More on Immigration Reform
In December 2017, the Department of Homeland Security updated its policy on the detention of pregnant woman that reversed previous guidance that discouraged incarcerating pregnant women barring extraordinary circumstances. The number of detentions decreased from 1,380 in calendar year 2016 to 1,160 in 2017, and then increased to 2,098 in calendar year 2018. The report found over 4,600 detentions of pregnant women between 2016 and 2018 and found that detention standards addressing care varied by facility.
“There are currently nearly 2,400 children in Office of Refugee Resettlement’s (ORR) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) custody, including licensed shelters.
Full text of today’s letter is available here or below.
April 13, 2020
"Imagine you’re an 8 year old child in a country you’ve never been to hundreds of miles from a home you will never see again and you’re walked into a courtroom with zero people in it. All that’s there is a TV screen showing you a judge, an ICE attorney and your interpreter.
"My office just got word last night that in three days, the Department of Justice will begin piloting this technique for immigrant children detained in Houston. Instead of being in the same courtroom as the judge, they will see their judge, who will be 800 miles away in Atlanta, on a screen.
Last week, members of the Congressional Tri-Caucus – composed of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), and Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) – filed amicus briefs in the Second, Fourth, and Ninth circuit courts opposing the Trump Administration’s public charge rule. The Tri-Caucus filed the same brief in multiple cases at the district court level last year.
Each of the witnesses highlighted various aspects of the humanitarian crisis including the Migrant Protection Protocol, known as the remain in Mexico policy. This is the policy where the U.S. returns non-Mexican migrants to Mexico to await immigration court decisions. Doug Stephens, the first asylum official to publically criticize the policy, testified about his training, the interviews he conducted and his views about what he was asked to do in order to enact the new immigration policies.
“The raids that took place today have created senseless trauma and is an incredible waste of taxpayer dollars,” said Rep. Bass. “Under this Administration, roughly 680 men, women, fathers, mothers, and care-takers were arrested and held for hours. Although some were released, many of these individuals were unable to pick up their children from their first day of school. Now, those innocent children will continue to endure additional trauma as they are placed into the child warfare system. Our child warfare system is designed to protect children from abusive and neglectful parents.
“Yatta Kiazolu is a constituent who has never lived in or visited Liberia but was facing possible deportation there until today. Today’s extension of temporary protections for an estimated 4,000 Liberians living in the United States, many of whom who now know Los Angeles as their home, is relieving but insufficient. I look forward to working with my colleagues on a permanent solution and a path to citizenship for people like Yatta, who moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of obtaining a Ph.D. at UCLA.