Category: policy explainer

Puentes calls on Congress to dismantle the deportation machine and #Fix96

Puentes, along with dozens of national and regional immigrant rights organizations, has signed on to a letter calling on Congress to undo the damage caused by 2 laws passed in 1996 which have helped to fuel the deportation machine.

Read the Report:“Dismantle Don’t Expand: 1996 Immigration Laws”

This report explains the 1996 Immigration Laws, why it would be a mistake to build upon them in the new administration, and why they should be dismantled instead.

The term #Fix96 refers to 2 acts passed by Congress in 1996: the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) and the Illegal Immigration Reform & Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA)

        • The AEDPA makes it easier for immigrants to be put on deportation proceeding,“AEDPA departed from its mission and unnecessarily restricted immigrant rights
        • IIRIRA further expanded the grounds for mandatory detention and removal.
  • “IIRIRA did not undergo the meaningful debate that should characterize such a consequential bill.”
    • The laws were rushed and created negative consequences on the livelihoods of thousands of undocumented immigrants and green card holders
  • Noncitizens convicted of even a misdemeanor drug offense could be subject to mandatory detention and deportation regardless of their rehabilitation, family ties to the U.S., or length of stay in the U.S.14

Fiscal Impacts:

  • Billions of dollars wasted, since the Trump administration ICE HAS REQUESTED $2.2 Billion to maintain about 31,000 detention beds, in hundreds of detention centers nationwide. The request will fund 29,953 adult beds at a per diem rate of $126.46 per bed and 960 family beds at a per diem rate of $161.36 per bed. Since Trump’s election, the government has already requested additional funds to expand its detention bed capacity to 45,700. The expected increase of detainees under Trump’s administration will only demand more money and resources.

Humanitarian Impacts:

  • “The number of deportations since 1996 has exploded from about 70,000 to over 400,000 in recent years”
    • 4.5 million U.S. citizen children have at least one parent who is undocumented
  • Disproportionately affects people of color
  • Family
    • Homelessness
    • Foster care
    • Loss of income




DACA Resources

What is DACA?

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an executive order that allows qualifying individuals who were brought to the U.S. as children, temporary relief from deportation and provides them with work authorization. The Trump Administration has repeatedly attempted to illegally rescind the program. Many lawsuits have since taken place.

Litigation Timeline: DACA FAQS:


Learn More: DACA

Resources for UCSC students:

EOP Educational Opportunities Programs

Undocumented Student Services USS

UC Davis Immigrant Legal Services Center

Slug Support

Temporary Protected Status

What is TPS?

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is given to foreign nationals who are already present in the U.S. and cannot return to certain countries due to temporary unsafe conditions. The temporary unsafe conditions can include civil war, natural disaster, and/or other extraordinary circumstances. TPS provides individuals protection from deportation, employment authorization documents (EAD), and some may be granted travel authorization.


Recent Timeline:

March 2019- Department of Homeland Security issued a notice stating that while injunction is in place, TPS holders will retain their status and work permits through Jan. 2020

Feb. 2019 – Nepali and Honduran TPS holders filed a separate lawsuit claiming that their TPS was terminated unlawfully

Oct. 2018- California federal court issued a preliminary injunction blocking Trump Administration for termination of TPS of El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Sudan

March 2018– Lawsuit filed claiming that the U.S. government terminated TPS as a result of predetermined agenda and violated the law


The U.S. currently provides TPS to over 300,000 foreign nationals from the following countries: El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti, Nepal, Syria, Nicaragua, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and South Sedan. Salvadorian TPS holders are the largest group at 195,000 individuals. The second largest group are Honduran TPS holders at 57,000 individuals. Many of the individuals who were protected by TPS have been living and working in the U.S. for decades and have established livelihoods. If their TPS is terminated, they can now face deportation to countries that could still be unsafe. This would also cause a massive family separation crisis since around 270,000 U.S. born children have at least one parent with TPS. Since the attempted terminations of TPS, many lawsuits have taken place leaving the future of thousands of people uncertain.

Learn more about TPS:







Public Charge Rules

Public Charge has not gone into effect. Public comments closed on December 10th, 2018. The government must notify the public 60 days before public charge tests are set into effect. Before that they must respond to the publics comments.

Disclaimer – this is general info only – get a screening at a legal clinic to see how these rules affect you and your family members.

What is Public Charge?

According to National Immigration Law Center. “Public charge” is currently defined as a person who is or is likely to become primarily dependent on the government for support. When a non–U.S. citizen applies for a visa to enter the U.S. or for lawful permanent resident status (to get a “green card”), a U.S. government official will look at the person’s life circumstances to see if the person is likely to depend on government programs in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions:

If I used government programs in the past, does that mean I may not be able to get a green card? 

The public charge test is forward-looking. If you previously received help from government programs but your situation has changed, you can show that you will not need those services now or in the future (for example, because you now have a job).

How does the government decide who is likely to become a public charge?

The government uses a public charge “test.” The public charge test is based on several different factors. An immigration officer must look at the “totality of circumstances” by looking at the person’s age, health, family status, financial status, education and skills, and the “affidavit of support” filed by their sponsor (if they have one). The government must look at the person’s whole situation to decide if they are likely to depend on public programs in the future.

When does the public charge test apply?

The test applies in two situations: (1) when a person applies to enter the U.S. or (2) when a person applies to adjust immigration status to become a lawful permanent resident (to get a green card). You apply for a visa or green card by submitting information on a form. Using the information from that form and from the interview that follows, the government decides if you are likely to become a public charge. The test is not used when a permanent resident applies for U.S. citizenship.

(These answers were found on MomsRising.Org)

Resources to learn more about Public Charge:

Immigration Legal Resource Center – Public Charge: Your Questions Answered

National Immigration Law Center

Sanctuary Santa Cruz

Office of Immigrant Relations, Public Charge Fact Sheet

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website – Public Charge

Protecting Immigrant Families