Lawmakers called on immigrants in the city to remain vigilant during a press conference on Friday, expressing their fear of additional arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
A widely reported operation targeting 2,000 families across the U.S. failed to materialize last week, but lawmakers on Friday warned constituents that arrests may still happen. Reps. Yvette Clarke, Adriano Espaillat, Hakeem Jeffries, Nydia Velazquez and Gregory Meeks, all of New York, were in attendance. They focused on bashing President Trump and his immigration policies, while reminding immigrants of their rights. “We’re asking people not to open the door until they see a signed search warrant by a federal judge,” Espaillat said.
According to the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, ICE has attempted 8 arrests in New York City since the proposed July raids but has been unsuccessful in all of them. It’s unclear if these arrests are tied to the operation that was announced last week, which specifically was said to target immigrant families who came to the U.S. recently and have received deportation orders. NY Daily News, Fox5
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A/C Restored in Immigration Detention Amid Heat Wave
Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, New Jersey repaired air conditioners this weekend after they malfunctioned on Friday night, right as a heatwave hit the East Coast. The jail that houses hundreds of immigrant detainees had been experiencing air conditioning problems for weeks ahead of the failure. Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Crueton said in a statement that all repairs had been completed and all “inmates/detainees” were in a “suitable environment.” Protestors gathered outside the jail Saturday as temperatures hovered around 90 degrees. There are also inmates under quarantine in the jail due to a mumps outbreak. North Jersey Record
Bronx Father’s Health Deteriorates in Immigration Detention
The family of 46-year-old Inocencio Roman Solano from the Bronx is hopeful he will be released from immigration detention soon because his health is deteriorating. Solano has been in detention in New Jersey for 18 months after he was arrested for a traffic offense. His lawyers say he has advanced liver disease and type 2 diabetes and has coughed up blood and produced black stools, but has not received adequate attention at the Bergen County jail. An immigration judge denied Solano’s petition for permanent residence, which he made on the grounds that his detention is causing undue hardship to his children. NY Daily News
AOC Holds Immigration Town Hall in Queens
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-Bronx) held a town hall on immigration on Saturday in Corona, Queens. She tore into President Trump’s immigration agenda, saying it is based on ethnicity and built on racism. She also called for a 9/11 style commission on the Trump administration’s child separation policy, arguing it is the only way to reunite children with their parents. Not all attendees were supportive of the congresswoman, as one told NY1 they wanted her to focus on local issues, while another asked why she voted against the $4.6 billion border aid bill. CNN, NY1
Remain in Mexico Policy Expanded
The Trump administration’s policy to send immigrants back to Mexico has spread to one of the most dangerous parts of the border. DHS said it will now start implementing its Remain in Mexico policy, officially named the Migrant Protection Protocols, in Brownsville, Texas across the border from Matamoros, Mexico starting last Friday. Under the policy, asylum seekers are sent back into Mexico to await their immigration court hearings — a process that can take years. Yet the U.S. government also warns citizens not to travel to Matamoros due to violence and kidnappings, and because organized crime gangs are dominant in the region. About 18,000 asylum seekers have already been sent back under the policy, according to the Mexican government. Associated Press
Cost of Bond Skyrockets
Immigration judges have been issuing bond at a higher rate in the past several years, according to data from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. In 2005, every bond issued by immigration judges was less than $2,000. But by the last fiscal year, 40% of bonds were more than $10,000. Only 5% of them were less than $2,000. The median bond in fiscal year 2006 was only $50, and yet within two years, it was $5,000. And last fiscal year, the median bond was $8,000. Under the Trump administration, more immigrants are also being denied bond. Axios
Mental Health Crisis in Immigration Detention
ICE is detaining a constantly increasing number of immigrants with mental health conditions thanks to President Trump’s 2017 decision to reverse a policy that incentivized releasing vulnerable individuals while they awaited their court hearings. Former ICE Deputy Assistant Director Andrew Lorenzen-Strait estimated 3,000 and 6,000 inmates are suffering from a mental illness. Other immigration advocates say it’s 20 to 30 percent of the 53,000 people in detention. Some of those people are not stable enough to participate in court hearings, forcing them to stay in detention longer. Only 21 of the 230 detention facilities have in-person mental health services, while ICE agents are not trained to deal with mentally ill detainees. Politico
Eyewitnesses Allege Attempted ICE Arrest Left Man Hospitalized
An attempted arrest by ICE agents in Houston, Texas left a man hospitalized, according to eyewitness reports. The agents were reportedly pursuing the driver of a black truck, which crashed into a red Chevrolet Camaro, leaving one person in hospital. Yet ICE officials said they were not pursuing anyone at the time of the accident, and would not comment on if they were trying to detain anyone at the time of the incident. Houston was among the ten cities listed as potential targets in the recent promised nationwide raids of 2,000 immigrant families last week. Yet like the remainder of the country, those arrests did not take place in the scale that was expected. Houston Chronicle
Guatemalans Reap Economic Gains of Coming to the U.S.
Migration from Guatemala will likely become increasingly difficult to curtail as the money earned by workers who came to the U.S. illegally becomes apparent back at home. U.S. flags are common throughout the town of Todos Santos, a mountain town in northwest Guatemala, and almost all the town’s residents have a relative in the U.S. Most of the town’s residents have also gone to the U.S. themselves to work as menial laborers in agriculture, landscaping, restaurants and meat packing plants. Yet in Todos Santos, they are pillars of the community who finance lavish homes. The Los Angeles Times
Washington — New Citizenship Test, Asylum Ban Processing, Pompeo Praises Mexico, Trump’s German Roots
The Trump administration is planning to update the U.S. citizenship test before the end of the president’s first term, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced Friday.
The agency said apilot of the new test would begin this fall, but provided little details on what changes will be made to the test. It was last revised in 2008. Immigration hardliner and USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli told The Washington Post last month that the updated test will look like “another version of a civics exam.”
Advocates are concerned about updates to the exam due to the administration’s anti-immigrant position. The test is a part of the naturalization process and includes questions such as “Who is one of your state’s U.S. senators now?” The Washington Post
John Lafferty, the head of USCIS’s asylum division, told asylum officers in a Friday email to prioritize cases subject to the new Trump administration policy banning asylum for people who crossed through another country before arriving in the U.S. This appears to contradict a statement from CBP Director Mark Morgan from Thursday, in which he said the policy would be rolled out as a pilot. BuzzFeed News
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that Mexico has made progress on migration enforcement. The secretary had a morning meeting his Mexican counterpart Marcelo Ebrard, who said that given the “significant” advances of Mexico’s effort to curb migration, a safe third country agreement was no longer necessary. Associated Press
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, a watchdog group, condemned the Department of Justice’s new policy of replacing in-person interpreters at immigration hearings with video recordings. Under the new policy, immigrants will be shown a video explaining their rights at their first informational master calendar hearings. The videos were reportedly rolled out this week in New York and Miami. U.S. News & World Report
Thomas Jaworek, the conservative mayor of Kallstadt, Germany where Trump’s grandfather was born and then left as a teenager, criticized the president for telling four congresswomen to go back where they came from. “Seeing the not-so-imposing homes of his ancestors might bring him back to earth,” Jaworek said. Many of the town’s residents view the president as a threat to the world. The Washington Post