An undocumented Brooklyn man was deported last Wednesday with little notice, and it could cost him his life. Andrew Yearwood, a 53-year-old father of six U.S. citizen children, was being flown back to his home country in the Caribbean last week when he fell ill on the plane. His lawyers are now making an unusual request: Fly him back to New York to get special medical treatment.
Yearwood was running a mechanic shop for the taxi industry when ICE arrested him last year. He said he had a marijuana conviction from 1999 and overstayed his visa, but ICE said he had multiple criminal convictions. While detained, Yearwood said his cardiovascular condition worsened, partially due to the jail’s refusal to let him see a specialist. Yearwood’s attorneys made arrangements with ICE last Monday to send in a cardiologist later in the week, but he was deported before he could see anyone.
When Yearwood’s attorneys heard he was on a plane, “we scrambled to make clear that his life was being threatened,” one of them said. They even got a U.S. district judge to hold an emergency court hearing by telephone. The judge said Yearwood should not have been put on the plane, but it was too late to turn it around now. Yearwood was hospitalized after he arrived and has since said he is feeling better, but there are no cardiologists on the island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where ICE sent him. WNYC
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NJ ICE Court Arrest Directive Doesn’t Go Far Enough, Advocates Say
Late last week, New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner directed court officials to stop collecting information about individuals’ immigration status unless necessary. “This directive is a step in the right direction, but leaves the door open for ICE to continue to undermine the integrity of our justice system,” said Sara Cullinane, director of Make the Road New Jersey. In his May 23 directive, Rabner noted he wrote to the previous secretary of Homeland Security, asking to designate courthouses “sensitive locations” where ICE could only make arrests in emergency situations. The agency declined. NJ Spotlight
ICE Arrests 31 in New York Sweep
ICE agents arrested 31 people during a five-day operation in New York City and surrounding counties. Arrests were made in Pleasantville, Brewster, New York City, Long Island and Poughkeepsie. The agency says “more than 26” of the 31 people arrested had prior convictions or were facing pending charges. A man from St. Kitts and Nevis was picked up in Long Island. Other immigrants arrested in the sweep came from Jamaica, Grenada, the Dominican Republic, China, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Mexico, Peru and Ukraine. LoHud
Study: Immigrant and Refugee Women Have Language and Culture Trouble in Albany
More than 12,000 people in Albany are foreign born and over 4,200 refugees have resettled in the area since 2005. Last fall, the Church of St. Vincent De Paul in Albany, supported by the Whalen Foundation, ran a study among the women of those populations aimed at identifying skills and interests among the women and their obstacles in reaching economic stability. It found that participants “valued education, freedom, security, safety, and the welcoming nature of Americans,” and saw language, transportation, and juggling family life as obstacles to these goals. They were able to find jobs but couldn’t understand the language or find people to look after their children. Albany Times-Union
Greyhound Buses Provide a Vital Lifeline for Recently Arrived Migrants
More than 5,000 migrants arriving from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are making their way north and west by bus. After being detained by Customs and Border Protection, most people entering the U.S. are released after about 72 hours. Most are released to nonprofits, where they stay briefly before continuing on to the rest of the country. The surge in border crossing activity has led to an economic windfall for the struggling Greyhound bus company. “There is no doubt that the revenue from this immigrant influx is in the millions and helps Greyhound,” said Joe Schwieterman, an intercity bus expert at DePaul University. The company has boosted service in McAllen and El Paso, Texas. The New York Times
In Texas, Some Pregnant Migrants are Forced to Give Birth Shackled and are Separated from Their Kids
It has almost been a year since President Donald Trump signed the executive order that supposedly ended the zero-tolerance policy, but parents continue to be separated from their children and kept in appalling conditions. Some pregnant migrants in Texas are being forced to give birth shackled, Rewire reports, with their babies then handed over to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. The women can get their children back if they secure release from detention. One woman who was separated from her newborn cried for 72 hours straight after the Texas DFPS attempted to place her child in foster care. Rewire
Colorado to Expand Driver’s License Program
Colorado will offer driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants in as many as 11 locations across the state under a bill signed by Gov. Jared Polis (D). The Colorado Department of Revenue says it will expand the already existing program to its offices in Glenwood Springs, Lamar, Montrose, Pueblo, Alamosa and Sterling. The bill is aimed at ending the long backlogs applicants face when applying for licenses. The measure will order the state to open at least 10 offices by July 1, 2020. Fees immigrants pay for the licenses will fund the program. The Colorado Sun
Businesses and Groups in Mexico are Scrambling to Help ‘Returnees’
A new generation of Mexicans is forming of people who were born in the country and raised in the United States, but who returned to Mexico voluntarily or by force. These people have been dubbed “Generation 1.5.” Several nongovernmental organizations and at least one private company are trying to work with this population of well-educated and often young returnees. A startup called Hola Code in Mexico City helps them find coding and tech jobs in the country’s tech industry. A recent Hola Code class featured students who were deported or returned voluntarily, and some of them were Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals recipients. Hola Code’s founder says many of the returnees couldn’t speak Spanish. NPR
100 New Immigration Judges Will be Hired Across the Country
The U.S. House of Representatives recently announced it would hire 100 new immigration judges starting in 2020, but Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) said most of the judges were assigned to major cities like New York, not border areas. Cuellar is looking to bring three judges to Laredo, Texas to help put a dent in that city’s case backlog, which faces case wait times of often more than two years. The city is currently seeking a building to house any potential judges. KGNS
Washington — Trump Blocked from Building Part of the Wall, Border Patrol Killing Case, Union Leader Criticizes USCIS Chief Pick
A federal judge has blocked Trump from building sections of his border wall with money he procured under a national emergency declaration. On Friday, U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. blocked the Department of Defense from using $1 billion to complete a project in Arizona. Gilliam made this decision as part of a lawsuit between the Trump administration and The Sierra Club, a coalition of communities along the border, and 20 states.
The Trump administration is still seeking $6.7 billion in federal funding to complete its long-touted border wall, a signature campaign promise and the cause of the government shutdown earlier this year. Congress allotted Trump $1.375 billion to extend or replace existing barriers in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley. But Trump declared a national emergency to divert funds from elsewhere in the budget to pay for the rest of it. The money Trump sought to use would have come from military construction funds, DoD counternarcotics activities and the Treasury Department’s asset forfeiture fund.
“The position that when Congress declines the executive’s request to appropriate funds, the executive nonetheless may simply find a way to spend those funds ‘without Congress’ does not square with fundamental separation of powers principles dating back to the earliest days of our Republic,” Judge Gilliam wrote in his temporary injunction. Assistant Secretary of Defense Kenneth Rapuano said work on Pentagon-funded projects could have begun this past weekend. The Guardian
The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to take on a case of the killing of a Mexican teenager on Mexican soil by a Border Patrol agent standing on American soil. The court will decide whether the family of the teenager, Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca, can pursue a civil rights lawsuit in American courts. The court previously ruled in the same case in 2017, but did decide whether Hernandez’s family could sue over violation of the Fourth Amendment, which bars unjustified deadly force. The family also claims Guereca’s due process rights were violated. Reuters
Trump’s pick for the head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services “spells the end of legal immigration as it currently exists,” according to the head of the American Federation of Government Employees Danielle Spooner. The likely nominee, Ken Cuccinelli, is a former Attorney General of Virginia and would be taking over for L. Francis Cissna, who stepped down last week amid rumors that Trump thought he didn’t work against asylum seekers hard enough. Cuccinelli is an immigration hardliner who has sparred previously with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). The senator said Cuccinelli is unlikely to pass a Senate vote. Newsweek