A matchmaker in Flushing, Queens has been in business since 1980, serving clients looking for a future husband or wife.
Matchmaker Ying Chen, from Taiwan, also goes by “Mrs. Lee” or “Madam Lee.” Many of her clientele are undocumented and in light of President Trump’s policies, a marriage to a U.S. citizen could be pathway to staying in the country. The most prized bachelors and bachelorettes were often American citizens and green-card holders.
Despite this, Lee has seen a decline in business since 2016, potentially due to fears that a wedding through a matchmaker could be seen as a sham. City Limits
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ICE Doesn’t Bring Detained Immigrants to Trial
Judge Charles Conroy and a number of immigration lawyers waiting for their clients became increasingly frustrated when the immigrants did not appear on the bus of detainees ICE brought from local detention centers last Wednesday. Conroy had 40 cases on his calendar that day and immigrants began showing up at 8:30 a.m, but they were not the immigrants that attorneys and Conroy were expecting to see. ICE had brought detainees from Bergen County Jail but none from Hudson County Jail. Eventually, lawyers had to leave for other commitments, leaving Conroy no choice but to reschedule hearings for a later date. This means that detained immigrants will have to stay longer in detention as they wait for a hearing. Documented’s Felipe De La Hoz was in the courtroom that day. Read more about the confusion at Documented
Immigration Attorney with Cohen Ties Disbarred
Queens-based immigration attorney Andreea Dumitru Parcalaboiu has been disbarred after a number of controversies over the past year. Parcalaboiu is most well known for her connection to Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer. She worked as the CFO for Evgeny “Gene” Freidman, the so-called Taxi King who managed dozens of Cohen-owned cabs. Last year, Parcalaboiu pleaded guilty to tax evasion after she and Freidman were charged with stealing $5 million in taxes. That felony conviction led to her being disbarred last week. In November, she was also convicted of asylum fraud for making false statements and representations on more than 100 asylum applications. This conviction will likely lead to jail time, potentially exceeding 10 years. Law.com
Sheriff Tells Deputies to Stop Inquiring About Immigration Status
Tompkins County Sheriff Derek Osborne has issued a policy directive to officers to not “stop, question, interrogate, investigate, or arrest” based on actual or suspected immigration status. The move comes after a deputy reported an undocumented man to ICE. The man, believed to be from Mexico, entered a medical office in Lansing after hours to say he wanted his blood pressure checked. An ambulance and deputy sheriff arrived and, after he failed to produce an ID, the man said he was in the U.S. illegally, which prompted the deputy to call ICE. The unnamed man is believed to now be in ICE detention. The incident prompted Osborne to issue the policy which also prevents officers from inquiring about immigration status. The Ithaca Voice
Trump’s Long History of Hiring Undocumented Workers Exposed
The town of Santa Teresa de Cajon is home to a number of people who built their homes using money they made working for President Trump while living in the U.S. without legal status — and they are only a few of the many illegal workers that have been employed at the president’s golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey since it opened in 2002. The employees claim that their managers knew of their status, which is supported by a police report from 2011 that shows the club’s head of security was told about an employee suspected of using false identification papers. Some workers say they even told their managers they were in the country illegally. The Washington Post
U.S. and Mexico Coordinating Harassment of Journalists, Lawyers and Activists
Increased reports from journalists, lawyers and activists of harassment from U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials has heightened fears of a targeted campaign against people with a proximity to the migrant caravans. Last week, two attorneys with the Los Angeles- and Tijuana-based organization Al Otro Lado were denied entry to Mexico. Journalists have reported having their passports photographed at the Mexican border, and subsequently facing secondary screenings and tighter security in the U.S. One photojournalist reported being taken into a private room and shown a book full of images of border-based activists and asked who he knew. The Intercept
ICE Vows to Retaliate Against NC Sheriffs That Do Not Cooperate
ICE’s Atlanta field office director Sean Gallagher has warned counties in North Carolina to expect more raids and arrests. The move appears to be retaliation after several newly elected sheriffs in the state campaigned against cooperating with ICE. Gallagher specifically singled out “dangerous policies of not cooperating with ICE” in Mecklenburg County, Durham, Wake County, and Orange County as the reason for the increase in raids. Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker was elected in November after pledging to end the county’s 287(g) agreement. Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden also ended his county’s agreement with ICE. The NY Daily News
Criminal Gang Targets Undocumented Immigrants
Three people in Florida have been arrested and are facing accusations of running a criminal scheme that targeted undocumented immigrants. The group allegedly abducted, beat and robbed a man before threatening him with death or deportation if he told police. Police believe the group has targeted a number of undocumented immigrants because they are less likely to report being a victim of a crime. The group allegedly stopped the man when he was driving his truck and, at gunpoint, forced him to drive to their mobile home where they blindfolded, beat and robbed him. Natalie Rebecca Williams, believed to be the group’s ring leader allegedly said she would tell police he tried to rape her if he reported them. South Florida Sun Sentinel
Seven Cases of Mumps in ICE Detention in Houston
Seven detainees are confirmed to have mumps at an ICE detention center in Houston, Texas. The Houston Health Department issued a statement on Saturday saying the seven adults were detained during their infectious period and that there was no evidence the disease was transmitted outside of the facility. Mumps is a contagious disease that spreads through coughing and sneezing. The vaccine is routine and in the U.S. young children are vaccinated for it along with measles and rubella. There are approximately 950-1000 detainees at the Contact Detention Facility in Houston. Associated Press
Washington — Border Security Talks Break Down as Shutdown Looms, Skilled Workers Could See Additional Visas
Hopes that another shutdown would be averted dissipated on Sunday as talks between lawmakers over reaching a deal on border security collapsed once gain.
Surprisingly, it was not negotiations over Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion to fund his border wall that tripped up lawmakers. Rather, it was a demand from Democrats that there be a limit on the number of immigrants detained by ICE.
Democrats sought to cap the number of beds for immigrants picked up by ICE in the interior of the U.S. to 16,500, which they argued was around the detention figures of the final years of the Obama administration. Republicans vehemently opposed the move to decrease bed space for ICE, saying they would only approve a reduction that did not include immigrants who had been convicted or charged with a variety of crimes, including misdemeanors.
ICE is currently exceeding the 40,520 quota on beds set by Congress. The number of people detained as of Feb. 6 was 49,507.
Lawmakers have until Friday to reach a deal or the country will face another shutdown, weeks after the 35 day partial shutdown that left 800,000 federal workers without pay.
The White House seemed more flexible on border wall funding as lawmakers had been debating between $1.3 and $2 billion in border wall fencing. The president is reportedly still open to declaring a national emergency to secure the remainder of the funds needed to get the wall built. There are currently a number of active duty troops at the border assisting border patrol and building border fencing. A further 3,700 troops are set to be deployed, meaning it will exceed the November’s 5,900 troop deployment.
On Monday evening, Trump will travel to El Paso, Texas to make his case for the wall. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D), who represented El Paso, wrote a Medium post on Friday criticizing the president’s claim that the city was dangerous before a border fence was erected in 2008 and outlining his own immigration proposals as he weighs a potential 2020 run. The Washington Post, The New York Times,
The Trump administration seems more and more likely to support an increase in high-skilled work visas. U.S. Citizenship and immigration Services Director L. Francis Cissna recently told business leaders they could consider new regulations on intra-company transfer visas known as L-1s, that allow a U.S. employer to transfer employees from foreign offices, and that he was sympathetic to their desire for an employment-based immigration system.
Recent changes to the H-1B system were viewed favorably by Silicon Valley companies and as a loss for outsourcing tech companies as it now prioritizes people with master’s degree or higher. Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) introduced a bill on Thursday that would eliminate the per-country cap on employment-based immigrants, with support from Google and Walmart. The Wall Street Journal
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