Advocates are suing Rensselaer County over its proposal to share voter registration information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The county’s board of elections threatened to share registration information with immigration authorities in response to the Green Light Law that will allow undocumented immigrants to apply for a driver’s license. The BOE said it would share information through a program that allows people to register at the local Department of Motor Vehicles.
The plaintiffs in the suit argue this violates the Voting Rights Act, while the county states that Green Light remains a press release but has not been made law. Albany Times Union
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Inside New York City Schools’ Education Debate
Over the past year, there has been a wave of coverage of the push to diversify the most exclusive public schools in the city and the backlash from New York’s Asian Americans. Students of an Asian background make up 60 percent of the student bodies of the city’s eight specialized high schools. These schools rely on one test, the Specialized High School Admissions Test, as the only factor for admissions. These include Stuyvesant High School and Brooklyn Technical High School. Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed phasing out the use of the test and replacing admissions standards with another plan. Documented spoke to students and alumni to capture how this educational debate has affected the Asian American community. Views on the topic are far more diverse than coverage up until now would suggest. Read more at Documented
DiNapoli: Jackson Heights Benefits from Immigration
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli extolled the benefits of immigration in one of New York’s most diverse neighborhoods, Jackson Heights. In a new report, DiNapoli found Jackson Heights has witnessed growth in the number of businesses over the past decade, adding 660 since 2009 for a total of 3,300 in 2018. The growth mainly came from small businesses that employ fewer than 10 employees. Private sector employment rose 23 percent, most of which came from retail, construction, leisure and hospitality. The neighborhood is 60 percent foreign born, with Ecuadorians making up the largest group, followed by Dominicans.
Prison Guard Accused of Assault
A private prison guard has been accused of physically assaulting a 5-year-old boy in an immigration detention center in Texas. The boy was detained at a family residential center in Dilley, Texas. According to a complaint filed with the Department of Homeland Security, obtained by The Guardian, the boy accidentally hit a prison guard employed by private prison company CoreCivic while trying to give him a high-five. This angered the guard, who allegedly grabbed the boy’s wrist and would not let go, despite pleas from the boy’s mother. The boy’s hands were allegedly left swollen and bruised. His family is set to be deported this Friday but their advocates are hoping to halt their removal. The Guardian
ICE’s Other Child Detention
Teenagers who are living in the U.S. when they are detained by ICE are sometimes held in an obscure part of the immigration detention network. Angelina Godoy, a researcher in Seattle, found out that ICE sometimes sends youth to juvenile detention centers, with other U.S. children. Most cases, lawyers said, involved children with criminal backgrounds. Immigration attorneys describe this practice as a black hole with little oversight. For instance, children in juvenile detention do not appear in ICE’s online map of detention centers. ICE argues the children have serious criminal histories and it would be dangerous to not hold them in juvenile. CNN
Colorado Suffers Over Justice Department Rule
A lawsuit between the Justice Department and Colorado is hurting some of the state’s towns, according to a new court filing submitted by the state. The towns sued the Justice Department after it withheld a Byrne Justice Assistance Grant from the city as the Trump administration required all recipients to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. The state refused to do so and argued the requirement is unconstitutional. Colorado received nearly $40 million in Bryne grants between 2005 and 2017 and was expecting a further $2.8 million in the fiscal year 2018. The money would go to thirty cities and counties across the state to support a range of programs. The Denver Post
Boston Police Collaborating With ICE, Records Show
Boston police and ICE have a regular pattern of communication including emails regarding arrests for low-level offenses, according to documents obtained by Boston public radio station WBUR. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has repeatedly said that cooperation is limited to cases involving violent crime, but documents obtained by the station draw that into question. The department has an ICE “Task Force Officer” who is trained to perform federal law enforcement duties. The TFO’s email shows regular communication with ICE agents about low-level subjects. After the revelations, the TFO Sgt. Det. Gallagher was removed from his position. WBUR
Separation of Extended Families Grows
Family separation continues at the border as children are often separated from the extended families they’re traveling with. Aunts, grandparents and older siblings often step in as guardians and accompany children to the border, where they are now being separated from those children. Border patrol officers consider these children unaccompanied and they are sent to shelters operated by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. The government requires them to show adoption papers or court orders. Once separated, there is no mechanism for reuniting these families. The adult is often deported while the child remains in the U.S. The Guardian
Washington — Trump Behind on Wall Construction, Amnesty Slams Remain in Mexico
The Trump administration is not on track to meet its goal of building 500 miles of new fencing by the end of next year. Records obtained by The Washington Post indicate it has only acquired 16 percent of the private land in Texas it needs to build the wall on the U.S.–Mexico border. Only 2 percent of the intended construction in Texas has been completed. The vast majority of the wall construction necessary in Texas is on private property.
In order to meet Trump’s campaign promise, construction work has been accelerated in areas that are under federal control. Trump has obtained $10 billion in taxpayer money so far to build the wall, but a federal court ruled the allocation of some of those funds was unlawful, which could further slow down the project. The Washington Post
Amnesty International has slammed the Trump administration’s Remain in Mexico policy as an “international disgrace.” The policy forces asylum seekers to await their hearings in U.S. immigration courts in often dangerous cities on the northern border of Mexico, a process that could take years. Amnesty International leaders from the U.S., U.K., Kenya, Mexico, Greece and Canada said the policy had manufactured a crisis. About 50,000 people have been sent back to Mexico under the policy so far. They compared the U.S. to countries around the world such as Kenya, which is currently hosting 468,000 refugees. The Guardian