Immigration update

March 26, 2019

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Dream and Promise Act introduced

The American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6) was introduced in the House on March 12. The bill would provide a path to citizenship for an estimated 2.3 million Dreamers and more than 400,000 immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). The legislation will likely pass in the House but Senate action is uncertain. The administration officially extended TPS for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador, as instructed by a court order. Read how the termination of DED would affect a Ph.D. student from Liberia who has lived in the U.S. since she was six years old.  

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Local stories, events and resources

New York

This 8-year-old chess champion will make you smile


Delegates at the 2019 Annual Conference Assembly of the Ohio Conference of Mennonite Church USA overwhelmingly passed an immigration resolution

Over 500 days in sanctuary: Edith Espinal’s story


Diversity’s on the menu: How refugee chefs are changing MKE’s culinary landscape

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Record 50,000 immigrants in detention: Though Congress funded 45,000 immigrant detention beds in Fiscal Year 2019, this was to be accomplished by ramping the number down from 49,000 to about 40,000. Instead, the number has increased to more than 50,000. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that immigrants can be held in detention indefinitely, without bond hearings, after they have served time for a criminal conviction. Legal complaints have been filed in response to a number of families being held in detention for far longer than the 20 days allowed. In a significant piece of good news, U.S. Bank, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo, under pressure from advocates, are divesting from the private prison industry.

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Remain in Mexico chaos continues: Implementation of the “Remain in Mexico” plan is not going smoothly, with scheduling snafus and immigrants with court dates denied entry through the border. More families coming across the border seeking asylum will be released rather than put into detention, according to the Wall Street Journal. This is reportedly because ICE is running out of detention space for families. Twenty-four parents who returned to the border to be reunited with their children (from whom they were forcibly separated) were put in detention upon arrival. The scope of the family separation lawsuit has been expanded to recognize thousands more families separated, some as early as July 1, 2017.

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Senate passes disapproval resolution of National Emergency: On March 14, the Senate passed 59-41 a disapproval resolution of President Trump’s National Emergency declaration to increase funding for border fences and walls. The next day, Trump vetoed the resolution. It is unlikely either the House or Senate will have enough votes to override the veto. The White House has requested $8.6 billion for border barrier construction in its FY 2020 budget request to Congress. MCC staff coordinated an interfaith sign-on letter on border wall construction waivers and issues around eminent domain.

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“If liberals won’t enforce borders, fascists will.” In response to this recent controversial piece by David Frum in The AtlanticNathan Robinson carefully and deliberately explains why the case for new immigration restrictions is so weak.

Around the world, more say immigrants are a strength than a burden. New polling data from the Pew Research Center is particularly encouraging for the U.S. where 59 percent say immigrants make the country stronger and only 34 percent think immigrants are a burden.

Two new reports corroborate what we already knew: Immigrants commit fewer crimes.

U.S. officials are trying to remove 7,000 Vietnamese immigrants. Many have old and/or nonviolent criminal convictions and most have been in the U.S. for more than 20 years.

Key immigration offices outside the U.S. will close. The decision could impact refugees and asylees trying to bring family to the U.S. as well as families pursuing overseas adoptions.

One in four children in the U.S. have an immigrant parent, according to new research from the Urban Institute. 

Upcoming events

April 8-12: Immigration law training

May 6-11: Learning Tour: South Texas Borderlands

May 22-26: Borderlands Learning Tour

Immigration resources | Invite MCC staff to speak

Update created March 26, 2019, by Tammy Alexander, Senior Legislative Associate for Domestic Affairs.

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