WTF Community

Immigration: issues and policy


Trump admin. wants to raise costs to become a U.S. citizen by 83 percent

The citizenship application fee would go from $640 to $1,170 and fees associated with legal permanent residency will go up 79 percent — from $1,220 to $2,195.

Advocates like Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, or CHIRLA,see the administration’s proposal as “a targeted and brazen attack especially on those who are poor and vulnerable” because it seeks to price out immigrants "of their rightful place in our communities and in America."

The proposed rule also outlines a series of other kinds of fee increases that impact immigration-related applications for asylum-seekers, Temporary Protected Status beneficiaries, DACA recipients and legal permanent residents.

DACA renewals would increase from $495 to $765, possibly giving Trump officials a tool to limit the program in case the Supreme Court allows the program to continue despite the administration’s efforts to end it.

The administration is also seeking to transfer $207.6 million of USCIS funding and divert it to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

(David Bythewood) #242

Border protection commissioner admits no miles of new border wall have been built despite Trump’s claim of “great progress”

(David Bythewood) #243

U.S. Has World’s Highest Rate Of Children In Detention: U.N. Study

There are more than 100,000 children in immigration-related custody, violating international law, according to the study.

(David Bythewood) #244

Federal government must provide mental health services to separated migrant families

(David Bythewood) #245

One for the Immigration thread, which needs a re-boot.

And this one is nuts.
I don’t know how I missed this before. The DHS and ICE set up a FAKE university to lure student immigrants either coming to the US on legal student visas or whose colleges lost accreditation to enroll and be caught. As many as 250 students have been arrested.

Federal prosecutors allege that more than 600 students enrolled at the university knew it was improper, but the emails and attorneys tell a different story.

There were more than 600 students enrolled at the university, which was created a few years ago by federal law enforcement officials with ICE. Records filed with the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) show that the University of Farmington was incorporated in January 2016.

Many of the students had enrolled with the university through a program known as Curricular Practical Training (CPT), which allows students to work in the U.S through a F-1 visa program for foreign students. Some had transferred to the University of Farmington from other schools that had lost accreditation, which means they would no longer be in immigration status and allowed to remain in the U.S.

Emails obtained by the Free Press earlier this year showed how the fake university attracted students to the university, which cost about $12,000 on average in tuition and fees per year.

The U.S. “trapped the vulnerable people who just wanted to maintain (legal immigration) status,” Rahul Reddy, a Texas attorney who represented or advised some of the students arrested, told the Free Press this week. “They preyed upon on them.”

The fake university is believed to have collected millions of dollars from the unsuspecting students. An email from the university’s president, named Ali Milani, told students that graduate programs’ tuition is $2,500 per quarter and the average cost is $1,000 per month.

So the long and the short of it is, ICE set up a fake university to entrap foreign students, collected millions from them that they’re not returning, used other foreign students as recruiters who they then arrested for fraud, and has arrested nearly 250 students out of nearly 600 potential. And though the first article from is from February, the most recent article is from today, as they’re still arresting people en masse.

Day 1041

Thanks for this. Don’t know how I missed it either!

BTW, here’s a helpful summary from Axios of the series of Detroit Free Press articles:

ICE arrested 250 foreign students enrolled in the government’s fake university

ICE has arrested about 250 foreign students since January for immigration violations because they enrolled in a fake university created by federal officials that advertises a graduate program for technology and computer studies, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Background: Federal law enforcement officials created the University of Farmington based in the Detroit metro area in January 2016. The school was staffed with undercover agents acting as university officials. DHS even went so far as to have the fake school listed on its own website, as well as on an accreditation agency’s site.

  • But the university never offered any actual courses. The government has argued that it was clear to immigrants and recruiters that the school was a sham, as they were never required to participate in any classwork.

  • But many had enrolled through a government program that allows foreign students to work in the U.S. while on student visas.

  • During a similar operation in New Jersey a few years ago, a recruiter explained the lack of classes to students by claiming the start of the semester had been postponed.

The big picture: Similar operations have played out in past administrations as well. Most of the students arrested by ICE came to the U.S. legally on student visas. They enrolled in the fake university to keep their legal visa status, often recruited by other foreign students who were unaware of the sting operation.

  • Most of the immigrants arrested came from India, and were allowed to leave the U.S. voluntarily, rather than face deportation. Foreign students typically return to their home countries after finishing their educations in the U.S., unless they manage to obtain a work visa or other legal visa allowing them to stay.

  • Seven of eight recruiters who helped bring in foreign students, often knowing that the university was a scam but unaware of the government’s involvement, have pled guilty to criminal charges and have been sentenced.

Between the lines: Not only does the federal government lure foreign students trying to maintain their legal status to enroll in illegitimate universities, the fake school in Detroit is believed to have collected millions of dollars from students who enrolled.

(Eleanor) #247

Our country is sinking lower everyday that T is in office. What they are doing to immigrants is shameful.


Speaks for itself…do what I say, not what I do.

For decades, and well into Trump’s presidency, illegal immigrants lived as Trump’s shadow family — ever present, if rarely considered. Trump had met many of them. There were three questions nearly every immigrant who worked for him was asked as Trump strolled the grounds of his resorts and golf clubs inspecting their work. “Your name. How much time you’d been there. And if you like it,” said Margarita Cruz, a housekeeper. This banter often ended with Trump pulling out $50 and $100 bills for tips.

This transactional relationship of discreet service for long hours and often low pay began to evolve as Trump entered politics on the promise to keep out the upward-striving immigrant workers who crumbed his table and scoured his toilets. When Trump referred to some Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists, when he vowed to wall off the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent an immigrant “invasion,” the worry and anger began to build in the kitchens and laundry rooms of his properties.

Trump’s undocumented workers were forced to smile at stomach-churning comments from wealthy members once he became president. “You’re still here? How come we can’t get rid of you? I’m going to call Trump, you [expletive] Mexican,” Gabriel Juarez, who had been head waiter for a decade at one of Trump’s New York golf clubs, said a member told him jokingly.

It fell to them to scrub off the anti-Trump graffiti scrawled across the mirrors in the men’s locker room at Bedminster one day, and grit their teeth through pep talks by supervisors that they said echoed the boss’s stump speeches: “Now don’t forget, let’s make Mar-a-Lago great again.”

So one day, Diaz, along with Victorina Morales, her successor as Trump’s housekeeper at Bedminster, decided to be seen.

When they spoke in articles in The Post, the New York Times and other publications beginning last December, it was not for money — as some of their shocked and frightened colleagues assumed — or really for politics, they said, but to highlight what they consider a glaring hypocrisy.

Trump, despite his rhetoric, had long employed illegal immigrants, and they were the living proof.

A year later, Diaz and Morales no longer work for Trump. No one is known to have been deported because of the women’s actions, and there is no evidence of legal repercussions for Trump or his company. But the pair have endured the anger of friends and colleagues who say they have betrayed a code of silence that permeates the nation’s underground economy.

They say it was worth it.




not even a little

(David Bythewood) #251

Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez, the teen in the above post, died from the flu. So have many of the others who died in custody.



A federal judge in Texas blocked the Trump administration from using billions of dollars in Pentagon funds for the construction of the border wall.

Judge David Briones of the US District Court for the Western District of Texas said Tuesday that the administration cannot use military construction funds to build additional barriers on the southern border.

In September, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper authorized diverting of $3.6 billion in military construction funds for 11 wall projects on the southern border with Mexico. The Pentagon said at the time that half the money was coming from deferred projects overseas, and the other half was planned for projects in the US.

The lawsuit, brought by El Paso County, Texas, and Border Network for Human Rights, argued that President Donald Trump overstepped his authority when he issued a national emergency declaration to gain access to additional funds for his border wall, despite receiving $1.375 billion from Congress.

The complaint also alleges that the declaration doesn’t meet the National Emergencies Act’s definition of “emergency” and pushes back against Trump’s remarks that border barriers led to a drop in crime in El Paso.

"The President’s emergency proclamation was a blatant attempt to grab power from Congress. Today’s order affirms that the President is not a king and that our courts are willing to check him when he oversteps his bounds," said Kristy Parker, counsel for Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan nonprofit which represented the plaintiffs, in a statement.

(M A Croft) #253

Actually the British monarch has very limited power - way less than being able to subvert money budgeted by the government from one project to another. Sure the Monarch or their representative can dissolve a Parliament. And on one occasion in Australia, the Governor General did just that. There was a hung election, and the Prime Minister of the time was unable to form a working government.
Essentially the British monarch (or their representative in Commonwealth countries) takes advice from the governing body. They may ask the governing body to have a rethink on some piece of legislation before signing it into law, but essentially once the bill has been approved by Parliament (and in the UK, the House of Lords, and in Australia, their Senate) that is the end of the matter.

Assuming no “grave constitutional crisis,” the Queen’s input into the legislative process is supposed to be limited in real terms to the right “to be consulted, to encourage, and to warn” her ministers — advice delivered via meetings with the Prime Minister.

(David Bythewood) #254

I feel like this belongs here, because Donald Trump, in a bizarre effort to appear less antisemitic, is about to take the utterly arrogant position of defining Judaism as a nationality in order to step on the throats of college students protesting the actions of the Israeli government.

This once again is Trump using the dual loyalty canard to implicitly equate all Jews with Israel in the most bizarre and insulting of manners.


There’s two kind of policy that’s comes out of this administration, unintentionally fascist and intentionally fascist. I feel like this one is the latter. WTF!

(David Bythewood) #256

Without a doubt. It’s going to be a definite mess, and it plays to how many white supremacists see Jews, as an ethnicity and not a religion.

It is also entirely disingenuous, given the Trump regime’s history of dismantling programs to track actual white nationalist and antisemitic groups.

This is my long-running thread on that. Though it’s grown more scattershot later on, early in the thread a key focus is about how they’ve actively aided these groups by turning a blind eye to them:

Trump sees people in terms of stereotypes.

Blacks should be thankful and vote for him because of low black unemployment and prison reform, because clearly to him that is what matters to them. That they’re not must mean they’re ungrateful.

Latinx should be thankful and vote for him because he wants to help Venezuelan and Cuban refugees (though he’s actually turning away refugees from Venezuela just like everywhere else). What, there are different nationalities of Latinx peoples? Bizarre!

Jews should be grateful and vote for him because he supports everything Israel does or wants. That they don’t is unthinkable and clearly means they are disloyal to Israel. Also, disloyal to him. Also, disloyal to the U.S. Also, money. That’s it, they’ll vote for him to keep their money from Warren’s wealth tax. What, they’re not? What’s wrong with them?

It’s all of a piece. He thinks everybody else is transactional. He can’t comprehend that they’re NOT these callous, selfish blocks he can appease with crumbs narrowly aimed at his stereotyped view of them, that they have bigger and broader issues AND that they see all the terrible things he is doing and are outraged. Makes no sense.

This is also why his offering to the Palestinian leadership has fallen through. It was purely financial and trade-oriented (and also nebulous at the same time) with nothing of the policies and changes they hope for or need.

(David Bythewood) #257

And here is Trump doubling down on his desperate effort to win over Jews.
Ami is a small Jewish magazine published in New York and Israel.
This poll was conducted of only 723 people. Only 10% of American Jews are Orthodox.
Posting this is REALLY desperate.

(David Bythewood) #258

There is a new twist in DHS’s refusal to allow flu vaccine access to migrants in CBP and ICE custody.

And it’s an especially heinous piece of gaslighting.


In October news came that ICE had secretly moved 700 women, many with severe medical issues, and refused to tell lawyers where they were.

RAICES has found them, and it’s not good.

ICE Moved 700 Women Out Of A Detention Center And Won’t Tell Lawyers Where They Are

Some of the women have serious medical issues, and lawyers worry they could die in detention.

Kamala Harris Leads Senators In Demanding ‘Immediate Removal’ Of Stephen Miller

More than half of Senate Democrats say Miller’s “demonstrable white nationalist ideology has been directly translated” into Trump administration policy.

(David Bythewood) #259

One for the Immigration Issues section, please:

Mentionable News

Some welcome good news on pushback to Trump’s anti-refugee policies – but with a caveat that some states are in play

Republican governors in several predominantly red states announced this week that they plan to continue to accept refugees — despite President Trump’s executive order allowing state and local governments to block refugee resettlements.

The big picture: While Republicans widely support Trump’s restrictive immigration policies, local and state officials have been unwilling to push out those who have been forced from their homes and gone thorough stringent vetting processes required to become a U.S. refugee.

  • Presidents have previously tried to uplift refugee resettlement programs with “bipartisan pride,” and to generate goodwill domestically and internationally, the Washington Post writes.

  • Trump has already capped the number of refugees the U.S. will accept at a historic low of just 18,000 from a high of 110,000 in 2016.

What’s happening: This week, Republican governors of Tennessee, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Nebraska wrote letters to the State Department or publicly announced they would continue accepting refugee resettlements. They are some of the reddest states in the country.

  • They join almost two dozen other states that plan to continue taking in refugees, according to Axios’ compilation of news reports, press releases and public statements.

  • Not one governor has taken up Trump’s offer to block refugees from being resettled in their state — at least not yet.

  • But not all states have released their decisions.

What to watch: Texas will likely become a battleground as Trump’s executive order divides Gov. Greg Abbott, a conservative, and liberal city mayors.

Both Tennessee and North Dakota have also sued for the right to refuse refugee settlements, but have now both said they plan to continue accepting refugees.