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The State of Immigration Justice

Advocates Mobilize to Defend Immigrants as Enforcement Ramps Up

In 2015, Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign by linking Mexican immigrants to drugs, crime, and rape.Janell Ross, “From Mexican Rapists to Bad Hombres, the Trump Campaign in Two Moments,” Washington Post, October 20, 2016. Two years later, the Trump administration has been ramping up immigration enforcement and expanding the immigration detention system, which already subjects record numbers of noncitizens, including children, to prolonged periods in custody. 

The immigration enforcement and detention system has rarely received more public attention than it did in 2017. Although the news from 2017 was overwhelmingly unfavorable for immigrants in America, immigrants and their advocates did post some wins. 

Top Things to Know

  1. Continued legal battle over Trump’s travel ban brings uncertainty and anxiety.
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  2. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program remains in limbo.
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  3. State and local governments provide representation for immigrants.
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  4. States take their own steps for—and against—immigrants.
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  5. Courts protect against White House targeting of sanctuary cities.
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  1. Challenges to mandatory and prolonged detention work their way through the courts.
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  2. Trump administration expands definition of immigration enforcement priorities.
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  3. Trump administration seeks to increase reach of expedited deportations.
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Facts and Figures

On Our Radar

  • More than 300,000 immigrants with legal status face its expiration.
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  • Do immigrant children have a right to appointed counsel?
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  • Advocates are working to reform the immigration bond system.
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  • States and localities are fighting back against draconian immigration policies.
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Discussion

Contributors

Vera Staff

External Reviewers

  • Ahilan Arulanantham
  • Avideh Moussavian
  • Jose Antonio Vargas