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A federal judge in Maryland has granted an undocumented immigrant temporary reprieve from deportation, ruling ICE cannot remove him until he can pursue religious asylum. Binsar Siahaan, a 52-year-old father of two U.S. citizen children, was arrested on the grounds of the Glenmont United Methodist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, where he and his wife live as caretakers. Siahaan’s attorneys argue the arrest was made under false pretenses and without a warrant. They also argued the Christian should not be deported to majority-Muslim Indonesia until he can fully pursue religious asylum. U.S. District Judge Paul Grimm granted him a preliminary injunction that will block ICE from removing him from the country until the Board of Immigration Appeals or a higher federal court rules on his pending appeal. The Washington Post
Honduran Migrants Bound for US Turned Back in Guatemala
Roughly 1,000 Honduran migrants headed throughout Guatemala to the U.S. were bussed back to the Honduras-Guatemala border this weekend. Police and soldiers along a stretch of rural highway met the migrants and turned them back Friday. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Central American governments have viewed groups of migrants traveling through their countries as a health risk. Guatemalan authorities said about 2,000 of the migrants, who started in a caravan from San Pedro Sula, had agreed to go back. Members of the caravan said it was organized on WhatsApp and Facebook. Associated Press
Detention Population Falls by Over 50 Percent
The average U.S. immigrant detainee population last year was 50,000, but has now plunged to about 19,800. Many detention centers across the country are operating below capacity, which will likely tighten the budgets of private prison contractors and counties across the country, which often get paid per bed they fill. Immigration attorneys say the Trump administration’s usage of a public health law dating to 1944 has allowed it to expel immigrants from the border instead of detaining them and giving them an immigration court hearing. Many who were detained likely accepted deportation orders or were ordered removed. Dallas Morning News
Trump Administration Puts Up Billboards Across Pennsylvania of Immigration Violators
The Trump administration has put up billboards in Pennsylvania of immigration violators in a plan to target “sanctuary cities.” The billboards, which were placed in six locations, feature photos of individuals who were previously arrested or convicted of crimes and released. The campaign is an aggressive move in Pennsylvania, which is traditionally a swing state. The billboards include the people’s charges and list an ICE hotline number. CNN
DHS Seeks to Expand Wealth Test to Green Card Sponsors
The Department of Homeland Security has announced a notice of proposed rulemaking to “hold immigrant sponsors accountable for failing to meet the obligations of contracts they sign with the federal government.” DHS plans to require people who sponsor green cards for immigrants provide credit reports and credit scores, certified copies of income tax returns for the last three years, and bank account information, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said on Thursday. The agency is requiring this to force petitioners to “effectively demonstrate they can maintain the required income.” Miami Herald
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