Manuel Madrid

Manuel Madrid is a writing fellow at The American Prospect

Recent Articles

Trump Is Tough on Venezuela -- but Won’t Let Fleeing Venezuelans Into the U.S.

Millions of Venezuelans have fled their country, but Trump’s anti-immigrant, anti-refugee stance has closed America’s door to them.

Though they heard President Trump condemn the brutality of the Venezuelan government in his State of the Union speech last week, Venezuelans around the world are in for some disappointment if they expect a warm welcome from his administration. Once one of Latin America’s most prosperous and stable nations, Venezuela has been reduced to a pit of human suffering. The country’s ongoing economic crisis has led to a collapse of its healthcare and school systems, widespread food shortages, and an epidemic of violence that’s given Venezuela one of world’s highest murder rates. Millions of Venezuelans have fled the the authoritarian government of President Nicolás Maduro, with millions more projected to do so in the coming months. You can’t blame Venezuelans for being confused about United States policy, however. Under Trump, the U.S. was the first of 50 some countries (and counting) to recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim...

Border Wall or No, Immigrants Will Soon Have to Scale a Paywall

Proposed new Trump administration rules could keep low-income immigrants from applying for green cards or citizenship.

trickle-downers_54.jpg Just in case his border wall won’t be sufficient to keep out immigrants, President Trump is erecting a paywall as well. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services plans to restrict access to fee waivers used by low-income immigrants applying for U.S. citizenship, green cards, and various other immigration benefits, potentially pricing out tens of thousands of low-income applicants as a result. The USCIS proposal , which was published last October, would reverse an Obama-era policy that loosened eligibility requirements for waiving agency fees. The types of applications affected by the reversal range from more mundane activities, like replacing a green card or registering a permanent residence, to matters of vital importance. USCIS waivers can be used by immigrants to cover fees for more than two dozen separate applications, including applications to apply for citizenship, file a legal appeal, receive employment authorization, and even suspend a...

ICE Now Locks Up Everyone

The agency no longer recommends release for detainees with no criminal records, and refuses to release information about its shift to mandatory detention for all.

As the Trump administration continues its anti-immigrant salvos at the border, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has ramped up its aggression domestically. ICE is now not only arresting more people than it has in years, it’s also opting to lock them up whenever possible, whether they’re criminals or not. In an attempt to accommodate President Trump’s anti-immigrant posture, the agency has launched indiscriminate raids on immigrant communities, borrowed funds from other Homeland Security agencies to pay for more jail beds, and even tweaked its own risk assessment software to recommend mandatory detention for every person in its custody. It’s this last change, carried out silently by by the agency in 2017, which has become the target of a recent lawsuit by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), the state branch of the American Civil Liberties Union. The Risk Classification Assessment (RCA) program has been used by field agents since 2013 to help...

Can the House Stop Trump’s Gross Immigration Abuse?

An overdue reform agenda awaits investigations and hearings.

This article appears in the Winter 2018 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . With the midterm elections over and Democrats back in control of the House, the Trump administration will no longer be able to count on congressional Republicans to protect its nativist agenda. The new House majority comes with committee chairmanships and accompanying subpoena power. Although the prospect of impeachment has been teased, the “I” word that features in the Democratic leadership agenda at present is immigration, which looks to be a priority for various committees. One of the first orders of business will be taking a closer look at the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border, according to Democratic committee staffers and ranking members. The policy drew public backlash, forcing Trump to sign an executive order in June doing away with the administration’s zero-tolerance immigration enforcement policy...

Local Officials Paid a Price on Tuesday for Cooperating with ICE

In a number of counties, voters ousted elected officials who’d directed their police departments to aid ICE in its deportations. 

Local law enforcement officials’ cooperation with federal immigration enforcement was on the ballot on Tuesday in counties in Maryland, North Carolina, New York, and Minnesota. In a range of local elections, voters ousted officials who had assisted or worked alongside Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to implement President Trump’s war on immigrants. The election results are a coup for organizers and activists who have been working to make clear the link between the president’s harsh immigration agenda and small-town politics. Their electoral victories may provide a model for future grassroots efforts to curtail abusive policies towards immigrants. Just days after taking office, President Trump issued an executive order directing federal officials to pursue more 287(g) agreements, which allow for participating state and local law enforcement officers to enforce immigration law after receiving training from ICE. Officers deputized under the program are allowed...