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immigration

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The ACLU is trying to force the release of Iraqi detainees being held by federal immigration authorities. The civil liberties group filed a motion today with a federal judge in Detroit.

This is happening as the first round of detainees are getting their government files, which will allow them to start the process of having their cases re-opened.

Miriam Aukerman is an ACLU attorney. She says hundreds of detainees have been locked up for four or five months without a hearing.

KIT JOHNSON / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

This week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested ten workers at a farm labor camp near Hart, Michigan. The undocumented immigrants were harvesting crops at a farm.

“The nine men have been taken to a detention facility in Youngstown, OH, which is about 480 miles from where they were picked up,” said Susan Reed, managing attorney with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. “The one woman we believe was taken to the Calhoun County jail.”

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

While the politicians argue about it, the U.S. Department of Defense is trying to prepare for the effects of climate change. The Pentagon sees it as a national security issue. One of the predictions is that there will be massive migration because of extreme weather events leading to flooding or drought or other disasters.

There’s evidence of that sort of trend happening in the aftermath of hurricanes.

Dean Yang, professor of economics and public policy at the University of Michigan, co-authored an article for The Conversation titled “Hurricanes Drive Immigration to the U.S.” He joined Stateside today to explain his research.

John Auchter / Michigan Radio

The cartoon wasn't necessarily meant as an indictment of Michigan (although our embarrassing weaknesses in education and public transportation will likely prevent us from winning the Amazon HQ2 sweepstakes). It was meant as an indictment of the United States as a whole.

Now, before I end up in a stump speech for some publicity-grubbing pop star running (or not running) for Senate, let me say some nice things about America. America is great. America has vast resources. America is very wealthy. America has lots of talent.

Mercedes Mejia/Michigan Radio

Religion and politics are always a combustible mix.

During the long debate over gay marriage, many people of faith and their leaders argued that it violated their deeply held religious beliefs.

Now, more are speaking out against our nation's immigration laws and their enforcement by the Trump administration. And they're using religious convictions as the reason why. 

Today, some faith leaders gathered in Washtenaw County to make a passionate declaration of support for protecting immigrants from deportation.

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Last Friday, President Trump was asked about the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). It’s the program that allows undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to remain in the country. They're widely known as "DREAMers."

"We love the DREAMers," President Trump said. "We love everybody."

Sasha Kimel / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

President Donald Trump is ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and unless Congress passes legislation before March 2018, nearly 800,000 undocumented young people could be at risk of deportation.

The administration’s announcement Tuesday does not come as a shock. Trump often bashed the program throughout his campaign, although he seemed to soften that stance slightly once in office.

attorney and sons talking
Tyler Scott / Michigan Radio

Ann Arbor resident and Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainee Jose Luis Sanchez-Ronquillo is hoping to be released while the Board of Immigration Appeals considers whether to reopen his immigration case.

Supporters and family members of Sanchez-Ronquillo rallied outside of the ICE field office in Detroit on Tuesday as his attorney submitted a request for his release.

The Statue of Liberty
Celso Flores / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

You never know, but if President Trump’s sweeping new immigration policy proposals had always been in place, I probably wouldn’t be here. Most likely, you wouldn’t either.

My paternal ancestors supposedly came from Great Britain centuries ago, but my maternal ones came from Bavaria to Michigan in the 1880s. They didn’t speak English and had no special skills, so that would have been that.

Jose Valle-Rodriguez and his two-year-old son.
C/O Karina Valle

An Ypsilanti man won't have to sit in jail while he waits to fight deportation.

At a hearing Thursday, a judge set a $5,000 bond for Jose Valle-Rodriguez, after determining he isn't a flight risk or a threat to national security. He’s expected to be released today, after his family posts bond.

His lawyer, Brad Thomson, says Valle-Rodriguez has filed an asylum petition and will also file a marriage petition once his wife Karina becomes a naturalized citizen.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today, more than 100 Iraqi Christians facing deportation from the United States could discover their fate.

The Iraqis were detained for visa violations – including past criminal convictions – which had been ignored for years, after they were caught up in a crackdown ordered by the current administration.

Their families say they feel betrayed by a president they'd largely supported in last year's election, and who they'd seen as a defender of Christians.

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

The Ingham County Sheriff's Office has announced it no longer will detain people with federal immigration holds past the detention period on their original booking charges.

The sheriff's office says Wednesday that administrative warrants and Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers issued by an ICE official have to have proper judicial authority.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

In official statements, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says the people it arrests are criminals who pose a threat to the safety of our local communities.

But when the public asks for more details on those arrests – who has been targeted and why – answers are hard to come by.

Elizalde Ramirez Vasquez - a migrant worker who attended Michigan State University.
courtesy photo

The last few decades haven’t been kind to Michigan. Traditional manufacturing jobs have disappeared or gone abroad or to the Sunbelt.

Per capita income has fallen dramatically, to the point where two-thirds of the states are wealthier than we are. We were the only state to lose population in the first decade of this century.

While Michigan seems to be slowly growing again, the population increase is far smaller than average. We’ve lost five seats in Congress since 1980, and may lose another.

Pamela, Lourdes and Bryan Quintana-Salazar.
Kate Wells

Lourdes Salazar Bautista says even though her kids are U.S. citizens and one of them has a scholarship at Michigan State University, she just can’t go back to Mexico next month without them.

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

On Thursday night, a federal judge in Detroit extended an order that puts a temporary hold on the U.S. government’s threat to deport some Iraqi nationals.

The Trump administration struck a deal with Iraq’s government earlier this year.

Since then, it’s moved quickly to start deporting up to 1,400 Iraqi nationals with criminal records.

The Michigan House of Representatives in Lansing
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio file photo

Ten Michigan state Representatives have sent a letter to Detroit Immigration and Customs Enforcement, criticizing the agency for some of its practices. The letter was sent in response to news that ICE has been sending people apprehended in Detroit to be detained in Youngstown, Ohio. That's over 230 miles from Detroit.

These representatives  five Democrats and five Republicans  say the distance from Michigan restricts important access to resources.

Jose Valle-Rodriguez and his two-year-old son.
C/O Karina Valle

On Tuesday, US Immigration Judge Jennifer M. Gorland ruled to reopened Jose Valle-Rodrgiuez’s immigration case, giving the Ypsilanti man a second chance to fight his deportation back to El Salvador. His father-in-law was murdered by gangs in that country, the family says, and they fear Valle-Rodriguez would also become a target.  

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A federal judge will hold an emergency hearing Monday morning in Detroit, where the ACLU is asking him to temporarily block the deportations of all Iraqi nationals facing removal in the U.S.

This all started a few months ago, when Iraq agreed to accept Iraqi nationals the U.S. wants to deport. For years it had refused to issue travel documents to those individuals.

Then, earlier this month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement rounded up 114 Iraqis living in metro Detroit. Another 85 were taken into custody in other states.

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

The Iraqi immigrants arrested in a Detroit-area immigration sweep this month cannot be deported for at least the next 14 days, a Detroit federal judge ruled late Thursday.

More than 100 Iraqi nationals were swept up by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in raids earlier this month.

The government says they all have standing removal orders and criminal records, and their deportations were imminent. Most had been living in the U.S. for years under ICE supervision.

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Lafayette Street between Shelby and Washington Boulevard in downtown Detroit was flooded with people supporting several Iraqi-American immigrants facing possible deportation.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, arrested these immigrants in metro-Detroit more than a week ago.

Most have criminal records, but have already served time or paid their fines.

Carrie Heichle is the wife of one of the men arrested during the ICE sweeps.

She says her two sons are having a hard time without their dad.

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Friends and family members of the Iraqi-Americans who are facing possible deportation gathered in Detroit to protest. 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Last weekend, federal immigration agents took more than 100 Iraqi nationals into custody, with plans to deport most of them. Among the detainees set to be deported are a large number of Chaldeans – a Christian sect. Others are Shiite Muslims. Deporting them to Iraq means they could face persecution in that country.

The American Civil Liberties Union-Michigan has filed a class-action lawsuit to stop the deportations, arguing that the detainees should be given the opportunity to prove they could face torture or death if returned to Iraq.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

The ACLU of Michigan has filed a federal lawsuit to stop the deportation of about 100 Iraqi immigrants.

Immigration enforcement officials arrested the immigrants last weekend in a series of raids in the Detroit area. These officials say everyone taken into custody has a criminal record and was ordered removed from the United States.

But Michael Steinberg of the ACLU says many of those orders are decades old. And the situation in Iraq has changed. Many of the immigrants in custody are Chaldean Christians, a group that now faces persecution in Iraq

"Federal law and international treaty forbids the United States from sending individuals back to countries where they face the danger of persecution, torture or death," Steinberg says. 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It was a traumatic, emotional weekend for the Chaldean community of Metro Detroit. Chaldeans are a Christian minority from the Middle East, mostly from Iraq, and many live in Southeast Michigan.

Skyline of Detroit from the city's west side.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s immigrant population is growing, and a recent study says that's good for the economy.

The New Americans in Detroit report was released today. It found that between 2010 and 2014, more than 4,100 foreign-born individuals moved to the city of Detroit.

The report also says in 2014, immigrants contributed more than $53 million in state and local taxes. Immigrants in Detroit also contributed more than $67 million to Social Security, and $17 million to Medicare.

BRIDGE MAGAZINE: One envelope holds her fate. Is she getting deported?

May 30, 2017
Maria Juarez hugs mother-in-law.
Bridge Magazine

Maria Garcia Juarez wandered around the international arrivals area at Detroit Metropolitan Airport on Friday, frantically looking for a government official who held a sheet of paper with her fate written on it.

The non-profit agency Samaritas is the largest resettler of refugees in Michigan.
Courtesy of Samaritas

The number of refugees re-settled in Michigan has dropped sharply over the past six months.

That parallels a larger national trend, according to new analysis of U.S. State Department data from the Pew Research Center.

Pew examined refugee resettlement data from October 2016 through April of this year.

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arrested three workers at an Ann Arbor restaurant Wednesday morning.

The owner of Sava's Restaurant says the ICE agents had breakfast before they went into the kitchen to arrest an employee who wasn't on duty at the time.

Instead, Sava Lelcaj Farah says they began questioning other employees before taking three into custody.

User: Nic Redhead / Flickr

A Michigan activist group is telling immigrants not to attend regular check-ins with immigration officials. That's because some undocumented immigrants are being detained for deportation at these check-ins.

But immigration attorneys say this is bad, and potentially dangerous, advice.

An email sent from the group By Any Means Necessary earlier this week said, "WARNING: BEWARE OF 'SILENT' DEPORTATIONS--DO NOT GO TO 'CHECK IN' WITH I.C.E." 

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