Friday, February 24, 2017

Trump Double Talk on Immigration

Photo: David Bacon 
IMMIGRATION DOUBLE TALK: President Donald Trump touted his immigration enforcement record during a roundtable Thursday with manufacturing executives. "You see what's happening at the border, all of the sudden for the first time, we're getting gang members out, we're getting drug lords out, we're getting really bad dudes out of this country," Trump said. He called his deportation efforts "a military operation," a loaded phrase in view of a draft government memo that last week floated the idea of using National Guard to enforce immigration laws.
Even as Trump boasted about tough enforcement, one of his top immigration officials insisted not much had changed. Speaking in Mexico City, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said: "There will be no - repeat - no mass deportations." And also: "No - repeat - no use of military force in immigration operations. None."
Welcome to the Trump administration's duelling realities about immigration policy. Trump touts his new iron-fisted approach ("The crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise," he tweeted earlier this month. "Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!"). Kelly and federal immigration officials insist it's business as usual (DHS "doesn't have the resources to go into communities and start rounding people up. That's entirely a fiction of folks' imagination," an anonymous DHS official said earlier this week). Is Trump all bluster? Or is Kelly downplaying some dramatic policy changes? We'll find out soon enough.
From Politico's Morning Edition 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Civil Rights Groups Condemn New Deportation Rules

LULAC Condemns DHS Memos That Set the Stage for Mass Deportations

Enforcement Priorities Apply to Almost Every Undocumented Immigrant. Feb. 20, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a series of memos detailing the enforcement procedures for President Trump’s executive orders on immigration and border security.

Under the new guidance, the Department of Homeland Security has effectively ended the Obama-era focus on deporting the most dangerous criminal aliens and has replaced it with a policy that makes almost every undocumented immigrant an enforcement priority. Those accused or even suspected of breaking the law will now be targeted for deportation without a trial. Due process protections and access to our judicial system are dramatically eroded with the expansion of “expedited removal” to the entire country.

“The new guidelines could result in the deportation of millions, including the non-threatening hardworking immigrants that President Trump has said he wants to help,” said LULAC National President Roger C. Rocha, Jr. “Without prioritization, criminal felons will be lost in the hunt for harmless undocumented immigrants whose only infraction is seeking a better life for themselves and their families.”

Although the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) and the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program (DAPA) remain intact, the memo indicates that further guidance for these programs will be provided in the future and notes that the DAPA program is currently blocked by the courts. In addition, the memo establishes the Victims of Immigration Crime Enforcement (VOICE) Office in order to report crimes committed by undocumented immigrants.

We Will Not Be Doing Mass Deportations -Yet, says ICE !

Major John Kelly: Secretary of DHS
“We do not have the personnel, time or resources to go into communities and round up people and do all kinds of mass throwing folks on buses. That’s entirely a figment of folks’ imagination,” said the official, who was joined on the call by two others, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity to answer questions. “This is not intended to produce mass roundups, mass deportations.”     Washington Post.

The new regulations,

Currently, deportation depend upon persons arrested agreeing to be quickly deported.  DHS will be significantly increasing the number of Border Patrol and Immigration Hearing Officers. Unless they have convicted of prior felony,  persons arrested are immediately offered a “voluntary” departure.  If you sign it, most people will be deported within 2-3 days. ( In California it is usually the same day.)
The new rules call for the immediate deportation of  "undocumented immigrants who have been charged with crimes but not convicted, those who commit acts that constitute a “chargeable criminal offense,” and those who an immigration officer concludes pose “a risk to public safety or national security.”

These rules changes make it possible to deport millions of  immigrants. Have you used a false social security number ?  Have you accepted a “voluntary departure”, and then returned to the U.S. to be with your family ?  Does the arresting officer think that you might be a risk to public safety or national security ? Any one of these issues could make it possible to deport you- although you have a good reason to be in this country.
One  strategy to defeat these mass deportations is for those arrested to refuse to sign the “voluntary” departure.  Note; This is a serious decision.. Each individual will have to make their own decision.  Persons refusing to sign may have to remain in jail for months.
The jails will fill within days- even the private prisons.  And, the courts will be overloaded. 
Then what?  Those arrested must ask for attorneys.  Under the current system, over 90%  arrested sign the “voluntary “ departure.  They do not receive attorney’s or legal counsel.

Myth: Immigrants Do Not Pay Taxes

MYTH: "Immigrants don't pay taxes"

On average, undocumented immigrants contribute more in taxes than they consume in public benefits, and are estimated to have contributed nearly $50 billion in federal taxes between 1996 and 2003. They also contribute between $7-8 billion in social security funds annually--that's $100 billion in the past 15 years that they will never claim.
By legalizing the undocumented workforce, we will bring these workers out of the underground economy and increase social security and federal tax revenue. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that if the 2007 immigration reform bill had passed, legalizing 12 million undocumented immigrants, it would have generated $48 billion in new federal revenue through 2008-2017.5 Likewise, legalizing immigrants will contribute significantly to the social security system since immigrants tend to be younger than the native-born.