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USCIS Employee Threatens to Call the Police on a Black Teenage Girl

A man who harassed young Black girls in a Florida gated neighborhood turned out to be a USCIS employee

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A video of a man threatening to call the police on a Black teenager went viral amid larger national conversations about police violence and race. Lee Jeffers, 60, confronted Breonna Nelson-Hicks, 15, over a parking dispute in their Florida neighborhood, threatening to have her arrested. After the video was posted on Instagram, Jeffers was identified as an Immigration Services Analyst at the Department of Homeland Security. “The video is certainly disturbing, and we are working to get all available information in considering what action, if any, may be appropriate for the agency to take,” a U.S. Customs and Immigration Services spokeswoman said Thursday. Palm Beach Post

In other national immigration news…

Public Health Workers Challenge Florida Governor’s Assertion that Migrant Farmworkers are Driving Coronavirus

Public health experts are challenging Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ claims that migrant farmworkers are at the center of Florida’s coronavirus cases. Last week, DeSantis claimed “the No. 1 outbreak we’ve seen is in agricultural communities.” But state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried fired back, saying most farmworkers left several weeks ago and that the cases are spiking outside agricultural areas. Because many farmworkers are undocumented, don’t have cars and generally avoid the government, testing in those communities hasn’t been widespread. “If it’s true that there is a lot of positive COVID-19 among the agricultural community, we don’t know,” said Patria Rojas, a public health expert at Florida International University. Miami Herald

Judge Orders State Department to Recognize Gay Couple’s Canada-Born Daughter as a Citizen

A federal judge ruled that the State Department must recognize that the daughter of a gay couple in Maryland has been a U.S. citizen since her birth in Canada via a surrogate last year. U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang rejected the State Department’s argument that the child was born out of wedlock because one of her married parents is not her biological parent. The girl’s parents sued the State Department after the agency denied her application for a passport. Their lawsuit is one of at least five cases to challenge how the agency applied citizenship policy to same-sex parents. The Associated Press

Immigrant Detainees Claim ICE Retaliated After They Spoke with Media

In a federal complaint filed last week with DHS’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, three immigrant detainees in Glades County jail in South Florida allege they were retaliated against after speaking to the media. The detainees said ICE retaliated after they were quoted in a June 9 Miami Herald article about conditions inside the detention center. Two detainees, including one who is asthmatic, claimed they were pepper-sprayed and one said his spouse reported being blocked from using video visitation to communicate with him. Another detainee said he was harassed by command staff. The Miami Herald

ICE Fails to Follow Court Order to Protect Detainee Against COVID-19

ICE did not follow court orders to improve the conditions of Marisol Mendoza, a Mexican national with type 2 diabetes who was detained at the Eloy detention center in Arizona, The Guardian reports. She later tested positive for COVID-19. A total of 122 detainees at Eloy have tested positive for COVID-19, as well as 60 employees of the facility run by ICE contractor CoreCivic. Nationwide, 2,016 detainees have tested positive. Mendoza has been in detention since 2016 and has been fighting to stay with her three U.S. citizen daughters. She was arrested for using a fake social security number to work at McDonald’s. The Guardian

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