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7/14: Trump Administration’s Cruel, Inhumane, and Completely Unworkable Mass Deportation Agenda Advances
Released 20 August 2017  By UnidosUSblog - NCLR

Trump Administration’s Cruel, Inhumane, and Completely Unworkable Mass Deportation Agenda Advances

UnidosUSblog - NCLR
July 14, 2017

On July 13, 2017, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary
John Kelly had a closed-door meeting with members of the Congressional
Hispanic Caucus (CHC). The discussion focused on the important
immigration issues that are top of mind for many in our community,
including the futures of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
(DACA) policy and the designations of Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
for El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Combined, DACA and TPS shield
more than 1.1 million—predominantly Latino individuals—from deportation.

Instead of alleviating concerns, the conversation raised many more
alarms and led to scathing statements from CHC members. For starters,
Secretary Kelly indicated that after talking to various “experts” that
he had doubts about the legality of DACA. This is puzzling, given the
fact that the U.S. Supreme Court has stated that the executive branch
has “broad discretion” in matters relating to immigration, and “must
decide whether it makes sense to pursue removal at all.” DACA is
consistent with this reasoning. On DACA, Kelly also stated that
decisions about the future of DACA will be left to Attorney General Jeff
Sessions. Sessions’s strong anti-immigrant positions and ties to
extremist groups is well documented, and is a cause for concern for the
more than 800,000 DACA recipients and their supporters.

DACA has been thrust into the limelight in recent weeks following the
transmittal of letter by 10 Attorneys Generals who have threatened to go
after the DACA policy in court unless the administration takes steps to
terminate DACA on their own. These Attorneys Generals are comprised from
the same group that went after the Deferred Action of Parents of
Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) policy in 2015. This
tactically savvy move puts the Trump administration in the awkward
position of ending the DACA after making assurances that DACA recipients
“should not be worried,” or defending the Obama-era policy, which as a
candidate he promised to end. The administration has until September 5
to determine how it will proceed, meanwhile the sense of urgency has
ratcheted up in Congress to find a legislative fix, such as the DREAM

Moreover, Kelly’s remarks at the CHC meeting also cast doubts on the
future of TPS designations for El Salvador and Honduras, which combined
shield approximately 250,000 individuals from deportation for
humanitarian reasons. TPS is a statutory provision, which enables the
Secretary of Homeland Security to temporarily shield the removal of
certain individuals from countries that have, as in the case of El
Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua with a string of vicious hurricanes in
the early 2000s, suffered from environmental disasters. TPS recipients
from these countries have been granted work authorization by our
government, and the vast majority of which was been lawfully present in
the country for more than 16 years. Unfortunately, Despite evidence to
the contrary, Kelly seems unconvinced that the Central American
countries continue to merit a continued designation for TPS.

This news comes on the same day that House Appropriations Subcommittee
on Homeland Security voted along party lines to pass a funding bill that
would significantly increase funding for interior immigration
enforcement. The proposed $705 million funding increase for immigration
enforcement would go toward approximately 10,000 more detention beds
than this time next year, and the hiring of 1,000 additional Immigration
and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers and agents. If that isn’t bad
enough, the bill would give the president $1.6 billion for a senseless
border wall that members on both side of the aisle say we don’t need.

This administration continues to eschew commonsense immigration
enforcement in favor of a scheme that empowers low level ICE field
officers and promotes a culture of “cheap enforcement wins.” More
funding alone is a reckless course of action. Unfortunately, this week
we learned that there are no limits the depths of this administration’s
lows, as they appear to be moving in the direction of targeting long
time members of our communities that by the very definition of the
policies shielding them from deportation – DACA and TPS – pose no threat
to public safety.

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