Immigration: The Great Divide
From the outside, there may be nothing obviously different about college students from immigrant families since President Trump took office. But to the students, the world feels like a much different place. But to the students themselves, whether they are citizens whose parents are undocumented, naturalized citizens or those with DACA – registered under the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for those brought to this country illegally as youth – the world feels like a much different place as they keep up with classes, family, friends and breaking news about immigration crackdowns.
GALLERIES: Immigration: The Great Divide
Two new welcome signs have been posted at key gateways to the city, greeting drivers in seven different languages, an idea put forward by resident and business owner Swaranjit Singh Khalsa and approved by city leaders.
MORE STORIES: Immigration: The Great Divide
A question asking whether the town should declare itself a welcoming community for immigrants and refugees will not appear on the May referendum ballot, after the town attorney ruled the petition's signatures were gathered incorrectly and the declaration exceeded the town's authority.
Nationwide, about one in four physicians graduated from a foreign medical school, then came to this country for residency or fellowship training and stayed, according to the American Academy of Medical Colleges. In Connecticut, the percentage is even greater: nearly 30 percent.
New London Adult Education Executive Director Maria Pukas said the English for speakers of other languages offerings have grown over the past several years to meet the need and extra classes have been added despite a steady drop in state funding.
The Remedies for Refusal of Repatriation Act is known locally as "Casey's Law" for 25-year-old Casey Chadwick of Norwich, who was stabbed to death in June 2015 by a Haitian national who should have been deported after an earlier conviction for attempted murder.
The term "sanctuary city" has no legal meaning, but is generally used to describe places where police do not enforce immigration law and do not actively cooperate with immigration officials investigating noncriminal violations of immigration law.
Chris George, executive director of New Haven-based Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services, or IRIS, said the travel ban will stymie work by his organization and the host of volunteer groups helping to settle families.
Salem resident Robert Kim Bingham, retired after a 37-year career as an attorney with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has been advancing a proposal to update an existing and little used immigration law on the books since 1929. He believes changing a single date in the law could offer an easy path out of the complex, politically charged quagmire that’s left action toward reform in limbo for a decade or more.
The Board of Education unanimously approved an emergency immigration policy on Thursday that reaffirms the district’s embrace and need for protection of the immigrant community and “anyone from any nation, culture, religion and ethnic background.”
The hourlong gathering was coordinated by the Norwich Area Clergy Association as a positive, nonpolitical show of support for immigrants and refugees in the region. Mayor Deberey Hinchey asked participants to turn and see their neighbors of different colors, styles of clothing, faiths, languages and even different cooking traditions.
Eager to receive any advice or updates from the two Yale Law School students and the immigration lawyer who came to New London Sunday, teachers, politicians, clergy members and students sat intently listening and asking questions about the implications of the wide-ranging orders that have come out of the Trump administration’s first month.
New London Superintendent Manuel J. Rivera said Monday that he is not aware of any recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement action involving district students or their families, but that school principals have told him of families who have expressed fears and asked questions.