In the News / November 2019

2019: A Shameful Assault on Immigrants and Refugees

With all that’s going on, the need for human compassion and decency has reached critical levels. And our country’s official response has been one of astonishing cruelty and indifference. 

January

  • The “Migration Protection Protocols” start, which require legal asylum-seekers to stay in Mexico while awaiting their court date in the U.S.

February

  • When Congress refuses to give him funding, Trump declares a national state of emergency and directs $8.1 billion to the border wall.

May

  • The Trump administration proposes to allocate green cards based on education, age, and English ability, significantly reducing family-based immigration.

June

  • Trump cuts Central American aid by millions of dollars.

July

  • Trump announces that immigrants must seek asylum in at least 1 country they traveled through and be denied in order to seek asylum in the U.S. (Supreme Court held this can go into effect until a final decision is made.)
  • ICE can now use “fast-track removal” to deport undocumented immigrants nationwide.
  • Family separation at the border continues. Over 700 children have been separated from their parents since the policy officially ended.
  • Trump announces plans to add a citizenship question on the Census despite the Supreme Court ruling against it. (Blocked by 3 federal judges and not added to the Census.)

August

  • The Flores agreement is ended, removing the 20-day limit for holding children in immigration custody and the requirements for humane holding conditions.
  • ICE arrests 680 workers in Mississippi in a record-setting immigration raid.
  • The “public charge” rule on awarding green cards is expanded, making it more difficult for people with lower incomes to obtain lawful permanent resident status and making people fearful of accessing benefits to which they are entitled.
  • The Trump administration ends “medical deferred action,” preventing immigrants from staying in the U.S. while they or their children are treated for life-threatening medical conditions.

September

  • The Trump administration signs a deal with El Salvador and Honduras to stop migrants from entering the U.S.
  • Trump diverts $3.6 billion in funding for critical military needs to construction of the border wall.
  • Trump sets the refugee admissions ceiling for 2020 at a historically-low 18,000.
  • Resettlement offices around the country close as fewer refugees are allowed into the U.S.

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