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Ousman Darboe remains in Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention, despite receiving a rare pardon from Gov. Andrew Cuomo six months ago.
Darboe, a 26-year old Gambian immigrant from the Bronx, has been in ICE detention since 2017 and is now detained at Bergen County Jail in New Jersey. A campaign to have him pardoned by Gov. Cuomo for his one criminal conviction of robbery was intended to secure his release. However, ICE has not done so and he remains in detention for overstaying his visa was in six.
Since the pardon, a series of immigration and federal judges have denied his release.
“Black immigrants are treated differently in these court proceedings,” said Sophia Gurulé, his attorney from Bronx Defenders. “For some reason they don’t value the community ties that he has, they don’t value his Black family, his Black wife, his Black baby girl.” Gothamist/WNYC
In other local immigration news…
NJ Immigration Lawyers Sue Over Court Appearances
The New Jersey chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association filed a lawsuit on Friday to stop them from having to appear in immigration during the COVID-19 pandemic. They claim the government is risking their lives by forcing them to appear for detained clients. They said that the court does not provide a video conference option, similar to that used in other courts during the pandemic. The plaintiffs also claim that a staffer at the ICE attorney’s office and immigration attorney who worked at the Newark Immigration Court had both died of COVID-19. Hearings at the immigration court started again on July 13. Associated Press
DACA Recipients not Eligible for Federal Student Aid
Clive Thompson Jr., a 22-year old DACA recipient, was accepted to Columbia but has no way to pay the university’s $75,000 per year tuition. Like all participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, he is ineligible for federal school aid. Thompson was brought to the U.S. as a child when his parents fled Jamaica after gang members burned down their farm and threatened their lives. They were denied asylum but were safe until Trump came into office and his parents were placed in deportation proceedings. They now live in sanctuary inside First United Methodist Church in Philadelphia to prevent their deportation. Philadelphia Inquirer