Jan. 25, 2017
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Trump to build wall, get tough on immigration: U-M experts can comment
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday instructing federal agencies to work regarding the construction of the wall with Mexico, defund sanctuary cities and enforce immigration law. University of Michigan experts can discuss.
Margo Schlanger, professor of law, is a leading authority on civil rights issues and served as the officer for civil rights and civil liberties in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She can discuss sanctuary cities and immigration law.
"The president's orders on border and interior enforcement betray our nation's best traditions by emphasizing massive and unnecessary detention of would-be immigrants seeking legal status," she said. "Under the orders, asylum seekers who have credible claims for relief will nonetheless often face long periods of detention, even when they pose no risk of flight or public danger. This is both a waste of money and a human rights disaster."
William Lopez, a postdoctoral scholar at the School of Social Work, co-authored the community health survey of Latinos in Washtenaw County, Mich., which showed the impact of an immigration raid in the community. He can comment on this, and on Trump's threat to defund so-called sanctuary cities.
"This is important for at least two reasons," he said. "First, sanctuary city policies certainly support immigrant communities, but they are also often supported by law enforcement. Police know that they cannot 'serve and protect' if no one trusts them to report crimes, and there is no way immigrant communities will call the police if it will result in deportation of members of their community.
"But secondly, it is not clear what federal funding President Trump intends to cut if cities refuse to comply. If we are not careful, Trump will succeed in splitting marginalized communities, many of whom utilize government services to stay healthy. Advocates of all stripes—whether for immigrant, LGBT or refugee communities, reproductive health care activists or environmentalists—should avoid infighting for the remaining funds and instead collaborate to challenge the structure that marginalized them to begin with."
Daniel Kruger, a researcher with the Institute for Social Research, led the community health survey of Latinos in Washtenaw County.
"Fear of deportation and immigration enforcement, whether for oneself or one's loved ones, has an adverse impact on community health and the utilization of health services," he said. "Greater fears of deportation would likely lead to further social isolation and avoidance of the health infrastructure."