Over sixty OTOC and community leaders met at Urban Abbey on February 15 to learn about three of the latest Executive Orders that are aimed at changing the immigration and refugee landscape. This Issues Cafe was lead by the OTOC Immigration and Refugee action team, and featured speakers Shane Ellison, Chief Counsel at Justice for Our Neighbors, and Amelia Rosser from Refugee Empowerment Center.
Ellison provided a thorough but understandable overview of the profound changes in policy that these executive orders embody. OTOC leaders identified a number of next steps which people can take to stand with Immigrants and Refugees. Click below to see those actions:
Join OTOC on Monday, January 20 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at 62nd and Dodge for a Light the Way Vigil for Refugees and Immigrants. OTOC will prayerfully demonstrate that we want fair policies, based on fact not fear.
Here is a brief explanation of what we learned. We encourage you to follow THIS LINK to a more thorough summary of the changes brought about by the Executive Orders. Below is a short overview:
- Enhancing Public Safety in The Interior Of The United States
- The executive order does not and cannot change the grounds of deportation. People who have status may only be deported if they are removable under our current immigration laws and ineligible for relief from removal.
- New Enforcement Priorities include: Those who are removable AND those who have violated a list of wide ranging crimes.
(See pdf link)
- Revives the constitutionally-suspect Secure Communities program.
- Seeks to compel states and localities to enforce federal immigration laws.
- Directs DHS to hire an additional 10,000 ICE officers.
- Seeks to punish sanctuary jurisdictions.
- Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements
- Directs DHS to allocate funds for construction of a wall on the southern border.
- Directs DHS to immediately construct detention facilities near the southern border to accommodate increased number of immigrant detainees in custody.
- Announces policy to detain those suspected of violating immigration law and expeditiously process claims for relief. Ends practice of paroling in asylum seekers.
- Expands application of “expedited removal” procedure throughout the country to individuals who have not been admitted or paroled into the US who cannot prove to DHS that they have been continuously present for at least two years.
- Protecting The Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States:
- Suspends refugee admissions for at least 120 days, and prioritizes protection for religious minorities moving forward.
- Reduces the number of refugees to be admitted in FY 2017 from 110,000 to 50,000.
- Bans Syrian refugees indefinitely.
- Bans immigrant and non-immigrant entries for at least 90 days for nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
- Suspends the Visa Interview Waiver Program.