This comprehensive article reviews - as of Saturday morning - the confused state of the DACA negotiations. Democrats and some Republicans in Congress are seeking a deal that would allow the DACA Dreamers - immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children - to remain in this country and offer them a path to citizenship. But the DACA advocates lost their negotiating leverage when a bill to keep the USG funded passed this week. For the time being, a federal court has delayed Trump’s March 5 deadline for having DACA permits expire, though that decision could be overruled soon. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised an open debate on DACA next week, and House Democrats are pressuring Paul Ryan to do the same. Trump has shifted his position on DACA so many times that no one knows where the he really stands on the issue and what kind of deal he would accept.
 
This week public defenders in the Bronx walked out to protest a pattern of arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents of immigrants who show up for court appearances. The article documents some outrageous stories of ICE agents turned loose to detain anybody they think is undocumented. There’s the case of “27-year-old Aboubacar Dembele, originally from the Ivory Coast, who has been in the United States since the age of 3. He has no criminal record, and was at the Bronx courthouse attempting to resolve an open case of misdemeanor assault when he was arrested outside by ICE….Dembele also reportedly was attempting to apply for the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program when it was rescinded by the Trump administration last year. He currently has a green card application pending through his wife, who’s a U.S. citizen.”
This Times editorial is a good critique of Trump’s positions on immigration. It exposes Trump’s repeated demagoguery on the threat of crimes committed by immigrants. (Studies show immigrants commit fewer crimes than American-born citizens.) It also explains the fallacies in Trump’s proposals to cut legal immigration levels and revamp this system from the current family-based set of preferences to what the administration calls a “merit-based” system. The conclusion: “Mr. Trump’s approach seems intended less to rationalize the immigration system than to inflame his core supporters by demonizing nonwhite people, as he did when he disparaged immigrants from nations like Haiti and Mexico while praising Norwegians.”

One in four workers in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home care agencies is foreign-born, and in some states this figure rises to 40 percent. Elder care employers are already experiencing difficulties in finding applicants for these jobs as Trump’s immigration-enforcement crackdown and his revoking of Temporary Permit Status for Haitians and Salvadorans has created a “caregiving gap.”

Political scientist Daniel W. Drezner analyzes the White House’s offer on DACA negotiations and concludes that it is “so ridiculously over-the-top that it has poisoned the negotiating process.” The basic trade-off - a path to citizenship for the DACA Dreamers in return for draconian cuts in legal immigration - is one liberals have excellent reasons to reject on both policy and principled grounds.
 
Policies have consequences. Here Carlos Bonilla, an economic policy adviser in the George W. Bush White House, tells the story of bringing his 67-year-old mother to the USA and what that has meant to his family. Bonilla is responding to Trump’s attacks on what he calls “chain migration” and to the White House’s proposal for an immigration system that would allow only minor children or spouses to qualify for family visas.

Thomas Homan, deputy director of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, has issued a policy directive telling ICE officers to keep going into federal, state, and local courthouses to arrest undocumented immigrants. Immigration advocates have said this practice has negative effects on law and order in this country because it makes many immigrants reluctant to appear into court, report crimes, or cooperate as witnesses.

 
Thursday the White House rolled out Trump’s sweeping set of proposals on immigration. In essence, the proposed deal offers a trade-off: it would allow an expanded group of the DACA Dreamers - immigrants brought to the USA illegally as children - to stay in the country legally and have a long-term path toward citizenship. In return, Trump wants $25 billion for a border wall with Mexico as well as other conservative measures on revamping U.S. immigration policy. This is a complex proposal with much still to be negotiated. Many Democrats attacked parts of it immediately, and so did many conservative Republicans, but it is a starting point. This article provides a good overview of the issues and upcoming maneuvers in Congress on immigration before Feb. 5, when the extension of USG funding runs out and another DACA crisis could arise if there is no bill to help the Dreamers.
 

 

This week the Justice Department sent letters to 23 cities, counties, and states asking for records on how much law-enforcement officials in each locality are sharing information with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. The 23 jurisdictions included major cities like San Francisco, Denver, and Louisville, and the states of California, Illinois and Oregon, all of which have defied orders to hand over illegal immigrants arrested locally to ICE officers. In response to previous threats by the Justice Department, federal judges in San Francisco and Chicago have made rulings that limit the administration’s attempts to tie the awarding of grants to immigration enforcement policies. This letter indicates that Trump and Session still insist that cities and counties have an obligation to notify ICE when an undocumented person is about to be released from jail. As leverage, the department is using $380 million of justice assistance grants that fund such programs as drug treatment and prisoner reentry.

 

 

 This thorough article by the Post’s Fact Checker explains why we so often see varying numbers for the group known as the DACA Dreamers.  There are a number of legitimate ways of counting the Dreamers. For example, 689,800 have officially registered for DACA status vs. the 1.7 million who would be eligible for DACA status under the current proposal by Senators Lindsey Graham and Richard Durbin. And Trump this week spoke of three million being eligible for DACA under his proposal. The article also offers a succinct explanation of how DACA came about.
 
 This is one of many articles offering a postmortem on the Senate Democrats’ vote to end the USG shutdown without a DACA solution. While there has been much finger-pointing at Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, the author Matthew YIglesias argues that this “blame game” and the split among Democrats are fruitless. In the shutdown confrontation the Republicans had the public-opinion polls on their side, and there are 10 Democratic seats up for re-election in states Trump won. In short, the Republicans had the negotiating leverage. As to blame, Yglesias reminds us that “it was mostly Republicans who killed comprehensive immigration reform in 2007; it was overwhelmingly Republicans who killed the DREAM Act in 2010; it was even more overwhelmingly Republicans who killed comprehensive immigration reform in 2013. It was a Republican president who canceled DACA in 2017, and it is exclusively Republicans who are blocking a wise and humane legislative replacement for DACA in 2018.”
 

 

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