immigration

Becca Schimmel

The Trump administration’s decision to lower the cap on refugees admitted into the U.S. is calling into question the future of refugee resettlement in Bowling Green. The administration announced Monday it’s reducing the refugee cap to a record low of 30,000. The International Center of Kentucky was planning to resettle about 400 refugees this year, but now it may not be able to bring in even half of that.  

The Bowling Green-based agency is a volunteer group that relies on federal funds to resettle refugees. With less refugees coming to Bowling Green, the International Center will have to cut back on staff and resources.

Kyeland Jackson

Trial dates were set Tuesday morning for protesters who blocked entry to immigration court at the Heyburn building last week. Nine protesters from the group called Occupy ICE were arraigned in Jefferson District Court for charges of criminal trespassing in the second degree.

All pleaded not guilty and were given trial dates for August 27 and 28.

They’re facing both state and federal charges for blocking the entrance at the Heyburn building, but they are asking Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell to dismiss all state charges against them and “prove he stands on the right side of history.”

hank4ky.com

The Democratic nominee for Kentucky’s Second Congressional District thinks the U.S. needs to consider offering amnesty to certain people who are living in the country without documentation.  

Hank Linderman said U.S. policymakers have to consider a wide range of solutions in dealing with the country’s estimated 12 million unauthorized immigrants.

“President Reagan signed a bill in 1986 to allow undocumented people that were in the United States to become citizens, and it was called the ‘Reagan Amnesty of 1986.’ So one of things I’ll be proposing very soon is amnesty for folks who have been in the United States since July 4, 2018.”

Kyeland Jackson

Protesters with Occupy ICE showed up at the Heyburn Building in downtown Louisville Thursday morning, blocking elevators to immigration court. The group formed weeks ago in protest of federal immigration enforcement and family separations.

According to group organizers, Louisville Metro Police arrested at least nine Occupy ICE protesters Thursday.

At about 7:30 a.m. Thursday, protesters began blocking elevators to the 11th floor of the Heyburn building, where immigration court is located. Video and photos posted on social media showed protesters linking arms with what appeared to be homemade braces made of PVC pipe and chains. 

Of the nearly 3,000 migrant minors who were separated from their parents and placed in federal custody, the Trump administration says at least 102 are under 5 years old. And for several weeks, administration officials have been under a court-ordered deadline: Reunite those young children with their parents, and do it quickly.

Nicole Erwin

"Be brave, have fun,” Jennie Boggess instructs as she leads a room full of young students at Camp Curiosity, hosted by the Daviess County, Kentucky, Public Schools.

Boggess is the development director for the Owensboro Dance Theatre and today she is preparing students for a finale performance to cap the four-week summer camp.

“The idea of being brave is sometimes difficult for kids between 4th and 8th grade,” Boggess said. “You start to worry about people who are around you, the fear sets in.”


Becca Schimmel

Protestors gathered outside U.S. Senator Rand Paul’s Bowling Green office Saturday in support of changes to federal immigration policy. An estimated 200 people rallied in Bowling Green as part of a national “Families Belong Together” campaign.

 

The group is calling for an end to President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. Sabina Husic came to Bowling Green as a refugee with her family. Bowling Green is a refugee resettlement area and home to many Bosnian immigrants. Husic said America was something that her family dreamed about but never thought was possible.

Art Matters / Facebook

A rally will be held in Bowling Green Saturday in support of the national 'Families Belong Together' event. 

Thousands are expected in Washington, D.C. and in cities across the county to protest the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on immigration that separated more than 2,000 children from their parents.

Now the administration is scrambling to adhere to a court order to re-connect those children with their families.

Teresa Christmas is owner of the ‘Art Matters’ studio in Bowling Green and works with many children of immigrant families in her art classes.  She's taught English as a Second Language at the International Center of Kentucky in Bowling Green.

Judy Schwank FB

An immigration attorney in Bowling Green says she doesn’t think the government can realistically reunite the more than two thousand children separated from their parents who illegally crossed the southern border. 

Most families are coming from Central America where gang activity and drug trafficking are creating chaos. 

As the U.S. government works to reunite parents and children, immigration lawyer Judy Schwank says making matches has several challenges.

President Trump and administration officials are walking a fine line on family separation at the border.

They argue they don't like the policy, but that their hands are tied — and instead are pointing fingers at Congress to "fix" it.

There may be good reason for that — the policy (and it is a Trump administration policy, despite the Homeland Security secretary's claims to the contrary) is unpopular.

Updated at 4:28 p.m. ET

The Trump administration's decision to separate children from their families as a way to curb illegal immigration is adding fuel to an already fiery debate over immigration.

A group of House Democrats converged on an immigration detention facility in New Jersey on Sunday, days before a planned vote by House Republicans next week. Meanwhile, Trump administration officials alternately took credit and sought to distance the administration from the family separation policy.

Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET

The Senate failed to pass any immigration legislation before a self-imposed Friday deadline, leaving lawmakers with no plan to address the roughly 700,000 immigrants who stand to lose legal protections as early as March 5.

The defeat follows a rocky 24 hours of negotiations on a bipartisan bill that failed following a veto threat from President Trump. By a 39-60 vote, senators rejected a White House-backed plan that became a partisan lightning rod after Trump insisted his plan was the only one he would sign.

A federal judge in New York has ruled that the Trump administration cannot end the Obama-era program designed to protect from deportation young immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.

Updated at 6 p.m. ET

The Senate voted to begin debate on immigration Monday, launching an unusual process that could lead to a bipartisan immigration fix — or leave Congress with no solution for the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who stand to lose legal protections by March 5.

ICE

With Congress in a heated immigration debate, the Ohio Valley region is adding to its immigration courts. Sources within the Justice Department say Kentucky will have a new immigration court operating in Louisville as soon as April, and Ohio is adding additional judges to handle deportations and other immigration cases.

Recent immigration changes and heated rhetoric have left many people in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia with an uncertain future and lawyers and courts with a backlog of cases.


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