New York state saw massive jumps in Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests in jails across the state and in the community, according to a new report from the American Immigration Council, which opposed President Trump. The New York City Area of Responsibility had the third largest increase of ICE arrests in jails and prisons in the nation between 2016 and 2018. In the Buffalo Area of Responsibility, the at-large arrest rate grew about 123 percent, the second highest jump in the country after Philadelphia.
Since Donald Trump became president, the number of immigrants arrested by ICE in jails and prisons in the New York City AOR more than doubled. The AOR includes the five boroughs, Long Island, Duchess, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Orange and Westchester counties. According to the report, which is based on ICE data obtained through a FOIA request, the area’s custodial arrest rate is over 62 percent higher than the national rate. The at-large ICE arrest rate also grew about 53 percent in New York City, whole Buffalo’s custodial arrest rate saw just a 12.45 percent increase. The highest custodial arrest rate happened in Miami and Atlanta.
The data comes from a detailed report by three researchers for the pro-immigrant think tank. They found that the Trump Administration has cast a wider net of immigration enforcement than just focusing on individuals who potentially pose threats to public safety, which was more true under former President Barack Obama. Throughout the U.S., ICE arrests increased 44 percent in fiscal year 2018 from FY 2016. Read the report from the American Immigration Council.
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Attorneys for Pregnant Detainee in Queens Say ICE Violated First Amendment
Attorneys for Alma Centeno Santiago, an undocumented pregnant woman recently detained in Queens, were able to stall her deportation by arguing the federal govrenment was violating her free speech rights under the First Amendment. They made the same argument on Tuesday in federal court in an effort to have her released from detention. The outcome of the case could have wider ramifications for detention centers and due process rights for immigrants nationwide. Santiago is three months pregnant and claims she hasn’t received adequate medical care. Her lawyer says she is facing backlash for speaking out. The New York Law Journal
Jewish Protestors Gather at NJ Detention Facility
Hundreds of Jewish protestors gathered at Elizabeth Detention Center this weekend to protest the detention of immigrants. Elizabeth Police officers arrested 36 people for obstruction after they blocked access to the facility. They entered not guilty pleas Monday morning. The group, called Never Again Action, is demanding the dissolution of ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, as well as permanent protection for undocumented people. The name of the group draws connections to the Holocaust, like how Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) called border detention centers “concentration camps.” Another protest happened on Tuesday at the detention center in Elizabeth, as well as over 100 other sites across the country, as part of the #CloseTheCamps campaign. PIX 11
Queens Garden for Asylum Seekers and Refugees Planned
A new garden designed and constructed refugees and asylum seekers is being developed in Woodside, Queens. The International Rescue Committee, the Department of Transportation and NYC Parks GreenThumb partnered for a campaign to build the New Roots Gardens, which will provide green spaces for refugees, asylees and other immigrant populations to grow produce and access to healthy food. The space will have up to 10 vegetable beds and several native plants, allowing IRC-assisted refugees and others to grow produce but also participate in workshops and activities. Curbed
Immigration Crackdown May Have Displaced U.S. Drug Prosecutions
The U.S. government’s war on immigration has officially edged out the war on drugs, at least in the federal courts. Yet the increased demand on U.S. attorneys’ offices from former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ immigration-focused time in office may have hampered their ability to prosecute nonimmigration crimes. Statistics compiled by the ABA Journal suggest misdemeanor unlawful entry prosecutions rose between 2017 and 2018 in five border districts, as the zero tolerance policy called attorneys to prosecute all referrals for misdemeanors. “It’s just a waste of resources to go after what are, in most cases poor, undocumented asylum-seekers who frankly don’t even always understand what the criminal court process is,” Kara Hartzler, an appellate attorney for the Federal Defenders of San Diego, told the ABA Journal. ABA Journal
Mexican President Praises Trump for Acknowledging Their Migrant Crackdown
Mexico is in the midst of an intensive effort to crack down on the Central American migrants passing through the country after President Trump threatened it with tariffs. Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador then deployed 15,000 troops to the country’s borders with Guatemala and the United States to raid hotels and patrol streets. Trump praised Mexico for its efforts at the G20 summit over the weekend. “I am grateful that even President Trump is making it known that Mexico is fulfilling its commitment and that there are no threats of tariffs,” President of Mexico, told a group of reporters in Mexico City recently. Reuters
President of El Salvador Blames His Country for Mass Exodus
The president of El Salvador took blame for the departure of thousands of citizens from his country during a speech in San Salvador over the weekend. “People don’t flee their homes because they want to,” President Nayib Bukele said. “They flee their homes because they feel they have to… It is our fault.” Bukele’s comments were a rare moment of honesty and accountability, as Central American countries rarely take responsibility for the hundreds of thousands of people that flee. Bukele has also said he intends to build better relations with the U.S. and will work to curb the flow of migrants. The New York Times
Inspector General Details Violence at Border Patrol Station
Conditions at a border patrol station in Texas were so bad that agents began arming themselves against possible riots, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General has reported. During a May 7 tour of a border station, investigators found there were only four showers available for 756 immigrants despite more than 500 of those migrants being there for more than 72 hours. They also found that a cell meant for 35 people held 155 adult men, and they could not lie down to sleep. Border patrol agents themselves also faced “low morale and high anxiety,” and were “seeing more drinking, domestic violence and financial problems,” the report said. NBC News
Student Activist Detained By ICE After Reading Critical Poem
A student activist previously arrested by ICE was arrested in California once again for criticizing U.S. immigration policy, and now has backing from the American Civil Liberties Union. Jose Bello was released on bond from his original sentence, read the poem at a Kern County meeting in May, and was arrested again 36 hours later. The ACLU has filed a petition in San Francisco to claim Bello’s arrest is a first amendment violation. The Guardian
Washington — Trump Administration Threatens Fines for People Who Take Sanctuary, Census Officially Will Not Include Citizenship Question, Cory Booker Releases Immigration Plan
The Trump administration is threatening to impose hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties on immigrants who disobey deportation orders by taking sanctuary in churches or other locations. ICE said it intends to fine a woman seeking sanctuary in North Carolina $300,000, and another immigrant in Colorado $500,000. Financial penalties are not a new policy, but are rarely enforced.
ICE has an internal agency policy to refrain from arresting people in churches, hospitals and other sensitive facilities. YetFederal officials have begun researching potential civil penalties to crack down on sanctuary jurisdictions. Among those considerations are fines, and ICE issued notices of the fines just a day after Trump ended the threat of planned mass raids across the country, prompting more migrants to take shelter in places of worship across the country.
ICE said it is issuing two types of fines. One targets immigrants with outstanding deportation orders with fines up to $799 per day and will let them accrue fines of more than $291,635. A second fine targets immigrants who agreed to leave the U.S. voluntarily but did not. Those fines go up to $4,792. It’s unclear how the Trump administration will be able to enforce these laws. The Washington Post
The census will not include a question about citizenship. Days after the Supreme Court described the rationale behind the question as “contrived,” the Justice Department announced it would no longer be attempting to include the question. Officials determined there wasn’t enough time to reach the printing deadlines for the census form while also fighting a lengthier legal battle. Immigrant advocates across the country rejoiced over the news. The Washington Post
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), 2020 candidate, released an immigration plan on Tuesday and said his presidential campaign would “virtually eliminate immigration detention.” Booker said he would phase out the use of private detention centers over a three-year period, which would reduce detention space by roughly two-thirds. Immigrants would then be monitored using “alternatives to detention,” such as ankle monitors and other programs that more closely resemble parole. Booker’s campaign said the measure would “likely be a cost-saver.” Politico