Trump Administration’s Cruel, Inhumane, and Completely Unworkable Mass Deportation Agenda Advances

U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

On July 13, 2017, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly had a closed-door meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC). The discussion focused on the important immigration issues that are top of mind for many in our community, including the futures of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy and the designations of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Combined, DACA and TPS shield more than 1.1 million—predominantly Latino individuals—from deportation.

Instead of alleviating concerns, the conversation raised many more alarms and led to scathing statements from CHC members. For starters, Secretary Kelly indicated that after talking to various “experts” that he had doubts about the legality of DACA. This is puzzling, given the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court has stated that the executive branch has “broad discretion” in matters relating to immigration, and “must decide whether it makes sense to pursue removal at all.” DACA is consistent with this reasoning. On DACA, Kelly also stated that decisions about the future of DACA will be left to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions’s strong anti-immigrant positions and ties to extremist groups is well documented, and is a cause for concern for the more than 800,000 DACA recipients and their supporters.

Continue reading

This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending May 26

Week Ending May 26

NCLR denounces Trump’s slash and burn budget: This week, the administration released its budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018.  The proposed budget eliminates $1.7 trillion in funding that provides basic living standards to millions of Americans, gutting key programs and assistance that help families afford food, housing and health care. At the same time, the administration is asking for an increase of  $4.5 billion (in addition to the existing $19 billion in immigration enforcement each year) to implement the President’s Executive Orders that expand a deportation force that has ripped families and communities apart. In a press release, NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía stated, “With this budget, the administration is proposing taking food off the tables of American families, taking health coverage from those who need it most, and relegating education to the bottom of the priorities list, all while helping the wealthy get wealthier and unnecessarily directing billions more to mass deportations designed to split families apart and leave millions of citizen children destitute.”

NCLR releases new report on financial inclusion: This week NCLR released a new report, Small Dollars for Big Change: Immigrant Financial Inclusion and Access to Credit, which explores the linkages between immigration legal services and financial products to finance fees for applications such as DACA, family petitions, and naturalization. The report highlights potential solutions to help immigrants who are ready to adjust their status but need help financing the process with small-dollar credit options. The report discusses innovative solutions for increasing immigrant financial inclusion and promising approaches to expand the availability of small-dollar credit products that are mainstream and affordable instead of predatory.

Continue reading

How the Trump Presidency is Making Latinos Feel After 100 Days in Office

As we close in on Donald Trump’s 100th day as president, we wanted to hear from our Action Network about how they thought the president was doing so far. So, we asked them to describe in one word how they have felt about Mr. Trump’s time in office.

The response was overwhelming.

Continue reading

Trumpification of the Republican Party Reaches Turning Point

By Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Gage Skidmore

It has been a dreadful week on the issue of immigration. On Monday, Donald Trump released his long-awaited immigration “plan” which put his bigotry and hateful rhetoric into policy. His agenda of mass deportation, a massive wall, and the end of birthright citizenship hits many of the hallmarks of bad policy-making: completely impractical, prohibitively expensive, widely unpopular, doomed to fail, and deeply inconsistent with our values as a nation.

Yet once again—with a few exceptions, like Marco Rubio—the other Republican presidential candidates rushed to embrace Trump’s latest salvo: the proposed evisceration of the 14th amendment. Even Jeb Bush, who does not support ending birthright citizenship, echoed Trump’s use of the heinous and despicable term, “anchor babies.” Calling millions of U.S. citizens a term universally viewed as offensive by the Latino community does not bode well for Republican electoral prospects.

And the most disturbing incident of the week was the horrific beating of a Latino homeless man in Boston, who was innocently sleeping near a train station. The two brothers charged in the crime told police that their attack was motivated by their agreement with Donald Trump that “illegals have to go.”

Much of the responsibility for this attack lies at the feet of not only Trump, but of a Republican Party whose leadership has so far refused to publicly and unequivocally denounce Trump and his extreme rhetoric. Words have consequences, and hateful words lead to hateful actions. No one—especially not two intoxicated bullies—can tell a person’s immigration status by looking at them. This senseless attack was predicated on how this person looked. In other words, a summer of disparagement and demonization has put a target squarely on the backs of all 55 million Hispanics in this country.

When the election rolls around next November, there is no question in my mind that we will look back at this week as a turning point in the election. It will be known as the week when Trump’s dominance of both the campaign and the direction of the Republican Party on the immigration issue turned a dark and dangerous turn. It will be remembered as the week that Republicans not only started to lose the Latino vote, but also the election.

Republicans can only turn this around if the Party finds both its courage and its voice to say “enough is enough” to the demagoguery and bigotry of Trump and his ilk, and to the unconscionable demonization of an entire community that has now put millions of people in harm’s way. If not, Trump will succeed in getting his massive wall. It won’t be a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, but a permanent wall between the Republican Party and Latino voters.

This Week in Immigration Reform — Week Ending July31

Immigration_reform_Updates_blueWeek Ending July 31

This week in immigration: NCLR responds to Donald Trump’s mass deportation proposal; check out the facts about immigrants and Medicare; and read a blog post featuring citizenship lending circles.

  • NCLR Deputy Vice President, Clarissa Martinez de Castro was interviewed by Univision for their nightly news segment on Donald Trump’s proposal that the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country should be deported:  You can see her response here.
  • This week Medicare — which provides healthcare coverage to America’s seniors — turned 50.  It’s a good opportunity to highlight that immigrants have been contributing to Medicare and helping to sustain the program.  Check out our infographic for more info:
  • This week on the NCLR blog, we featured the work NCLR Affiliate, Mission Asset Fund (MAF).  MAF recently received an NCLR Family Strengthening Award at this year’s NCLR Annual Conference in Kansas City.

MAF has formalized the process of Lending Circles, in which a small number of people agree to lend money to each other at no interest, by having registered participants’ payments reported to the national credit bureaus. This helps people who may not otherwise have had access to get into the mainstream financial system, says Ximena Arias, Financial Services Manager at MAF.

Lending Circles can help those who have specific goals in mind, such as paying the application fee to become a citizen. Watch the video to hear Karla Henriquez who has experienced the process both as a participant and as the Programs Coordinator for MAF.