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5 Immigration News Headlines You Should Be Paying Attention To

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By Felicia J. Persaud

News
Americas, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Weds. Nov. 27, 2019:
The holidays are upon us and its supposed to be a
season of Thanksgiving, giving and love; but no such Christlike emotions from
the Trump administration will trickle down – at least not to immigrants. Here
are 5 top immigration news headlines you may have missed recently but should be
paying attention to:

1:
Chad Wolf’s Blatant “FU” To The Senate

Just
when you thought this administration could not flaunt the rules more, they have
done it again in blatant “FU” of defiance of Congress and US laws.

The
Senate confirmed Chad Wolf as the first undersecretary for policy at the DHS.
The administration, instead of putting him to work in the post used it to have
him take the top job as acting DHS secretary, replacing Kevin McAleenan, who
took over from Kirstjen Nielsen in an acting capacity in April and submitted
his resignation last month. This is the same man who stood by Trump’s most
immoral and anti-American policies: family separation, the Muslim ban, and the
unlawful national emergency declaration. As Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, pointed
out.

Then
in a further slap in the face, Wolf then announced that acting U.S. Citizenship
and Immigration Services Director and immigration hardliner, Ken Cuccinelli,
will serve as his deputy, putting Cuccinelli in a post many advocates and
critics feared. Look for more hardline positions now that goes straight through
the hearts of immigrants. As for USCIS, well Deputy Director Mark Koumans will now
serve as acting director. God help us!

2:
U.S. To Change Migration Rules In A Bid To Send Asylum Seekers Elsewhere

A
super holiday present won’t you agree? According to Reuters, the Trump administration
is set to further harden asylum rules as it attempts to stem a wave of
migration on its southern border with Mexico.

In
a fast-track regulation, the administration has reportedly created a framework
that will allow asylum seekers to be sent to other nations that have negotiated
bilateral agreements to accept them. The new regulation states that asylum
seekers may be sent to any other countries with which the United States has
asylum agreements that permit such an action – even if they did not first
transit through those nations.

3:
The Supreme Court May Criminalize Immigrant Advocacy

So
much for freedom of speech, right? According to Slate, the Supreme Court has
agreed to take up United States v. Sineneng-Smith this term. It is a case that
concerns a little-used provision of immigration law that forbids “encourag[ing] or induc[ing] an alien to … reside in the United States” when the encourager
knows that person has no legal status.

Immigration
consultant Evelyn Sineneng-Smith told her undocumented clients they could stay
in the United States under a program she knew had ended. That was fraud, and
the government ultimately convicted her for it. But the government also
convicted her on the encouragement provision, which on its face appears to
criminalize any pro-immigration speech.

And
that has the immigrant rights community worried that the court—with its recent
record of unprecedented deference to the president on immigration matters – could
greenlight the Trump Justice Department to criminalize routine legal work and
political speech. This is one to case to watch as we also await SCOTUS’ ruling
on DACA.

4: A UN Expert Says The U.S. Now Has The Highest
Rate of Incarceration Of Children

Yes,
you read that right! On Nov. 19th, Manfred Nowak, a human rights
lawyer and UN expert based in Vienna, Austria and his team released the
expansive ‘Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty’ in Geneva, which
stated that the U.S. now has the highest child incarceration rate in the world.
Nowak said his team estimates that the U.S. is still holding more than 100,000
children in migration-related detention alone.

“In
general, the incarceration rate in the United States is very high also of
adults, and that you see also with children. So, it’s about 60 out of 100,000”
children,” Nowak said. “And that is the highest that we could find,
followed by others like Bolivia, or Botswana, or Sri Lanka.”

The
average youth incarceration rate in Europe, Nowak said, is about 5 children per
100,000. The region of Central America and the Caribbean — areas where migrants
often leave in the hopes of reaching the U.S. — the rate is 16, while in South
America it is 19 children per 100,000.

5:
Immigration Jails In Trump Era Are Packed, But Deportations Are Fewer Than In Obama’s

What
a shocker, according to this Washington Post story, which says immigration
jails are packed even though according to the latest snapshot of ICE’s prisoner
population from early November, nearly 70% of the inmates had no prior criminal
conviction. Further, more than 14,000 are people the U.S. government has
determined have a reasonable fear of persecution or torture if deported.

And
while President Obama deported 1.18 million people during his first three years
in office, Donald Trump has deported fewer than 800,000. Worst of all, US ICE
is holding people longer, the Post reports. Non-criminals are spending an
average of 60 days in immigrant jails, nearly twice the length of the average
stay 10 years ago, and 11 days longer than convicted criminals, according to
government statistics cited by the paper.

So much for a holiday full of good cheer!

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The
writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow

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