Things That Matter

Trump Administration Hikes Up DACA Renewal Fee To Support U.S. Immigration And Customs Enforcement

A new proposal brought forth by immigration officials might hike up the cost of immigrants entering the United States as children. According to a New York Times report, the Trump administration proposal would increase fees for applicants by more than 60 percent and handover more than $200 million to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

On Friday, the Trump administration proposed increasing a “range of fees” tacked onto applications for those seeking legal immigration and citizenship.

If it is sent into motion, the proposal would increase citizenship fees by more than 60 percent. Under the new plan, fees for applicants would skyrocket from $725  to $1,170. The proposal would also allow the government to charge asylum seekers $50 for applications and $490 for work permits. Such a rule would make the United States one out of four countries in the world to force asylum seekers to pay for applications. Australia, Fiji and Iran all charge for asylum protection. 

If instituted, the proposal would be yet another roadblock implemented by the Trump administration to restrict immigration through legal means.

Over the past few months, immigrants and immigration advocates have seen similar attempts at hacking through the rights of immigrants before. Recently the Trump administration issued a series of policies that work to withhold permanent residency to immigrants in the United States have been deemed incapable of financially supporting themselves. They have also blocked entry to immigrants applying for visas on the basis of health insurance status. On October 4, 2019, Trump published a Presidential Proclamation that prevents entry to visa applicants are unable to provide proof of their ability to obtain health insurance within 30 days of entering the United States. 

“Healthcare providers and taxpayers bear substantial costs in paying for medical expenses incurred by people who lack health insurance or the ability to pay for their healthcare.  Hospitals and other providers often administer care to the uninsured without any hope of receiving reimbursement from them,” the proclamation read. “The costs associated with this care are passed on to the American people in the form of higher taxes, higher premiums, and higher fees for medical services.  In total, uncompensated care costs — the overall measure of unreimbursed services that hospitals give their patients — have exceeded $35 billion in each of the last 10 years.”

 Ur Jaddou, former chief counsel at USCIS under the Obama administration called the new policy, “one more way under the administration that they are making legal immigration unattainable.”

“Currently, USCIS is conducting its biennial fee review, as required under the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990, to study the agency’s revenue, costs and needs,” a spokesperson for USCIS told BuzzFeed News. “As always, USCIS will publicly communicate information on its fee review through a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published in the federal register, should a decision be made to adjust its fees. No determination has yet been made.”

Immigration advocates on social media have been quick to slam the proposal as unfair. 

“The proposal to get rid of fee waivers is a whole statement and stand against the poor. From the public charge stuff to this. Worse thing too is this is how people actually feel,” film director Angy Rivera wrote in a thread that lambasted the policy. “The Department of Homeland Security’s plan will be open to public comment for 30 days starting Nov. 14. Make sure to flood them!”

Other users who quick to underline the significance of taking the funds from these applicants and transfer them to  Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Trump administration plans to “transfer money raised through the new proposed fee schedule to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency under DHS that carries out deportations, workplace investigations and other immigration enforcement actions. The money would be used to root out any potential fraud in future applications for citizenship, green cards, asylum and other immigration benefits.” 

“At this point I feel like they are just putting numbers in hat, and tossing it around. This is money we use to live and maintain our families, minimum wage ass job won’t cover this. This is just business to make money, y’all taking advantage of us,” Cristal Ruiz Rodriguez wrote in a tweet.

There’s no doubt that the Trump administration’s latest attack on immigrants is a wealth tax.

The Trump administration’s new policy would not be applicable to immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and asking for asylum. 

Melissa Rodgers is the director of programs for the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and told the Washington Street Journal that the proposed fees would be unaffordable for those who could have had a chance at citizenship.

“This is a wealth tax on becoming a U.S. citizen,” Rodgers said in a statement. “It’s part and parcel of the assault on the naturalization process.”

Transcripts Of George Floyd’s Death Find He Told Cops He Couldn’t Breathe More Than 20 Times: “Tell my kids I love them”

Things That Matter

Transcripts Of George Floyd’s Death Find He Told Cops He Couldn’t Breathe More Than 20 Times: “Tell my kids I love them”

Stephen Maturen / Getty

Over a month has passed since the death of George Floyd and while the aftermath of it seemed to spark a reaction that rattled those of us left behind to our cores, outrage over his death has slowed down. Likely you’re hearing less calls to end police brutality, seeing fewer signs that Black Lives Matter and most of your friends’ Instagram pages have likely returned to their usual blissfully ignorant states. Still, the fight for justice for George Floyd carries on and newly released transcripts of body camera footage show that Floyd had pled for his life and told officers at least 27 times that he couldn’t breathe before his death.

New transcripts from body camera footage of Floyd’s death have been filed in court.

Floyd (a truck driver, security guard, and father of five) told Minneapolis police officers over 27 times that he couldn’t breathe before he died. “I’m scared as fuck, man,” Floyd told the officers while they restrained them. “Tell my kids I love them. I’m dead.”

Transcripts of body camera footage show that Floyd told officers at least 27 times that he couldn’t breathe before passing out and dying.

“I can’t breathe for nothing, man,” Floyd told officers. “This is cold-blooded, man.” Ignoring Floyd’s cry for help, officer Derek Chauvin continued to pin Floyd down with his knee on his neck.

In the transcript, Chauvin can be heard saying to Floyd “Then stop talking. Stop yelling. It takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk.”

“I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe,” Floyd continued. “I’ll probably just die this way.”

The transcripts were filed by former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane in a move to have charges against him dropped.

Lane is one of four former police officers to be charged in Floyd’s death. Chauvin, Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao are also being charged. Lane, Kueng, and Thao have been charged with aiding and abetting Chauvin in Floyd’s death. Meanwhile, Chauvin faces second-degree murder charges.

According to BuzzFeed, “In the motion looking to have charges against Lane dropped, attorneys argue he was a new officer on the force and following the cues from Chauvin.” At the time of Floyd’s death, Chauvin was not Lane’s field training officer. He had however been one in Lane’s precinct and had provided the Chauvin with instructions on how to deal with calls. Attorneys have pointed out that in the transcripts Lane called paramedics to the scene and asked if they should roll Floyd on his side while he was holding onto his legs.

In the transcript, Chauvin says “No, he’s staying put where we got him.”

According to transcripts, after Chauvin passed out bystanders pointed out Floyd was unresponsive. Still, Chauvin pinned him to the ground.

A Muslim Teen Has Filed A Discrimination Claim After A Starbucks Put “ISIS” On Her Cup

Things That Matter

A Muslim Teen Has Filed A Discrimination Claim After A Starbucks Put “ISIS” On Her Cup

KSTP / Via Facebook: watch

After enduring quite a bit of pain over receiving a cup with the word “ISIS” instead of her name, a Muslim teenager has filed a human rights complaint. According to the teenager whose name (as reported by Buzzfeed) is Aishah, on July 1 she and a friend went to a Starbucks located inside of a Target in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The 19-year-old said that a barista asked her to repeat her name when taking her order, but she was shocked by what she saw when she first received it.

Aishah says that she feels as if the incident happened because she was wearing a hijab and a face mask.

“I felt a lot of emotions, and shock was the main one because I actually couldn’t believe this was happening,” Aishah told BuzzFeed News.

Speaking about the incident, the deputy director of the Minnesota chapter of Council on American–Islamic Relations, Mohamed Ibrahim said “This is a reminder that Islamophobia is alive and present in our communities.” In an effort to address the issue, the group has made efforts to help Aishah file a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

In her interview with Buzzfeed, Aishah said the barista said that “ISIS” had been put on a cup because they hadn’t heard her name correctly. According to Buzzfeed, the Target employee who served Aishah said “they did not hear her name.”

When a manager attempted to explain to Aishah that people’s names are frequently misspelled on cups, she said that the explanations were “not credible or acceptable.”

“When somebody orders a drink at Starbucks — if the barista can’t spell the name, then they ask you to spell it,” Aishah explained in her interview that such a mistake had never happened with her order.

Aishah’s human rights complaint, claims a manager offered her a free drink and a $25 gift card for her troubles and had her escorted out by security.

Target, which oversees the Starbucks location where the incident happened, told BuzzFeed in a statement that it’s “very sorry for this guest’s experience at our store and immediately apologized to her when she made our store leaders aware of the situation.”

A spokesperson also explained that an internal investigation found “it was not a deliberate act but an unfortunate mistake” and that the company will offer additional training to the barista. According to Aishah, she has yet to hear from Target since she called the company to complain. She also has not heard from CAIR-MN.

Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of CAIR-MN, is calling for the barista and manager in question to be fired and for Target and Starbucks to reinvest in training for their employees. “We are hoping that bringing light to this incident will actually transform how Target and Starbucks and many other companies deal with such incidents,” Hussein said.

Unfortunately, it’s not the first time Starbucks has received such a complaint.

In August of last year, a man told a barista at a Philadelphia Starbucks that his name was Aziz. He was soon given a drink with the term “ISIS.”

“The barista mistakenly spelled it incorrectly,” a Starbucks spokesperson told NBC News at the time.