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A federal judge in Dallas has stripped U.S. citizenship from an Afghanistan-born woman who fled the Taliban and worked with the U.S. military as a cultural advisor. Lillia Haiddar was convicted of committing lies of omission on two passport applications by not listing a previous name she had used on a transit visa. She flew to the U.S. in 2001 and was supposed to leave for Canada that day, but instead applied for asylum. U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn sentenced Haiddar to six months in prison with three months credit for time served and stripped her of her citizenship. Haiddar’s lawyers are appealing the ruling. Dallas Morning News
In other national immigration news…
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ICE Seeks to Purchase Millions of Dollars Worth of Tasers
ICE is seeking to purchase thousands of new “conductive energy weapons,” commonly referred to as tasers, and is also seeking training at a U.S. military base on how to use them. The agency is willing to pay up to $18 million for the weapons, according to contract documents. The weapons would go to the Enforcement and Removal Operations division, which is tasked with making street arrests of immigrants. “Currently, DHS ICE ERO utilizes a single shot Conductive Energy Weapon (CEW) in the field,” the contracting statement said. “The majority [of] CEWs in use are no longer covered under warranty if any repair is needed.” The Intercept
ACLU Sues Over Pandemic Deportations at Border
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of a 16-year-old Honduran boy on Wednesday challenging the Trump administration’s policy of turning back asylum seekers at the border, including children. The policy was put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic; the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s order bars entry of anyone without authorization to stop the spread of the virus. The Trump administration has since used the order to rapidly deport thousands of migrants. The 16-year old boy’s deportation has been placed on hold until June 24, and the ACLU filed a second lawsuit on behalf of a 13-year-old girl who was deported to El Salvador. BuzzFeed News
Border Patrol Involved in Policing San Diego Protests
Border Patrol agents have been policing protests in San Diego, drawing questions from local officials. Agents first provided support to local law enforcement at a protest on May 31, where the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department used tear gas against protestors at a vigil for George Floyd. The agency told local public media outlet KPBS it was there to support local law enforcement, not for immigration purposes. After protestors left the vigil, Border Patrol agents posed for a photograph, which was posted on social media by Border Patrol Sector Chief Aaron M. Heitke and deleted shortly after. KPBS
Lawsuit Seeks To Expedite Citizenship Ceremonies
The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project filed a lawsuit in Philadelphia on Wednesday on behalf of legal permanent residents who are waiting to have their naturalization ceremonies, the final step to becoming a U.S. citizen. According to the lawsuit, USCIS has approved applications for thousands of immigrants nationwide, but they’ve had their ceremonies postponed due to the pandemic. The plaintiffs argue that oath ceremonies should be expedited by the court to ensure all candidates are sworn in by late September. The newly sworn-in citizens will then have a chance to vote in the election. Associated Press
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