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Forget About the “Bad Hombres,” Trump Targets America’s Most Vulnerable Immigrants - The Huffington Post

In recent weeks, it has become increasingly clear that Trump’s massive deportation machine is not targeting the “bad hombres.”  Instead, hard working, long-term residents who pay taxes and have U.S. citizen children are in the crosshairs.  Arrests of non-criminal undocumented immigrants increased by 150% between February and May 2017 compared to the same time a year ago.

Immigrants with old deportation orders who weren’t priorities for removal under Obama as long as they checked in with ICE officials once a year are now at risk.  Clients who just a few months ago appeared eligible for humanitarian relief or lawful status are suddenly vulnerable to detention and deportation, including victims of domestic violence and human trafficking who cooperated fully with law enforcement and have pending u-visa applications.

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Empresario hispano dona más de un millón de dólares para ofrecer asistencia legal a indocumentados - Primer Impacto

July 3, 2017

Watch here.Ver aqui.

Mike Fernández es uno de los hombres más ricos de Florida y, como muchos inmigrantes, llegó a Estados Unidos sin papeles. Asegura que entiende perfectamente el miedo que viven los indocumentados cuando cruzan la frontera. Por ello, ha puesto en marcha una iniciativa para recaudar cinco millones de dólares que destinará a ayudar a indocumentados.


Immigration activists and lawyers offer Haitians hope, vowing TPS fight is not over

By Jacqueline Charles

June 2, 2017

For 29 years, Evette Prosper has called the United States home. It’s where she attended school, got married and gave birth to two children, now 8 and 7.

An only child, Prosper doesn’t know where her father is. And both her Haitian mother, and her grandmother — who migrated with her from Haiti when she was just a year old — are dead.

But her husband of 11 years is a U.S. citizen. That should place her squarely in the category of Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, holders that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security referred to when, announcing a six-month TPS extension last week for Haitians, it said many of the 58,700 recipients could adjust their status to remain and work legally in the United States on a permanent basis.

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Haitians in U.S. get slight reprieve but worry about future

By Anthony Man and Mike Clary

May 22, 2017

A humanitarian program that has allowed Haitians to legally live and work in the U.S. after a series of calamities befell their country was extended Monday until January — a move that fell far short of the hopes of Haitian-American community leaders and a range of Florida elected officials.

“It’s bad news. We are disappointed,” said Ronald Surin, a Fort Lauderdale attorney with a large Haitian clientele. He said the six-month extension of the program that was set to expire in July is “just a period for people to finalize their plans, gather their belongings and depart this country.”

Haitian-American community leaders wanted a full, 18-month extension of temporary protected status, which prevents deportation but does not grant a path to permanent residence or citizenship.

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Haitians worried about deportation should start planning now, lawyers say

By Jacqueline Charles

May 19, 2017

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AP report: U.S. wants tally of Haitian immigrants’ crimes

By Alicia A. Caldwell, Associated Press

May 9, 2017


WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has begun hunting for evidence of crimes committed by Haitian immigrants as it decides whether to allow them to continue participating in a humanitarian program that has shielded tens of thousands from deportation since a devastating earthquake.

The inquiries into any criminal histories of Haitian immigrants were made in internal U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services emails obtained by The Associated Press. They show the agency’s policy chief also wanted to know how many of the roughly 50,000 Haitians enrolled in the Temporary Protected Status program were taking advantage of public benefits, which they are not eligible to receive.

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Jonathan Demme, a True Hero and Dear Friend - The Huffington Post

Cheryl Little, Executive Director, Americans for Immigrant Justice

April 26, 2017


Today the world lost one of its best. Jonathan Demme was a brilliant filmmaker, true humanitarian, extraordinary human being, and our very own angel.
I first met Jonathan almost three decades ago and was immediately struck by his boundless energy and passion on behalf of our country’s most vulnerable immigrants. In 1994, he was instrumental in reuniting 200 children stranded in Haiti with their U.S. citizen parents. In 1995, he rallied a Hollywood “A List” of friends to obtain humanitarian parole for 100 orphaned Haitian children detained at Guantanamo. Later, after learning that Haitian women and children were languishing in horrific conditions while in immigration custody, he jumped on a plane to Miami to hold a news conference and was instrumental in securing their release. He also worked tirelessly to shine a light on the plight of Haitian refugees through his award-winning documentaries.
Jonathan didn’t just talk the talk, he walked the walk, taking time to visit immigrant detainees and calling for much needed change. Most recently, he used his voice to condemn the inhumane treatment of Central American children held in “hieleras” (“ice boxes”)—overcrowded cells on the Southwest Texas border where temperatures are so cold that detainees' lips crack and turn blue.
Jonathan embodied all that is good in this world and so many of the values that we as Americans hold dear. He believed that everyone deserves a fair opportunity to pursue their dreams and used his incredible talents as a filmmaker and the platform he earned through his well-deserved success to improve the lives of others. He is a testament to the good that lives in each of us when we are able to look past perceived differences and recognize the humanity in others – when we recognize that too many don’t have the opportunity to live freely and safely simply because of where they were born.
Jonathan served on AI Justice’s Honorary Board since its founding 21 years ago, and his commitment to our work was unwavering. While changing countless lives for the better and bringing about systemic change, he worked without any expectation of recognition or reward. No matter the issue, Jonathan was a steadfast champion for justice and incapable of remaining idle while others suffered. He will continue to inspire all of us who to work to ensure liberty and justice for all.

Jonathan was a true role model and hero. I admired him crazily, loved him so, and knowing him is one of my life’s greatest blessings. 

Read on The Huffington Post here.


Tens of thousands of Haitians could be sent back to Haiti if Trump agency has its way

By Jacqueline Charles, April 21, 2017


The Trump administration is recommending sending tens of thousands of Haitians back to their homeland because it believes conditions have significantly improved in the disaster-prone, poverty-stricken nation.

But the move comes as more than 40,000 Haitians continue to call makeshift shelters and tents homes — seven years after Haiti’s devastating Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake — and as severe hunger and housing crises plague the country’s southern region six months after a deadly Hurricane Matthew wiped out roads, home and farmland.

“If they send everyone back to Haiti, they might as well be sending us to die,” said Cadeus Chaleus, 70, who after 16 years of living as an undocumented immigrant in Miami has spent the past seven years living without fear of deportation. “Despite what they say, things have not improved at home.”

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Keep Hope Alive - The Huffington Post

Cheryl Little, Executive Director, Americans for Immigrant Justice

APR 03, 2017

In recent weeks it has become increasingly clear that President Trump is delivering on his promise to create a massive “deportation force” and crack down on those seeking refuge in our country. The extent to which his directives undermine basic Constitutional principles is shocking and leaves no doubt that there’s “a new sheriff in town,” as one of our local immigration judges noted before a recent court hearing.

Today, virtually ALL undocumented immigrants are in the crosshairs, not just the bad hombres” that Trump said he was going after. Immigrants increasingly feel under siege, driving further underground even lawful permanent residents and those eligible for relief from deportation.

Despite the doom and gloom, there may be a glimmer of hope. A Republican PAC—What a Country!—supports House members working for Immigration reform. Last month Representative Carlos Curbelo (Rep-FL), who formed the PAC, introduced a bill that would provide DREAMers a path to citizenship. Raul Labrador (R-ID), a former immigration lawyer and Freedom Caucus member, has also been outspoken about the need for immigration reform. He believes Trump is perfectly positioned to make meaningful immigration reform a reality because he’s a proven hardliner on border security, requesting over $1 billion in emergency funds to start building the border wall.

Doing so would be a brilliant move on the President’s part. The Social Security Administration (SSA) estimates that undocumented immigrants paid $100 billion into the fund over the past decade, and did so without any expectation of ever collecting benefits. Stephen Goss, Social Security Chief Actuary, noted that “Without the estimated 3.1 million undocumented immigrants paying into the system, Social Security would have entered persistent shortfall of tax revenue to cover payouts starting in 2009.” With Baby Boomers retiring, these monies are more important than ever.

Immigration reform can be a valuable tool in the war against terrorism. By providing hard-working immigrants already in the U.S. the ability to earn legal status and controlling future immigration through legal channels, enforcement efforts could focus instead on identifying drug dealers and violent felons. Michael Chertoff, former Homeland Security Secretary, complained that his agents were spending so much time targeting maids and landscapers, they had precious time to go after those who intended to do us harm.

Both Democrats and Republicans have long understood the need to reform our immigration laws. President George W. Bush challenged us to fix our “broken immigration system,” and in 2006, the bipartisan McCain-Kennedy immigration bill passed the Senate but failed to gain traction in the House. President Obama promised to make comprehensive immigration reform a priority, but failed to do so early on when Democrats had the majority in both the House and Senate. In 2013, a bipartisan immigration bill passed the Senate, but was not taken up by House Republicans even though the votes for passage were clearly there.

As contentious an issue as immigration is, tackling immigration reform now may actually be easier to do than tax reform or passing a $1 trillion infrastructure package, items the Administration has pledged to prioritize.

Now is the time for Republicans, who control both houses in Congress and the White House, to work together with Democrats to pass an immigration reform bill that enhances our security and bolsters our economy. In 2013 the Congressional Budget Office concluded that if Congress were to fix our broken immigration system, the federal deficit would be reduced by about $200 billion in the first 10 years alone.

On February 28th, Trump told reporters he may be open to providing a path to legalization for many of our country’s immigrants and during his joint address to Congress he said “real and positive immigration is possible.” If he were able to close the deal on this signature issue, Trump could succeed where his predecessors have failed. No mean feat.

Read the piece on the Huffington Post.


Trump policy of separating children from immigrant parents is plain evil - The Miami Herald

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