During the past year, there have been approximately 50,000 people jailed, on any given day, under the purview of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — and the majority of those in custody have no prior criminal records, reports Abigail Hauslohner in The Washington Post. Yet despite President Trump’s crackdown on immigration, “his administration lags far behind President Barack Obama’s pace of deportations. Obama — who immigrant advocates at one point called the ‘deporter in chief’ — removed 409,849 people in 2012 alone. Trump, who has vowed to deport ‘millions’ of immigrants, has yet to surpass 260,000 deportations in a single year.”
SESAME STREET – With more people today living as refugees around the world than at any point since World War II, Sesame Workshop — the creator of Sesame Street — has partnered with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) on a new effort to help refugee children, Lesley Stahl reports for CBS News’ 60 Minutes. The partnership was awarded $100 million by the MacArthur Foundation for Sesame Workshop to create a new show for the Middle East, and for the IRC to expand its services to Syrian refugee children directly. “Production of the new television show, ‘Ahlan Simsim,’ meaning ‘Welcome Sesame,’ is well underway in Jordan. It stars a spunky purple girl Muppet named Basma, a boy Muppet, Jad, who has just moved into the neighborhood, and their pal and comedic sidekick, a mischievous baby goat.” The show will reach children across the Middle East, offering important educational resources.
THIRD SAFE NEGOTIATIONS – As part of the Trump administration’s new migration accords with Central American countries, it was reported that asylum seekers rejected by the U.S. could be sent to a remote airport in a jungle in Guatemala. However, on Saturday the administration said it had no plans to do this, Sofia Menchu and Ted Hesson report in Reuters. “Incoming [Guatemalan] president [Alejandro] Giammattei criticized the lack of transparency around how the deal is being finalized and told reporters at a press conference on Saturday that his government would evaluate any agreement that was struck by his predecessor.”
MAKING AMERICA – Prominent evangelicals are calling for restitution-based immigration reform, which “is based on Christian teaching about the necessity of upholding the rule of law in a humane manner,” Bruce Riley Ashford, Provost of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, writes in a Fox News opinion piece. This reform package would include (1) rejecting amnesty-based proposals, (2) rejecting mass deportation proposals, and (3) not punishing children for the sins of their parents. “By supporting restitution-based immigration reform, conservatives could take a large stride toward making American good and great again.”
A YEAR LATER – A year after large caravans arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border and captured the attention of the country, Wendy Fry examines its legacy for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Twelve months removed, “some of those iconic images and stories cannot be forgotten, even as the people in the caravan that arrived in Tijuana on Nov. 19, 2018, have scattered: some building tentative and fragile lives in the United States; some back in Honduras; some working and living in Tijuana; still hoping for their chance at the American Dream.” The caravan’s impacts on American and Mexican immigration policy, Fry writes, “could hardly have been predicted when the Central Americans started their journey.”
25 YEARS LATER – For the 25th anniversary of Proposition 187 — the ballot measure targeting undocumented immigrants in California which sought to deny public services to those without legal status, and is often credited with the GOP’s decline in California — Gustavo Arellano reflects on his recent interview with former California Governor Pete Wilson in the Los Angeles Times. “After our initial exchange, Wilson walked the same well-worn road he’s carved out over the last quarter-century when reporters have asked him about Proposition 187. His campaign against illegal immigration wasn’t racist. Allegations that he was a bigot were ‘evil’ and a ‘lie.’”
50 YEARS LATER – A former U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer has lived in the U.S. for nearly 50 years and has served in five separate U.S. Navy deployments — but he now faces deportation, Kat Tenbarge reports at Insider. While Raul Rodriguez was helping his brother immigrate to the U.S., Raul discovered something he didn’t know: He was born in Mexico. “Rodriguez said had never seen the birth certificate before, but once the OIG began a criminal investigation into whether his brother's immigration application had been falsified on Rodriguez's part, his father admitted that he actually had been born in Mexico.” Now, facing deportation, Rodriguez has lost his job — and “is on the watch for Border Patrol agents — the same people he used to work with.”
Thanks for reading,