Immigration in the US


Five days after President Trump took office, he signed an executive order that promised a swift, sharp crackdown on illegal immigration — immediate construction of a massive border wall, quick hiring of 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and stepped-up deportation of undocumented migrants.

“Beginning today, the United States of America gets back control of its borders,” Trump declared at the Jan. 25 ceremony at the Department of Homeland Security, which controls federal immigration agencies.

Seven months later, construction of the wall has yet to begin, the number of Border Patrol officers has actually dropped by 220, and immigration agents are on track to deport 10,000 fewer people this year than in President Obama’s last year in office, the latest figures show.


As I understand it the line about “immigration agents are on track to deport 10,000 fewer people this year than in President Obama’s last year in office” is a bit deceptive since a large number of these deportations happened when agents caught them during border crossings - and fewer people seem to be attempting to cross over in the first place ever since Trump’s new policies were installed.


We don’t have a Hurricane Harvey thread in P&R yet, and I cross-posted this in the Weather thread (Everything Else).

As thousands of Texans prepare to evacuate their cities due to Hurricane Harvey, the United States Border Patrol said it is not planning to close its roadside immigration checkpoints north of the Rio Grande Valley unless there is a danger to travelers or its agents.

“Border Patrol checkpoints will not be closed unless there is a danger to the safety of the traveling public and our agents. Border Patrol resources, including personnel and transportation, will be deployed on an as needed basis to augment the efforts and capabilities of local-response authorities,” the agency said in a statement.

The Mother 'Effin WEATHER Thread

Hopefully our FEMA director and NOAA head have been coordinating for just such an emergency, and everything will run smoothly.


On the FEMA side that would be the recent Trump appointee Brock Long, who appears to have some creds. Not sure about NOAA but I’m not really concerned about them.


George W. Bush’s legacy to all future administrations: one hurricane can wipe out more than just a city. It’ll also take down your presidency.


When Bush was president, way back in The Before Times, we had widely accepted expectations of competency for the President. The GOP base seems to have soundly rejected that notion.

I guess another big screw-up could drive his numbers down more, clarifying exactly how many die-hard tribalist trumpsters there are.


I tend to think it’s more of “Here’s an object lesson for why we have government in the first place.” People can all get into their Ron Swanson no government feels, or embrace their drain the swamp ethos…but when a disaster hits, I think they really still want – even demand – competency from the government. And I do not think that has changed.





Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently asked the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA), which instructs federal agencies on how to maintain records, to approve its timetable for retaining or destroying records related to its detention operations. This may seem like a run-of-the-mill government request for record-keeping efficiency. It isn’t. An entire paper trail for a system rife with human rights and constitutional abuses is at stake.

ICE has asked for permission to begin routinely destroying 11 kinds of records, including those related to sexual assaults, solitary confinement and even deaths of people in its custody. Other records subject to destruction include alternatives to detention programs; regular detention monitoring reports, logs about the people detained in ICE facilities and communications from the public reporting detention abuses. ICE proposed various timelines for the destruction of these records ranging from 20 years for sexual assault and death records to three years for reports about solitary confinement.


Now why the fuck would they want to do that. Save money on shelving?


Every US government agency has to have a records management strategy and policy that includes a Records Management Control Plan. This plan dictates how long different types of federal records are maintained. Pretty much everything typed into a government computer or generated by a federal worker/contractor while they are on the job is a “federal record”… from a note from Jack to Jill about lunch plans, to the order of battle in Afghanistan for 2017.

Certain documents are declared to have a longer “shelf-life” than others, based on that plan. Administrative documents admonishing people not to mess with the thermostat may be eligible for deletion after two or three years. A draft program plan for a software upgrade that never happened might be deleted after a decade. And of course there are documents that are recognized to be very important, so the RMCP bin that they are put in is labeled (and this is the actual term) “Retain for the life of the Republic.”

It does cost money and even facilities to keep these documents. It might be maintaining a redundant set of storage drives for those admin documents, maintaining (and occasionally re-writing) magnetic tapes for those delete-in-a-decade documents, and maintaining multiple electronic and physical copies of those important records in multiple geographically-disparate locations. It’s not a joke to say that maintaining the ever-increasing volume of federal records is a VERY expensive proposition, and agencies are starting to regret erring on the side of caution in the past.

All that said, deleting criminal complaints or records of detaining people after just 20 years sounds deeply fishy.


Thanks, TW! You taught me some things I didn’t know, and I appreciate it.


ACLU reddit AMA going on right now: We are the Director of Immigration Policy and Campaigns at the ACLU and an Undocumented Immigrant and LGBTQ activist – Ask Us Anything!



Raw Story: Judge temporarily blocks ‘sanctuary cities’ law

A federal district judge on Wednesday ruled against the state of Texas and halted a controversial state-based immigration enforcement law just days before it was scheduled to go into effect.

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia granted a preliminary injunction of Senate Bill 4, one of Gov. Greg Abbott’s key legislative priorities that seeks to outlaw “sanctuary” entities, the common term for governments that don’t enforce federal immigration laws.

The bill was scheduled to go into effect Sept. 1, but opponents of the legislation, including the cities of Houston, Austin, San Antonio and El Cenizo, as well as Maverick and El Paso counties and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, argued the bill violates several provisions of the Constitution. Garcia’s decision means the bill is on hold until that issue is decided; his court will now likely set another date to determine SB4’s constitutionality.

His decision is a temporary, but significant blow to Abbott and other Republican backers of the bill who said it would help keep Texans safe from undocumented immigrants that have been arrested on criminal charges but released from custody by sheriffs or other elected officials who refuse to hold the alleged criminals for possible deportation.

Good news, but Abbott is going to appeal.


They’ll lose on this one - eventually - again because the GOP over-reached on the wording (much like the Muslim ban).

The bill as currently worded says that local government officials may not “adopt, enforce or endorse” any policy limiting the enforcement of immigration laws. Which is basically saying that the local sheriff or county supervisor or mayor may not even criticize federal immigration laws… and that’s just unconstitutional to mega-stupid levels.