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Early Arrival: Children Enrolled in New Jersey Medicaid Craters

Wednesday's Edition of Early Arrival: Buffalo Taco Truck Apologizes Again — ICE Ordered to Stop Using Faulty Database — Barr’s New Decisions

The number of children enrolled in New Jersey’s state Medicaid program is at a five-year low after a loss of 50,000 kids in the past year and a half, a new study shows. The biggest areas of coverage loss came from Asian and Hispanic children in the state, between 2017 and 2018. They make up more than half of uninsured children statewide, according to New Jersey Policy Perspective, authors of the study.

While children from those communities lost coverage, black and white children have increasingly became insured, according to the research group. Representatives from NJPP and New Jersey Citizen Action, another statewide research organization, blamed the racial disparities in coverage on fears drummed up by the Trump administration. Last year, one in seven adults in an immigrant family avoided a public benefit program because of the fear of losing legal status or being targeted by the administration, according to the Urban Institute. 

The public charge rule was halted in the federal courts, but its effect is still felt across the state. Erika Nava, a policy analyst with NJPP, called it an “invisible wall” that makes it harder for immigrants to get help they’re eligible for. “It should be easy for every child to obtain health care without fear, but unfortunately that is not the case,” said NJPP’s health care policy director Ray Castro, who wrote the report. “This harmful trend helps explain the precipitous decline in New Jersey Family Care.” NJ Spotlight

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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Buffalo Taco Truck Owners Apologize for Apologizing

Lloyd Taco, a popular Buffalo-based food truck, waded into the middle of the immigration debate after it served Chorizo Mackin’ Cheese and Aztec Brownies to workers at the immigration detention center in Batavia. After being criticized online, Lloyd owners apologized and promised to donate the sale’s proceeds to immigration activists. But that put them in the midst of a conservative firestorm, so the owners apologized again Monday, saying that saying selling burritos to ICE employees was a mistake. “We are not political,” said one of Lloyd Taco’s co-founders Pete Cimino. “Why would we be? How can any business choose sides in our politically divided country and ever hope to succeed?” The Washington Post

Street Vendor Survey Shows Perils of Job

The first survey of women street vendors showed just how difficult the job can be for women. The Street Vendor Project interviewed 50 women, nearly all of whom are immigrants, who sell food and assorted goods on the streets on their background, stress level and feelings of safety. The researchers found nearly half of the women have felt unsafe doing their job, naming police, health inspectors and business owners being the source of antagonism. About a quarter of the women said they have been harassed due to their gender. “The women don’t get respect. People here rob us, they hit us, and everything…. because they know we can’t defend ourselves,” Carla, a Harlem-based vendor, said. “They insult us. But what are you going to do? When we call the police, they don’t come.” VICE

25,000 Salvadorans in New York Area Can Remain for Another Year

Over 25,000 Salvadoran immigrants who are part of the Temporary Protected Status program will now be able to stay and work in the U.S. after the program’s deadline has been extended for another year. About 10,000 Salvadoran TPS holders live in New Jersey and 15,000 live in New York. The extension comes from an agreement made by the Trump administration and the government of El Salvador, under which El Salvador has agreed to work with immigration authorities to reduce the number of its citizens and other migrants traveling through the country to the U.S. Bergen Record


ICE Ordered to Stop Using Faulty Database

In 2012, a senior official with Immigration and Customs Enforcement emailed agency headquarters to tell it that agents who requested local police detain hundreds of people used an agency database to formulate those requests. The police discovered later that arrested people were U.S. citizens. Unfortunately, Marin wrote “these types of cases occur frequently.” Agents run searches on fingerprints of people booked into jails in 42 states to determine if police can hold them in jail for up to 48 hours longer. Now, a federal ruling has barred ICE from issuing any new detainers based on the system. Truthout

Unaccompanied Minors Face Nearly 4-Year Waits in Boston Immigration Court

Unaccompanied minors now have to wait an average of 1,445 days for their court hearings, according to a recent report from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. These delays have skyrocketed under the Trump administration as its policies have pushed the backlog in immigration courts up to 1 million cases. Over 33,000 of those awaiting hearings have their cases in Boston’s immigration court. Boston’s docket for unaccompanied juveniles has the longest wait period of all the juvenile dockets in the country, according to TRAC. CommonWealth Magazine

U.S. Judge Criticizes DOJ Attempts to Make Defrauded Man Pay for Legal Fees

U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein in Seattle criticized the Justice Department’s effort to make Ignacio Lanuza pay legal fees for his unsuccessful attempt to sue the government for forgery. An ICE lawyer forged a document to try and get Lanuza deported in 2009. He sued, which prompted an investigation that sent the ICE lawyer to jail, but the court found the government didn’t have to pay for damages. The judge said the DOJ’s efforts to make him pay the legal fees were based on “personal animus.” The Associated Press

Nashville Sheriff Ends ICE Contracts

The sheriff in Nashville, Tennessee says his office will stop contracting with ICE to house immigrant detainees in the county jail. “The continued confusion and hyper-political nature of this issue has become a distraction from sheriff’s office priorities,” Sheriff Darron Hall said in a news release. “The number of individuals detained as a result of this contract is less than one percent of overall jail bookings; however, I spend an inordinate amount of my time debating its validity.” The sheriff will continue to detain people on behalf of the U.S. Marshals Service. The Associated Press

U.S. On Track to Admit No Refugees in October

The U.S. is on track to admit zero refugees in October after canceling 500 flights this month. The pause on admissions that was expected to lift Tuesday will now continue into November. “We will work with our implementing partners to plan for a resumption of refugee arrivals, including rescheduling travel for those affected by the extension,” a State Department spokesperson said in a statement. Travel for refugees has been delayed several times in the past month, which points to Trump not having signed off on the refugee ceiling for the upcoming fiscal year yet. CNN

Washington — Barr’s New Decisions, USCIS Ombudsman Resigns, Democrats Seek Farmworker Deal

Attorney General William Barr issued two decisions last week that limit immigrants’ options to fight deportation. The decisions will remove an option to stop deportation for people with old criminal convictions and will disqualify people with multiple drunk driving convictions from legal status. “Hundreds of thousands of immigrants throughout the United States are going to be impacted by these decisions,” said Rose Cahn, a senior attorney with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.

The decisions were made through the attorney general’s “certification” power, where they can refer immigration cases to themselves and set precedents through their decisions. The Trump administration has used this tactic to interfere with which kinds of immigration cases are eligible for asylum, as well as certain court procedures that were used to make more just decisions in the immigration court.

Barr has issued four decisions on cases in his tenure, putting the Trump administration on track to issue more of these decisions than any other administration in recent history. In the Matter of Castillo-Perez, Barr ruled that two or more Driving Under the Influence convictions disqualify an immigrant from having “good moral character,” therefore making them deportable. In the Matter of Thomas and the Matter of Thompson, Barr’s decision decreased the ways state courts can influence the deportation process through adjusting low-level criminal sentences. NBC News

Julie Kirchner, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services ombudsman, offered President Trump her resignation this week, acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan said in an email to staffers on Monday. Kirchner had previously worked at the Federation for American Immigration Reform, an anti-immigration  think tank that the Southern Poverty Law Center labeled a hate group and “America’s most influential anti-immigrant organization.” “Kirchner’s new position is a very powerful one, which it makes it all the more disturbing considering her past work,” the SPLC said at the time of her appointment. The agency did not specify a reason why she resigned. BuzzFeed News

Congressional Democrats hope to broker a deal that would grant legal status to farmworkers currently living in the country illegally, but would force farm owners to verify the status of all future hires. Democrats hope the compromise will draw in Republican support by forcing employers to use E-Verify, the federal employment verification system. The deal would give legal status to a large group of farmworkers for the first time since President Ronald Regan’s administration did over 30 years ago. Stateline

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