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Early Arrival: More Children Appearing in Immigration Court

Wednesday's edition of Early Arrival: How Undocumented Entrepreneurs Start Businesses — Separated Children Might be Adopted Without Parents Knowing— ICE Told to Escalate Under Trump

The immigration court backlog is not only swelling with cases of undocumented adults, but also with children who are often too young to speak.

This is the case of Fernanda Jacqueline Davila, a 2-year-old girl from Honduras was separated from her grandmother in July as a result of Trump’s zero-tolerance policy, and eventually faced a judge in a New York City immigration court.

The Honduran girl is one of an increasing population of children who are now have to appear before a judge in immigration court. The New York Times

Good morning, and welcome to Early Arrival. I am Irene Spezzamonte and I am 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 irene.spezzamonte@documentedny.com.

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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 atpitches@documentedny.com.

Local

How Undocumented Entrepreneurs Start Businesses Without Papers

Many undocumented immigrants living in New York City struggle to find a stable job that will allow them to provide enough money for themselves and their families. So, they create their own. Applying for Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) doesn’t require a Social Security Number, but it is a big step in opening a business. Some undocumented entrepreneurs even and employ other workers, contributing to the city’s economy. Although it gets easier for DACA recipients to open a business, changes to immigration regulations pose a threat to the local businesses as their business owners could be deported and forced to close their business. Read more at Documented

Anti-immigrant Posters Ask Queens Residents to Report Undocumented People

Anti-immigrant posters hung on electrical cabinets around Sunnyside, Queens caused an uproar among residents and local officials. The posters call on residents to report undocumented people to United States Immigration Enforcement. “It is your civic duty to report any and all illegal aliens to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” the posters read. “They have broken the law.” The fliers are believed to be associated with the violent neo-Nazi group Vanguard America and were reported by councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who called them “trash” and promptly tore one down. New York Daily News

Chinese Clients of New York ‘Asylum Mill’ Lawyers Face Deportation Threat, South China Morning Post

National

Separated Children Might be Adopted Without Parents Knowing

An Associated Press investigation found that some children who have been separated at the border through President Trump’s zero-tolerance policy were being adopted by American families without their biological families being notified. Foster families were often given deceptive information that made them think reuniting the child with their biological parents would have been risky and dangerous, AP found. Foster parents are apparently told they can’t adopt migrant children, one Christian services agency claims, but it also acknowledged that adoption still happens. The Associated Press

Man in ICE Detention Called for Help Before Committing Suicide

A 27-year-old man with schizophrenia killed himself while he was being held in a CoreCivic-run private detention center in Georgia. Jeancarlo Alfonso Jimenez-Joseph was once a DACA recipient, but had his status stripped after being accused of trying to steal a car. Jimenez-Joseph had dealt with anxiety and schizophrenia since a skateboarding accident when he was 11, and records show he tried to reveal those thoughts to officers and nurses while in detention. After calling an ICE hotline and asking for help, he was put in solitary confinement where he eventually took his life. The Intercept

Gay Men’s Chorus of Mexico City held by DHS in Los Angeles

The Department of Homeland Security held the Gay Men’s Chorus of Mexico City in a Texas airport after finding sheet music in their bags. DHS initially stopped only Jorge Gutierrez, one of the members, because he shares the same name of a man wanted for stealing a truck. But while in line, the 52 men started talking about an upcoming performance, and officials allegedly assumed the chorus was coming to the U.S. for paid performance work instead of tourism, as their visas indicated. After convincing the officers they weren’t being paid, the group says they were let go. The Los Angeles Times

Arizona Church Welcomes Immigrants Released From Detention

A group of churches and organizations are offering shelter to immigrants who have nowhere to go after being released from ICE detention centers. The Shadow Rock United Church of Christ in Phoenix has opened its doors to about 100 released asylum seekers so far, of the more than 400 who have recently been detained in Arizona. The Church, which has welcomed smaller numbers of immigrants before, will house the released migrants until they can get in touch with family members or friends already in the U.S. KTAR News

Miami Dad Thought A Good Samaritan Was Returning His Wallet. He Met ICE Instead, Huffington Post

Immigrants Say Court Ruling Is a Big Shot of Adrenaline, WNYC

Refugees and Migrants Tell Their Own Stories Through Photographs, The New York Times

Washington — ICE told to escalate under Trump, memo shows

A new memo details how, under the Trump administration, ICE directed prosecutors to become more aggressive when handling immigration cases.

The memo, obtained by BuzzFeed News, was written by Tracy Short, ICE’s principal legal advisor in August 2017. It provided specific guidelines to ICE lawyers as how to review all cases, even those that had been closed, “to determine whether the basis for administrative closure remains appropriate.”

These new directives highlighted the differences between the Obama and Trump administrations. Former President Barack Obama, for instance, focused on deporting undocumented immigrants with the worst of criminal backgrounds. Yet under the new memo, Short directed ICE attorneys to make all undocumented immigrants a priority for deportation. BuzzFeed News

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