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ICE is preparing for an enforcement blitz next month targeting cities that have adopted “sanctuary policies,” likely to drill home Trump’s messaging ahead of the election, The Washington Post reports. It would begin by targeting California and then expand to cities including Denver and Philadelphia. Acting Homeland Secretary Security Chad Wolf will reportedly travel to the cities to amplify the message. Trump has raised issues with sanctuary cities throughout his presidency and has included them in his attacks on cities where protests have erupted in response to police brutality. The operation has been described as more of a political messaging campaign than a major ICE operation. The Washington Post
In other national immigration news…
Judge Blocks USCIS Fee Increase
U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in Northern California temporarily blocked U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services from increasing fees for immigrants applying for citizenship or asylum. The decision is a setback for the financially struggling agency which is primarily funded by fees and narrowly avoided furloughing nearly 70% of its staff by implementing spending cuts. The ruling will take effect Friday. The new fees would’ve set asylum applications at $50 and raised citizenship applications to $1,170 from $640. White found the fee increase would harm low-income immigrants and that it violated parts of Administrative Procedures Act. BuzzFeed News
16 Women Complain of Unwanted Surgeries at Irwin County
The New York Times spoke to 16 women who were concerned with gynecological procedures they received from Dr. Mahendra Amin while detained at Irwin County immigration jail. Five gynecologists who reviewed the cases found Dr. Amin consistently overstated the size or risks associated with cysts or masses attached to his patients’ reproductive organs. The doctors said more complete medical files may shift their analysis. One of the women, Wendy Dowe, a Jamaican immigrant detainee, said that she felt pressured to agree to surgery. After she was deported to Jamaica, a radiologist found she should not have required surgical intervention. The New York Times
ICE to Resume Making Non-Criminal Arrests
ICE announced it would resume regular apprehension and detention practices after suspending them during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency updated its COVID-19 information page to say it is “confident that our officers can properly and safely carry out operations.” The pause was put into effect to help “mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” which it announced in March. It said it would shift its priority to focusing on public safety risks. The latest shift was not publicly announced. Immigrant rights criticized the shift in position, as the pandemic is still ongoing and cases are rising in many parts of the country. The Miami Herald
Palantir Facing Criticism of ICE Contracts Ahead of Public Offering
Software company Palantir’s attempts to go public on the New York Stock Exchange are being complicated by their contracts with ICE. Amnesty International released a report condemning the company over “human rights concerns” related to those contracts. The report, released on Monday, concludes that Palantir is “failing to conduct human rights due diligence around its contracts with ICE.” “Palantir touts its ethical commitments, saying it will never work with regimes that abuse human rights abroad. This is deeply ironic, given the company’s willingness stateside to work directly with ICE,” Michael Kleinman of Amnesty said. Forbes
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