Trump Supports Bill That Would Cut Legal Immigration by Half

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WASHINGTON — President Trump embraced legislation on Wednesday that would cut legal immigration to the United States in half within a decade by sharply curtailing the ability of American citizens and legal residents to bring family members into the country.

Arguing that the United States has taken in too many low-skilled immigrants for too long, Mr. Trump invited two Republican senators to the White House to put his weight behind their bill that would judge applicants for legal residency on the basis of education, language ability and job abilities that would benefit the country.

“This competitive application process will favor applicants who can speak English, financially support themselves and their families and demonstrate skills that will contribute to our economy,” Mr. Trump said.

“This legislation,” he added, “will not only restore our competitive edge in the 21st century, but it will restore the sacred bonds of trust between America and its citizens. This legislation demonstrates our compassion for struggling American families who deserve an immigration system that puts their needs first and that puts America first.”

The bill, sponsored by Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia, would reduce overall legal immigration by 41 percent in its first year and by 50 percent by its 10th year, according to projections cited by its authors. The reductions would come almost entirely from those brought in through family ties. The number of immigrants granted legal residency on the basis of job skills, about 140,000, would remain roughly the same, though a much higher proportion of the reduced overall number.

The proposal revives an idea that was included in broader immigration legislation supported by President George W. Bush in 2007 but that failed in Congress. Republican supporters argued that it would modernize immigration policy that had not been updated significantly in half a century, but critics in both parties contended it would harm the economy by keeping out workers who filled low-wage jobs that Americans did not want.

Under the current system, most legal immigrants are admitted to the United States based on family ties. American citizens can sponsor spouses, parents and minor children for visas that are not subject to any numerical caps, while siblings and adult children get preferences for a limited number of visas available to them. Legal permanent residents holding green cards can also sponsor spouses and children.

In 2014, 64 percent of more than one million immigrants admitted with legal residency were immediate relatives of American citizens or sponsored by family members. Just 15 percent entered on the basis of employment-based preferences, according to the Migration Policy Institute, an independent research organization. But that does not mean that those who came in on family ties were necessarily low skilled or uneducated.

The projections cited by the sponsors said legal immigration would decrease to 637,960 after a year and to 539,958 after a decade.

The legislation would establish a system of skills points based on education, English speaking ability, high-paying job offers, age, record of achievement and entrepreneurial initiative. But while it would still allow the spouses and minor children of Americans and legal residents to come in, it would eliminate preference for other relatives, like siblings and adult children. The bill would create a renewable temporary visa for elderly parents who come for caretaking purposes.

The legislation would limit refugees offered permanent residency to 50,000 a year and eliminate a diversity visa lottery that the sponsors said does not promote diversity. The senators said their bill is meant to emulate “merit-based” systems in Canada and Australia.

“Our current system does not work,” Mr. Perdue said. “It keeps America from being competitive.”

Mr. Cotton rejected the notion that the current system was a symbol of American compassion. “It’s a symbol that we’re not committed to working-class Americans and we need to change that,” he said.

But Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, criticized the measure, noting that agriculture is his state’s No. 1 industry and tourism is No. 2. “If this proposal were to become law, it would be devastating to our state’s economy, which relies on this immigrant work force,” he said.

“Hotels, restaurants, golf courses and farmers,” he added, “will tell you this proposal to cut legal immigration in half would put their business in peril.”

ICE chief wants to slap smuggling charges on leaders of sanctuary cities

In this Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, photo released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, foreign nationals are arrested during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) aimed at immigration fugitives, re-entrants and at-large criminal aliens in Los Angeles. Advocacy groups said that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers are rounding up people in large numbers around the country, with roundups in Southern California being especially heavy-handed, as part of stepped-up enforcement under President Donald Trump. (Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP)

By Stephen Dinan

The country’s top immigration enforcement officer says he is looking into charging sanctuary city leaders with violating federal anti-smuggling laws because he is fed up with local officials putting their communities and his officers at risk by releasing illegal immigrants from jail.

Thomas Homan, the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also told Americans to expect more work site enforcement targeting unscrupulous employers and more 287(g) agreements with willing police and sheriff’s departments that want to help get illegal immigrants off their streets. Eventually, he said, ICE will break the deportation records of 409,849 migrants set in 2012 under President Obama.

“I think 409,000 is a stretch this year, but if [the Justice Department] keeps going in the direction they’re going in, if we continue to expand our operational footprint, I think we’re going to get there,” he told The Washington Times. “Our interior arrests will go up. They’re going to top last year’s for sure.”

Mr. Homan is the spear tip of President Trump’s effort to step up immigration enforcement — perhaps the largest swing in attitude for any agency in government from the last administration to the current one.

Agents and officers have been unshackled from the limits imposed by Mr. Obama, whose rules restricted arrests to less than 20 percent of the estimated illegal immigrant population.

Now, most illegal immigrants are eligible for deportation, though Mr. Homan said serious criminals, recent border crossers and people who are actively defying deportation orders are still the agency’s priorities.

He said the biggest impediment to expanding deportations is no longer ICE priority, but rather a huge backlog in the immigration courts, which are part of the Justice Department. Migrants who in the past would have admitted their unauthorized status and accepted deportation are now fighting their cases.

“They can play the system for a long time,” he said.

That resistance extends well beyond the courtroom.

Migrants are increasingly refusing to open doors for his officers and, when they do, the encounters are turning violent, Mr. Homan said. Use-of-force instances are up about 150 percent, and assaults on ICE officers are up about 40 percent, he said.

Local officials are also pushing back, declaring themselves sanctuaries and enacting policies that block their law enforcement officers from cooperating with ICE.

The refusals range from declining to hold migrants beyond their regular release time to refusing all communication — even notifying ICE when a criminal deportable alien is about to be released into the community.

For Mr. Homan, who came up through the ranks of the Border Patrol and then ICE as a sworn law enforcement officer, that sort of resistance is enraging.

“Shame on people that want to put politics ahead of officer safety, community safety,” he said.

Sanctuaries say that cooperating with ICE frightens immigrants — both legal and illegal — and makes them less likely to report other crimes. They say that is a bigger threat to public safety than crimes committed by illegal immigrants.

Solid data are tough to come by, though some police chiefs say they have been able to calculate drops in crime reporting among Hispanics since Mr. Trump took office, and they blame his get-tough approach to illegal immigration.

ICE is also facing headwinds in the courts. One judge this week halted efforts to deport Iraqi migrants who have been convicted of serious crimes and have been ordered deported, but who now say as Christians they fear for their lives if sent back to their home country.

The judge faulted the U.S. for not being able to guarantee that the deportees won’t end up in territory controlled by Islamic State terrorists, who routinely execute Christians.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court this week issued a ruling that law enforcement cannot hold migrants for pickup by ICE beyond their normal release times. That effectively forbids police from complying with detainer requests, which ask local authorities to hold targets for up to 48 hours.

Mr. Homan said one officer in a jail can process 10 people a day, but once someone is released, it takes a whole team of officers to track down and arrest the person in the community — where interaction is more dangerous for all sides.

That has helped fuel the spike in violent encounters that Mr. Homan highlighted in the interview.

“When we knock on doors, as any law enforcement officer will tell you, it’s risky, it’s dangerous. Compare that to arresting someone in the jail, when you know they don’t have weapons in the jail,” he said.

“It’s a matter of time before one of my officers is seriously hurt or doesn’t go home because someone made a political decision on the backs of my officers,” he said.

But he said he won’t be chased out of “sanctuaries” and pointedly raised a section of federal code — 8 U.S.C. 1324 — that outlaws attempts to “conceal, harbor or shield” illegal immigrants.

“I think these sanctuary cities need to make sure they’re on the right side of the law. They need to look at this. Because I am,” he said.

Asked whether that means he will recommend prosecutions, he said, “We’re looking at what options we have.”

The law carries a penalty of five years in prison in most cases, but penalties could rise to include life in prison or even death if someone is killed during the crime.

Mr. Homan said refusing to cooperate is counterproductive for sanctuary cities, whose goal is to protect illegal immigrants from deportation. He said if his agents have to knock on doors in the community, then thy are likely to encounter still more illegal immigrants to round up.

“If I arrest a bad guy in the jail, I arrest him. But if I go to his home or his place of employment and arrest the bad guy, and there’s five guys with him? They’re going to come too,” the chief said.

Indeed, those kinds of arrests have stirred anger among advocacy groups, which say “collateral” arrests are hurting immigrant communities.

Not all communities are resisting.

Mr. Homan said the number of police and sheriff’s departments signed up for the 287(g) program allowing them to help process illegal immigrants for deportation from their jails has already doubled under Mr. Trump and should triple by the end of the year.

He said he also has received inquiries from departments that want to restore 287(g) task forces, which would train state and local police to enforce immigration laws on the streets. Mr. Homan said he is studying that possibility.

Mr. Homan has become a target for immigrant rights groups — particularly after the ICE chief linked this weekend’s horrific deaths of 10 migrants at the hands of smugglers to sanctuary cities.

“Dishonest and disgusting,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice Education Fund. “This country deserves an immigration debate that connects the dots between development and opportunity in home countries, safe and legal migration policies, and intelligent immigrant integration policies. What it doesn’t need are hard-liners shamelessly politicizing a tragedy.”

Mr. Homan, who led the investigation into an even worse 2003 incident in which 19 migrants died in a trailer in Victoria, Texas, said the solution is to enforce the laws and persuade people not to make the dangerous journey in the first place.

His agency has even begun arresting parents who pay smugglers to bring their children on the dangerous journey to the U.S. Mr. Homan said it was too early to talk about numbers for that operation.

But he challenged his critics to see what he sees.

“People who don’t think we should enforce immigration law — I wish they’d hang out with me for a week,” Mr. Homan said. “I wish they were with me in Phoenix, Arizona — people held hostage. A guy with duct tape all over his body, with a hole poked out in his mouth where he breathed through a straw for days, until they paid his fee. They weren’t with me on the trail in the Border Patrol where we found dead aliens abandoned by smugglers. They weren’t with me standing in the back of that traffic trailer with a 5-year-old boy who suffocated in his father’s arms.”

Edited for mb3-org.com

The Fate of Trump’s Travel Ban Could be Decided This Week

(WASHINGTON) — The Supreme Court is expected to decide within days whether the Trump administration can enforce a ban on visitors to the U.S. from six mostly Muslim countries. The high-stakes legal fight has been going on since President Donald Trump rolled out a travel ban just a week after his inauguration. He casts it…

via The Fate of Trump’s Travel Ban Could be Decided This Week — TIME

Narrm / Melbourne, so-called ‘Australia’: Wilson Parking Ticket Machines Sabotaged in Solidarity with Refugees in Detention

Received on 21.06.17: 21.06.17: Disgusted at the absurd charade that is ‘Refugee Week’, a week of hypocrisy that has even been endorsed by the DIBP (Department of Immigration and Border Protection), we visited the Wilson car park in Cremorne and sabotaged 3 of their ticket machines with expanding insulation foam. The Wilson group profiteer from […]

via Narrm / Melbourne, so-called ‘Australia’: Wilson Parking Ticket Machines Sabotaged in Solidarity with Refugees in Detention — Insurrection News

Arrests on civil immigration charges are up 38% in 100 days since Trump’s executive order

By Nigel Duara

Federal immigration agents have arrested more than 40,000 people since President Trump signed executive orders expanding the scope of deportation priorities in January, a 38% increase over the same period last year.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Thomas Homan said Wednesday that Trump has “opened the aperture” of charges that immigration agents are permitted to prosecute, a departure fromObama administration priorities which targeted immigrants in the country illegally who have serious criminal convictions.

“There is no category of aliens off the table,” Homan said.

In late January, Trump stripped away most restrictions on who should be deported. A Los Angeles Times analysis revealed that more than 8 million people who crossed the border illegally could now be considered priorities for deportation.

Trump’s orders instruct federal agents to deport not only those convicted of crimes, but also those who aren’t charged but are believed to have committed “acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense.”

The new numbers, released in a press call with reporters, suggest that Trump’s pledge to step up deportations is bearing fruit, at least in some parts of the country.

Although the president’s plan to build an expanded new wall on the Mexican border has been stymied – Congress refused to include funding for it in a recent budget deal – his new border security priorities appear to be having a significant impact on immigration enforcement.

According to calculations by Los Angeles Times, as many as 8 million people living in the country illegally could be considered priorities for deportation under Trump’s new policy. Under the Obama administration, about 1.4 million people were considered priorities for removal.

The stepped-up immigration arrests have not been reflected in Southern California, where the detention rate has remained relatively flat, and agents say they have done little to change their enforcement strategy.

Homan said that, in his estimation, federal agents are happier with Trump’s directives than they were under Obama’s more cautious approach.

“When officers are allowed to do their jobs, morale increases,” said Homan, who also served under Obama. “I think morale is up.”

Homan said the paucity of people trying to enter the country illegally, a number which has reached a record low, means agents have more time to spend on removals from the nation’s interior.

According to the new ICE data, nearly 75 percent of those arrested in the 100 days since Trump signed his new executive orders on immigration are convicted criminals, with offenses ranging from homicide and assault to sexual abuse and drug-related charges.

But there has also been a significant increase in the number of non-criminals arrested. A total of 10,800 people were arrested whose only offense was entering the country illegally, more than twice the 4,200 such immigrants taken into custody in the first four months of 2016.

“While these data clearly reflect the fact that convicted criminals are an immigration enforcement priority, Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly has made it clear that ICE will no longer exempt any class of individuals from removal proceedings if they are found to be in the country illegally,” the agency said in its report.

Migrant advocates were quick to condemn the administration’s priorities.

Addressing claims by John F. Kelly, Trump’s secretary of Homeland Security, that the administration is only focusing on criminals, and Wednesday’s numbers, Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice Education Fund, said the majority of people targeted cannot be considered “serious criminals.”

“These guys spin, distort, exaggerate, and dissemble almost as much as the president they work for,” Sharry said. “The false claims are aimed at providing cover for an agenda that calls for the deportation of millions. Instead of targeting serious criminals, they are targeting every immigrant they can get their hands on and calling all of them criminals.”

While deportations of migrants caught near the border are generally a quick matter, Homan said, the removal processes for so-called “interior deportations” take longer. He expects the overall pace of removal proceedings to slow down as fewer border crossers are removed and interior deportations make up a larger share of all removals.

Without providing specific numbers, Homan said assaults on federal agents conducting arrests are up 150% over the same period last year. Homan attributes the increase to “noncompliance” — meaning actively resisting arrest.

Federal agents must also contend with jails that refuse to allow ICE agents inside. Such jails contend that immigration enforcement is outside the scope of their duties, and some also say the presence of immigration enforcement agents adversely affects relations with local migrant communities.

Homan said jails that do not allow ICE agents inside to make arrests force the agents to capture migrants on the street, a far more dangerous and expensive proposition.

“If the jail lets them go, we have to send a team of officers,” Homan said. “One officer can make a safe arrest inside a facility. If the jail doesn’t cooperate, we have to go get them.”

Edited For mb3-org.com

The ACLU Issued a Warning for People Traveling to Texas

The American Civil Liberties Union issued a “travel alert” on Tuesday for anyone planning to go to Texas. The recommendation comes as a response to ta new law Gov. Gregg Abbott signed on Sunday, SB4, which bans sanctuary cities and allows police to question a person’s immigration status during any kind of detention, including during…

via The ACLU Issued a Warning for People Traveling to Texas — TIME

CYCLISTS SURROUND IMMIGRATION SNATCH VAN

Submitted anonymously

Today a group of people on bicycles encircled and tailed an immigration arrest van through the streets of central London as it was on its way to carry out a raid.

This was done to alert people to the existence of these vans and their daily incursions into our neighbourhoods. It was also done to disrupt the smooth running of immigration enforcement; a machine that rounds people up, detains them indefinitely, and expels them from the country to face unknown dangers.

These raids are the point at which the whole immigration regime is at its weakest. Remember that in order to carry out raids they must come into our neighbourhoods, drive down our streets, and try to force their way into businesses and homes. It is also critical to intervene in these moments before someone is handcuffed and in the back of a van. Its also easier to stop a raid which would result in another immigration prisoner than it is to support the same person in detention or fight for their release through the courts.

Immigration officers will not carry out a raid when they know that people are following them. Previous cases have shown that even one person filming and confronting them is at times sufficient to make them give up and leave. They remember and fear a repeat of when they have been stopped by people in the communities they’ve invaded and needed rescuing from by the police.

This action is easy for many people to do. The vans are active around London at all times of day. If you see a snatch van, follow it, film the officers when they get out and show them and the people they are targeting that you won’t just let it happen in your community. You do not need to be many, and you’d be surprised at the number of friends you’ll make when people see immigration enforcement being resisted in the area.

Incidentally, showing how ubiquitous these raids are, another group reportedly confronted two Immigration Enforcement vans that they happened to spot driving down the streets in Whitechapel later the same afternoon. The officers responded aggressively, but this only attracted more attention to their presence and more support from local people for the group challenging the officers.

Direct action can stop these raids!

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[Note that these vans, as well as the scumbags riding in them, are increasingly equipped with cameras]