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Early Arrival: New York Lawsuit Challenges Public Charge

Wednesday's Edition of Early Arrival: ICE Raids Rattle Hudson Valley — Palestinian Harvard Freshman Denied Entry and Deported — Brazil Aids Deportations After Pressure from Trump

A new lawsuit filed in Manhattan challenges the Trump administration’s public charge rule, say it “was driven by unconstitutional animus against nonwhite immigrants” and exceeded the authority of the executive branch. The challenge was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by attorneys from the Legal Aid Society, the Center for Constitutional Rights and corporate law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. 

The 115-page complaint argues DHS wasn’t legally allowed to spread the public charge rule — which expands DHS’s authority to reject immigrants who may or already do use public welfare services — and that that authority lies solely with Congress. President Trump and USCIS chief Ken Cuccinelli said the rule would “reshape” the experience of immigrants and would be “transformative,” but the attorneys say the Constitution does not give the executive branch that power. 

The lawyers said the law was a means to enact immigration reform the administration has long hoped for but was unable to get through Congress. The rule would favor wealthier immigrants and further Trump’s goal of creating an immigration system based on “merit,” or financial independence and a high level of education, the suit continues, saying that violates the federal Administrative Procedure Act and the Fifth Amendment. “We will not allow the Trump Administration to punish our clients and all immigrant New Yorkers by weaponizing the safety net that is there for all of us in hard times,” said Janet Sabel, CEO and attorney-in-chief at the Legal Aid Society. The New York Law Journal

Hello, this is Max Siegelbaum and Oscar Montenegro with today’s edition of Early Arrival. You can email us at max.siegelbaum@documentedny.com.

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We’re taking a short break and will not be sending out Early Arrival on Friday or next Monday. See you in September.


ICE Raids Rattle Hudson Valley

ICE raids have disrupted the Hudson Valley region in the past few months, especially after the shuttering of a popular restaurant. Earlier this month, Mexican Radio in Hudson closed, Saying the decision was caused in part by the deportation of some staffers. A nearby restaurant, Casa Latina, has also become a flashpoint in the community. Its owner Maria Romero Valdez says ICE has been targeting her because she has been an outspoken supporter of the Green Light NY law, which lets immigrants get driver’s licenses. In order to warn residents of ICE arrests, the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement has posted photos of ICE agents and license plates of their cars on social media. CNHI

Asylum Officers Rescheduled from New York Region

Asylum cases in upstate New York have been halted after the Trump administration reassigned government workers from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Newark, which handles cases from that region. Staffers at the Newark office will shift priorities to the southern border, where an influx of new asylum cases have arrived. This move will not affect cases for those seeking asylum in the immigration courts or who already have a court hearing scheduled. Many asylum seekers will likely end up waiting years for their case to be resolved. Buffalo News

NY Attorney General Joins Flores Lawsuit

After rolling out new regulations regarding the Flores litigation and migrant families last week, Trump is facing a 19-state lawsuit unveiled by Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom that includes New York. This newest lawsuit marks another legal challenge for President Trump from a multi-state coalition of attorneys general — something that now seems to happen monthly. The new Trump regulations place family detention centers outside the control of the states and under the jurisdiction of the federal government, which the administration argues will decrease the number of migrants arriving at the border. Newsom says he expects courts to reject these regulations. The Los Angeles Times


Palestinian Harvard Freshman Denied Entry and Deported

An incoming Harvard freshman from Lebanon was deported shortly after arriving at Boston Logan International Airport Friday night. Ismail B. Ajjawi, a 17-year-old of Palestinian descent, said he spent eight hours in Boston before he was deported. He and several other international students were questioned by immigration officials after their plane landed. The officers asked Ajjawi to unlock his phone and laptop and left to search both for five hours. “After the 5 hours ended, she called me into a room, and she started screaming at me. She said that she found people posting political points of view that oppose the U.S. on my friend list,” he wrote in a statement. He added that he hadn’t made any political posts. The Harvard Crimson

Canadians Run Into Trouble Crossing Borders with CBD

After their country fully legalized Cannabis, Canadians care having increasing difficulties crossing into the U.S. with CBD oil and other products. “What the Canadian government hasn’t done is advise people of all of these derivatives, the oils, any of the edibles. They haven’t told Canadians that those are considered the same as bringing leafy marijuana,” said Len Saunders, a Washington-based immigration lawyer who has two clients who were detained by border authorities for having CBD. Despite their wide availability in the U.S., types of CBD oil are still considered a controlled substance. And once edibles and other cannabis derivatives become legal Canada in October, immigration lawyers are expecting an increase in detentions. CBC

Judge with High Asylum Denial Rate Appointed to Board of Appeals

Judge Stuart Couch, a North Carolina immigration judge who is known for frequently deporting asylum cases, was appointed to the Board of Immigration appeals by Attorney General William Barr on Friday. Judge Couch has a denial rate of 92%, higher than the national average of 58%. Since President Trump took office, the Justice Department has hired more than 128 immigration judges. WFAE

Immigration Rhetoric, Trade War Affecting Wine Prices

President Trump’s strong immigration rhetoric and ongoing tariff war with China is increasing  wine prices. As Ray Fister, a wine contributor, puts it, “when grapes are ready, they are ready” and need to be picked so they don’t sit in the sun and aren’t eaten by birds. Yet Trump’s rhetoric has scared some undocumented people from working, causing a problem for wineries, which largely employ undocumented people. On top of that, most wine bottles are made in China, and Trump’s ongoing tariff war is increasing their prices. WUWM

USCIS Will No Longer Consider Most Deportation Deferrals Over Medical Conditions

At least five “medical deferred action” families in Boston have received notices this month from federal authorities to leave the U.S. and return to their home countries within 33 days. The families in question are able to receive government-funded health care and work legally while their children receive medical treatment. But according to letters they received, USCIS is no longer accepting deferred action requests with the exception for certain approved groups, and they will have to go through ICE instead. The Irish International Immigrant Center characterized this as the U.S. government targeting foreign-born children and their families. WCVB

Washington – Brazil Aids Deportations After Pressure from Trump – Administration Asks Supreme Court to Keep Third Country Agreement Alive

Brazil is facilitating the deportation of Brazilians from the U.S. even if they have no valid passports following pressure from the Trump administration. The Federal Police of Brazil sent airlines a memo in June allowing them to board Brazilian deportees with just a certificate of nationality issued by a consulate. Previously, a passport was required for all travel to the country. 

Officials from the Brazilian government said the country is facing increasing pressure from the Trump administration to facilitate the deportation of its citizens, to the point of risking sanctions. “When Donald Trump became U.S. president, illegal immigration became a central political issue. Pressure increased a lot and Brazil was even threatened with sanctions,” one source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. The number of deported Brazilians grew about 20 percent from fiscal year 2017 to fiscal year 2018. 

Previously, a Department of Homeland Security report labeled Brazil “at risk of non-compliance” with DHS’ policy toward facilitating deportations. Trump has been targeting countries that don’t accept immigrants who the U.S. has ordered deported. Immigrants who want to fight their deportation can withhold their passport from ICE, which can often leave them in detention for months and even years. Reuters

The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to allow it to enforce its policy of refusing asylum seekers who have not applied for asylum in a third country before coming to the U.S. In a filing, Solicitor General Noel Francisco said an order from California’s 9th Circuit halting the policy “frustrates the government’s strong interest in a well-functioning asylum system” and undermines the government’s efforts to stem the flow of migrants across the southern border. Washington Examiner

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