Weekly News Round-up: Week of July 22, 2019


Trump Administration may be moving toward accepting zero refugees. Each year by September 30th the White House sets a cap on the number of refugees the United States expects to resettle during the new fiscal year. During his first year in office, President Trump lowered that cap to 50,000 from 110,000 and then down to 45,000 for FY2018. This fiscal year, he set the cap at a new historic low of 30,000. Now, for the first time in our nation’s history, his administration is reportedly considering setting that number at zero–completely eliminating this life-saving program. There is something you can do: Call your Member of Congress and tell them to urge the White House to protect refugees.

Neighbors rally to protect their undocumented neighbor. On Monday, ICE agents attempted to detain a Nashville man as he and his 12-year-old son pulled out of his driveway. Neighbors quickly rallied to block the agents from making an arrest–surrounding the vehicle, bringing the man and his son sandwiches and wet towels, and refilling their fuel tank so their air conditioning could keep running in the Tennessee heat. They are “good people”, said one neighbor who showed up. “All they do is work and take care of their family and take care of the community.” Because the ICE agents did not have a warrant signed by a judge, the man was not legally obligated to get out of his vehicle, and after several hours, the agents left. As President Trump threatens large-scale raids, more activists are aiming to spread awareness of immigrants’ rights in situations like these.

U.S. citizen detained by ICE for nearly one month. An 18-year-old U.S. citizen from Dallas Texas was released from ICE detention on Tuesday, nearly four weeks after he was detained at a Border Patrol traffic checkpoint in southern Texas. The high school senior showed the arresting agents his birth certificate but they told him they believed it was fake. The detention made real a fear held by many Hispanic U.S. citizens, that they will be swept up in the administration’s increasing crackdown on migration and undocumented people near the southern border.

Judge orders Trump Administration to continue accepting asylum claims from all eligible migrants. On Wednesday, a federal judge in the United States District Court in San Francisco issued a preliminary injunction against a new Trump Administration rule that would have effectively banned asylum claims at the southern border. The rule required that migrants first apply for and be denied asylum in the first safe country they arrive in on their way to the United States—for many asylum seekers that would mean Mexico, which is often not actually a safe place for them to remain. The judge ruled that the rule is inconsistent with existing asylum laws. The government is expected to appeal.