The dispute between New York City and federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials ramped up as the agency issued four “immigration subpoenas” to the city for information about inmates wanted for deportation.
The dispute has centered around the city’s refusal to honor ICE’s detainer requests. These requests ask local law enforcement to keep an inmate incarcerated up to 48 hours beyond their release date to allow ICE to take them into custody for possible deportation.The NYPD does honor detainer requests in some instances. Not honoring detainer requests is the main thing that all “sanctuary cities” have in common, and ICE sent similar requests to Denver.
According to he Associated Press, the subpoenas requested information about four inmates, three of whom were recently released despite having detainer requests. The fourth was Reeaz Khan, 21, who is charged with sexually assaulting and killing Maria Fuertas, a 92-year old Queens woman.
ICE Director Matthew Albence told a news conference in Manhattan that the city’s sanctuary policies were the cause of Fuertas’ death as ICE had issued a detainer request for him on a previous arrest in November. Fuertas’ family was also critical of the city. During her funeral one of her sons said, “They left him in the streets and he continued to do his misdeeds — because of that my mother is dead.”
The NYPD claims it did not receive a detainer request for Khan on his previous arrest, to which ICE responded by issuing a copy of a fax they sent Nov. 27. Albence said New York only honored 10 of the more than 7,500 detainer requests issued last year. Associated Press, The New York Times
City Council to Consider Noncitizen Voting
Legislation to grant New York City noncitizen immigrants the right to vote will be introduced to the City Council on Thursday. The bill would amend the City Charter to allow residents with green cards and noncitizen work authorization to vote in mayoral and other local races. The bill could allow between 500,000 and a million additional people to vote. Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez is the bill’s chief sponsor and 22 councilmembers are reportedly backing it. A previous attempt at similar legislation died on the floor in 2010, but councilmembers are hoping that Trump’s policies will underscore the importance of the bill. New York Daily News
Dispute Between Immigrants’ Results in Landlord’s Death
A dispute between an immigrant landlord and immigrant tenant resulted in the death of 71-year old Edgar Moncayo. He had come from Ecuador and was renting a room out to Alex Garces, an undocumented immigrant also from Ecuador, for $600 a month in his modest home in East Elmhurst. One month, Garces was $200 short on the rent and they agreed to a delay. A Jan. 12 altercation led to Garces pushing Moncayo down the stairs, where he his head and later died. Garces is now charged with manslaughter. Elmhurst is a hub of Ecuadoreans where many homeowners rent their rooms to newly arrived immigrants. The New York Times
Iranian Student Deported Despite Court Order
Customs and Border Protection detained and then deported Mohammad Shahab Dehghani Hossein Abadi, who had a valid F-1 student visa, after he flew into Logan International Airport on Sunday. A federal judge had ordered a stay on his removal on Monday night, but he was deported regardless about 30 minutes after the order. He was taken into secondary questioning and then agents decided to deport him before allowing him to speak to a lawyer. CBP said it issued an expedited removal order on the grounds that Abadi had plans to stay in the U.S. permanently. His lawyers argue that there is no evidence of that. BuzzFeed News
Central American Migrants Blocked by Mexican National Guard
Hundreds of Central American migrants have been left stranded between Guatemala and Mexico due to a deployment of Mexican troops at the border. The Mexican National Guard sent riot police to block members of a migrant caravan from making its way through Mexico leaving them stuck at the banks of the Suchiate river. Many of the caravan members are from Honduras. They say that there has been no humanitarian aid like in previous caravans. The more militarized approach by Mexican officials began in late 2018 in response to previous caravans and threats of tariffs by President Trump. Associated Press
ICE Loosens Rules on Solitary Confinement and More
ICE broadened the reasons a detainee can be placed in solitary confinement in an update to its National Detention Standards. Among a wide range of changes, ICE also removed language that prevented officers from using “hog-tying, fetal restraints, [and] tight restraints.” The new standards also loosen the protocols on how to treat sick detainees and remove guarantees of access to nonprofit organizations. These standards primarily apply to jails that have contracts with ICE to hold immigrant detainees. ICE says it believes this will allow its partners greater freedom to “successfully manage their own populations.” In practice, this could make it easier for local jails to pass inspections even with debatable conditions. Texas Observer
Honduran Mother and Sick Children Deported to Guatemala
Lawyers and advocates failed to prevent the deportation of a 23-year-old Honduran mother and her two sick children. The mother was arrested at the border in Texas in December and, due to a recently introduced bilateral agreement, she was reportedly deported to Guatemala. Her two daughters are 6 years and 18 months old, and the baby was recently hospitalized in McAllen, Texas. Lawyers asked a judge to block their removal but advocates told the Associated Press that the government had indeed deported the family. They join 209 other Honduran and Salvadoran migrants who have been deported to Guatemala. CBS News
Immigration Cases Moved out of San Francisco
Hundreds of immigrant detainee cases are being moved out of San Francisco court to a new courthouse in Van Nuys, a neighborhood in north Los Angeles. The move could harm immigrants access to legal counsel as the move will take them away from a courthouse where they have robust legal services for immigrants in detention. Immigrants detained at the Mesa Verde detention center currently have their cases heard at the San Francisco courthouse and a network of nonprofit organizations provide free legal resources for the detainees. Access to an attorney can have radical consequences on the outcome of an immigrants case. The Guardian
Washington — Trump Administration Set to Expand Travel Ban, New Birth Tourism Regulations
The Trump administration plans to add seven nations to those listed on its travel ban, previously referred to as the Muslim ban, on Monday, which will be the three-year anniversary of the original ban. Nigeria, Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania are reportedly set to be added, although one or two may be removed.
Countries will not necessarily face a blanket ban like the original iterations of the travel ban, but instead will face restrictions on certain visas such as business or visitor visas, or will be omitted from the green card lottery program, which Trump opposes. This latest iteration includes countries that have a high rate of visa overstays in the 2018 fiscal year.
The original version of the ban, which Trump signed seven days after coming into office, placed a blanket ban on most residents from seven majority-Muslim countries. After a prolonged battle in the courts, the Supreme Court upheld a watered-down version of that ban that is currently in place. Individuals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and North Korea, and by political officials from Venezuela face restrictions on entering the U.S. The Wall Street Journal, PoliticoThe Trump administration is set to propose new guidelines aimed at curbing “birth tourism,” the process of women coming to the U.S. to have babies that will become U.S. citizens. The proposed changes would allow State Department officials at embassies to prevent anyone from coming to the U.S. who they believe is doing so to have a baby on American soil. It would mean anyone traveling to the U.S. while they may be able to give birth will have to provide a convincing reason as to why they want to come to the U.S. BuzzFeed News