Immigration

Illinois Governor Profits Off ICE Detention Centers

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) “this year reported a profit from a private equity fund that owns a health care group servicing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers, including facilities that hold immigrant families with children,” Politico reports.

“In his most recent statement of economic interests, the multi-millionaire Illinois Republican governor disclosed earnings from a fund that owns Correct Care Solutions, a for-profit health care provider that has millions of dollars in government contracts with jails and prisons across the country, including immigrant detention centers.”

Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

“Allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a shame. I think it changed the fabric of Europe and, unless you act very quickly, it’s never going to be what it was and I don’t mean that in a positive way. So I think allowing millions and millions of people to come into Europe is very, very sad. I think you are losing your culture. Look around. You go through certain areas that didn’t exist ten or 15 years ago.”

— President Trump, in an interview with The Sun.

Washington Post: “That argument — that immigration changes existing ‘culture’ for the worse — is a staple of white nationalist rhetoric in the United States.”

Republicans Try to Squeeze Democrats with Vote on ICE

Politico: “House Republican leaders plan to hold a vote on a liberal bill to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency — forcing Democrats to weigh in on a controversial issue that has divided the party just months before the midterms.”

“But Pocan and the bill’s other authors, Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), say they won’t be part of a GOP ‘political stunt.’ Pocan said he expects other Democrats to follow suit in voting no but said they’d relish the opportunity to debate immigration on the House floor.”

Playbook: “The kind of backfired on Republicans. They said this vote would put Dems in a tough spot. Democrats are expected to almost uniformly vote no. Guess it didn’t put them in that tough a spot. The biggest pitfall in Democrats’ strategy is that the base gets upset with them. There was dissent in GOP leadership on this plan, because some people realized it could make Republicans look silly.“

Bush Says He’s ‘Disturbed’ by Immigration Debate

Former President George W Bush said he is “disturbed” by the immigration debate taking place in the United States because it “undermines the goodness of America,” CNN reports.

Said Bush: “I think it doesn’t recognize the valuable contributions that immigrants make to our society. And it obscures the fact — the rhetoric does — that the system is broken and needs to be fixed.”

Trump Administration Returns to ‘Catch and Release’

“The government said on Tuesday that it will release hundreds of migrant families wearing ankle bracelet monitors into the United States, effectively returning to the ‘catch and release’ policy that President Trump promised to eliminate,” the New York Times reports.

“Faced with a pair of court orders restricting immigration detentions, federal officials said they could not hold all of the migrant families who were apprehended at the southwestern border. They said their hands were tied by dueling requirements to release children from detention after 20 days and also keep them with their parents or other adult relatives.”

U.S. Cannot Hold Migrant Families For Long Term

“The Trump administration on Monday lost a bid to persuade a federal court to allow long-term detention of migrant families, a significant legal setback to the president’s immigration agenda,” the New York Times reports.

“In a ruling that countered nearly every argument posed by the Justice Department, Judge Dolly Gee of the Federal District Court in Los Angeles held that there was no basis to amend a longstanding court decision that forces the government to avoid holding migrant children for longer than 20 days.”

Government Can’t Find Parents of 38 Migrant Children

Government lawyers said that “they cannot locate the parents of 38 migrant children under the age of 5, as a federal judge indicated he is open to extending the deadline for reuniting nearly 3,000 children separated from their mothers and fathers while crossing the US-Mexico border,” NBC News reports.

“For 19 children, their parents have been released from custody into the U.S. and their whereabouts are unknown. The parents of another 19 children have been deported.”

U.S. Will Miss Deadline to Reunite Migrant Families

“The Trump administration will not fully meet a judge’s deadline to reunite all migrant families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border and instead is seeking more time in instances where officials are having trouble matching children to parents,” the Washington Post reports.

“The request contradicts comments made earlier Thursday by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, whose agency cares for the children in shelters. He had said the administration ‘will comply’ with the judge’s deadlines, though Azar referred to the timetable as “extreme.””

Chart of the Day

Positive views about immigrants more than doubled between 1994 and 2017.

Public opinion surveys have frequently asked the U.S. public whether “immigrants today strengthen our country because of their hard work and talents” or whether “immigrants today are a burden on our country because they take our jobs, housing and health care.” The above figure shows the percent indicating that immigrants “strengthen our country because of their hard work and talents” from every question in the Roper Center’s iPOLL database from 1994 to 2017 (the last time the question was asked). Although views toward immigrants have varied over the years, more than 60 percent of the U.S. public indicated that immigrants strengthen our country in December of 2016 and in March, May, and July of 2017.

Thanks to Peter K. Enns, Associate Professor and Executive Director of the Roper Center, Cornell University and Kyle M. Howard, Ph.D. Student, Department of Government, Cornell University.

U.S. Army Quietly Discharging Immigrant Recruits

“Some immigrant U.S. Army reservists and recruits who enlisted in the military with a promised path to citizenship are being abruptly discharged,” the AP reports.

“The AP was unable to quantify how many men and women who enlisted through the special recruitment program have been booted from the Army, but immigration attorneys say they know of more than 40 who have been discharged or whose status has become questionable, jeopardizing their futures.”

Trump Loses Effort to Block Two California Laws

A federal judge “rejected a request by the Trump administration to block two California laws that protect immigrants in the country illegally, but he did put key parts of a third sanctuary law on hold,” the AP reports.

“Judge John Mendez refused to block a law requiring the state to review detention facilities where immigrants are held and another that prevents local law enforcement from providing release dates and personal information on jail inmates.”

“But he said California could not enforce a third law that prohibits employers from allowing immigration officials on their premises unless the officials have a warrant.”

An Immigrant’s Anthem

New York Times: “The 5-year-old and his family had traveled thousands of miles to escape. When they finally arrived on American soil, free from the marauders who had burned their house to the ground, the boy was placed in a holding pen with his brother and sisters, while immigration officials decided their fate.”

“From this story, a classic piece of music emerged. The family, fleeing religious persecution in Russia in 1893, was soon reunited and allowed to enter the country. And that little boy, born Israel Beilin, would grow up to become Irving Berlin. Twenty-five years after emigrating, the same year he became an American citizen, he composed ‘God Bless America.’”

“The song, which rings out with special fervor each Fourth of July as a kind of unofficial national anthem, is turning 100 this year, and at a fraught moment in America’s relations with would-be immigrants, it is worth remembering its origins.”

Separated Parents Must Be Deported to See Their Kids

“Following a court order to reunite more than 2,000 migrant children who were separated from their parents in May and June, the Trump administration has instructed immigration agents to give those parents two options: leave the country with your kids — or leave the country without them,” according to a copy of a government form obtained by NBC News.

“The new directive does not allow parents who were separated from their children under President Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy to reunite with their children while they await a decision on asylum, a protection sought by thousands of migrant families fleeing violence in Central America.”

Most Disapprove of Trump’s Immigration Policy

A new Quinnipiac poll finds that American voters disapprove of the way President Trump is handling immigration, 58% to 39%.

But they’re split on whether he’s a racist, 49% to 47%.

Also interesting: 50% of voters say the main motive for Trump’s immigration policies is “a sincere interest in controlling our borders,” while 44% say the main motive is “racist beliefs.”