatives recently passed the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act (H.R. 3003) and Kate’s Law (H.R. 3004) to tighten immigration enforcement in response to the fear that illegal immigrants are especially likely to commit violent or property crimes.  Both laws stem from the tragic 2015 murder of Kate Steinle by an illegal immigrant named Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez after he had been deported multiple times.

Debates on the House floor over both bills veered into the social science of immigrant criminality.  The majority of research finds that immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than natives and that increases in their population in local areas are correlated with lower crime rates – even for illegal immigrants.

Despite that wealth of empirical evidence, a two-year-old Fox News piece entitled “Elusive Crime Wave Data Shows Frightening Toll of Illegal Immigrant Criminals” by investigative reporter Malia Zimmerman was offered as evidence of illegal immigrant criminality.  Ms. Zimmerman’s piece makes many factual errors that have misinformed the public debate over Kate’s Law and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act.[…]

Read the full article:

Friday, July 14, 2017

NYC, July 19: “Resistance at Tule Lake” East Coast Premiere

"A dominant narrative of the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans is that they behaved as a 'model minority,' cooperating without protest and proving their patriotism by enlisting in the army. Konrad Aderer’s documentary overturns this history, telling the story of the 12,000 Japanese Americans labeled “disloyal” who dared to resist the U.S. government’s program of mass incarceration at Tule Lake Segregation Center... Resistance at Tule Lake brings to surface stories of dissent and noncooperation marginalized for 70 years—ever more vital today amidst new threats to the rights of immigrants and minorities."

Resistance at Tule Lake at JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film
Japan Society
333 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 6:30PM
*Introduction and Q&A with Director Konrad Aderer!

Tickets $14 / $11 Seniors & Students / $10 Japan Society Members

Resistance at Tule Lake in the News:

From Hiroshima to Tule Lake, Films About Japan and America
By Mike Hale, New York Times
July 12, 2016
"Interviewing survivors, and traveling on a pilgrimage to the desolate remains of the Tule Lake relocation camp in far Northern California, Mr. Aderer shows that the narrative of stoic obedience in the face of repression and imprisonment is radically incomplete... Toggling among fascinating, often sorrowful film and photographs from the period, and the still vivid anger of the now elderly former prisoners, 'Resistance at Tule Lake' is a potent piece of history at a time when the United States is once again feeling less than hospitable."[…]

Read the full article:

Resistance at Tule Lake: Film Looks at WW2 Internment
Tom Brook interviews Konrad Aderer, BBC
July 13, 2017
More than 120,000 Japanese-Americans were held at internment camps in the US during the 1940s because they were viewed as a security threat.  New documentary, Resistance at Tule Lake, looks at some of the internees’ resistance to incarceration at one California detention camp. BBC Talking Moves’ Tom Brook reports.[…]

Watch BBC interview:

Film Review: Konrad Aderer’s “Resistance at Tule Lake”
By Rex Baylon, Meniscus
June 7, 2017
"For many viewers, 'Resistance at Tule Lake' will not be an easy watch... The newsreels showcase the complete obliviousness of the American public’s perspective on Japanese [incarceration]. The interviews from surviving Japanese internees are maddeningly depressing as they nonchalantly tell of their experiences in the camps. They fight back tears as they tell their story, yet they end each harrowing tale of deprivation and humiliation with the same sentiment: that they stilllove this country and are proud to be Americans."[…]

Read the full article:

#SDAFF Spring Showcase: RESISTANCE AT TULE LAKE Demonstrated How the Struggle Is REAL
By Erin Chew, YOMYOMF Network
May 10, 2017
"This particular film directed by Japanese American filmmaker Konrad Aderer provides a deep insight into the resistance movement of the Japanese Americans incarcerated at the Tule Lake Segregation Center, and quashes the idea that Asians are obedient, non-confrontational, don’t voice their dissent and are happy to be apart of the model minority myth."[…]

Read the full article:

Interview with Konrad Aderer: Telling a dramatic story through real-life experiences is a very powerful way to engage people in an issue
By Panos Kotzathanasis, Asian Film Vault
April 26, 2017
"When I was making my first film 'Enemy Alien' about a Palestinian activist Farouk, I was looking for a parallel in Japanese-American history. I found it in Tule Lake. Pretty much everything that he did: conduct hunger strikes, reason with his captors, fight illegal cases on base of constitutional principles—that’s all the things that Japanese Americans did at Tule Lake. And they had the same kind of consequences—beating, torture, deportation, yet they still persisted, which is why I felt this story was invaluable to tell because it was so little-known."[…]

Read the full interview:

“Resistance at Tule Lake” at San Diego Asian Film Festival 2017
By Sam Velazquez, UCSD Guardian
April 23, 2016
“'Resistance at Tule Lake' reifies both the strength of people and the inexcusable, illegal actions of a government that has made a tradition of subjugating its citizens. The proud Americans dragged to this camp fought for their constitutional rights and were rebuked for it... As a nation of immigrants and contradictions, we must establish the fight for equality and justice as an active goal — not a pipe dream." […]

Read the full article:

Konrad Aderer Interview
By Andrea Chase, PRX
March 11, 2017
An interviewee in Konrad Aderer’s Resistance at Tule Lake compares that militarized internment camp to Guantanamo. It’s a connection that I had not made before, but which is just one of the many enlightening moments in the documentary.  When I spoke with Aderer on March 11, 2017, it was just before Resistance’s world premiere at CAAMFest, and my first question was about that comparison.[…]

Listen to the interview:

Konrad and team are grateful to announce that Resistance at Tule Lake was awarded the Jason D. Mak Award for Social Justice by the DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Gutiérrez Warns Those With DACA or TPS to Prepare for the Worst

“This was a wake-up call that Trump, Sessions and Kelly are serious about mass deportation and are anxious to get started.  It is a call to action for people who oppose mass deportation and turning the documented into undocumented so that they can be deported.”

Press Release, Office of Rep. Luis Gutiérrez
July 12, 2017
Washington, DC – On Wednesday, Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) was among the Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) to meet with Secretary John Kelly of the Department of Homeland Security.  In the closed door meeting that lasted more than an hour, Sec. Kelly was questioned about the continuation of the DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals); ICE arrests targeting the parents and family of children seeking refuge; detention and deportation of those with no criminal record and/or stays of deportation; the renewal of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for numerous countries; and the deportation of U.S. veterans.

The following is a statement from Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez, a Member of the Judiciary Committee and Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

I think we have to prepare for the worst and get ready to fight mass deportation.  We showed up at airports to fight the Muslim and Refugee Ban and now DREAMers and people who have lived here legally for decades with TPS are in imminent danger.

Secretary Kelly determines the future of TPS and basically told us he is not sure if he will extend it for hundreds of thousands of people. He also said that the future of DACA is up to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, America’s leading advocate against immigration, so Kelly was basically telling us DACA is facing a death sentence.  They actually want to take millions of people who are documented – with our own government – make them undocumented, and then go after them and their families.

So, I fear for anybody currently with DACA or TPS.[...]

Read the full press release:

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Here’s What Violence Along the U.S.-Mexico Border Really Looks Like

Northern Mexican cities are among the hemisphere's most violent. Across the border, it's a different story.
Border fence between San Diego and Tijuana. Public domain.
By Juan Carlos Garzón-Vergara, openDemocracy
July 3, 2017
Part of the justification for President Donald Trump’s “great wall” is that it is needed to keep America protected from what lies below – northern Mexico is rife with drug violence and there exists a very real risk of that violence spilling over into American cities and towns.

But the dynamics of the drug trade – and the numbers – point to a different reality.

At the Igarapé Institute, we’ve compiled the most up-to-date official homicide data from both sides of the border. The results show that towns along the U.S. side are among the safest in the country; northern Mexico, meanwhile, is one of the most violent places in the hemisphere. They also suggest that the threat of spillover violence is unlikely to increase or decrease with the presence of a physical wall.[…]

Read the full article:

Monday, July 10, 2017

Books on Immigration: Two Recommendations

Here are two books on immigration for which we’ve received recommendations from reliable sources, so please check them out..—TPOI editor

Elvira's Faith and Barack's Challenge: The Grassroots Struggle for the Rights of Undocumented Families

By Reverend Walter L Coleman (Author), John Womack (Editor), Elvira Arellano (Contributor)
Wrightwood Press (September 6, 2016)

John Womack, author of the acclaimed Zapata and the Mexican Revolution, writes this about Elvira’s Faith:

I can testify that it really is a wonderfully clarifying book, also a deeply encouraging book. It is about a young woman from Maravatío, Michoacán, intent in the economic wreckage of Mexico in 1995-96 just on making enough money to pay for her aged, unwell parents’ medicine, migrating north for work in Mexico, finally heading alone al Gran Norte, sin documentos, eventually for good in the US labor market, bearing a son here, eventually finding herself in Chicago, working in the crews cleaning planes at O’Hare, arrested in the typically hysterical post-9/11 raids to catch working people without papers, released, but under the constant threat of deportation—and then meeting the great Pilsen organizers, Emma Lozano and her husband, Rev. Walter Coleman, and joining their terrific fight for justice for undocumented migrants here.

Elvira is really the first of the great, conscious, brave, public champions of Sanctuary in the USA in the 21st century. She spent the year 2006-2007 living with her son in Rev. Coleman’s church, living every day protected night and day by the local community, then by plan, hers and the local underground’s, escaping “Homeland Security” to get secretly from Chicago to Los Angeles to begin a national campaign there for justice for the undocumented.

The rest you can read in the book, and hopefully colleagues, friends, and many students will too, learn from it, and act bravely on it. La lucha sigue.

In the Fields of the North / En los campos del norte

By David Bacon
University of California Press; Bilingual edition (May 23, 2017)

UCLA African American Studies lecturer Paul Von Blum writes in Truthdig on June 30:

A new bilingual book by David Bacon offers both a dramatic antidote to the deplorable reality of racism and a majestic life-affirming view of these hidden women, men and children. "In the Fields of the North" is a landmark fusion of journalism and documentary photography. Bacon is an accomplished writer and photographer, with a long record of union organizing for the United Farm Workers, the United Electrical Workers, the International Ladies Garment Workers Union and others. He has effectively documented the impact of globalization, the degrading conditions of workplaces for many immigrants, the human consequences of migration, the political struggles for workers' and human rights, and many related topics in his books and commentary.

But above all, Bacon is a documentary photographer of extraordinary power, insight and skill. In his introductory comments to the book, he is modest-too modest-about contributing to the long history of socially conscious photography: "I hope my work contributes to this tradition today." I have had the privilege and pleasure of teaching and writing for many years about some of the giant American figures of this tradition, including Jacob Riis, Lewis Hine, Ben Shahn, Dorothea Lange, Margaret Bourke-White, Roy DeCarava and Gordon Parks.[...]

Read the full review:

Saturday, July 8, 2017

ICE Officers Told to Take Action Against All Undocumented Immigrants Encountered While on Duty

A directive from the head of ICE’s enforcement unit appears to push for tougher action than the Trump administration has publicly promised.

By Marcelo Rochabrun, ProPublica
July 7, 2017
The head of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit in charge of deportations has directed his officers to take action against all undocumented immigrants they may cross paths with, regardless of criminal histories. The guidance appears to go beyond the Trump administration’s publicly stated aims, and some advocates say may explain a marked increase in immigration arrests.

In a February memo, Matthew Albence, a career official who heads the Enforcement and Removal Operations division of ICE, informed his 5,700 deportation officers that, “effective immediately, ERO officers will take enforcement action against all removable aliens encountered in the course of their duties.”[…]

Read the full article:

ICE agents detain a father of four as his family watches

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Immigration Practices Challenged in Court: Can They Detain Kids? What About Citizens?

A Ninth Circuit panel has ruled that the government needs to abide by its 1997 agreement to grant immigrant children bond hearings—for instance, the nine-year-old who was held in detention for 18 months. And now advocates are suing Miami-Dade County for holding a U.S. citizen overnight on an ICE detainer. (It was actually the second time immigration authorities mistook this person for an undocumented immigrant.)—TPOI editor

Detained Immigrant Children Are Entitled to Hearings, Court Rules

By Miriam Jordan, New York Times
July 5, 2017
LOS ANGELES — Undocumented immigrant children detained by federal authorities are entitled to
Border Patrol arresting kids. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images
hearings to determine whether they should remain confined, a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday.

A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, ruled that immigration authorities must abide by a 1997 legal settlement that established a policy for the detention, release and treatment of minors in immigration custody.

That agreement, named the Flores settlement after the teenage girl who brought the original case, stipulated that a child in deportation proceedings be afforded a bond hearing before an immigration judge.[…]

Read the full article:

U.S. Citizen Detained by Mistake Sues Miami-Dade Over Immigration Enforcement

By Caitlin Dickerson, New York Times
July 5, 2017
Immigration lawyers in Miami-Dade County are challenging its practice of jailing people on behalf of federal immigration authorities, in a case that could test the Trump administration’s attempts to pressure so-called sanctuary cities and counties.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Federal District Court in Miami, lawyers representing a local resident, Garland Creedle, argued that the county had violated his Fourth Amendment right against unlawful seizure.[…]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Are liberals having second thoughts about immigration?

For Democratic politicians and pundits this resistance to Trump might at first have seemed like a good thing, but Beinart’s article and the reaction to it suggest that liberals are starting to have second thoughts.
Anti-Trump Protesters in New York. Photo: Marty Goodman
By David L. Wilson, MRonline
July 3, 2017
On June 20 The Atlantic posted an article by Peter Beinart claiming that the Democrats had “lost their way on immigration.”

Beinart is a respected liberal centrist—of the sort that supported the 2003 Iraq invasion until it started going bad—so the article created a stir among opinion makers. Rightwingers at Breitbart and National Review gloated. Liberals took Beinart’s thesis to heart: Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum endorsed the article, and Thomas Edsall quoted it in the New York Times. A Chicago Tribune columnist cited it as an “important essay.”

It’s true that Beinart makes some good points.[…]