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Early Arrival: Attorneys General Support Driver’s Licenses in New York

Monday's Edition of Early Arrival: Greyhound Protest at Port Authority —ICE Terminates Hotline — Changes to DOJ Rules on Courts, Miller Ally Promoted, Sanders Won’t Abolish ICE

Nine states filed an amicus brief on Friday in support of the Green Light Bill, which allows undocumented people to get driver’s licenses in New York. 

The bill has been challenged by Erie County Clerk Michael Kearns in the federal Western District of New York, arguing in a July lawsuit that Green Light NY would force him to violate federal immigration law. Kearns has also garnered support from anti-immigration groups such as The Federation for American Immigration Reform, which filed an amicus brief in support of him. 

In their Friday brief, the coalition of states argued that providing credentials for people to drive improves public safety. Like New York, states such as Hawaii and Connecticut have passed laws allowing undocumented people to obtain driver’s licenses. The law is set to take effect in December. Maui Now

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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Activists Protest Greyhound at Port Authority

Dozens of activists protested Greyhound on Friday at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. The protesters were unhappy that the company allows Customs and Border Protection officials on to its buses. They took over the corner of W. 42nd St. and 8th Ave. during rush hour and marched to Greyhound’s ticketing area. A spokesperson for the bus company said it is required to comply with requests from federal agents but it does not coordinate with federal immigration officials. Greyhound has come under repeated criticism for allowing CBP agents onto buses to check people’s immigration status. Pix11

Laundry Workers Demand their Rights

Tensions between the immigrant workers and immigrants owners of laundromats in New York are growing as more workers demand wage rights. There has been in growth demonstrations and filing of wage theft lawsuits as laundry workers begin to demand an increase in their wages, which can be as low as $7 per hour — less than half the city’s minimum wage. The industry is attractive to new arrivals, as it is very profitable and always in demand in New York. Workers also do not need to have a full grasp of English to work there. Profits can be as high as 25 percent once the initial investment is paid off. The New York Times


ICE Terminates Hotline Featured in Netflix Show

A hotline that helps immigrant detainees get free legal help was shut down by ICE after it was featured in the popular Netflix show “Orange Is the New Black.” The hotline was started by California group Freedom for Immigrants who filed a cease-and-desist against ICE on Thursday, arguing the termination violates free speech. Six actors from the show and more than 100 organizations signed a letter to ICE’s Acting Director Matthew Albence to oppose the hotline’s shutdown. The agency meanwhile argues the number is not part of its approved list of pro-bono attorneys. The hotline would receive up to 14,000 calls per month from detainees around the country. The Los Angeles Times 

AG Promotes Tough Judges to Appellate Board

Attorney General William Barr promoted some of the country’s toughest immigration judges to the appeals court, giving them the power to set binding policy on deportation cases. The six promoted judges come from courts with some of the highest asylum denial rates and will now make up a quarter of the appellate board. All the judges have denial rates that exceed 80 percent, and two from Atlanta have denial rates over 95 percent. The Trump administration created new seats on the appeals court, and four of the new appointees will be filling the manufactured vacancies. The San Francisco Chronicle

Surveillance Towers to be Erected on Southern Border

CBP is planning to construct ten 160-foot surveillance towers capable of continuously monitoring every person or vehicle with a 7.5 miles radius on the Tohono O’odham Nation’s reservation. The towers will be built by Israel’s largest military company Elbit Systems, according to a press release from the company. In southern Arizona, 55 of these towers already exist. The company is hoping to build electronic surveillance around the entire perimeter of the U.S. The constant surveillance has drawn alarm from civil liberties advocates. Residents on the reservation are stopped at CBP checkpoints on their way to cities such as Tuscon or Phoenix and drones watch their movements. The Intercept

Mississippi Parents Arrested in ICE Raid

It took over a week for ICE to realize that it had detained both parents of two children in one of the largest worksite raids in its history in Mississippi earlier this month. The children are aged 12 and 14 and their mother, Ana, told ABC News that her husband is still detained following her Aug. 15 release. ICE claimed Ana had not told them she had children, which she says isn’t true. She was one of 680 people arrested in raids of multiple poultry processing plants in Mississippi, where she had worked for seven years. ABC News

Mistaken Honey Almost Leads to Man’s Deportation

A Jamaican man almost faced deportation after a bottle of honey he brought into Baltimore Airport was suspected of containing meth. Leon Haughton spent 82 days in jail despite a drug test 20 days after his arrest showing that honey he brought home from his native Jamaica did not contain drugs. Prosecutors dropped the case against Haughton and a judge ordered him released on bail two days after his arrest, but an ICE detainer was still triggered. The government shutdown made it difficult to get the detainer lifted and he ended up spending months in prison. The Washington Post

Washington — Changes to DOJ Rules on Courts, Miller Ally Promoted, Sanders Won’t Abolish ICE

The Trump administration has issued a new rule that gives the director of the Executive Office of Immigration Review — the agency within the Justice Department that oversees the immigration court — expanded powerto accept or deny appeals to asylum cases. 

Under the new rule, EOIR’s Director James McHenry, a Trump appointee and former ICE prosecutor, has the authority to reverse rulings from the Board of Immigration Appeals — a power that was previously limited to the attorney general. It is a power that has been exercised at an unprecedented rate by the Trump administration to make landmark reversals on things such as the gang and domestic violence as grounds for asylum. 

Delegating this power to the EOIR director may further increase the number of reversals carried out by the department. The Washington Post 

May Davis, the aide responsible for suggesting sending migrants at the border to sanctuary cities, has been promoted to the Office of the White House Counsel. Davis is an immigration hawk and an ally to Trump’s most stringent anti-immigration aide, Stephen Miller. She was part of Miller’s Immigration Strategic Working Group, a cross-agency group of 30 officials that worked on immigration issues. The Daily Beast

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) suggested Saturday that he would not abolish ICE if elected president. He told Minnesota Public Radio that he would stop ICE raids, but would not commit to abolishing the agency altogether. HuffPostThe Justice Department is canceling a news clipping service after BuzzFeed News reported that it was highlighting clips from white nationalist news sites. The news clippings were gathered daily by contractor TechMIS. Politico

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