Last Friday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a new policy for immigration courts that requires judges to go through more cases in a day than they are currently. The new quota requiring judges to complete 700 cases a year is a direct threat to due process and fundamental fairness because immigrants facing deportation, including those seeking asylum in the immigration courts, will have less time to get a lawyer and immigration judges will be unnecessarily rushed in the consideration and adjudication of each case. This is clearly a violation of due process. Read more here.
The Trump Administration has been actively deterring international students from studying in the United States. In fact, in 2017 alone, the number of international students overall dropped by 4%, and even more shocking, the number of Indian students enrolled in computer science and engineering at the graduate level dropped by 21%. The Trump administration's anti-immigration rhetoric and policies are making the U.S. less attractive worldwide, and as a result, U.S. universities, companies, and even the U.S. economy will all feel the negative impact if the trend continues. Read more here.
As the debate over immigration continues, Trump is finally ready to make a concession: allow a path to citizenship for DREAMers. But of course, this compromise is too good to be true. There are three other components that run exactly in line with Trump's anti-immigration agenda including building a wall on the Mexico border, "banning US citizens from sponsoring their adult children, parents, and siblings for green cards", and calling a end to the diversity lottery. In fact these other components will have a much larger impact than allowing the DREAMers a path to citizenship, and immigration is expected to drop by at least 40% if Trump's agenda ever makes it through the Senate. Interestingly enough, after examining a variety of polls from different political leanings, it is universally acknowledged that the vast majority of Americans support the DREAM Act and oppose building a wall. Trump is yet again ignoring the voice of not only Americans, but even his own political party, and it is unlikely that the legislation will make it through Senate, as there will be serious push back. Read the full article here.
Trump and anti-immigrant zealots in the GOP love to confuse the immigration debate by labelling lawful family-based immigration laws and procedures with the ominous-sounding pejorative of “chain migration”. Don’t fall for it! The bottom line is that the law allows certain, not all, individuals who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to petition for family members in the name of family reunification. This is a good thing. Read The New York Times' take here.
Timothy R. Bakken
This short letter to the editor in the Des Moines Register says it all. Let’s start the new year by remembering that America would not be the wonderful country it is without immigrants and by fighting back against those who try to divide our country by scapegoating immigrants.
Timothy R. Bakken