The Department of Homeland Security will be deploying Customs and Border Protection agents to several cities, including New York, to aid with immigration enforcement, The New York Times reported on Friday.
The move is part of a broader push by the Trump administration to target so-called sanctuary cities during this election year. The CBP agents will include some from the tactical unit BORTRAC, which essentially acts as a SWAT team of the Border Patrol. The team is usually deployed in rugged terrain on the border and will be limited by the restrictions on immigration enforcement in cities.
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said the move was a “tremendous waste of taxpayer money” that makes residents less safe. Immigration advocates
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Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Matthew Albence said the deployment was necessary because of New York City’s failure to comply with detainer requests. Agents are also expected to be deployed to Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit and Newark, N.J. The goal of the operation was to increase arrests by 35 percent.
The move is the latest in a series of steps taken by the administration in response to New York’s position on working with immigration enforcement. New Yorkers were recently banned from Trusted Traveler programs, including Global Entry. Previously, the Justice Department moved to without certain law enforcement funds from sanctuary jurisdiction. The New York Times, NBC4
Family of Man Shot by ICE Preparing Lawsuit
The family of Erick Diaz-Cruz, who was shot by an ICE agent in Brooklyn, is preparing to sue the agency, advocates say. Diaz-Cruz was shot as he tried to prevent the arrest of his mother’s partner Gaspar Avendaño-Hernández in Gravesend, Brooklyn. He survived the shooting and was released from the hospital on Wednesday. Avendaño-Hernández is currently in ICE detention in New Jersey. City Councilman Carlos Menchaca called for a federal investigation into the incident. The family claims that ICE agents would not let them or legal counsel see Diaz-Cruz while he was in the hospital until the Mexican consulate intervened. The family has also set up a fundraiser to cover his almost $30,000 in medical bills. Brooklyn Paper, The City
Anti-ICE Protestors Arrested in Front of Reuters Times Sq. Office
At least 30 members of Close The Camps, an anti-ICE coalition, were arrested in Times Square on Sunday, according to the group. The protests targeted Thomson Reuters, which has a lucrative contract with the government to provide tracking data. They demanded the company “stop profiteering from concentration camps, immigrant raids, and immigrant detentions.” Thomson Reuters has previously defended its contracts with ICE as part of its many government contracts “in support of the rule of law.” The protestors were arrested for blocking traffic in Midtown. Around 500 protestors attended the rally. New York Post
Sheriffs Association Opposes Green Light Law
The New York State Association of Chiefs of Police has come out against New York state’s Green Light Law and backing the Trump administration’s recent measures in response to it. In a letter to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the sheriffs expressed “opposition and deep concern” about the bill and a separate letter to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf thanking him for their recent actions. The Green Light law allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses and prohibits the Department of Motor Vehicles from sharing information with ICE agents. The association’s president, Sheriff Jeffrey Murphy, told Fox that he opposed the restrictions on information sharing. Fox
Confidential Therapy Notes Being Used Against Migrant Children
Therapists in government shelters for immigrant children have been sharing their findings with immigration enforcement agents, who use it to deport immigrants, The Washington Post reports. Children who think they are speaking to therapists in confidence, have come to find out that the transcripts from their sessions are being used against them in court. The move is part of a Trump administration’s data sharing efforts. It is technically legal but professional therapy associations say it is a profound violation of patient confidentiality. The therapy sessions are mandatory in the government shelters and the notes are then passed onto ICE, which can use them in court. The Washington Post
ICE Issues Subpoenas in San Diego
ICE used a new tactic in California on Friday when it served four “immigration subpoenas” to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. The subpoenas were believed to be issued for the first time a month ago in Denver and similar ones were reportedly issued in New York and Connecticut. In a press release, ICE said that the subpoenas were aimed at forcing the sheriff’s department to turn over information about the men who were arrested on charges of serious charges. The agency said their detainer requests for had been ignored due to the state’s sanctuary laws. The Los Angeles Times
CBP Officer Said he was Told to Lie to Asylum Seekers
In a Nov. 19 deposition, a CBP officer admitted that they were instructed to lie to asylum seekers at the border about not having enough space and turning them away. The deposition occurred during a federal case filed by immigrant rights groups challenging the Trump administration’s policy of turning away migrants at the border by saying there is not enough space to process them, a practice known as metering. The practice began under the Obama administration and was expanded by the Trump administration. The deposed officer was stationed at the Tecate, California border crossing where they said agents knew they were lying to asylum seekers. BuzzFeed News
Smugglers Use Ladder to Scale Border Wall
Smugglers in Juarez, Mexico have engineered hook-and-ladders that camouflage with the border wall and allow them to hop over, according to U.S. Border Patrol. The ladders are made from two poles of 3/8-inch rebar and four thinner poles which can be purchased in Mexico for around $5. Border Patrol said they became more prevalent last May and have been the go-to method for scaling the fence. The El Paso Sector of the border, which sits on the border with Juarez, has had sections of its border wall replaced by the administration. El Paso Times
Memo Shows Greyhound Buses can Block Border Patrol Searches
Greyhound buses do not have to allow Border Patrol agents on to their buses, according to a CBP memo obtained by the Associated Press. The company has long insisted that it has no choice but to allow agents onto its buses, which activists have been rallying against for some time. It declined to say whether it would change its policy after seeing the memo. Border Patrol agents board the buses within 100 miles of an international border or coastline to check people’s immigration documentation. The memo states that the agents must show that they have gained access with the consent of the bus’s owner. Associated Press
Defense Sec. Defends Wall Spending, Border Wall on Track, Biden Calls Obama-Era Deportations a Mistake
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper defended the Trump administration’s decision to divert $3.8 billion in defense funding towards efforts to build a wall on the U.S.–Mexico border. Speaking at a conference in Germany on Friday, Esper said that “border security is national security.” The funds were previously authorized for the Pentagon’s F-35 aircrafts and other programs. The money will now be sent to DHS to build portions of the wall. The diversion comes after Trump declared a national emergency at the border last year, which allowed him to reappropriate the military budget to fund the border wall. Last year, Trump moved $3.6 billion away from the Pentagon to fund the wall with little consequence. Associated Press
President Trump is reportedly set to build more than 450 miles of a wall along the southern border within a year, according to Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a senior advisor. The ability to transfer funds from the Pentagon to fund the wall has provided the necessary funds to complete his campaign pledge of building a wall on the border, despite saying that Mexico would pay for it. Kushner said that 122 miles had already been completed, which likely includes replacements to old sections of border-barriers. Politico
Joe Biden said it was a “big mistake” to have deported hundreds of thousands of people without criminal records under the Obama administration. His comments came during an interview with Univision host Jorge Ramos in the leadup to the Democratic primary in Nevada. It marks the first time Biden has called the Obama administration’s actions on immigration a “mistake” during this campaign. Associated Press
Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, an immigration hardliner, met with President Trump to discuss his bid for the U.S. Senate and Jared Kushner’s efforts to push an immigration bill through Congress. Kobach said he suggested edits to the bill to Kushner. The Wall Street Journal
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