The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York City will hear the case of Ravi Ragbir, the director of New Sanctuary Coalition, who has been facing deportation since 2017. Ragbir, who is undocumented, has been an active critic of Immigration and Custom Enforcement and was taken into custody during one of his regular check-ins in March of 2017.
Ragbir’s lawyers are arguing that, although Ragbir has been under a final order for removal for 11 years, ICE decided to deport him last year only after he had been more vocal in condemning the agency. Ragbir is expected to claim his First Amendment claim in court.
ICE has been accused of targeting other outspoken undocumented immigrant activists who faced deportation nationwide, including in Ohio, Washington and Colorado. The Intercept
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Undocumented Children in New York Have Higher Chance of Deportation
As the number of undocumented children has risen in New York immigration courts, it has become harder for them to obtain legal status successfully. There are currently 12,700 cases of undocumented children in New York’s legal system, divided between just two immigration courts in New York City and Buffalo. Nationwide, the state has the third largest population of undocumented children, putting lawyers on overload. Currently, 33 percent of these children don’t have legal representation and recent data shows that youth without lawyers are four times more likely to be deported. Times Union
Calls to Immigration Help Hotline Triple
After President Donald Trump’s announcement of the “public charge” rule proposal, which disadvantages people applying for permanent legal residency, far more immigrants in New York City are contacting a state hotline to express their worries. Representatives from the New Americans Hotline, which is funded by New York state and run by Catholic Charities, has seen a 200 percent increase in calls. Those who get in contact are worried about their status, it said, and even U.S. Citizens have called the hotline concerned they would be denaturalized. New York Daily News
Detained Mother with Open C-section Scar Says She was Denied Surgery
An Honduran mother detained away from her older child said ICE denied her surgery after her C-section scar ripped open. Luz crossed the Southern border in May with her son, saying she decided to flee death threats and physical abuse. Once she arrived in the U.S., she was separated from her 15-year-old son and detained. After a few weeks, Luz said her umbilical hernia and C-section scar started hurting and then the scar opened up. The migrant mother said she told officers she was in deep pain and was given ibuprofen. She received a date for a surgery after a lawyer heard about her case, she said. The Texas Tribune
Citizenship Applicants Could Wait Up to 2 Years Before Naturalization
The naturalization process used to take about six months. But since Trump has taken office, the situation has gotten significantly worse. In 2016, the number of citizenship applications grew by 27 percent, and the average waiting time to receive citizenship has grown to 10 months. But that varies based on location of the applicants. In Atlanta, a wait could take up to 22 months while in Texas, up to 26. Some immigration advocates think this might be a way for the government to prevent anti-Trump voters to be able to vote. The backlog has gotten so large that advocates say that in order to vote in the 2020 presidential elections, people should start applying for citizenship now. ABC News
HHS Miscounted Number of Children Separated at the Border
The Department of Health and Human Services admitted to miscounting the total number of children separated at the southern border as a result of Trump’s zero tolerance policy. The previous number indicated a total of 2,654 children separated, but the new total is 2,668. A recent report also shows HHS and the Department of Homeland Security were not ready to out in act the policy when it was announced. A government watchdog group even sued DHS for appropriately recording families who have been separated, making harder for them to reunite. Politico & The Hill
San Francisco Allows Non-citizens to Vote in Local Elections
Non-citizens living in San Francisco will now be allowed to vote in school board races starting in November. About 40 undocumented people have registered to vote already. The proposal to allow immigrants to vote in school board races was voted into effect in November 2016. This impact may look small, but the city’s move highlights the state’s long effort to provide undocumented immigrants some rights usually only afforded to citizens. In California, undocumented immigrants can also apply for special drivers licenses, college tuition breaks and child healthcare. Los Angeles Times
Former DHS adviser details discord under Trump
A former senior advisor at the Department of Homeland Security said concerns about the zero tolerance policy from career civil servants were steamrolled by the Trump administration, in a op-ed for the Washington Post.
Scott Shuchart was with the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties from 2010 to 2018, and says the Trump administration vastly changed culture and procedures for the office.
“There had been multiple interagency phone calls and documents, involving the State and Justice departments as well as DHS, making clear that lawyers throughout the government worried that deliberately separating families could violate migrants’ rights under humanitarian treaties or U.S. law,” Shuchart wrote. “But the political appointees simply didn’t listen.”
Shuchart added that the administration failed to guide front-line officers, which later resulted into a lack of proper records kept by DHS that would allow children to reunite with their families. Shuchart decided to leave the agency this summer.
“CRCL lacks the tools, the relationships, and the respect that would be needed to perform its statutory function in the face of the President’s directions that the Department violate civil rights and civil liberties on a large scale,” Shuchart wrote. Washington Post
President Trump may announce a sweeping border crackdown on Tuesday as a migrant caravan approaches the U.S. He is expected to invoke emergency powers to stop migrants from entering the country and allowing them to apply for asylum. He will supposedly lay out his vision for reshaping the country’s immigration policies and border security apparatus. “President Trump’s immigration policies have been a failure from day one,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told the Washington Post. The move will likely be challenged in federal court. Washington Post
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told Fox News that the migrant caravan will have a hard time entering the country. Speaking to the caravan, she told anchor Chris Wallace: “Do not come. You will not be allowed in.” This echoes rumblings of a new executive action to be released by the Trump administration that will stymie the caravan. She wouldn’t comment on how the government would be able to prevent them from entering, despite a legal obligation to allow migrants to claim asylum. Washington Examiner