Protecting Immigrant Communities Newsletter: 7/31/20

July 31, 2020 | Texas

[This is a bi-weekly publication produced by Senior Policy Associate, Cheasty Anderson. New issues will be posted here on this blog or you can subscribe to have them delivered directly to your inbox.]

Dear Partners and Friends,

Thank you so much for wanting to stay up to date on what’s happening. Here’s the latest roundup of immigration-related news, and our bi-weekly action opportunity.  Please let me know as things cross your desk that you think might be of value for our next newsletter, and as always, feel free to forward to folks who might want to join our list. If you wish to unsubscribe from this list, follow this opt-out link.

Lead Stories:

Court Blocks Trump’s “Public Charge” Policy During Pandemic
A federal judge has blocked the Trump administration from enforcing the public charge policy for as long as there is national health emergency due to COVID-19. The policy forced immigrants to choose between their (and their children’s) personal well-being and their immigration status.
Buzzfeed News

Trump Administration Not Expelling Immigrant Children Held In Hotel
After the dramatic events of the past week, TCRP has succeeded in having the children and families released from the hotels in which they had been held, illegally and without due process. The unaccompanied minors are now in ORR facilities, and the families have been moved to the Karnes Detention Center in Texas.
Buzzfeed News

Trump Wants To Exclude Immigrants from Congressional Apportionment Count
President Trump signed a memorandum that excludes unauthorized immigrants from the number used to divide seats among Congress. Since the first census in 1790, both U.S. citizens and non-citizens have been counted, regardless of their citizenship status. This memorandum does not change the way the census is administered, and will be subjected to a legal battle.

Trump Doubles Down on DACA Attack
The Trump administration issued a memo that introduced changes to the DACA policy. These include rejecting all new DACA applications and changing the DACA protection period from two years to one year.

National Immigration Forum

Action Items:

The Attack on DACA Continues: Fight Alongside Dreamers 
Trump’s latest attack on DACA ignores the SCOTUS decision and recent lower court orders by restricting DACA protections and rejecting new applications. To advocate for the full protections Dreamers deserve, immigrant advocacy organizations call for your support. Follow these steps and take action in response to the administration’s latest attack.

Tell Congress: Investigate Illegal Detention at Secret Hotels
While a TCRP and ACLU lawsuit transferred immigrants detained in one McAllen hotel to ORR custody, the administration has made no promises to stop detaining immigrants in hotels. This was just one hotel in one city along the border. To stop this illegal practice, tell Congress to investigate the illegal detention of asylum-seekers at secret hotels through this site.

Include Immigrant Families in the Next Federal Stimulus Package
Immigrants have made monumental contributions and been integral to this country through the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these great contributions, Congress has repeatedly excluded millions of immigrant and mixed-status families from federal relief. Use this site to tell Congress that everyone needs to be included in COVID-19 relief. To help you share your support for economic relief for immigrant families, Alianza Americas created this toolkit that includes talking points and graphics for your use.

Volunteer and Donate to Assist Recently-Released Immigrant Families
The Interfaith Welcome Coalition has helped house and support families that have been recently released from ICE detention near San Antonio, TX. To continue with their efforts, they need your donations and your time. To donate, visit this site. To volunteer, text Jo Pendleton at (210) 478-8867 and Moon Sanchez at (210) 325-6690.

Write an Encouraging Letter for Families in Detention
53 families in Dilley have been detained for over 100 days, 35 of which have been there for over 300 days. Through their time in detention, they have led an endless legal battle for the right to a fair asylum process. Write a letter to show your support for these families as they push on without knowing what the future holds. For more detailed information on what to include and where to send your letter, visit this link.

Flood ICE’s Citizens Academy Applications
ICE’S first step in training citizen vigilantes is to accept applications for the Citizens Academy. Never Again Action is asking the public to ruin the application process by flooding ICE with fake applications. To participate and send your own “application”, follow the instructions in this toolkit and share with your friends and family.

Resources and Reports for Immigrant Communities

Apply for P-EBT: Deadline Extended to August 21st
During this pandemic, immigrant families have been excluded from most forms of government assistance. Pandemic-EBT may be one of the only resources they can access, but many have yet to take advantage of this benefit. Visit this website before the August 21st application deadline to address all of your questions about what this benefit is, whether your family is eligible, and how you can access it. For a detailed explanation of the program in Spanish, watch this Univision interview by CDF-TX’s very own Mary Carreon.

Resources for Immigrants During the COVID-19 Crisis
The Immigrant Learning Center has compiled a list of resources for immigrants, refugees, parents, and educators. These include health, finance, legal and employment services, resources for combating discrimination, and immigration-related lesson plans and activities for distance learning.

The #UndocuHustle Learning Hub
This online educational hub was created for all immigrant entrepreneurs to help them pursue their own business, become an independent contractor, or become a freelancer. This resource provides another pathway to pursue work in these uncertain times by showing viewers how to leverage existing skills, knowledge, and experience—regardless of immigration status.

Report on Preventing the Chilling Effect in Houston
CDF-TX contributed to this report from the Urban Institute, which outlines the intersectional layers that damage the health of immigrant families—particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report focuses on the chilling effects in immigrant communities in Houston, as well as the challenges and strengths that these communities hold.

Report: The Latino Community in the Time of Coronavirus
This UnidosUS report documents how the Latino community is withstanding disparate health and economic impacts from the pandemic. The report also examines the scope and composition of the communities left out of recent relief efforts and advocates for their inclusion.

Other Recent News of Interest:

Judge Rules Order To Release Kids from ICE Custody by July 27th Now ‘Unenforceable’
After another federal judge declined to release detained parents and ICE has not agreed to release parents and children together, Judge Gee said her order to release children from ICE detention is now “unenforceable by its own terms.”
NBC News

Whistleblowers Say an ICE Detention Center Used Deception to Conceal COVID Outbreak
ICE employees used deceptive tactics, such as hiding high temperatures and withholding protective equipment, to hide the spread of COVID and to deport detained immigrants.
Mother Jones

GAO report confirms border officials ignored CDC recommendation to give kids flu shots
Despite the emergency funding provided by Congress to enhance medical care, CBP’s lack of care has led to sickness and death within their facilities.
Daily KOS

Canadian Court Rules the US Is No Longer a ‘Safe Third Country’ for Asylum Applicants
Changes in US immigration policy have led this Canadian court to assert that the United States is no longer a country to which Canada could confidently send asylum seekers.
Immigration Impact

Expedited Immigration Hearings Endanger Detained Children’s Right to a Fair Process
Through the use of expedited dockets and video-teleconference hearings, children are unable to meaningfully participate in and understand immigration proceedings.

Opinion: Refugee Resettlement is Close to Collapse, as Trump Intended
Since the beginning of his administration, the Trump administration has severely restricted the number of refugees resettled into the US with every tool in their arsenal. Refugee resettlement will not survive another four years of this administration.
The New York Times

Trump offers confusion, contradictions on immigration order
The Washington Post analyzes President Trump’s new executive action on immigration, giving an in-depth look at what the order says and how it can be seen as contradicting.
The Washington Post

Trump looks to use executive orders to move agenda beyond coronavirus
This report focuses on President Trump’s new range of executive orders ranging from immigration to the pandemic. One of the immigration policy changes is anticipated to discuss a “merit-based” immigration system while addressing the DACA system.
NBC News

Trump Cuts Legal Immigrants By Half And He’s Not Done Yet
Forbes reports that by 2021, President Trump will have reduced legal immigration by 49% since he was elected in 2016, thus having a negative impact on the United States’ economic success.

Homeland Security Was Destined to Become a Secret Police Force
In response to media reports of unidentified federal agents in Portland, Chad Wolf, the acting head of DHS, asserted that this agency was acting exactly as intended. This report outlines how the history of DHS has led to this moment.
The New Yorker

NY Lawmakers Pass Bill Barring ICE Courthouse Arrests
The Protect Our Courts Act will get ICE out of New York courthouses and allow all New Yorkers to attend judicial proceedings without fear.
New York Now

“Immigration Nation” Drew Complaints From ICE, Filmmakers Say
The Trump administration fought to delay the release of the documentary until after the 2020 election and attempted to censor contentious scenes included in the series. The series is set to air on Netflix in August 2020.
The New York Times

Thanks so much for reading and staying informed.