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Pandemic Rules Let Federal Agents Swiftly Remove Children

Emergency rules during the pandemic allow for the quick deportation of children without a hearing, even if they face danger if they're returned home

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A teenage girl arrived from Guatemala at the U.S. border this summer, begging for help. She told federal agents a man who raped her threatened to “make her disappear.” Federal agents held her and her baby for days in a hotel with almost no outside contact, and then removed her from the country. Similar scenes have played out along the border for months under an emergency health order the Trump administration issued in March. The Trump administration gave federal agents the power to almost immediately return anyone at the border, including infants, even without bringing them before a judge. ProPublica

In other national immigration news…

Justice Department Withholding Millions in Yearly Grants to Law Enforcement in Connecticut

The Justice Department is withholding about $1.5 million yearly in federal grants over Connecticut’s so-called “sanctuary” policies Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants, or Byrne JAG grants, are supposed to provide “flexible” funds for state and local law enforcement programs. Connecticut has typically gotten about $1.5 million a year in Byrne JAG grants and its municipalities got about another $1 million. But that funding has disappeared after the Trump administration decided to punish municipalities that don’t comply with federal immigration demands. Connecticut Mirror

Netflix Releases Immigration Documentary

After a bitter fight with the federal government, Netflix is finally releasing Immigration Nation, a rare and sweeping look at how immigration enforcement works in the United States. Filmed over the course of three years by Shaul Schwarz and Christina Clusiau, the documentary series follows ICE arrests from the streets of New York City to how bureaucracy in Washington dictates these arrests. ICE fought the release of the series after the press office saw some of the unflattering scenes the two filmmakers captured. The Guardian

Scientists and Researchers on the Border Encounter Migrants and Federal Agents

Scientists and researchers who study wildlife on the southern border find themselves navigating the complex political landscape created by Trump’s crackdown on migrants and smugglers. They often come across migrants seeking shelter and water, and U.S. border agents trying to stop border crossings. Researchers sent a survey to 807 members of the Next-Generation Sonoran Desert Researchers Network to determine how they felt while working along the border. Most researchers said they feel “fairly safe” and none feel “very unsafe.” They have mostly neutral interactions with U.S. law enforcement and encounter U.S. law enforcement much more frequently than the Mexican law enforcement. The Conversation

Advocates Fire Back with a ‘People’s Academy’ After ICE Announces ‘Citizens Academy’

Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently announced it would start a “Citizens’ Academy” in Chicago to give residents insight into its operations. “The Citizens Academy also affords ICE the opportunity to hear from participants, understand their perspectives and debunk myths,” ICE said in a news release. In response to what they call a disinformation campaign, immigration advocates announced a “people’s academy” to teach immigrants and non-citizens about their rights when ICE is involved.  “This is a coordinated attack that requires a coordinated political response, and we are ready,” said Sandra Diaz, from the suburban Mano a Mano Family Resource Center. Chicago Sun Times

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