ICE arrested 82 people during a five-day period in Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Ulster and Westchester counties, New York City and Long Island. One arrest was also made in Essex County, New Jersey.
ICE officers arrested 42 individuals who had active detainer requests from Sept. 20 to Sept. 25. Of those arrested, 10 had been removed from the U.S. before and had returned. Several had prior felony convictions, ICE said.
The people come from Peru, Mexico, Algeria, Colombia and Ukraine, among other countries. Some will be charged with illegal re-entry. Patch
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A group of legal organizations announced they were filing two lawsuits on Wednesday claiming Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests at courthouses without a judicial warrant are unconstitutional and violate state law. New York Attorney General Letitia James and Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez filed one lawsuit, and the Legal Aid Society filed the other. According to the Immigrant Defense Project, courthouse arrests went up by 1700 percent from 2016 to 2018. Law enforcement officials and public defenders say these arrests corrode undocumented people’s willingness to cooperate with police and show up to court. One lawsuit argues that when ICE overturned an agency policy to generally refrain from making courthouse arrests, it was unlawful because it’s a breach of common law and unconstitutional under a state’s rights claim. Read more at Documented
New Jersey Town Joins Fight Against AG’s Immigrant Trust Directive
Toms River, a township on the Jersey Shore, voted to adopt a resolution to support a lawsuit filed by its county after a highly contentious hearing. Ocean County filed a legal challenge earlier this month against Attorney General Gubir Grewal’s Immigrant Trust Directive, which blocks local law enforcement from cooperating with ICE. During a two and a half hour hearing, immigrants, members of the clergy and activists all urged the township council to reject the resolution. Only a few audience members spoke in favor of the resolution, but the council voted 4 to 2 to adopt it anyway. Asbury Park Press
New Jersey Man Charged with Visa Fraud in China Scientist Recruiting Scheme
A New Jersey man targeted seven different colleges nationwide in a visa fraud scheme aimed at recruiting scientists and experts to work in China. Through his agency, the China Association for International Exchange of Personnel, Zhongsan Liu was able to bring at least one Chinese government worker to a university in Georgia, according to court documents. He also tried to bring another Chinese official to the University of Massachusetts at Boston last year. He was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud. The Boston Globe
USCIS Orders Employees to Use Google Translate in Social Media Research
Google Translate sometimes provides nonsensical translations of foreign languages, and the company tells users to avoid using it for anything too complex. Yet U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services still used Google Translate when vetting refugees, ProPublica reports. Documents provided to the International Refugee Assistance Project through a public records request show the agency recommends its officers use Google Translate when reading social media profiles of potential refugees to the U.S. The “most efficient approach to translate foreign language contents is to utilize one of the many free online language translation services provided by Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines,” a training manual for USCIS officers reads. ProPublica
Immigration Rate is at its Lowest in 10 Years
The U.S.’s immigration population grew last year at its slowest rate in the past decade, according to a new analysis. The net increase of immigrants in America dropped to 200,000 in 2018, a 70 percent decrease from the previous year. “This is something that really hasn’t happened since the Great Recession. This should be very concerning to the administration that its policies are scaring people away,” said David Bier, an immigration expert at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. The New York Times
Two Haitian Refugees Die in Mexican Custody
Two Haitian refugees, including a pregnant woman, died in migrant detention centers in Tapachula, Mexico last month, according to human rights organizations. Enrique Vidal, a coordinator for the Human Rights Center Fray Matias de Cordova, said Mexican authorities released the pregnant woman from custody after her condition worsened. “Her pregnancy was in danger because of the conditions of the detention center and the Mexican Government decided to put her out on the street before she could die in the center,” he said, adding that “we have many cases of health issues and torture or sexual harrasment in detention centers here in Tapachula.” The Haitian Times
Iraqis Struggle After Deportation
Dozens of people of Iraqi origin have been deported to Iraq since the start of the Trump administration. Iraq agreed to take back its citizens with criminal convictions in a deal to remove itself from a list of banned countries on the president’s travel ban, which targeted people of several Muslim-majority countries. In fiscal year 2017, 61 Iraqis were deported, while 61 were deported the following year and 30 were deported so far this year. Iraq remains a dangerous place, human rights experts and advocates say, and deportees face additional suspicion due to their U.S. ties. One deportee died last month because he could not get adequate health care. Reuters
Detainee on Hunger Strike Released
One of two Indian nationals who has been on hunger strike for more than 70 days has been released from immigration detention after spending more than a year in an El Paso,Texas facility. Ajay Kumar and his fellow Indian national Gurjant Singh fled India together where they say they were facing political persecution, but both found themselves in ICE detention. Both stopped eating on July 8, and Kumar’s lawyer said that ICE had force-fed him. Singh’s attorney says he is expected to be released Friday. Associated Press
Washington — Migration Deal With Honduras, Refugee Cap Slashed Again, ‘Alien’ Language Change, National Emergency Vote
The Trump administration announced an agreement with Honduras on Wednesday that will allow the government to send asylum seekers to the country even if it isn’t their place of origin. The federal government has reached similar agreements with El Salvador and Guatemala, which are among the most violent countries in the world and have seen thousands of their own citizens seek asylum in the U.S.
The Department of Homeland Security reached the agreement with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, who is facing corruption charges and accused of running the country like a criminal enterprise. He’s also been named as a co-conspirator in a major U.S. drug trafficking case.
Under the agreement, the U.S. government will return asylum seekers to the countries they pass through on their way to the southern border if they did not seek asylum in those countries first. the previous asylum agreements have yet to be implemented, and like them, the Honduras deal provided few details on how it will be implemented. The Washington Post
The Trump administration has set the 2020 refugee cap at 18,000, the lowest number in the program’s history. It is almost half the 30,000 capset for this fiscal year, and a dramatic reduction from the 110,000 cap set in the last year of the Obama administration. The administration said it plans to reserve places for Iraqis who helped the U.S. military overseas and persecuted people from Central America. The New York Times
USCIS officials are planning to change all instances of the term “foreign national” to read “alien” throughout its materials, despite the term fading from common use. The agency claimed the change would bring its language closer in line with the Immigration and Nationality Act. The term has been wiped from the Library of Congress and the California Labor Code, and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) has introduced a bill to remove it from federal immigration law. BuzzFeed News
The Senate voted on Wednesday for a second time to overturn Trump’s national emergency on the southwestern border. The vote was 51-41, with 11 Republicans joining Democrats to rebuke the president’s use of emergency powers to redirect Pentagon funds to build a wall on the border. The vote still fell short of the two-thirds it needed to overcome a presidential veto. The New York Times