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Proposed Immigration Bill Could “Turn Millions Of Americans Into Criminals Overnight”

Mark Knobil / FLICKR

Immigration officers could possibly find themselves equipped with body armor, assault rifles, and Tasers, the Intercept reports. New legislation, in the form of three bills introduced by Republican lawmakers, seeks to increase the authority of immigration officers, upgrade the punishment for immigration violations, and potentially strip DACA recipients of the protections they currently have.

The proposed bills would radically change how immigration officers interact with the undocumented population.


The Intercept reports that one of the bills, known as the “Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act,” would transform immigration violations from civil infractions into criminal violations, which could carry a 20-year prison sentence. DACA recipients could find themselves targets, thanks to wording in the bills. The Intercept reports that New York Representative Jerrold Nadler said the bill would “turn millions of Americans into criminals overnight.”

In addition to these changes, the Davis-Oliver bill calls for an increase in immigration officers, including 10,000 new agents, 2,500 additional detention officers, and 60 additional ICE prosecutors. As mentioned earlier, officers would receive a boost in arms and protection, as well as the authority to detain and arrest immigrants without a warrant.

As the Daily Beast reported, private prisons stand to get rich from crackdowns on immigration.


As The Daily Beast reported, companies such as GEO Group, which donated hundreds of thousands to Donald Trump’s campaign, are building prisons that have the potential to earn millions of dollars in revenue each year. These privately owned prisons are vying for contracts to fill up their facilities, and in turn, this could incentivize developing legislation that targets the undocumented population.

For the full story on the three proposed bills and how they will affect immigration check out The Intercept.

[MORE] The Intercept: REPUBLICAN IMMIGRATION BILL THREATENS TO TURN MILLIONS OF PEOPLE INTO CRIMINALS OVERNIGHT

READ: Latino Businessman Allegedly Had Mexican Farmworkers Living in Buses And Paid Them Less Than What He Promised

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Trump's Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Made Me Second Guess My Choice To Get My Master's Abroad But I Persist

things that matter

Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Made Me Second Guess My Choice To Get My Master’s Abroad But I Persist

Courtesy of Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra

This Election Day I watched in disbelief as the candidate who I thought had no chance clinched the presidency of the United States. I was in China completing my second master’s degree as a Schwarzman Scholar when the polls closed. As a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiary, tears ran down my face as I thought about what the results could mean for my family and me.

Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra
CREDIT: Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra

Donald Trump vowed to rescind DACA on day one. I took his word and returned to the United States before his inauguration. I had been paroled six times into the United States, entering through five different cities. My level of anxiety was higher this time because of the vitriolic rhetoric directed at “illegal” immigrants like me during the presidential campaign. My heart raced as the customs officers summoned me for questioning. That moment I understood that I had grown complacent as the inspection process became routine to me.

Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra
CREDIT: Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra

DACA brought stability to young lives marked by uncertainty, emancipating over 750,000 dreamers like me from the threat of deportation and allowing us to gain legal employment. For many of us, DACA also became the push we needed to rise above the limitations imposed by our immigration and socio-economic status to accomplish extraordinary things. Propelled by curiosity and a desire to improve myself, I sought a place in academic programs that took me to ten different countries in four continents in the past three years. I have visited iconic sites like the Great Wall Of China, the Brandenburg Gate in Germany, Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia, and Big Ben in London.

Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra
CREDIT: Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra

I have walked on the same grounds as Aristotle in The Acropolis of Athens, the birthplace of democracy. I basked in the grandeur of the Forbidden City of China, a place rarely seen by people for four hundred years. I walked the same cobble streets as Isaac Newton once did, and I enjoyed three-course meals draped in traditional college robes inside centuries-old buildings as a student at the University of Cambridge. As I traveled, I often thought about the improbability of my position. I felt the weight of my privilege when I thought about the thousands of students who applied for these opportunities and of the many more who did not. Yet, here I was.

Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra
CREDIT: Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra

Reentry into the United States was never guaranteed. I knew I was taking an enormous risk every time I boarded an outbound flight. However, the thought of the impact I would be able to have on the lives of those less privileged empowered with the experiences, knowledge, and relationships I would gain abroad filled my spirit with courage.

Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra
CREDIT: Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra

It is now clear that we have entered a new political environment. President Trump’s executive orders are already taking a toll on immigrant and refugee families. Could DACA be his next target? Forget the detrimental economic impact on the nation if DACA is repealed. The intangible impact of repeal is equally as important. We are no longer children. We are young adults with the capacity and the desire to positively contribute. Without work authorization, what are we to do? Continue accumulating college degrees in hopes of one day being able to put them to use? President Trump and the congressional Republican leadership must cease mercilessly playing with our futures.

Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra
CREDIT: Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra

Being selected a Schwarzman Scholar was the culmination of a lifetime of academic preparation and persistence in the face of linguistic, financial, and legal challenges. Now I am confronted with the choice of continuing my hard-earned education in China or risk losing my life in the United States. As frustrating as this situation is, it is not unique for me. Like other undocumented students, I have had to take detours on my path to realizing my dreams. Nothing has been easy or given to me. This is no different. The familiarity of this situation does not make it any less frustrating. With or without DACA, we must not desist demanding a permanent place in this country. The alternative is simply inconceivable.

Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra
CREDIT: Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez Sierra

The recent protests in support of refugees and immigrant families have strengthened my conviction that, despite the actions of the president, the majority of Americans believe that we belong. The fight for American’s soul is only beginning. For my undocumented friends still in the shadows, now it is not the time to hide. We must do our part to support those at the vanguard of this struggle by organizing ourselves and giving others the strength to do the same through the power of our stories.


READ: My Name Is Cindy. I’m Undocumented. I Can Make A Difference.

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