The Separation of Immigrant Families
The Trump administration launched a zero-tolerance immigration policy on April 6, 2018. This policy requires that we prosecute all individuals who unlawfully migrate into the United States. This in turn triggered a rule where adults-who were sent to jail or long-term indefinite detention while their case is processed-to become unable to stay with their children, which causes unaccompanied minor laws to activiate. The consequence is a system that separates families. The policy’s intentions are to discourage immigrants from migrating into the United States (Hegarty).
The U.S. has a long history of separating children from their parents.Government policies forced apart the families of enslaved Africans, Native Americans, Latinx immigrants, and detained Japanese-Americans during World War II (Kaur).
Evolution of the Policy
○ The Health and Human Services department has spent at least $40 million to house and reunite the thousands of children separated from their parents at the border
○ The Trump administration allocated more than $200 million from other health and refugee programs towards costs related to separated families
■ In example, Trump administration's border policy used $17 million in unspent funds for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program (Mark)
● Immigration officials lied to Parents into waiving their rights away.
○ Some parents said that immigration officials convinced them to waive their rights, including to seek asylum, telling them it was the only way, or the fastest way to reunification with their children. (U.S. Seperated Families)
■ In other cases, officials deported parents alone with no information about their separated children, who remained in the US.
While families are being reunited overtime, the people of the United States cannot allow this to happen again. The separation of families is not a new act of violence, in fact it is an extention of U.S. history, but this history should not be repeating itself.
Communities must take strides to changing xenophobic cultures surrounding them. Welcome new immigrants and repel any rhetorics used to criminalize people. Keep in mind that most immigrants making the dangerous journey into the United States do so with reason.
Community members can also donate to organizations working “on the ground” or if able, volunteer at a host organization if you have skills such as translating and organizing.
For example, there is great need to fundraise around immigration bonds. Immigration bonds are required of some detained immigrants and those immigrants cannot be released from custody and reunited with familied until the bond is paid in full. Immigration bonds are set at a minimum of $1,500 and canb e as high as $50,000-even without a criminal record. Some detained immigrants, including parents who were separated from their children at the border, can be released from custody and reunited with their families while awaiting hearings ― but only if they pay their immigration bond in full. RAICES, see link below, has recently dedicated much of their fundraising efforts to paying these bonds.
Places to consider donating
The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights
CARA Pro Bono Project in Dilley, Texas
Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project
ALDEA ― The People’s Justice Center
Santa Fe Dreamer’s Project
Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy CenterRAICES
Volunteer at Texas Civil Rights Project
Last, contact your federal representatives. Ask them to put pressure on our federal government to reunite families quickly and for comprehensive immigration reform so that we can adequately welcome the refugees and immigrants who come to this country instead of criminalizing human migration.
Barrett, Devlin, et al. “Congress, Courts Stymie Trump Border Crackdown.” Washington Post, 27 June 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/06/27/federal-judge-enjoins-separation-of-migrant-children-orders-family-reunification/?utm_term=.924141f6f40d.
Collinson, Stephen. “The Trump Administration Separated Families. Reuniting Them Is a Giant Mess.” CNN Politics, 7 July 2018, www.cnn.com/2018/07/07/politics/donald-trump-immigration-separations-crisis-politics/index.html.
United States Department of Justice, Office of Public Affairs , and Attorney General . “Attorney General Announces Zero-Tolerance Policy for Criminal Illegal Entry.” Attorney General Announces Zero-Tolerance Policy for Criminal Illegal Entry, 2018.
Hegarty, Aaron. “Timeline: Immigrant Children Separated from Families at the Border.” USA Today, 27 June 2018, www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/06/27/immigrant-children-family-separation-border-timeline/734014002/.
Kaur, Harmeet. “Actually, the US Has a Long History of Separating Families.” CNN, 24 June 2018, www.cnn.com/2018/06/24/us/us-long-history-of-separating-families-trnd/index.html.
Mark, Michelle. “Trump's Family Separation Crisis Has Reportedly Cost Tens of Millions of Dollars and Taken Funds Away from Health Programs.” Insider, 18 July 2018, www.thisisinsider.com/cost-of-trump-family-separation-crisis-2018-7.
Oshiro, Sarah Deri. “Immigration Enforcement Has Always Separated People from Their Families. Trump Just Made It More Visible.” NBCNews , NBC Universal , 27 July 2017, www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/immigration-enforcement-has-always-separated-people-their-families-trump-just-ncna895291.
Robertson, Lori. “Fact Check: Did the Obama Administration Separate Families?” USA Today, 23 June 2018, www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/06/23/trump-obama-administration-separate-families-immigration/728060002/.
Spagat, Elliot, and Colleen Long. “700 Kids Still Separated From Their Families After Government Misses Reunification Deadline.” Time, 26 July 2018, time.com/5350788/kids-separated-from-families-july-26-deadline/.
“Us: Separated Families Report Trauma, Lies, Coercion.” Humans Rights Watch, 26 July 2018, www.hrw.org/news/2018/07/26/us-separated-families-report-trauma-lies-coercion.
Valverde, Miriam. “What You Need to Know about the Trump Administration’s Zero-Tolerance Immigration Policy.” Politifact, 6 June 2018, www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2018/jun/06/what-you-need-know-about-trump-administrations-zer/.
Jessica RodriguezAdvocacy & Programming Intern at Racially Just Utah
Executive Director at Racially Just Utah
This is the second article in a short series that gives highlights and updates regarding hot button immigration issues.
Executive Order 13769
On January 27, 2017 United States President Donald Trump put into effect Executive Order 13769, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”, better known as the Muslim Travel. The purpose of the order was to, “protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States”. This version of the travel ban then expired on March 16, 2017 (Trump).
Challenges Against E.O. 13769
Executive Order 13780
On March 6, 2017 Executive Order 13780 was issued, taking effect on March 16, 2017, superseded Executive Order 13769.
President issues Proclamation 9645 titled “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public-Safety Threats” on September 24, 2017. This sets an indefinite bar on Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia occurred.
United States Supreme Court ruled Proclamation 9645 constitutional on June 26, 2018 through a 5-4 decision on Trump v. Hawaii (Executive Order Entry Ban Litigation Update).
After Supreme Court ruling on Trump v. Hawaii no more legal avenues remain and the travel ban is now the law of the land.
Now, the culture that falsely presents Muslim people as “dangerous”, as “terrorists”, as “a threat to U.S. sovereignty” must be changed. Actions taken to change the narrative that dehumanizes the Muslim community include standing up against hate, refusing to purchase or watch films that depict Muslim people as a threat, or by being a true ally to the Muslim community and support them in any capacity needed. Though we cannot change the law in the near future we can change the climate in our country that led to this policy (Islam). We encourage you to start the sometimes uncomfortable but necessary conversations and challenge Islamophobia and racism in your social circles.
*Look out for information on our social media about a dialogue event in Utah about the Muslim Ban happening early August 2018.
“After Supreme Court Ruling, How Does Trump’s Travel Ban Affect U.S. Immigration Policy?” PBS News Hour, www.pbs.org/newshour/show/after-supreme-court-ruling-how-does-trumps-travel-ban-affect-u-s-immigration-policy#audio.
“Executive Order Entry Ban Litigation Updates.” NAFSA, 26 June 2017, www.nafsa.org/Professional_Resources/Browse_by_Interest/International_Students_and_Scholars/Executive_Order_Entry_Ban_Litigation_Updates/.
Fulwood, Sam. “The Real Effect of Trump's Muslim Ban.” Center for American Progress, Center for American Progress, 9 Feb. 2017, www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/news/2017/02/09/414802/the-real-effect-of-trumps-muslim-ban/.
Gambino, Lauren, et al. “Thousands Protest against Trump Travel Ban in Cities and Airports Nationwide.” The Guardian, 29 Jan. 2017, www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/29/protest-trump-travel-ban-muslims-airports.
Hersher, Rebecca. “Federal Judge Stays Trump Travel Order, But Many Visas Already Revoked.” NPR, 3 Feb. 2017, www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/02/03/513306413/state-department-says-fewer-than-60-000-visas-revoked-under-travel-order.
Islam, Namira. “An Anti-Muslim Narrative Has Shaped Policy for Decades. The Travel Ban Will Make It Worse.” Vox, 27 June 2018, www.vox.com/first-person/2018/6/27/17510560/travel-ban-muslim-trump-islamophobia.
Liptak, Adam, and Michael D. Shear. “Trump’s Travel Ban Is Upheld by Supreme Court.” New York Times, 26 June 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/06/26/us/politics/supreme-court-trump-travel-ban.html.
Matthews, Dylan. “Read: Sonia Sotomayor Condemns Trump’s ‘Unrelenting Attack on the Muslim Religion and Its Follow Ers.’” Vox, 26 June 2018, www.vox.com/2018/6/26/17505906/sonia-sotomayor-dissent-travel-ban-muslim-trump-ginsburg.
McGraw, Meredith. “A Timeline of Trump's Immigration Executive Order and Legal Challenges.” ABC News, 29 June 2017, abcnews.go.com/Politics/timeline-president-trumps-immigration-executive-order-legal-challenges/story?id=45332741.
Merica, Dan. “How Trump's Travel Ban Affects Green Card Holders and Dual Citizens.” CNN Politics, 29 Jan. 2017, www.cnn.com/2017/01/29/politics/donald-trump-travel-ban-green-card-dual-citizens/index.html.
Neuhauser, Alan. “6 Differences Between the New and Old Travel Bans.” U.S. News, 6 Mar. 2017, www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2017-03-06/6-differences-between-trumps-new-and-old-travel-bans.
United States, Congress, Executive Office, and Donald Trump. “Federal Register.” Federal Register, The White House, 27 Jan. 2017. www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/02/01/2017-02281/protecting-the-nation-from-foreign-terrorist-entry-into-the-united-states.
Trump, Donald. “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” Federal Register, 1 Feb. 2017, www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/02/01/2017-02281/protecting-the-nation-from-foreign-terrorist-entry-into-the-united-states.
Trump, Donald. “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” Federal Register, 9 Mar. 2017, www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/03/09/2017-04837/protecting-the-nation-from-foreign-terrorist-entry-into-the-united-states.
Walters, Joanna. “Four States Sue Trump Administration over 'Un-American' Travel Ban.” The Guardian, 1 Feb. 2017, www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/31/trump-travel-ban-state-lawsuits.
Jessica RodriguezAdvocacy & Programming Intern at Racially Just Utah
This is the first article in a short series that gives highlights and updates regarding hot button immigration issues.
The Citizenship Question
On March 26, 2018 Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the U.S. Census Bureau, announced the intention of adding a citizenship question on the 2020 census. His reasoning for this change is to root out violations of the Voters Rights Act by monitoring voter demographics.
Resistance/ Responses Taking Place
Avenues of Advocacy Remaining
There are still more actions that can be taken today to prevent having a citizenship question on the 2020 census. Some of those include:
And if at the end there is a citizenship question on the 2020 census individuals should:
The Times Editorial Board. “Asking for Citizenship Status Politicizes the Census and Imperils an Accurate Count.” Los Angeles TImes, 29 Mar. 2018, www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-census-citizenship-20180329-story.html.
“Attorney General Schneiderman To Lead Multistate Lawsuit To Preserve Fair And Accurate Census.” Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood, New York State Attorney General , 27 Mar. 2018, ag.ny.gov/press-release/attorney-general-schneiderman-lead-multistate-lawsuit-preserve-fair-and-accurate.
Clark, Dartunorro. “Trump Wants to Ask about Citizenship on the Census. Here's Why the U.S. Stopped in 1960.” NBC News, 17 Apr. 2018, www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/trump-wants-ask-about-citizenship-census-here-s-why-u-n864246.
Freking, Kevin. “NAACP Files Lawsuit over 2020 Census.” PBS News Hour, 28 Mar. 2018, www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/naacp-files-lawsuit-over-2020-census.
Jordan , Miriam. “If Census Asks About Citizenship, Some Already Have an Answer: No Comment.” New York Times, 27 Mar. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/03/27/us/census-undocumented-immigrants.html.
Quinn, Melissa. “ACLU Sues Trump Administration over Census Citizenship Question.” Washington Examiner, 6 June 2018, www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/courts/aclu-sues-trump-administration-over-census-citizenship-question.
Weiser, Wendy, and Thomas Wolf. “Why The Census Asking About Citizenship Is Such A Problem.” Huffington Post , 27 Mar. 2018, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-weiser-wolf-census-citizenship_us_5aba6334e4b054d118e74f3f.
Advocacy & Programming Intern at Racially Just Utah