Things That Matter

Young Man Is Suing Federal Government Because Being Detained Is Stopping Him From Renewing DACA Status

In November, the Supreme Court finally heard from the attorney’s representing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) community. It was a moment that was a long time coming. For the past three years, or we should say since Donald Trump was elected as president, the DACA community has lived a life of limbo and uncertainty as DACA has been attacked. So, while we wait for the decision from the Supreme Court, which should be at some point early next year, some DACA beneficiaries are still fighting for their lives. 

Twenty-four-year-old Jesus Alberto Lopez Gutierrez is suing the government because he continues to be in ICE detention.

Credit: @immigrationlaw / Twitter

In May 2019, Lopez Gutierrez was on his way home to Chicago from a camping trip with friends when they were pulled over. An Iowa police officer found that Lopez Gutierrez was in possession of marijuana. He was arrested on the spot. What made the issue more complicated was that Lopez Gutierrez was undocumented. 

While the drug charges were dropped, Lopez Gutierrez was still taken to ICE detention. You may be wondering if this 24-year-old man had DACA protection. Well, he did.

Credit: OCADIL / Facebook

Lopez Gutierrez had DACA in 2013, but when it expired in 2015, he had not renewed his application. Then Trump became president, and no one was safe. Soon after his election, people with DACA were being detained. Now, attorney’s for Lopez Gutierrez say he must be released in order to reapply for DACA. 

“Jesus has spent more than seven months in immigration detention. Under ICE’s policies, they should have released him. If they only released him, he would be able to get DACA again to apply for renewal and avoid deportation. Instead, they are keeping him in jail, violating the U.S. Constitution,” his attorney Wally Hilke said this week at a press conference, a local Chicago radio station reports. 

The lawsuit filed is against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and two agencies within that department. Lopez Gutierrez’s attorney says he must be released because he qualifies for temporary protection from deportation.

Credit: @DetentionWatch / Twitter

A couple of pro-immigration organizations are assisting Lopez Gutierrez in his fight to get released, including Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) and Mijente

“We are asking that Beto be released from detention,” Xanat Sobrevilla of OCAD told the radio station. “His immediate freedom is necessary. Beto is missed by his family and community. We will pursue and continue fighting until Beto is back home in Chicago.”

They also instructed supporters how they can assist by calling to get him released.

“Just a reminder that we’re still pushing for Jesus Alberto to be transferred to Chicago as this is the next immediate step in his Fight for Freedom. In order to make that happen, we need to pressure Eric Ouellette to transfer Jesus to Chicago, and we know they won’t act in our favor unless the community is constantly pressuring them.”

Mijente has also started a petition to show their support for Lopez Gutierrez.

Credit: Mijente

“As the youngest member of his nuclear family, Jesus contributes the majority of his wages to ensure his family’s financial stability,” Mijente stated on their website. “He is in charge of providing care and physical support for his aging parents, both diagnosed with diabetes and his elderly grandmother, who requires constant care and assistance. Jesus would spend most of his days working but, in his free time, he likes to go running in the neighborhood park and enjoys camping trips with his friends. Since his detention in May, Beto’s family and community launched a campaign to stop his deportation, but by September, the immigration judge overseeing his case ordered his removal. But Beto is not giving up, with the support of his legal team he decided to sue the agencies that are keeping him locked up and away from his family.”

Mijente adds that the ICE detention in Minnesota, which is where Lopez Gutierrez is being detained, has the jurisdiction to release him.

Credit: Mijente

“ICE’s top officials in Minnesota have the authority to release Jesus from detention so that he has the opportunity to apply for DACA. Sign the petition to demand Minnesota ICE Field Director Peter Berg to release Jesus Lopez immediately from Freeborn County Jail in Minnesota on his own recognizance and allow him to proceed with his DACA renewal process.”

READ: This Deported Veteran Has Returned To The US And Is Now An American Citizen

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The Trump Administration Just Announced That They’re Banning TikTok Downloads Starting on Sunday

Things That Matter

The Trump Administration Just Announced That They’re Banning TikTok Downloads Starting on Sunday

On Friday, the Trump administration announced that it would be blocking future downloads of social media app TikTok starting on midnight on Sunday.

“At the President’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross

The Trump Administraiton is also taking action against the popular messaging and payment app WeChat, banning American companies from hosting the app’s internet traffic or processing transactions for the app (one of its key features).

Both TikTok and WeChat are the two most popular tech exports from China.

via Getty Images

TikTok is a popular video-sharing platform that allows users to share 15-second videos of themselves dancing and lip-syncing to popular music (among other things). The app recently exploded in popularity, racking up 99.8 million downloads in the first six months of 2020.

TikTok and WeChat have both been recent targets of the Trump administration due to their data-collection practices.

TikTok, specifically, has recently come under fire for violating Google privacy policies. TikTok collects and documents massive amounts of data from their users, like videos watched and commented on, location data, device type, and copy-and-paste “clipboard” contents. The app even records people’s keystroke rhythms as they type.

The Trump Administration has long been suspicious of TikTok’s data-collection, speculating that TikTok might be sending the data to the Chinese government.

The Trump administration has argued that such massive amounts of data in the hands of a foreign government is a threat to national security. TikTok denies that they are handing over the data to the Chinese government.

TikTok, for their part, are not hiding their displeasure about the ban, releasing a public statement saying: “We will continue to challenge the unjust executive order, which was enacted without due process and threatens to deprive the American people and small businesses across the US of a significant platform for both a voice and livelihoods.”

This isn’t the first time TikTok has gone toe-to-toe with the Trump administration. The social media company sued the administration in August after Trump signed an executive order enacting broad sanctions against the app. TikTok claimed that the order denied the company of due process.

The TikTok ban is making waves because it marks the first time the U.S. has banned a tech app on the basis of national security concerns.

But some critics are saying that there doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason behind the ban. “It just feels to me to be improvisational,” said cyber-security expert Adam Segal.

Both TikTok users and concerned Americans have taken to the internet to express their anger at the Trump administration’s decision.

“Don’t be mistaken folks,” said one Twitter user. “Sunday it will be TikTok. Tomorrow it will be twitter, FB, Instagram…you name it…We must protect free speech!”

Another pointed out the hypocrisy of Trump targeting China when he doesn’t seem to be as concerned about Russia meddling in our internet affairs. “I live in a world where TikTok is a threat to national security but Russian interference in our elections is not,” she said. “This is Trump’s America.”

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A Federal Court Just Ended Temporary Protected Status For More Than 300,000 Immigrants, Here’s What You Need To Know

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A Federal Court Just Ended Temporary Protected Status For More Than 300,000 Immigrants, Here’s What You Need To Know

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

A federal court just handed a huge ‘victory’ to the Trump administration, which has been eager to restart mass deportations. Despite a global health pandemic, the administration has been pressing forward with plans to deport hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants.

Until now, many of these migrants were safe from deportation thanks to Temporary Protected Status, which shields some immigrants from deportation under humanitarian claims. However, the recent court decision – in San Francisco’s 9th Circuit – gives Trump exactly what he wants right before the elections.

But how will it affect immigrant communities across the country? Here’s everything you need to know about this major decision.

The 9th Circuit Court just ended TPS for more than 300,000 undocumented immigrants.

A California appeals court on Monday gave the Trump Administration permission to end Temporary Protected Status for immigrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Sudan, clearing the way for officials to force more than 300,000 immigrants out of the country.

The decision affects people from all walks of life, many of whom have lived in the U.S. for decades, have U.S.-born children and have been considered essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

This week’s ruling from the circuit court comes after a district court (also in California) temporarily halted Trump’s plan to end TPS in late 2018 after a group of lawyers sued, arguing that Trump was motivated by racial discrimination.

“The president’s vile statements about TPS holders made perfectly clear that his administration acted out of racial animus,”Ahilan Arulanantham, a lawyer for the ACLU of Southern California, wrote in a statement. “The Constitution does not permit policy to be driven by racism. We will seek further review of the court’s decision.”

But today’s 2-1 decision reversed the district court’s temporary order and allowed the federal government to take away TPS protections while the court case continues.

ICE and DHS has promised to wait several months before taking away TPS status if the agency won in court. As a result, the ACLU told NPR that it expects the protections to start ending no sooner than March, meaning that Joe Biden could reverse the administration’s decision if he wins in November, though the organization plans to fight back in the meantime.

Temporary Protected Status was created to protect people in the U.S. from being sent back to dangerous places – and it’s saved lives.

Credit: Daniel Ortega / Getty Images

The TPS program was first introduced in 1990, and it has protected immigrants from more than 20 countries at various points since then. More than 300,000 people from 10 different nations currently use the program, some of whom have lived and worked in the United States for decades.

Trump has sharply criticized the program, sometimes along racial lines, and in one infamous and widely criticized incident two years ago, the president reportedly referred to the program’s beneficiaries as “people from shithole countries.”

TPS provides protection for short periods of up to 18 months, but the federal government has continuously extended it for the countries mentioned in the lawsuit “based on repeated findings that it remains unsafe to return.” 

As a result, it said, most TPS holders have been living in the U.S. for more than a decade, contributing to their communities and raising their families. Many of the more than 200,000 U.S.-citizen children of TPS holders have never been to the country their parents are from and would have to choose between their families and their homes.

The ruling will have a major impact on migrant families and communities across the U.S.

Credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Immigration advocacy groups are slamming the court’s ruling, noting it will impact hundreds of thousands of TPS holders as well as their families and communities. In a statement, Beth Werlin, executive director of the American Immigration Council, said the decision will “plunge their lives into further turmoil at a time when we all need greater certainty.” 

As the global pandemic stretches on, immigrants with protected status make up a large portion of the country’s front-line workers. More than 130,000 TPS recipients are essential workers, according to the Center for American Progress. 

“TPS recipients have deep economic and social roots in communities across the nation,” said Ali Noorani, president and CEO of the National Immigration Forum. “And, as the U.S. responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, TPS recipients are standing shoulder to shoulder with Americans and doing essential work.”

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