A Note from Documented’s editors:
On Monday, we published a story about census funding for community organizations in New York City. The story asserted that many organizations that received funding for 2010 census preparations had not been funded yet this cycle. That’s true. However, we erroneously stated that these organizations had been funded by this point in the 2010 cycle (e.g., the end of 2008). This wasn’t accurate. The assertion that the city had slipped behind previous efforts unfairly cast blame on the city government, as they are in fact making those preparations now.
We own up to this. It was unintentional, but it was important. At a time of deep distrust in journalism, we want to admit our mistakes publicly and unequivocally. We are a young organization, and we will make mistakes. Please know we will make every effort to correct them and be transparent about them. If you ever see an error in our stories, our inbox is open: email@example.com.
The office of Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark will not escalate to the Supreme Court a recent State Court of Appeals ruling mandating that noncitizens accused of committing what could be deportable offenses, even minor misdemeanor offenses, receive full jury trials.
The case concerned an undocumented man who, in a bench trial, had been convicted on misdemeanor charges of striking and choking his partner. New York’s highest court last week overturned the decisions of lower courts in deciding the Sixth Amendment guaranteed a full jury trial, given the likelihood undocumented people were likely to face deportation upon conviction.
Clark had considered the possibility of taking the case to the Supreme Court, but decided instead to call for the state legislature to pass laws guaranteeing jury trials to all New York residents charged with Class B misdemeanors. Ruling otherwise would entail a new burden for immigrants who would have to establish their immigration status and risk deportation in order to access the jury trial, he said. Reuters
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Troy Weighs Sanctuary Resolution
The city of Troy’s local government is considering declaring itself a sanctuary jurisdiction and calling out cooperation between officials from Rensselaer County — in which Troy sits — and federal immigration enforcement authorities. The county sheriff’s office is the only one in the state to have an active 287(g) agreement with ICE, letting it screen detained persons for immigration violations and inform ICE if any are found. Troy could not change county law enforcement’s actions, but the city says a sanctuary resolution would send a message. The local Council member who introduced the resolution said would be followed by further discussions about making the city welcoming. WAMC
New Paltz Man Arrested by ICE Outside Courthouse
A 23-year-old undocumented resident of New Paltz was arrested last week on his way into the New Paltz Justice Center to face charges of marijuana and cocaine possession. The man, Matthew Rojas, was headed to court on his first appearance and did not seem to have any criminal record. While of arrests of immigrants on their way in or out of criminal court has received particular note in New York City, the practice happens elsewhere in the state, similarly disrupting criminal proceedings. Information on New Paltz court appearances isn’t actively shared with ICE, but the information is still easily obtainable. Hudson Valley One
Lawmakers and Advocates Call for State DREAM Act, Licenses
A coalition of groups and supportive elected officials, including State Senators-elect Jessica Ramos and Julia Salazar, rallied in front of New York City Hall on Monday to call for the passage of the New York State DREAM Act and legislation to provide driver’s’ licenses regardless of immigration status. The DREAM Act would open up the Tuition Assistance Program and other aid grants to eligible undocumented students in New York. The two initiatives are top state-level priorities for advocacy groups in New York, and both have been floated in Albany for years only to be killed by the GOP-dominated state Senate. With a new Democratic majority, advocates see new hope. Still, state Sen. Luis Sepúlveda, who sponsors the licenses bill, declined to discuss conversations with incoming Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins about prioritizing the bills. Felipe De La Hoz for Documented
Algorithm to Make Terrorism Determinations Abroad
DataRobot, a Virginia-based contractor for the Department of Homeland Security, is developing a predictive modeling system for other countries to determine if outbound flight passengers present a security risk. The system would intake demographic details about each passenger and then determine the person’s likelihood to be, for example, traveling to join a terrorist cell. But the amount of information that would be supplied to the program is pretty meager, its decision-making process is undisclosed, and governments provided with the technology would get to decide what constitute risk criteria, leading to experts and civil libertarians to worry the system would flag false positives and lead to profiling. The Intercept
Formerly Detained U.S. Citizen Sues Sheriff’s Office
Peter Sean Brown, a man held at a Florida prison and then handed over to ICE despite repeated claims of being a U.S. citizen, has filed a federal lawsuit against the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office for violating his rights. The case highlights some thorny questions localities face when complying with ICE administrative detainer requests, which courts have ruled are not mandatory. Local sheriff’s offices trust the information relayed by federal immigration authorities is accurate, but can’t check those claims independently. In Brown’s case, ICE only released him after a friend sent in a copy of his birth certificate. CNN
Green Card Recruits Will Finally Ship Out
The Pentagon will suspend a Trump administration policy that strengthened military background checks for some immigrants, allow thousands of legal permanent resident recruits who had been stuck in a pre-boot camp limbo to begin their military career. Last month, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in California ruled in favor of attorneys who argued the government could not justify enhanced security measures. Many recruits had quit jobs or delayed applying for college in anticipation of joining the armed forces, only to find they’d have to wait a year or more to start training. The Washington Post
MA Governor Wants Judge Accused of Aiding Immigrant Taken Off the Bench
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said he wants a local District Court Judge taken off the bench while allegations that she helped an undocumented man avoid immigration authorities are investigated. A federal grand jury is currently considering whether Judge Shelley Joseph violated any laws in allowing José Medina-Perez, who was facing drug possession and drunk driving charges, exit the courthouse through a back door after learning immigration agents came to detain him. The judge was also accused of improperly turning off the court’s audio recorder to discuss the situation with a prosecutor and Medina-Perez’s attorney. Baker said the judge should not be trying criminal cases while the investigation is ongoing. Associated Press
Migrants Weigh Options at Border
As conditions deteriorate for would-be asylum-seekers waiting in Tijuana — which, due to CBP metering and confusing Trump administration policies, could take months — migrants are having to choose between two bad options using imperfect information. Some, who have been turned away at the border or even blocked by U.S. or Mexican guards from even coming close, believe Trump has shut down the country’s asylum process. They think their only hope is to cross the border illegally and then either turn themselves in or make a run for it. Others have given up and decided to either remain in Mexico or return to their native countries. The New York Times
Washington — Asylum Fee Considered, Trump’s Fabrications, Border Wall Debate
The Trump administration is drafting a proposed regulation that would impose a $50 fee on affirmative asylum applications made by individuals who were already present in the United States, according to BuzzFeed News. Currently, there is no cost to making such an application. The regulation would not apply to people making asylum claims at a port of entry or to ‘defensive’ claims made by people put into deportation proceedings. Nonetheless, immigration attorneys and advocates denounced the idea of attaching a dollar amount to what is supposed to be a humanitarian application meant to help people avoid persecution. BuzzFeed News
President Trump’s demands for $5 billion in funding for his border wall had raised the prospect of a congressional showdown and subsequent government shutdown when current federal funding runs out at the end of this week. Now, Congress is expected to vote to approve a funding extension that will push the fight until December 21. Senate Democrats have already agreed to allocate $1.6 billion for border security, but Trump is pushing for more. CNBC
The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a California federal judge’s ruling, which rejected two conservation groups’ federal lawsuit that claimed attempts to move ahead with the border wall were not complying with environmental laws. Environmentalists have long complained that border construction harms local ecosystems and that the administration is exceeding its powers in casting aside environmental regulations, but the Supreme Court’s decision clears the way for border wall development to continue. ReutersThe president wrote yesterday that “our Country losses [sic] 250 Billion Dollars a year on illegal immigration” in a tweet excoriating Democrats for not pledging his full funding levels. That $250 billion figure doesn’t appear to refer to any known study or assessment about the government costs of illegal immigration. It is unclear where Trump found it. Vox