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Early Arrival: New Database Casts Light on NYC ICE arrests

Wednesday's Edition of Early Arrival: Database Shows NYC ICE arrests – 450 Parents Deported Without Their Kids – DOJ Says 'Illegal Alien' More Accurate Than 'Undocumented'

A new interactive database called ICEwatch casts light on 665 ICE operations and the agency’s arrest methods in New York. The creators of the database say the data show the agency’s prevalence of “deceptive and aggressive tactics.”

The Immigrant Defense Project and the Center for Constitutional Rights created the database, which spans from 2013 until today, using data they gathered through two state initiatives: the Regional Immigration Assistance Centers and the Immigrant Family Unity Project. The majority of the cases happened after Donald Trump’s inauguration.

The incidents include: six men in black masks rounding up residents in an apartment and refusing to identify themselves; seven ICE agents in plainclothes surrounding a taxi with their guns drawn; and two agents in jeans and sweatshirts tackling a man in front of his pregnant girlfriend, who was also thrown to the ground. The database included multiple incidents of ICE agents informing immigrants they are municipal police officers, as Documented previously reported. The Intercept

It’s Wednesday, and it’s time for Early Arrival. I’m Max Siegelbaum, here to take you through the latest in local and national immigration news and analysis. If you have feedback, suggestions, tips or leads, reach out at max.siegelbaum@documentedny.com.

We’re always looking for deeply reported work on immigration in New York. If you have story ideas and are interested in writing for us, reach out at pitches@documentedny.com.

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Ellis Island

Pizza Delivery Worker Pablo Villavicencio Released
Pablo Villavicencio, the pizza delivery worker arrested by ICE at a Brooklyn army base, has been released from a New Jersey detention center. Judge Paul Crotty ordered Villavicencio released, and questioned the need to deport the father of two on Tuesday. “The powerful are doing what they want, and the poor are suffering what they must,” Crotty said during the hearing. “Is there any concept of justice here or are we just doing this because we want to?” he added. The Guardian

Chinatown Art Project Sparks Feud
A public art project in Chinatown sparked a feud in the iconic Doyers street enclave. The Department of Transportation and the Chinatown Business Improvement District asked artist Dongfan Chen to paint a mural on the in honor of Mabel Lee, a suffragette and the first female Asian-American graduate of Columbia University. The Chinatown post office was also named after her. Twelve business owners spoke out against the project, saying that it would impact garbage disposal and food deliveries on the street. Black paint was splattered on the mural. Chen decided to incorporate the vandalism in the mural, spreading abstract paint splatters elsewhere on the street. Sing Tao Daily via Voices of NY

Cuomo Pardons 7 Immigrants
Seven immigrants were spared deportation by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday. They were slated to be deported for past criminal convictions, which included theft and drug possession. Cuomo said the pardoned immigrants had gone years without reoffending and have built stable lives. “While President Trump engages in policies that rip children out of the arms of their mothers and tries to ramp up the deportation of New Yorkers to advance his political agenda of hate and division, we will protect our immigrant communities,” he said. Newsday

Couple Detained at Army Base is Released
The couple that was detained on July 4 while trying to visit their daughter and son-in-law at an Army base in Jefferson County has been released from a Buffalo detention facility. Conception and Margarito Silva were released after family, friends and strangers raised $20,000 for their bond. NBC 4

Lock ’em up, Nadler Says of Trump Officials who Keep Immigrant Kids from Parents, New York Daily News

Kashif Hussain, a Pakistani Muslim Immigrant, Wants a Seat at the Table, Bklyner

Hillary Clinton to Help Immigrants Reuniting with Children, Associated Press

New York on ICE: How Donald Trump’s war on Immigrants is Playing out in his Hometown. The Marshall Project


It has been 111 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

More Than 450 Parents Separated by Zero Tolerance Were Deported Without Their Kids
More than 450 migrant parents who were separated from their children due to the zero tolerance policy have been deported, a government attorney said in court on Tuesday. Nearly a fifth of the 2,551 parents separated from their children have been deported or left the country without their kids. Previous estimates pegged the current estimate of 463 parents at 12. The New York Times

Canada Border Sees Increase in Foot Traffic
While the Trump administration focuses its attention on the Southwest border, the Northern border between Vermont and Canada has seen a surge in illegal crossings. Officials say legal entry into Canada is easier, which is driving the border activity. “The number of illegal alien apprehensions at the Vermont–Canada border has skyrocketed,” Christina Nolan, Vermont’s U.S. attorney told the Associated Press. In fiscal year 2018, 267 people were apprehended along Vermont’s border with Canada. Just 132 were caught last year.  Associated Press

Previous Border Crackdowns Didn’t Work Either
A new analysis shows that the past two attempted crackdowns on families crossing the border illegally didn’t have a substantive effect on apprehensions at the border. These crackdowns  happened under President Obama in the summer of 2014 and under President Trump in the summer of 2017. The findings undermine the reasoning for Trump’s zero tolerance policy, as that measure was attempting to dissuade families from attempting to cross the border at unauthorized entry points. Vox

Fox News Accidentally Books Pro-Immigrant State Senator
Fox News meant to book a Democratic candidate for congress who supports ICE. Instead, they got Barbara L’Italien, a Democratic state senator and also a congressional candidate who told the hosts of Fox & Friends: “I feel that what’s happening at the border is wrong. I’m a mother of four and I believe that separating kids from their parents is illegal and inhumane… I keep thinking about what we’re putting parents through and imagining how terrifying that must be for those families, imagining how it would feel not knowing if I’d ever see my kids again.” Vox

Denaturalizations Grow Under Trump
Since President Trump took office, the number of denaturalization cases has been growing. The administration has made it a focus of its immigration law enforcement, going as far as to form a denaturalization task force. The government says its prosecuting cases of fraud, but lawyers say federal law enforcement is going deeper into people’s history. Norma Borgoño immigrated to the United States from Peru in 1989 and became a citizen in 2007. The Justice Department has recently moved to revoke her citizenship. The government says she failed to disclose she had been charged with a crime before applying for citizenship, despite the fact that she was charged for it four years after becoming a citizen. The New York Times

Immigrants in Massachusetts Jail Continue Hunger Strike
Immigrant detainees at the Bristol County House of Corrections continue their hunger strike, according to Donald Anthonyson of Families for Freedom, a group that advocates for immigrant detainees. “One block is off the strike, one block is not eating at all,” he said. The strike started on July 18th and is related to conditions in the detention center, including “nonexistent medical care, inedible food, abuse from facility employees, and exorbitant commissary prices,” according to a Families for Freedom release. “Retaliation has already started,” he said. “They started to move people out of that facility to other facilities on the Boston area.” Max Siegelbaum for Documented

Florida Cops Ship 24-Year-Old Mom to ICE After She Paid Traffic Ticket, Miami New Times

Here’s Heartbreaking Audio of Immigrant Moms Begging Judges for Their Kids, Splinter

U.S. Judge Allows Lawsuit over end of Immigrant Protections to Proceed, Reuters

Washington – Justice Department Says ‘Illegal Alien’ is More Accurate Than ‘Undocumented’

The Justice Department is telling federal prosecutors to use the term “illegal alien,” instead of “undocumented,” according to a memo obtained by CNN.  

The term “illegal alien” is in the US Code, while “undocumented” is not, according to the email. U.S. attorneys should refer to immigrants in the U.S. legally or whose status is unknown by their country of citizenship. Citizens and green card holders are “resident”s of their state,” according to the email.

Undocumented has quickly become the dominant term for immigrants who lack proper legal status to live in the United States. In 2013, the Associated Press changed its references of “illegal immigrants” to undocumented. The organization’s style manual now instructs writers to refer to acts as illegal, not people. The Justice Department told CNN the instructions were sent  “to clear up some confusion and to be consistent in the way we draft our releases.” CNN

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