Tag Archives: immigration

From Lynda McDonnell’s A Pilgrim’s Way: Living in our dirt

Now begins the latest chapter in our new President’s dissembling.

Before cheering crowds in Florida last weekend, President Trump declared his resolve to deport “gang members – bad, bad people.” But in the crowded basement of my church in Minneapolis last Sunday, tearful women worried that their children will return to empty apartments, effectively orphaned by our president’s pledge to deport anyone who is in the U.S. without the proper papers except those brought here as children.

Read more from Lynda McDonnell’s A Pilgrim’s Way here. This post re-blogged with permission.

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Three things Trump forgot on Holocaust Remembrance Day

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Anne Frank – by unknown photographer, Collectie Anne Frank Stichting Amsterdam – Website Anne Frank Stichting, Amsterdam, Public Domain

January 27 was International Holocaust Remembrance Day. President Donald Trump marked it with a short statement and a long executive order. He forgot a few things: Continue reading

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Fact check: Trump, terror and refugees

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Photo by Fibonacci Blue. 2017-01-20 This is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Trump justified today’s anti-refugee, anti-immigrant executive order by saying that he’s protecting and defending U.S. citizens from terrorism. His order targets refugees from anywhere in the world and all immigrants and non-immigrant visitors from the predominantly Muslim countries of Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. Does he know that the last time a refugee killed someone in the United States in an act of terrorism was in the 1970s? That terrorist was a Cuban refugee. A Christian Cuban refugee. Continue reading

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Vetting the refugees: how it really works

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U.S. government graphic shows nine steps in multi-year vetting process. Click here to view complete graphic. 

St. Patrick’s Catholic parish in Hudson, Wisconsin was asked to help receive five Syrian refugee families, a total of 11 adults and 15 children. Hatemongers stirred up opposition, and the church and community divided. (Read that sad story here, as reported by MPR.) In Hudson, and across the country, hatemongers stir up fear against refugees, saying that the government doesn’t vet their applications well enough. Truth – political refugees get screened by multiple government agencies and Syrian refugees get the most stringent vetting anyone has been able to devise. Here’s how it works. Continue reading

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Sanctuary: What it is, what it isn’t, why it’s important

Refugees welcome

Minnesotans demonstrate in support of refugees – 2015 (Photo by Mary Turck)

UPDATED 1/25/2017  When Donald Trump targeted “sanctuary cities,” threatening to cut off all federal funding, what was he talking about? Turns out – as usual – that the answer is more complex than the sound bite. Here’s a quick primer on sanctuary, both in misnamed “sanctuary cities” and in the real and resurgent sanctuary church movement – and a note on what Trump’s January 25 Executive Order fails to do.  Continue reading

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Mogadishu, Minnesota?

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Riverside towers on West Bank, home to many of Somali Minnesotans, and the planned setting of K’Naan’s HBO television series. 

A planned television series set in Minnesota’s Somali community sparked protests at Saturday’s West Bank block party on September 10. Angry and tired of being characterized as jihadi recruits or recruiters, Minnesota Somali youth protested Somali Canadian rapper K’naan’s television plans when he came to perform. I wasn’t there, so I can’t say who threw what first – but police sprayed some of the crowd with chemical irritants, and arrested a couple of people, including a Muslim woman who is a leader of the Black Liberation Project.

The HBO television series started out as “The Recruiters,” focusing on the Somali community in Minnesota, with the promise that it “will draw open an iron curtain behind which viewers will see the highly impenetrable world of Jihadi recruitment.” That sure plays into stereotypes about Somali youth in Minnesota. Now, the series has been renamed “Mogadishu, Minnesota,” and K’Naan claims that it will “present the true and beautiful side” of Somali immigrants. The protesters weren’t buying the new description. Continue reading

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Catching up on news between elephant fights

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When two elephants fight, the grass gets trampled, says a Swahili proverb, which puts me in mind of the RNC and DNC domination of July news. Despite the elephants, other news is happening to people who, like grass under elephants’ feet, seem barely noticed. If you, like me, feel closer to the grass underfoot than to the elephants in Cleveland and Philadelphia, here’s a quick round-up of some important news items you may have missed. Continue reading

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After the Supreme Court failure on immigration — keep on talking, keep on walking

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Noemi Romero from The Excluded website

Hours after today’s disastrous Supreme Court immigration decision, a website called The Excluded popped up in my Facebook feed. The Excluded faces and stories of longtime U.S. residents who live every day at risk of deportation.

“Noemi Romero, 24, has lived in Arizona practically her whole life. At the age of 21 while she was raided by Sheriff Arpaio’s deputies while working to save money to pay for her DACA application. She can no longer able to apply due to her felony for working.”

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God help the refugees. God help us all.

Dadaab Oxfam

2012: Fatuma Sankos arrived in Dadaab two months ago with her two small sons – Abass Hassan and Mohamed Hassan. She lives in a tiny shelter made from sticks, cardboard and plastic bags. She has not yet been formally registered in the camp so is not able to get food rations and depends on other refugees for food, and aid agencies for water. Photo: Jo Harrison/Oxfam, published under Creative Commons license

Kenya announced last week that it will close all of its refugee camps, forcing more than 600,000 refugees to return to the violence they fled in their home countries of Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia and other nearby countries. That’s terrible, but the United States is in no position to criticize Kenya. In secret memos uncovered last week, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ordered a 30-day “surge” of arrests of immigrant mothers and children to return them to the violence they fled in their home countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Continue reading

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Let’s jail the children and call it child care

Photo of Karnes detention facility

Photo of Karnes detention facility by Jeff Pearcy, published under Creative Commons license.

 

Texas, leading the nation as always, granted a child care license to a jail on April 29. It’s a special, private jail, an immigration detention center in Karnes City run by the private, for-profit GEO Group. The Texas license comes in response to a federal judge’s order that migrant children must be released from detention centers because it’s against the law to hold kids in unlicensed facilities. (A few days after the license was issues, a Texas judge blocked, at least temporarily, a second license for another immigration jail and set a hearing on the licenses for May 13.) Continue reading

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