Our report this month highlights Temporary Protected Status developments; indefinitely detained families; the expansion of checkpoints and concurrent civil rights abuses; and a new restrictive U.S. policy aimed at green card applicants who rely on public services.
- Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Update: Early this month, a U.S. District judge in California issued a decision temporarily blocking the termination of protection to immigrants from Haiti, Sudan, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. In preserving the status quo, the judge referenced the lack of “any explanation or justification” to revoke TPS and President Trump’s disparaging comments about immigrants from Mexico, Haiti, Africa, and Muslim nations. The ruling affects approximately 300,000 immigrants who, without TPS, are subject to deportation and must now await further resolution of their status. More details can be found here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/10/03/federal-judge-citing-trump-animus-against-nonwhites-blocks-removal-of-haitians-salvadorans-and-others/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.9e58e81cdffb.
- Separated and Detained Mothers: In the wake of family separations at the border and zero-tolerance prosecutions, nearly 40 immigrant mothers, now reunified with their children, are being indefinitely detained in U.S. facilities. As part of a #FreetheFamilies effort, the Immigration Justice Campaign has posted letters to the public—some in Spanish, some in English—from 22 of the mothers detailing the trauma of being forcibly separated and detained with no end in sight. You can read these heartbreaking missives and learn what you can do to help here: https://www.immigrationjustice.us/advocacy/how-we-advocate/dilley-letters?utm_source=IJC_Newsletter&utm_medium=Dilley_Letters&utm_campaign=09-30-2018.
- Checkpoints at the Border: Long a practice near the U.S.–Mexico border, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is extending its use of checkpoints to the northern border and the interior of the country. Moreover, CBP is detaining U.S. citizens with passports, subjecting them to hours of questioning and fear of further action before release and violating the civil rights of those detained. Here’s a more thorough report of the situation: https://www.texasobserver.org/checkpoint-nation/.
- Public Benefits for Green Card Holders: Immigrants who use any type of in-kind public benefits in the U.S. are now at risk of being denied green cards. The Trump administration announced the new rule in September, implementing yet another policy aimed at curtailing legal immigration. The shift will affect millions of immigrants over time, and force them to decide between seeking necessary food, medical, and housing assistance or pursuing green card status. Read more here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/22/us/politics/immigrants-green-card-public-aid.html.