Amid Deportation Debate, Trump Report Aims to Underscore Threat Posed by Immigration

With debate raging over how to keep undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. as children from being deported, the Trump administration on Tuesday released a report intended to underscore the terrorist threat posed by immigration.

The 11-page report prepared by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) scoured records dating back to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and found that at least 549 people have been convicted of international terrorism-related charges, 402 of whom were foreign born.

In a call with reporters Tuesday morning, a senior Trump administration official said the report underscores the need to end so-called “chain migration,” where extended family members of an immigrant can enter the U.S. more easily, and for reform of the lottery program to diversify immigration from around the world.

The report, meanwhile, provides no details on how many of those 402 people convicted of terrorism-related charges were admitted into the U.S. under those programs.

 

ICE Pledges Immigration Crackdown On Businesses

In recent months, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has signaled it would significantly step up audits and raids on employers in order to sniff out undocumented workers and those who hire them.

Last summer, roughly 800 undocumented workers at Cloverhill Bakery in Chicago were let go after immigration agents discovered that many of them had used fake or stolen papers to secure their jobs.

And most recently, ICE officers swooped in on nearly 100 7-Eleven stores across the U.S. in the early morning hours. Immigration experts say U.S. companies can expect more crackdowns like this.

“I want to see a 400% increase in work site operations,” said Tom Homan, deputy director of ICE, at a press conference in Washington D.C., in December. “We’re not just talking about arresting the aliens at these work sites, we are also talking about employers who knowingly hire people who are unauthorized to work.”

House Republicans Mull Funding Extension, “Dreamer” Deal Not Set

House Republicans considered on Tuesday a stopgap bill to fund the U.S. government through Feb. 16 to avert a shutdown, but the bill would not include protections for the young people described as “Dreamers,” Republican Representative Mike Simpson told reporters after his party’s closed-door meeting.

Republicans who control Congress are expected to try to push another stopgap funding bill and get it to President Donald Trump’s desk before a midnight Friday deadline when existing money for federal agencies expires.

But Democrats, under the plan being developed in the House, would win an unrelated high-priority item: a six-year reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), according to lawmakers. Although, it was unclear whether the House Republican leadership would get enough votes to pass the measure in that chamber.

 

Department of Licensing Has Shake-Up After Immigration Controversy

The deputy director of the Department of Licensing (DOL) is out, and the department announced immediate steps Monday to stop disclosure of information to immigration authorities. This comes just days after it was disclosed that the DOL was sharing certain licensing records with Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

“We are deeply sorry about what has transpired,” said Krista Carlson, Department of Licensing’s communication and education director.

An apology and a voluntary resignation from the DOL Deputy Director Jeff DeVere came after The Seattle Times revealed that the DOL was providing records to immigration authorities.

The DOL said DeVere was responsible for overseeing compliance of the governor’s executive order that nearly a year ago committed the state to do all it could to protect Washington’s immigrants and refugees from “discriminatory enforcement and deportation efforts.”

 

 

Trump Administration to Appeal “Dreamer” Immigrant Ruling

The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday said it will ask the Supreme Court to overturn San Francisco-based U.S. District Judge William Alsup’s decision, which was that the Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program must remain in place while the litigation is resolved.

The Trump administration will file an appeal of the judge’s injunction directly with the conservative-majority Supreme Court as well as seeking to appeal to the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the department said.

The Justice Department is not filing an emergency application that, if successful, would result in the judge’s ruling being put on hold, which means the program will remain in effect during the litigation.

“It defies both law and common sense for DACA … to somehow be mandated nationwide by a single district court in San Francisco,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

 

More Churches Are Opening Their Doors to Undocumented Immigrants Facing Deportation

Since President Trump took office, the number of American churches willing to shelter undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation has grown to about 1,000; a small fraction of the Christian community.

 

Trump On Immigrants: “I Want Them to Come in from Everywhere”

President Donald Trump said Tuesday he wants immigrants coming in “from everywhere” in response to questions about his alleged remarks challenging U.S. admittance of people from “shithole countries.”

“I want them to come in from everywhere,” Trump told reporters during a White House meeting with Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The remark came as reporters shouted questions about his reported statement last week that he’d prefer the United States welcome people from countries like Norway over nations like Haiti, El Salvador and African countries.

Trump’s remark stands in contrast with his own rhetoric and policy on immigration, with his administration aggressively seeking to curb the influx of immigrants from Latin America and from Muslim-majority countries.

 

Feds Planning Massive Northern California Immigration Sweep to Strike Against Sanctuary Laws

U.S. immigration officials have begun preparing for a major sweep in San Francisco and other Northern California cities in which federal officers would look to arrest more than 1,500 undocumented people while sending a message that immigration policy will be enforced in the sanctuary state, according to a source familiar with the operation.

The campaign, centered in the Bay Area, could happen within weeks, and is expected to become the biggest enforcement action of its kind under President Trump. The operation would go after people who have been identified as targets for deportation, including those who have been served with final deportation orders and those with criminal histories, the source said.

 

Feinstein Questions DHS Secretary On Trump’s ‘Racially Motivated’ Immigration Policies

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that she’s afraid the Trump administration’s decisions to end protected status for immigrants from countries that have suffered natural disasters might be “racially motivated.”

In her opening remarks at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Feinstein said President Trump’s remarks last week that Haiti, El Salvador and some African nations are “shithole countries” has led her to question whether race is driving the administration’s immigration policies.

“In light of the reports about the president’s recent comments, I hope you’re ready to specifically address one issue in particular and that’s the termination of Temporary Protected Status, TPS, for Haitians,” Feinstein said to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

Nielsen acknowledged that there is a human element that makes the decision to end the program difficult and said that Congress should look at making changes to the law.

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