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Early Arrival: HUD Brushes Off Trump’s Immigration Housing Rule

Wednesday's Edition of Early Arrival: Ailing Bronx Father Released from ICE Custody — US Citizen Released After 3-Week Detention — Fast-Track Deportation Expands, EB-5 Investment Minimum Raised, Trump Threatens Guatemala

Max Siegelbaum

Jul 24, 2019

Bronx, New York - May 6, 2018: Views of Jerome Street in the Bronx. Photo: Christopher Lee for Documented.

The top federal housing official in New York cast skepticism on the necessity of a Trump administration rule that would banish undocumented immigrants from federally-subsidized housing. “Do I think that this proposal is a priority when we have so many other issues going on, particularly here in Region II?” said Lynne Patton, Region II administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, who oversees HUD activities in New York and New Jersey. “No.”

Currently, undocumented immigrants cannot receive subsidized housing unless they’re in a household with some legal residents. The administration has proposed a new rule barring all of these mixed-status households from publicly funded housing, which would affect roughly 3,000 households in the state. According to an analysis from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, this measure could cost $227 million annually because only legal residents get subsidies and there’d be more of them in housing. 

Patton is a former employee of the Trump family who drew criticism when she was appointed, and has since defended the president against accusations of racism. So her suggestion that she would rather focus on hygiene and functionality in the city’s public housing system comes as a surprise. “My priority right now is getting rats the size of cats out of NYCHA,” she said. “Whether or not an undocumented immigrant lives in those houses is not my personal priority. “ WNYC

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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Ailing Bronx Father Released from ICE Custody

A Bronx father who has spent a year and a half in ICE custody was released Tuesday over public pressure due to his increasing illness. Inocencio Roman Solano, 46, has an advanced liver disease and type 2 diabetes. His health was deteriorating in detention, according to his family. Roman’s lawyers said he faced “severe medical neglect” in detention and received “inappropriate treatment” for an ulcer on his foot. Roman was being held at the Bergen County jail in New Jersey. The New York Daily News

Lawmakers Canvas Sunset Park After Failed Raids

Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-Brooklyn) and Councilmember Carlos Menchaca took to the streets in Sunset Park on Sunday to tell the community about recently attempted ICE raids. Half of the eight attempted raids happened in the neighborhood where residents are 47 percent foreign-born. Velázquez stressed that undocumented immigrants shouldn’t fear leaving their homes or being in the public, referencing a notice that was posted in the subway. Many residents were fearful of the raids, but some were less so. “You know, I actually feel good right now. I have been here nearly 34 years and I still haven’t gotten my paperwork together. I figure if they send me and my wife back, I guess it’s time and we had a good run,” said Amador, a Mexican national. Brooklyn Eagle

Brooklyn Man Accused of Filing Nearly 2000 False Applications to USCIS

A Brooklyn man has been indicted for filing over 1,800 false applications for permanent resident status. The office of the U.S. Attorney for Vermont said Arleigh Louison submitted petitions for people supposedly seeking status adjustments as victims of abuse. He was charged in Vermont as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Center has a facility in St. Albans, Vermont. Louison’s customers told the federal government they never authorized the statements he made on their behalf. My Champlain Valley


US Citizen Released After 3-Week Detention

Francisco Erwin Galicia, a Dallas-born American citizen, was released from federal custody after agents refused to believe he was a citizen and detained him on suspicion of immigration violations. Galicia was traveling with his brother and a few friends to a soccer scouting event at Ranger College in North Texas when CBP agents stopped them. The agents detained Galicia and his brother Marlon, who is undocumented and signed a voluntary removal form. Galicia wasn’t allowed to use the phone for three weeks while he was in CBP custody, but was able to make calls when he was transferred to ICE. His mother showed his birth certificate and other documents to CBP agents who still refused to release him. After public backlash, ICE released Galicia on Tuesday afternoon. Dallas Morning News

Trump Administration Appointed Nearly Half of All Working Immigration Judges

The Trump administration has appointed at least 190 immigration judges, accounting for 43 percent of all judges in the system, an Associated Press analysis shows. Those new judges largely come from military and Immigration and Customs Enforcement backgrounds, and nearly 1 in 5 sitting judges appointed under Trump was a military lawyer. These judges have backgrounds similar to those hired under previous administration. Still, the administration has increased its hiring rate in a bid to reduce delays in the court system, which currently has nearly 900,000 cases. The administration wants to add another 100 judges next fiscal year. The Associated Press

Neighbors Thwart ICE Arrest in Nashville

Neighbors and activists formed a human barrier between a man and his 12-year-old son, effectively stopping an ICE arrest from happening in Nashville, Tennessee on Monday. ICE agents had surveilled a home in the Hermitage neighborhood of Nashville for several days until they eventually descended on the residence when a man and his son were in a van in the driveway. The people refused to get while the ICE agents surrounded the van and attempted to coax them out. When neighbors noticed, they quickly sprung into action, bringing water, cold rags and sandwiches to the man and his son, even filling their gas tank so they could keep the air conditioner running in the car. The agents eventually backed off. Tennessean

ICE Doctor Job Post Draws Attention 

Wanted: ICE detention doctor. Experience: two years. Salary: $400,000. That’s what a job posting on The Journal of the American Medical Association website read, and it quickly caught the attention of the medical community across the country. The job was posted by the private prison company GEO Group for one of their facilities in Basile, Louisiana. The company is not seeking someone with board certifications, a mark of a more educated and experienced doctor. The ad also called for someone who is “philosophically committed to the objectives of this facility,” which some people in the medical community felt was ethically dubious. NPR 

Over 2,000 Migrants Were Targeted by ICE. Just 35 Arrests Were Made.

More than 2,000 migrants were targeted across the country last week in a national campaign highly publicized by President Trump. Yet at the end, just 35 people were detained in the operation. The raids, called Operation Border Resolve, were meant to be a show of federal force in response to heightened levels of border crossing. The raids were largely thwarted by know your rights campaigns, which resulted in people refusing to come to the door when ICE showed up. The advanced notice also lead some people to flee their homes. The New York Times

Washington — Fast-Track Deportation Expands, EB-5 Investment Minimum Raised, Trump Threatens Guatemala

The Trump administration announced on Monday that it will extend fast-track deportations to anyone who has been in the country illegally for less than two years. Previously, such deportations were limited to people arrested within two weeks after crossing the US-Mexico border, and within 100 miles from the border. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said the move is attempting to address the “ongoing crisis on the southern border” by freeing up beds in detention centers and reducing the court backlog. 

Before this rule went into effect, the federal government did not have the ability to detain many people arrested on the Mexican border, McAleenan said. The new rule will let the government deport people without a court hearing, slowing the growth of the immigration courts’ massive backlog. McAleenan said the policy would be published Tuesday in the Federal Register. 

The American Civil Liberties Union and American Immigration Council have already said they would sue to block the policy. “Under this unlawful plan, immigrants who have lived here for years would be deported with less due process than people get in traffic court,” said Omar Jawdat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. McAleenan said 20,570 people arrested in the nation’s interior from October 2017 through September 2018 year had been in the US less than two years, making them eligible for the rule. The Guardian

Immigrant investors will have to invest at least $1.8 million in U.S. projects to get a green card from the EB-5 program under new regulations. The previous minimum investment was $1 million, which was the rate since 1990. They also have the option of investing $900,000 in economically distressed areas, up from $500,000. That discount recently came under fire when it was revealed that New York’s Hudson Yards project, a luxury shopping mall, used funding from EB-5 visas earmarked for economically distressed areas. Dow Jones

Trump complained on Twitter that the Guatemalan government broke off a planned safe third country agreement with the U.S., which would force migrants who travel through Guatemala to apply for asylum there before traveling to the U.S. In response, Trump threatened to impose a “ban,” tariffs, remittance fees or a combination of all three on the country. “Guatemala has not been good,” Trump wrote. “Big U.S. taxpayer dollars going to them was cut off by me 9 months ago.”

Mexico has largely complied with the administration’s requests to crack down on Central American migration through the country. Guatemala appeared to be willing to work with the administration, but President Jimmy Morales broke off talks at the last minute after facing pressure at home. Politico

Max Siegelbaum

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