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Early Arrival: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wins in upset over Joe Crowley

Wednesday's edition of Early Arrival: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wins Primary – Supreme Court Sides with Travel ban – GOP Stuck on Immigration Reform

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and proponent of the Abolish ICE movement beat 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley for New York’s 14th congressional seat.

Ocasio-Cortez spoke to Documented about her support of the movement to dissolve Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as #AbolishICE shortly before she won. She said that she would stop short of fully disbanding the agency, and would rather create a pathway to citizenship for more immigrants through decriminalization. “It’s not an open-borders position. I think it’s part of a larger conversation that we need to sit down with immigration activists,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

Ocasio-Cortez was born and raised in the Bronx and will represent a district that spans parts of Queens and her home borough. She was an organizer for Bernie Sanders and ran on a platform supporting universal health care, gun control and criminal justice reform. She spent several days prior to the election touring the border and protesting Trump’s immigration policies in Texas. The New York Times, Documented, CNN

Welcome back. I’m Max Siegelbaum, and I’m here to guide you through the day’s immigration news. If you have any tips, suggestions or story ideas, you can reach me at max.siegelbaum@documentedny.com.

Ellis Island

New York has joined a 17-state lawsuit against the the Trump administration on Tuesday to expedite the reunion of immigrant children and their parents. “The administration’s practice of separating families is cruel, plain and simple,” said Gurbir Grewal, New Jersey’s attorney general, in a statement. Washington, D.C. and the states filed the lawsuit in federal court in Seattle. They argued that the policy causes states to shoulder the social costs related to family separation. Associated Press

Queens Congresswoman Grace Meng made a trip to Texas this week to tour a border patrol processing center and the Port Isabel Detention center to see how children separated from their parents due to the zero tolerance policy were living. Meng said federal officials have little guidance as to how they should reunite children with their parents. Meng was unsatisfied by President Donald Trump rescinding the zero tolerance policies he instated. “It’s going to take more than signing a piece of paper,” Meng told QNS. “We know [Trump] signed the order, but from our visit it has not trickled down to the actual agents and the people in charge of working with them. There is little guidance on how families will be reunited.” QNS

New York State will provide free legal services to anyone detained at airports on immigration charges, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday. Cuomo said the move is in response to the Supreme Court upholding the Trump administration’s travel ban. Detained people will be able to seek legal help through the Liberty Defense Project, administered by the Office of New Americans. Cuomo started that office several years ago to help guide immigrants through the naturalization process. Associated Press

16 N.J. Towns Hosting Protests of Trump Immigration Policies on Saturday. Here’s What you Need to Know. NJ.com

N.J. Just Jumped into the National Immigration Fight over DACA, NJ.com

Shopkeeper Takes Stand: Ft. Greene Entrepreneur Turns Storefront into Harsh Critique of Trump Immigration Policy, Brooklyn Paper

Volunteers Needed as Donations Pour in for Immigrant Children in NYC, Pix 11


Special Edition: Supreme Court Sides with Travel Ban

The Supreme Court upheld the Trump administration’s ban on travel from several predominantly Muslim countries, a move that will impact 26,000 New Yorkers and many more nationwide.

The court voted 5–4 in support of the ban. The majority say it was within the president’s power to secure the country’s borders and that the motivations behind the ban were not undermined by Trump’s rhetoric against Muslims.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, and said Trump had the authority to make judgements based on national security and immigration. Comments such as the president’s call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” and that he said “Islam hates us” must be balanced against the president’s ability to protect the U.S. against national security threats.

The dissenting opinion was written by Sonia Sotomayor. She compared it to the 1944 decision Korematsu V. United States,  where the supreme court endorsed the detention of Japanese-Americans during World War II. The court “merely replaces one gravely wrong decision with another,” she wrote.

The majority used the travel ban ruling as an opportunity to overturn Korematsu, long considered a stain on the Supreme Court’s history, but critics felt the Korematsu overruling was largely symbolic. “Overruling Korematsu the way the court did in this case reduces the overruling to symbolism that is so bare that it is deeply troubling, given the parts of the reasoning behind Korematsu that live on in today’s decision: a willingness to paint with a broad brush by nationality, race or religion by claiming national security grounds,” Hiroshi Motomura, a UCLA law professor told The New York Times. “If the majority really wanted to bury Korematsu, they would have struck down the travel ban.”

Trump hailed the decision as a “tremendous victory.” “This ruling is also a moment of profound vindication following months of hysterical commentary from the media and Democratic politicians who refuse to do what it takes to secure our border and our country,” the president said in a statement issued by the White House.  

The decision has myriad impacts on people from the mostly majority Muslim countries it applies to. Documented spoke with Yemeni New Yorkers who had to pay tens of thousands of dollars to support their families abroad after their visas were rejected due to the ban. Families were split when spouses and children were stuck abroad in the war-torn country. The New York Times, The New York Times, Splinter

During a conference call with reporters, officials with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services refused to divulge whether the agency is receiving migrant children separated from their parents due to the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy. During the call, the officials were asked about the children and responded to parts of a reporter’s questions without addressing whether HHS is receiving children. The reporter pushed back, yet the officials still declined to comment. HuffPost

A red Texas county that went for Trump in the 2016 election voted to end the county’s contract with ICE to operate the T. Don Hutto Facility. “Being the go-between for a federal agency and private business on a federal issue such as this is not a core county function,” Williamson County Commissioner Terry Cook said.Splinter, The Austin Chronicle

A 15-year-old boy who recently arrived in the U.S. has escaped HHS custody in Texas. He walked off the premises of the shelter he was being held at near the Southwestern border and disappeared into the area surrounding it. The shelter, Casa Padre, is housed in a former walmart in Brownsville, Texas. It first made headlines when Sen. Jeff Merkley was denied entrance there earlier in June. The New York Times

Last week, Trump scaled back the zero tolerance policy from separating kids from their parents to simply detaining entire families together. ICE has requested 15,000 beds to house these families. Family detention beds cost about three times more than regular detention beds, according to the HuffPost. That would amount to $2 billion annually, about a quarter of ICE’s operating budget. Money that ICE would have to find. HuffPost


  • ICE is a Tool of Illegality. It Must be Abolished by Zephyr Teachout, political activist and associate professor of law at Fordham University. The Guardian
  • How the G.O.P. Built Donald Trump’s Cages, the New York Times editorial board, The New York Times
  • Put Human Rights at the Center of Immigration Policy by Lisa Lesage, executive director of Immigration Counseling Service. The Oregonian

Washington – Little Progress Made on Immigration Reform

Despite the momentum of the so-called discharge petition, the GOP is stuck on how to pass immigration reform. Today, they are expected to hold a vote on legislation that will fail by a wide margin. Republicans are already planning on introducing a measure with a smaller scope that addresses family separation at the border.

GOP lawmakers are trying to win their party over with a “compromise” immigration package. Key negotiators and aides spent this weekend crafting a provision they hope will address the concerns of the far-right faction of the party.

Last week, Jeff Denham of California told Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows that centrists would consider the E-Verify proposal matter — which requires companies to verify the citizenship of all their employees — if it would win their support. Asked on Monday if the different party factions reached an agreement on that divisive measure, Denham said it wasn’t determined.

Democrats are wholly against the legislation, which would fund the border wall and curb legal immigration. It would also provide a path to citizenship for recipients of Deferred Access to Childhood Arrivals. POLITICO

President Trump continues to broadcast his desires to strip away the due process rights for immigrants. “Hiring manythousands [sic] of judges, and going through a long and complicated legal process, is not the way to go – will always be disfunctional [sic],” he tweeted. Over the weekend he fired off a series of tweets accusing immigrants of invading the country and trying to “break into” the United States. “People must simply be stopped at the Border and told they cannot come into the U.S. illegally. Children brought back to their country,” Trump said. Vox

A Democratic Congressman Is Introducing a Bill to Abolish ICE, Splinter

Senate Odd Couple Tries to Salvage an Immigration Deal, The New York Times

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