Archive for June, 2017

FAQ on Executive Order

Posted on 21. Jun, 2017 by .

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Frequently Asked Questions on Executive Order 13780 Related to Refugee Resettlement and Travel Ban

What is the current impact of the Maryland and the Hawaii federal court cases on the refugee resettlement Executive Order (EO) 13780?
The Executive Order (EO) 13780 continues to be partially halted by preliminary injunctions in these two federal court cases.
  • Hawaii: The Hawaii federal district court issued a preliminary injunction halting the national implementation of EO 13780 Sections 2 and 6, (the sections about the 90-day travel ban against six Muslim-majority countries, and about the 120-day halt to refugee admissions, the reduction of refugee admissions to 50,000 for the year, and the consideration of state involvement in refugee resettlement). The Administration appealed the Hawaii case to the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (9th Circuit). On June 12th, the 9th Circuit issued an opinion partially affirming the preliminary injunction. As a result, the nationwide injunction still applies Section 2(c), Section 6(a), and Section 6(b), dealing with the 90-day travel ban, the 120-day halt to refugee admissions, and the reduction of refugee admissions, respectively. The 9th Circuit allowed certain provisions of the Executive Order to be implemented, namely Section 6(d) which calls for the Secretary of State to review the existing law to see how state and local jurisdictions can have greater involvement in determining refugee placement.
  • Maryland: The Maryland federal district court issued a preliminary injunction halting the implementation nationwide of EO 13780 Section 2(c), that is, only the section regarding the 90-day travel ban against six Muslim-majority countries. The Administration appealed the Maryland case to the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (4th Circuit). The 4th Circuit handed down a decision on May 25th to uphold the validity of the preliminary injunction of the Maryland federal court halting Section 2(c) of EO 13780.
What are the next steps in these Maryland and Hawaii federal legal cases?
On June 1, 2017, the Administration appealed the 4th Circuit decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Administration asked the Supreme Court to stay the preliminary injunction pending appeal. Although the Supreme Court has not yet decided to take the case, petitioners IRAP and HIAS filed their response to the appeal and stay on June 12th. The U.S. Supreme Court could decide sometime after the June 12th response whether to hear the case and grant the requested stay pending the appeal. If the Administration seeks to appeal the 9th Circuit decision – which is anticipated – it is highly possible that the Supreme Court will hear both the 4th Circuit and 9th Circuit appeals together, since they relate to the same Executive Order.
What issues are the courts reviewing?
Whether the cases are heard separately or not, the underlying facts and questions for both cases tie them together. These threshold questions include whether the Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on their claims that:
  • The President did not properly invoke his delegated power under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to restrict entry of individuals and refugees. He failed to include proper findings that support the conclusion that entry of individuals from the six countries, entry of refugees for 120 days, and entry of refugees over the 50,000 cap would be harmful to the national interest.
  • There was an improper motivation in issuing the EO that violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. An interrelated issue concerns the extent of the Administration’s power when it comes to national security matters.
  • The President cannot lower the Presidential Determination (PD) in the middle of the year, per 8 U.S.C. § 1157. The law requires the President to set the PD before the start of each fiscal year, in consultation with Congress. It provides a manner in which to increase this number mid-year but not to lower the number. (This claim is only relevant to review of Section 6 in the 9th Circuit case).
What are the potential outcomes of these cases?
  • If the Supreme Court continues to find the preliminary injunction(s) proper and it continues to halt EO 13780, it will likely send the case back to the federal district court(s) for final rulings about the legality and/or constitutionality of EO 13780. Refugees would continue to arrive, pending the final decision.
  • If the Supreme Court finds the preliminary injunction(s) improper and stays the injunction(s) and EO 13780 is allowed to be implemented in whole or part, it will likely send the case back to the federal court(s). Refugees will cease to arrive, during the implementation of the pause called for in the EO and pending the final rulings.
What could be the impact of these court cases on U.S. refugee admissions for FY2017 and FY2018?
  • If the EO continues to be halted by the Hawaii preliminary injunction, refugee arrivals in FY2017 are expected to reach an estimated 70,000 by the end of the year. There is funding for 75,000-85,000 refugees authorized by Congress in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017.
  • If the preliminary injunction is stayed and the EO is implemented in June and completed by the end of September 2017, the refugee arrivals for FY2017 are likely to be approximately whatever the totals are by that time (as of 5/18 they were 44,781) plus possibly some three weeks of refugee arrivals plus most vulnerable arrivals allowed during the 120-day review period. In other words, they are likely to be right around 50,000 refugees for FY2017. That total would be adjusted up or down depending on the EO restart date.
What could be the impact of these court cases on the Presidential Determination for FY2017 and FY2018?
Ordinarily, the President has great power over the annual Presidential Determination (PD) of the number of refugee admissions for a given year. However, for FY2017, the decision by the 9th Circuit has raised questions as to whether the President has the power to unilaterally decrease the PD mid-year. Some Administration officials have been saying for some time that EO 13780 is not meant to undermine resettlement itself, but to make sure it is done safely. If this is indeed the Administration’s view, then after the EO has run its course-either by being reinstated in FY2017 or by being found improper–a PD of 75,000 for FY2018 would be a good way to illustrate that there is no animus toward refugees.

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Holy See denounces detention of migrant children

Posted on 21. Jun, 2017 by .

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(Vatican Radio)  The Holy See has called on the international community to protect the rights of unaccompanied migrant children and condemned their detention as a “grave error”.REUTERS2095029_Articolo

The Vatican’s Permanent Observer to the UN in Geneva, Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič, made the remarks to the Human Rights Council panel discussion on the rights of unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents.

“The grave error of the detention model is that it considers the children as sole, isolated subjects responsible for the situations in which they find themselves and over which they have little, if any, control. This model wrongly absolves the international community at large from responsibilities that it regularly fails to fulfill,” Archbishop Jurkovič said.

He also appealed on behalf of the Holy See for the international community “to protect the dignity and fundamental rights of every person and to implement, without reserve, humanitarian law, principles and policies in response to people on the move, especially unaccompanied children: they must be considered children first and foremost, and their best interest must be a primary consideration in all actions concerning them.”

Archbishop Jurkovič went on to denounce the detention of migrant children.

“Children should not be criminalized or subject to punitive measures because of their own migration status or that of their parents. The practice of detaining migrant children should not be an option, and the best interests of the child should always prevail.”

Rather, he said, “The possibility of authentic integral human development should be guaranteed for all children.”

Read the full statement here

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Central American youth can prosper at home, with support here

Posted on 21. Jun, 2017 by .

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On June 14-16, leaders from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and the United States are meeting in Miami to discuss the Alliance for Prosperity, a plan designed to help create security and prosperity in a region with violence rates as high as active war zones.

This violence has forced thousands of parents to send their children “north” to the U.S. Like the “Pedro Pan” children of the 1960s, many of these children have arrived here as “unaccompanied minors.”

read more here

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Recordings: Faith Community Response to an Unfaithful Budget

Posted on 21. Jun, 2017 by .

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For those who may have missed last week’s webinar from Interfaith Immigration Coalition(IIC) entitled “Faith Community Response to an Unfaithful Budget”, Franciscan Action Network is offering the links to the recording and presentation slides below.

Please be aware, there are two recordings for the audio and video portions of the webinar.

Faith Community Response to an Unfaithful Budget: Recording 1, Recording 2, andPowerpoint Presentation

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Hispanic, Black Theologians Meet to Address Incarceration, Deportation

Posted on 21. Jun, 2017 by .

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Taken from National Catholic Reporter –

United in their concern about policies of detention and incarceration that disproportionately affect their communities, Hispanic and black theologians gathered for a rare joint meeting June 4-7 in Albuquerque. More than 80 scholars met to respond to the biblical call to “Set the Captives Free,” the colloquium’s theme.ACHTUS BCTS table_770p

“As theologians we can shine light on this issue for our larger church,” said C. Vanessa White, a member of the board of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium… “This is the body of Christ: The body of Christ is incarcerated; the body of Christ is detained.”

The meeting combined members of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium with those from the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States…
The four-day colloquium, which preceded the Catholic Theological Society of America convention in Albuquerque, featured speakers in Spanish and English, a viewing of the documentary “13th” about race and mass incarceration in the United States, and a panel of ex-offenders from re-entry programs in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

ACHTUS BCTS_770pSpeakers criticized as immoral “the emergence of the prison-industrial complex and the immigration complex” in which powerful, well-connected individuals “have benefitted tremendously from locking up people of color, particularly African Americans and Latinos, but increasingly Arabs and Muslims,” according to Rogelio Sáenz, dean of the College of Public Policy at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Dávila noted that incarceration, detention and deportation all “stem from the urge of Western and U.S. society to contain black and brown bodies.”… In communities of color, mass incarceration and deportation are “decimating our population,” she said…

Black Catholic Theological Symposium members carried the message to the wider theological community, with a session on “To Set the Captives Free” at the Catholic Theological Society of America convention.

read more here

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