Standing at the Detroit Metro Airport on January 15, 2018, Jorge Garcia hugged his wife and two teenage children before boarding a plane back to Mexico. Tears swelled in the eyes of the family while two ICE agents stood nearby waiting to escort Mr. Garcia. After 30 years of living in the U.S, 39-year-old Garcia was deported on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday from metro Detroit to Mexico, a move supporters say was another example of immigrants being unfairly targeted under the Trump administration.
Garcia was brought to the U.S. illegally when he was 10 years old by an undocumented family member. Although one might say that he could have received legal status, Garcia is too old to qualify for DACA, which allows the children of undocumented immigrants to legally work and study in the U.S.
Today, he has a wife and two children, all of whom are U.S. citizens. He's been trying for years to find a path to live legally in the U.S., with he and his wife spending $125,000 in legal costs and fees since 2005. Garcia has been facing removal since 2009, but previously he had been given stays of removal. But because of the Trump administration's immigration crackdown, Garcia was ordered in November to return to Mexico. Garcia has no criminal record — not even a traffic ticket — and pays taxes every year.
OUR VERDICT: Although he did enter illegally, he had established a family and roots with the Detroit Area. The rhetoric of the current administration and policies put forth by the State Department has lost direction for human dignity.
With the imminent government shut down that the United States congress faces, President Donald Trump refuses to change his stance on the border wall he spoke about so fervently during his campaign. The wall would cover nearly 2,000 miles of the border. This is a significant expense that would come out of the pockets of American taxpayers (since the initial plan to have the Mexicans pay for it failed).
Congress is still in debate on whether the wall is a good idea with conservatives on either side of the debate. This could be a topic that leads to the possible shut down of the government if congress does not come to an agreement.
Our verdict: the wall is an unnecessary expense and the fact that it is up for debate takes away from other more worthy causes that need attention of congress for their fiscal policy for the upcoming year.
In the wake of the controversy surrounding Trump’s slurs about Haiti, El Salvador, and many nations in Africa, the Department of Homeland Security has decided to end H-2A and H-2B temporary visas for Haiti, as well as Belize and Samoa. H-2A refers to visas granted for temporary agricultural work, and H-2B refers to visas for temporary non-agricultural work.
DHS provided reasoning for taking each of these countries off of the list of eligible countries, citing in the case of Belize, a lack of concern with sex trafficking in the country, and for Samoa, a lack of re-admittance of deported Samoan nationals. For Haiti, the reasoning cited was a high rate of visa overstays. The statistics provided by DHS, stated a 39% overstay rate, compared to 28% for Guatemala and 29% for the Philippines (CNN). Other countries with overstay rates higher than that of Haiti, were already taken off the list of eligible countries.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti, is for the most part the only other way in which Haitians can live and work in the U.S. TPS is an immigration option that was offered in the wake of the earthquake that struck the country eight years ago, but has undergone its own problems in recent months with renewal delays.
Our Verdict: The timing of this ban on H-2 visas for Haitians, reinforces the derogatory comments made by Trump last week, driving in the point that the White House does not want immigrants from these countries to come to the United States. His narrow and bigoted views must continue to be criticized and rejected.
On Saturday, the federal government began to open up renewal requests once again for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients. The program shields deportation of young immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children.
The decision to continue renewals came after a federal judge on Tuesday ordered that the Trump administration resume the DACA program. In a statement, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services states that "until further notice," DACA "will be operates on the terms in place before it was rescinded." The Trump Administration moved to end the program in September, and pushed Congress to act in defense of the the program.
On Saturday, people where were granted status by DACA could request a renewal if it has expired on or after September 5, 2016. However, people who had previously received deferred action but their file had expired before September 5, 2016 cannot renew, but they can file new request instead.
OUR VERDICT: This move would only have been granted if the California federal judge hadn't ruled on the procedure. Nevertheless, DACA is still on very shaky ground, and requires significant action from Congress to ensure that this stays in place.
Trump’s anti-immigration campaign continued today as he called out House Democrats for holding up the bipartisan immigration reform plan. There have been increased tensions surrounding DACA as the deadline to come up with an acceptable plan draws nearer; failure to put forth a plan will result in the termination of DACA, and with it, the loss of status for more than 800,000 Dreamers, most of whom have not known a home outside the United States.
Plans for the new plan were stalled this past Thursday during a meeting with members of Congress, where Trump called various nations’ “s***hole countries”, inciting outrage from both parties and the public in general. He tweeted this morning; “I don’t believe the Democrats really want to see a deal on DACA. They are all talk and no action. This is the time but, day by day, they are blowing the great opportunity they have. Too bad!”
The plan discussed in Thursday’s meeting included a citizenship pathway for Dreamers as well as $3.3 million dedicated to border security; this deal looked like a promising agreement in the face of high tensions between both parties. However, after Trump’s inflammatory comments at the meeting and his subsequent tweets, it appears that Congress is back at ground zero and will have to redouble its efforts to meet the March 5th deadline.
Our Verdict: The lack of commitment or effort by Trump to help in the creation of a DACA deal makes it clear that he doesn’t want one to come to fruition. Rather than help the process, or even stay neutral, he has taken steps against the creation of a plan. Unfortunately, if Congress wants to pass a DACA plan, they will have to tread lightly so as to not anger the president, which could result in another termination of a bipartisan deal.
La campaña contra-inmigración de Trump continuó hoy cuando tuiteó que los Demócratas del Congreso estaban causando problemas para el plan bipartido de reforma de inmigración. Las tensiones han aumentado porque está acercándose la fecha de vencimiento de DACA; si no proponen un plan, el gobierno terminara con DACA, y más de 800.000 personas perderán su estatus “Dreamer”. Casi todos de los participantes de DACA no conocen una casa fuera de los Estados Unidos.
Planes para un nuevo plan fueron retrasados este jueves durante una reunión con miembros del Congreso, cuando Trump llamó a varias naciones “países de m*****”, lo cual incito furia entre miembros del congreso y la ciudadanía general. Tuiteó esta mañana que “…no creo que los Demócratas en serio quieran ver un nuevo plan de DACA. Solo hablan y no toman ninguna acción. Este es el tiempo para actuar, pero, cada día, están perdiendo la oportunidad. ¡Que lastima!”
El plan discutido en la reunión el jueves incluía un camino a ciudanía para los Dreamers y $3.3 millones para la seguridad de la frontera; este plan parecía prometedor a pesar de las tensiones entre los demócratas y republicanos. Pero después de los comentarios incendiarios de Trump en la reunión y sus tuits subsecuentes, parece que el Congreso tiene que empezar devuelta y tendrán que redoblar sus esfuerzos si quieren cumplir con la fecha de vencimiento de DACA (el 5 de marzo).
Nuestro Veredicto: La falta de compromiso y de esfuerzo por parte de Trump en ayudar a crear un nuevo plan DACA quiere decir que no tiene confianza que uno nuevo se realizara. En vez de ayudar el proceso, está tomando pasos contra la creación del plan. Desafortunadamente, si el congreso quiere pasar un plan para DACA, tendrán que tener cuidado de no enojar al presidente, porque es posible que resultara en la terminación de otro plan bipartido.
In a meeting with lawmakers yesterday on a possible immigration deal that would provide protection for DACA recipients while also increasing border security, President Donald Trump made statements highlighting his disdain for immigrants from certain countries. The President singled out Haiti, El Salvador, and African nations, questioning why the United States should take in immigrants from, as the President called them, ‘shithole countries.’
Mr. Trump suggested the United States look to take in more immigrants from nations such as Norway, a nation of predominantly white people, as well as Asian countries, where the President believes the immigrants would be best able to help the U.S. economically.
While talks have gone on to put into law protections for DACA ‘Dreamers,’ the President has been revoking the Temporary Protective Status, or TPS, hundreds of thousands of people. Of the over 300,000 people currently being granted TPS for facing natural disaster or war in their home countries, Trump has revoked the protections for Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, and on this past Monday, El Salvador. These four countries count for nearly 250,000 of the 300,000.
VERDICT: President Trump has consistently demonstrated racial preferences for an updated immigration policy, he has not made such openly racist remarks since he announced his candidacy for president, when he stated that some Mexican immigrants “are good and some are rapists and some are killers.”
Though it seemed a deal had been reached between the six Senators who wished to have the meeting with President Trump, the deal was quickly shot down as not tough enough on security. Going forward, it is unclear whether a deal on an immigration law will be reached, but lawmakers from both sides are confident a deal will eventually be made.
On Wednesday, California Judge William Alsup placed an injunction on Trump’s decision to end the DACA program. Several other states are looking to follow suit. On the basis of the injunction Alsup wrote, “Plaintiffs have clearly demonstrated that they are likely to suffer irreparable harm absent an injunction.” His decision calls for protection for Dreamers from deportation while Congress works out a definitive plan. The ruling did not clearly state whether or not those with Dreamer status could go ahead and renew their work permits. The ruling has sparked outrage among the White House, confusion for Dreamers, and greater pressure for Congress to come up with a solution.
After hearing of the decision, the White House vowed to fight the injunction, claiming that only Congress can make a decision about DACA’s future. Many members of Congress commented that the ruling does not lessen the necessity nor importance of coming up with a deal quickly, although there is concern that DACA could be placed on the back burner. Fear that the Supreme Court could rule to overturn DACA completely, is pushing democrats in Congress to fight for a deal. The issues of the border wall, family-based migration, and the diversity lottery, remain the biggest contentions.
While Aslup’s decision grants protections for those under DACA, the ruling is likely a temporary win. The uncertainty surrounding its fate is unjust for Dreamers awaiting definite legislation. Congress must come up with a deal to keep DACA immediately.