The major immigration news this past month concerns the newly issued deportation guidelines and the sweeping raids that have taken place in their wake. We include more information about this disturbing story as well as news about upcoming Supreme Court cases, the wave of refugees leaving the U.S. to file asylum claims in Canada, and a recent report on detention abuses and obstructions faced by asylum seekers and other immigrants.
- Important Supreme Court Cases: In the coming months, the Supreme Court will decide three cases addressing the rights of non-citizens under the U.S. Constitution. They will determine if: (1) undocumented immigrants can request a hearing when detained for more than six months; (2) families of Mexican citizens killed by U.S. border agents on Mexican soil can sue the federal government; and (3) senior officials of the Bush administration can be sued by immigrants who were mistreated while detained after 9/11. Against the backdrop of Trump’s legally challenged travel ban, the escalation of anti-immigrant rhetoric and hate crimes in the U.S., and the recent deportation-related memos, the rulings in these cases have dire consequences for thousands of non-citizens. Read more at: https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2017/02/17/us/politics/17reuters-usa-court-immigration-guidelines.html?_r=0.
- Asylum Seekers Leave U.S. for Canada: Increasing numbers of asylum seekers are crossing into Canada from the U.S. through freezing countryside, a response to harsh crackdowns on immigrants in this country and further restrictions on access to due process in asylum claims. Though Canada has maintained a welcoming stance toward refugees, there is long-standing agreement which bars asylum claims from those who have already applied for asylum in the U.S., and Canadian leaders are likely to face pressures—pro and con—to weigh in on this situation. Read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/26/asylum-seekers-canada-trump-trudeau.
- Detention Conditions and Obstacles for Asylum Seekers: A new report from the Borderland Immigration Council in El Paso documents the treatment and abuses suffered by detained migrants and those seeking asylum. KBI Director of Education and Advocacy Joanna Williams spoke at the release event which covered, among other topics included in the report, mishandling of credible fear claims, denial of due process, extended detention, and family separation. Read more at: https://www.texasobserver.org/report-details-federal-agents-violate-asylum-seekers-rights-west-texas/.
- Recent Immigration Raids: In addition to this month’s newsletter article about the deportation-related memos, this comprehensive coverage outlines the impact and devastation of the recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in greater detail. Read more at: http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/2/14/14596640/immigration-ice-raids.