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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.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office in Grand Rapids
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

The U.S. government is scrambling to meet Thursday's court-ordered deadline to reunite hundreds of children who were separated at the border with their parents.

About half of those families have been reunited.

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

 


As the nation's attention has focused on ICE and its role in the Trump administration's zero-tolerance immigration policy, another immigration agency has quietly been making drastic changes to its mission and policies. 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a federal agency traditionally charged with managing benefits and services for immigrants to the U.S. 

In February, USCIS published a new mission statement, considerably shifting the direction of their organization. 

Rabbi Josh Whinston
Kathryn Condon / Michigan Radio

  

The plight of migrant children being separated from their families at detention centers has grabbed the attention of many across the country. The first reunification deadline to reunite children under five with their families was Tuesday.

From this crisis many grassroots groups have sprung up, as parents, teachers, foster parents, and religious leaders search for ways to help migrant families who were separated.

Ever Reyes Mejia and his 3 year old son leaving the ICE office in Grand Rapids.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Three parents were able to finally see their children again today in Grand Rapids.

It had been three months since these dads seeking asylum in the U.S. were separated from their children. All of whom are under five years old.

Protestors standing by podium
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Several people in Grand Rapids protested the separation of children from their parents today.

About 150 protestors stood outside Bethany Christian Services to speak out against U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

In April Sessions announced a "zero tolerance" policy on undocumented immigrants, which caused refugee families to be split up at the country’s southern border. President Trump this week announced he'd reverse the policy, and a federal judge ordered a halt to separations -- and the reunification of families that have been separated.

 

Judge's gavel with books on a desk
Pixabay.com

President Trump's executive order ending family separations at the southern border, but leaving in place the zero-tolerance policy, did nothing to quell the national anger and confusion.

Trump's order did not address what happens for some 2,300 children who have already been taken from their parents after crossing the border. Those children are currently in shelters and foster care across the country, inlcuding here in Michigan.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office was shut down for a brief time Monday morning, as activists protesting U.S. immigration policies blocked driveways outside the ICE office.

It's part of a larger protest that aims to "occupy" Detroit ICE headquarters this week.

dona abbott
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

 

This April, the Trump Administration announced its “zero-tolerance policy” for immigration. It requires every person caught crossing the United State’s southern border be prosecuted in federal criminal court. Since it is against U.S. law for a child to be housed with a parent in a federal prison, children are being separated from the parents who brought them across the border.

Rachel and Adam / Bethany Christian Services

 


Young children separated from their families at the border cannot be held in immigration detention centers for more than three days. After 72 hours, the Office of Refugee Resettlement looks to find a shelter or foster care home for the child.  

 

Archbishop of Detroit Allen Vigneron
Courtesy of the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit

 


The Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the border has generated criticism and condemnation.

The so-called "zero tolerance" policy resulted in the separation of 1,995 children from their families during the six-week period between April 16 and May 31. That number is now estimated to be well over 2,000 children. 

This weekend, current first lady Melania Trump as well as all living former first ladies — both Republican and Democrat — spoke out against the policy. 

Christian leaders across denominations have also publicly condemned the measure. 

The border crossing at Lukeville, Arizona.
Alan Levine / Flickr

Some members of Michigan's Republican Congressional delegation have issued strong or tepid statements against the Trump Administration's policy on separating families at the border. 

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