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Early Arrival: Trump’s Anti-Immigration Message Resonates With His Base

Wednesday's Edition of Early Arrival: New Yorkers Largely Reject Trump’s Immigration Rhetoric — Immigration Board Rejects Journalist’s Appeal — Trump Administration Presses Supreme Court to Review DACA Decisions

Mazin Sidahmed

Nov 07, 2018

Rally in Brooklyn protesting the government's zero tolerance policy.

Yemeni-Americans living in New York did not have a history of political activism — before Trump, that is.

Law@TheMargins reports that Yemenis in New York City were galvanized get involved in politics thanks to the administration’s travel ban and anti-immigrant policies.

Groups like the Yemeni American Merchants Association have sprung up, though they’ve started to broaden their focus from business matters to political engagement. Notions from home that repress political engagement have also started to fade. Law@TheMargins

Good morning. Mazin Sidahmed here – I’ll be guiding you through the latest in local and national immigration news and analysis. If you have feedback, suggestions, tips or leads, reach out at mazin.sidahmed@documentedny.com.

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Special Edition: No Blue Wave as Trump’s Anti-Immigration Message Resonates With His Base

The election that was dubbed a referendum on the president and his policies, especially on immigration, has largely ended in split decision as the nation did not offer the stinging rebuke of Trump that Democrats had hoped for.

For the final weeks of the midterms, the president crisscrossed the country promoting a dark anti-immigrant message in hopes of defending a Republican majority. “If you want more crime and more caravans, vote Democrat,” he told his supporters at a rally over the weekend. He characterized the migrant caravan of around 5,000 people seeking asylum in the U.S. as an invasion and a threat to national security. He theatrically sent roughly 7,000 troops to the border — a move that could cost taxpayers $42 – $110 million, according to one study — to underline this message.

The president unleashed one of the most controversial campaign ads in election history, which even Fox News said was too offensive to run. Facebook and CNN also declined to run the ad, which featured an undocumented immigrant who was convicted of killing a police officer. NBC News pulled the ad after taking heat for running it during Sunday night football.

In the Senate, Trump’s hate-filled focus on immigration worked. Republicans maintained their majority and made strategic gains in North Dakota and Missouri, while beating off challengers in Texas and Tennessee. In the House, less so. Democrats secured a comfortable majority and — bar notable exceptions such as Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) — House Republicans who adopted Trump’s anti-immigration message found less joy.

There were minor victories for pro-immigration candidates on Tuesday as Republican Kris Kobach, a candidate with a long history of anti-immigration sentiments, failed to become Kansas governor. Two Muslim women — Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar — with immigrant backgrounds arrived in the House of Representatives.  

Still, this means very little for immigration legislation, as most of Trump’s most radical immigration decisions have come through executive order or his cabinet, not the Republican congressional majority.In other news, at the southern border, a “crowd control” exercise planned by Border Patrol was abruptly cancelled after facing accusations that it was a political stunt that may suppress voter turnout.


Democratic Win Sets Stage For Immigration Bills

For the first time in a decade, Democrats control all levels of government in New York state. With a victory in state senate, they are now poised to pass a number of key pieces of immigration legislation. However, a number of pressure groups will also want their priorities heard under the new progressive regime. Will immigration take a backseat?

Read more about what this election means for immigration at all levels of government at Documented.

How Turnout Drives Likely Drove Democratic Senate Wins

Get out the vote campaigns will likely prove responsible for Democrats’ big win on Tuesday. Documented profiled two key races before yesterday’s election focused on galvanizing voter turnout. In Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge area, Democrat Andrew Gounardes beat longtime Republican incumbent Marty Golden after a strong push to get Arab voters, a largely dormant voting population, out to the polls. Read more here. On Long Island, Democrat Jim Gaughran beat another longtime Republican incumbent Carl Marcellino. His supporters focused on getting Latino voters out to the polls. Read more here.

New Yorkers Largely Reject Trump’s Immigration Rhetoric

The blue wave may have not have completely gripped the nation, but Democrats had a lot to be happy about in New York. Incumbent Republicans were defeated in some crucial House races, including Dan Donovan’s loss to Max Rose and Claudia Tenney’s fall to Anthony Brindisi. Both Donovan and Tenney leaned heavily on their ties to Trump, as the president had carried their districts in 2016, and adopted staunchly anti-immigrant messages with attack ads that demonized immigrants. The strategy did not pay off. Read more at Documented


Immigration Board Rejects Journalist’s Appeal

The Board of Immigration Appeals has rejected the appeal of Spanish-speaking reporter Manuel Duran, who was arrested by ICE while covering a protest in Memphis earlier this year. He has been detained for 217 days since then. His arrest has drawn condemnation from the National Association of HIspanic Journalists, the American Society of News Editors and PEN America. The failure of his appeal means that he could face deportation to his native El Salvador in mid-November, though he is appealing the decision to the 11th circuit appeals court. Commercial Appeal

Cuban Man Dies in Immigration Detention

Wilfredo Padron, a 58-year old Cuban man, reportedly died in immigration detention in Florida last week. His death makes him the 10th person to reportedly die in immigration detention. ICE officials said they were still investigating the situation, but they believe the death was a result of cardiac issues. Pardon, who was held in Monroe County Detention Center in Key West, Florida, was a “Marielito” who was allowed to leave Cuba on the Mariel boat in 1980. ICE has come under intense scrutiny for the quality of healthcare it provides detainees. VOA

Migrant Caravan Sets Up Makeshift Camp in Mexico City

The migrant caravan that has captured America’s attention continues to proceed north through Mexico into the U.S. The group has split up into smaller groups and some of them have reached Mexico City, where they have setup makeshift tents at the Jesus Martinez football stadium. The people travelling in the group are reportedly mostly families with small children. Not all the migrants were travelling on foot, as some had opted to hitchhike on box trucks, tractor trailers or flatbed trucks. While faster, the travellers are often packed in by the hundreds, which can lead to many health risks. Associated Press, The Washington Post

Some Hispanics With Jewish Roots Pursue an Exit Strategy: Emigrate to Spain, The New York Times

1 Border Town’s View of US Troops and Caravan, VOA

Washington — Trump Administration Presses Supreme Court to Review DACA Decisions

A San Francisco based-judge ordered the Trump administration to reinstate the program and begin processing applications again.

The DOJ is now asking the Supreme Court to weigh in on all three of those federal cases and uphold the president’s order. Politico

The Trump administration is also set to implement a new asylum policy that will bar people from claiming asylum if they enter between ports of entry. The policy has reportedly been led by the DOJ and is in response to the migrant caravan. It mirrors another plan from last year that would’ve blocked people claiming asylum if they were subject to the travel ban. VoxThe Pentagon was not happy about Trump’s decision to use military bases to detain immigrants at the border, Reuters reports. The military reportedly declined plans by the Department of Homeland Security to build detention centers for immigrants and ensured that their role was limited to providing support to border patrol. Reuters

Mazin Sidahmed

Mazin Sidahmed is the co-executive director of Documented. He previously worked for the Guardian US in New York. He started his career writing for The Daily Star in Beirut and he also contributed to Politico New York.




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