We welcome expressions, support, and collaboration from like-minded organizations

 

 

IMMIGRATION POLICIES, ANALYSIS, AND RESOURCES

The Immigration Domain tracks and reports on policies that deal with illegal and legal immigration, refugee resettlement and sanctuary cities. This domain tracks policies emanating from the White House, the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the US Border Patrol, and state and city government policies that respond to federal policies.

Latest Immigration Posts

 

Trump Administration Policies Help Spread Covid-19 to Central America

Trump Administration Policies Help Spread Covid-19 to Central America

Policy Summary
Since March, the Trump Administration has expelled almost 10,000 migrants using emergency public health measures that have granted US Customs and Border Protection temporary authority to bypass immigration laws. There are now fewer than 100 migrants in federal custody.

In April, forty-four migrants on a deportation flight from the US to Guatemala tested positive for COVID-19. Prior, there were only 800 confirmed cases total in all three Northern Triangle countries. Within Guatemala there are two major urban hospitals and smaller regional facilities. Their capacity to handle a potential outbreak as a result of these forty-four confirmed cases is extremely limited. The Mexican government has since agreed to accept the rapid return of migrants from Mexico and the Northern Triangle, according to a recent agreement with the Trump Administration. However, it is unclear how sustainable this plan would be given the large volume of migrants the US has been deporting.

Analysis

The US is bound to the customary international law principle of non-refoulement (the practice of not forcing refugees or immigrants to return to a country where they are subject to persecution). Due to these rapid return measure the Trump Administration has employed since lockdown, migrants are now not only unable to claim asylum and/or other forms of humanitarian protections but are also being expelled to countries in which they fear persecution.

Additionally, the US has almost directly spread the pandemic in Guatemala, where their health system is severely hindered and could cost many individuals their lives. Many of the forty-four deported migrants showed symptoms prior to boarding their flights. Knowingly spreading the virus to an incapacitated region, is not only unethical, but a careless way to attempt to reduce the number of confirmed cases in the US by expelling migrants.

Engagement Resources

  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • Border Network for Human Rights: network to engage education, organization and participation of border communities to defend human rights and work towards a society where everyone is equal in rights and dignity.
  • World Health Organization: the WHO provides updated information surrounding COVID-19 and global responses
  • Center for Disease Control: the CDC provides updated information surrounding COVID-19 and the US responses
Trump to Limit Immigration to the US due to COVID-19

Trump to Limit Immigration to the US due to COVID-19

Policy Summary

The Trump Administration issued a proclamation (Proclamation 9994) to limit immigration into the US in the next 60 days. The justification given is that, due to the economic recession the US is bound to face in the aftermath of COVID-19, “aliens” will be taking jobs. This would not apply to US lawful permanent residents, spouses of US citizens, or immigrants entering the country to work as physicians, nurses, or other healthcare professionals. Stephen Miller, who has been leading the Trump Administration immigration agenda urged Trump’s followers to view this as a first step in the Administration’s longer-term goal of shrinking legal immigration. Though spouses of US Citizens are not affected by this, immigration by extended family members is supposed to be hindered. This Executive Order in practice is intended to disrupt “chain migration,” a term used by Conservatives to describe the arrival of one immigrant in the US making way for extended family to emigrate as well. 

In other immigration news, a federal judge recently pressed the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement ) to release migrants held in family detention centers as the hundreds of people who live in close quarters with limited access to soap and disinfectants are at imminent risk for contracting COVID-19. These detention centers are greatly at risk for an outbreak and rapid spreading to surrounding communities. Federal courts have cited the 1997 Flores Agreement that generally requires children detained at the border and kept in non-licensed facilities to be released within weeks. Many have claimed the Trump Administration has continued to violate longstanding agreements that compel the government to release detained migrant children

Analysis

Not unique to the US, the American government is utilizing the pandemic to implement its ongoing immigration agenda. As Stephen Miller transparently expressed, this is in light of COVID-19 but also a part of a wider immigration agenda that has been in place throughout the entirety of the Trump Administration.

By limiting immigration out of fear foreigners will take jobs Americans are believed to be entitled to, the supply chain could be severely affected in sectors of the American economy deeply dependent on immigrants, such as agriculture.

Engagement Resources

  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • Border Network for Human Rights: network to engage education, organization and participation of border communities to defend human rights and work towards a society where everyone is equal in rights and dignity.
  • World Health Organization: the WHO provides updated information surrounding COVID-19 and global responses
  • Center for Disease Control: the CDC provides updated information surrounding COVID-19 and the US responses
Judge Orders Release of Immigrant Children While “The Wall” Continues to be Built

Judge Orders Release of Immigrant Children While “The Wall” Continues to be Built

Policy Summary

A Federal Judge in Los Angeles ordered the US government to make continuous efforts to release migrant children held in detention facilities. These children are supposed to be transferred to the care of outside sponsors unless they pose a flight risk, within 7 days. There are currently nearly 7,000 children being detained in government run shelters. Several staff members and at least 4 children have tested positive for COVID-19 in shelters throughout the country. By April 6, both the Office of Refugee Resettlement and ICE (the 2 main agencies operating migrant children detention facilities) must prove their efforts to release migrant children.

The Trump Administration is insistent on quickly continuing the construction of the wall along the US Southern Border to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to the US from Mexico, despite the CDC denouncing this is an effective strategy. Currently, in the small town of Ajo along the Arizona-Mexico border, workers from all over the country are filling up motels, airbnbs and mobile home camps. The town itself is full of retirees and is relatively removed from the nation’s current COVID-19 hotspots, so it is rather underprepared should an outbreak occur.

Analysis

Townspeople of Ajo, Arizona are concerned the influx of people from all over will heighten their risk to contracting COVID-19 and the workers clustered in tight quarters can exponentially grow the cases in the US. These workers, if they contract COVID-19, may pass it on to their families when they return home (and all the different places throughout the country these workers came from). Similarly, due to the living situations in migrant detention centers, thousands of children may be in danger of contracting COVID-19 as a result of their close living situations. Building the wall during a pandemic is not a strategic move to curb the spread of the virus, but rather pursuing the Trump Administration’s immigration agendas that have been in place long before the virus was introduced to the US

Engagement Resources

  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • Border Network for Human Rights: network to engage education, organization and participation of border communities to defend human rights and work towards a society where everyone is equal in rights and dignity.
  • World Health Organization: the WHO provides updated information surrounding COVID-19 and global responses
  • Center for Disease Control: the CDC provides updated information surrounding COVID-19 and the US responses

 

 

Supreme Court Upholds Remain In Mexico Policy and a Federal Judge Voids Trump’s Appointment of Director of ICE

Supreme Court Upholds Remain In Mexico Policy and a Federal Judge Voids Trump’s Appointment of Director of ICE

Policy Updates

The US Circuit Court temporarily blocked the Trump Administration’s Remain in Mexico policy, only to reverse its own order the same day. The court reinstated the policy due to emergency requests from the Trump Administration and is allowing the Administration another week to persuade the US Supreme Court to step in before blocking the policy. The program was initially launched in January 2019 and has since returned 60,000 migrants. This violates the international and US legal principle of non-refoulement (law of no returns) in which migrants shall not be sent back to the place they have fled.

However the Supreme Court this week  upheld President Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy for at least another 3 months. Forcing more than 10,000 asylum seekers to stay in Mexico while they await hearings by the US, without food, housing, healthcare, or other protections. Only 1 member of the Court dissented: Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Federal Judge Moss of Washington, DC ruled that Ken Cuccinelli was unlawfully appointed to lead the US Citizenship and Immigration Services and Director of ICE. The court claimed President Trump violated federal law that outlines who can fill vacant leadership positions at federal agencies by quickly appointing Cuccinelli and disregarding the Department’s order of succession. Judge Moss also ruled that 2 policies Cuccinelli sought to implement be nullified as void. Both policies limited asylum seekers access to counsel and preparation time for credible fear interviews, which in practice could possibly deny many migrants asylum.

President Trump has expressed he enjoys installing individuals as leaders under the guise of “acting” leaders because it allows him more flexibility and the ability to “move quickly.” However, this completely disregards the rule of law and executive limitations. The president must obtain the advice and consent of the Senate before appointing any individual to a senior federal position of the US. This practice is a blatant act of cronyism and is not permissible, nor tolerated, in a democratic society with checks and balances.

Analysis
By reinstating the Remain in Mexico policy, the US may continue to send migrants to Mexico, but specifically to areas the State Department of Mexico have warned the US not to visit due to the plausibility of kidnapping, sexual assault, exploitation, lack of basic necessities, and other abuses. It also prolongs the amount of time these migrants are not granted due process because they likely will not be able to find lawyers (in time) in Mexico to argue their case(s) in front of a judge. Additionally, it only gives the Trump Administration more time to curate bilateral decisions with nations in the Northern Triangle to repatriate citizens, if not to their country of origin a neighboring country in the Northern Triangle, which could be a death sentence for many.

Resistance Resources

  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • Protect Democracy: a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to fighting domestic and international attacks to free, fair and fully formed self-government
  • Border Network for Human Rights: network to engage education, organization and participation of border communities to defend human rights and work towards a society where everyone is equal in rights and dignity.

This brief was submitted by USRESIST News Immigration Policy Reporter Kathryn Baron

Photo by unsplash-logoMetin Ozer

EU Leaders React to Trump’s Coronavirus Travel Ban

EU Leaders React to Trump’s Coronavirus Travel Ban

Policy Summary
Shortly after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, many countries are revising their entry policies. President Trump has imposed travel restrictions that will go into effect the end of this week on foreigners travelling from any of the 26 countries within the EU Schengen Zone. Travelers who have been in China or Iran within the last 14 days will also be banned from entering the US.

These restrictions do not apply to US citizens who will be returning from travel abroad; however, US citizens who have been in China in the last 14 days may enter the US only through 1 of 11 airports (Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, New York City (JFK and EWR)) where they will undergo thorough screenings. Vice President Pence has stated US citizens returning to the US will have to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return. The travel limitations will only impact humans and not goods, though the Asian and European markets are plummeting. During this initial scramble to get back to the US before the ban goes into effect plane tickets have sky rocketed, and over the course of long-term profits, airlines and global businesses could face potentially dire consequences.

Analysis
European leaders are furious with President Trump’s decision to restrict entry to the US. They concur that due to the worldwide nature of the pandemic, a travel ban is not the most effective route. But instead such an ordeal that enshrines global health, economics, and politics, should demand cooperation amongst global leaders rather than unilateral decisions.

In regard to the Remain in Mexico policy being upheld, in addition to asylum seekers being stranded and left resource-less in an already compromised scenario, the pandemic adds an extra layer of hysteria on the quest to get into the US and be protected by certain rights granted to asylum seekers.

Engagement Resources

  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • Border Network for Human Rights: network to engage education, organization and participation of border communities to defend human rights and work towards a society where everyone is equal in rights and dignity.
  • World Health Organization: the WHO provides updated information surrounding COVID-19 and global responses
  • Center for Disease Control: the CDC provides updated information surrounding COVID-19 and the US responses

Photo by unsplash-logoCDC

Trump Expands Travel Ban

Trump Expands Travel Ban

Policy Update

As an expansion of the 2017 travel ban, the Trump Administration has added 6 countries to the list: Nigeria, Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar. Citizens from these nations will not be granted visas to live permanently in the United States, but the ban does not apply to individuals seeking to visit the United States for a short time or obtain student/work visas. The new ban is expected to go into force February 22, 2020 and could potentially effect around 12,400 people.

The existing nations covered in Trump’s original travel ban: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, and North Korea will remain. The Trump Administration has expressed the reason for the addition of 6 new countries is for national security purposes to ensure countries meet US security needs by requiring a certain level of identity management and information sharing [with the United States]. The administration goal is to bring governments into compliance through this ban and limit  the “power of access to the United States.” Chad, which was previously included in the original travel ban, has since been removed due to its improvements in security measures.

Citizens from Sudan and Tanzania alao will no longer be eligible for the Diversity Visa Program, that awards Green Cards to 50,000 immigrants from underrepresented countries annually. Additionally, in the wake of Coronavirus, individuals (foreign nationals) who have travelled in China in the last 14 days will also be denied entry.

Analysis

As many opponents of the original travel ban have expressed, ACLU director of Immigrants’ Rights Project voiced, “the ban should be ended, not expanded.” Executive Director of Amnesty International calls the ban “offensive and actually harmful to our national security.” In the original travel ban, the majority of the countries were overwhelmingly Muslim , the 6 new countries are overwhelmingly African.

To rationalize such a ban by claiming the “power of access to the United States” will coerce these nations to improve their security measures and information sharing, is an extremely American-centric and condescending outlook. The Trump Administration’s attitude towards immigration from non-European nations is one of bias and patronage under the guise of doing these nation’s a favor.

Engagement Resources

  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • Protect Democracy: a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to fighting domestic and international attacks to free, fair and fully formed self-government
  • Border Network for Human Rights: network to engage education, organization and participation of border communities to defend human rights and work towards a society where everyone is equal in rights and dignity.
An Update to Brief 77 – Limiting Visas to Dependent Individuals

An Update to Brief 77 – Limiting Visas to Dependent Individuals

Policy Updates

This is an  update to USRESIST NEWS Immigration Policy  Brief 77 concerning Trump’s desire to limit green cards and visas from individuals who are deemed likely to need government benefits. Under the Department of Homeland Security’s new rule, factors such as age, health, education and household income will also play a role in decision making.

The Supreme Court recently issued an order to allow the Trump Administration to begin enforcing new limits on immigrants who are deemed likely to become overly dependent on government benefit programs, with a vote of 5-4 for. Anyone who would be likely to require a broad range of help for more than 1-year in a 3-year period could be denied a visa. Individuals who are regarded as likely to need either non-cash benefits (like food stamps, Medicaid or housing vouchers) or cash benefits can be turned away. The Trump Administration claimed this is a necessary step in order to promote the American ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility, to ensure immigrants are able to support themselves and become successful in the US.

Analysis

The Trump Administration has increasingly put forth measures to villainize immigrants as people who drain US resources.. This is in theory, a spin on the Administration’s earlier attempt to focus allocation of Green Cards to wealthier migrants who have resumes and bank statements to prove they will not need any assistance in contributing to the US economy, work force, etc. Yet again, the White House is attempting to put a price tag on immigration.

Engagement Resources

  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • Protect Democracy: a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to fighting domestic and international attacks to free, fair and fully formed self-government
  • Border Network for Human Rights: network to engage education, organization and participation of border communities to defend human rights and work towards a society where everyone is equal in rights and dignity.
Birth Tourism: An Update on Trump’s Visa Ban for Pregnant Women

Birth Tourism: An Update on Trump’s Visa Ban for Pregnant Women

Policy Updates

The Trump Administration has recently put forth the notion of blocking visas to pregnant women who travel to the US solely to give birth. Due to America’s birthright citizenship per the 14th amendment to the US Constitution, the babies of foreign women who give birth on American soil, will automatically gain citizenship. This has become known as ‘Birth Tourism.’ Birth Tourism as it is known is most common from Russia, China,  and Nigeria. The Center for Immigration Studies – who advocates for stricter immigration laws – estimated about 36,000 foreign-born women gave birth in the US and then left the country in 2012. This new rule does not effect individuals visiting from the 39 countries that qualify for the Visa Waiver Program that allows citizens of those countries to visit the US for short periods of time without visas.

Likely, consular officials will have no medical training, but are expected to assess women applying for visas to gauge if they are pregnant. Consular Officers do not have the right to ask during visa interviews whether a woman is pregnant, nor to require pregnancy tests, so they will have to “consider the totality of circumstances and what comes out of the interviews.” Women applying for a B-1/B-2 visa – which provides temporary travel to the US for tourism, business or medical care – will essentially have to prove they are travelling because of a medical need and also have the money to support such a trip (for things like transportation and living expenses). Annually, there are roughly 5.8 million B-1/B-2 visas issued.

President Trump has expressed he seeks to end all birthright citizenship to children of noncitizens, but that would entail a lengthy process of Congress making an amendment to the US Constitution. The White House expressed they felt the Birth Tourism Industry threatens to overburden valuable hospital resources and the State Department: does not believe that visiting the US for the primary purpose of obtaining US citizenship for a child, by giving birth in the US , is a legitimate activity for pleasure or of a recreational nature.

Analysis

Many people who oppose  birthright citizenship believe individuals use their ‘anchor babies’ to bring in other family members and thus, begin emigration to the US. This is a very pessimistic, conniving view of family-based immigration. There are several instances where individuals may have complicated pregnancies and thus travel to the US in the hopes of achieving more adequate medical attention.

It is also hard to implement this new policy without putting profiling, possibly racial profiling, into practice. The policy also demonstrates an inherent bias towards women applying for visas. Because  pregnancy tests cannot be required of women applying for visas, if a woman does not explicitly disclose that she is pregnant, but appears pregnant to the interviewer, how will this be proven?

Engagement Resources

  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • Protect Democracy: a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to fighting domestic and international attacks to free, fair and fully formed self-government
  • Border Network for Human Rights: network to engage education, organization and participation of border communities to defend human rights and work towards a society where everyone is equal in rights and dignity.

Photo by unsplash-logoChristian Bowen

Courts Put the Brakes Trump’s Immigration Policies

Courts Put the Brakes Trump’s Immigration Policies

Policy Updates

Recently, there have been some legal victories by way of upholding the US Constitution in the wake of the Trump Administration’s lawless attempts to limit immigration and install Trump’s long promised Border Wall. The first case, filed in El Paso, covers Trump’s threat to declare a national emergency to re-distribute federal funds to construct his wall (in January 2019) and the second case addresses Trump’s proposed changes to the path to citizenship for Legal Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders).

El Paso County v Trump

Protect Democracy represented the county of El Paso, Texas and the Border Network for Human Rights in a lawsuit against the Trump Administration over the declaration of a national emergency to fund the construction of a border wall along the US Southern Border earlier this year. They sought and were granted an injunction to block the declaration from taking effect. An injunction is a legal remedy in the form of a court order that obligates a party to do or refrain from certain acts. This lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas in El Paso. The plaintiffs claimed Trump’s threat to declare a national emergency if Congress did not allocate funding for his border wall usurped the Constitutional Authority that Congress has, and thus is inconsistent with the US Constitution’s separation of powers.

They also claimed that Trump’s demonization of Latino immigrants as sources of crime, drugs and violence has caused harm to immigrant communities and communities of color throughout the US and depicts Trump as an autocrat.

Inglis v South Carolina

In October 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced potential changes to the naturalization process that could present barriers to citizenship for 10,000+ non-wealthy applicants annually. Protect Democracy and several other organizations filed a lawsuit in California on behalf of the communities who would be harmed by the proposed changes.

In November, the plaintiffs asked a federal court to immediately ban USCIS from implementing changes until the pending lawsuit was resolved. They additionally asked the court to find Ken Cucinelli’s installation as the current acting Head of USCIS as unlawful and therefore making the changes invalid. The installation was allegedly unlawful because it violated the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA) that governs the process for filling vacant executive branch positions usually subject to Senate confirmation. The FVRA would also govern who will succeed Kevin McAleenan, the installed acting Head of DHS. Congress passed the FVRA to ensure the President could not prevent the Senate from utilizing Constitutional checks on  Executive Branch appointees.

In December, a judge from the Northern District of California issued a nationwide preliminary injunction barring USCIS from implementing the proposed changes that would limit access to citizenship and the ruling went into effect immediately, on December 2.

Analysis

These court victories are a positive step in upholding the US Constitution and legal system in the face of Presidency with autocratic tendencies. In both Inglis v South Carolina and El Paso County v Trump, the emphasis on maintaining checks on the Executive Branch send an important message about American Democracy and enforces the notion that Americans will use the full extent of the law to ensure their rights are not infringed upon or abused.

President Trump has made several statements, carried out actions and used alarming rhetoric – in regard to immigration and other sectors of US politics – that contain rather autocratic auras. There are several measures in place, since the formation of the US as an independent, Democratic nation, to ensure the stability of a fair Democracy where no one individual may hold absolute power. The constitutions checks and balances system is designed power to limit any one branch of government from usurping the power of the other two brancges and the success of these court cases upholds this principle..

Engagement Resources

  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • Protect Democracy: a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to fighting domestic and international attacks to free, fair and fully formed self-government
  • Border Network for Human Rights: network to engage education, organization and participation of border communities to defend human rights and work towards a society where everyone is equal in rights and dignity.

Photo by unsplash-logoPaweł Czerwiński

Federal Courts Check Autocratic Uses of Executive Power

Federal Courts Check Autocratic Uses of Executive Power

Policy
Recently, there have been some victories by way of upholding the US Constitution in the wake of the Trump Administration’s lawless attempts to limit immigration and install Trump’s long promised Border Wall. The first case, filed in El Paso covers Trump’s threat to declare a national emergency to re-distribute funds to construct his wall (in January 2019) and the second case addresses Trump’s proposed changes to the path to citizenship for Legal Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders).

El Paso County v Trump

Protect Democracy represented the county of El Paso, Texas and the Border Network for Human Rights in a lawsuit against the Trump Administration over the declaration of a national emergency to fund the construction of a border wall along the US Southern Border earlier this year. They sought and were granted an injunction to block the declaration from taking effect. An injunction is a legal remedy in the form of a court order that obligates a party to do or refrain from doing  certain acts. This lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas in El Paso. The plaintiffs claimed Trump’s threat to declare a national emergency if Congress did not allocate funding for his border wall usurped the Constitutional Authority that Congress has and thus is inconsistent with the US Constitution’s separation of powers.

They also claimed that Trump’s demonization of Latino immigrants as sources of crime, drugs and violence has caused harm to immigrant communities and communities of color throughout the US and depicts Trump as an autocrat.

Inglis v South Carolina

In October 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced potential changes to the naturalization process that could present barriers to citizenship for 10,000+ non-wealthy applicants annually. Protect Democracy and several other organizations filed a lawsuit in California on behalf of the communities who would be harmed by the proposed changes.

In November, the plaintiffs asked a federal court to immediately ban USCIS from implementing changes until the pending lawsuit was resolved. They additionally asked the court to find Ken Cucinelli’s installation as the current acting Head of USCIS  unlawful, therefore making the changes invalid. Cucinelli’s  installation was allegedly unlawful because it violated the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA) that governs the process for filling vacant executive branch positions usually subject to Senate confirmation. Under the FVRA any incoming acting secretary would need to be the natural next in line, like a deputy, be previously Senate-confirmed for another job, or have been working at the department 90 days of the 365 days prior to the last confirmed secretary’s departure. Cucinelli does not meet any of these requirements.

In early December, a judge from the Northern District of California issued a nationwide preliminary injunction barring USCIS from implementing the proposed changes.

Analysis

These court victories are a positive step in upholding the US Constitution and legal system in the face of  a presidency with autocratic tendencies. In both Inglis v South Carolina and El Paso County v Trump, the emphasis on maintaining checks on the Executive Branch sends an important message about American democracy and enforces the notion that Americans will use the full extent of the law to ensure their rights are not infringed upon or abused.

President Trump has made several statements, carried out actions and used alarming rhetoric – in regard to immigration and other sectors of US politics – that contain  autocratic auras. Fortunately there are still  measures in place, such as the Federal court system, that can check excess use of power in the executive branch.

Engagement Resources

  • The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
  • Protect Democracy: a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to fighting domestic and international attacks to free, fair and fully formed self-government
  • Border Network for Human Rights: network to engage education, organization and participation of border communities to defend human rights and work towards a society where everyone is equal in rights and dignity.

Photo by unsplash-logoAditya Joshi

x
x

GET CONNECTED---signup to receive free, just in time briefs on government policies and the organizations working to resist them, IN YOUR INBOX.

Pin It on Pinterest