New York City has a policy of not cooperating with federal immigration authorities. Yet there are a more than a few big exceptions to that rule, which come in a controversial list of 170 violent crimes which open up local law enforcement collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Last week, the city quietly expanded the crimes on that list. According to Politico, seven new infractions were added, including patronizing a minor for prostitution, patronizing a person for prostitution in a school zone, and sex trafficking of a child.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Republican opponent during the 2017 mayoral election slammed the mayor for not including certain infractions in the original list of 170 crimes. Yet immigration advocates said it was “deeply disturbing” to expand the list. “The mayor must reverse course, and all other current elected officials and candidates looking to lead our city in the future should make clear that this is unacceptable,” Javier Valdés, co-executive director of Make the Road New York, said in a statement to Politico. The mayor also faced a backlash from City Council member Carlos Menchaca, who chairs the council’s immigration committee.
Speaking to Brian Lehrer on WNYC, the mayor defended his plan to expand the list. “These are serious, serious crimes,” he said. “We do not cooperate, for example, on quality of life offenses, minor offenses.”
When the NYPD arrests someone, they do not honor ICE requests to hold suspects so they can be picked up and potentially be placed in removal proceedings. Known as a detainer request, a state court barred this practice by any local police force. Politico, Gothamist
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Unconfirmed ICE Arrests Sparks Panic at Brooklyn Criminal Court
A unconfirmed arrest by ICE caused confusion Brooklyn Criminal Court On Friday. A Brooklyn Defender Services staff attorney said they saw law enforcement officers carry out an arrest outside the court, but other attorneys said it was likely the New York Police Department. An ICE spokesperson also told The Brooklyn Daily Eagle that no arrests had been carried out by the New York field office. The general panic and fear around ICE courthouse arrests stems from a 1,700 percent spike in the practice since 2016, according to the Immigrant Defense Project. The Office of Court Administration recently issued a directive barring ICE from entering state courthouses without a judicial warrant. The Brooklyn Eagle
Protesters Crash Anti-Driver’s License Press Conference
The New York Immigration Coalition protested a New York Conservatives press conference in Liverpool, New York on Saturday. The conference was held to oppose allowing undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses. Rep. John Katko (R) and State Sen. Bob Antonacci, both of the Syracuse area, have stated their opposition to the driver’s license idea, but a bill legalizing the practice is gaining momentum in Albany. Democrats have a majority in both houses for the first time in recent history and House Speaker Carl Heastie believes he close to securing enough votes to pass the bill. There could still be a challenge in the state Senate. CNYCentral.com, auburnpub.com
Border Patrol Uses Flights to Move Detainees
Border Patrol has started using aircrafts to relocate migrants to other areas of the border so it can process the high number of migrants now crossing the border, The Washington Post reports. Daily flights are scheduled for the next several days to transfer people from McAllen, Texas to Del Rio, Texas. The flights are operated by ICE, which, unlike the Border Patrol, is accustomed to transferring detainees with flights. Large numbers of families have crossed the border in the past few months, straining detention camps and resources. The Washington Post
Border Towns Continue to Accept Migrants Dropped Off by Border Patrol
Border Patrol’s Deming Station in the El Paso, Texas section of the border notified local city and county officials on Saturday of an upcoming drop off of migrants. More than 100 immigrants, mostly families, will be dropped off in the city of Deming and throughout Luna County. Local shelters in border towns have struggled to respond to a growing number of drop-offs by Border Patrol and ICE, as they no longer have room to detain the growing number of migrants crossing the border. Thursday marked one of the agency’s busiest days as 1,700 migrants crossed the border. Deming Headlight
Border Patrol Arrests Texas City Attorney
Marfa, Texas City Attorney Teresa L. Todd was reportedly arrested in Texas after she stopped to help a group of young Central American siblings who had flagged her down on the side of the road. She put them in her car, including one who appeared to be sick, but was later arrested by Border Patrol and told she could be found guilty of transporting illegal aliens. She was detained for 45 minutes while federal agents examined her phone, she said. Todd is the latest among a number of volunteers who help migrants along the border to face retribution from immigration enforcement agents. Border Patrol said the case against her remained “active.” The New York Times
Government Faces Defeat in Denaturalization Case
A Kansas City man defeated the government in its attempt to strip him of his citizenship after a judge ruled in his favor on Thursday. Afaq Ahmed Malik was charged in 2015 with illegally procuring permanent resident status by failing to disclose a previous marriage in his application. Malik is among many U.S. citizens now targeted by the government for denaturalization. Starting under former President Barack Obama’s administration and intensifying under Trump, the government has reviewed 700,000 cases for possible denaturalization under what it calls Operation Janus. The Intercept
Appeals Court Finds California Marijuana Conviction Still Grounds for Deportation
A federal appeals court ruled on Friday that the legalization of marijuana in California in 2016 does not protect immigrants who were convicted of marijuana crimes before its legalization. Claudia Prado is in jail in Orange County and facing deportation after she was convicted in 2014 for the possession of marijuana for sale. She had her charges reduced to a misdemeanor after the new law passed, and then sought asylum. But the Ninth Circuit found federal immigration law does not recognize the reclassification of her conviction, and it was not overturned or expunged from her record. Associated Press
Washington — Thousands of Children Could be Evicted from Public Housing, Pentagon Backs Trump’s Wall
Around 55,000 children could be displaced thanks to a new rule from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is intended to prevent undocumented immigrants from receiving federal housing assistance, the agency said Friday.
The proposed rule would prevent any family with an undocumented member from obtaining subsidized housing. Undocumented immigrants are currently barred from receiving subsidies, but mixed status families remain eligible. An analysis by the agency found more than 108,000 people live in a household with at least one undocumented person and are receiving benefits. These people will all face eviction if the rule, which is undergoing public comment, is put into practice. Officials have justified the rule change as a way to address the waiting lists for public housing. The New York Times
Trump continues to inch closer to achieving a wall on the southern border. The Pentagon announced on Friday that it was transferring $1.5 billion from projects designated for the war in Afghanistan to help pay for work on the wall. The move drew sharp criticism from Democratic senators. The New York TImes
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan visited the border town of McAllen, Texas on Saturday and pledged the Pentagon’s support to Border Patrol agents. There are currently 4,363 military troops erecting barriers and providing logistics and transportation services there. DHS recently requested assistance in building tent cities to detain migrants. Associated Press
House Democrats are attempting to kill the “Migrant Protection Protocols,” which force migrants to wait in Mexico while their cases are adjudicated in immigration court. The government scored a rare victory in the Ninth Circuit after the court sided with it and allowed the policy to continue. The bill to end the policy, written by Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), is unlikely to survive the Senate or the president’s veto pen. Vox