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Early Arrival: Immigration Activist Pursues First Amendment Case

Wednesday's Edition of Early Arrival: Zephyr Teachout Wants to Prosecute ICE — Non-Criminal Immigrant Arrests Triple under Trump — Judge Quotas Threaten Due Process

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit heard oral arguments in Ragbir v. Homan on Tuesday. The case is a First Amendment lawsuit filed by Ravi Ragbir, the executive director of the New Sanctuary Movement, against Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Ragbir claims ICE is retaliating against people who speak out against immigration policies, and has been fighting off his own deportation since January.

Several other immigration advocacy groups, including Detention Watch Network and the New York Immigration Coalition, have joined the suit. Metro New York

Greetings. I’m Max Siegelbaum and welcome to Early Arrival. Today, I’ll 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 or on Twitter.

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Ellis Island

Most Children Still Not Reunited Probably Won’t be Soon

Most of the children who haven’t been reunited with family are “in the limbo stage,” officials at Catholic Charities of New York said. They face a slim chance of being reunited anytime soon because the federal government is moving slowly on their cases. Local facilities holding children delayed reunions due to “the issue of safety or danger with respect to the unification itself,” said Mario Russell, director of immigration and refugee services for Catholic Charities of New York. The children could face a hostile home environment or other threats.  LoHud

“Public Charge” Rule Could Slam New York City Immigrants

A new Trump administration rule could make it difficult for immigrants who use public benefits to obtain green cards. City officials estimate at least a million people could be affected by the rule, including applicants use any welfare benefits, even for children who are United States citizens. The rule has only been reported in leaked drafts, but is based on a 100-year-old law of “public charge,” which forbids anyone dependent on social welfare programs from becoming a legal permanent resident. Today, only cash benefits and institutional care determine if someone is a “public charge.” The proposal would expand to children’s health insurance, food stamps, and other programs The New York Times

New Yorkers Charge NYPD with Discrimination over Language Barriers

Three New Yorkers filed a discrimination charge against the NYPD for not having enough officers who speak Spanish. One complainant, Iris Vega alleges her boss attacked her after she refused to have sex with him. But when police officers responded, none of them spoke Spanish so no report was filed. Another woman says couldn’t communicate with the police after reporting sexual harassment on her job. The third man claims he was attacked by his landlady’s brother and had trouble communicating with the police.  Politico

Newark Police Turn Over Undocumented Immigrant to ICE, WNYC

Cynthia Nixon Courts Muslim Vote, Spectrum News

How An NYC Group Has Helped Reunite Separated Immigrant Families, NY1

Uncertain Times Have Boosted Pro Bono, New York Law Journal [Opinion]

National

Non-Criminal Immigrant Arrests Triple under Trump

ICE has arrested three times the number of immigrants who haven’t been convicted of a crime under Donald Trump’s presidency compared to former President Barack Obama. The surge is partially caused by large scale raids on immigrant communities across the country and more aggressive random street arrests, according to a class action lawsuit filed in Chicago. While non-criminal arrests have spiked, arrests of immigrants convicted of criminal charges grew just 18 percent. The statistics counter the Trump administration’s narrative that ICE is mostly arresting criminals and dangerous people. NBC News

Stephen Miller’s Uncle Has Some Harsh Words for his Nephew

In a blistering op-ed in Politico Magazine, the White House senior adviser’s uncle recounted the immigrant history of the man behind President Trump’s zero tolerance policy. “I have watched with dismay and increasing horror as my nephew, an educated man who is well aware of his heritage, has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country,” wrote David S. Glosser, Miller’s uncle. Miller’s grandfather came to the United States through what the senior adviser has referred to as “chain migration,” among other ironic facts. Politico

ACLU: Massachusetts USCIS Office Cooperating with ICE

A U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office appears to have alerted their local ICE branch when undocumented people came in for interviews related to their legal status, newly released emails show. ICE has arrested them at the interviews, which often relate to their marital status. The documents were released in an ACLU lawsuit and show a USCIS officer scheduled interviews with immigrants when it was convenient for ICE agents to arrest them. In one instance, ICE agents requested the office push an interview back 15 minutes because they were “getting a late start.” CNN

Washington — Judge Quotas Threaten Due Process, Law Scholars Say

In a letter on Tuesday, over 120 law professors and scholars slammed the Justice Department’s recent policy of measuring immigration judges’ case quota. “We believe the Department’s performance metrics are unacceptable and fear they are a part of larger goal to undermine the independence of the immigration courts,” they wrote in the letter provided to Law360. They said the rules incentivized judges to breeze through cases to alleviate a packed backlog at the expense of due process and fair proceedings. Law360

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