Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Let's be as mean as we can ...

At noon Monday several hundred people called out by SEIU Local 1021 gathered outside Highland Hospital in Oakland in support of one of their own.

Maria [Sanchez], 46, rose from being a housekeeper at an East Bay nursing home to become a registered nurse at Highland Hospital today, caring for patients with cancer, heart, and kidney disease.

Her husband Eusebio, who turned 48 on Monday, graduated from construction jobs to become a full-time truck-driver for the last 12 years. They paid taxes, obeyed the law, and sent two of their four children to college.

Yet after years of trying to obtain green cards to stay in the U.S. legally, their requests denied by immigration judges, then overturned through appeals, their luck finally ran out in May when an immigration officer gave them 90 days to exit.

Mercury News

Even Senator Diane Feinstein, a law and order type, has pointed out to I.C.E. that these are not the sort of people who should be evicted from our country. But unless there's a miracle, the parents and one of their children are gone this month.
As I set out for the rally, a friend asked: "Are the Trump immigration officers just going after the low hanging fruit," immigrants they can catch easily and who can be readily removed? That seems an important question, so I started digging:
  • John Sandweg, former acting director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement under Obama, thinks so.

    “We are seeing daily raids, but they’re silent — mom and dads with no record are coming in for check-ins and getting deported, ... It’s very abundantly clear that this is not about public safety, not about border security. It’s clearly about setting a record amount of deportations. ... Everything they’re doing is designed to avoid immigration courts ...”

  • Trump's I.C.E. is certainly busy, though how many people they are afflicting and what is actually happening to them remain confusing to interpret. I guess that is what happens when you treat thousands of human beings as numbers or quotas.

    While people with criminal records account for three-fourths of the 75,000 immigration arrests this year, the fastest-growing target under Trump are immigrants without criminal records. About 19,700 immigrants with no criminal records were arrested in the first half of the year, more than double the number in the same period last year. ...officials deported more than 105,000 immigrants in the first half of this year, 42 percent of whom had no criminal records, down from 121,170 in the same period last year. ...

    ... ICE released the arrest and deportation figures late Thursday, two days after the Justice Department announced that from February to July, immigration courts ordered 57,069 people to leave the United States, a nearly 31 percent increase over the same period last year.

    However, Justice officials have not said how many of the immigrants ordered deported were actually in custody — or whether their whereabouts are even known. Every year, thousands of immigrants are ordered deported in absentia, meaning that they did not attend their hearings and could not immediately be removed from the country.

  • Julia Preston explains one driver of the rising number of in absentia deportation orders: desperate asylum seekers from Central America who lack the money to hire lawyers are guessing they have a better chance of avoiding being killed back home by simply failing to show up in immigration court. In the cases she saw, they are probably right.
  • Dara Lind delves into the mysteries of the immigration court system.

    ... the Trump administration opened deportation cases against about 25 percent more people this year than the Obama administration did in the first six months of 2016 (about 145,000 this year versus about 107.000 last year). But they’re just stuffing more and more cases into a very narrow and backlogged tube. ...
    The immigration court backlog is the biggest obstacle to Trump’s border and deportation agenda

    Under the Bush and Obama administrations, the agencies responsible for immigration enforcement (under the Department of Homeland Security) got a bunch more money to apprehend and deport a bunch more immigrants. But the agency in charge of immigration courts, under the Department of Justice, didn’t get the same kind of funding boost to process those cases.

    As a result, the time to resolve a case in immigration court is often measured in years. From October 2016 to June 2017, someone who got an official removal order from an immigration court judge had started the court process 378 days earlier. And the average case still pending in immigration court, as of June, has been pending for 667 days — the equivalent of 19 months.

    ... Without more money from Congress, the administration’s only options are to try to make cases go faster or to try to find more ways to deport people without putting them into court.

    It seems that, because I.C.E. is part of Homeland Security, but the immigration courts system is a poor stepchild of the Executive Office of Immigration Review in the Department of Justice, no recent administration has squeezed out of Congress enough funds to hire the needed personnel. That kind of practical administrative detail is exactly the sort of thing the Trump team seems unable to keep track of.
So immigrants are pushed around, some are deported and others not, the country loses people who are making their contribution to our society, and families and communities remain terrified and are sometimes separated.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails