NNIRR E-News: Scapegoating Immigrants, DACA-DAPA Update


a wrap up of activities, updates and news you can use, July 24, 2015

Immigrant scapegoating: White House threatens veto of new legislation aimed at undermining sanctuary cities

 The House has voted to deny funding to cities that do not report undocumented immigrants to federal authorities. The passage of HR 3009 targeting "sanctuary cities" comes on the heels of the seemingly random murder of a young white woman, Kathryn Steinle, in San Francisco, allegedly at the hands of an undocumented immigrant who is now in police custody. 

In San Francisco (photo) community groups and advocates gathered in memorial to Kathryn Steinle and also gave testimony to the importance of the sanctuary city laws in providing safety from violence for immigrants.

Donald Trump, triumphant on the wave of publicity following his racist rant against Mexican immigrants, seized the issue to reinforce his case -- and ended up topping ratings among Republican presidential candidates -- despite renunciations by several fellow Republicans.

joint letter opposing the just-passed HR 3009 stated that the bill "scapegoats all immigrants based on the acts of one person; public policy should not be made based on a single tragic event or by using the actions of one individual to justify a policy that criminalizes an entire community." The letter went on to state that the bill "would penalize the exercise of any local police discretion to limit inquiries into immigration status in any manner, and would strip funding from localities that undertake the balancing of public safety considerations."

Even while criticizing Trump's hate-mongering, some Democrats have also weighed in to propose a tightening of policies mandating local "cooperation" with federal immigration authorities. Immigrant rights advocates have targeted lawmakers like California Senator Dianne Feinstein, with letters and petitions in recent days, urging them not to join the rush to pass such bills that further undermine immigrant community safety and human rights.

DACA-DAPA Update: an uncertain future for Obama's promise of administrative relief from deportation

As expected, a panel of three judges who heard arguments July 10 in the lawsuit challenging President Obama's Executive Action on immigration has not yet reached a decision--and may not for some time. The decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit in New Orleans could move either side to take the case up to the U.S. Supreme Court. A ruling there might not be made until June of 2016. If the Obama Administration received a favorable ruling at that time, only a few months would remain for implementation before the November general elections and the end of Obama's term as president--thus leaving the future of "expanded DACA" and DAPA--administrative relief for certain undocumented parents--highly uncertain.

In the meantime, USCIS is requesting that some 2,500 DACA recipients return work authorization documents that had been "mistakenly" issued as 3-year authorizations. They will receive 2-year authorization cards in their place. They have until July 30 to comply. USCIS will reportedly visit recipient homes if the incorrect documents are not returned.

Click here for more information and updates on NNIRR's website.

Immigration Focus at Netroot Nations

Netroot Nations met in Phoenix this last week, spotlighting immigration. Isabel Garcia, a community leader with the Coalicion de Derechos Humanos in Tucson and a member of NNIRR's Board, was one the panelists speaking to the critical issues. Here, Isabel condemns Operation Streamline, the program that shapes official U.S. "zero tolerance" for undocumented migration, prosecuting most undocumented border crossers through the criminal justice system and leading to alarming rates of incarceration.