immigration

 


As the nation's attention has focused on ICE and its role in the Trump administration's zero-tolerance immigration policy, another immigration agency has quietly been making drastic changes to its mission and policies. 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a federal agency traditionally charged with managing benefits and services for immigrants to the U.S. 

In February, USCIS published a new mission statement, considerably shifting the direction of their organization. 

  

The plight of migrant children being separated from their families at detention centers has grabbed the attention of many across the country. The first reunification deadline to reunite children under five with their families was Tuesday.

From this crisis many grassroots groups have sprung up, as parents, teachers, foster parents, and religious leaders search for ways to help migrant families who were separated.

Three parents were able to finally see their children again today in Grand Rapids.

It had been three months since these dads seeking asylum in the U.S. were separated from their children. All of whom are under five years old.

Today a U.S. House Committee is holding a hearing to get a progress report on the 2020 census. 

If the Trump administration gets its way, the next census will have something that hasn't been on a census in 70 years: a question about your citizenship status.

That has critics on high alert, fearing the question will keep non-citizens and even legal immigrants from responding to the census.

They say an inaccurate head-count is bad for their communities, and for Michigan.

President Trump's executive order ending family separations at the southern border, but leaving in place the zero-tolerance policy, did nothing to quell the national anger and confusion.

Trump's order did not address what happens for some 2,300 children who have already been taken from their parents after crossing the border. Those children are currently in shelters and foster care across the country, inlcuding here in Michigan.

More than 1,000 people marched through the streets of downtown Grand Rapids Tuesday in support of immigrants and protesting deportations.

Andy Johnston is the VP of government and corporate affairs for the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce. He joined Stateside to explain how immigrants play a crucial role in the Grand Rapids economy.

When President Donald Trump gives his State of the Union speech tomorrow night, the wife of a man the Trump administration deported will be in the audience.

Cindy Garcia will be the guest of Congresswoman Debbie Dingell.

Rep. Dingell has been working to reunite Jorge Garcia with his family. He was deported to Mexico in mid-January.

Cindy and Jorge Garcia joined Stateside to discuss Cindy's life with her husband in the United States, and how she feels about the president’s immigration policies.

Last Friday, President Trump was asked about the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). It’s the program that allows undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to remain in the country. They're widely known as "DREAMers."

"We love the DREAMers," President Trump said. "We love everybody."

 


One of the promises President Donald Trump built his campaign on, and a promise he continues to repeat, is bringing jobs back to the United States.

But many employers say it’s workers they need. All across Michigan, businesses are constantly struggling to fill openings.

That pressure is particularly acute on Mackinac Island and Mackinaw City. Many popular hotels and restaurants there rely heavily on foreign workers who enter the country on H-2B visas.

Michigan Sheriffs' Association

Law enforcement officials in Michigan are talking about what President Trump’s immigration policies mean for them. 

The Trump administration has made a priority of deporting people living in the country illegally. Normally immigration enforcement is the job of the federal government – not local sheriffs. But sheriffs and local police departments do sometimes play a role in the process. 

A discussion on whether Traverse City should become a sanctuary city drew dozens of protesters to the governmental center Wednesday night.

Sanctuary city status would likely mean that local police would not report illegal immigrants to the federal government.

Aaron Selbig

Officials in Traverse City are discussing the possibility of “sanctuary city” status. The city’s Human Rights Commission has debated the idea at its meetings over the last few months. The declaration would mean police would not report undocumented immigrants to the federal government.

Lansing's City Council did an about-face last night. 

The Council reversed its earlier unanimous decision to declare Lansing a "sanctuary city". The 5-2 vote means the city is not a sanctuary for immigrants, particularly undocumented immigrants.

The Trump Administration has threatened to punish sanctuary cities by withholding federal funds.

The Michigan and Lansing Chambers of Commerce had been urging Lansing's City Council to rescind that earlier resolution.

Rich Studley, the president and CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, joined Stateside to explain why they rejected the resolution.

 

President Donald Trump has signed executive orders that change the deportation priorities for people who are in the U.S. illegally. Some are worried that recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) could be caught up in the wave of increased enforcement.

"Don't be afraid to call us."

That's what Grand Rapids Police Chief David Rahinsky said in a recent meeting of anxious people at the Hispanic Center of West Michigan.

The meeting addressed concerns from people who don't know how and if President Trump's immigration crackdown involves local police agencies.

Across Michigan, a number of undocumented Mexican immigrants have been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.

While President Donald Trump indicated his order would deport criminals – “bad hombres,” as he put it –  there are reports that people with only minor violations are being picked up, even people with no apparent violations.

David Cassleman

The past few weeks have been challenging ones for a new refugee program in northern Michigan. The plan is to resettle up to 15 refugee children with foster families in the Traverse City area this year.  

President Trump has complicated things with his executive order on immigration and refugees.

But with the order temporarily halted, the program in Traverse City is welcoming its first refugee on Wednesday — a teenage girl from Africa. 

 

The White House continues to insist that the President's executive orders on immigrants and refugees will make America safer.

The West Michigan group Samaritas begs to differ.

President Trump today said he was right to ban people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

Across the country, immigration lawyers flocked to airports and border crossings this weekend to help travelers stranded by President Trump’s executive order.

Not all of them, however, were able to offer their services.

Farah Al-khersan, an immigration attorney of West Bloomfield, was blocked from re-entering the United States when she and her husband tried to cross back over from Sarnia Friday night.

As he campaigned for the presidency, one of Donald Trump's most consistent messages was aimed at undocumented immigrants. At one point, he promised a deportation force to remove all undocumented immigrants.

That message helped get him elected.

It remains to be seen what will actually come to pass once Mr. Trump takes office in two weeks, but the increased possibility of immigration raids is out there.

Over the last week since Donald Trump was declared the winner of the 2016 Presidential Election, there have been an increase in the number of reports of harassment and bullying directed at students of color and religious minorities.

Speaking to Lesley Stahl last night on CBS' 60 Minutes, President-elect Donald Trump addressed the recent incidents.

Trump said he was "saddened" by the news and implored people to "stop it".

Robin Wright began her journalism career as a student at the University of Michigan, where she was the first female sports editor in the history of the Michigan Daily.

She has gone on to become a widely known and honored foreign affairs analyst, journalist and author. Her books include Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World, Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East, Sacred Rage: The Wrath of Militant Islam and The Last Great Revolution: Turmoil and Transformation in Iran.

This coming Thursday, Wright returns to Ann Arbor to give the Margaret Waterman Alumnae Lecture. She joined us today.

As Michigan kids get settled into this new school year, there's one group that can use some extra support: children who are immigrants or refugees.

So often we hear people say, "Our immigration system is broken." But what exactly does that mean? 

In this State of Opportunity special, we hear answers to that question from various angles.

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