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Early Arrival: Court Sides with Trump Over Withholding Sanctuary City Funds

Friday's Edition of Early Arrival: Advocates Sue ICE Over Sanctuary Fines — Border Patrol Hosts Border Wall Detonation Event — New Denaturalization Department

The Trump administration can withhold millions of dollars from law enforcement agencies in states and cities — including New York — that resist assisting the federal government in immigration enforcement, a federal appeals court ruled. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan found that the Trump administration is allowed to impose conditions on the release of the federal funding, which comes in the form of grants. Three other appeals courts previously sided with a lower court’s ruling that it was unlawful for the White House to tie the grant money to cooperation with federal authorities.

Justice Department officials celebrated their victory. “Today’s decision rightfully recognizes the lawful authority of the attorney general to ensure that Department of Justice grant recipients are not at the same time thwarting federal law enforcement priorities,” Alexei Woltornist, a Justice Department spokesman, said. The ruling comes as the Trump administration continues totarget New York and New Jersey for both states’ resistance to assisting the federal government’s immigration enforcement efforts. 

“President Trump’s latest retaliation against his hometown takes away security funding from the number one terrorist target in America, all because we refuse to play by his arbitrary rules,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City said in a statement. New York City received about $4 million per year through the funding the administration is attempting to withhold. The states involved in the New York case may be able to request a review of the ruling from the full Second Circuit or Supreme Court. The New York Times


Advocates Sue ICE Over Sanctuary Fines

In the summer of 2019, multiple women living in sanctuary received notice that Immigration and Customs Enforcement was intending to seek hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines from each of them. Immigrant rights groups sued ICE on Wednesday seeking answers about how and why the Trump administration levied six-figure fines against sanctuary leaders. The notices were abruptly withdrawn after national uproar, but they were re-issued several months later. The lawsuit was filed by Austin Sanctuary Network, Free Migration Project, Grassroots Leadership and the Center for Constitutional Rights in the Southern District of New York. The Haitian Times

New Jersey Police Warn of Immigration Scams

Police in Parsippany, New Jersey, are warning residents about an uptick in scammers pretending to be immigration authorities. “We have seen an increase of people being victimized by these scammers who usually request for you go to specific stores and purchase iTunes Gift Cards, Green Dot MoneyPak Cards, or other big box store gift cards,” the department posted on social media. The scammers use fake caller ID names and numbers that sometimes appear to be real federal hotlines. Police note that residents were scammed out of more than $100,000 in 2016. Patch

DHS Signals Driver’s License Fight with Cuomo May Be Finished

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s offer to provide driver’s license information to federal agents without Social Security numbers “looks promising.” DHS had blocked New Yorkers from enrolling in Trusted Traveler programs over its Green Light Law, which prevented DHS from accessing Department of Motor Vehicles data. Cuomo offered a compromise to reestablish the programs. “We understand a number of New York sheriffs, county clerks, police chiefs, state lawmakers, members of Congress and many other officials who understand why we had to take these measures are urging the governor to work with us on a solution,” Wolf continued in a statement. The Buffalo News


Border Patrol Hosts Border Wall Detonation Event

U.S. Army and Border Patrol officials hosted a press conference for the media to watch as they blew up a portion of the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument to make room for the construction of Trump’s border wall. As that happened, the chair of the Tohono O’odham Nation, a Native American tribe with ties to the southern Arizona area, testified to Congress about the destruction of his tribe’s land. “I know in my heart and what our elders have told us and what we have learned — that that area is home to our ancestors,” Tohono O’odham Nation chair Ned Norris Jr. testified. Norris previously said construction activities uncovered human remains in the spiritual site of Quitobaquito Springs. The Intercept

Justice Department Seeks Appeal Fee Increase 

The Justice Department is seeking to increase fees for immigrants fighting deportation. The agency wants to charge immigrants nearly $1,000 to appeal an immigration judge’s decision, according to an Executive Office for Immigration Review rule. It currently costs around $100 for immigrants to fight deportation orders. The new rule would raise fees to at least $305 and up to $975. EOIR estimated appealing deportation orders cost taxpayers $27.6 million in FY 2018, and it calculated the $975 fee to cover that cost. Axios

ICE Ran Facial-Recognition Searches on Millions in Maryland

ICE officials have run facial-recognition searches on millions of Maryland driver’s license photos — with permission from the state. The access Maryland granted to ICE goes far beyond what other states allow, and it has especially raised concerns given that the state has long granted undocumented immigrants the right to get driver’s licenses. More than 275,000 of the special licenses for undocumented immigrants have been issued since they were introduced in 2013. The technology ICE uses allows the agency to cross reference photographs of unknown people with state driver’s licenses to see if potentially undocumented immigrants are returned. The Washington Post

DHS Expands Two Expedited Asylum Programs

DHS has expanded two pilot programs that fast-track deportations of asylum seekers, according to newly disclosed documents about the Humanitarian Asylum Review Process for Mexican nationals and Prompt Asylum Claim Review. Border Patrol has the option to either place migrants at the border in “regular” removal proceedings or an “expedited” hearing that leads to immediate deportation. if a migrant claims fear of return, Border Patrol agents can then either place them in PACR, where they are rushed through the asylum process and remain in CBP custody. HARP is similar, but only apples to Mexican nationals and does not mention a time limit for the stay in detention. Roll Coll

Reports of ICE Arrests at Schools Increase

ICE agents have drawn increased criticism for arresting parents as they take their children to school. In Colorado, immigrant rights activists said there were three incidents in the past week in which fathers were stopped before or after dropping their kids off. School officials at a district outside Portland, Oregon, also said ICE agents arrested a father after his kids got to the school bus. A South Philadelphia school said ICE detained a mother after she dropped her child off. ICE’s sensitive location policy generally bars operations at schools, hospitals, churches, funerals and weddings. USA Today

Washington — New Denaturalization Department, Record Immigrant Voters

The Justice Departmentsaid on Wednesday it had created an official department to focus on denaturalization, named The Denaturalization Section. It will focus on people who “unlawfully obtained citizenship status,” Joseph Hunt, the head of the Justice Department’s civil division, said. Efforts to work on this issue began under the Obama administration, but denaturalizations have ramped up under the Trump administration, seeing as 40 percent of cases from the last 12 years were filed after 2017. Justice Department immigration lawyers expressed fear that the new department could be used broadly to strip citizenship, like filing lawsuits over making misstatements on a citizenship application. The New York Times

Immigrants are expected to make up a record share of the number of eligible U.S. voters in the upcoming 2020 election, according to Pew Research Center. More than 23 million U.S. immigrants will be eligible to vote, making up roughly 10 percent of the electorate. Most of those immigrants are either Hispanic or Asian. Newsweek

Bernie Sanders’s evolution on immigration, explained, Vox

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