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Vance Callender, who oversees homeland security investigations in Michigan and Ohio, has been suspended after investigators from the federal Department of Homeland Security searched his home in the Detroit area. Authorities haven’t given any reason for the search, which took place last Friday. Callender was appointed in 2020 to lead homeland security investigations regarding immigration, human trafficking, child pornography, and cross-border crimes in the Ohio and Michigan office. He has been placed on leave, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement it takes “allegations of misconduct very seriously.” AP News
New Orleans Immigration Officials Accused of Deporting Asylum Seekers Illegally
The Southern Poverty Law Center has accused ICE officials in New Orleans of deporting asylum seekers without interviewing them about the reason they left their country, which is required by federal law. The national civil rights organization recently made the allegation in a complaint filed with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. SPLC attorneys say deportations have been occurring before asylum seekers have a chance to present their cases before a judge, or while their appeals are pending. In an email statement, ICE insisted it thoroughly reviews all cases before deporting someone. NBC News
Immigration is Making up a Majority of Population Growth in the U.S.
Immigrants represented 14.1% of the U.S. population as of December, marking the peak so far of the most recent immigration boom that began in the 1960s and coming close to the record high of 14.8% seen in 1890. Census data also shows that the U.S.’s foreign-born population is increasingly concentrated in middle-aged groups, with the majority of immigrants having lived in the country for many years. One-fifth of Americans within the age range of 40 and 64 were born abroad, and two-thirds of foreign-born residents have been in the U.S. for more than 10 years. New York Times
Family Claims Babysitter’s Islamophobia Led to a Call to Homeland Security
A tip line for Homeland Security Investigations received a call about a sensitive matter from a babysitter on San Juan Island, off the coast of Washington state: a claim that a Turkish mother mutilated her female infant’s genitals. Female Genital Mutilation is a federal crime, and advocates have been campaigning globally to end the practice, which various faiths and continents practice. The babysitter told a detective that the mother’s background as a Turkish American Muslim prompted their suspicion of FGM as opposed to a natural or medical condition. In addition to upsetting the child’s family, the call forced a tough conversation about the negative effects of anti-Muslim stereotypes on the island. Washington Post
Georgia Immigration Jail is Set to Become One of the Nation’s Largest
Private prison company The GEO Group and Charlton County, Georgia, reached an agreement to nearly quadruple the number of beds for federal immigration detainees near the Florida-Georgia border from 780 to 3,018. The move will make the jail one of the nation’s largest immigrant jails. The changes have renewed criticism from immigrant rights activists who wish to see the detention facilities shuttered, and praise from local officials who say the bigger facility will bring new jobs and tax revenue to the area. Atlanta Journal-Constitution