immigration

TRUMP SOUGHT ALLIGATOR-FILLED MOAT, SPIKES TO SHRED FLESH, AND SHOOTING OF IMMIGRANTS: NEW YORK TIMES REPORT

By Miriam Raftery

October 2, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – A New York Times report based on interviews with a dozen White House officials describe disturbing statements by President Donald Trump last March, when he repeatedly pressed aides to take illegal actions toward migrants before ultimately ordering the border shut down. 

“Privately, the president had often talked about fortifying a border wall with a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators, prompting aides to seek a cost estimate. He wanted the wall electrified, with spikes on top that would pierce human flesh,” the Times reports. “After publicly suggesting that soldiers shoot migrants if they threw rocks, the president backed off when his staff told hm that was illegal But later in a meeting, aides recalled, he suggested that they shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down. That’s not allowed either, they told him.”

Trump attacked the Times report in a Tweet, calling it “fake news” and misspelling “moat” as “moot.”

EAGLES OF THE DESERT (AGUILAS DEL DESIERTO): HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH HENRI MIGALA AND VICENTE RODRIGUEZ

By Miriam Raftery

July 5, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) –Called in by family members or others to search for immigrants who have gone missing after crossing the border, volunteer with the nonprofit Aguilas del Desierto (Eagles of the Desert) brave triple digit heat, rattlesnakes and other perils in a desperate effort to save lives. 

Hear our exclusive interview with Vicente Rodriguez and Henri Migala, originally aired on KNSJ radio earlier this year, at the audio link and scroll down for highlights.

According to the Border Patrol, 7,000 migrants are known to have died crossing the border since the wall began. The toll is likely much higher, since it doesn’t include those missing and never found.

Audio: 

Henri Migala and Vicente Rodriguez - Aguilas Del Desierto

COUNTY RESPONDS TO FLU OUTBREAK AT MIGRANT CENTER

 

 

San Diego County Public Health officials are responding to an influenza outbreak among asylum seekers recently flown to San Diego from Texas by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FLIES MIGRANTS TO SAN DIEGO, AS THOUSANDS MORE WAIT IN MEXICO AND TEXAS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Chris Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Network

May 21, 2019 (San Diego)--With detention facilities in Texas overflowing with some 8,000 migrants seeking asylum in the U.S., the Trump administration has begun shipping migrants to San Diego.  Three flights a week, each carrying 120 to 135 migrants, will be arriving in San Diego, where they will be processed by U.S. Customs and Immigration officials. The first plane load has arrived, with flights slated to continue indefinitely.  

GROUPS PAN PRESIDENT TRUMP'S NEW IMMIGRATION PROPOSAL AS ELITIST

 

 

By Suzanne Potter, California Public News Service

May 17, 2019 (Sacramento) -- Immigrants' rights groups are speaking out against President Donald Trump's new immigration proposal - unveiled yesterday - saying it betrays American values and ignores the thorniest issues that have thus far held up a comprehensive immigration deal in Congress. 

HONORS FOR JUDGE SABRAW; ORDERED FEDS TO REUNITE SEPARATED FAMILIES AT BORDER

 

 

By Ken Stone

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

April 2, 2019 (San Diego) - Federal Judge Dana Sabraw, who ordered the government to reunite families separated at the border in the wake of the Trump administration “zero-tolerance” policies, will be honored with the Outstanding Jurist Award at the San Diego County Bar Association's annual luncheon in May.

CALIFORNIA TEEN LEADS LAWSUIT TO KEEP HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF IMMIGRANTS IN U.S.

 

By Farida Jhabvala Romero, KQED

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo:  "I felt like I needed to speak up... and represent all the children whose parents have TPS and could be sent back," said Crista Ramos, 14. The Bay Area teen is suing the federal government. Photo for CALmatters by Farida Jhabvala Romero/KQED

January 3, 2019 (San Diego) - High school freshman Crista Ramos used to be mostly preoccupied with school, friends, and soccer practice with her team, the Richmond Lionesses.

All that changed in January when the Trump administration announced plans to end the humanitarian protections that allow her mother and about 260,000 other immigrants from El Salvador to lawfully live and work in the United States.

DEC. 11 EL CAJON COUNCIL AGENDA WILL INCLUDE CONCERNS OVER CHILDREN IN MIGRANT SHELTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 4, 2018 (El Cajon) – Following news reports that a shelter for immigrant children in El Cajon failed to report several runaway youths to state authorities, the El Cajon City Council will add a discussion of the problems to the Council’s agenda at its December 11th meeting.

The facility run by Southwest Key houses primarily unaccompanied minors but also some children separated from parents at the international border.

U.S. SHUTS DOWN BORDER AT SAN YSIDRO, TEAR GASSES MIGRANTS INCLUDING CHILDREN

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Screenshot off CBS 8 live feed

Update November 26, 2018 with comments from Congresswoman Susan Davis.

Update 5:30 p.m.: Border Patrol has reopened northbound and southbound lanes.

November 25, 2018 (San Diego)—U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has shut down the international border at San Ysidro in both directions today, also closing major highways and roads nearby including portions of I-5, I-805, and state route 905.  A trolley line and pedestrian crossing that closed temporarily have since reopened.

When some members of a migrant caravan from Central America attempted to cross into the U.S., agents repelled them with tear gas. Reuters reports children and babies were screaming after the attack. There are also eyewitness reports that a loud sound device was deployed, possibly a flash-bang device or a sonic weapon.

The border shutdown on a busy holiday weekend inconvenienced vacationers on both sides of the border seeking to return home.  Border crossers were forced to detour and endure hours-long waits to crossings at Otay or Tecate.

JUDGE, CITING RACISM BEHIND TRUMP’S ORDER TO REMOVE NONWHITE IMMIGRANTS, TEMPORARILY BLOCKS DEPORTATIONS OF HAITIANS, SUDANESE AND CENTRAL AMERICANS WITH PROTECTED STATUS

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 3, 2018 (San Francisco) – U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen in San Francisco has temporarily blocked an order by the Trump Administration to revoke the legal status of over 300,000 immigrants who had been granted temporary protection in the U.S.  after fleeing violence and natural disasters in Haiti, Sudan, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Some have lived in the U.S. for over 20 years.  The order also protects children who are U.S. citizens, whose parents have been ordered deported.

GOVERNOR BROWN SIGNS LEGISLATION THAT WILL GRANT DIPLOMAS TO DEPORTED HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS

 

 

Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher Bill will apply to all students in good standing whose education was interrupted against their will

East County News Service

October 1, 2018 (Sacramento) — A proposal authored by California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) to retroactively grant diplomas to deported high school seniors was signed by Governor Brown last week.  AB 3022 passed the State Assembly with a 75-1 vote and the Senate by a 35-1 vote

HUNDREDS OF IMMIGRANT CHILDREN REMAIN IN DETENTION AFTER PARENTS DEPORTED

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo via ACLU: Sammy Reyes-Mejia, 3, didn’t recognize his mother after being reunited following three and a half months of separation and being held in a federal detention center.

September 2, 2018 (San Diego) – Despite a court order to reunify all children separated from immigrant parents at the border, 497 children remain in federal custody, including 322 children whose parents were deported, the Hill reported on August 30th.   There are 22 tots under age 5 in detention, and those deported included parents of six children under age 4.

STALKING A BUS STATION

 

A La Mesa writer finds a way to help families released from ICE detention

By Mimi Pollack

Photo:  Honduran man and his two sons

August 1, 2018 (San Diego) -- Helping others is not political. It is good for the soul. When you help others, you forget about your own problems for awhile. In addition, nobody should make you feel bad about who you decide to help. In my case, as a writer, I have interviewed many good folks assisting others -- be they two legged or four legged recipients – and ended up also giving to many charitable human and animal organizations.

SYRIAN REFUGEES FIND HOME IN EL CAJON, BUT FAMILY REMAINS TORN APART

 

By Briana Gomez

August 1, 2018 (El Cajon) – Houda Al Sidnawi arrived in the United States in 2016 with both of her parents and her two younger sisters, now 16 and 10. The family left Syria in 2012 at the brink of the civil war and immigrated to Egypt where they obtained appropriate documentation to enter the United States on refugee visas.  

"FAMILIES BELONG TOGETHER” MOVEMENT COMES TO EL CAJON

 

By Eric Bartl

ECM Editor Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

July 3, 2018 (El Cajon) -- Over a hundred people marched down Main Street through downtown El Cajon Saturday, June 30, joining the chorus of “Families Belong Together” protesters from cities across the nation.

Their chants, “families belong together” and “let the children go," received affirmations from passersby. Drivers honked their horns. Workers from restaurants and barber shops stuck their heads through their front doors greeting the march with waves and thumbs up.

30,000 DREAMERS HAVE DACA RENEWALS APPROVED SINCE APRIL DUE TO PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION SECURED BY CALIFORNIA

 

East County News Service

July 3, 2018 (Sacramento) – A preliminary injunction obtained by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in January halted the Trump administration from ending renewals of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

'CHILDREN ARE CRYING': THOUSANDS MARCH DOWNTOWN ANEW AGAINST TRUMP BORDER POLICIES

 

By Ken Stone and Chris Stone

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Families marched together downtown against the Trump Administration’s immigration policy. Photo by Chris Stone

July 2, 2018 (San Diego) - Sandra Delgadillo of Roseville, marching downtown Saturday while visiting her father, repeatedly called out “the children are crying.”

Jessica Kane of La Mesa had her children wearing what resembled the reflective solar blankets given to migrant children at shelters after being separated from their parents.

CONGRESSWOMAN SUSAN DAVIS JOINS DEMOCRATIC WOMEN IN PRESSING TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO EXPLAIN “WHERE ARE THE GIRLS?”

 

East County News Service

June 28, 2018 (San Diego) – Earlier this month, members of Congress visited detention facilities holding boys separated from their immigrant parents at the border. But thus far, no members have been allowed to go inside facilities holding girls who were taken from their mothers or fathers, and no photos have been released showing girls inside the detention centers including one in Lemon Grove.  Now San Diego Congresswoman Susan Davis has signed a letter along with over 50 Democratic women members of Congress pressing the  Secretaries of Homeland Security (DHS) and Health and Human Services (HHS) to release details about immigrant children separated from their parents. 

SAN DIEGO JUDGE ORDERS TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO REUNITE IMMIGRANT FAMILIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 27, 2018 (San Diego) – U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego issued a ruling Tuesday ordering the Trump administration to end separation of parents from children at the border and to reunite families already separated, except in limited circumstances.

OUR NAMES ARE NATASH, LETICIA, MARGARITA: WE SEEK ASYLUM

 

By Chris Stone

Reprinted with permission from Times of San Diego, a San Diego Online News Association member

Photo:  Many women and children from Mexico and Central America waited to see if they would be the next people allowed to enter the U.S. Photo by Chris Stone

June 24, 2018 (San Diego) - Natash waited in line Saturday morning to present herself to U.S. immigration officials at the PedWest Port of Entry, believing that America is the “best place where human rights are respected.

TRUMP TO END CHILD SEPARATIONS, REPORTEDLY PLANS TO PUT KIDS IN DETENTION WITH PARENTS

 

Critics denounce plant to incarcerate entire families

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Protester outside immigrant child detention facility in El Cajon

June 20, 2018 (Washington D.C.) -- President Donald Trump today announced that he has signed an executive order to end the controversial separation of children and parents at the border. The Trump administration now plans to detain parents and their kids together for the foreseeable future, the New York Times reports.

UCSD STUDENT PERSERVERES TO GRADUATE AFTER DEPORTATION OF HIS PARENTS

 

 

Source: UCSD News Center

Photo:  Graduate Leon Sanchez Reyes (left) with his sister and two younger brothers.

June 14, 2018 (San Diego) --This year, UC San Diego’s class of 2018 will be having the majority of commencement ceremonies on Saturday, June 16 and Sunday, June 17.  A total of 7,449 students will take the stage this weekend as this year’s graduating class participates in the campus’ various commencement ceremonies. Among the students is Leon Sanchez Reyes  Just two weeks before starting his first year at UC San Diego in 2014, Sanchez Reyes’ parents were deported. The immigration agents explained to him that his parents were going to be sent back to Mexico and nothing could be done about it.

“I felt abandoned and full of anger. Not at my parents, not at the officers—they were only doing their job—but at the system for leaving four children without their parents,” said Sanchez Reyes. The next night, Sanchez Reyes and his siblings met with their parents in Tijuana, discussing schooling and housing plans. Sanchez Reyes had secured housing on campus for his first year, but his parents and siblings had to relocate to Tijuana and then Rosarito.

SAN DIEGO CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO JOIN CITIES OPPOSING TRUMP LAWSUIT OVER SANCTUARY STATE LAWS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 16, 2018 (San Diego) – San Diego’s City Council has voted to join cities and states filing an amicus brief to support California’s sanctuary state laws against a lawsuit filed by the Trump administration. The Council’s action is the polar opposite of County Supervisors, who voted to support the federal lawsuit against our state.

IMMIGRANT CHILDREN TO BE SEPARATED FROM PARENTS, ATTORNEY GENERAL SESSIONS SAYS IN VISIT TO SAN DIEGO BORDER

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 9, 2018 (San Diego) – U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, visiting border communities in San Diego and Arizona in the past week, affirmed a zero-tolerance policy of prosecuting anyone who crosses the border illegally. He also made clear that no compassion will be shown to parents seeking a safe haven in America for their children, stating, “If you’re smuggling a child, then we’re going to prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you, probably, as required by law. If you don’t want your child separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally.”

GOVERNOR BROWN SENDS NATIONAL GUARD TO BORDER TO STOP SMUGGLERS AND TRAFFICKING—BUT NOT IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT

 

East County News Service

Photo: California National Guard

April 11, 2018 (San Diego)— Governor Jerry Brown has approved a request from President Donald Trump to send National Guard troops to the international border, funded by the federal government to combat “lawlessness,” according to the President’s request.

But in his response to the Trump administration, Brown indicated that the 400 troops sent by California will be utilized not for immigration enforcement, but rather for new staffing will allow the Guard to do what it does best: support operations targeting transnational criminal gangs, human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers along the border, the coast and throughout the state,” threats that are priorities for both Democrats and Republicans, including two prior administrations, Brown noted.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SUES CALIFORNIA OVER SANCTUARY LAWS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 8, 2018 (Sacramento) – The U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against California, as well as the state’s governor and attorney general. The suit claims that three specific “sanctuary” laws aimed at protecting some undocumented immigrants are unconstitutional.

The three targeted laws, KPPC reports, are:

EDITORIAL: BORDER PATROL AGENTS SABOTAGING WATER BOTTLES IN DESERT SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR DEATHS OF MIGRANTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 19, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – A new report by humanitarian organizations  reveals that Border Patrol agents  have been systemically destroying water bottles left in desert areas for undocumented immigrants in the Arizona desert, condemning people to die of thirst.  While its unknown if this is occurring in California, this article in Britain’s The Guardian hit home for me in a visceral way, reminding me of an experience that brought me to tears.

On the 4th of July In 2008, I rode alongwith Border Angels founder Enrique Morones. We discovered sabotage of water bottles his group had left in rugged locations--all slashed open, empty. My article, Dying to Come to America, was published in our very first edition of East County Magazine. Morones vividly described what it is like for people to die of dehydration – hallucinating, throwing off clothes and shoes. We saw the signs of this torment – a woman’s high-heeled shoe cast aside, a man’s crumpled shirt.  The heat was triple digits.

I went along to learn about experiences faced by people so desperate to come to America that they rely on water left by benevolent strangers to survive. I learned that coyotes, or human traffickers, often lie to the migrants, telling them it's just a short walk to freedom; some women dressed up to meet their husbands are unaware of the dangers. I choked up, imagining their pain. My story included photos of those slashed water bottles and graves of people--some so very young--who died crossing East County's rugged border mountains in their failed quest to find freedom.

GROUPS PROTEST DECISION TO REVOKE PROTECTED IMMIGRATION STATUS

 

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service

Photo:  About 3,000 Nicaraguan legal immigrants will become undocumented by January 2019 unless Congress acts to give them permanent legal status. Photo via Pixabay.

November 8, 2017 (Sacramento) - Latino groups are speaking out against the decision by the Trump administration on Monday to end legal status for some people from Central America who were given temporary protected status over the past two decades.

COLLEGE STUDENT LEARNED SHE WASN’T A CITIZEN

 

By Iveth Estrada, provided by Grossmont Community College District

Reprinted with permission from San Diego Jewish World

September 11, 2017 (El Cajon) -- Iveth Estrada didn’t know she was an undocumented immigrant until shortly before she enrolled at Cuyamaca College. She didn’t know while growing up with her family in Spring Valley. She didn’t know while competing with the varsity swim and water polo teams at Monte Vista High School.

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