immigration

Once a hub for refugees starting new lives and reuniting with their families, refugee resettlement efforts in Texas are now a shadow of what they once were.

Garden City's Diversity Blooms In New Film

Oct 8, 2018
Courtesy / strangersintownthefilm.com/

A film about Garden City’s diversity will be aired at a free, public screening this week. 

The film  STRANGERS IN TOWN will premiere at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Garden City High School.

According to its website, Strangers In Town The film tells the story of how global migration unexpectedly transformed and enriched Garden City, Kansas. 

Immigration brought great challenges to the community, including demands for housing, social services, education, and infrastructure.

When Josh Collins first got the letter from Bank of America more than two months ago, he thought it was a scam.

The letter wasn’t on the glossy paper typical of what he’d seen during his two decades with the bank. And it asked him some unusual questions, like if he had international accounts.

A federal district judge on Friday denied the state of Texas’ request that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program be put on hold after Texas and nine other states sued to halt the Obama-era program.

Ben Kuebrich / Kansas News Service

On a western Kansas tour this week, U.S. Congressman Roger Marshall touted progress on a new proposal that would let more immigrants come into the country on guest visas to work on farms, in meat-packing plants and other agricultural jobs.

A bill introduced in the U.S. House in July would provide a temporary guest worker visa — known as the H-2C — for year-round agricultural work. Its co-sponsors include Marshall and fellow Kansas Republicans, Lynn Jenkins and Ron Estes.

Syed Jamal, a Lawrence, Kansas, scientist arrested in January for overstaying his visa, will be able to present his case to an immigration judge, preventing his imminent deportation.

Attorneys for Jamal, who was born in Bangladesh, announced Tuesday that the Board of Immigration Appeals ruled last week to send his case back to an immigration judge.

“It gives us a chance to have our day in court,” said Alan Claus Anderson, Jamal’s neighbor and part of his legal team.

It also blocks Jamal’s imminent deportation.

When the state of Texas successfully halted a proposed 2014 federal immigration program to aid adult immigrants, the state's attorneys were able to convince federal courts Texas would be irreparably harmed by the implementation of the sweeping initiative.

But as the Texas attorney general’s office goes to court next week in an attempt to shut down the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, that argument won’t be as strong because the program has been in place for more than half a decade, attorneys with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund said Tuesday.

Since his inauguration, President Donald Trump has kept his campaign promises of tougher immigration policies, leading to a constant flow of policy changes — from scaling back on programs like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to his “zero-tolerance” policy along the border that’s led to separation of parents and children attempting to cross into the U.S.

All of these individual actions amount to a broader strategy that is now becoming clear.

Under former President George W. Bush, the highest ceiling on the number of refugees admitted into the U.S. was 80,000. Under Barack Obama, it was 110,000. President Donald Trump set this year's cap at 45,000.

“And based on the numbers so far, we're looking at less than half that many that we were told would be allowed into the country," says Harold Schlechtweg, the advocacy coordinator with the International Rescue Committee in Kansas.

Ben Kuebrich / High Plains Public Radio

This last weekend, Dodge City was one of the hundreds of cities across the U.S. to hold “Families Belong Together and Free” rallies to protest against children having been separated from their parents at the border.

The event was organized by the Dodge City Catholic Diocese and featured speeches by religious leaders and songs and prayers in both English and Spanish.

Dennis McKinney, former Kansas State Treasurer, also spoke at the event. He said the border needs to be secured, but that there’s no need to split families.

From Texas Standard.

In a backlash against the president’s immigration policies, agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, are now echoing calls from some Democratic Socialists and other progressives that ICE should be dissolved. The Texas Observer first reported this story, picked up today by The New York Times.

An immigration attorney says she broke her foot Tuesday morning after she was pushed down by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer in Kansas City.

A team of lawyers has volunteered to make sure immigrant children in Topeka separated from their parents have the legal help they need to reunite with their families.

Former U.S. attorney for Kansas Barry Grissom said Monday he’s assembled team of at least 10 lawyers, paralegals and legal secretaries volunteering help to immigrant children staying at The Villages, a shelter in Topeka that’s been taking in children separated from their parents when they crossed into the United States.

This story was updated to include the comments of Kansas Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley.

Two Kansas lawmakers are asking for more clarity on the legal status of and facilities for unaccompanied children detained in Kansas after attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

The U.S. House voted down an immigration bill Thursday that would have addressed one of the biggest concerns of American farmers: updating the agriculture guestworker visa program known as H-2A.

From Texas Standard.

The nation is grappling with disturbing news of children separated from their parents at the border as a consequence of President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy that calls for prosecution of border crossers. In Congress, multiple bills have been filed in response. A proposal by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz calls for doubling the number of immigration judges.

Groups working with immigrant families in Texas say a Trump administration policy to separate families at the Mexico border is creating a strain on their resources and they don't know how long it will continue.

The Trump administration’s policy of separating parents and children who cross the border without legal permission has become a divisive issue across the United States and in Congress.

The policy spurred U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kansas, to demand Monday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions "take immediate action to end the practice" that's divided nearly 2,000 families since April. There's also a Senate bill, known as the Keep Families Together Act, that would ban the separation tactic and has only Democratic backing.

Laura Bush, the former first lady of the U.S. and of Texas, called the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy of separating immigrant children from their parents "cruel" in an op-ed published in the Washington Post Sunday evening. 

"It breaks my heart," she wrote. 

Updated at 7:55 p.m. ET

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is continuing to defend the Trump administration's controversial "zero tolerance" policy that results in separating children from their parents who enter the U.S. illegally.

Nielsen appeared at the White House press briefing on Monday, falsely blaming Democrats for the current crisis and arguing that the impetus is on Congress to pass a law to close legal loopholes.

U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kansas, is responding to a letter demanding he take action to end the Trump administration's policy of breaking up immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Nearly 60 elected officials from Johnson and Wyandotte Counties have called on Yoder to prevent immigrant children seeking asylum in the U.S. with their families from being separated from their parents at the border. Yoder is chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.

Southwest Kansas has a new accent due to the rapidly growing Latino population in the area.

New research from Kansas State University and its Kansas Speaks Project, which documents language shifts in Kansas, shows younger people in the region have started to take on the characteristics of Spanish speakers, even if they don’t speak Spanish themselves.

The Mexican American Legislative Caucus and the Texas Senate Hispanic Caucus are suing the Trump administration in hopes of blocking the addition of a citizenship question to the once-a-decade census of every person living in the United States.

From Texas Standard.

The American Civil Liberties Union has released a report based on some 30,000 pages of internal records from the Department of Homeland Security between 2009 to 2014, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. What they’ve found is what they call “the pervasive abuse and neglect of unaccompanied immigrant children detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.”

From Texas Standard.

Young immigrants protected by the DACA program have been in limbo since the Obama-era program was canceled by President Trump last year.  Now we’re hearing rumblings of Republicans, including at least one from Texas, trying a new strategy to get a DACA vote in Congress.

From Texas Standard.

Defining violent crime can be trickier than it sounds. Mugging someone on a sidewalk or robbing a store with a firearm are obviously violent acts. But, what about stealing something from an unoccupied and unlocked home? Even the Supreme Court has difficulty making the call.

As the White House continues to expand deportations and push measures to curb illegal immigration, many Texas immigrants are forced to navigate the immigration system without the help of an attorney.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday ordered federal prosecutors on the southwest border to adopt a “zero tolerance” policy against anyone who enters or attempts to enter the country illegally, a mandate he said “supersedes” any prior directives.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Opponents of Senate Bill 4 have asked a federal appeals court to reconsider a decision that allowed most of the controversial immigration enforcement law to go into effect. The case could eventually end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

This from The Texas Tribune

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