Trump talks immigration in an unhinged press conference

In a sometimes rambling, often untrue, many times incoherent press conference, President Trump made a few comments regarding his future plans on immigration and the Muslim/refugee travel ban. We've pulled the (short) clips here so you don't have to watch the whole thing.

Trump on DACA repeal

Trump on Muslim and refugee ban roll out

Trump on his immigration policy over the first four weeks

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Immigration Executive Orders and the Federal Budget

The Federal Budget - An Overview

In 2016, total spending for the United States totaled a little less than four trillion dollars. That’s a “4” followed by 12 zeros (4,000,000,000,000). The majority of that money comes from federal income taxes, corporate taxes and payroll taxes, basically, quite literally, that means you.

The United States has a complex, complicated, sometimes seemingly nonsensical process to determine how that money is spent. Well, truthfully, some of that money. Almost two thirds of the federal budget is actually set aside as mandatory spending (about $2.5 trillion) for entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare. Neither Congress nor the president has any direct control on the specific amount of money allocated for these programs. Instead the money is allocated automatically based on the number of people eligible for the programs and the cost to cover them.

So, while Congress and the president can make policy changes to the entitlement programs that will in turn have an effect on the total spending for mandatory spending, like raising the social security retirement age or expanding prescription drug benefits, they cannot reduce or increase the budget by a specific dollar amount.

That leaves the remaining one third of the budget, about $1.1 trillion, as discretionary spending. These are the funds Congress and the president get to play around with--and sometime shut the government down over. By far the largest budget item in the discretionary funding is defense spending, which usually receives a little more than half of all discretionary funding (almost $600 billion in 2015). This leaves a little less than $600 billion for all other government spending programs, including programs like Head Start, Veterans Affairs, Education, and, of course, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

in Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, DHS received $41 billion in funding. While the Department has a number of responsibilities pertaining to the welfare of the country--such as managing counter-terrorism and cybersecurity threats, and disaster preparedness--the two specific sections of the Agency that have received the most attention from the White House in the first three weeks are ones that deal with enforcing the country’s immigration laws: Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Donald Trump, his Executive Orders and the Federal Budget

Donald Trump has issued multiple Executive Orders over the first three weeks of his administration, ranging on everything from instructing agencies to gut the Affordable Care Act, to dramatically rolling back financial regulations, to approving the contract for the Dakota pipeline. But two of these Executive Orders will have significant federal budget implications, requiring significant funding increases from Congress in order to be implemented. These are the two Orders calling for increasing immigration enforcement against immigrants and their families currently living in the United States and ramped up security and enforcement at the southern border. The human toll of these two Orders alone is hard to imagine, and the threats to due process rights and civil liberties of citizens and non-citizens alike will be huge.

Border Enforcement Executive Order - Background and Costs

What many people don’t know is that Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents have extraordinary authority that far exceeds other law enforcement agencies. When they are operating within 100 miles of the border they are not constrained by the same Fourth Amendment due process rights afforded to individuals outside of the 100 mile zone. So, for example, CBP officers can stop anyone at a checkpoint anywhere within 100 miles of the border without first establishing any suspicion of wrongdoing; they are allowed to board public transportation throughout border communities to question passengers; and within 25 miles of the border they are allowed to enter onto private property (although not homes) without a warrant or probable suspicion.

The other important thing to know is that roughly two-thirds of the United States' population lives within the 100-mile zone—that is, within 100 miles of a U.S. land or coastal border. That's about 200 million people. So CBP’s reach is far and wide, and important to understand.

Throughout the campaign Trump propagated dangerous falsehoods about the situation at the border, creating an illusion that the border was a lawless entity. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. The United States is currently experiencing the lowest level of unauthorized border crossings in four decades, border communities are some of the safest in the nation and President Obama deported more immigrants than any other president in history. Trump was, in essence, promising to find a solution for a problem that does not exist.

But this Executive Order does actually offer a solution to a different problem for the President--how to convince a certain segment of American voters to blame immigrants and refugees for their social and economic woes rather than the anti-worker, anti-middle class policies that Trump’s Administration is pursuing. All of this would be bad enough, if not for the human and financial toll of his “solution.”

The Executive Order calls for the following increases to the DHS budget:

Construction of a “Border Wall”:

  • More than 650 miles of border fence already exists. According to DHS’ own assessment, the estimated cost of the remaining border wall segments will be $21.6 billion and take three and a half years to complete.

  • According to the FY 2017 DHS budget, $274 million was spent on border fence maintenance. If 1200 additional miles of wall are built, the conservative estimate is that the maintenance costs of the border wall will triple to more than $750 million annually.

Increase CBP agents by 5,000 (from current level of 21,370 Border Patrol agents)

  • Adding 5,000 CBP agents would cost approximately an additional $857 million per year, while border crossings and apprehensions by current CBP agents are at an historic lows.

  • In FY 2012, Customs and Border Protection was funded at $11.7 billion, an increase of 64% since FY 2006. In 2011, there were 21,444 border agents, nearly double the number in 2006, making far fewer apprehensions because border crossings are at an all time low. And FBI crime reports from 2010 show that violent crimes in southwest border states have dropped an average of 40 percent in the last 20 years.

Expand Immigration Detention Capacity:

  • The United States currently spends over $2 billion each year on immigration detention, about $5 million a day, to detain 34,000 immigrants every night. This Order seeks to dramatically expand the number of immigration detention beds available on a daily basis, specifically located at the southern border. Although the exact increase isn’t specified, any new construction of facilities or contracts with for-profit prison corporations will be a considerable expense to the taxpayer.

Interior Enforcement Executive Order - Background and Costs

During the Obama Administration, a number of priorities and procedures were established in order to focus DHS resources on deporting undocumented immigrants with serious criminal records. This Executive Order seeks to eliminate those stated priorities and makes any undocumented immigrant currently living in the United States a potential target for deportation, regardless of any mitigating factors (such as length of time in the country, familial ties, community support, etc).

Trump’s Executive Order also seeks to ramp up the enforcement ability of ICE by tripling the number of interior enforcement agents, increasing workplace raids, empowering local police to act as immigration agents, and using military-style policing to locate undocumented immigrants. These tactics are not just meant to target individuals and their families, they also strike fear deep into the heart of our immigrant communities - and make no mistake about it, that is also a goal. These increased enforcement actions, coupled with the inflammatory statements by the President, will further terrorize, harass, and abuse immigrant communities and long-time residents, whether documented or not.

The Executive Order calls for the following changes to the DHS budget:

Tripling the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers

  • Since the creation of DHS in 2003, spending on ICE has grown 85 percent, from $3.3 billion to $6.1 billion today, currently there are 7,995 ICE agents. Adding an additional 10,000 ICE officers would cost approximately $2.1 billion a year, which doesn’t include all of the non-ICE accompanying costs to deport additional immigrants such as court costs.

Federal Budget Timeline

January 3

115th Congress convened

January

FY 2017 Budget reconciliation passed

Mid-Feb*

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director confirmation vote

March/April*

Potential DHS supplemental for FY 2017 budget (to fund EOs)

April 28

FY 2017 Continuing Resolution expires

April/May*

Trump (OMB) sends Administration budget request to Congress

April - June*

Budget committees in both houses work to pass budget resolutions

June - September*

Appropriation committees (12 in each house) work to pass appropriation bills to fund their sectors of government.

September 30

FY 2017 budget expires

*date estimates

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16 Democratic Assembly Members Voted Against the Liberty Act

On Monday, the New York State Assembly voted on sweeping legislation to protect New York’s immigrant population. Sponsored by Assemblyman Francisco Moya, the New York State Liberty Act will ensure the fair and ethical treatment of New Yorkers by providing clarity and certainty for state and local officials in interaction with all citizens, including our immigrant populations. Although the bill passed, 16 Democrats voted against the Liberty Act. This is unacceptable, and reflects a lack of support for New York’s immigrant communities.

Please Tweet at these Assembly members and ask them why they didn't support legislation to protect immigrant New Yorkers!

Sample Tweet: .@INSERT-TWITTER-HANDLE, I am disappointed you did not support the #LibertyAct, please explain why you chose not to protect #immigrant New York #OurNY

Assembly member  District Twitter Handle
Steven Englebright Suffolk @SteveEngles
Brian Barnwell Queens @Barnwell30
Michael Cusick Richmond @Michael_Cusick
Amy Paulin Westchester @AmyPaulin
David Buchwald Westchester @DavidBuchwald
Sandy Galef Westchester, Putnam @SandyGalef
James Skoufis Orange @JamesSkoufis
Didi Barrett Columbia, Dutchess @dinerdialogues
Phil Steck Albany, Schenectady @PhilSteck
Carrie Woerner Saratoga, Washington @AMCarrieWoerner
Billy Jones Clinton, Franklin, St. Lawrence @jonesnyassembly
Anthony Brindisi Herkimer, Oneida @ABrindisi119
Al Stirpe Onondaga @StirpeAl
Pamela Hunter Onondaga @PamelaHunter128 
Mickey Kearns Erie @Mickey_Kearns
Monica P. Wallace Erie @MonicaPWallace
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Immigrant Action Endorses Marvin Holland



For Immediate Release
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

 

Press Contact: Anu Joshi
Email: anu.joshi@nysiaf.org
Mobile: 828.469.7423

Immigrant Action Endorses Labor Activist Marvin Holland in City Council Special Election

New York, NY — Today, Immigrant Action (New York State Immigrant Action Fund), one of the largest 501(c)(4) immigrant rights groups in the country, endorsed labor activist Marvin Holland for the District 9 City Council Seat. The special election to fill the seat vacated by Inez Dickens after her successful bid to join the State Assembly will be held on Tuesday, February 14.

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Steve Choi, Executive Director of Immigrant Action, commented, “Immigrant Action is dedicated to supporting candidates and elected officials who will fight for immigrant communities and support humane immigrant policies. Union activist Marvin Holland represents the values that Immigrant Action fights for, and that New York immigrant communities care about. We are proud to support his candidacy.”

“Marvin Holland will bring a fresh perspective to the New York City Council and is prepared to represent the diverse voice of the immigrant communities in the Harlem-based City Council seat, including and importantly the vibrant West African population in the area. His commitment to understanding the diverse needs of the district will serve him well in the City Council. That is why Immigrant Action is proud to endorse his for the District 9 seat.”

“Immigrant Action would also like to extend our appreciation to State Senator Bill Perkins for his long history of championing immigrant rights in the State Legislature and beyond. From fighting for driver's licenses for all to supporting the New York State DREAM Act, we’ve always been able to count on Senator Perkins to support immigrant communities in New York. We look forward to continuing our strong working relationship with Senator Perkins.”

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Trump Unveils Muslim Ban and Suspension of Refugee Program

Trump is expected to sign an Executive Order on Friday, January 26, that will do two things:

1. Halt all immigration (refugee, non-immigrant and immigrant) from at least seven Muslim-majority countries for at least 30 days. (These are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.) 

2. Suspend the United States Refugee Program for at least six months while significant changes are made to the program.

Here are the relevant sections of the Executive Order that was leaked (this is not official until the President signs off):

Sec. 3. Suspension of Issuance of Visas and Other Immigration Benefits to National of Countries of Particular Concern.
(c)...I hereby find that the immigrant and non-immigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries designated pursuant to [a particular Division of an appropriations act outlining the seven Muslim-majority countries listed above], would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrant and non-immigrants of such persons for 30 days from the date of this order.

Sec. 5. Realignment of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for Fiscal Year 2017

(a) The Secretary of State shall suspend the U.s. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days...Refugee applicants who are already in the USRAP process may be admitted upon the initiation and completion of these revised procedures.

(c) The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security, as appropriate, shall cease refugee processing of and the admittance of nationals of Syria as refugees until such time as I have determined that sufficient changes have been made to the USRAP to ensure its alignment with the national interest.

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Trump Begins Implementing Extremist Anti-Immigrant Agenda

Today, in an act of absolute cowardice, Donald Trump used the cover of national security to declare a vicious and unwarranted attack on immigrant and refugee communities in this country. But this is not just an attack of immigrant and refugee communities, this is an attack on ALL Americans and the values that define us.

The Executive Orders issued this week are no exception. Trump has doubled down on his effort to divide this country by casting immigrants, refugees and Muslims as the source of the country’s economic pains and security risks. Throughout his campaign, and continuing to this day, Trump has offered extreme solutions for problems that do not actually exist. Whether to mollify the most extremist anti-immigrant members of his party or distract the American public from his frequent falsehoods or offensive statements, Trump has made it his business to propagate dangerous falsehoods about American immigrant communities.

Some Areas covered in the Executive Orders Issues on January 25 on Border Security and Interior Enforcement

  • Building a Wall (that Mexico will definitely, certainly (not) pay for)
  • Ending the so-called "catch and release" program (that ended under President Bush in 2006...)
  • Stopping (alleged) asylum fraud (even though current asylum laws are harsh and stacked against those fleeing violence and persecution and fraud is not a rampant issue)
  • Stopping Central American border crisis (by abandoning American core values of being a shining light on the hill)
  • Adding 5,000 Customs and Border Patrol officers (never mind that border crossings are at an all time low and that the CBP budget and number of officers has tripled over the last 15 years)
  • Tripling the number of ICE agents (terrorizing immigrant communities and reinstating failed programs like workplace raids)
  • Terminating support for "sanctuary cities" (undermining community policing efforts by threatening to take their federal funds from other non-related programs)

 

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Join our Fight on #GivingTuesday

We're gearing up for the fight of our lives over the next four years. In 2016, Immigrant Action engaged community members in political activism from Long Island to Philadelphia. We supported candidates committed to immigrant communities, like Marisol Alcantara, the first Latina in the State Senate in 12 years. And we forcefully called out officials (on all levels) who betrayed our values, including a Times-Union editorial condemning the use of anti-immigrant campaign materials by the state Republican Party.

Please consider making a donation to Immigrant Action today to support our work in 2017.

Moving forward, this effort will be more important than ever. The work to run and elect candidates who share our values (and then hold them accountable) begins now. Elections in 2017, 2018 and ultimately 2020 will be here before we know it, and only with your support will we be able to continue this fight.

Make a donation to Immigrant Action in honor of #GivingTuesday and join this fight with us.

Onward,

Anu Joshi
Deputy Director

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Immigrant Action Calls on Ed Cox to End Anti-Immigrant Campaign Ads

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Complete 2016 Endorsement List

Here is the complete list of Immigrant Action endorsements for the November 8, 2016 elections.

U.S. President: Hillary Clinton

Immigrant Action endorses the following candidates for the New York State Senate:

District 3 (Nassau): John De Vito Jr

District 4 (Suffolk): Phillip Boyle

District 6 (Nassau): Ryan Cronin

District 7 (Nassau): Adam Haber

District 9 (Nassau): Todd Kaminsky

District 12 (Queens): Michael Gianaris

District 13 (Queens): Jose Peralta

District 14 (Queens): Leroy Comrie

District 15 (Brooklyn): Joseph Addabbo

District 19 (Brooklyn): Roxanne J. Persaud

District 20 (Brooklyn): Jesse Hamilton

District 23 (Staten Island): Diane Savino

District 24 (Staten Island): Andrew Lanza

District 28 (Manhattan): Liz Krueger

District 29 (Manhattan): Jose Serrano

District 30 (Manhattan): Bill Perkins

District 31 (Manhattan): Marisol Alcantara*

District 33 (Bronx): Gustavo Rivera

District 34(Bronx/Westchester): Jeffrey Klein

District 35 (Westchester): Andrea Stewart-Cousins

District 36 (Bronx): Jamaal Bailey*

District 37 (Westchester): George Latimer

District 38 (Hudson Valley): David Carlucci

District 40 (Westchester): Alison Boak

District 41 (Hudson Valley): Terry Gipson

District 44 (Albany): Neil Breslin

District 63 (Buffalo): Timothy Kennedy

Immigrant Action endorses the following candidates for the New York State Assembly:

District 6 (Suffolk): Phil Ramos*

District 20 (Nassau): Anthony P. Eramo

District 22 (Nassau): Michaelle Solages

District 25 (Queens): Nily Rozic

District 29 (Queens): Alicia L. Hyndman

District 34 (Queens): Michael DenDekker

District 39 (Queens): Francisco Moya

District 40 (Queens): Ron Kim

District 42 (Brooklyn): Rodneyse Bichotte*

District 43 (Brooklyn): Diana Richardson*

District 44 (Brooklyn): Robert Carroll*

District 46 (Brooklyn): Pamela Harris*

District 47 (Brooklyn): William Colton

District 51 (Brooklyn): Felix Ortiz

District 52 (Brooklyn): Joann Simon

District 55 (Brooklyn): Latrice M. Walker

District 65 (Manhattan): Yuh-Line Niou

District 66 (Manhattan): Deborah J. Glick

District 72 (Manhattan): Carmen Del La Rosa

District 74 (Manhattan): Brian Kavanagh

District 75 (Manhattan): Richard Gottfried

District 79 (Bronx): Michael Blake

District 80 (Bronx): Mark Gjonaj

District 83 (Bronx): Carl Heastie

District 84 (Bronx): Carmen Arroyo

District 85 (Bronx): Marcos Crespo*

District 86 (Bronx): Victor Pichardo*

District 87 (Bronx): Luis Sepulveda*

District 90 (Westchester): Shelley Mayer

District 91 (Westchester): Steven Otis

District 92 (Westchester): Thomas Abinanti

District 93 (Westchester): David Buchwald

District 95 (Westchester): Sandy Galef

District 119 (Utica): Anthony Brindisi

District 136 (Rochester): Joseph Morelle

*Indicates candidates Immigrant Action also endorsed for the September 13 Primary election.

Immigrant Action endorses the following candidates for the U.S. Congress:

U.S. Senate: Chuck Schumer

District 3: Tom Suozzi

District 4: Kathleen Rice

District 5: Gregory Meeks

District 6: Grace Meng

District 7: Nydia Velazquez

District 8: Hakeem Jeffries

District 9: Yvette Clark

District 10: Jerrold Nadler

District 12: Carolyn Maloney

District 13: Adriano Espaillat

District 14: Joseph Crowley

District 15: Jose Serrano

District 17: Nita Lowey

District 18: Sean Maloney

District 19: Zephyr Teachout

District 20: Paul Tonko

District 22: Kim Myers

District 25: Louise Slaughter

District 26: Brian Higgins

District 27: Diana Kastenbaum

 

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Press Contact: Anu Joshi
Email: anu.joshi [at] nysiaf [dot] org
Mobile: 828.469.7423

Immigrant Action Announces Another 43 Endorsements for General Election
Endorsement List Includes 21 Congressional Endorsements

New York, NY — Today, Immigrant Action (New York State Immigrant Action Fund), one of the largest 501(c)(4) immigrant rights groups in the country, announced the endorsement of 43 candidates, including 22 candidates for the NYS Legislature and 21 for the U.S. Congress. These candidates join the 40 candidates Immigrant Action previously endorsed for the State Legislature and as a total represent the state's ethnic and racial diversity.

Steve Choi, Executive Director of Immigrant Action, commented, “Immigrant Action exists to make sure immigrants and their families have a seat at the table when it comes to policy making on the local and national level. One part of that vision is helping to elect candidates to public office who share our vision of a New York, and country, that is responsive to immigrant communities' needs and reflective of their diversity. That is why we are so proud to announce this broad slate of endorsements for 62 candidates for the state Legislature and 21 candidates for the U.S. Congress."

“Immigrant Action understands the power of the New York State Legislature and the U.S. Congress to make decisions that directly impact the lives of immigrant New Yorkers. On issues like drivers licenses for all New Yorkers, health coverage for all immigrants and adult education and literacy, these candidates, if elected, will be critical voices for pushing an immigrant rights agenda forward in Albany and Washington D.C.”

The endorsement from Immigrant Action, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that promotes the rights and socio-economic well-being of immigrants and refugees across New York State, follows their earlier announcement of support for Hillary Clinton ahead of the April Presidential primary election, which spurred the candidate to promise the creation of a national Office of New Americans.

Immigrant Action endorses the following candidates for the State Senate:

District 3 (Nassau): John De Vito Jr

District 4 (Suffolk): Phillip Boyle

District 15 (Brooklyn): Joseph Addabbo

District 19 (Brooklyn): Roxanne J. Persaud

District 24 (Staten Island): Andrew Lanza

District 28 (Manhattan): Liz Krueger

District 30 (Manhattan): Bill Perkins

District 33 (Bronx): Gustavo Rivera

District 37 (Westchester): George Latimer

District 38 (Hudson Valley): David Carlucci

District 40 (Westchester): Alison Boak

District 41 (Hudson Valley): Terry Gipson

District 44 (Albany): Neil Breslin

Immigrant Action endorses the following candidates for the State Assembly:

District 20 (Nassau): Anthony P. Eramo

District 29 (Queens): Alicia L. Hyndman

District 39 (Queens): Francisco Moya

District 52 (Brooklyn): Joann Simon

District 55 (Brooklyn): Latrice M. Walker

District 65 (Manhattan): Yuh-Line Niou

District 66 (Manhattan): Deborah J. Glick

District 72 (Manhattan): Carmen Del La Rosa

District 119 (Utica): Anthony Brindisi

Immigrant Action endorses the following candidates for the U.S. Congress:

U.S. Senate: Chuck Schumer

District 3: Tom Suozzi

District 4: Kathleen Rice

District 5: Gregory Meeks

District 6: Grace Meng

District 7: Nydia Velazquez

District 8: Hakeem Jeffries

District 9: Yvette Clark

District 10: Jerrold Nadler

District 12: Carolyn Maloney

District 13: Adriano Espaillat

District 14: Joseph Crowley

District 15: Jose Serrano

District 17: Nita Lowey

District 18: Sean Maloney

District 19: Zephyr Teachout

District 20: Paul Tonko

District 22: Kim Myers

District 25: Louise Slaughter

District 26: Brian Higgins

District 27: Diana Kastenbaum

***

 

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