Your AP(Eye) on the Hill: Census, ICE, abortion access
Published: April 6, 2018
Published: April 6, 2018
- 2020 Census to include harmful question on citizenship status
- Trump executive order says that ICE can detain pregnant women
- Trump proposal would penalize immigrants for using government programs
- Judge rules US Government cannot block abortion access for undocumented teens
2020 Census to include harmful question on citizenship status
The Department of Commerce announced last week that the 2020 Census will include a question on citizenship, at the request of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The intent of a census is to count all residents living in the US, and a question asking respondents if they are a US citizen or not could discourage immigrants from filling out census forms and result in inaccurate counts. Furthermore, an inaccurate count that largely excludes immigrants would skew many other decisions, such as investment of tax dollars or redistricting Congressional seats. This change significantly affects states with large immigrant populations, of which at least 17 have filed lawsuits against the citizenship question. The last time a citizenship question has appeared on a census was 1950.
Trump executive order says that ICE can detain pregnant women
Last week, the Trump administration issued a directive that cancels a previous rule stating that pregnant immigrant women in detention be immediately released. The change in policy now means that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can detain pregnant women, releasing only those in their third trimester of pregnancy or on a case-by-case basis. Several Senators sent a letter to ICE Chief Thomas Homan denouncing this change in policy. Though the directive was signed in December, it was not made public until March 29.
Trump proposal would penalize immigrants for using government programs
The Department of Homeland Security has officially proposed new rules that would make it harder for immigrants who have been on public benefits programs to obtain permanent residency. According to the new rules, immigration officers could look at an immigrants enrollment in certain public benefits programs such as food assistance to determine if they constitute a “public charge” and weigh that information against them in their application to become citizens. Since 1999, authorities have been barred from using such information to determine an immigrant’s eligibility of staying in the country. Also under current law, immigrants, while paying taxes, must wait five years from arrival into the U.S. before being able to access public benefits programs at all.
Judge rules US Government cannot block abortion access for undocumented teens
After four cases in which a Trump appointee tried to block four young immigrant women from obtaining abortions, a federal judge ruled that the US government can no longer prevent undocumented teens from abortion access. Judge Tanya S. Chutkan of the United States District Court of the District of Columbia said that the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s (ORR) no-abortion policy “is premised on the notion that the Director is entitled to exercise complete control over female [unaccompanied minor] reproductive decisions by virtue of the fact that they are undocumented minors in ORR custody.” This ruling signifies an important victory in achieving justice for the “Janes” and multiple other young women who were blocked from obtaining abortions.
- Read the petition started by reproductive rights organizations and delivered to theDepartment of Health and Human Services (HHS) two weeks ago
- Read about the class action lawsuit that was filed by ACLU
- Learn more about the cases of Jane Doe, Jane Roe, Jane Poe, and Jane Moe
- Learn more about reproductive healthcare in detention facilities