Two Long Island congressmembers are concocting a $10 billion bipartisan proposal that would provide protection from deportation, bolster border security and fund President Trump’s border wall. Immigration hardliner and Republican Rep. Peter King and Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi are cooperating on the deal, which would provide a path for Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival recipients to remain in the country legally despite the Trump administration cancelling both programs.
The bill would authorize $4.3 billion for 700 miles of “physical structures” at the southern border, while providing another $4.3 billion for technology for monitoring the border and $1.4 billion for administrative costs. The plan would legalize TPS and DACA recipients and their immediate relatives, and provide them a path to citizenship. The congressmembers estimate it would benefit 5 million people nationwide, but would cost an administrative fee of $2,000 per person to help pay for the border security measures.
There are 51,475 TPS recipients in New York. The majority of them came from El Salvador, with many living in Long Island. Meanwhile, about 32,000 DACA recipients live in New York. Lawsuits against the Trump administration’s cancellation of the programs are still making their way through courts nationwide. Newsday
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SOHO Grifter May be Deported
Anna Delvey, the 28-year-old who drew headlines last year for scamming her way across New York City’s art scene, will likely get deported back to Germany, according to a representative from ICE. Delvey was born in Germany and overstayed her visa, according to ICE. Her birth name is Anna Sorokin. Delvey’s story was the subject of a New York magazine profile, which quickly went viral. She spent months posing as a German heiress, racking up bills in upper crust establishments in the city, while cavorting with other New York high society figures. Insider
Thoroughbred Trainer Struggles to Bring Workers to US
Thoroughbred horse trainer Todd Pletcher has amassed nearly $400 million in earnings in his career, training two Kentucky Derby winners and three Belmont Stakes winners. Despite these bonafides, he was unable to secure H2-B visas for any of the 50 seasonal workers he sought to bring from South America to Saratoga Springs to feed, groom and exercise his horses. “We are deeply concerned about our ability to participate in the upcoming Belmont and Saratoga race meets without the presence of these 50 seasonal workers,” he wrote to Democratic New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand in a letter. Pletcher may recruit college students or seasonal workers from Puerto Rico, but those he planned to bring have 10 to 20 years of experience. Albany Business Review
Report: More People in Queens Have Tuberculosis
More people were diagnosed with tuberculosis in Queens in 2018 than any other borough, according to a report from the NYC Health Department. Over a third of the cases came from areas with a large population of foreign born residents, including Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Corona. TB disproportionately affects people born outside the US. Higher rates of infection were found among immigrants born in China, Ecuador, Mexico and India. Overall, however, cases of TB in the city continue to decline. In 2018, 559 people were diagnosed with the disease, down from 613 cases in 2017. Jackson Heights Post
Local Authorities Struggle to Keep Up with Border Crossing Surge
More than 76,000 undocumented immigrants passed through ports of entry or crossed the Rio Grande in February, the highest number in over a decade. This surge is overwhelming ICE and its facilities to hold immigrant detainees, leading the agency to release migrants with notices to appear in court. CBP says a fourth of its manpower is going toward processing those releases. Local officials are also scrambling to keep up and provide humanitarian aid. “We don’t have the power to say no, we don’t have the power to say yes, they just show up,” said Steve Landin, Fire Chief of Laredo, Texas who also serves as the city’s emergency management coordinator. He regularly receives texts from an ICE official who announces when the agency will randomly release migrants in the area. San Antonio Express-News
Two Guatemalan Sisters Detail CBP Sexual Assault
In the summer of 2016, two sisters from Guatemala got lost trying to traverse the Texas desert. They flagged down a border patrol car and were taken to an outpost, where they say the officer sexually assaulted them. Former CBP internal affairs chief James Tomsheck told NPR this stems from “a cultural problem at CBP.” CBP hires people with red flags in their background much more frequently than other agencies, he said. The Trump administration is ramping up these hiring efforts even more, leading Tomsheck to say he worried this could lead to more bad actors in the agency. NPR
DACA Recipient Flight Attendant is Released after Nearly Six Weeks in Detention
A DACA recipient flight attendant who calls Texas home spent nearly six weeks detained in a privately run ICE detention facility in Conroe, Texas. Selene Saavedra Roman was assigned to a flight to Mexico in February. When she returned to Houston on Feb. 12, she was stopped by authorities and detained. She came to the US from Peru when she was 3 years old and is married to an American citizen. DACA recipients can leave the country if they receive “advance parole,” but Saavedra Roman hadn’t. The airline she works for incorrectly told her she could leave. Saavedra Roman was released last Friday, but the status of her case is unclear. Time
Transgender Woman Lives Different Lives on Each Side of the Border
For some transgender women who cross the US-Mexico border area, crossing the border is an everyday practice — and so is changing their gender appearance. In the U.S., Jess Enriquez Taylor wears makeup and meticulously styles her hair. In Mexico, she goes barefaced and tucks her hair under a hat. Taylor is Mexican but grew up in the US and regularly travels between the two countries. Her family in Mexico ostracizes her, but many transgender women, including Taylor, say they feel safer in the U.S. Moving to America completely, though, it complicated. The New York Times
Illinois Bill Banning Private Prisons Advances
An Illinois state bill that would ban for-profit prisons, including immigration detention centers, advanced out of the state’s legislature last week. Recently, trustees in Dwight, a village 80 miles from Chicago, voted to annex and rezone 88 acres of land to be used for a private detention center run by Immigration Centers of America. State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, who is the lead sponsor of the bill, said it’s a direct response to this development. The bill would prohibit the state from entering into contracts, receiving payment or providing payment to a facility managed or operated by a private company. Capitol News Illinois
Washington — Democrats Up Bank Pressure, Gillibrand’s Immigration Goals, Apple Growers Ask for Immigration Reforms
Progressive Democrats are going after the nation’s biggest banks for their support and bankrolling of the private prison industry, using both their House seats and through social media to get their message across. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) are among the lawmakers trying to coerce their peers and leaders to oppose companies who contribute to and profit off of gun violence, climate change and immigration detention.
CEOs from JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs are expected to testify next week at a Financial Services Committee hearing next month, where they’ll likely be grilled on their ties to these controversial companies. JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo recently said they would stop or reduce their lending to private prison companies, yet banks are still wary of taking further action. Republican lawmakers have drafted legislation to penalize banks who cut ties with firearms manufacturers. Politico
Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand pitched ideas on how to improve the asylum process while on the campaign trail in Las Vegas late last week. She says she’s working on legislation that would guarantee asylum seekers a lawyer, create a separate foster care system for immigrant children and split immigration judges from the DOJ. The ambitious plan also includes appointing immigration judges for life. Gillibrand spoke about her plan to law students who were working with unaccompanied minors. Associated Press
A delegation of apple growers visited U.S. congressional offices earlier this month to lobby for changes to the country’s guest worker program, with members of the New York Apple Association among them. After Washington, New York produces the biggest portion of the country’s apples. Much of the apple farming workforce comes from outside the U.S. on temporary H-2A visas. The growers asked lawmakers to streamline the H-2A application process, namely for returning workers. Albany Times Union
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