Senate GOP’s Immigration Bill Without Path to Citizenship Panned

Senate Democrats and even some Republicans are panning a Grand Old Party (GOP) bill designed to protect undocumented young people and toughen immigration laws because it would not offer the so-called Dreamers a path to citizenship.

The bill, introduced this week by Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley and Majority Whip John Cornyn, would offer Dreamers enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) three years of protected status in return for enhanced border security, a crackdown on “sanctuary” cities and other GOP immigration priorities.

But members of both parties say there’s no deal without offering Dreamers a chance to become citizens.

“I don’t support a final resolution without a path to citizenship,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is co-sponsoring bipartisan legislation preferred by most Democrats.

Congress Has Two Weeks to Pass the Dream Act

Congressional leaders reported they had a good meeting today at the White House, and the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate also approved a short-term spending bill early this evening.

In response to these developments, Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“Leaders in both parties should recognize two things: Our country needs to address the situation facing Dreamers urgently, and the solution is both simple and politically popular across party lines. It’s now time for our country’s leadership to do its job. The time to fight for the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act is now.

“Congress has an opportunity to do something good for our nation. They should take it. We need a Dream Act now.”

Trump’s Tweets Taint Travel Ban, Federal Judges Say

A majority of judges on the Virginia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit repeatedly cited the president’s tweets about Muslims, as recently as last week, as evidence that his decision to ban most travelers from countries that are home to 150 million Muslims was based on religious animus.

The judges also voiced concern that the third version of Trump’s travel ban, issued Sept. 24 and allowed to take full effect by the Supreme Court earlier this week, bans travelers indefinitely. The ban may become permanent and can be extended to other countries, they warned.

“The president is not lying about what he said,” Judge James Wynn told deputy assistant attorney general Hashim Mooppan, who represented the Justice Department at the two-hour hearing.


New York Lawyers and Activists Seek to Ban Immigration Agents from Courts

Hundreds of lawyers and supporters rallied in Brooklyn, New York calling on immigration agents to be prohibited from entering state courthouses. The demand comes after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested a defendant waiting for his hearing at the Brooklyn court house.

The Association of Legal Aid Attorneys and over 80 groups like Brooklyn Defenders and Bronx Defenders are calling on the Office of Court Administration and Chief Judge Janet DiFiore to “immediately implement a policy to prohibit” ICE from entering courts and to end coordination with the federal agency.

The rally comes a week after lawyers walked out court to protest the arrest of Legal Aid lawyer’s client Genaro Rojas-Hernandez during a regular court appearance. Rojas-Hernandez was in court to see his charges of domestic violence dismissed.

Immigration from Mexico Drops, but Increases from Central America

Immigration to the United States from the so-called Northern Triangle of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras rose by 25% in eight years, the Pew Research Center reported Thursday.

The estimated 12 million Mexican immigrants living in the U.S. in 2015 far outnumbered those from the Northern Triangle, but the three Central American nations have grown in significance as a source of immigrants, according to the Pew report. In the eight years from 2007 to 2015, the number of immigrants from Mexico dropped by 6% while immigration from El Salvador rose by 19%, from Guatemala by 31%, and from Honduras by 32%.

Northern Triangle immigrants overwhelmingly cited work and economic opportunities as their reason for emigrating to the U.S., but many also spoke in surveys about crime and persecution in their home countries as a motivating factor.

Despite the large number of immigrants who arrived in the past decade, most immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have lived in the U.S. for 10 years or more, as is true for the majority of all U.S. immigrants.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan to Issue ‘Strong Response’ to Immigration Warnings from Trump’s Justice Department

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and other local leaders will “issue a strong response” Friday to the Trump administration last month threatening to withhold criminal-justice grants from so-called sanctuary jurisdictions, Durkan’s office said.

The U.S. Department of Justice sent letters to 29 cities, counties and states , including Seattle and King County, asking about compliance with federal immigration law.

Durkan’s office said she will address the issue and “announce several awards to support efforts to provide legal assistance, education and outreach support to DACA recipients.”

Louisville Defends Immigration Ordinance to Feds After Funding Threat

Louisville officials defended the city’s new immigration ordinance in a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice Friday that called concerns about federal law violations inaccurate and out of context.

The letter from Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell was a response to Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan Hanson’s demand last month that Louisville prove its new ordinance doesn’t make it a “sanctuary city.” O’Connell noted that segments of Louisville’s ordinance quoted by the U.S. Department of Justice were selective and lacked context.

“Because our very ordinance states that Louisville will comply with the sharing directives contained in that federal section, it is perplexing that Louisville is singled out for scrutiny in light of Mr. Sessions’ directives to the contrary,” O’Connell said.

Nation’s Largest Immigration Conference Coming to Phoenix

The National Immigrant Integration Conference is set to arrive at the Phoenix Convention Center Dec. 10-12. Co-hosted by Promise Arizona and the National Partnership for New Americans, the conference focuses on the rights of immigrants and the empowerment with others to address the issues faced regarding immigration in the U.S.

The theme for this year’s National Immigration Integration Conference (NIIC) is “Justice for all,” a powerful statement meant to symbolize the need for equal rights among all immigrants.

The conference expects over 1,000 people to be in attendance of the event, and is encouraging others to register. One-day passes can be purchased, but three-day passes must be purchased if you are planning on attending more than one day.