Tag Archives: Trump’s temporary immigration ban

Montvale, New Jersey will not be a sanctuary city, mayor vows

michael-ghassali

Mayor Michael Ghassali

Laws and legal immigration still mean something to some politicians.

From NorthJersey.com: As a Syrian immigrant whose family fled Aleppo in 1980, weeks before hundreds of civilians were killed in a brutal siege, Michael Ghassali knows well the horrors facing today’s refugees.

But as the mayor of Montvale, Ghassali said, his allegiance is to the laws of his adopted country – even those he may personally disagree with. That is why Ghassali has vowed that under his administration, Montvale will not be a sanctuary city.

“I will not be signing any executive orders that will ask our employees to defy federal laws. A mayor should not be advocating the defiance of federal laws,” Ghassali announced in a Facebook post last week that has elicited both praise and condemnation.

The statement was in response to pressure from various advocacy groups that Ghassali said have approached him to declare the borough a safe haven for undocumented immigrants illegal aliens.

President Donald Trump issued an executive order last month suspending travel to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries and indefinitely barring Syrian refugees from coming into the country. The order has been blocked by an appeals court, and Trump has said he will issue a revised order. But it sparked protests across the country, and local politicians have taken a public position either supporting it or opposing it.

Trump also has called for a crackdown on illegal immigration. On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security issued a sweeping set of orders that authorize all agents to enforce the nation’s immigration laws more forcefully, instructing them to identify, apprehend and quickly deport every undocumented immigrant they encounter.

Several North Jersey towns have either approved or are considering resolutions to become sanctuary cities, a term that generally means local police would limit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement officers.

Prospect Park Mayor Mohamed Khairullah, who is also a Syrian-born immigrant, issued an executive order in January declaring the borough a sanctuary city. “As an immigrant from a country ruled by a dictator, it is important to me that our commander in chief upholds the U.S. Constitution as the law of the land,” Khairullah said last month.

Ghassali recalled in an interview this week his experience entering the country at 15 years old and the hurdles his family faced.

In Syria, his father was a tailor, working hard for a middle-class life for his family of four children. Ghassali remembers always feeling safe in Aleppo, even at night. Nevertheless, the Islamist uprising, revolts against the secular government led mostly by the Muslim Brotherhood, had been brewing in the country since 1976.

“My father was wise enough to know what was going on. He told us, ‘At some point, this will not be a safe place to live.’ And he decided that we should leave,” Ghassali said.

In 1980, members of Ghassali’s family boarded a flight with green cards in hand and headed to New York City, where they had family from his father’s side waiting for their arrival. They settled in Dumont. Ghassali said he became a citizen in 1987.

“I know firsthand the vetting system is intense – it’s always been that way. I don’t know how much more intense it could get,” said Ghassali, a Republican who ran for mayor as an independent.

“I wish the administration spent more time analyzing the current process before issuing such an executive order,” said Ghassali. “They should spend the time to look at the current process before causing havoc among the refugees.”

Ghassali said he has family members who are refugees or have been killed in the war in Syria. “My whole network is either a refugee or has a family or friend who is a refugee. I feel it. It is very personal,” Ghassali said. But, he said, “I have to remove emotions out of this if I want to do my job.”

A close friend of Ghassali’s who attends the same Syriac Orthodox church in Teaneck has been in the country illegally for 15 years, he said. Ghassali said that declaring Montvale a sanctuary city would not change the reality of his friend’s situation. “He’s been scared for 15 years,” Ghassali said. “That doesn’t change when a mayor signs an executive order.”

Ghassali said he hoped his stance was not misconstrued as being against diversity. About one-fifth of Montvale’s approximately 8,000 residents are foreign-born, according to 2015 census. Twenty-two languages are spoken at home, Ghassali said.

Ghassali is married to an Iraqi immigrant. On his block alone, he said, his neighbors hail from India, Pakistan and parts of South America. “Montvale is not against refugees, against immigrants, against diversity,” he said. “We are as diverse as they come.”

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Mexico fumes over Trump immigration rules as U.S. talks loom

i-dont-care

Cállate.

From Yahoo: Senior envoys of President Donald Trump are likely to receive a chilly reception in Mexico on Wednesday, after the United States issued new immigration guidelines that deeply angered the southern neighbor the day before bilateral talks.

Trump’s administration on Tuesday unveiled plans to consider almost all illegal immigrants subject to deportation, and will seek to send many of them to Mexico if they entered the United States from there, regardless of their nationality.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly are due to arrive in Mexico on Wednesday afternoon for talks on security and immigration.

Mexico’s lead negotiator with the Trump administration, Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, said there was no way Mexico would accept the new “unilateral” rules, which among other things seek to deport non-Mexicans to Mexico.

He said the issue would dominate the talks, taking place on Wednesday and Thursday. “I want to say clearly and emphatically that the government of Mexico and the Mexican people do not have to accept provisions that one government unilaterally wants to impose on the other,” he told reporters at the foreign ministry.

“We will not accept it, because there’s no reason why we should, and because it is not in the interests of Mexico.” Another senior Mexican official, Roberto Campa, who heads the human rights department of the interior ministry, said Videgaray was referring to the plan to deport non-Mexicans to Mexico, calling it “hostile” and “unacceptable.”

The Department of Homeland Security guidance to immigration agents is part of a broader border security and immigration enforcement plan in executive orders that Republican Trump signed on Jan. 25.

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New Jersey Democrats push measures to protect illegal immigrants, vow to defy Trump

wisniewskiFrom Fox News: Sanctuary city advocates in one state with a Trump friendly Republican governor are digging in their heels in the face of President Trump’s threat to cut off federal funding.

Democratic lawmakers in New Jersey introduced bills this week calling on the state to reimburse so-called sanctuary cities that lose federal funding. And on Wednesday, Assemblyman John Wisniewski* introduced legislation designating New Jersey a “sanctuary state,” generally preventing law enforcement officers from initiating contact with immigration officials, and from using state resources for the purpose of enforcing immigration laws. *Wisniewski’s education includes a J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law.

In addition, several towns that have significant immigrant populations have declared themselves sanctuaries, saying they will not reach out to immigration officials about illegal immigrants they arrest or provide a service to unless they are serious criminals or a national security threat.

“We are putting President Trump and his administration on notice,” said Wisniewski in written public announcement about his legislation. “New Jersey will not be a ‘willing partner’ to the unjustified and inhumane deportations of our neighbors and friends.” New York and California also have moved toward declaring their states sanctuaries for illegal immigrants.

Trump, who made cracking down on illegal immigration a cornerstone of his campaign, has issued executive orders and directives aimed at border security and tracking down and deporting undocumented people illegal aliens.

He directed the Department of Homeland Security to identify and publish a list of sanctuary communities. Although no strict definition of the term exists, it is generally used to describe communities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

The New Jersey measures have little chance of passing, given GOP resistance and Gov. Chris Christie’s veto threat, said Ross Baker, a Rutgers University professor of political science. “It’s more of a gesture to the immigrant community,” Baker told Fox News. “It’s a message to them that they would be protected against hypothetical actions by the federal government.”

In Maplewood, Mayor Victor DeLuca consulted with police administrators before crafting a sanctuary ordinance that became final at the end of January. DeLuca said police officials said they did not want the responsibility of enforcing federal immigration laws. “The police said ‘We don’t do it now,’” DeLuca told Fox News, “and there was a feeling on our part that wanted to make clear that there are distinctions between the role of the police department and the role of immigration officials.”

New Jersey has more than 500,000 illegal immigrants, according to estimates.

Republicans in the state legislature say they will not support sanctuary towns in any way. Christie, a Republican, says he will veto any legislation that would favor sanctuary cities.

Proponents of strict immigration enforcement say sanctuary communities are violating the law. “To have lawmakers in Trenton say ‘O.K., we’ll show the president, if they withhold funding, we’ll pay,’ is violating federal law,” said Ron Bass, founder of United Patriots of America, a New Jersey-based group that pushes for strict enforcement. “It’s like the state saying to sanctuary cities ‘You rob the bank, I’ll drive the [getaway] car.’”

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King County seeks to allocate $750,000 to help immigrants

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King County Executive Dow Constantine: “We have this much taxpayer money for illegals!”

Only in America: Illegally enter our country and the proggies will use taxpayer dollars to defend your “human rights.” Ain’t it grand?

From the Seattle Times: King County may allocate $750,000 to help immigrants become U.S. citizens and to educate them about their rights.

County Executive Dow Constantine plans to propose legislation to make the money available. Metropolitan King County Council Chair Joe McDermott plans to sponsor it.  They held a news conference Wednesday, but the legislation wasn’t yet available.

The money would be used for three purposes, according to Constantine and McDermott: to provide free guidance to immigrants seeking to become citizens, to develop and distribute “know your rights” materials and to boost outreach and education work carried out by community organizations that serve immigrants.

Constantine and McDermott say the legislation would create a “legal defense fund,” because it would pay for naturalization assistance. But that may be a stretch. Some other local governments, such as Los Angeles, are spending money to actually provide people facing deportation with immigration-court lawyers.

That doesn’t appear to be what Constantine has in mind, though McDermott said some of King County’s money would likely go to the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, which provides immigration-court representation, among other services.

Constantine linked the plan to President Donald Trump’s recent actions on immigration. “People in our community are afraid — afraid for their human rights, their families, and their safety,” he said in a statement. “Our message to the White House, the country, and the rest of the world is clear: We proudly uphold the fundamental American promise that we are — and will be — a nation of hope, freedom, and opportunity for all.

In an interview, McDermott said he views the legislation not only as a response to Trump’s actions but also as an investment in the people of the county. “Almost one-fourth of our residents are foreign-born,” he said.

Seattle is spending $250,000 to help immigrants and refugees navigate life under the Trump administration, with a focus on children in the city’s public schools. Mayor Ed Murray announced the allocation in November, details of his plan were still being hammered out last month. The City Council adopted a resolution last month that says the city will work to create a legal-defense fund.

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Over 680 arrested in U.S. immigration raids -homeland security secretary: 75% had a criminal background

maga

From MSN: U.S. immigration officers have arrested more than 680 people in recent operations, 75 percent of whom have criminal records, the homeland security chief said on Monday of actions that have alarmed immigrant rights groups.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said the operations were routine and consistent with regular operations carried out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

Immigration rights advocates say agents are deporting migrants indiscriminately and that the operations, which they describe as raids, do not take into account an immigrant’s threat level or family ties to the United States (obviously the advocates did not take into account the criminal records of these illegal aliens) .

Kelly said in a statement that crimes committed by the illegal immigrants ranged from homicide to driving under the influence of alcohol.

Some of the immigrants arrested had ignored final orders of deportation, according to ICE, the agency responsible for immigrant arrests and deportations. The agency did not specify its reasoning for a handful of immigrants other than that they were in the country illegally.

Former Democratic President Barack Obama was criticized for being the “deporter in chief” after he deported over 400,000 people in 2012, more than any president in a single year. In 2014, Obama’s homeland security chief issued a memo directing agents to focus on deporting a narrow slice of immigrants, namely those who had recently entered the country or committed serious felonies. Immigrants who were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, for example, were treated as lower priorities for deportation.

President Donald Trump promised to deport 2 million to 3 million migrants with criminal records on taking office.

At a news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday, Trump said his administration had “really done a great job” in its recent arrests of immigrants. “We’re actually taking people that are criminals, very, very, hardened criminals in some cases with a tremendous track record of abuse and problems,” Trump said.

ICE said in a statement on Monday that the operations targeted immigrants in the Midwest, Los Angeles, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and San Antonio.

Not every immigrant arrested had a criminal record or prior order to leave the country, according to the data released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In Los Angeles, for example, 151 out of the 161 immigrants arrested had criminal records, but the agency did not give a reason for the arrests of the 10 migrants with no criminal record.

The immigrants’ arrests followed Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order temporarily banning people from seven predominantly Muslim countries and all refugees from entering the United States. That order was suspended by a U.S. district judge, in a ruling upheld by a federal appeals court.

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Trump says additional immigration security steps will come ‘rapidly’

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Yes please.

From NY Post: President Trump said Friday he had “no doubt” that he would ultimately win the federal court case over his stalled executive order that would temporarily ban all refugees as well as immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Asked how he planned to fight an appellate court decision that kept in place a Seattle judge’s restraining order blocking the ban, the president offered a confident vision but was vague on details.

We are going to keep our country safe. We are going to do whatever is necessary to keep our country safe. We had a [court] decision [and] we think [we] will be very successful with and shouldn’t have taken this much time because safety is a primary reason,” Trump said.

We’ll be doing something very rapidly having to do with additional security for our country. You’ll be seeing that sometime next week. In addition, we will continue to go through the court process, and I have no doubt we’ll win that particular case.”

Trump also alluded to unspecified threats he had learned about in the three weeks of his presidency — and vowed to prevent any attacks on the US.

“While I’ve been president, which is just for a very short period of time, I have learned tremendous things that you could only learn, frankly, if you were in a certain position, namely president,” Trump said during an appearance in the East Wing of the White House with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.

There are tremendous threats to our country. We will not allow that to happen. I can tell you that right now. We will not allow that to happen. We’ll be going forward and continuing to do things to make our country safe. It will happen rapidly.”

The president also repeated that the US would not allow dangerous people into the country, but that others would be welcome. “We will not allow people into our country who are looking to do harm to our people. We will allow lots of people into our country that will love our people and do good for our country. It will remain that way during my administration.”

Trump and Abe were heading later Friday to Trump’s Palm Beach resort, Mar-a-Lago, for a weekend of meetings and golf.

DCG

Hollywood Agency Scraps Oscar Party In Favor of Refugee Rally

jeremy-zimmer

Jeremy Zimmer

Exactly how many refugees has Mr. Zimmer and his wealthy Hollyweird friends/clients let into their gated/guarded estates?

From Hollywood Reporter: United Talent Agency is scrapping its annual Oscar party in favor of hosting a rally at its L.A. office and donating to the American Civil Liberties Union, which has been on the frontlines of fighting the President’s executive order targeting travel from Muslim-majority countries. 

“This is a moment that demands our generosity, awareness and restlessness,” wrote UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer to staff. “Our world is a better place for the free exchange of artists, ideas and creative expression. If our nation ceases to be the place where artists the world over can come to express themselves freely, then we cease, in my opinion, to be America.”

The agency also said it would be donating $250,000 to the ACLU, the group that has seen a temporary victor in legally challenging Trump’s travel ban, as well as the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian organization.

“When fear and division get the better of a society, artists are among the first to feel the impact—and to denounce the ill winds,” Zimmer added.

Last year, UTA held its Oscar party at chairman Jim Berkus’ residence. A number of major studios and agencies hold galas and parties on the biggest awards night of the year, including CAA, WME-IMG, ICM Partners and The Weinstein Co.

It’s unclear whether UTA’s move will foreshadow any similar moves by other agencies. The same day that UTA announced the move, WME-IMG co-CEO Ari Emanuel sent a staffwide note stating that the agency plans to form a Political Action Committee and vowing to protect company diversity.

Los Angeles, like other major cities, has seen several major, peaceful protests aimed at President Trump since his election, including recent demonstrations at Los Angeles International Airport over the travel band.

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