Immigration

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Updates
Recent Updates
[edit]

  • 2/20/2017: Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly signed two memos, 'Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest'[3] and 'Implementing the President's Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Policies'[4] extrapolating the policies for the EO "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States," which calls for stricter border laws and broader rules for deportation of undocumented immigrants.

How You Can Resist
How You Can Resist
[edit]

  • Call your Members of Congress by dialing tel:854-6-RESIST and tell them to:
    • oppose using your taxpayer dollars to pay for a wall.
    • oppose funding for additional immigration enforcement agents
  • Find out when your Senators and US Representative are holding town halls and other Upcoming Events/Opportunities. Show up and tell them to protect immigrants.
  • Call your state representatives and ask them to support the State-Level Resistance Agenda.
  • Get involved with People and Organizations that are working on immigration.
  • Connect people who are experiencing immigration issues and/or are at risk of deportation to Crisis Resources, which can help protect and assist them.
  • Share Tools of Resistance to provide people vulnerable to deportation with information on protecting their physical security.
  • Technologists can join an organization or work on an open source project to drive social progress. Tech Forward has a compilation of options.

Actions Taken by the Federal Government
Actions Taken by the Federal Government
[edit]

Legislative Actions[edit]

Legislation that Supports Equity and Justice

  • A5962 directs the commissioner of health to seek a waiver from the federal government to authorize undocumented immigrants to purchase unsubsidized health insurance through the New York State of Health Marketplace.

    link=[http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=printbill&bn=A5962&term=2017



  • The BRIDGE (Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy) Act (S 3542) would offer temporary relief from deportation, along with work authorization, to the young people currently benefiting from the DACA program. It was reintroduced in the US Senate by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and in the US House by Representatives Mike Coffman (R-IL) and Luis Gutierrez (D-IL). The bill would also allow others who qualify for DACA to apply for protected status, including those who now meet the program’s education and age requirements. [5]
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  • Protect American Families Act (S 54) would prohibit the creation of an immigration-related registry program that classifies people on the basis of religion, race, age, gender, ethnicity, national origin, nationality, or citizenship.
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  • ENLIST Act (HR 60) authorizes the enlistment in the Armed Forces of certain undocumented immigrants who were younger than 15 years of age when they initially entered the United States, but who are otherwise qualified for enlistment, and to provide a mechanism by which they may be lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence.
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Harmful Legislation

  • No Funding for Sanctuary Campuses Act (H.R.483) bill prohibits federal funding for student loans and grants to colleges and universities that adopt "sanctuary campus" policies and refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. .
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  • H.J.Res. 30 Amends the Constitution to decide the number of Congressional representative seats each state has according to the number of citizens rather than the total number of people living in the state.
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  • Birthright Citizenship Act of 2017 (H.R. 140) To amend section 301 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to clarify those classes of individuals born in the United States who are nationals and citizens of the United States at birth.
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  • S 52 makes undocumented immigrants "associated with a criminal gang" inadmissible, deportable, and ineligible for various forms of relief.
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  • Taking Action Against Drunk Drivers Act (S 51) makes habitual drunk drivers inadmissible and removable and requires the detention of any undocumented immigrant who is unlawfully present in the United States and has been charged with driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated.
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  • Sarah's Law (S 37; HR 300; HR 174) requires U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to take into custody certain undocumented immigrants who have been charged in the United States with a crime that resulted in the death or serious bodily injury of another person, and for other purposes.
    Billtracker.png






  • Timely Repatriation Act (HR 241) provides for sanctions on countries that have refused or unreasonably delayed repatriation of an immigrant who is a national of that country, or that have an excessive repatriation failure rate, and for other purposes.
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  • Finish the Fence Act (HR 454) directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to complete the required 700-mile southwest border fencing by December 31, 2017, and for other purposes.
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  • SAFER Act (HR 441) provides for additional security requirements for Syrian and Iraqi refugees.
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See also the State and Local Pages for state-by-state legislative tracking.

Executive / Administrative Actions[edit]

  • 2/21/2017: Trump's administration outlines its immigration enforcement priorities in the "Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest" memo, which represents a dramatic expansion from the Obama administration regarding who will be considered priority for deportation.
  • 2/9/2017: Trump signs executive order, "Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety," assigns the attorney general to create a task force. This task force will lead state and local law enforcement officials in more concentrated tasks, quickly deporting undocumented immigrants.[6]
  • 2/9/2017: Executive Order "Enforcing Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking" pertains to drug cartels and human trafficking. The order describes individuals who were smuggled across the border into the United States as part of a larger "transnational crime organization." The Security of Homeland Security and the attorney general are encouraged to move faster to pursue individuals accused of "immigration fraud and visa fraud."[7] The order is written in vague language so as to give leeway to deport any undocumented immigrants convicted of any crime.[8]
  • 1/30/2017 Trump appoints Thomas D. Homan as Acting ICE Director.[9] Homan was previously the person in ICE in charge of removals, including identifying, detaining, and deporting undocumented immigrants out of the country. He set a strategy for 8,000 officers on the front lines.[10]
  • 1/27/2017: Trump signs executive order cutting funding from Sanctuary Cities and criminalizing those who help undocumented people, making it illegal to "facilitate" the presence of "aliens."[11]
  • 1/27/2017: Trump signed an executive order freezing refugee applications from seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and Africa, including Syria. He also stated that he would give Christians priority over other refugees seeking to enter the United States.[12]
  • 1/25/2017: The signed executive order "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States"[13] is a wide expansion of deportation methods of undocumented immigrants. The order could lead to a deportation of up to 8 million people living in the United States illegally.
  • 1/25/2017: Trump signed an executive order to build an estimated 2,000-mile wall along the southern US border with Mexico. The cost of building the wall is estimated by some construction analysts to exceed $30 billion, more than three times Trump's estimate.[14]

Projected Impact
Projected Impact
[edit]

Deportations[edit]

The administration's priorities outlined in the "Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest" memo suggests that any undocumented immigrant living in the US who has been charged or convicted of any crime – and even those suspected of a crime – will now be an enforcement priority, even including people arrested for shoplifting or minor traffic offenses.[15] This is a stark contrast to Obama's immigration policy in which people who committed serious crimes were prioritized for deportation.[16] In total, it is estimated that at least 8 million of the 11.1 million undocumented immigrants currently living in America are now considered priorities for deportation by Trump's administration.[17] These deportations would be accelerated by the hiring of an additional 10,000 ICE officers and 5,000 border patrol agents (pending approval of funding by Congress).[18]

Trump's administration has also reinstated the 287(g) program, which allows states and local governments to sign up to give local law enforcement the power to act as immigration officers.[19] 38 jurisdictions in 16 states currently participate in the 287(g) program, a number which will likely expand under this administration.[20] From January 2006 through September 30, 2015, the 287(g) program identified more than 402,079 undocumented immigrants to be potentially deported - mostly at local jails.[21]

These 38 law enforcement agencies currently participate in the 287(g) program.[1]


The memo on implementing the executive order also expands the use of expedited removals, where individuals are deported without the due process of a hearing.[22] Under the Obama administration, expedited removal was used only within 100 miles of the border for people who had been in the country no more than 14 days. Now it will include those who have been in the country for up to two years, and located anywhere in the nation.[23] The broadening of what "crimes" can be under the new immigration standards will result in more people being held in detention centers.[24]

There is also a new policy that will allow immigrants to be deported to countries that are "contiguous" to or border their country of origin instead of actually being returned to their country of origin.[25]

Trump's executive order threatening to cut federal funding to sanctuary cities, which has led some jurisdictions[26] to end their sanctuary status, may lead to reduced cooperation with law enforcement and an increase in crime.

Secure Communities[edit]

The memo has determined Obama's Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) unsuitable and re-enforced the Secure Communities Program. The program began in 2008 during George W. Bush's presidency. ICE will be able to request fingerprints attained from individuals sent to jails and prisons. Should individuals be considered a threat, they will be issued a detainer (48-hour hold in jail or prison).[27]. Unlike PEP that sought repeat offenders, Secure Communities allows officials to 'exercise prosecutorial discretion'[28].

Detention[edit]

The administration has also outlined how it plans to implement Trump's executive order in the "Implement the President's Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Policies" memo. In order to facilitate this expansion, Trump's administration plans to nearly double the number of people held in immigration detention to 80,000 per day including by building new detention centers.[29]

ICE has issued more than 42,000 detainer requests this year, 35 percent higher than the year before.ICE described its actions as “routine” and lambasted those who labeled them as “raids” because nearly 1 in 4 of those arrested had no criminal records.[30]

Asylum Seekers[edit]

Based on the memo regarding implementation of the Executive Order, if an asylum seeker is considered a threat once they've entered the country he/she may be held in detention.[31]. Just as in the past, asylum seekers will be required to establish 'credible fear' when entering the United States. However, now decisions made by ICE may override the criteria originally set out by Congress to ensure certain individuals would not be deported.[32]

Border Wall[edit]

The memo on implementing the executive order also requests a report on aid to Mexico.[33] It is possible that aid to Mexico will but cut or changed as a way to incentivize Mexico to pay for the wall. Currently, Trump plans to ask Congress (and therefore the American taxpayer) to pay for the wall.[34] Furthermore, Homeland Security has estimated that the border wall will cost $21.6 billion and take about 3.5 years to build. The report suggests that Congress will fund construction.[35]

New Programs[edit]

In addition, to the new enforcement priorities, Kelly has installed a new program; Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) even though crime committed by undocumented immigrants has decreased over time and is now less than crimes committed by native-born Americans. [36] Furthermore, the memo also stated that constitutional privacy protections will no longer apply to those who are not U.S. Citizens or lawful permanent residents when not mandated by law.[37]

Vulnerabilities in Their Strategy
Vulnerabilities in Their Strategy
[edit]

Border Wall Funding[edit]

Trump may also have a hard time convincing Congress to pay for a wall, given that currently there are more people leaving the United States for Mexico than entering the United States from Mexico.[38] This difficulty might be reinforced by the fact that even on Election Day, most voters polled opposed the wall, and more than 70% of voters polled said they supported a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.[39]

Lawsuits[edit]

Using expedited removals will rush undocumented immigrants through a process they barely understand without the right to an attorney and few options to appeal their deportation.[40] There is the possibility that using expedited removals for deportations will result in lawsuits because of the limititations on rights.[41]

Hiring New ICE Agents[edit]

It would take an act of Congress to appropriate additional funding to dramatically increase the number of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officers employed by the federal government. Even with the funding, officials have indicated it would take at least two years to hire 10,000 new ICE and 5,000 new border patrol agents because of the difficulty of finding candidates who can pass the training requirements and the requirement to pass a lie-detector test.[42] A former senior official of Custom and Border Protection, James Tomscheck has stated that the heightened number of security officials on the border will not effectively weed out individuals charged with drug-related crimes. Tomscheck finds that adding shortcuts to the process will increase likeliness of corruption by ICE officials. Given that 197 CBP employees, including border patrol agent,s have been arrested for or charged with corruption. Corrupt agents makes it easier for there to be gaps that criminals will likely search to exploit on the border.[43] From 2006 to 2011, Border Patrol officials went from 10,000 to 20,000. Half of the candidates applying for jobs through the polygraph test had been convicted of serious felonies (i.e., smuggling, drug trafficking) .[44]

International Law[edit]

In order to deport people to contiguous (or bordering) countries rather than the country of origin, it would require those countries to accept these immigrants.[45] For example, sending those seeking asylum in the United States to Mexico. is likely not possible without making an agreement with the Mexican government.[46] Furthermore, the instability on the border of the two countries pushing undocumented immigrants back and forth will create security issues. [47] Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray leading negotiations with Trump administration has stated that Mexico will not support taking in deported individuals from the U.S.[48]

Delays[edit]

With more people detained, the courts will have a larger backlog than the one that is usually in place (i.e., 1,800 cases).[49] The federal freeze on hiring that Trump has also proposed would also delay deportation times longer than the current five-year delay because of the limited number of immigration court judges.[50]

Detention[edit]

The constitutionality of detentions prior to deportation proceedings without a bail hearing are currently at issue in Jennings v. Rodriguez which will be decided by the Supreme Court within the next few months.[51]

State and Local Government Resistance[edit]

The 287(g) law that allows the federal government to enter into agreements with local and state law enforcement to act on the federal government's behalf in enforcing immigration laws is limited because it creats costs to local police departments in taking on this additional work. Since choosing to participate in 287(g) agreements is voluntary for cities, local residents and activists can pressure their city council members, Mayors, and county commissioners to prevent their cities and counties from participating.[52]

While Trump has signed an executive order threatening to cut federal funding from cities that fail to cooperate with his immigration policy, cutting all federal funding to a city for not following federal immigration policy is likely unconstitutional.[53] This is especially true if the policy is created without legislation that says that federal funding will be withheld if local/state governments don't follow the federal immigration policy. Furthermore, sanctuary cities have been found to experience significantly lower rates of all types of crime, including lower homicide rates, than comparable non-sanctuary counties. [54] It is also the case that these grants comprise fewer than 1% of the budget of most jurisdictions and therefore may not contain enough money to force states/local governments to follow the immigration policy. This is especially true when considering the impact to state/local economies of helping federal immigration authorities identify and deport undocumented immigrants.[55]

Trump's actions to cut funding to sanctuary jurisdictions won't have a substantial impact on their budgets.[2]


Economy[edit]

Increased immigration enforcement could cause a recession.[56]

For example, the technology sector finds that the immigration order limits their ability to recruit highly skilled workers. Foreign workers are employed by tech companies largely for remote work, administrative jobs, and tech support. Executives and engineers believe that businesses will be very limited in talent if foreigners are restricted from employment. Silicon Valley companies and other startups have heavily relied on foreign workers who have attained H-1Bs or green cards. The H-1B visa is granted to 65,000 high-skilled workers.[57] In addition to the tech sector, industries like agriculture, construction and hospitality would be devastated.[58] Deportations will also reduce local and state tax revenue. Undocumented immigrants paid an estimated $11.64 billion in state and local taxes in 2016 and $100 billion in payroll taxes, which goes to Medicare and the Social Security Trust Fund.[59][60] If Trump were to deport all 11.5 million undocumented immigrants, it would cost an estimated $400 to $600 billion and reduce the US GDP by $1.7 trillion – over 5%.[61]

This would not impact solely states that largely depend on immigrants such as California or Texas, it would effect every state.[62]

Center for American Progress released an interactive map recording the GDP to be lost from deporting undocumented workers.

Trump / GOP Strategy
Trump / GOP Strategy
[edit]

Border Wall[edit]

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that it plans to start awarding contracts by mid-April for President Donald Trump's border wall with Mexico.The Government Accountability Office estimates it would cost on average $6.5 million a mile for a fence to keep out people who try to enter on foot and $1.8 million a mile for vehicle barriers. Republican leaders in Congress have said Trump's wall would cost between $12 billion and $15 billion. Trump has suggested $12 billion. However, The price tag will depend largely on the height, materials and other specifications [63]According to another report, Estimates for the cost of building a wall from the Brownsville to San Diego have ranged from $15 billion to $25 billion. The Department of Homeland Security quietly identified this week three sites where the government will build the first phase of the wall: near El Paso, Tucson, Ariz., and El Centro, Calif.[64]There exists widespread confusion around how the expenses will be paid.[65]

DACA[edit]

Since the release of two new memos, extending more on the executive orders of immigration, Trump has for the time being allowed Obama's program DACA in place.[66]. There are 750,000 participants currently enrolled and some of their work authorizations are beginning to expire.[67]

Past Updates
Past Updates
[edit]

  • A drafted memo leaked in February 2017, suggested that Trump consider using as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to lead in the deportation of undocumented immigrants. The memo instructs governors from 11 states; California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. National Guard troops would be given the same power as ICE agents. [68] [69] This is not the first time that the National Guard has been deployed for immigration related matters. In 2006, President George W. Bush, deployed 6,000 troops for a short-term deployment of one-year. Troops were not to act as law enforcement officials but were to stand there as surveillance, install fences, provide training for Border Patrol. At the same time, Bush had endorsed the guest-worker program to provide a path of legalization for undocumented immigrants in the country.[70] In 2014, former Governor Rick Perry, deployed 1,000 National Guard troops to assist the border to assist at the U.S. - Mexico border from the passing of drug cartel members and unaccompanied children fleeing violence from Central America.[71]
  • 2/14/2017: ICE director Thomas Homan cancelled a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Homan did remark that arrests of immigrants are going to be under a broader scope.[72]
  • 2/14/2017: ICE arrested someone who came to the United States from Mexico and was supposed to be protected under DACA. The individual lives here legally with a work permit and has committed no crimes.[73]
  • 2/14/2017: Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has said that 680 immigrants were detained last week. Kelly claims that those arrested were criminals, though there is no information from the government of what crimes the individuals committed or if ICE officers are acting differently.[74]
  • 2/10/2017: According to the Washington Post, ICE in the last two days performed raids in at least six cities in CA, FL, KS, NC, TX, VA, and NY, detaining and in some cases deporting undocumented immigrants, including several without criminal records. Activists have suggested that the cities targeted may have been the subject of retaliation for their "sanctuary" policies.[75]
  • 2/9/2017: ACLU reports that ICE raided an estimated 100 people in California today.[76]
  • 2/4/2017: The Trump administration appears to be in support of including an ideology test as part of the "extreme vetting" process for refugees seeking resettlement, based on comments from Trump backers Frank Gaffney and Mark Krikorian. [77] Refugee vetting time normally takes 18 to 24 months. Vetting currently involves eight federal agencies, six databases, five separate background checks, four fingerprint and biometric checks, three in-person interviews, and two interagency checks. Another screening occurs in the airport before embarking and after arrival in the US airport. If the refugee is allowed in, the State Department assigns the refugee to an NGO resettlement.[78]
  • 2/2/2017: It is suspected that Trump will be moving forward in the next four weeks to eliminate the DACA program. A draft of an executive order that is circulating[79] would move to prevent current DACA recipients from renewing, making it easier for them to be deported. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly during his confirmation hearing said that he would not use DACA data to deport individuals. The Trump administration, through their immigration order, has made anyone with any criminal offenses a priority. Should this order be enacted, protections could begin to expire in January 2019, and DACA recipients would lose their ability to travel outside the United States immediately.
    • 121,543 immigrants who received their two-year DACA grants from January to March 2015 could lose their protections in the next six weeks.
    • 152,899 immigrants who received their protections between April and June 2015 could begin to lose their protections in spring 2017.
    • 750,000 undocumented immigrants have entered the program since 2012, when Obama first launched it. [80]
  • 1/31/2017: The Trump administration is considering a plan to deport immigrants who are likely to require public assistance, according to a draft executive order obtained by the Washington Post.[81]
  • 1/30/2017: State Department Notice by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Edward J. Ramotowski on January 27, 2017 was made public.[82]
  • 1/30/2017: Attorney General Sally Yates is fired by President Trump after calling his Muslim ban unlawful and directing the DOJ to not enforce it.[83]
  • 1/29/2017: Travelers were stranded around the world, protests escalated in the United States, and anxiety rose within President Trump’s party on Sunday as his order closing the nation to refugees and people from certain predominantly Muslim countries provoked a crisis just days into his administration.[84]
  • 1/28/2017: Border Patrol chief Mark A. Morgan resigned after six months in the position. Moran clashed with the Border Patrol union due to their endorsement of Trump.[85]
  • 1/28/2017: A federal judge granted a stay in the ACLU's challenge to Trump's immigration ban. People in transit or who have already arrived should be allowed to continue to the US as planned. However, this doesn't apply to anyone going forward. [86]
  • 1/28/2017: Trump’s executive order to close America’s borders to refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries is enforced. The order blocks entry to the US from citizens from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, and Libya for 90 days and indefinitely suspends admission of Syrian refugees. The ban includes lawful permanent residents (green card holders)—are almost 500,000 people from the seven countries included in Trump's Executive Order have green cards. Green cards allows the holder to live and work in the US indefinitely and allows for a transition to full citizenship after a period of continuous residence.[87][88]
  • 1/19/2017: The New York State Attorney General provided recommendations to cities on how to resist a deportation push from the Trump administration.[89]