An immigration reform advocacy group will target House Speaker Paul Ryan and 26 other Republican members of Congress with a six-figure digital ad campaign starting this week.

iAmerica Action will run ads, spending $250,000 in 27 House districts, many of which have large Hispanic populations, urging congressional action to protect nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children and accepted into the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The ads running in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District encourage voters to call Ryan. “While the fight is about protecting young Americans who live here, work here, go to school here, and pay taxes, at its core it’s about something far greater. Will we become an isolated nation that fears outsiders? Or continue with a rich tradition of welcoming immigrants who help make our country innovative and more competitive,” said iAmerica Action president, Rocio Sáenz in a statement.

 

Trump Administration Sued Over Detention of Immigrant Children

A New York civil rights group on Tuesday sued Trump administration officials over what it called “prolonged detention of immigrant children”, blaming recent shifts in U.S. government policy for keeping children locked up without cause.

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), which filed the lawsuit in Manhattan federal court, is seeking to represent a class of children in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), a federal agency, in New York. The group said there were likely at least 40 children in custody. Most children held by the ORR were arrested by immigration authorities after entering the country illegally without an adult. Before the policy change, children would typically wait in ORR custody only one to three months.

The NYCLU is seeking to represent a class of “all children who are or will be in the custody of ORR in New York” in secure facilities. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ORR’s parent agency, declined to comment.

 

Immigration Plans Stuck in Congressional Limbo as Deadlines Loom

The anticlimactic failure of U.S. immigration legislation last week sent senators scrambling for fallback options to avoid the deportation of young people who arrived in the country as children.

“What I expect is that DACA is going to expire and people will start losing their work permits,” said Mark Krikorian, who runs the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that seeks to cut immigration levels to the U.S. “There’ll be a non-zero number of DACAs taken into custody and removed. So we’ll have to see how that plays out politically.”

The courts have put Trump’s March 5 cutoff deadline on hold and a verdict may be pushed to June if the Supreme Court accepts the case on an expedited basis. That’s prompted another flurry of proposals in the Senate, none of which have any clear path to move forward.

 

U.S. Is Separating Immigrant Parents and Children to Discourage Others, Activists Say

Thousands of parents who crossed illegally into the U.S. in recent years have been held with their children at immigration detention centers. But the case of a Brazilian woman and her son illustrates what migrant advocates call a harsher approach to immigration enforcement that aims to separate parents and children. The mother, was fleeing domestic violence, entered the U.S. last August with her 14-year-old son, who she said was being threatened by gangs. They hoped to apply for asylum. Instead, she’s being held in Texas, while her son was taken to a shelter in Illinois.

Migrant families like Jocelyn’s are usually processed by immigration courts, an administrative process. Such families are detained together or released with notices to appear at later court proceedings. President Trump promised to end the practice, dismissing it as “catch and release.” But once a case becomes a criminal matter, parents and children are separated.

According to public defenders and immigrant advocates, more and more immigrant families who come to the southern border seeking asylum are being charged in federal criminal courts from El Paso to Arizona. Homeland Security won’t say it is targeting families but does say it is making procedural and policy changes to deter illegal immigration.

 

Police Who Help ICE Detain Undocumented Immigrants Could Be “Violating Fourth Amendment”, Experts Say

When Wilson Rodriguez Macarreno called 911 after hearing an intruder outside his family home, the last thing he expected was that he would be the one taken away in handcuffs.

Just an hour later, the father of three was hand-delivered to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers after police noticed an outstanding warrant for Macarreno on their national crime database.

What Tukwila, Washington, officers didn’t realize was that Macarreno had flagged an “administrative” rather than a “judicial” warrant. “A judicial warrant requires two things, a genuine issuance by a judge, and it has to be supported by some determination of probable cause,” Kristie De Peña, who serves as the Director of Immigration and Senior Counsel at the Niskanen Center, according to Newsweek.

 

GOP Senators Offer Wall Funding if Trump Kills Populist Immigration Reforms

Business-first Republicans Senators are pushing a plan to keep the 680,000 DACA illegals in the workforce, and simultaneously block President Donald Trump’s popular reforms of immigration law.

The plan would provide work-permits to at least 680,000 illegals but would also provide Trump with a $25 billion “Trust Fund” for construction of a border wall.

The proposal by South Dakota’s John Thune, Ohio’s Rob Portman, and Kansas’ Jerry Moran, likely has support from many business-first Republicans, especially GOP Senators in labor-intensive agricultural states. The proposal likely will be pushed into the 2018 budget debate as Trump’s deputies press for $1.6 billion in 2018 border-wall construction funds.

 

GOP Senator Suggests We Need Fewer Immigrants Because Robots Are Coming

Sen. Tom Cotton last week helped kill the bipartisan immigration deal in Congress. He didn’t think the bill went far enough in transforming the U.S. immigration system. Like President Trump, Cotton thinks the United States should cut legal immigration.

“It can’t simultaneously be true that robots will take all the jobs & that the West needs millions of new immigrants to do the grunt work,” tweeted Cotton in late January, quoting a Wall Street Journal op-ed from a conservative commentator.

The senator repeated that argument last week when a reporter at Vox asked him why he is so adamant about cutting legal immigration, a big shift from the GOP’s traditional stance of accepting legal immigrants and fighting only illegal immigration. “I think it’s certainly critical that we reduce unskilled and low-skilled workers. It can’t both be true … that we need both more unskilled and low-skilled workers, but robots are going to take all the jobs,” Cotton stated.