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Early Arrival: New Legislation Would Better Track Unaccompanied Minors in New York

Wednesday’s Edition of Early Arrival: Tracking Unaccompanied Minors in NY — Another Migrant Dies in Federal Custody — House Bill to Protect DACA and TPS Holders

Democratic lawmakers are proposing legislation to better track them. State Sen. Brian A. Benjamin (D), who represents the Harlem district where many of the children were brought, took interest in the issue. “It is a moral imperative that New York state provide leadership and accountability. These children are here, we need to stand up and take responsibility,” he said.

After meeting with faith leaders and social service providers, Benjamin proposed a bill that would require the state’s Office of Children and Family Services to report how many children were under the custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement in New York. The bill passed in the Senate last week.

The bill is also aimed at holding the agency accountable for reports that it had lost track of children. Last April, ORR said it lost more than 1,500 children it had released to sponsors, and that was before the Trump administration began its zero-tolerance policy. Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy (D) said Children and Families Committee Chair Velmanette Montgomery wants to pass another bill to provide legal representation, healthcare, counseling, bilingual support groups and other services to unaccompanied and undocumented children. Albany Times-Union

Hello, I’m Max Siegelbaum with today’s edition of Early Arrival. You can email me at max.siegelbaum@documentedny.com.

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Health Care Union Announces Support for NY Driver’s License Bill

The nation’s largest health care workers’ union is putting its weight behind the pending bill that would provide driver’s licenses for undocumented New Yorkers. 1199SEIU announced its support for the pending legislation on Monday, with the union’s political director saying licenses will be crucial to making immigrants a part of the New York’s economy. The measure has yet to be scheduled for a vote, and state lawmakers are considering whether to advance the bill before adjourning on June 19. Crain’s New York

More Migrants Brought to NY Area Detention Centers

Throughout May, New Jersey’s Essex County jail and Elizabeth Detention facility held 168 migrants who were recently apprehended after crossing the southern border. This is in addition to the 235 immigrants sent to the New York area in May who are held at jails in Hudson and Bergen counties in New Jersey and in Orange County in New York. The Essex County jail held 90 border crossers and the Elizabeth facility held 78. Trump administration officials threatened to send migrants to so-called sanctuary jurisdictions all over the country to ease the surge at the border. Bergen Record

Democrats Still Face a Battle to Pass License Bill Despite Support

Undocumented New Yorkers are getting closer to being allowed to receive state driver’s licenses. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) intends to push the Green Light NY bill for what is expected to be an easy win next week, which will put pressure on the state Senate to act before the current legislative session ends later this month. Despite the assembly’s confidence, Senate proponents of the bill still lack support required to pass it, sources told The City. Just one out of six Long Island senators said he was considering voting for the bill. The City


Another Migrant Dies in Federal Custody

On Monday, Customs and Border Protection officials announced the death of two more migrants in their custody. Three migrants have died in three days while under the custody of the federal government. A 40-year-old Honduran woman died Monday morning, after collapsing 25 minutes after being detained near Eagle Pass, Texas. A 33-year-old Salvadoran man died after experiencing seizures on Sunday. On Saturday, Johana Medina, a 25-year-old transgender woman from El Salvador, also died. Democracy Now

Border Wall Now Costs $25 Million Per MIle

When the federal government builds a section of the border wall, myriad additional costs pile up on top of the president’s budget requests. Trump’s wall is costing $25 million per mile to build, nearly four times the cost it would’ve a decade ago. That’s because it crosses rugged and remote terrain, adding considerable engineering costs. “Every mile of border is different, and therefore there is no one-size-fits-all cost per mile,” a CBP spokesperson said. Texas Observer

Unaccompanied Minor Social Worker is Fired After Speaking Out Against Facility

As a counselor at a foster care facility in Portland, Oregon, Sarah DeYoreo took care of teenagers who had crossed the border alone. Most were from Central America and lacked a sponsor to house them. The children in her facility were given cell phones, which DeYoreo and her colleagues used to track their whereabouts, from the moment they woke up until they went to sleep. DeYoreo said it was like a prison for the minors, so wrote an email to her fellow staff members decrying the facility after putting in her two weeks notice. Shortly after, she was fired. The Intercept

Mexican Army Steps Up Migrant Raids Along Guatemala Border

The Mexican army and police have been launching raids to catch migrants in Tapachula, a city on the country’s border with Guatemala. Agents rushed from door to door in hotels where the migrants were staying as people scattered into the city. These raids are part of a larger crackdown against migrants traveling north, and come alongside all-day roadblocks. This comes after the Trump administration announced it would issue tariffs against Mexican goods until Mexico stopped the stream of migrants traveling to the U.S. Mexican officials have said they’d refuse to take additional steps to make Trump’s demand happen. The New York Times

Leaked Documents Show ICE Official Saying Deaths were Preventable

ICE officials say the recent deaths of migrants who crossed the border were preventable, and that problems with the detention system’s healthcare are “systemic.” “IHSC [ICE’s Health Services Corps] is severely dysfunctional and unfortunately, preventable harm and death to detainees has occurred,” an ICE supervisor notified Matthew Albence, then Acting Deputy Director of ICE, in a memo dated December 3, 2018. The memo, written by a supervisor at IHSC, was obtained by The Young Turks. It details over a dozen cases where ICE failed to provide detainees with proper medical care, leading to three fatalities. The Young Turks

Washington — House Passes Bill to Protect DACA and TPS Holders, Supreme Court Won’t Hear DACA Case for Now, Republicans Push Back Against Tariffs

The House passed legislation on Tuesday that would grant a path to citizenship for 2.5 million immigrants whose Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival and Temporary Protected Status legal protections have been challenged by President Trump. The bill will likely be rejected in the Republican-controlled Senate.

The bill is not a comprehensive immigration overhaul by any means, but offers a sliver of hope for the millions of residents who have had their lives upended after Trump abruptly ended their legal status. The bill passed 237 to 187, with seven Republicans voting with Democrats. The White House said it would veto the measure, but it was a was a clear message of defiance to the administration’s immigration agenda.

“Because of Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, millions of immigrants across the country live in constant fear that they will face deportation and potentially be separated from their families,” said Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.). Republicans said the bill provided amnesty to people living here illegally and would encourage more to join. The Trump administration has moved to completely end DACA and TPS, but these efforts were stymied by federal courts. The New York Times

The Supreme Court has declined a Justice Department request to take up a case about the Trump administration’s plan to phase out DACA. The plan has been challenged in lower courts, which issued nationwide injunctions that blocked its efforts to end the program. The order means it is unlikely the court will take up the issue before the lower courts rule on just how the administration decided to wind the program down. CNN

Republican senators have voiced their opposition to Trump’s threatened 5 percent tariff on goods coming into the U.S. from Mexico. “There is not much support in my conference for tariffs, that’s for sure,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). At a closed-door lunch at the Capitol, senators warned Trump officials that there could be trouble if the Senate votes to disapprove taxes. “I will yield to nobody in passion and seriousness and commitment to securing the border, but there’s no reason for Texas farmers and ranchers and manufacturers and small businesses to pay the price of massive new taxes,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said. The Guardian

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