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Immigration

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Know the laws in your state that protect LGBT people and people living with HIV.

FEDERAL INITIATIVES

The Trump Administration is (1) prioritizing removal of unauthorized immigrants, (2) increasing entanglement of police and immigration enforcement, and (3) increasing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) arrests.

Prioritizing Removal

Within days of taking office, President Trump issued an executive order making all unauthorized immigrants in the United States a priority for removal, ushering in a new reign of terror against immigrant communities.[44]

Police and Immigration Enforcement Entanglement

Formal 287(g) agreements, which require collaboration between local law enforcement and ICE, have increased by 24% by March 2018 compared to the previous year.[45]  These agreements, and efforts to use funding requirements to compel local law enforcement agencies to honor ICE detainers, which require local law enforcement to hold individuals for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to pick up, put immigrants at risk of detention and deportation and even further erode community trust in law enforcement.[46]  Additionally, increasing police entanglement with immigration enforcement puts LGBTQ immigrants at risk of deportation to countries where their safety, and even their lives, are in jeopardy.[47]

Increasing ICE Arrests

Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests rose over 40% in the first eight months of 2017 compared to the same period in the previous year.[48]  Not only did arrests rise, arrests in homes and in the community rose 55% in the first 135 days of the Trump Administration compared to the same time period in 2016.[49]  Arrests of immigrants with no criminal convictions rose 147% between FY 2016 and FY 2017.[50]  In one raid, 70% of immigrants arrested by ICE were collateral arrests, in other words not even people ICE was targeting.[51]  The vast majority of immigrants with criminal convictions apprehended by ICE were convicted of minor offenses.

Although the number of deportations is not as high as it was in 2012 under President Obama, the lack of enforcement priorities, increased entanglement of immigration enforcement with local law enforcement, and willingness of ICE officials to seek out and arrest people in locations that were previously deemed “sensitive” and largely off limits to immigration enforcement such as courthouses,[52] hospitals,[53] ambulances,[54] or school drop-offs[55] creates a pervasive climate of fear. 

At the same time as the Trump Administration is increasing arrests of unauthorized immigrants, they are rendering increasing numbers of immigrants “unauthorized” by eliminating temporary protections such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure designations.[56]  Additionally, immigration authorities are placing an increasing number of immigrants, who had previously been granted withholding of removal provided they complied with periodic check-ins with immigration authorities into deportation proceedings, and particularly targeting immigrant rights activists.[57]  These measures put over a million more people – including hundreds of thousands who have lived in this country lawfully for decades - at risk of deportation.[58]

IMPACTS ON LGBTQ PEOPLE AND COMMUNITIES

Even before the Trump Administration, once taken into ICE custody, 90% of all LGBTQ individuals in immigration proceedings were held in detention pending deportation proceedings, as were 88% of immigrants who were not subject to mandatory detention.[59]  While detention is harmful for all people, it is particularly dangerous for LGBTQ immigrants who face high risks of abuse in confinement.  The Bureau of Justice Statistics found that non-heterosexual inmates in prisons are ten times more likely to be sexually victimized by other incarcerated people and over twice as likely to be sexually victimized by staff.[60]  Although similar data does not exist for immigration detention, one in four substantiated incidents of sexual abuse in immigration detention involves a transgender victim.[61]  In addition to the vulnerability to abuse LGBTQ immigrants face in detention, detention also decreases peoples’ chances of winning their immigration cases.[62]  For LGBTQ immigrants in particular, deportation could mean being sent to a country where their safety or even their lives are in jeopardy.[63]

Additionally, like other survivors or witness to violence, increased collaboration between law enforcement and immigration enforcement makes LGBTQ survivors of violence less likely to seek assistance.  As a result, despite the fact that homophobic and transphobic violence against unauthorized LGBTQ immigrants is rising, when local law enforcement collaborates with immigration enforcement, LGBTQ immigrants are less likely to seek assistance from law enforcement.[64]

OPPORTUNITIES FOR LOCAL RESISTANCE

State and local advocates can deploy a number of strategies to protect targeted communities from the impacts of these federal administrative and legislative initiatives, including:

  • Calling for cities to refuse to enter into or rescind 287(g) agreements;
  • Advocating for policies that prohibit law enforcement from profiling and discriminatory enforcement based on actual or perceived immigration status, asking about immigration status, and refusing to comply with detainer requests;[65]
  • Calling for cities and states to refuse to allow ICE access to courthouses, hospitals, schools, childcare facilities, and other sensitive locations;[66]
  • Advocating for de-criminalizing minor offenses, which can reduce contact some immigrants have with law enforcement and immigration enforcement;[67]
  • Advocating for the funding of legal representation for immigrants in removal proceedings. A recent study found 12 times more immigrants won their cases when they had lawyers.[68] A dozen cities, including Chicago, Oakland, and Atlanta are currently providing lawyers to immigrants in removal proceedings;[69]
  • Advocating for legislation on profiling by local law enforcement that prohibits discriminatory profiling, including profiling based on national origin, gender, sexual orientation, housing, immigration status, or physical appearance;[70]
  • Calling for local and county jails to refuse to rent beds to the Department of Homeland Security that will be used for immigration detention purposes; and
  • Working with local immigrant rights organizations and advocates to help to protect vulnerable members of the LGBTQ community.[71]
[44] Exec. Order No. 13768, 82 Fed. Reg. 8799, 2017 WL 388889 (Jan. 25, 2018), available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/25/presidential-executive-order-enhancing-public-safety-interior-united.
45] Laura Muñoz Lopez, How 287(g) Agreements Harm Public Safety, Ctr. for Am. Progress (May 8, 2018), https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2018/05/08/450439/287g-agreements-harm-public-safety/; Mica Rosenberg & Reade Levinson, Police in Trump-supporting towns aid immigration officials in crackdown, Reuters (Nov. 27, 2017), available at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-trump-effect-immigration-police/police-in-trump-supporting-towns-aid-immigration-officials-in-crackdown-idUSKBN1DR169; Danyelle Solomon, et al., The Negative Consequences of Entangling Local Policing and Immigration Enforcement, Ctr. for Am. Progress (Mar. 21, 2017), available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/reports/2017/03/21/428776/negative-consequences-entangling-local-policing-immigration-enforcement/.
[46] Rosenberg & Levinson, supra note 45.
[47] Sharita Gruberg, How Police Entanglement with Immigration Enforcement Puts LGBTQ Lives at Risk, Ctr. for Am. Progress (Apr. 12, 2017) https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/reports/2017/04/12/430325/police-entanglement-immigration-enforcement-puts-lgbtq-lives-risk/.
[48] Randy Capps, et al., Revving Up the Deportation Machinery: Enforcement and Pushback under Trump, Migration Policy Inst. (May 2018), available at https://www.migrationpolicy.org/sites/default/files/publications/ImmigrationEnforcement-FullReport-FINAL-WEB.pdf.
[49] Id.
[50] See Capps et al., supra note 48.
[51] Dara Lind, What John Kelly's final ICE raid tells us about Trump's new chief of staff, Vox (Aug. 2, 2017, 8:30 AM), available at https://www.vox.com/2017/8/2/16076742/ice-raid-immigration.
[52] Katie Mettler, ‘This is really unprecedented’: ICE detains woman seeking domestic abuse protection at Texas courthouse, Wash. Post (Feb. 16, 2017), available at  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/02/16/this-is-really-unprecedented-ice-detains-woman-seeking-domestic-abuse-protection-at-texas-courthouse/?utm_term=.2a4b67e676be; César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, Opinion: ICE’s Courthouse Arrests Undercut Democracy, N.Y. Times (Nov. 26, 2017), available at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/26/opinion/immigration-ice-courthouse-trump.html.
[53] Shannon Dooling, American Medical Association Takes Stance Against ICE Patrolling Inside Hospitals, WBUR News (Nov. 15, 2017), available at http://www.wbur.org/news/2017/11/15/ama-stand-ice-in-hospitals;
Brandon Carter, Immigration agents release 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy after ACLU lawsuit, The Hill (Nov. 3, 2017, 6:57 PM), available at http://thehill.com/homenews/news/358732-immigration-agents-release-10-year-old-girl-with-cerebral-palsy-after-aclu.
[54] Marwa Eltagouri, A 10-year-old immigrant was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. She was detained on the way, Wash. Post (Oct. 27, 2012), available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/10/26/a-10-year-old-immigrant-was-rushed-to-the-hospital-in-an-ambulance-she-was-detained-on-the-way/?utm_term=.9f79102aaa05.
[55] Andrea Castillo, Immigrant arrested by ICE after dropping daughter off at school, sending shockwaves through neighborhood, L.A. Times (Mar. 3, 2017, 4:10 PM), available at http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-immigration-school-20170303-story.html.
[56] Miriam Jordan, Trump Administration Ends Temporary Protection for Haitians, N.Y. Times (Nov. 20, 2017), available at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/20/us/haitians-temporary-status.html.
[57] Nick Pinto, Ice Is Targeting Political Opponents For Deportation, Ravi Ragbir And Rights Groups Say In Court, The Intercept (February 9, 2018), available at https://theintercept.com/2018/02/09/ravi-ragbir-ice-immigration-deportation/.
[58] Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, et al., TPS Holders Are Integral Members of the U.S. Economy and Society, Ctr. for Am. Progress (Oct. 20, 2017, 9:01 AM), available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2017/10/20/440400/tps-holders-are-integral-members-of-the-u-s-economy-and-society/; Tom Jawetz & Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, Thousands of DACA Recipients Are Already Losing Their Protection From Deportation, Ctr. for Am. Progress (Nov. 9, 2017, 6:00 AM), available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2017/11/09/442502/thousands-daca-recipients-already-losing-protection-deportation/.
[59] Sharita Gruberg. ICE Officers Overwhelmingly Use Their Discretion to Detain LGBT Immigrants, Ctr. for Am. Progress (Oct. 26, 2016 11:20 AM), available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/reports/2016/10/26/291115/ice-officers-overwhelmingly-use-their-discretion-to-detain-lgbt-immigrants/.
[60] Allen J. Beck, et al. Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails Reported by Inmates, 2011-12, Bureau of Justice Stats. (2013), available at http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/svpjri1112.pdf.
[61] U.S. Gov’t Accountability Off., Immigration Detention: Additional Actions Could Strengthen DHS Efforts to Address Sexual Abuse (Nov. 2013), available at http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/659145.pdf
[62] Sharita Gruberg & Rachel West, Humanitarian Diplomacy, Ctr. for Am. Progress (June 18, 2015), available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/reports/2015/06/18/115370/humanitarian-diplomacy/.
[63] Aengus Carroll & Lucas Ramon Mendos. State-Sponsored Homophobia, ILGA (May 2017), https://ilga.org/downloads/2017/ILGA_State_Sponsored_Homophobia_2017_WEB.pdf.
[64] See Waters, et al., supra note 28; Sharita Gruberg, LGBT Undocumented Immigrants Face an Increased Risk of Hate Violence, Ctr. for Am. Progress (June 10, 2014, 8:53 AM), available at https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2014/06/10/91233/lgbt-undocumented-immigrants-face-an-increased-risk-of-hate-violence.   
[65] Andrea J. Ritchie and Monique W. M. Morris, Ed.D., Centering Black Women and Girls in Campaigns for Expanded Sanctuary and Freedom Cities, National Black Women’s Justice Institute (Sept. 2017), available at https://forwomen.org/resources/sanctuary-city-report/
[66] Letter from David Douglas to Deputy Superintendent Danny Murphy, Compliance Bureau, New Orleans Police Dep’t (Sept. 22, 2016), available at https://www.nola.gov/getattachment/NOPD/NOPD-Consent-Decree/Chapter-41-6-1-Immigration-Status-approval.pdf/.
[67] Tania A. Unzueta, Expanding Sanctuary: What Makes a Sanctuary City Now?, Mijente (Jan. 2017), available at https://mijente.net/2017/01/27/sanctuary-report/.
[68] Dara Lind, A New York courtroom gave every detained immigrant a lawyer. The results were staggering, Vox (Nov. 9, 2017), available at https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/11/9/16623906/immigration-court-lawyer.
[69] Press Release, Vera Inst. of Justice, SAFE Cities Network Launches: 11 Communities United to Provide Public Defense to Immigrants Facing Deportation (Nov. 9, 2017), available at https://www.vera.org/newsroom/press-releases/safe-cities-network-launches-11-communities-united-to-provide-public-defense-to-immigrants-facing-deportation.
[70] Nat’l Ass’n for the Advancement of Colored People, Born Suspect: Stop-and-Frisk Abuses & the Continued Fight to End Racial Profiling in America (Sept. 2014), available at https://action.naacp.org/page/-/Criminal%20Justice/Born_Suspect_Report_final_web.pdf.
[71] Transgender Law Ctr., 10 Things You Can Do to Help Protect the Most Vulnerable Members of the LGBT Community, available at https://tlcenter.app.box.com/s/z7ujftuyn4crwb3tamjj7852arsksgir.