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Three Examples of Real Lives and Families Affected By Trump’s Senseless Cruelty on Immigration

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“The administration’s relentless efforts to keep out and kick out immigrants is taking a toll on peoples’ lives”

Beyond the abstract policy debate, the Trump administration’s assault on a functional and welcoming immigration system is taking a toll on real lives.

“President Trump, Stephen Miller, and allies are dismantling every vestige they can of America’s legal immigration policies and the best traditions as a place of welcome without congressional approval or debate,” said Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice. “The US is breaking up military families, targeting promising students and sending people out knowing they will be in harm’s way. The administration’s relentless efforts to keep out and kick out immigrants is taking a toll on peoples’ lives and is the height of self-defeating policy and senseless cruelty for cruelty’s sake.”

Below are three examples from just this week alone of the types of stories we are seeing around the country:

Matt Cameron, Co-Director of Golden Stairs Immigration Center, in a tweet thread

“I can’t go back,” my client told me as soon as he sat down at the table in ICE detention.

“They will kill me.”

I believed him. 

The judge agreed that they probably would kill him, just before he denied his asylum claim.

He was deported.

They did.

I just found out today.

McClatchy’s Tara Copp: “Kansas military family fights deportation of adopted Korean daughter

A federal appellate court will hear the case of a Kansas military family fighting the deportation of their adopted daughter next month, attorneys for the family said Monday.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Patrick Schreiber was deployed to Afghanistan in 2013 when a critical deadline passed for his now-adopted daughter Hyebin to be able to apply for U.S. citizenship.

After he returned from his year long-deployment, Schreiber and wife Soo Jin completed their formal adoption of Hyebin. But she had just turned 17 and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services age limit for a foreign-born adopted child to become a naturalized U.S. citizen is 16.

…The district court’s decision meant that Hyebin, who is currently in the U.S. legally on a student visa, will have to leave the U.S. after she graduates college. She is expected to graduate this December from the University of Kansas with a degree in chemical engineering.

Shera S. Avi-Yonah and Delano R. Franklin for the Harvard Crimson: “Incoming Harvard Freshman Deported After Visa Revoked

While most Harvard freshmen settle into their dorms Tuesday, one new student, Ismail B. Ajjawi ’23, faces ongoing negotiations with immigration officers to allow him to enter the United States and study at the College.

U.S. officials deported Ajjawi, a 17-year-old Palestinian resident of Tyre, Lebanon, Friday night shortly after he arrived at Boston Logan International Airport. Before canceling Ajjawi’s visa, immigration officers subjected him to hours of questioning — at one point leaving to search his phone and computer — according to a written statement by Ajjawi.

…The same officer then asked him to unlock his phone and laptop, and left to search them for roughly five hours, Ajjawi alleges. After the search, the officer questioned him about his friends’ social media activity.

“When I asked every time to have my phone back so I could tell them about the situation, the officer refused and told me to sit back in [my] position and not move at all,” he wrote. “After the 5 hours ended, she called me into a room , and she started screaming at me. She said that she found people posting political points of view that oppose the US on my friend[s] list.”

Ajjawi wrote that he told the officer he had not made any political posts and that he should not be held responsible for others’ posts.

“I responded that I have no business with such posts and that I didn’t like, [s]hare or comment on them and told her that I shouldn’t be held responsible for what others post,” he wrote. “I have no single post on my timeline discussing politics.”

The officer then canceled Ajjawi’s visa, informed him he would be deported, and allowed him a phone call to his parents.

Though Ajjawi’s situation is rare among Harvard undergraduates, in 2017 four graduate students faced similar challenges due to a then-effective travel ban instituted by the Trump Administration. Those students eventually entered the U.S. after weeks and months in limbo, and the University warned international students not to leave the country.