Monday, February 12, 2018

Senate Set to Debate Immigration--as Resistance Picks Up

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has scheduled as much as two weeks’ worth of open
Mitch McConnell. Photo: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
debate on immigration policy starting tonight. No one seems to know what he’s up to, but it’s hard to imagine that anything good will come out of this. Most Republicans seem to be pushing some version of the hardline position taken by the White House (presumably written by far-right policy adviser Stephen Miller), while we can expect the Democrats to offer a centrist compromise.

Meanwhile, a lot of things are happening on the ground, with politicians and judges apparently responding to pressure from the grassroots. Several federal judges have temporarily blocked the deportation of specific immigrants or groups of immigrants, and a lawsuit charging that ICE unconstitutionally targets activists has forced ICE to stay the deportation of New York-based activist Ravi Ragbir at least until March 15. In Los Angeles a federal judge ruled that local authorities violated the Constitution when they honored detainers from ICE. If the ruling is upheld by higher courts, it would justify the policies of so-called “sanctuary cities.” Meanwhile, ICE is now officially claiming that its agents have the right to detain immigrants inside courthouses.—TPOI editor

[We can expect the Senate debate to produce a whole catalog of absurd misrepresentations of immigration policies. We’ll be trying to point up some of the most ridiculous through occasional tweets. Follow us at @Immigration_QA.]

McConnell’s immigration gamble
The Senate majority leader is unleashing a free-for-all debate over Dreamers — and his endgame is a mystery.

By Seung Min Kim and Burgess Everett, Politico
February 12, 2018
Mitch McConnell is taking the reins of an immigration debate that may prompt a fix for “Dreamers” — or quickly spiral out of control.[…]

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Not So Fast on Deportations, Judges Tell Immigration Agency

By Liz Robbins, New York Times
February 9, 2018
For a year, immigration agents have been enforcing the Trump administration’s orders to deport noncitizens at full speed with but one roadblock: the federal courts.[…]

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Ravi Ragbir: Immigrant Leaders Are Surveilled & Targeted for Speaking Out About Trump’s Deportations
Democracy Now!
February 12, 2018
On Friday, a federal judge stayed the deportation of New York City immigrant rights leader Ravi Ragbir, after he filed a free speech lawsuit arguing immigration officials unconstitutionally used their power to suppress political dissent by targeting outspoken activists for surveillance and deportation. The judge stayed the deportation only one day before Ravi Ragbir was scheduled to be deported. He has now been ordered to check in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement on March 15. For more, we speak with Ravi Ragbir, executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition.[…]

Watch the segment or read the transcript

L.A. federal judge rules that a key tool in Trump's immigration crackdown effort is illegal

By Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times
February 9, 2018
A federal judge in Los Angeles has ruled that police departments violate the Constitution if they detain inmates at the request of immigration agents, marking the latest legal setback for the Trump administration's plans to identify and deport immigrants in the country illegally.[…]

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ICE Issues Guidance on Enforcement at Courthouses

By Immigration Prof
February 11, 2018
Despite the many objections, including the Chief Justice of California, state courthouses remain targets for immigration enforcement.[...]

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