The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced it would extend work permits for immigrants from six countries who are here under the Temporary Protected Status program. The affected countries include El Salvador, Haiti, Hondura, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan. The extensions were granted to comply in preliminary injunctions by several TPS holders and extend through Jan. 4, 2021.
There are more than 40,000 Salvadorans, 13,100 Hondurans, and 12,200 Haitians in New York and New Jersey. Many of the Salvadorans and Hondurans live on Long Island. Ten countries have TPS designations, and there are a total of 417,000 TPS holders nationwide.
This announcement came as the Trump administration announced it would extend work permits for more than 250,000 Salvadorans as a part of a deal with El Salvador, which said it would ramp up immigration enforcement. Advocates questioned the necessity of El Salvador promising to enforce immigration law on behalf of the United States. “They are given these extensions in regards to the lawsuits, but not because of any deal between El Salvador and the United States,” said Blanca Molina, executive director of CEUS an immigrant advocacy group in Union City. “I still don’t understand how the country of El Salvador could enter into such an agreement…it was just not necessary.” North Jersey Record
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Police Still Searching for Missing NJ Girl
Police are still searching for the New Jersey girl whose disappearance more than a month ago inflamed racial tensions in the area. Dulce Maria Alavez Perez, a 5-year-old girl, went missing from a playground in Bridgeton, New Jersey while her mother sat nearby. The town had become largely Latino over the last few years, and when Dulce went missing, it inflamed an anti-immigrant sentiment in the community. Police believe she was taken by a Hispanic male who led her from the part to a nearby red van, but residents are seemingly afraid to report information due to the fear they’ll be picked up by immigration authorities. Patch
Sussex County Residents Vote on ICE Cooperation
In Sussex County, New Jersey, on Tuesday, a controversial — and wordy — question will be added to the ballot: “Should the Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Sussex cooperate with and make reasonably available to United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents the tools, resources, personnel, and real, personal and intellectual property owned by the County, under its direct control.” The question marks the growing tension between the state and local governments in New Jersey. Since Attorney General Gurbir Grewal issued the Immigrant Trust Directive, which forbids local governments from collaborating with ICE, New Jersey residents and local officials have pushed back to continue the agency partnership. New Jersey Herald
Smugglers Already Cut Holes in Trump’s Wall
Smuggling gangs in Mexico have sawed through new sections of President Trump’s border wall by using commercially available power tools to create holes large enough for people and drug loads to pass across the border, according to U.S. agents and other officials. The gangs use a tool called a reciprocating saw fitted with a specialized blade to saw through the bars. The tool costs as little as $100. The smugglers can just cut a small segment at the base of the poles to pass across the border, engineers confirmed. The Washington Post
Federal Judge Blocks Health Insurance Visa Rule
A federal judge blocked a Trump administration rule that would require immigrants to prove they had health insurance or could pay for medical care before obtaining visas. U.S. District Judge Michael Simon in Portland, Oregon, issued a temporary restraining order on the rule the day before the policy was set to go into effect. In the restraining order, Judge Simon wrote “they are likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of temporary relief, that the balance of hardships tips sharply toward plaintiffs, and temporary relief is in the public interest.” The Washington Post
Trump Administration Will Take in a Record Low Number of Refugees
The Trump administration is refusing to take in thousands of Iraqis who helped Americans during the war. Only 153 Iraqi refugees whose applications were given high-priority status were admitted in the past fiscal year, down from a high of 9,829 in FY 2014. An estimated 110,000 Iraqis are waiting to become refugees. On Friday, the Trump administration capped the number of eligible Iraqi refugees at 4,000. Trump capped the total number of refugees the U.S. will admit for FY 2020 at 18,000, a record low. The New York Times
Boston Judge Hears Arguments Over Due Process Issue
A federal judge in Boston will likely hear arguments in a class action lawsuit that will challenge the detention of immigrants as they await deportation hearings. The American Civil Liberties Union’s Massachusetts and New Hampshire chapters argue federal courts have ruled the government must provide clear evidence in order to justify detention. U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s office claims the federal government has “broad discretion to decide if foreign nationals can be held in detention. The Associated Press
School Expansion Inflames Immigration Tensions in Minnesota Town
A vote on a school expansion from a Minnesota town is inflaming tensions between new and old residents. In Worthington, a growing community of about 13,000 residents, a pork processing plant has brought Central Americans to the town. The vote will decide whether to authorize $34 million in new borrowing to expand schools to accommodate the growing number of immigrants. Some in the community were against the votes, while others think it’s worthwhile and necessary. The Associated Press
Washington — Chad Wolf Named Acting Homeland Security Chief, Children ‘Build the Wall’ at White House Halloween Party
President Donald Trump has named Chad Wolf, a longtime Homeland Security official, to be the new acting head of the department. Trump’s announcement, made in response to a reporter’s question outside the White House, created more speculation about who’s running the agency. “As the president has said, Kevin McAleenan has done a tremendous job. He’ll be leaving after Veterans’ Day and after he departs, Chad Wolf will serve as acting secretary in the interim,” a White House spokesperson said.
There were previous reports that the administration was considering using a loophole to avoid a ban on slotting acting heads of DHS agencies into the top spot without Senate confirmation. The administration would put potential appointees into an obscure office in the DHS and then promote them. Wolf was previously the chief of staff to former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. He has been involved with the department since its inception in 2001. Wolf worked with Nielsen during many of the administration’s most controversial policies.
Wolf is considered to be less of a hardliner than other potential nominees, like current USCIS acting secretary Kevin McAleenan. He will oversee a large and complex organization that handles everything from cybersecurity threats to the Coast Guard, but he’ll likely largely be tasked with overseeing the execution of the president’s immigration policies. The Associated Press
A White House Halloween party at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building included a station where children were encouraged to help “Build the Wall” with their own bricks. The party were included the families of executive-branch employees and guests from outside the government. “Horrified. We were horrified,” said a person who was there. “Our ceremonial office had a plane display,” a spokesperson for the vice president said. “We had kids build their own paper airplanes and fly them. That’s what the VP came to. He came to our ceremonial office.” HuffPost
Incomplete and Garbled Immigration Court Data Suggest Lack of Commitment to Accuracy: TRAC