As Americans debate the Trump administration’s policy of denying asylum to many people seeking to enter the country at the Mexico border, as well as its policy of separating migrant children from their parents, The Atlantic has produced a short documentary (below) that shows a family seeking asylum being turned away. Earlier this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a ruling that the US would no longer accept gang violence or domestic abuse as reasons for granting asylum. Now, asylum-seekers are being turned back by border patrol agents at ports of entry. After being repeatedly rejected, the Berduo family sleeps on the ground near the port of entry, trapped in immigrant purgatory.
How far is too far when it comes to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rounding up undocumented immigrants? That point likely varies from person to person, but to the mother of 10-year-old Rosamaria Hernandez, who has cerebral palsy, it’s chillingly clear: it’s the moment when ICE agents stopped them at a Border Patrol checkpoint east of Laredo, Texas while rushing to a hospital for emergency gall bladder surgery. According to Time, the agents “escorted” Rosamaria to a hospital in Corpus Christi for her operation. After being medically cleared, the girl was taken to a federal facility for processing refugees in San Antonio and processed. Needless to say, both Rosamaria and her mother, Felipa de la Cruz, are terrified, and Rosamaria faces deportation. Their attorney, Alex Galvez, told Time, “She said, ‘Don’t worry. We’re going to see each other soon. Everything’s going to fine. Hang in there.’ She was trying to make her smile,” Galvez recalled. “Her daughter said, ‘Mom, where are you? I miss you. Why aren’t you here? And they start crying.” Galvez says it’s the first time Rosamaria will be separated from her mother, who brought her into the US illegally. Her parents have been living here for more than ten years and have no criminal history, according to Galvez.
It’s cases like these that make you wonder if ICE’s heart is colder than a stone, even than absolute zero. Galvez says as soon as Rosamaria is released from the facility in San Antonio, she will face deportation. Deporting a little girl with cerebral palsy who needed emergency gall bladder surgery? I don’t know if ICE can get any colder than that. All we can do is hope that Congress will do something soon to help Rosamaria and other families like hers gain a path to citizenship. The Trump administration killing DACA was cold; but ICE taking a disabled girl into custody on her way to surgery is coldest of all.
When President Trump announced he was ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program enacted by President Obama, he gave Congress six months to come up with its own solution. Immigration has proven to be a thorny issue for lawmakers, who have been unable to pass any significant legislation on the issue for decades. What should Congress do about the 800,000 young people who could face deportation if no solution is found? Jeremy Robbins, the executive director of New American Economy, a bipartisan coalition that supports immigration reform, has some suggestions in this commentary at CNN.
Democrats appear to be making deals with the Trump administration, the latest being a path to citizenship for young people who were affected by the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, CNN reports. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced the deal Wednesday night after a meeting with President Trump at the White House. If it’s reached, it would be the second major agreement between the administration and Democrats, the first being a deal on the debt ceiling and government spending. However, The Washington Post reports that Trump said “we’re not looking at citizenship” for “Dreamers,” or young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children. Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan said even if there is a deal, it will still have to passed by the Republican-controlled Congress. Is a “dream” deal dead or alive? Like so many other issues with the Trump administration, things could turn on a dime at any moment. While it does make politics in the time of Trump almost as exciting as a reality TV show, the lives of 800,000 young immigrants depend on the series finale.