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The Trump administration wants to install floating border barriers to block river crossings on the U.S.–Mexico border, The Washington Post reports. The design was described in a federal contracting bulletin as a Buoy Barrier System for Customs and Border Protection. The barrier would need to prevent swimmers from climbing onto and over it. It would be built in addition to the border wall on the land. So far, 275 miles of the wall have been completed, and 175 are planned for the rest of the year. Private landowners have resisted letting the government build a wall, so this may help Trump achieve his promised wall without encroaching on their land. The Washington Post
In other national immigration news…
ICE Purchases Facial Recognition Software
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has signed a contract with Clearview AI for facial recognition technology. According to the contracting records, ICE spent $224,000 on licenses with “ICE mission support Dallas” listed as the contracting office. “Clearview AI’s agreement is with Homeland Security Investigations, which uses our technology for their Child Exploitation Unit and ongoing criminal investigations,” Clearview AI CEO Hoan Ton-That said in an emailed statement to The Verge. An investigation into the company by The New York Times in January showed Clearview’s technology is widely used by law enforcement. The Verge
New Policy Renders Border Crossers Security Threats
The Trump administration has drafted a new rule that will treat anybody crossing the border who has been in Mexico or Canada two weeks before their arrival as a security threat. The order will effectively block all asylum seekers coming from Mexico, where asylum has already been restricted due to the pandemic. It’s the latest measure the Trump administration has taken to limit immigration, including blocking green cards for certain individuals abroad and cutting work visas. An order from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention allows CBP to rapidly deport any unauthorized border crossers, even if they are claiming asylum. BuzzFeed News
More Hotel Chains Exposed For Detaining Children
The Trump administration has been using major hotel chains to detain children arrested by CBP shortly after crossing the border. Children as young as a year old, often arriving at the border unaccompanied, are being placed in hotels under the supervision of transportation workers who are not licensed to provide child care. Private security company MVM Inc. has been running the detention centers. ICE argues the children are receiving adequate care. The agency has detained at least 860 migrants at a Quality Suites in San Diego; Hampton Inns in Phoenix, McAllen and El Paso, Texas; a Comfort Suites Hotel in Miami; a Best Western in Los Angeles; and an Econo Lodge in Seattle. The New York Times
ICE Guards Alleged to Have Systematically Assaulted Detainees
Guards systematically assaulted at least three people in an ICE immigration jail in El Paso, ProPublica/The Texas Tribune reports. The abuse often took place out of view of security cameras, according to a complaint filed by a Texas advocacy group to the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General. Several guards “forcibly” kissed and touched the intimate parts of at least one woman, the complaint said. The woman is facing deportation and said she would rather be deported than stay there. A spokesperson for ICE said the agency would investigate the incidents. ProPublica and The Texas Tribune
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