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California Immigrant Turned Over to ICE After Fighting Fires While Imprisoned

Kao Saelee was imprisoned in California and spent the past two years fighting wildfires there, but was not released to his family after serving his time

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Kao Saelee’s release date from prison in California was nearing. He had spent the previous two years battling wildfires in California and was about to be released to his sister. He planned to swim in a lake and barbecue with his family. Instead, he was shackled and put in a van and on a plane headed to an immigration jail in Louisiana. “I paid my debt to society, and I think I should have a chance to be with my family,” Saelee said to the Guardian. California turned him over to ICE after his sentence finished, even though the state is currently battling significant wildfires. The Guardian

In other national immigration news…

Mexican Man Dies in ICE Custody of COVID-19

Cipriano Chávez Álvarez, a 61-year-old Mexican national, died at a hospital near the Stewart Detention Center outside Lumpkin, Georgia, where he was detained. Álvarez was the third detainee held at that facility to die of COVID-19 this year. Nationally, 6,000 detainees have contracted the virus and 6 have died. This fiscal year, 20 people have died in immigration detention nationwide. Chavez-Alvarez had hypertension, gout and sleep apnea and had been hospitalized since Aug. 15. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Two Immigrant Women Received Hysterectomies in Hospital Where Accused Doctor Worked

Just two immigrant women in federal custody received hysterectomies at the hospital where Mahendra Amin worked, the hospital said. Amin is the physician at the heart of the whistleblower complaint of “mass hysterectomies” of immigrant women in federal custody in Georgia. Heath Clark, an attorney for ERH Healthcare, which operates Irwin County Hospital, said both procedures were performed by Amin. Dawn Wooten, the former detention guard, claimed Amin was known as the “uterus collector” and was performing unwanted hysterectomies on immigrant women. “These allegations are disturbing and sensational, but they are not supported by reality,” Clark said. The Washington Post

TPS Coalition Begins National Tour

A coalition of groups against ending the Temporary Protected Status program are beginning a national tour to bring attention to the issue. The National TPS Alliance’s “Road to Justice” tour will visit 54 cities in 32 states and will culminate in Washington D.C., where it plans to appeal to Congress. TPS was started in 1990 and allows immigrants who fled their home countries due to natural disasters, civil unrest or other “extraordinary circumstances” to live and work in the U.S. President Trump started dismantling the program in 2017. Judges from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently gave the Trump administration the greenlight to end the program. NBC News 

Texas Voters Skeptical of Republican Senator’s New AdTexas voters are skeptical of a new Spanish-language campaign ad from Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), where he says “he strongly supports the legalization of Dreamers.” Democrats and immigrant advocates say Cornyn’s claim is misleading, citing votes the Republican senator cast against the Dream Act, among other votes that hurt immigrants. In Texas, 55 percent of voters support permanent legal status for immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children. Dallas Morning News

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