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Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

An Ann Arbor man says he fears he will die if U.S. immigration officials don’t act soon on his request for protected status, “based on urgent humanitarian concerns.”

Abraham Navarrete-Morales, 32, is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who’s been in the U.S. for about 14 years. He says he was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure at age 24, and was on dialysis for years before receiving a kidney transplant last year.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

A veteran Grand Rapids police captain was put on a 20-hour suspension, and will have to go through additional training, after the city’s Civilian Appeal Board found he violated department policy.

Captain Curt VanderKooi is the officer who contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the case of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, a U.S. citizen who was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and faced possible deportation based on a tip from VanderKooi.

Updated at 3:34 p.m. ET

The Trump administration has announced it is ending a federal court agreement that limits how long migrant families with children can be detained.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan outlined the new policy Wednesday, which replaces the Flores settlement agreement.

That's been a longtime target of immigration hard-liners in the Trump administration, who contend the settlement has acted as a lure to families in Central America.

green field with two white barns on it
David Cassleman / Interlochen Public Radio

 

 

Today on Stateside, how Michigan farmers are dealing with devastating crop losses and the impacts of a trade war. Plus, many in Michigan's immigrant communities were not surprised by a new Trump administration rule that denies green cards to immigrants who have used, or are likely to use, public benefits.

 

picture of a purple folder that says U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Tomasz Zajda / Adobe Stock

Michigan is one of 13 states challenging a new Trump Administration rule that sets restrictions on which legal immigrants are eligible to stay in the United States as permanent residents.

On October 15 of this year, immigrants will be refused a green card if they’ve used or appear likely to use government benefit programs such as subsidized housing, food stamps, or Medicaid.

picture of the sign outside U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Wikimedia / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Advocates are encouraging immigrants in Michigan to study the new “public charge” rule before it takes effect in October.

The rule is meant to discourage immigrants from seeking public assistance.

man wearing a "police ice" vest
ICE.gov

The body of a 41-year-old Iraqi-born man who died in Baghdad after being deported from the U.S. in June will be returned to Michigan for burial. He will be buried alongside his mother.

Jimmy Aldaoud was deported from the U.S. in June to Iraq, a country that his family said he had never set foot in. Two months after he arrived there, his family got word that he was found dead in Baghdad.

Aldaoud was born in Greece, his sister Mary Bolis said, after his family fled Iraq. He didn't speak Arabic.

He was 41 when he died, and he arrived legally in the U.S. in May 1979 when he was a year old, his lawyer, Chris Schaedig, said. He lived near Detroit until he was put on a plane to Najaf by U.S. federal officials.

close up of Gretchen Whitmer
Photo courtesy of www.senate.mi.gov/whitmer

Last updated Aug 2, 3:14 pm: Governor Gretchen Whitmer appears to support changing state law to allow undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses. Her position seems to come as a bit of a surprise, even to immigration advocates.

Whitmer was backstage at the Democratic presidential candidates’ debate Wednesday night in Detroit, when she was approached by a volunteer organizer.

A stretch of the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico was adorned with a set of pink see-saws this week — allowing children (and grownups) to play together across the barrier. The event was "filled with joy, excitement, and togetherness," says architect Ronald Rael, a leader of the project.

The seesaws were installed on Sunday, when their steel beams were eased through the slats of the tall fence that divides Sunland Park, N.M., from Colonia Anapra — a community on the western side of Ciudad Juárez in Mexico.

The Trump administration announced on Monday it is expanding fast-track deportation regulations to include the removal of undocumented immigrants who cannot prove they have been in the U.S. continuously for two years or more.

Updated at 6:12 p.m. ET

Homeland Security acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan says the U.S. has apprehended more than 800,000 migrants attempting to enter the country since last October, calling the numbers staggering and unprecedented, and that the influx has "challenged and overwhelmed every aspect of our border and immigration enforcement system."

Still, McAleenan said DHS "made significant strides in its effort to secure the border and help and protect migrants in our custody."

Capitol Building
Liam James Doyle / NPR

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan is taking questions from the House oversight committee. His agency has been under scrutiny for conditions at the detention facilities holding migrants along the southern border. An inspector general report found "dangerous overcrowding" and poor conditions for children and adults. Watch his testimony live Thursday at 10 a.m. ET. 

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement
United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Nationwide raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to arrest thousands of undocumented immigrants have been scheduled to begin this Sunday, according to a report from The New York Times.

 

Detainees being housed inside fenced rooms at a government facility.
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined 20 other attorneys general from across the U.S. to ask a court to force the federal government to keep children safe in immigration detention centers. The brief says media reports detail “deplorable and inhumane conditions,” including being denied basic necessities like like clean water and soap.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

More than 100 people showed up at Detroit’s immigration office on Thursday to protest conditions at migrant detention camps along the southern U.S. border.

Rashida Tlaib
Rashida Tlaib for Congress Facebook page

It was a tense and emotional visit for Democratic lawmakers at Border Patrol facilities in Texas where migrant families are being detained. 

Protesters gathered in Ypsilanti to call for Congressional action on immigrant detention practices
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Protesters gathered outside of the Ypsilanti office of Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-Michigan) to call for the closure of immigrant detention centers and an end to family separation practices.

Jessica Prozinski is a protest organizer. She says the rally in Ypsilanti was one of almost 200 taking place on Tuesday in cities across the country.

“We are emotional, we are outraged,” Prozinski says. “But we also need a plan. Phone calls and emails are not enough.”

titikul_b / Adobe Stock

It’s not Camila Trefftz’s job to track this, but she tries to give the best estimates she can: so far this year, she’s says she's probably seen about 12 cases of kids being temporarily placed in Michigan after they were separated from their parents at the southern border.

But if you count the kids separated from relatives overall, not just parents? Then that number skyrockets, Trefftz says. Dozens, definitely. Maybe close to 100? She's not sure. The youngest they’ve seen was four months old. Another is younger than two, she says.

Kate Wells

She looks small in the high-ceilinged lobby, her hair pulled back in a heart-shaped barrette, wearing a sundress and pink ruffled socks. She holds hands with her caseworker, gazing up silently at the security guards as they smile at her, beckoning her through the metal detectors and telling her how pretty she looks.

Supreme Court blocks 2020 census citizenship question, Trump threatens delay

Jun 27, 2019
U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday to reject the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census — for now.

The Trump Administration said it wanted to add the question to enforce the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voters' access to the ballot box. Those who opposed the move feared it would discourage the participation of minorities in elections. 

State Rep. Lynn Afendoulis standing at podium
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Michigan House Representative Lynn Afendoulis announced on Thursday that she’s running for Congress.

The Republican Afendoulis is running for Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes the city of Grand Rapids and Ionia, Barry and Calhoun counties.

Afendoulis says one of her biggest priorities is fixing the country’s immigration crisis.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

Editor's note: This story contains images that some readers may find disturbing.

The desperate and tragic plight of a father and daughter who drowned while trying to cross the border from Mexico into the U.S. has become a new flashpoint in the border crisis, after a photographer captured a haunting image that shows the pair lying facedown, washed onto the banks of the Rio Grande.

Updated at 5:07 p.m. ET

The acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to step down in the coming weeks, according to two agency officials, amid a public furor over the treatment of migrant children in U.S. facilities.

John Sanders is expected to make his resignation effective July 5, according to the officials, who spoke to NPR on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made to agency employees.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force

The national debate over immigration reached another boiling point last week.

Updated at 5:25 p.m. ET

President Trump has announced an immigration proposal that would dramatically reshape the legal immigration system in the United States.

The plan "puts jobs, wages and safety of American workers first," Trump said in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday.

"We must implement an immigration system that will allow our citizens to prosper for generations to come," he said.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Martha Barcena Coqui is on a campaign swing of sorts through Michigan this week.

Barcena is rounding up support for ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). That’s a newly-renegotiated version of NAFTA that still needs to be ratified by Congress.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of people marched peacefully across the state on Wednesday, calling for the state to issue driver’s licenses to people regardless of their immigration status. People marched in Detroit, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo.

Sergio Cira was one of the organizers of the Grand Rapids march. He says undocumented immigrants are held back from contributing to the community when they can’t get a driver’s license.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Immigrant’s rights marches are planned for Wednesday in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids.

Demonstrators are calling for the state to issue driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants. The annual marches have drawn thousands of people into the streets in years past.

This year, the city of Grand Rapids is threatening arrests if demonstrators block traffic as they have in previous years.

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