Immigration and Customs Enforcement is refusing to bring detained immigrants to court hearings, and Councilman Carlos Menchaca wants to know why.
The Varick Street immigration court has often resorted to video hearings due to ICE’s recent block of immigrants’ physical appearances in court.
In a letter to the ICE New York field office director Thomas Decker obtained by Documented, council member Carlos Menchaca accused the agency of openly defying “the City of New York’s obligation to provide legal representation to detained immigrants facing deportation” and defying the will of its taxpayers.
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Good morning, and welcome to 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter.
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Children Protest Big Bank Investment in Immigration Detention
Activists with Make the Road New York, the National Domestic Workers Alliance and other community groups protested in front of JPMorgan’s Park Avenue headquarters on Tuesday. It came a day after Documented published revelations that JPMorgan Chase, Sun Trust, and other banks had collectively extended $1 billion in credit to the two largest private prison corporations — CoreCivic and the Geo Group — during the height of the zero tolerance scandal.
As bemused and annoyed-looking bankers headed out for lunch, activists held a children’s tribunal. A small group of costumed children, including a judge and a prosecutor, ultimately found the bank guilty of abetting the immigration detention system. Then, a little girl carried a stack of what were described as petitions towards the bank’s entrance. A security coordinator stopped her, took the petitions and promised to get them to CEO Jamie Dimon — before walking away from the bank’s entrance. Photo and story by Felipe De La Hoz for Documented
ICE arrests 17 Undocumented Men Upstate
ICE arrested 17 undocumented men after a traffic stop near the upstate city of Amsterdam, a 40 minute drive from Albany. The arrests are indicative of an uptick in immigration enforcement in upstate New York, says Camille Mackler, Director of Immigration Legal Policy at the New York Immigration Coalition. Amsterdam police pulled the van on Aug. 21, and said the driver and passengers were drinking beer. The men lacked identification and ICE was called. Times Union
Mexican Woman Arrested After Receiving Letter from ICE She Didn’t Understand
A Mexican immigrant and victim of domestic violence recently traveled to a Varick Street building for an ICE check-in after she received an appointment notice by mail. The woman had applied for a visa two years ago, but doesn’t speak English and didn’t understand the letter. She was arrested at the meeting, sent to a detention center in New Jersey and held for two months. El Diario via Voices of NY
New Jersey Governor Shoots Down Hair Braiding Deregulation Bill
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy rejected a bill aimed at deregulating African hair braiding businesses in the state. The bill was unanimously approved in both houses of the state government. State regulations order hair braiders to take 1,200 hours of cosmetology classes which can cost up to $17,000. But some immigrant women who do this work without permits told WNYC the unregulated industry is vulnerable to extortion by gangs and scams by customers. WNYC
It has been 146 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.
Mother Sues for Daughter’s Death After Detention
A week after Mariee Juárez and her mother Yazmin entered a family detention center in Dilley Texas, Mariee developed a cough and a fever of over 104 degrees. As the weeks passed, Mariee, who was 18 months old, grew sicker, rebounded and grew sick again. The mother and daughter were released and six weeks later, Mariee died at a hospital in Philadelphia. Yazmin Juarez is now attempting to sue ICE over what happened to her daughter, which she said stemmed from the conditions at the South Texas Family Residential Center. VICE News
Conservative Immigration Think Tank is Sued by Only Latino Employee
Joe Gomez left a job with NBC News Radio to become conservative think tank Federation for American Immigration Reform’s only Latino employee. For weeks he defended the group to friends, who were suspect of the organization founder’s closeness to neo-Nazis and its designation by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. “When I first joined, as hokey as it made sounds, I thought, ‘they’re FAIR — they’re supposed to be fair!’” Gomez told The Daily Beast. Gomez is now suing the organization for damages, alleging discrimination based on race, disability and national origin. The Daily Beast
Mollie Tibbetts’ Family Pushes Back Against Anti-Immigrant Narrative
After Mollie Tibbetts was found dead in her hometown, conservative pundits and President Trump were quick to point out that her alleged killer was living and working in the U.S. under a false name. Now, Tibbetts’ family is speaking out against those using her death to rail against unauthorized immigration. “He could have been a citizen, born in this country; he could have been an older, white man from anywhere; he could have been a man from Mollie’s world,” Tibbetts’ cousin Sandi Tibbetts Murphy wrote in a Facebook post on Friday. “Mollie was murdered because a man denied her right to say no.” Vox
Asylum Seekers Win Small FOIA Battle
A group of asylum seekers can move forward with claims that the government illegally withheld asylum case assessments, which detail what officers observed of asylum seekers. Washington, D.C. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton found Catholic Charities had shown enough evidence that the Department of Homeland Security had a policy of denying all document release requests made under the Freedom of Information Act. The government now will release the first paragraph of each asylum seeker’s assessment. Law 360
Washington – Supreme Court Decision Sends Shockwaves Around the Country
In June, the Supreme Court ruled that a Brazilian immigrant should have his deportation case canceled and be issued a green card due to the government sending him an incomplete “notice to appear” years before. The ruling was met to little fanfare.
But since then, the decision has spread implications throughout immigration courts. The ruling could affect all deportation cases in which ICE issued an incomplete notice to appear — a number in the hundreds of thousands. And it could further bog down the court system, striking a blow to the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown.
Immigration courts have faced a wave of requests from attorneys to have their clients’ deportation cases terminated. They say the decision removes the immigration courts’ jurisdiction over cases with invalid notices to appear. Some judges have honored the challenges and others pushed back. Experts say it’s likely the government will pursue additional deportation cases or file appeals against the lawyer’s complaints. Arizona Republic
Poll Says Abolish ICE is Minority Opinion
Despite the momentum the movement has gained, “Abolish ICE” is not yet mainstream, according to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Just one quarter of Democrats support eliminating the agency, while 57 percent of respondents view it negatively. Democratic politicians like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Sen. Kamala Harris have all embraced a wholesale reform of the agency. Most Republicans are in favor of ICE, but a whole third of Americans don’t know enough about ICE to have an opinion. Associated Press
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