Showing posts with label DACA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DACA. Show all posts

August 4, 2018

District Court in DC Orders Government To Start Taking DACA Applications


The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the country’s original civil rights organization, today celebrates a huge victory for DACA participants and DACA-eligible persons around the nation.
Today, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia affirmed its prior ruling that the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) violated the Administrative Procedure Act by rescinding the DACA program without sufficient explanation. Rejecting arguments by the federal government and newly articulated justifications from DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, the court ruled once again that the government failed to explain adequately its assertion that DACA is unlawful and it vacated the “Rescission Memorandum” which purported to terminate the DACA program.

Read the Opinion (PDF)

“This represents a powerful victory against attempts to dehumanize immigrants who are law-abiding and productive residents of the United States and who were long ago brought to this country as children through no fault of their own,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson.
The NAACP filed its case in September 2017 against President Trump, Attorney General Sessions, then-DHS Secretary Duke, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security, in defense of people of color who are participating in or are eligible for the DACA program.  The NAACP was joined in the case by two of the nation’s largest labor unions- the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the United Commercial Food Workers (UCFW). Later Princeton University and Microsoft Corporation filed a similar case that was joined with the NAACP case.
The NAACP and its co-plaintiffs successfully argued that the defendants failed in their efforts to articulate a legally sufficient justification for reneging on the commitments extended through the DACA program to undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children and who meet the program’s other eligibility requirements.  Plaintiffs alleged that the rescission of the DACA program violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, the Administrative Procedure Act and the Regulatory Flexibility Act.  The court ruled in April 2018 that the “Rescission Memorandum” issued by DHS in September 2017 violated the Administrative Procedure Act  (“APA”) because it failed to explain adequately why the government concluded that DACA was unlawful.  While vacating the Rescission Memorandum in its original order, the court gave the government 90 days to explain more fully the basis for its decision to terminate DACA. The government’s latest attempt to justify its decision fared no better than its first attempt, as the court once again found the explanation lacking and thus in violation of the APA.  The court maintained its stay of the vacatur order for another 20 days in order to give the government time to decide what to do next.
“This is what happens when the government manufactures a bogus policy rationale for actions that are rooted in discrimination,” said Bradford M. Berry, General Counsel of the NAACP.  “We applaud the court for its careful application of the governing legal principles to this case.”
Joseph M. Sellers, managing partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, PLLC, served as lead counsel for the NAACP in the case.
Originally posted by NAACP

May 3, 2018

Senator Accuses A.G.Sessions of Colluding with Texas to Rid of DACA

 Jeff Sessions Campaigning for Trump '16 and he still trying to make the boss happy '18

Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois is accusing Jeff Sessions of doing some collusion—with the state of Texas.
More specifically, Durbin alleged that Sessions is completely throwing the federal government’s DACA case because he wants reactionary state governments suing the federal government to end the program—namely Texas and its attorney general, Ken Paxton, who filed another lawsuit yesterday to force the federal government to stop issuing permits—to win. Duh. 
In a letter to Sessions dated today, Durbin wrote:
“Yesterday, the State of Texas and six other states filed suit against the Trump Administration challenging the legality of DACA and seeking an injunction to “phase out” the program. This lawsuit again raises serious unanswered questions about whether the Trump Administration is conspiring with Texas and other states to undermine DACA.”
In fact, you have publicly supported the states’ threat to challenge DACA. For example, in a June 30 interview, you said, ‘I’ve got to tell you, I like it that our states and localities are holding the federal government to account, expecting us to do what is our responsibility to the state and locals, and that’s to enforce the law.’ I cannot recall the Attorney General of the United States ever welcoming a threat to sue the President.
Durbin also cites an exchange he had with Sessions last October:
On October 18, 2017, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, I asked you, “Did you have any communication with the Attorney Generals threatening to bring lawsuits to DACA before the decision was made?” You replied, “That kind of legal discussion I believe would be part of the work product of the attorney general office and I should not reveal it.” I then asked you, “You are saying …that communication is privileged? That you had a communication with the Texas Attorney General about the threatened lawsuit against DACA before the Administration’s announcement?” You responded, “…That is correct. I will review it. If I feel it’s appropriate for me to reveal to you, I will do so.” 
That was more than six months ago, and I have not received any follow-up communications from the Justice Department. As you know, there is no recognized legal privilege between adversaries in potential litigation. And [Texas] Attorney General [Ken] Paxton has acknowledged that his office did communicate with the Trump Administration about the threatened litigation, saying “we had some back and forth conversations” before sending the June 2017 letter.
Sessions has never kept his opposition to DACA a secret. “This unilateral executive amnesty, among other things, contributed to a surge of minors at the southern border that yielded terrible humanitarian consequences and it denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same illegal aliens to take those jobs,” Sessions said at the September 5, 2017 press conference where he announced that DACA would end. “The compassionate thing is to do is end the lawlessness...We cannot admit everyone who would like to come here. It’s just that simple.” 
Furthermore, the DOJ also asked the Supreme Court to intervene in Januaryafter the first of three district court judges ruled that the administration had to keep the program going.
Durbin’s letter doesn’t make it clear whether or not he can actually force Sessions to hand over the communications he’s asking for. Regardless, the Trump administration has a more immediate problem regarding DACA right now: last week, a D.C. district court judge who was appointed by George W. Bush demanded that the administration produce a better rationale for ending the program within 90 days or else he’d restore the program in full.

Night Editor, Splinter

March 6, 2018

Because of DACA Franky Needs To Come Out More Than Once, For More Than One Reason

 Frncisco Bautista "Franky"

Francisco Bautista’s birth certificate from his native Mexico has an ambiguous ‘X’ marked in the middle of the two boxes that identify his gender. Right in the middle. No male nor female.
“How do they know? The universe is so funny,” said the 26-year-old. Franky, as he calls himself, identifies as a gender fluid person.  He has a feminine look — women's shoes and a blouse —and switches from English to Spanish when ordering panqueques and jugo de naranja, pancakes and orange juice, at a Denny’s in Oak Lawn.

Being different, Franky faced hopelessness, fear, and shame as he struggled with his identity. Those challenging years have been followed by optimism, confidence, and joy as he’s learned to accept who he is. But Franky lives in two worlds. He’s one of a small group of LGBT people who grew up as unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. He is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient. Now that safety net allowing many children of immigrants to stay in the U.S. may be taken away. Where once it was hard for him to come out in the macho culture he was raised in, now he is struggling with his feeling of belonging here, and his uncertainty over whether he will ever be accepted as an American.

When President Donald Trump announced the end of the Obama administration’s program to shield some children of unauthorized immigrants from deportation, it was “one of the saddest days of my life.”

“DACA gave me some hope,” he said. “I thought I was never going to be able to grow up until I could start working and providing for myself.” 

Now Franky feels lost in the tug-of-war between saving DACA and Trump’s demand for a border wall in exchange. “I just see we are political toys," he said. "I don’t want to keep my life on hold.” 
The Williams Institute, which researches sexual orientation and gender identity issues out of the University of California at Los Angeles, estimates that about 36,000 LGBT people are beneficiaries of DACA. The Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank, estimates that 267,000 immigrants who identify as members of the LGBT community are unauthorized.

"DACA has helped this community to come out of two closets," said Sharita Gruberg, associate director of the CAP LGBT Research and Communications Project. "A community that has been historically invisible because of its immigration status and sexual orientation. For many, DACA gave them the first form of visibility and identification.”

As with all DACA recipients, Deferred Action has meant for Franky the possibility of financial stability, access to schools and jobs and, of course, not being deported. But LGBT youths are at additional risk of returning to countries about which they know very little and where gender discrimination and violence against gays and transgender people can be a serious problem.

Sasha Moreno, an immigration attorney who has represented transgender people looking for asylum in the U.S., said she’s constantly quoting reports to immigration judges about harassment and torture against the LGBT community in countries such as  Guatemala, Mexico and El Salvador to highlight the dangers of deporting these kids.

“Mexico has a good amount of LGBT-friendly laws, but it also has the second-highest rate of transgender woman deaths in the world,” Moreno said.
Moreno noted that because DACA recipients entered the U.S. many years ago, and because the bar to qualify for asylum is within one year of arrival, they can’t apply for asylum based on the threat of persecution.

A bittersweet relationship
In an early interview, last fall in Oak Lawn, Franky talked about growing up while discovering his gender identity.
He was born in Matamoros, a city in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas directly across the border from Brownsville.

He remembers the smell of the plátano and fruity trees at his aunt’s house. His father traveled to and from the U.S. to work as a day laborer. When they got together, they would go to the bazaar to see the chicks on sale there, traditionally dyed different colors to amuse the children.
“I was so in love with those animals that I became a vegetarian,” he said while eating a veggie omelet.
He and his two brothers were brought to Texas by his father when he was 5 years old, leaving their mother behind. Franky hasn’t seen her since.

He went to school in Prosper, a small town north of Frisco where there “was nothing but white people."
“Having brown skin and being gay and undocumented, I wanted to fit in so bad, making sure my English wasn't broken, or speaking without an accent,” he said.

He mostly had girlfriends at the time, but he was often alone and enjoyed playing a keyboard, solo, in his room. In high school, he said, he wasn’t doing much but “getting high” on marijuana.
Franky said he never fit into the “Latino macho Mexican culture” at his home. It wasn’t surprising that he and his father clashed.

“I knew I was gay since I was 12 and when I told my father, he was concerned,” Franky said. “As I was always wearing skinny jeans and a tight shirt, he used to have clothes ready for me, saying I need to dress as my brother.”

Franky left home when he was 12 and began a life of couch-surfing. His relationship with his father was bittersweet. They couldn’t show their love for each other except in small, but meaningful ways.
His father bought him his first cell phone and after Franky left home. “Every Friday he would say, ‘Come over, I have some money for you for the week,’” Franky said.

“He didn't know how to be a dad, he didn't teach me things about life, but he was always there. He did his best,” Franky said.
When Franky saw other American fathers, “I was jealous” of the closeness of other families. It seemed like this was how they were supposed to be.

But Franky recognized his father had a rough pathway, working day labor jobs all his life as an immigrant.

A few years later, when his father was ill, it was Franky who helped him, giving his dad money from his first job for medical treatment.

Back from the brink
As a teenager on his own, Franky was adrift but finding himself.

“I went into drugs,” he said. “Starting with alcohol, then weed, people offered me ecstasy, cocaine and finally meth. ... Those were really rough years couch surfing here and there.”
But eventually, he did find comfort in Oak Lawn, the heart of gay Dallas. He said he felt safe walking around in his Daisy Dukes and high heels.

His life changed the day that a friend invited him into a 12-step program. “Daniel — he saved my life,” said Franky.

Daniel Shipman, 44, is a tall, white gay man, but he’s also a masculine Texan to the core. He works in real estate and also helps people recover from addictions through the 12-step program. He became Franky’s sponsor.

Daniel Shipman was Franky's sponsor at Narcotics Anonymous.(Vernon Bryant/Staff Photographer)

“I would have adopted Franky but I met him after he was 18,” Shipman said. “I learned through him that being undocumented is a tremendous struggle, a constant worry about being found out, feeling less than everybody else in the room. It doesn't matter how beautiful, smart, talented you are, you are not equal because you don't have papers.”

Shipman recognizes that his own masculine look and his U.S. citizenship helped shield him from “any kind of discrimination.” He felt Franky’s pain and took him under his wing for almost three years until DACA was implemented in 2012 and Franky got his DACA permit and his first job.
Shipman made sure Franky graduated from high school, made it to his 12-step meetings and helped him get an apartment and a car.

“He set me up for success,” said Franky.
But so did DACA. Before DACA, he said, “being an illegal child really handicapped me.” He had trouble focusing at school “thinking I could be deported or going to jail at any moment.”

Kamal Essaheb, director of policy and advocacy at the National Immigration Law Center, said that fear is well founded.

"The termination of the DACA by the Trump administration is the latest in a series of attacks against LGBT and immigrant people,” Essaheb said.

He noted the "arbitrary detention of hundreds of LGBT immigrants" in U.S. prisons. And he pointed to repeated attacks on protections for transgender people in the armed forces or when choosing public restrooms.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics has found that more than one-third of transgender people held in prisons experience sexual violence.

Losing a father and a dream
Franky has now lived in the U.S. for more than 20 years. He said one of his brothers, Allen, was deported in 2012 and the other, David, was adopted in 2001 by an American family and is now a U.S. citizen.

His father died about two years ago. In the end, he was on dialysis and fighting cancer.
He died in Mexico. Franky couldn’t say goodbye to him. But Franky says he’s grateful that his dad brought him to this country and shaped a better future for him; he remembers the cellphone and the weekly cash when he was couch surfing.

Today, Franky waits tables at a nice hotel. He’s been clean for five years, has two dogs and wants to start a YouTube channel about makeup tutorials. He recently joined the Cathedral of Hope, the LGBT-friendly church where he was baptized.

“The taste of being independent is such a great gift, I don't want to lose it,” he said. “DACA is a glimpse to the American Dream for me. It's the closest I have been.”

Franky’s DACA permit expires in March 2019. Lately, he has felt anxious about not being able to fulfill his dream of becoming a flight attendant and seeing the world.

During his first interview, Franky was getting ready to dress up in a costume from the Rocky Horror Picture Show for a Halloween party. He was going to be “just a sweet transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania.”  
But a few months later, for another interview, he showed up at Denny’s again, wearing a light jacket, jeans, and no makeup.

For a gender fluid person, explained therapist Michael Salas, “the internal experience of what gender is at a certain point of time can vary. ... The fluidity means the person doesn’t feel always as the stereotypical male or female, and it is very defined by the experience on that point. They are sorting out their identity so they passed through periods in which they might feel like one way or another, including feeling the need of becoming a transgender person.”

His DACA status threatened, Franky feels alienated again. He's gender fluid, but the tension is always there.
“I feel like I have to be a boy now,” he said. “I have to be strong for whatever comes.”

Franky at his keyboard. He's been taking piano lessons. . Ben Torres/Special Contributor(Ben Torres/Special Contributor)
Franky at his keyboard. He's been taking piano lessons. . 

Ben Torres/Special Contributor (Ben Torres/Special Contributor)

Dallas News
by Jenny Manrique

For 10 Years Adamfoxie🦊 has brought you not only the why in the past but what is happening today in human stories!

January 15, 2018

Injunction on Deferred Action for Deporting Childhood Arrivals

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: Response to January 2018 Preliminary Injunction

Jan. 13, 2018, Update:  Due to a federal court order, USCIS has resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under DACA.  Until further notice, and unless otherwise provided in this guidance, the DACA policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded on Sept. 5, 2017. 
Individuals who were previously granted deferred action under DACA may request renewal by filing Form I-821D (PDF)Form I-765 (PDF), and Form I-765 Worksheet (PDF), with the appropriate fee or approved fee exemption request, at the USCIS designated filing location, and in accordance with the instructions to the Form I-821D (PDF) and Form I-765 (PDF).  USCIS is not accepting requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA.  USCIS will not accept or approve advance parole requests from DACA recipients. 
If you previously received DACA and your DACA expired on or after Sept. 5, 2016, you may still file your DACA request as a renewal request.  Please list the date your prior DACA ended in the appropriate box on Part 1 of the Form I-821D.
If you previously received DACA and your DACA expired before Sept. 5, 2016, or your DACA was previously terminated at any time, you cannot request DACA as a renewal (because renewal requests typically must be submitted within one year of the expiration date of your last period of deferred action approved under DACA), but may nonetheless file a new initial DACA request in accordance with the Form I-821D and Form I-765 instructions. To assist USCIS with reviewing your DACA request for acceptance, if you are filing a new initial DACA request because your DACA expired before Sept. 5, 2016, or because it was terminated at any time, please list the date your prior DACA expired or was terminated on Part 1 of the Form I-821D, if available.
Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer a removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion.  Further, deferred action under DACA does not confer legal status upon an individual and may be terminated at any time, with or without a Notice of Intent to Terminate, at DHS’s discretion.  DACA requests will be adjudicated under the guidelines set forth in the June 15, 2012 DACA memo (PDF)
Additional information will be forthcoming.
From: Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security

September 6, 2017

Democrats Win Over DACA and Debt Ceiling On Deal With the President

 Sen. Schumer and Rep. Pelosi

Trump supports the Democratic plan to pass Harvey spending, and extend the debt limit and a continuing resolution both for three months.
A Republican close to leadership: "Dems bluffed their way into total victory. They win the politics of DACA and leverage on debt in the winter. The fate is sealed - DACA will be reauthorized without strings, Schumer has inserted himself into all negotiations in the winter, including tax, spending, and immigration." 
  • Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer announced the news in a joint statement after meeting with Trump and Congressional leadership at the White House.
  • According to a source briefed on the meeting with POTUS, "McConnell, Ryan, McCarthy, and Mnuchin all advocated for a longer debt limit. Basically everyone with an R behind their name."
  • Paul Ryan said earlier today that this was a "ridiculous" and "disgraceful" move since it was playing politics.
  • Trump agreed with Schumer and Pelosi on short term debt, McConnell wanted a continuing resolution to be a part of that package, according to a person familiar with the debate.
Pelosi and Schumer's statement:
"In the meeting, the President and Congressional leadership agreed to pass aid for Harvey, an extension of the debt limit, and a continuing resolution both to December 15, all together. Both sides have every intention of avoiding default in December and look forward to working together on the many issues before us. As Democratic leaders, we also made it clear that we strongly believe the DREAM Act must come to the floor and pass as soon as possible and we will not rest until we get this done."


Trumps DACA Decision is "Self Defeating and Cruel" President Obama

Barack Obama responded to President Trump's DACA decision with a lengthy statement Tuesday, calling it a "self-defeating" and "cruel" move made for political, not legal, reasons. Key excerpts:

"These Dreamers are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper."

"Today, that shadow has been cast over some of our best and brightest young people once again. To target, these young people are wrong – because they have done nothing wrong. It is self-defeating – because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel."

"And now that the White House has shifted its responsibility for these young people to Congress, it's up to Members of Congress to protect these young people and our future. I'm heartened by those who've suggested that they should. And I join my voice with the majority of Americans who hope they step up and do it with a sense of moral urgency that matches the urgency these young people feel."
Full statement

Immigration can be a controversial topic. We all want safe, secure borders and a dynamic economy, and people of goodwill can have legitimate disagreements about how to fix our immigration system so that everybody plays by the rules.

But that's not what the action that the White House took today is about. This is about young people who grew up in America – kids who study in our schools, young adults who are starting careers, patriots who pledge allegiance to our flag. These Dreamers are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper. They were brought to this country by their parents, sometimes even as infants. They may not know a country besides ours. They may not even know a language besides English. They often have no idea they're undocumented until they apply for a job, or college or a driver's license.

Over the years, politicians of both parties have worked together to write legislation that would have told these young people – our young people – that if your parents brought you here as a child, if you've been here a certain number of years, and if you're willing to go to college or serve in our military, then you'll get a chance to stay and earn your citizenship. And for years while I was President, I asked Congress to send me such a bill.

That bill never came. And because it made no sense to expel talented, driven, patriotic young people from the only country they know solely because of the actions of their parents, my administration acted to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people, so that they could continue to contribute to our communities and our country. We did so base on the well-established legal principle of prosecutorial discretion, deployed by Democratic and Republican presidents alike, because our immigration enforcement agencies have limited resources, and it makes sense to focus those resources on those who come illegally to this country to do us harm. Deportations of criminals went up. Some 800,000 young people stepped forward, met rigorous requirements, and went through background checks. And America grew stronger as a result.

But today, that shadow has been cast over some of our best and brightest young people once again. To target, these young people is wrong – because they have done nothing wrong. It is self-defeating – because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel. What if our kid's science teacher or our friendly neighbor turns out to be a Dreamer? Where are we supposed to send her? To a country, she doesn't know or remember, with a language she may not even speak?

Let's be clear: the action taken today isn't required legally. It's a political decision and a moral question. Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn't threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us. They are that pitcher on our kid's softball team, that first responder who helps out his community after a disaster, that cadet in ROTC who wants nothing more than to wear the uniform of the country that gave him a chance. Kicking them out won't lower the unemployment rate, or lighten anyone's taxes, or raise anybody's wages.

It is precisely because this action is contrary to our spirit, and to common sense, that business leader, faith leaders, economists, and Americans of all political stripes called on the administration not to do what it did today. And now that the White House has shifted its responsibility for these young people to Congress, it's up to Members of Congress to protect these young people and our future. I'm heartened by those who've suggested that they should. And I join my voice with the majority of Americans who hope they step up and do it with a sense of moral urgency that matches the urgency these young people feel.

Ultimately, this is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we'd want our own kids to be treated. It's about who we are as a people – and who we want to be.

What makes us American is not a question of what we look like, or where our names come from, or the way we pray. What makes us American is our fidelity to a set of ideals – that all of us are created equal; that all of us deserve the chance to make of our lives what we will; that all of us share an obligation to stand up, speak out, and secure our most cherished values for the next generation. That's how America has traveled this far. That's how, if we keep at it, we will ultimately reach that more perfect union.


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