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immigration

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.

Acting Head Of Customs And Border Protection Plans To Step Down

Jun 25, 2019

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.

courtesy Movimiento Cosecha GR

Two years ago, we shared with you the story of a young immigrant in Grand Rapids.

Brandon Reyes is part of a generation of immigrants known as dreamers, who arrived in the United States as children.

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

Local law enforcement would be required to cooperate with federal immigration officers, under a pair of bills that moved forward in Lansing Tuesday.

A number of people spoke out against the bills at a hearing of the House Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee. 

One of them was Maria Salazar. She told lawmakers if the bill becomes law, she’s afraid it will lead to more racial profiling and discrimination by police.

“I’m a U.S. citizen but I am afraid of them,” she told the lawmakers. “My kids are US citizens and they are afraid of the police officers.”

courtesy Movimiento Cosecha GR

An outspoken young activist leader in Grand Rapids’ immigrant rights community will remain in custody after an immigration judge denied him bond Friday.

Twenty-two-year-old Brandon Reyes is a “Dreamer,” and participant in the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the government program that protects some young, undocumented people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation.

Cheyna Roth / MPRN

Michigan Democratic Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin expects it will be difficult overriding President Trump’s veto of legislation to block his emergency declaration to build a southern border wall.

Photo courtesy of the family of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez


courtesy Movimiento Cosecha GR

A well-known immigration activist in West Michigan says he’s trying to stay optimistic after being arrested this week to face possible deportation.

Brandon Reyes is currently in the Calhoun County Correction Facility, which has an agreement to hold immigration detainees. Reyes grew up in Grand Rapids and is part of the “Dreamer” generation of immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. He was enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was created to protect young immigrants from deportation.

Photo courtesy of the family of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department is changing its policy on cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Photo courtesy of the family of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez

Jilmar Ramos-Gomez is a U.S. citizen. Born in Grand Rapids. He served in the Marines and saw combat in Afghanistan.

And last month federal immigration authorities took him into custody to face possible deportation.

Attorneys and immigration advocates in West Michigan are now demanding to know why, and how, this happened.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

A lot of old cop movies have a scene like this one, in Die Hard -- where the feds show up and start bossing local police around.

Out in the real world, things are more complicated. Federal law enforcement can’t always just boss local law enforcement around. And that’s a key part of a big controversy happening right now in Kent County.

The controversy is about immigration enforcement.

The Michigan State Capitol
Matthileo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today on Stateside, Michigan's lame-duck legislature moved to roll back previously-passed legislation that increased the state's minimum wage and mandated paid sick leave. Plus, a member of the Mackinac Bridge Authority weighs in on the state's plan to have the organization oversee a tunnel to house the replacement pipelines for of Enbridge's aging Line 5. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

image of furniture and mattresses on curb
User wolfpeterson / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today on Stateside, the Michigan Legislature’s newly-elected House Speaker discusses what issues he wants to prioritize when he steps into the position this January. Plus, a Democrat on the Oakland County Board of Commissioners talks about his party's plans after winning a majority on the board for the first time in four decades.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

man looking at cell phone
Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

This week, a group of faith leaders is taking a caravan of protestors 1,700 miles from Ann Arbor to the Tornillo detention center in Texas. 

protesters carrying signs
File photo / Michigan Radio

More than 100 Iraqi nationals being held in immigration custody should be released because the government lied about Iraq’s willingness to repatriate them, the detainees' lawyers told a federal judge in Detroit Wednesday.

 

Emilio Gutierrez Soto was a journalist in Mexico reporting on the military’s behavior during a drug cartel crack down. He sought asylum in the U.S. in 2008. He joins us to discuss the seven months he spent in detention under the Trump administration. 

 

Lynette Clemetson is the Director of the Knight-Wallace Fellowships for Journalists at the University of Michigan, where Mr. Gutierrez has been awarded a fellowship for this year. 

 

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell
Courtesy https://debbiedingell.house.gov/about/full-bio

U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell is condemning a recently proposed Trump Administration regulation affecting immigrant children.

Dingell said the proposed rule would allow the federal government to hold immigrant children with their parents for prolonged periods of time in detention centers.

Francis Anwana
Diane Newman

U.S. immigration officials have postponed the deportation of a deaf immigrant from Nigeria in the U.S. illegally.

The Detroit Free Press reports Friday that 48-year-old Francis Anwana and his attorneys met with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, who plan to review his case over the next month.

Francis Anwana
Courtesy of Francis Anwana

Diane Newman

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will allow a deaf, cognitively-disabled Detroit man to “make arrangements to depart the U.S. voluntarily,” the agency said Wednesday.

Francis Anwana faced an initial deportation deadline Tuesday. But ICE backed off that deadline after pushback from Anwana’s advocates and at least one member of Congress.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A small crowd rallied in front of Detroit’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office on Friday, calling on the agency to release Banny Doumbia.

Doumbia is an Ivory Coast native and Detroit father who has been in the U.S. for nearly 30 years. His family says he was detained without explanation after a routine ICE check-in last week.

quilt from project
Courtesy of Migrant Quilt Project

An Arizona quiltmaker is exploring one of the most contentious issues in the U.S. today: immigration.

Her traveling exhibition, “Beyond the Border Wall: The Migrant Quilt Project,” will open next week in Grand Haven’s Loutit District Library. 

Michigan Main Street Center

A report out Thursday morning from the Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) finds that while immigrant make up only 6% of Michigan’s population, they make up 20% of the state’s so-called Main Street businesses.

Victoria Crouse, a State Policy Fellow for the MLPP, authored the report. She obtained most of her data from the American Community Survey’s 5-year data from 2016.

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