Behind the Curtain (of Immigration News)

Throughout 2018, the media was filled with sensational immigration news – justifiably so – almost all day, everyday. Travel bans, border walls, immigrant caravans, ‘illegal’ immigrants, non-stop.

Important issues, to be sure, but they all tended to obscure not only what’s really going on with immigration away from the borders and airports, but what changes have been made that effect – and continue to effect – people who are in the United States completely legally.

It’s a case of the man behind the curtain. Remember The Wizard of Oz when Toto reveals that (spoiler alert) the Grand Wizard of Oz is really controlled by a man? He’s hidden in a little room and he’s pulling all the levers that make the Wizard roar and snort flame and smoke.

Well, this is exactly what’s happening with immigration news. People are focusing on children being separated from parents at the border and other horrible events and they are missing what’s happening in the rest of the country. Things that are being orchestrated by men in the Trump administration.

Because, the men behind the curtain are slowly but surely picking away at legal immigrants. They are so anti-immigrant “they are going to go after anybody they can get their hands on who may be deportable,” in the words of Michael Kaufman, a senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union in an interview in the LA Times.

The Trump administration views who ‘may be deportable’ as widely as possible. They have been detaining legal residents who had misdemeanor arrests years ago. In one case, almost twenty years back. Misdemeanor offenses that wouldn’t stop a legal resident from becoming a naturalized citizen are resulting in detention and deportation hearings.

This is, really, picking at low-hanging fruit – the Trump administration wants more deportations, computers make checking criminal records easy, it’s even easier to find green card holders, their addresses are, of course, on file.

So, it’s easy . . .  but it doesn’t have to be that way.

As the wife of the man detained on a twenty year old misdemeanor told the Times: “It’s happening to people who have papers. Don’t just trust. Check your record, become a citizen, stay alert to the changes…. I don’t want this to happen to someone else.”

That’s it . . . if you have the slightest question about your status, your past, anything, talk to us now, before it be becomes an issue. Now is the time to figure things out, not when you’re about to face an immigration judge.