Trump's War on Immigrants: The Latest

[Content Note: Nativism; child abuse; Nazism.]

Donald Trump's war on immigrants — migrants, refugees, undocumented, documented, and naturalized citizens — continues to expand in scope with each passing day and is doing untold harm to countless immigrant families. Here is some of the latest news.

1. Staff at WABC-TV: Fliers from Neo-Nazi Texas Group Call on Residents to Report Undocumented Immigrants. "The signs urge people to report undocumented immigrants to the government, calling it 'civic duty.' The posters are turning up in Sunnyside Queens, an ethnically rich neighborhood in a city full of immigrants. 'We are the home to so many immigrants from so many different countries, speaking so many different languages,' said New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. 'That's what makes Queens so unique and so special.' ...While out on a jog this weekend, Van Bramer says he was shocked to see a flier posted on Skillman Avenue that called on residents to report undocumented immigrants. ...The councilman says he promptly tore down the flier and tweeted the incident. ...The councilman says a white supremacy, neo-Nazi group from Texas has claimed responsibility for the flier."

2. Vivian Yee and Miriam Jordan at the New York Times: Migrant Children in Search of Justice: A 2-Year-Old's Day in Immigration Court.
Though the exact figures are not known, lawyers who work with immigrants said the large number of migrant children now being held in detention has given rise to a highly unusual situation: more and more young children coming to court.

"We rarely had children under the age of 6 until the last year or so," said Ashley Tabaddor, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges. "We started seeing them as a regular presence in our docket."

These young immigrants are stranded at the junction of several forces: the Trump administration's determination to discourage immigrants from trying to cross the border; the continuing flow of children journeying by themselves from Central America; the lingering effects of last summer's family-separation crisis at the border; and a new government policy that has made it much more difficult for relatives to claim children from federal custody.

...When Ms. Ziesemer started at Catholic Charities a decade ago, the program for child immigrants appearing in court on their own was so small that it was run by a part-time coordinator, and all their clients could fit in a roughly 10-bed shelter, a small house in Queens. Now there are staff members conducting screenings of seven or eight children a day, trying to coax basic facts out of children who might be too young or too frightened to articulate what had happened to them. There are so many that they sometimes do not meet their clients until the day of their hearings.

Until a couple of months ago, most of the children never would have stayed in a shelter long enough to end up alone before a judge. But the bottleneck in the background-check process means longer stays in custody, and the possibility that some children might have to see a judge multiple times before being delivered to their mother or uncle or cousin. The shelters are now almost full — not because more children are entering the country, immigration advocates say, but because the government has tossed up another obstacle to leaving.
3. Garance Burke and Martha Mendoza at TPM: 'They Told Me I Would Never See Her Again': Deported Parents Lose Kids to Adoption. "The 'zero-tolerance' crackdown ended in June, but hundreds of children remain in detention, shelters, or foster care and U.S. officials say more than 200 are not eligible for reunification or release. Federal officials insist they are reuniting families and will continue to do so. But an Associated Press investigation drawing on hundreds of court documents, immigration records, and interviews in the U.S. and Central America identified holes in the system that allow state court judges to grant custody of migrant children to American families — without notifying their parents. And today, with hundreds of those mothers and fathers deported thousands of miles away, the risk has grown exponentially."

4. Yesenia Amaro and Barbara Anderson at the Sacramento Bee: 'We Don't Know What to Do': Proposed Trump Rule Strikes New Fear in Immigrant Communities. "A proposed Trump administration rule that would make it more difficult for immigrants to become legal residents if they get government benefits has Fresno County immigrants and advocates concerned, while gaining support from fiscal conservatives who say the U.S. should not have to support individuals coming into the country. The proposed changes are making legal immigrants reconsider applying for public benefits that they are entitled to, such as Medi-Cal and food stamps. Undocumented immigrants, who are ineligible for most government programs, are afraid that the few services they are able to receive would prevent them from gaining legal residency."

5. Garrett Epps at the Atlantic: A High-Stakes Immigration Case Hits the Supreme Court. "Nielsen v. Preap may determine whether thousands of longtime residents of the U.S. face indefinite detention without a hearing. ...Nielsen is a class action brought by a group of immigrants in the Ninth Circuit who have been or are being detained under 8 U.S.C. § 1226, a provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act. That section authorizes federal authorities to detain any alien who may be subject to 'removal' — the technical term for deportation. That term covers a lot of immigrants — border-crossers arrested after entering the U.S. illegally, tourists or students who have overstayed their visas, and lawful permanent residents who have committed certain crimes."

Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed just in time to cast his vote in a ruling that will have significant consequences for immigrants. And it a virtual certainty that he will cast his vote on the side that harms immigrants.

Make noise. Make your calls. Make a plan. Please support immigrant families, in whatever way you can.

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