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Early Arrival: Booker Faces Backlash Over Essex County Fundraiser

Monday’s Edition of Early Arrival: ICE Arrest in Middletown Causes Fear Among Locals — June Border Crossings Expected to Drop 25% — SCOTUS to Rule on DACA, Raids May Begin July 4, O’Rourke in Mexico, Judge Deals Blow to Wall

Mazin Sidahmed

Jul 01, 2019

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) has come under fire from advocates for planning to attend a fundraiser organized by Essex County’s executive. 

Local Democratic leader George Norcross and Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, also a Democrat, are hosting a fundraiser in support of Booker’s presidential campaign. Yet the Working Families Party and the Center for Popular Democracy Action are calling on Booker to cancel the event due to the latter leader’s controversial ties to a local Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center. 

Essex County jail has a contract with ICE to hold immigrant detainees, and the facility has come under scrutiny from federal inspectors who found detainees were suffering under poor conditions. DiVencenzo’s Essex County receives about $40 million per year from the ICE contract. Advocacy groups have called on Essex County’s legislators to end its contract with ICE. 

Meanwhile, Norcross is under investigation by a task force created by Gov. Phil Murphy (D) to determine if he enriched himself with a program that encourages local investment. Rewire.news, NJ.com

Hello, I’m Mazin Sidahmed with today’s edition of Early Arrival. You can email me at mazin.sidahmed@documentedny.com.

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ICE Arrest in Middletown Causes Fear Among Locals

An ICE arrest at the city hall in Middletown, New York has seemingly had a profound effect on its foreign-born residents. The week before the arrest took place, more than 500 people had visited the building to apply for the new municipal ID program. Only five did the week after. Courthouse arrests by ICE have been an ongoing flashpoint in New York state, as critics argue they subvert the work of the courts by making immigrants fear showing up. The New York State Office of Court Administration issued new rules in April which prevent ICE from carrying out arrests without a judicial warrant. The New York Times 

Suffolk County Officials Distribute Gang List to Islip Town

Suffolk County officials have expanded the distribution of lists of alleged gang members compiled by the county sheriff’s department to Islip Town. This list is distributed weekly to law enforcement agencies, showing alleged gang members and associates who are released from county jails in Yaphank and Riverhead. Civil liberties and immigrant rights groups have criticized the lists, as they can mistakenly include innocent people. The Suffolk sheriff’s office has issued the weekly notice for the past three years to local police departments in Nassau, Southampton, Riverhead, New York City and Rockland County. Newsday

When Immigration Detention Makes Healthy People Sick, northjersey.com [Opinion]

Grant Will Provide $750,000 in Legal Services to Undocumented Detainees in Essex County Correctional Facility, TAPintoBloomfield


Authorities Expect 25 Percent Decline in Border Crossings in June

The Department of Homeland Security is expecting arrests of migrants to drop 25 percent in June compared to May, when authorities detained more than 144,000 migrants, the highest total since 2006. Authorities attribute the decline to Mexican officials’ crackdown and the Trump administration’s Remain in Mexico policy, which forces asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases are adjudicated. Border crossings typically decline in peak summer months as crossing the desert becomes increasingly deadly. Four children died this past week trying to reach the U.S. DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan said that while the expected drop was higher than last year’s of 17 percent, it was still unacceptable. The Washington Post

Mother of Drowned Migrant Asked Him Not to Go

The mother of the man whose died with his daughter in the Rio Grande pleaded with him not to go. A photograph of the bodies of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, 25, and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, floating in the Rio Grande has polarized onlookers and become a focal point in the debate on migrants crossing the U.S.–Mexico border. Martinez’s mother, Rosa, spoke to The New York TImes from their hometown of San Martin, El Salvador. She and Martinez’s relatives say the father and daughter had made it to the northern Mexican town of Matamoros before he died trying to wade across the Rio Grande. The New York Times

UN: Average of Nearly 1 Migrant Child Death Daily Since 2014, Associated Press

Oregon Lets Undocumented Immigrants Get Driver’s Licenses

A bill that will grant undocumented immigrants in Oregan the right to get driver’s licenses passed the state Senate on Saturday. The bill, titled the Access to Roads Act, comes five years after Oregonians voted against the measure when it was placed on the ballot. This bill will not be placed before the public before a vote and is now headed to Gov. Kate Brown (D). Proponents argue this bill is stronger than the 2014 bill thanks to the federal REAL ID program, which creates a separate tier of driver’s licenses requiring citizenship that will allow people to fly. OregonLive  

Judge Orders Improved Conditions at Border Facilities

Federal Judge Dolly M. Gee on Friday ordered a mediator to improve the health and sanitation of detention facilities on the U.S.–Mexico border in Texas. The Central District of California judge gave the mediator until July 12 to improve conditions. The order follows public outcry after reports revealed disgusting conditions at a migrant child detention facility in Clint, Texas. Facilities in McAllen, Clint and Weslaco will all be visited by a public health expert and medical professionals. The New York Times

Riz Ahmed Misses Event After He’s Stopped by DHS

British actor Riz Ahmed was prevented from attending a Star Wars Celebration in April after he was stopped by Homeland Security, he said last week. The Star Wars Celebration had announced that the Emmy-winning actor would not be attending the April event but gave no clue as to why. During a panel discussion at the CAA Amplify conference, Ahmed, who starred as Bodhi Rook in the 2016 Star Wars film Rogue One, said that it was because he was stopped at the airport by Homeland Security. Ahmed has been outspoken about the profiling of Muslims at airports and the number of times that he’s been stopped during his travels. Indiewire

Washington — SCOTUS to Rule on DACA, Raids May Begin on July 4, O’Rourke in Mexico, Judge Deals Blow to Wall

The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will hear the case for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program during its next session. 

The lawsuit in the case questions the president’s decision to end the program, which provides work permits and protection from deportation to 800,000 people who came to the U.S. as children. Trump cancelled the program in September 2017 under pressure from conservative state attorneys, but his decision was overturned by lower courts. SCOTUS will now decide the fate of the program, most likely in the summer of next year. Congress could also act before then and implement a more permanent solution for the program. The New York Times

During the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan on Saturday, Trump said that his postponed immigration raids slated for 10 U.S. cities will begin on Independence Day unless “something pretty miraculous happens.” Trump had previously postponed the impromptu announced raids on June 22 after discussing the matter with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). UPI 

2020 candidate and former Texas congressmember Beto O’Rourke visited Juarez, Mexico on Sunday and met asylum seekers at a burrito restaurant and the city’s largest migrant shelter. He criticized the Trump administration’s policies, including metering and the Migrant Protection Protocols. Borderzine

Federal judge Haywood Gilliam on Friday extended the area of the southern border where the Trump administration is prevented from using Defense Department funds to build the wall. The ruling added four more sections of the border in Arizona and California to the banned area. Trump tweeted his dissatisfaction with the ruling, referring to the judge as an “activist” Obama appointee. Politico

Stop Collecting Immigrants’ Social Media Data, The New York Times [Opinion]

Mazin Sidahmed

Mazin Sidahmed is the co-executive director of Documented. He previously worked for the Guardian US in New York. He started his career writing for The Daily Star in Beirut and he also contributed to Politico New York.




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