Tag Archives: immigrants

Texas judge’s ruling blocks new applications to the Obama-era program, which shields some undocumented immigrants from deportation

The ruling from Judge Andrew Hanen would bar future applications. It does not immediately cancel current permits for hundreds of thousands of people — though it once again leaves them in devastating legal limbo and is a reminder of the uncertainty they face.
DACA, created in 2012, was intended to provide temporary reprieve to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children — a group often described as “Dreamers” — many of whom are now adults.
But almost a decade since the program was established, DACA is still one of the only signs of potential relief for undocumented immigrants looking to remain and work in the US.
Hanen, an appointee of President George W. Bush, ruled that Congress had not granted the Department of Homeland Security the authority to create DACA and that it prevented immigration officials from enforcing removal provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
“Congress has not granted the Executive Branch free rein to grant lawful presence outside the ambit of the statutory scheme,” Hanen wrote.
Congress remains the only body that can provide a permanent solution for DACA recipients through legislation, but immigration legislation has been stalled for years.
Democrats immediately called for Congress to act.
Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat, and his twin brother Julian Castro, who served as secretary of Housing and Urban Development under former President Barack Obama, called the decision is “terrible.”
“The dreams of hundreds of thousands of young people who are contributing to the American economy will be put on hold for no good reason. Congress must pass a pathway to citizenship this year. We can’t wait,” Rep. Castro said on Twitter.
“Dreamers have lived in uncertainty for far too long. It’s time Congress give them the protections they deserve. We must pass the budget reconciliation bill,” Julián Castro said.
Meanwhile, New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell said on Twitter, “This rightwing hack judge in Texas is trying to unilaterally stop the DACA program. This decision must be appealed and tossed out.”
The White House, Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Long legal fight

Hanen’s shocking Friday afternoon ruling is the latest dramatic twist in the nearly decade-old DACA program.
The Trump administration tried ending DACA in 2017, but the US Supreme Court blocked its attempt in June 2020.
After the Supreme Court ruling, the Trump administration then tried to say no new DACA applications would be accepted and renewals would be limited to one year instead of two amid an ongoing review. A separate federal judge rejected that and ordered the restoration of the program.
The lawsuit was originally brought by Texas — along with Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia — which argued that the program placed an undue burden on the states and amounted to executive overreach. Hanen heard oral arguments in the case in December.
In his ruling Friday, Hanen cited the earlier Supreme Court decision, pointing to the majority’s determination that courts have the authority to review the DACA memorandum. But Hanen also drew from a dissent written by Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, that said DACA was an “unlawful program.”
“Justice Thomas noted that the majority’s failure to address DACA’s creation was ‘an effort to avoid a politically controversially but legally correct decision’ that would result in future ‘battles to be fought in this Court,'” Hanen wrote. “While the controversial issue may ultimately return to the Supreme Court, the battle Justice Thomas predicted currently resides here and it is not one this Court can avoid.”
This story is breaking and will be updated.

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Lithuanian Parliament Votes to Declare Hostile States ‘Hybrid Aggression’ and to Detain Illegal Immigrants

Lithuanian Parliament on Tuesday adopted a resolution, declaring that the recent influx of illegal immigrants is a “hybrid aggression” by hostile states, and that the illegal immigrants should be treated as potential active participants of the aggression.

It comes after Lithuania declared a state of emergency due to the sudden influx of illegal immigrants via neighboring Belarus, which Lithuania accused of flying in migrants from Iraq and sending them across the border into Lithuania, which is an EU member state.

The resolution said that “countries hostile towards Lithuania are carrying out hybrid aggression against the Republic of Lithuania,” and that the coordinated move is aimed at destabilizing the country, according to Lithuania’s public broadcaster LRT.

The resolution also said that “this hybrid aggression can be further developed and exploited and can even be used as a basis for threats of new nature in the context of the large-scale military exercise Zapad,” referring to Russia and Belarus’s quadrennial military exercise due in September this year.

Tensions between Belarus and Lithuania intensified after Belarus intercepted a passenger flight en route to the Lithuanian city of Vilnius and arrested an opposition journalist Raman Pratasevich and his girlfriend from the plane in May.

Lithuania has said that Belarus was using illegal immigrants as a weapon after the EU slapped sanctions on Belarus over the plane diversion incident.

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent has called on Belarusian authorities to stop the “pressure tactic,” which he said is comparable to migrant flows from Russia to Finland and Norway in 2015.

The Lithuanian resolution on Tuesday urged the government to ramp up protection of the Belarus–Lithuania border, including building a physical barrier and mobilizing the military.

It calls for sanctions against those responsible for organizing the movements of illegal immigrants, treating illegal immigrants with no ID as possible active participants of the coordinated aggression, and placing them in detention or other arrangements.

Women with children, pregnant women, disabled people, and the under-16s will be excluded.

The resolution also set out plans to return the illegal immigrants to their countries of origin, and consulting with NATO member states if the situation deteriorates.

Red Cross and other non-government organizations have protested against the resolution, saying it violates Lithuania’s international obligations and migrants’ rights.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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This post originally posted here Norway Government & Politics News

GOP congressional candidate in Texas special election loses prominent supporters after racist comment about Chinese immigrants

A Republican candidate in the special election to replace the late U.S. Rep. Ron Wright[1], R-Arlington, is facing intense backlash and has lost two of her biggest supporters after saying she does not want Chinese immigrants in the United States.

The comments by Sery Kim, a Korean American who served in the Small Business Administration under President Donald Trump, prompted California U.S. Reps. Young Kim and Michelle Steel to rescind their endorsements of her on Friday. Kim and Steel are the first Korean American GOP women to serve in Congress.

“We cannot in good conscience continue to support her candidacy,” the lawmakers said in a statement.

The candidate has been unapologetic, however, arguing that she was speaking out against the Chinese Communist Party and blaming the “liberal media” for the uproar.

Sery Kim made the anti-Chinese remarks earlier this week at a GOP forum in Arlington while responding to a question about U.S. immigration issues.

“I don’t want them here at all,” Kim said of potential Chinese immigrants. “They steal our intellectual property, they give us coronavirus, they don’t hold themselves accountable.”

“And quite frankly, I can say that because I’m Korean,” she added.

Hate crimes against Asian Americans have increased since the coronavirus pandemic started in China. Trump has repeatedly blamed China for the pandemic and called the coronavirus “the Chinese virus.” Kim’s remark came less than a month after the Atlanta spa shootings that killed eight people, six of whom were of Asian descent[2].

The comments have received condemnation from groups including the DFW Asian-American Citizens Council[3] and AAPI Progressive Action[4], which works to build political power around Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Kim is one of 11 Republicans — and 23 candidates total — on the May 1 ballot to fill the GOP-leaning seat seat of Wright, who died earlier this year after being hospitalized with coronavirus.

Young Kim and Steel endorsed Sery Kim early on in the race, about a week after the filing deadline last month.

In their statement pulling their endorsements, the two lawmakers said they spoke Thursday with Sery Kim “about her hurtful and untrue comments about Chinese immigrants, and made clear that her comments were unacceptable.”

“We urged her to apologize and clarify her remarks, especially as hate against the AAPI community is on the rise,” the congresswomen said. “However, she has not publicly shown remorse, and her words were contrary to what we stand for.”

Asked for a comment on the loss of the endorsements, Kim provided a one-sentence statement: “I am shocked that in an effort to counter Asian-American hate the liberal media is targeting me, an Asian and an immigrant, in an effort to paint me as anti-Asian and anti-immigrant just for speaking against the oppressive Chinese Communist Party.”

Until this week, Sery Kim was not a particularly well-known candidate in the special election. The Republican field also features Wright’s widow, GOP activist Susan Wright, as well as state Rep. Jake Ellzey of Waxahachie.

On the Democratic side, at least one contender, Lydia Bean, pushed back on Sery Kim’s forum comments, saying they target people like her Chinese American husband, Norman, and their 10-month-old son. Norman’s parents came to the United States from China in 1966, Bean said.

“This type of speech, no matter who it comes from puts their lives in danger,” Bean, a 2020 Texas House candidate, tweeted Thursday[5]. “It’s racist, and it’s not who we are in Texas.”

Early voting for the special election starts April 19.

References

  1. ^ Ron Wright (www.texastribune.org)
  2. ^ six of whom were of Asian descent (www.nytimes.com)
  3. ^ DFW Asian-American Citizens Council (www.nbcdfw.com)
  4. ^ AAPI Progressive Action (www.dallasnews.com)
  5. ^ tweeted Thursday (twitter.com)

Patrick Svitek