This week in immigration news – September 24, 2020

news on immigration | This week in immigration news

New report examines portrayals of immigrants on television

According to a new report by Define American and the University of Southern California’s Norman Lear Center, undocumented immigrants are portrayed on television in disproportionate numbers, and their connection to crime is often extremely overstated. On the other side, however, the study also examines the potential that these stories have to educate the viewer about the immigrant experience.

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Despite the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, Trump administration re-instates wealth test for prospective immigrants

While the courts had previously put a halt on the expansion of “public charge,” since the injunction was lifted by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, the administration is prepared to apply the standard to all applications for citizenship made after February 24, 2020.

While “public charge” was not created by the Trump administration, they have expanded it to include non-cash assistance programs in addition to cash assistance. This means that families that use SNAP, certain Medicaid benefits, or subsidized housing could lose their chance at citizenship.

Critics have pointed out that there has been a chilling effect on enrollment on these programs, even when immigrant households where family members only have green cards or U.S. citizenship. During a pandemic, this has the potential to be especially harmful.

Immigrant surveillance is expanded

While in the past Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has received the vast majority of their information about undocumented immigrants from state and local jails, recently, the amount of data they’ve been using to track down undocumented people has expanded. For example, in 2017, ICE used information gathered in interviews with unaccompanied minors to arrest sponsors who came forward to act as their guardians.

While ICE’s deportation machine has roots in the past two administrations, it has been super-charged by the Trump administration.

Man alleges that ICE officers attempted to force him onto deportation flight

Bakhodir Madjitov is alleging that he was beaten by three ICE agents who then tried to force him onto a deportation flight to his home country of Uzbekistan last September, despite the fact that he had a stay of removal. Madjitov’s wife and three children are all U.S. citizens. ICE has stated that it does not comment on pending litigation.

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