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Newark, New Jersey’s immigration court was one of three non detained courts that opened on Monday, despite coronavirus cases still rising across the U.S. In Baltimore, people were allowed to enter the building if they wore masks. The building was cordoned off to encourage social distancing, and master calendar hearings, which can force dozens of people into the same room, were called off. The Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review started reopening non-detained courts on June 15, first with the Honolulu immigration court, and then Boston; Buffalo; Hartford; Las Vegas and several others. The reopenings have been haphazard and often announced on Twitter without explanation. Courthouse News
Eviction Moratorium Extended, but Looming Housing Crisis Remains
On a recent June afternoon, Sonia Pérez got a call from her landlord. As of June 1, Pérez owed $3,315.12, four months of rent dating back to March. Through her daughter, Pérez, 49, a diabetic single mother of three who stopped selling food in her neighborhood in mid-March when the coronavirus ravaged the city, promised her landlord she would begin paying her debt as soon as she returned to the streets. “But why don’t you apply for government aid?” her landlord insisted. Pérez, who is not eligible for government aid because she is undocumented, said she chose not to answer the question. The landlord then threatened to take Pérez to court. That wouldn’t have been possible until June 20, as an eviction moratorium signed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) initially put a hold on all residential and commercial eviction cases. That measure was later extended until at least Aug. 20, but only tenants who could prove that they had suffered “financial hardship” because of Covid-19 or who were eligible for unemployment were now protected from eviction. Read more at Documented.
Appeals Court Lets Trump Keep Denying Funds Over Sanctuary Policies
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Monday refused to revisit a decision that allowed the Trump administration to withhold millions of dollars in law-enforcement grants over New York City’s so-called sanctuary policies. The Second Circuit panel’s decision in February lifted an injunction that prevented the Trump administration from including immigration-related conditions to applications for federal funds under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Programs, which provided funding for criminal justice efforts. The Second Circuit typically leans towards granting requests for en banc rehearing, but after last year the court composition flipped to majority of Republican appointees and is showing signs it may change this process. The New York Law Journal
ICE Arrests Nine People in NYC Area
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Enforcement and Removal Operations announced it arrested nine men in Putnam County, Suffolk County and New York City after months of quiet activity. It’s the first arrest sweep announced in weeks, according to the agency’s website. ICE said it would curb making arrests of nonviolent offenders and would “adjust its enforcement posture” and that its “highest priorities are to promote life-saving and public safety activities” during the pandemic. The arrests may signal a return to pre-COVID-19 arrest practices. Patch