After a week of intense anticipation and fear mongering, the large Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation that would reportedly target 2,000 immigrant families did not appear to begin on Sunday.
The raids, which President Trump confirmed would happen, were reportedly targeting recently arrived migrant families who were ordered deported in immigration court and were living in one of 10 major cities, including New York.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that ICE had attempted three arrests in the city on Saturday, two in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and one in Harlem. But because ICE arrests occur frequently in New York, it is unclear if those arrests were related to this larger operation. De Blasio said the agents were unsuccessful.
Beyond those, there were no other attempted arrests reported in New York City. The other cities that were reportedly to be targeted – Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Baltimore, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans and San Francisco – also reported limited activity.
The New York Times’ reporting offers an explanation for this change, saying that more arrests will follow through this week as news stories exposing the plan led the agency to change course last minute. Instead of a large scale operation on Sunday, as previously planned, the agents will now carry out smaller apprehensions over the course of a week. The Associated Press reports that Mexican consulates are preparing for 1,807 Mexicans who have been issued final deportation orders to be deported in the coming days.
In the buildup to this Sunday, de Blasio, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and City Council Speaker Corey Jonson all vowed to do whatever they could to stymy ICE and encouraged immigrants to not open the door if ICE agents did not have a judicial warrant.
However, Ed Mullins, president of the New York Police Department’s Sergeants Benevolent Association, broke ranks with the city leadership and encouraged officers in a letter to “not leave any ICE agent abandoned if in need of assistance.” The letter directly contradicted de Blasio’s orders to NYPD officers. Mullins told officers to call his office if they received retribution from their superiors for helping ICE. The New York Times, Associated Press, NY Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle
What happens after a raid?
In January, A.M. (whose initials are being used to protect his identity) was arrested by ICE agents after they violently burst into his home in Queens and pointed a gun at him. His arrestseparated him from his wife and 7-year-old daughter. It also triggered the beginning of two court cases that upended their lives: one in immigration court and another in housing court. In a piece produced in collaboration with The City, we wanted to find out what happens to families after their homes are raided by ICE. We followed A.M’s family for months to try to answer this question. In their case, he was the main breadwinner in their home and they’re now fighting an eviction battle as rent bills pile up. Due to their immigration status, they have very few options for relief.
Hello, I’m Mazin Sidahmed with today’s edition of Early Arrival. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. In case you were wondering, we took last week off. We hope you didn’t miss us too much!
We are local, independent, and not-for-profit. Please support our work.
Assemblyman Expresses Support for ICE
Long Island Republican Assemblyman Mike LiPetri (R-Massapequa) suited up with ICE agents last week to show his support for the agency in advance of Sunday’s planned raids. LiPetri went for a ride along with ICE agents last week Tuesday, his office told reporters, and witnessed the arrest of a 19-year old Salvadoran who the agents claimed was affilated with MS-13 and wanted for terrorism in El Salvador. He said that he joined them again on Thursday when they arrested a man who was allegedly deported for sexual battery. LiPetri said he was proud to stand with ICE after witnessing their work, and his office posted a video of the assemblyman wearing an ICE vest. NY Daily News
NJ Counties Continue to Tussle with AG Over Immigration Directive
Sheriffs from Monmouth County and Cape May continue to oppose New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal’s Immigrant Trust Directive that limits local law enforcement cooperation with ICE. Sheriffs from both counties renewed their 287(g) agreements with ICE right before the directive was put in place. Sussex County officials then had to back down on their pledge to put a question on the November election ballot about whether the county sheriff should abide by the ruling, after Grewal said the question would violate state law. Star-Ledger, Townhall
Documented Exclusive: Public Pensions Invest in Immigration Detention Nationwide
Millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are being invested in immigration detention. An analysis of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission data by Documented found that at least 20 pension funds have invested in Geo Group or Core Civic. Among them are funds from states with so-called ‘sanctuary’ policies such as California and New York. The California Public Employees Retirement System has a $9.5 million investment in the companies, as does The New York Teachers Retirement System. Public worker funds around the U.S. have at least $67 million invested in immigration detention, according to filing from the first quarter of 2019. Read our story that was published in collaboration with the Guardian US
Police Kill Man Following Attack on ICE Detention Center
Police shot and killed Willem Van Spronsen, 69, on Saturday in Tacoma, Washington as he was attacking an immigration detention center. He was allegedly armed with a rifle and threw unspecified “incendiary devices” at the Northwest Detention Center. Officers said Van Spronsen set one car on fire and attempted to ignite a commercial-sized propane tank attached to the center. His motive was unclear. Last year, Van Spronsen had wrapped his arm around a police officer’s throat during a protest outside the center to free another protester who was under arrest. It’s unclear if he fired at officers before they fired at him. The Seattle Times
Border Patrol Agents Pass Around Coin Mocking Care of Migrant Kids
U.S. Border Patrol agents have circulated an unofficial commemorative coin that mocks caring for migrant children. “KEEP THE CARAVANS COMING” is written on the front of the coin under an image of a parade of people carrying a Honduran flag. The reverse shows three images: a Border Patrol agent feeding an infant with a bottle, an agent fingerprinting a teenager and a Border Patrol Van. The text along the edge reads: “FEEDING PROCESSING HOSPITAL TRANSPORT.” The origins of the coin are unknown and it is not an official government issue, but Border Patrol agents said officers have been ordering the coin. ProPublica
Some Border Cities See Less Migrants in Detention
Border cities are now seeing a drop in the number of migrants in detention as the number of people apprehended at the border fell 28 percent in June and continues to fall this month. In El Paso, 300 migrants are currently in U.S. Border Patrol custody, a drop from 5,300 in May. The detention centers with horrible conditions, such as the child detention center in Clint, Texas, are now almost vacant. The drop in asylum seekers is partly due to seasonal shifts in migration patterns but also stricter enforcement policies from Mexico, negotiated by the Trump administration. Yet in McAllen, Texas and other parts of the border, migrants are still held in overcrowded facilities. Officials announced Friday they are opening a new 2,500 bed facility in Tornillo, Texas. The Washington Post
Fallout From Secret Border Patrol Facebook Group Continues
Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost was also a member of the controversial Facebook group filled with racist, vulgur and sexist content from the agency’s employees, The Intercept reports. Provost had condemned the Facebook group after ProPublica first reported on its existence. Her last comment in the group came three months after she became Border Patrol chief in November 2018. Senior Border Patrol officials have also internally circulated an inflammatory opinion article that blasted ProPublica’s reporting on the group and the reporter A.C. Thompson. The Intercept, ProPublica
Washington — Safe 3rd Country Agreement with Guatemala, Pence Defend Detention Conditions, Tense Oversight Hearing on Immigration
President Trump’s meeting with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales planned for Monday has been canceled, derailing the administration’s hopes of securing a safe third country agreement with Guatemala.
Late on Sunday, Guatemala’s constitutional court ruled in favor of a legal challenge against the agreement. Prior to the ruling, the government issued a statement saying Morales had no intention of signing the deal on Monday. News reports had previously suggested that the two countries were on the brink of signing a landmark agreement that could all but halt asylum seekers from coming to the U.S. from Central America through Mexico.
Leaked drafts of the agreement indicated it would allow the U.S. to send asylum seekers who arrive at the U.S.–Mexico border to Guatemala to seek asylum there instead. Asylees would not be able to make a claim in the U.S. at all, with the exception of Guatemalan migrants. The UN’s refugee agency appears to have been cut out of negotiations happening in Guatemala City since mid-June, despite the fact that the agency is a key component in implementing the deal, according to Voices of America.
Morales appears to have gotten cold feet despite originally indicating support for the measure, which is widely opposed in Guatemala across the political spectrum. How the country would handle asylum seekers sent there by the U.S. is unknown. More people are leaving Guatemala than any other Central American country. The Associated Press, The New Yorker, Voice of America
Images of Vice President Mike Pence visiting detention facilities on the southern border emerged on Friday, showing him standing in front of 400 men packed behind a fence and unable to lie down on the concrete floor at the same time to sleep. There was horrendous stench, Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey said. CBP said there was no room for cots and they were only given a shower the day prior in the McAllen facility. The tour had initially been planned to promote the administration’s detention facilities and care for migrants, but that seems to have backfired. Pence defended Border Patrol and argued the administration was providing care “every American would be proud of.” HuffPost
A report released by a House committee on Friday found that at least 18 infants and toddlers younger than 2 were separated from their parents for at least 20 days because of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. The report provided the backdrop for a heated oversight hearing on the administration’s family separation policy. Immigration officials such as former ICE Head Thomas D. Homan defended the policy, while lawyers and families who were affected by the policy offered heart-wrenching testimonies. The New York Times
A federal appeals court upheld the Justice Department’s decision to give preferential treatment in awarding community policing grants to cities thatcooperate with immigration authorities, in a blow to so-called ‘sanctuary cities.’ The Associated Press
Support the work of Documented
Documented was founded with the goal of making sure the people affected by our stories were also the people reading them. Immigration reporting is often extractive and isn’t produced or published with the main protagonists as the intended audience. Through our reporting and out outreach via WhatsApp, we’ve created award-winning journalism that is created with and for New York’s immigrant communities. This work is not easy and it is not cheap. Consider becoming a member today to help fuel this work. By joining the Documented Community, you can not help only provide us with the financial freedom needed to fulfill our mission but also meet others who are passionate about immigration in the New York area. Become a member today.