A new film called The Infiltrators tells the story of two activists from the National Immigrant Youth Alliance who went undercover to infiltrate an Immigration and Customs Authority facility in Florida. The undocumented activists pretended to be newly-arrived in the country who spoke little English. In this Politics and More podcast from The New Yorker, Dorothy Wickenden has more on the new quasi-documentary and how it affected one of the two protagonists.
A federal judge in California has denied the Trump administration’s request to hold migrant families in custody long-term, the Associated Press reports. US District Judge Dolly Gee called the administration’s request a “cynical attempt” to undermine a longstanding court settlement. The Justice Department had asked the judge to modify a 1997 settlement to allow the government to hold undocumented immigrant families for longer terms. Judge Gee rejected a similar request from the Obama administration three years ago. Her ruling then said that immigrant children couldn’t be held in custody for more than 20 days. The Justice Department says it’s reviewing the judge’s decision and hasn’t decided yet whether to appeal. More on the judge’s decision is also available at the Washington Post.
People posing as immigration lawyers are nothing new, and neither are efforts to expose them. But it’s hard to catch and expose those fakes, according to an article at Salon and Reveal. Part of the problem is that victims of immigration scams don’t know where to turn to report the crimes.
“Lawyers and community organizations have known about this issue – notario scams and immigration fraud – for a very long time,” said Prof. Juan Manuel Pedroza, who teaches sociology at University of California at Santa Cruz. “The issue was: Is there way we can figure out where it’s happening and where the prevalence is really high? We’re not there yet.”Reporting these fraudsters to authorities comes with other risks for undocumented immigrants: tipping off the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Read more about possible ways to fight immigration fraud at Salon.
The National Advocates member Garrett Wilkes helped one of his immigration clients win a one-year stay of deportation after he sought refuge in a Phoenix church. 30-year-old Jesus Armando Berrones-Balderas was granted the yearlong stay on a humanitarian basis. Wilkes says Berrones checked in regularly with Immigration and Customs Enforcement every six months until December. That’s when ICE agents told him he’d be deported in January. CNN has more on Berrones’ fight to stay in the US. A CBS News interview is available here.
As lawmakers in Washington continue to wrangle over the best possible solution for ‘dreamers,’ or undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children, columnist Ryan Cooper suggests at The Week that the best solution may also be the simplest: complete amnesty. While some conservative critics have derided President Trump as “Amnesty Don” for his administration’s offer to make a DACA deal in exchange for limits on legal immigration, Cooper says the pathway to citizenship for dreamers may be the easiest:
Therefore, I would like to offer a contrary bold argument: All unauthorized immigrants, and all residents with some form of temporary permit, should be immediately granted permanent legal status.Read more about Cooper’s radical recommendation at The Week.
A compromise plan on immigration that would affect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and border security has been unveiled by a bipartisan pair of House members, CNN reports. Texas Republican Will Hurd and California Democrat Pete Aguilar have been “quietly working for weeks” on the legislation, according to CNN. Both Representatives say they hope their proposal can speed up talks revolving around how to handle “Dreamers,” or young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children.
Starting next March, almost 1,000 people per day could begin losing their protected status as their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) permits begin expiring after two years, CNN reports. Congress is considering four possible replacements for the DACA which would allow qualified applicants a chance to stay in the country legally. CNN takes a look at the four proposals in this story.
An editorial at The Washington Post points out that “the overwhelming majority of illegal immigrants in the United States have no criminal record.” But that hasn’t slowed the work of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents who are rounding up “not just criminal undocumented immigrants, but law-abiding ones as well.” Of the approximately 143,000 immigrants arrested by ICE in the past year, more than 25% had no criminal convictions. Most were guilty of non-violent crimes. The Post‘s Editorial Board examines the issues legal immigrants face in this editorial.
The Department of Homeland Security reports that arrests of people trying to sneak across the US-Mexico border have dropped to their lowest levels in 46 years. The Washington Post reports that “During the government’s 2017 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, U.S. border agents made 310,531 arrests, a decline of 24 percent from the previous year and the fewest overall since 1971.” While the drop may be credited to President Trump’s tough talk about beefing up border security, in May the number of border arrests started climbing again. Meanwhile, the number of arrests of undocumented immigrants has risen 42 percent in the past year, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Read more about the numbers at The Washington Post.