[This is a bi-weekly publication produced by Senior Policy Associate, Cheasty Anderson. New issues will be posted here on this blog or you can subscribe to have them delivered directly to your inbox.]
Dear Partners and Friends,
Happy New Year to you all! Thank you so much for wanting to stay up to date on what’s happening. Here’s the latest roundup of immigration-related news, and our bi-weekly action opportunity. Please let me know as things cross your desk that you think might be of value for our next newsletter, and as always, feel free to forward to folks who might want to join our list. Due to the holiday season, the next newsletter will go out in mid-January.
Appeals Court Maintains Nation-Wide Injunction of Public Charge Rule
“A federal appeals court in New York on Wednesday rejected a motion from the Trump administration that would have allowed it to implement a policy connecting the use of public benefits with whether immigrants could become permanent residents.” Read more here.
Appeals Court Lifts Some Rulings Blocking Trump ‘Public Charge’ Rule for Immigrants.
“ICE has signed new long-term contracts with three private prison companies to operate — and expand — immigration detention in California. The deals, which were published on a federal procurement website late Friday evening, come just days before a new state law takes effect, outlawing for-profit prisons and immigration detention facilities. The ICE contracts total $6.5 billion and extend for as long as 15 years, much longer than typical immigration detention agreements. The three companies currently run four California detention centers for ICE, with a combined total of roughly 5,200 beds.” Read more here.
1. Witness At The Border Vigil
WITNESS AT THE BORDER, a grassroots group, is launching a long-term vigil challenging US immigration policy. The Facebook event page is: facebook.com/events/1425243650977261
The vigil kicks off this Sunday, Jan 12, and will go on until the end of the “Remain in Mexico” (MPP) policy is repealed, and until due process and asylum rights are restored. The action on Sunday will comprise two distinct actions:
- Participants will protest the injustice of the rigged tent courts and demand restoration of asylum.
- Participants will also cross the Gateway International Bridge linking Brownsville, Texas to Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico to observe and report on the conditions in the refugee camps.
As noted above, the vigil will not end until the “Remain in Mexico” (MPP) policy is repealed, so if you cannot come on 1/12, please schedule time to come down and join when your schedule allows. On February 14th there will be an additional event, called “Love, Not Hate.” On Sunday 1/12, there will also be solidarity events in Albany, NY; Florida; New Hampshire; Northern California; Ohio; Virginia. Please email Margaret Seiler for details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Where: Xeriscape Park, corner of E. Elizabeth St. and International Blvd., Brownsville, Texas
When: The Vigil Begins Sunday, January 12, 2020
9 am – Gather at Xeriscape Park
10 am – Picketing at the Tent Courts
Noon – Rally (program to be announced)
2:30 pm – Crossing Gateway International Bridge to Witness in Matamoros, Mexico
After January 12: Daily Vigils
February 14: SAVE THE DATE for “Love, Not Hate” Witnessing event at the border.
2. Comment on Department of Homeland Security’s Asylum Rule
Due Jan 13, 2020 10:59 PM CST!
Please consider submitting a comment before 11:00 am Central time January 13, 2020, opposing the Department of Homeland Security’s proposal to prohibit work permits for asylum applicants while their asylum applications are pending, or when an asylum applicant with current work authorization seeks to renew their employment authorization when it expires. This policy will have a very large impact on asylum applicants who currently are allowed to work, along with the businesses that employ them.
The Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project and International Refugee Assistance Project ask social services organizations, legal services organizations, criminal defense attorneys, and businesses to submit comments in opposition. Download their template here.
Comments may be submitted online here, by either copying/pasting your text into the “Comment” box, or write “see attached” and upload a PDF file.
Public Charge Resources:
The PIF campaign has great new resources (with LOTS of language translations) to help people stay informed on public charge. You can find them at: protectingimmigrantfamilies.org/know-your-rights
Other Recent News of Interest:
- The Department of Homeland Security has agreed to share certain government records from its databases to help the Census Bureau produce data about the U.S. citizenship status of every person living in the country. NPR
- FOR THE FIRST TIME in at least two decades, lawyers for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are required to justify the detainment of noncitizens who are awaiting court proceedings in New England. The Intercept
- Child Welfare Services says hundreds of U.S.-citizen children have been separated from their asylum-seeking parents in recent years. The San Diego Union-Tribune
- It’s an expansion of a controversial plan to stop the flow of refugees and immigrants to the US southern border. BuzzFeed News
Thanks so much for reading and staying informed.