After months apart, and a public campaign, Guatemalan mother Yeni Gonzalez Garcia was reunited with her children on Friday. She came out of the the Cayuga Center in East Harlem with her three children, Lester, Jamelin and Deyuin, where she was greeted by a throng of reporters. Gonzalez Garcia was separated from her children at the border in May and was bonded out of a detention center in Arizona with help from a crowdfunding campaign. Her children were among seven that were reunited with their parents on Friday. WNYC, NBC New York
A Former CIA Contractor now Works with ICE to Deport Immigrants
Long Island company Classic Air Charter Inc. was formerly a subcontractor with the CIA to help with its rendition program, transporting terrorism suspects who were grabbed off the streets of Europe and the Middle East and sent to black sites, where they were often tortured. Now, the company has a new line of business: transporting immigrants for ICE. It was awarded a $635 million contract to help facilitate deportations. Documented
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Immigrants Rights Group Slam Renewal of Contract to House Detainees
Hudson County Freeholders quietly voted to renew a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Thursday, after it had come under scrutiny following reporting from WNYC. The decision to renew was slammed by New Jersey immigrant rights groups. The contract allows ICE to house immigrants in the Hudson County Jail in exchange for a fee of $120/day. The entirely Democratic board voted 5–2 to renew the contract, with those who voted in favor arguing that detainees would be better off in New Jersey. NJ.com, WNYC
Cuomo Pens Open Letter to Trump on Detention Spending
In a letter to the president, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for the $1 billion spent on detaining immigrant children to be spent on a other programs. The open letter, published on Saturday, called for an increase in university scholarships, infrastructure spending, and more. “It is both shocking and irresponsible — but sadly not surprising — that your administration is spending over a billion dollars to continue the immoral and un-America policy of detaining immigrant children,” Cuomo wrote. Daily News
City’s $46M Budget For Immigrants is not Enough, Advocates say
The New York City Council included $46 million in the 2019 fiscal year budget for programs that assist immigrants. This includes funding for legal assistance, language and literacy programs, and more. $10 million was for the New York immigrant Family Unity Project, which provides legal assistance to immigrants, except for people convicted of one of 170 crimes. Javier Valdes of Make the Road New York said, “It is troubling and absurd to see that the mayor is limiting … access to due process.” El Diaro via Voices of NY
It has been 102 days since Memphis-based journalist Manuel Durán was detained by immigration authorities after first being arrested by the Memphis Police Department while covering a protest. Documented will keep a running tally of how long Durán remains in detention.
Children Held in Government Facilities Face Shocking Conditions
No touching. No Running. No writing in the dorms. Wake-up calls. These are some of the rules that children who were separated from their parents had to abide by while they were in the custody of agencies who were contracted by the federal government to house immigrant children. One 10-year-old child told The New York Times that he was made to scrub the toilets at a facility in Chicago. Children who are separated from their parents are sent to one of a number of facilities around the country, The Times spoke with some who had left the facilities about their experiences. The New York Times
‘I was so sad’: One Family Recollects Their Separation
The Washington Post also spoke to six children who were separated from their parents. In a harrowing account, Angelica Gonzalez Garcia described how she was separated from her 7-year-old daughter Sandy. They arrived at the border on May 9 when they attempted to seek asylum. A day later, which was Mother’s Day in their native Guatemala, agents told Gonzalez Garcia to sign documents authorizing the separation from her daughter. The Washington Post
Detaining Immigrant Children Becomes $1B Industry
The business of detaining immigrant children who are apprehended at the border has surged into a $1 billion industry over the past decade, the Associated Press reports. Health and Human Services, which contracts agencies to house immigrant children, went from spending $74.5 million on these contracts in 2007 to $958 million in 2017. In May, the agency issued requests for bids that could total more than $500 million. Southwest Keys and Baptist Child & Family Services were by far the largest recipients, raking in over $2 billion combined since 2008. Associated Press
Salesforce Employees Call on Company to cut Contracts With CBP
Salesforce has become the latest Silicon Valley company to draw ire for its work with federal immigration agencies. Hundreds of Salesforce employees signed a petition asking the company’s CEO Marc Benioff to end its contract with Customs and Border Patrol. Salesforce provides software to help CBP manage human resources. Benioff, who has touted the company’s progressive values, said he does not support the separation of families at the border but that the company does not work with CBP regarding that issue. NPR
Some Immigrant Mothers Stage Hunger Strike
Some detainees at the Port Isabel Service Processing Center are staging hunger strikes in protest of the conditions they’re facing. According to the The Intercept, women detained at the facility fasted in groups for a couple of days in protest of poor conditions and their inability to communicate with their children, from whom they were separated. The Intercept
Washington – Judge Criticizes Government, HHS Lays out New Plan
The federal judge that ordered the government to reunify families separated at the border chided government officials on Friday for presenting a skewed picture of his orders.
During an after hours hearing, Judge Dana M. Sabraw accused the government of using his ruling as “cover” for implying the speed of reunification might endanger children after government officials filed a statement saying that Sabraw’s deadlines for reuniting children were endangering the children.
More than 2,650 children were separated from their parents due to the president’s zero tolerance policy. The president signed an executive order ending the policy a month ago, and Sabraw ordered the government to reunite all children who were separated from their parents.
The government also indicated Friday that it would set up between six and eight locations where the remaining 2,551 children can be reunited with family. There, HHS field teams will interview prospective parents for 15 minutes to determine parentage and desire to reunite. The Washington Post, Politico
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