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Early Arrival: Statue of Liberty Climber Pleads Not Guilty

Friday's edition of Early Arrival: The Fight for E-bikes – Statue of Liberty Climber Pleads Not Guilty – HHS Confusion in Reuniting Families

Felipe De La Hoz

Jul 06, 2018

Rally in Brooklyn protesting the government's zero tolerance policy.

The woman who climbed the base of the Statue of Liberty on the Fourth of July to protest the Trump administration’s zero tolerance border policy is 44-year-old Staten Islander Therese Patricia Okoumou, who pleaded not guilty at her arraignment Thursday. Okoumou had gone to the monument with a group of activists from Rise and Resist. The plan had been to unfurl a banner with the Abolish ICE slogan and protest at the statue’s base, but Okoumou decided to take her civil action to the next level by clambering up the base, forcing an evacuation of the island and a rescue operation. She pleaded not guilty to trespassing, interfering in an agency function and disorderly conduct at the Manhattan federal courthouse on Thursday. New York Daily News

New York Detainee Receives Bond after Court Battle Following SCOTUS Ruling
Augustin Sajous, a Haitian legal permanent resident who was arrested by the NYPD for fare evasion and low-level drug possession, and was subsequently detained by ICE outside of Brooklyn’s criminal court, became the first detained immigrant in New York whose case was considered after the Supreme Court ruled against the right to an automatic bond hearing. He was able to get a bond hearing, and post bond, thanks to the efforts of his lawyers, who have filed a federal class-action lawsuit against ICE over access to bond and directly appealed his case. WNYC

Local Officials Denounce Housing of Separated Children in the Bronx
After finding out that children separated from their parents at the border under the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy are being held at a Lutheran Social Services facility in the Bronx, local elected officials rallied against the separations and spoke of the many contributions of immigrants to the borough. The development highlights that information is still only trickling out about where around New York separated children are being held. Bronx Times

In New York, Volunteers Engage in a Quiet Form of Advocacy for Immigrants Facing Deportation, PRI

As Some New Yorkers Apply For Citizenship, Others Pitch In To Help, WNYC

Let Us Never Look Away, Queens Daily Eagle

City Leaders Say They Stand with Muslims & Immigrants, But Do They Mean it? Gotham Gazette


Unofficial Notebook Becomes Integral to Asylum at one Port of Entry
After U.S. border officials at the San Ysidro Port of Entry began restricting the amount of asylum-seekers that could be processed on a daily basis, and an official system for designating which would-be immigrants could apply for asylum on a given day was challenged in court, asylum seekers have begun using an official system with the tacit approval of Mexican and U.S. border personnel. This system involves a notebook — controlled by an asylum-seeker who passes it along to another once they cross the border themselves — that keeps track of who is arriving at the point of entry and dictates who applies first. Advocates have complained that this notebook system is confusing and devoid of any oversight. Los Angeles Times

Breakneck Pace of Policy Changes has Derailed Asylum Process
The total confusion caused by overlapping layers of shifts in policies have caused chaos at proceedings along the border. At a detention center in Brownsville, Texas, which has been designated as the “primary family reunification and removal center,” parents unable to reunite with or even locate their separated children are having a very hard time successfully arguing their immigration cases while simultaneously worrying about the status of their kids. An overwhelmed system means many don’t get to see attorneys before having to face judges alone, and are sometimes deported without their children. New directives from the Department of Justice limiting the ability of people to seek claims based on fears of domestic or gang violence have only added to the confusion. Houston Chronicle

California Wards Off Sanctuary Injunction
A U.S. District Court judge declined to issue an injunction sought by the federal government that would have barred the state from enforcing laws limiting the ability of state and local law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration authorities and allowing the state attorney general to inspect detention facilities. The Department of Justice is arguing that the state’s sanctuary laws amount to illegal interference with federal enforcement powers, and that the state sought the injunctions while litigation is ongoing. The judge did immediately block a separate law that would prohibit private employers from giving federal immigration agents access to nonpublic areas or employment records. Sacramento Bee

Aggressive Enforcement at the Northern Border
U.S. Border Patrol vessels have been approaching Canadian fishing boats in disputed waters in the Gulf of Maine, reportedly to inquire about whether the boats could be transporting any undocumented immigrants. Both the United States and Canada have asserted sovereignty over the waters, in the surroundings of the Machias Seal Island, in a dispute that is unresolved. Both American and Canadian boats have long fished in the same area without incident. The presence of American patrol boats, which according to CBP are there to “enforce immigration laws and other violations of federal law,” have created new tensions, and prompted an investigation by Global Affairs Canada. CBC

Philly Police and Mayor Kenney on Occupy ICE Raid: Protesters were Repeatedly Warned, Philly.com

‘An All-American City That Speaks Spanish’: Immigration Isn’t a Problem for This Texas Town — It’s a way of Life, The Washington Post

We Know ICE Asks Local Police to Make Arrests. But we Don’t Know a lot More, Because Data is Hidden, The Boston Globe

ICE to Hold Inmates in new Willacy Detention Center, County Enters into Contract, The Valley Morning Star

Immigrants Take Oath at Monticello, Feeling the Weight of the Past, The New York Times

Washington – Trump and his Angel Families, HHS Confusion

With court-ordered deadlines to reunify families fast approaching, the federal government is having to admit that previous assertions indicating that it knew of every child separated from a parent at the border were overblown, and it’s frantically working to gather information it didn’t have.

On Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar gave the estimate of “fewer than 3,000” for children who had been separated from their families, a rather vague number given that the administration is required to begin reunifications for children under 5 by July 10.

It’s becoming clear that the department is largely relying on the testimony of children themselves to determine whether they’ve been separated from their parents. No adequate records of separations were kept by any of the federal agencies that interacted with the migrants, and in some cases, records were created by one department only to be deleted by another. Vox, The New York times

The president has been increasingly using a core group of what he’s termed “angel families” — families of people killed by undocumented immigrants — as an effective tool to ward off criticism of his immigration policies. These families provide an emotional edge that lends weight to Trump’s lies about immigrants’ statistical propensity for crime, and many say they are on board to use their newfound clout to push for tougher immigration restrictions or even assist with the president’s reelection. The New York Times

Trump’s unpredictability in his dealings with Congress has been a large part of the reason that his ostensible GOP allies have been totally unable to advance any immigration-related legislation. Knowing that they need Trump’s approval to get anything signed, congressional Republicans have been trying to tailor legislation to fit what they believe the president wants, a tall order in the face of his utterly malleable priorities and objectives. Vanity Fair

Felipe De La Hoz

Reporter at Documented.



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