Mayors warn Trump on immigration policy

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel delivered a letter (PDF) to US president-elect Donald Trump Dec. 7 signed by several US mayors warning of the potential economic losses Trump could cause if he repeals Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA allows undocumented young immigrants to remain in the US if they arrived before they turned 16 and are currently working, pursuing higher education or serving in the military. The letter, which was signed by the mayors of New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco among others, warned that repealing DACA could result in a loss of $9.9 billion in tax revenue over four years and $433.4 billion in US gross domestic product over 10 years. Emanuel wrote:

Ensuring DREAMers can continue to live and work in their communities without fear of deportation is the foundation of sound, responsible immigration policy. Ending DACA would disrupt the lives of close to one million young people, and it would disrupt the sectors of the American economy, as well as our national security and public safety, to which they contribute. We encourage your Administration to demonstrate your commitment to the American economy and our security by continuing DACA until Congress modernizes our immigration system and provides a more permanent form of relief for these individuals.

US immigration law and immigrants' rights has been hotly contested in the aftermath of Obama's 2014 executive action instating DACA. In December 2014, 17 states filed suit against the president for his executive action, asserting that the order was an attempt to re-write law, a power designated solely for Congress. Later that month a district court ruked parts of the executive order unconstitutional based on a finding of a violation of separation of powers and the Take Care Clause of the constitution. Last week the US House of Representatives passed  a funding bill that contained amendments that would block the executive order, and remove funding from the president's DACA program.

From Jurist, Dec. 8. Used with permission.

Note: DACA was first instated—to Republican protest—in a June 2012 executive order, and expanded in November 2014 to include undocumented immigrants who entered the country before 2010. Trump has pledged to overturn the policy immediately upon taking office. The related Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), instated by executive order in November 2014, has been held up by the Supreme Court since June 2016. The justice split 4-4 in a case brought by Republicans challenging Obama's authority in the matter. (NYT, June 23, 2016)

ICE detains man covered by DACA

US immigration agents have detained a 23-year-old Mexican man who was brought to the United States without papers as a child and given a work permit during the Obama administration, according to a lawsuit challenging the detention in Seattle federal court. The man's lawyers say this could be the first time under  Trump that a person covered by Obama's DACA program has been taken into immigration custody. ICE says the man, Daniel Ramirez Medina, was detained "based on his admitted gang affiliation and risk to public safety.." His lawyers deny any such admission or affiliation. (Reuters)

This is grim vindication for those who warned that DACA was luring young undocumented immigrants into a trap, setting them up for deportation should the Republicans get in

Trump's first DREAMer deportation

Manuel Montes, 23, who has lived in the US since age 9, and was granted deportation protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), was detained by ICE agents in Calexico, Calif., Feb. 17. Montes had left his wallet in a friend's car, so he couldn't produce his ID or proof of his DACA status and was told by agents he couldn't retrieve them. Within three hours, he was back in Mexico, becoming the first immigrant with active DACA status deported by the Trump administration. (USA Today, April 18)