Undocumented immigrants, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and immigrant rights advocates on Wednesday officially opened Dream Act Central, a tent space on Washington’s National Mall that will serve as headquarters for a final push this year to urge Congress to pass legislation replacing the DACA program.

More than 900 immigrant youths and their families are scheduled to stop at the temporary headquarters in the next two weeks to share their stories and visit lawmakers in Congress. In front of the tent, a large-screen television has been erected facing Capitol Hill, showing stories of young undocumented immigrants, known informally as Dreamers.

Newark Passes ‘Welcoming City’ Resolution, Vows Not to Investigate Immigration Violations

City council waded into the immigration debate Monday, passing a largely symbolic resolution declaring Newark a “welcoming city” to everyone, regardless of immigration status.

The resolution prohibits the police department from investigating or detaining a person solely on the basis of a suspected violation of immigration law. It also dictates that the city will not share private information about an individual with state or federal agencies unless it is required to do so by law.

Newark Police Chief Paul Tiernan confirmed that the resolution does not affect the way his officers do their job.The resolution does not prevent the police department from taking action when someone arrested for another crime is found to be in the country illegally.

 

New York City Liberties Union Challenges Suffolk Sheriff On Immigration Detainers

Civil liberties advocates filed an emergency legal action in state court seeking the release of an immigrant held by the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, and questioning its policy of detaining immigrants sought by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation.

The suit seeks the release of Susai Francis, an immigrant from India and longtime Long Island resident, who had pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge and had been sentenced to time served.

Arguments were heard in the case on Tuesday morning and a decision remained pending.  A ruling could affect the detention policy going forward, determining whether local jails could cooperate in such a way with immigration enforcement.

 

Military Spending Bill Provision Reduces Deportation Risk for Immigrant Recruits

The defense authorization bill signed Tuesday by President Trump includes a measure to shield immigrant recruits from enlistment contract cancellations,  and the specter of deportation,  as they wait for drawn-out background checks to be completed, a positive development in the year-long effort by advocates and lawmakers to keep skilled noncitizens as a reliable recruiting pool.

The amendment, inserted by Sens. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) and Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) into the $700 billion spending bill, allows Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to give active-duty immigrant recruits one additional year to wait for background checks to be finalized before they leave for basic training.

More than 10,400 foreign recruits have entered the military through the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program.

Survey Shows Educators Struggle With Impact of Immigration

Kerry Townsend, the media specialist coordinator in the Columbia public schools in Missouri, thinks an influx of immigrants has helped bring diversity to her college town in the central part of the Show Me State. But providing the newcomers with a high-quality education comes with a financial strain.

Townsend called the impact of immigration on school systems like hers, “very complicated. It’s good to get different points of view, different perspectives. It’s good for students who have grown up in Missouri to see that there’s more beyond Missouri,” she said. “But I think it’s very expensive.” Schools don’t always get the resources they need, Townsend said.

 

Immigrants bring with them “talent and diversity,” said James Frank, the principal of Crest Ridge High School in Centerview, Mo. At the same time, “the reality is that there’s a financial burden that comes with” an influx of immigrants.

De Blasio Slams Trump’s Calls for Immigration Crackdown After Subway Tunnel Explosion

A day after an attempted terror attack near the Port Authority, Mayor Bill de Blasio went on the attack Tuesday against President Trump.

Trump is using the incident to call for an immigration crackdown, while de Blasio is defending the immigration program that allowed the alleged attacker to come to the United States from Bangladesh in the first place.

Burlington Mayor Defends Immigration Policy Against Federal Pressure

The mayor is standing by a city policy that has come under fire from the federal government.

Last month the Department of Justice sent a letter to Mayor Miro Weinberger, Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Tom Anderson and 27 other jurisdictions in the country, alleging their laws may violate a federal law that ensures U.S. immigration authorities can get information about a suspect’s immigration status upon request.

 

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions Railed Against Local Sanctuary Policies That He Said Undermine the Safety of Residents

At stake is federal money for local and state police. The Justice Department has said it may withhold grants to jurisdictions it determines aren’t complying with the federal law. The justice assistance grants total about $40,000 for Burlington, according to Weinberger, and nearly $500,000 for the state, according to the Justice Department.

In response to the letter from the Justice Department, Weinberger declared the city is in compliance with federal law and calling the department’s concerns “unwarranted and misplaced.”

 

Syracuse Residents Urge Ben Walsh to Maintain Immigration Policies During Public Safety Meeting

Syracuse residents urged Mayor-elect Ben Walsh to maintain policies that protect undocumented immigrants Tuesday evening during a public safety forum hosted by one of Walsh’s transition committees.

About 75 area community members attended the forum, packing the Southwest Community Center Library’s stage room at about 7 p.m.  Most policy suggestions brought up by residents were centered around Walsh’s stance on Syracuse’s sanctuary city status and community policing.

Outgoing Mayor Stephanie Miner, in her state of the city address this past January, declared Syracuse a sanctuary city, a wide-ranging term that generally means a local jurisdiction will not use police resources to enforce President Donald Trump’s federal immigration policies and hold arrested immigrants long enough for them to be deported. Walsh has told Syracuse.com the sanctuary city term is “a political term, without any real meaning.”