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Early Arrival: Census Citizenship Question Trial Begins Today

Monday's Edition of Early Arrival: ICE Arrests Man Appearing for Queens Court Case — Militias Travel to Border — Anti-immigrant rhetoric in the midterms

The Trump administration’s proposed citizenship question for the 2020 census led more than a dozen states — including New York — to file a lawsuit against the Census Bureau and Commerce Department. The first trial of the lawsuit is scheduled to begin in New York City on Monday.

Plaintiffs hope to get the question removed from the 2020 census survey, saying undocumented people wouldn’t fill out the survey for fear of repercussions, causing undercounts. They specifically allege Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had a political motive for adding the question.

Three members of the Supreme Court wanted to delay the trial, but at least five others pushed it forward. The trial is expected to take roughly one week, and the Supreme Court is expected to make the final decision. NPR

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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ICE Arrests Man Appearing for Queens Court Case

Right before a man could enter Queens County Criminal Court for a criminal case he was a defendant in, Immigration and Custom Enforcement officers arrested him. The officers were not wearing an ICE uniforms and surrounded the man, a video provided to Documented shows and a court official later confirmed. In the video, the man can be heard asking why officers are arresting him. The practice of arresting people at courthouses has become more common in the past two years. Immigration activists and public defenders argue it undermines due process. Read more at Documented.

Recently Naturalized Citizen Can’t Vote in Midterms

Isabel Vincent became an American citizen in May and immediately registered to vote — or so she thought. Last week, Vincent discovered that her registration application was mysteriously lost. Vincent decided to call the New York Board of Elections, which told Vincent her application never arrived at the office. Since the registration to vote has already closed, Vincent is now not eligible to vote in the upcoming midterm elections. New York Post [Opinion]

Rutgers Partners on Scholarship Program for Dreamers, NJ Biz

‘Open The Borders’: New York Rally Urges US to Welcome Caravan, Al Jazeera


Inspired by Trump, Militias Travel to U.S.–Mexico Border

A gun-carrying militia group claims it has gathered 100 volunteers to travel in support American troops who have been sent to the Southern border. The Texas Minutemen intend to observe, report and “offer aid” where needed, president Shannon McGauley, said. Their self-appointed mission comes in response to Trump’s amped up rhetoric around the migrant caravan that is travelling north through Mexico. The president has characterized the group of potential asylum seekers as a huge threat to American security. McGauley said militias from all over the country will also be headed to the border. The Washington Post

Voting in Georgia is Harder for Spanish-Speaking Voters

Spanish speakers in counties in Georgia may have difficulty voting on Tuesday due to a lack of translated ballots. Huge demographic shifts in the state have triggered section 203 of the voting rights law that requires polling sites to provide ballots in the native languages of substantial minorities. Gwinnett County, just north of Atlanta, will be offering bilingual ballots, but Hall County, 30 miles north, did not have bilingual ballots in early voting, confusing some Spanish-speaking voters. Georgia’s “exact match” voter registration system, which matches people’s registered name with other federal databases, has also hurt Spanish-speaking voters due to their different naming traditions. The Intercept

Advocates Argue US Unsafe for Asylum Seekers

Many asylum seekers who are currently in the U.S would rather claim asylum in Canada, a country where the detention of asylum seekers is rare. Asylum seekers often cross the Canadian border by foot between official points of entry, as those are the locations where the Safe Third Country Agreement, which prevents them from seeking asylum in Canada from the “safe country” of the U.S., doesn’t apply. Immigrant rights organizations now argue the STCA is defunct as the U.S. cannot be considered as a safe country anymore under the Trump administration. The Intercept

Border Patrol to Ask Everyone if they are Part of Caravan

Customs and Border Patrol agents received a memo last week instructing them to look out for “known or suspected” caravan members among asylum seekers they process, according to Vox. The migrant caravan — estimated to be about 4,000 strong — is still weeks away from reaching the border. But according to the leaked memo, agents have been instructed to immediately note on intake forms whether arrestees were part of the caravan and explicitly ask: “Were you a part of the migrant caravan during your travels from your home country prior to your illegal entry into the United States?” Vox

Pentagon Prepares 2 Military Bases for Immigrant Detention

The Department of Homeland Security is expected to ask the Pentagon to use two military bases in southern Texas as detention facilities for migrants. DHS is expected to request the use of Fort Bliss Army base and Goodfellow Air Force Base. A request to use the bases had been expected in the summer, but The Daily Beast reports that communications between DHS and the Pentagon about using the bases were restarted amid the administration’s rhetoric on the migrant caravan. The Daily Beast

State Dept. Improperly Seized Passports of Americans in Yemen, Inquiry Finds, The New York Times

Teachers in Border Wall Halloween Costumes Put on Paid Leave, Associated Press

‘Vaya con Dios:’ The Impossible Life of an Immigration Judge at the US Border, The Guardian

WASHINGTON — Some Republicans (And Dems) Bank on Anti-Immigration Rhetoric

As the country prepares for one of the most closely watched midterms in a generation, Republicans in tight races across the country are embracing the president’s hardline anti-immigration rhetoric.

Helped by his trusted aide Stephen Miller, President Trump has embarked on an extremely radical anti-immigrant platform as he travels the country trying to preserve a Republican majority in the House.

Republicans have found themselves in a number of tight House and Senate races, and many have bet on Trump’s anti-immigration playbook to get them over the line. They hope, through attacking immigrants, among other things, they can stoke an us vs. them narrative on the country’s security, culture and heritage to galvanize conservative voters. Many Republicans also aim to make immigration a security issue as opposed to a cultural one by dredging up fears of MS-13 and sanctuary cities.

The messaging is apparently working for some, as key Senate races in red states have swung in Republicans’ favor as Trump crosses the nation to target immigrants. The New York Times, The Hill

But House Speaker Paul Ryan is reportedly worried the president’s laser focus on immigration will have the reverse effect. In a phone call to the president on Sunday, he reportedly pleaded with him to focus on the economy in the final days before the vote. The president refused, saying his immigration rhetoric had fired up the GOP base. Politico

Democrats running in red states have also attempted to boost their anti-immigration qualifications by pledging to be tough on border security. Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri told Fox News she “100 percent supports” the president securing the border against the migrant caravan. Democratic Senate candidate in Tennessee Phil Bredesen bragged about his decision to send troops to the border in 2006 when he was the state’s governor. The Hill

During a conversation at the Council on Foreign Relations, Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said she was concerned about the violence stemming from the flow of asylum seekers in the migrant caravan. DHS has “seen criminals”  and “gang members” as part of this flow of migrants, she added. Nielsen said the department is working with Mexican authorities “to protect those who are legitimately seeking asylum.” Council on Foreign Relations

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