SIREN’s Statement on Trump Administration’s Decisions regarding Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

President Trump’s decision to eliminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nicaraguans and leave Hondurans in limbo is the personification of evil as these families will be forced to return to countries where they are in extreme danger of violence. 

This week, the Department of Homeland Security decided to terminate TPS for nearly 3,000 Nicaraguan nationals and leaves 57,000 Honduran nationals to face uncertainty for another 6 months. In addition, more than 50,000 Haitians will be stripped of work authorization and prioritized for deportation when their TPS expires.


In light of Trump’s clear pattern of treating anyone who is not White as not being Americans, we urge Congress to intervene. This is imperative, not solely on a moral level, but also on an economic level. These very families facing expulsion from the United States are the very families that make up the fabric of this country and support the nation’s economy to make our nation the strongest. The bedrock of the United States is welcoming those seeking protection from turmoil in their home countries. 

As activists, we will not stand by idly as the current federal administration works feverishly to return the United States to era hearkening back to Jim Crow. Regardless of political ideology, the fight for immigrants is a fight for the future of our nation.

Information Regarding Trump's DACA Announcement

UPDATED: September 5th, 2017

The latest we received on DACA Announcement
 

EMBARGOED UNTIL AFTER AG REMARKS ARE DELIVERED ON SEPT. 5

Press Office
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Press Release

September 5, 2017
Contact: DHS Press Office, (202) 282-8010
RESCISSION OF DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS (“DACA”)
WASHINGTON –
Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiated the orderly wind down of the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). “This Administration’s decision to terminate DACA was not taken lightly. The Department of Justice has carefully evaluated the program’s Constitutionality and determined it conflicts with our existing immigration laws,” said Acting Secretary Elaine Duke. “As a result of recent litigation, we were faced with two options: wind the program down in an orderly fashion that protects beneficiaries in the near-term while working with Congress to pass legislation; or allow the judiciary to potentially shut the program down completely and immediately. We chose the least disruptive option. “With the measures the Department is putting in place today, no current beneficiaries will be impacted before March 5, 2018, nearly six months from now, so Congress can have time to deliver on appropriate legislative solutions. However, I want to be clear that no new initial requests or associated applications filed after today will be acted on.”

On June 29, the attorneys general of Texas and several other states sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions asserting that the DACA program is unlawful for the same reasons stated in the Fifth Circuit and district court opinions regarding an expansion of the DACA program and the now rescinded program known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). The letter noted that if DHS did not rescind the June 2012 DACA memo by September 5, 2017, the states would seek to amend the DAPA lawsuit to include a challenge to DACA. Yesterday, Attorney General Sessions sent a letter to Acting Secretary Duke articulating his legal determination that DACA “was effectuated by the previous administration through executive action, without proper statutory authority and with no established end-date, after Congress' repeated rejection of proposed legislation that would have accomplished a similar result. Such an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the Executive Branch.” The letter further stated that because DACA “has the same legal and constitutional defects that the courts recognized as to DAPA, it is likely that potentially imminent litigation would yield similar results with respect to DACA.” Nevertheless, in light of the administrative complexities associated with ending the program, he recommended that the Department wind down the program in an efficient and orderly fashion, and his office has reviewed the terms on which the Department will do so.

Based on guidance from Attorney General Sessions, and the likely result of potentially imminent litigation, Acting Secretary Elaine Duke today issued a memo formally rescinding the June 15, 2012 memorandum that created DACA, and initiating an orderly wind down of the program. This process will limit disruption to current DACA beneficiaries while providing time for Congress to seek a legislative solution. The details are contained in Acting Secretary Duke’s September 5 memorandum, and in our Frequently Asked Questions.

For Immediate Release: September 5, 2017

 


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Immigrant Community Members Outraged at DACA Termination, Speak Out With Response

Donald Trump Lacks Moral Character and Sides with White Supremacists, Community Leaders to Hold Action Urging Congress to Take Action

(SAN JOSE, CA) — On September 5, 2017, the White House announced the sunset of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in six months.

“This cruel action by Trump is nothing less than heartless and it confirms our worst fears. By shattering the lives and the dreams of nearly a million young people, he has clearly chosen to side with nativists and white supremacists. While Trump has fallen on the wrong side of history, immigrant youth and their families will continue to fight back. Our eyes remain not only on Trump to reverse his intent to undo the program but also turn towards Congress to take swift legislative action on the DREAM Act” said SIREN Executive Director Maricela Gutierrez.

DACA has allowed undocumented youth to contribute to their communities, to work, to go to school and to live their lives without fear of being ripped away from their families, and from a country they consider home. They are human beings who deserve dignity and respect as their neighbors, friends, fellow students or co-workers.

While we continue to fight for DACA and all undocumented immigrants, it is important that DACA-recipients keep the following in mind:

  • If the program ends but DACA-recipients are allowed to keep their work permits, you have the right to work legally until your work permit expires

  • Even if the program ends, you have no obligation to inform your employer that DACA has ended; your employer does not have the right to ask whether you are a DACA-recipient or how you got your work permit

  • Your employer does not have the right to fire you until after your work permit expires; if your expiration date is nearing, your employer may ask you for an updated work permit but cannot take any action against you until after it expires

  • Your Social Security Number is valid for life, even if your work permit or DACA expires

  • If you have a regular driver’s license and it expires after the program is terminated, you can still apply for an AB 60 driver’s license

  • If you are outside the US on advance parole, return as soon as possible

  • Seek trusted legal advice, especially if you are thinking of leaving the country, would like to be screened for other potential immigration benefits, or if you have encountered any criminal issues since receiving DACA

  • Remind yourself of your rights with ICE

  • If you have any questions, contact SIREN for an appointment or visit our weekly Thursday clinics for a free consultation at our offices

While our hearts are broken at this moment, our spirit is on fire. We will not forget—not today, not tomorrow, not ever. And we will fight back with everything we have. We will not stop until our families are safe and until the country reflects the beloved community we desire.

With six months until the program is expected to end, our fight will intensify now more than ever. We urge community members to weigh in with your members of Congress to call upon Trump to reverse his decision and to also push for robust legislation that will put DACA-recipients and undocumented immigrants on a path to citizenship. Specifically, we call upon members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to support the DREAM Act and the American Hope Act which will provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented youth. Community members and allies are invited to join us for a press conference/action to stand with DACA-recipients and urge the White House and Congress to take action to support immigrant youth and their families.

WHAT: DACA Response Action

WHEN: TBD [2 hours after Trump’s Announcement]

WHERE: Martin Luther King Jr. Library, 150 E. San Antonio St. San Jose, 95112

News reports that Trump will announce on Tuesday the termination of DACA program in 6 months


IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER:

This is not an official announcement, just media reports; we do not know what exactly the announcement will include; currently, DACA is still in effect DACA-recipients keep the following in mind in the event DACA is revoked:

  • If the program ends but DACA-recipients are allowed to keep their work permits, you have the right to work legally until your work permit expires
  • Even if the program ends, you have no obligation to inform your employer that DACA has ended; your employer does not have the right to ask whether you are a DACA-recipient or how you got your work permit
  • Your employer does not have the right to fire you until after your work permit expires; if your expiration date is nearing, your employer may ask you for an updated work permit but cannot take any action against you until after it expires
  • Your Social Security Number is valid for life, even if your work permit or DACA expires
  • If you have a regular driver’s license and it expires after the program is terminated, you can still apply for an AB 60 driver’s license
  • If you are outside the US on advance parole, return as soon as possible
  • Seek trusted legal advice, especially if you are thinking of leaving the country, would like to be screened for other potential immigration benefits, or if you have encountered any criminal issues since receiving DACA
  • Remind yourself of your rights with ICE
  • If you have any questions, contact SIREN for an appointment or visit our weekly Thursday clinics for a free consultation at our offices
  • You can find out more information by visiting https://www.ilrc.org/what-do-i-need-know-if-daca-program-en…
  • Continue to call the White House urging Trump to keep DACA by calling 202-456-1414 and call your member of Congress urging them to support the DREAM Act
  • Attend our press conference and action in San Jose at the MLK Library located at 150 E. San Fernando St. shortly after the announcement. Time still TBD.
  • Come out to our action in Fresno on Tuesday Sept. 5 at 4pm at the Federal Building located at 2500 Tulare St.


 

Stay informed about upcoming actions and policy updates by joining SIREN's Action Rapid Response Network:

Allies: text SIREN to: 918-609-4480

Comunidad/Community Members text SIREN  to:  201-468-6088

President Trump's Executive Orders on Immigration

Disclaimer: This is a summary of the advisory created by The Legal Aid Society, Immigration Law Unit and does not constitute legal advice, and does not substitute for the advice of an immigration expert.

As of January 30, 2017, President Trump has issued three executive orders which threaten
immigrant communities in different ways. One focuses on individuals within the United States,
another on individuals apprehended at the border, and a third on banning refugees and others
from countries deemed dangerous by the President.

There are three other draft orders, which have not yet been signed. Based on the drafts we
have seen: one would end the DACA program and change priorities for removal, a second
would change the way the receipt of certain government benefits affects immigrants and their
sponsors, and a third would affect foreign workers.

NOTE: Some of the provisions in the various signed and draft orders may be beyond the
power of the President or may be in violation of the Constitution. As a result, these may later
be curtailed by the federal courts.

What has Already Happened

Interior Enforcement Order (signed on January 25, 2017)

-Increase deportation enforcement efforts to include people who:
 o have criminal convictions,
 o have been charged with crimes even though the criminal court proceedings have not
    been completed,
 o committed criminal acts that have not even been charged,
 o engaged in fraud with any government agency,
 o received welfare benefits unlawfully,
 o have a final order of removal but never left, and
 o otherwise pose a threat to public safety or national security.
-Hire an additional 10,000 deportation officers.
-Punish states and localities who refuse to allow local law enforcement to cooperate with
  federal immigration authorities by withholding federal funds.
-Collect unpaid fines from undocumented immigrants.

Order Excluding Muslims and Others (signed on January 27, 2017)

-Stop most refugee admissions for at least 120 days, with exceptions permitted for those
  fleeing religious persecution if their religion is a minority in their country of nationality.
-Reduce refugee admissions for FY2017 to 50,000 from President Obama's goal of
  110,000.
-For 90 days, ban entry for all immigrants and nonimmigrants for designated countries,
  such as Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
-Screen all immigrant and non-immigrant applications for fraud and national security
  concerns.
-Expedite completion of a biometric entry-exit system.
 Consider ending all waivers of terrorism-related inadmissibility grounds, regardless of
how immaterial or insubstantial the individual’s support of a purported “terrorist
organization” may have been.

Border Security and Deportation Order (signed January 25, 2017)

-Build a wall along our southern border.
-Secure the southern border, so that no one can enter without permission.
-Create new detention facilities near the southern border.
-End the “catch-and-release” policy for people who enter without permission, so that
  people will be detained during their deportation cases.
-Hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol officers.
-Increase scrutiny of asylum applications so that more asylum applications may be
  denied.
-Punish states and localities who refuse to allow local law enforcement to cooperate with
  federal immigration authorities.

What may Happen Soon

Draft DACA and Enforcement Priorities Order (not yet signed, as of January 30, 2017)

So far, President Trump has indicated that young people who registered for Deferred
Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) will not be an enforcement priority, meaning he
is not seeking to deport people who have DACA. The draft we have seen has not yet
been signed. The draft Executive Order, could end DACA. Among other things, the
order would direct the federal government to:

- Rescind the June 15, 2012 memorandum establishing the DACA program.
-Allow any Employment Authorization Documents (work permits) issued under DACA
  to remain valid until the date of expiration of each work permit.
  o However, current DACA work permits may not be extended.
-Discontinue the grant of Advance Parole (travel permission) to DACA registrants.
-Withdraw certain enforcement priorities memoranda.
-Allow DACA to still be granted on a case-by-case basis.

DRAFT Order Affecting Recipients of Government Benefits (not yet signed, as of January 30, 2017)
  We have seen only a draft of this Executive Order, which has not yet been signed. It
would most immediately affect immigrants with sponsors. The current federal welfare
law allows the government to charge affidavit of support sponsors for the cost of
certain benefits received by the sponsored immigrant.The Executive Order would direct the
federal government to start enforcing the law by seeking to collect the cost of certain
benefits from sponsors.
  The Executive Order would also direct the issuance of new rules after a period of notice
and comment. This means that the new rules would not go into effect immediately, and
we would have time to prepare a response and advice for our clients to follow. These
new rules would be about who is considered a "public charge" - under what
circumstances someone who receives government benefits is at risk of removal or being
denied admission to the U.S. The new rules would also redefine the list of which
federally-funded benefits could put someone at risk of removal or being denied
admission.


DRAFT Order Concerning Foreign Workers (not yet signed, as of January 30, 2017)
-Revise parole policies, and probably eliminate the ability to adjust one’s status to
  permanent resident after entry on parole, including after travel on advance parole.
-Make various changes to different foreign worker visa categories, including but not
  limited to:
  o Limiting the ability to adjust one’s status.
  o Changing to a merit-based system.
  o Protecting U.S. workers from being disadvantaged by foreign workers.
  o Making the H2A agricultural worker program more efficient.
-Expand the use of E-Verify.
-Investigate any injury caused to any U.S. worker by any foreign worker.
-Report on the number of work permits issued to foreign-born persons, and on the
  number of foreign-born persons authorized to work in the U.S.

Other

Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
-President Trump has not said whether he will or will not continue designating countries
  that have Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
-Termination of TPS designations would require 60-days’ notice.
-The following countries currently have TPS: El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras,
  Liberia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen

Non-Citizens with Criminal Convictions
-You should contact a reputable attorney or legal services provider for advice if you have
  a criminal conviction(s).
-If you are in criminal proceedings now or in the future, you should inform your attorney
  that you are a non-citizen and concerned about the immigration consequences of a
  criminal conviction or charge.


You Have Rights
-Right to Remain Silent: do not speak to immigration agents or to the police, and do not
  sign anything, without first talking to an attorney.
  o Do nothing more than give your name and address.
  o Do not give your country of birth or country of citizenship/nationality.
  o Do not lie or give incorrect information.
  o Say only “I won’t answer any more questions until I have an attorney.” Then
     stay silent!
-Do not open your door and do not let the police come in unless they have a criminal
  arrest or search warrant. Have the person of who the warrant is about come out and close the door behind them.
-City agencies are not supposed to ask about your immigration status, unless it’s
  necessary to see if you qualify for certain benefits.
-Police are not supposed to ask about your immigration status, unless it is relevant to
  their investigation.
-Call your consulate if you are arrested.
-Do not carry your home-country passport or consular card as identification, if you have
  other photo identification


Plan Ahead
-Make an emergency plan in case of detention and deportation:
  o Appoint someone to take care of your children.
  o Leave copies of your identity documents (passport, birth certificate, etc.) with
     someone you trust

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