November 12, 2019
[ALSO UPDATED ALERT ON TANIA ROMERO – SEE BELOW]
Today the Supreme Court will hear arguments on President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). DACA as established by the Obama administration following the failure of Congress to pass the Dream Act (DACA recipients are often referred to as “Dreamers”). DACA protects unauthorized immigrants who were brought into this country as children from removal proceedings, provided they have a clean criminal record and are in (or have completed) school. Under DACA, recipients must reapply every two years, but once registered are allowed to work and attend school.
Trump’s Attorney General at the time, Jeff Sessions, announced the end of DACA in September of 2017. However, the administration’s decision to end the program immediately ended up in court. Three of these cases that challenged the administration have been consolidated and form the basis for the arguments being heard today.
One of the plaintiffs, Martín Batalla Vidal, writes about his experiences under DACA and his decision to challenge the administration for Vox today:
If the Court sides with Trump, the consequences would be devastating for me, my family, and communities across the country. For the past seven years, over 700,000 young undocumented immigrants, who came to the United States as children, have been able to work at the jobs of their choosing, graduate from schools around the country, contribute billions of dollars to the economy, and support their families and communities — all because of DACA.
We are business owners, artists, school teachers, lawyers, mothers, fathers, and nurses like me. Even though the program’s structure has meant that I have been living my life in two-year increments (recipients must reapply every two years), DACA provides me with critical immigration relief, allowing me to work and remain in the United States with my family.
With DACA, I have been able to grow up with my siblings. Together, we have been able to celebrate our birthdays and christenings. I have been able to help them with their homework, see them graduate from middle school and high school, and even help them get over their first heartbreak.
A coalition of organizations came together in October to begin preparing for this day. The Home is Here Coalition will be among those organizing a presence at the court today, as well as talking to members of Congress. The House of Representatives passed the Dream and Promise Act this summer, which would make DACA permanent and extend a path to citizenship for those registered in the program. The bill also extends permanent residency to people here under Temporary Protected Status – another program Trump has tried to cut. The Senate has not acted on the Dream and Promise Act. Over 80 percent of Americans polled support DACA.
Here is Home is lifting up the stories of DACA recipients so that we all understand how important the program has been to the 700,000 young people who have registered.
Update on Tania Romero
Last week we shared an alert from Mijente about Tania Romero, who is recovering from stage 4 cancer and is currently being held in ICE detention in Georgia. Despite her illness, the fact that her case is under appeal, and that the government of Honduras has not issued travel documents for her – in part because she will not be able to receive adequate medical if deported – ICE is still trying to get her out of the country. Last night, ICE agents took her from a cell at Irwin Detention Facility and dragged her to an airport. She has still not been deported. Her son, a student at Yale University, which has gained the case more notice, has been working with Mijente and others to put a spotlight on her case. Below is the latest alert from this morning.
Around midnight on Monday, ICE woke my mother and told her she was being deported. My mom exercised her rights and informed officials that she cannot be deported because she has motions and appeals pending and ICE has not received the travel documents necessary to put her on a flight to Honduras. ICE proceeded to threaten her with pepper spray and ultimately relied on physical coercion to forcibly remove her. According to her testimony, around six guards grabbed her by the arms and legs and carried her away like an animal. As a result, she has bruises all over her arms. ICE did not allow her to take any of her essentials, including her glasses, and proceeded to transport her to an unknown airport. ICE did not inform anyone that she was being deported or where she was being sent. Since we had no knowledge of her whereabouts or her final destination, we were unable to ensure that she would be received by the appropriate people and get the immediate care she needs. We conclude that ICE planned to leave my mom completely on her own, in a country she has not lived in for over 20 years, all without regard for her ever-weakening health. Even though ICE knew they could not deport her due to lack of travel documents from the Honduran Consulate—in addition to pending motions and appeals—they still used physical force in an attempt to deport a woman recovering from cancer and in a seriously fragile physical state. ICE is conducting these actions with well-documented knowledge of her illness.The Honduran consulate has provided written statements that she should not be deported because she will not be able to receive the medical care she needs in Honduras. This contradicts one of ICE’s main justifications for not granting her a stay of deportation, as they claim she would have access to the necessary care.
ICE’s repeatedly malicious actions are putting my mom’s life in danger. This unmistakably amounts to torture. We denounce these actions and demand her immediate release. I am asking for congressional support to advocate for my mom to receive humanitarian parole and to relieve her of the threat of imminent deportation by releasing her from detention. It is imperative that our elected officials intervene to stop this injustice. We urge members of Congress to help ensure that my mom can return to her family and access the medical care she desperately needs.
Call the offices of Congresswoman Lucy McBath and Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue and ask them to intervene against ICE’s continued denial of Tania’s release.
Representative Lucy McBath: (470) 773-6330 (GA Office) | (202) 225-4501 (DC Office)
Senator Johnny Isakson: (770) 661-0999 (GA Office) | (202) 224-3643 (DC Office)
Senator David Perdue: (404) 865-0087 (GA Office) | (202) 224-3521 (DC Office)
Sample Script For Congressional Offices: Hello, my name is _________. I am calling to urge you to save the life of Tania Romero, A# 095-087-219, currently detained in the Irwin County Detention Center. I have recently been informed that ICE has tried to move forward with Tania’s deportation while she is still seeking to appeal the decision through appropriate legal channels. Tania is a stage-4 cancer survivor who requires consistent medical care. Rather than releasing Tania to allow her to see her doctor, ICE forcibly attempted to deport her, failing only because they had not acquired the proper travel documents. The Honduran Consulate in Atlanta has submitted written documentation to ICE that Tania Romero’s deportation is medically inadvisable and would jeopardize her life. I would be outraged if (Elected Official) would allow this deportation to take place while Tania’s medical health and life is at grave risk. I urge (Elected Official) to advocate for Tania to receive humanitarian parole, halt the threat of imminent deportation, and release her from detention.
Call and email ICE to request that they allow Tania to stay in the U.S. during her appeals process.
ICE Atlanta Field Office
180 Ted Turner Dr. SW Suite 522
Atlanta, GA, 30303
General Line: (404) 893-1210
- Follow the automated prompts to reach the Office of the Field Director. SDDO Cesar Ciprian: Cesar.E.Ciprian@ice.dhs.gov (404) 893-1214
- Deportation Officer Morris: (404) 893-1334
- Assistant Field Office Director Kristen Sullivan: (404) 893-1203
- SDDO Vincent Fairnot: (404) 893-1246
- Atlanta ICE Field Director Sean Gallagher: Sean.W.Gallagher@ice.dhs.gov
- Assistant Field Director Sean Ervin: Sean.C.Ervin@ice.dhs.gov
- Supervisory Detention & Deportation Officer (SDDO) Alicia Ferra: Alicia.Ferra@ice.dhs.gov
Hello, my name is _________, and I am calling/writing to urge you to save the life of Tania Romero, A# 095-087-219, currently detained in the Irwin County Detention Center. I have recently been informed that ICE has tried to move forward with Tania’s deportation while she is still seeking to appeal the decision through appropriate legal channels. Tania is a stage-4 cancer survivor who requires consistent medical care. Rather than releasing Tania to allow her to see her doctor, ICE forcibly attempted to deport her, failing only because they had not acquired the proper travel documents. The Honduran Consulate in Atlanta has submitted written documentation to ICE that Tania Romero’s deportation is medically inadvisable and would jeopardize her life. I urge you to put a hold on Tania’s deportation and to release her on humanitarian parole during her appeals process.