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An Army soldier finishing his assignment abroad may be blocked from re-entering the United States. Army Pfc. Fadel Tankoano believed he was a dual citizen of Niger and the U.S. given he has a U.S. passport and a birth certificate from a Manhattan hospital. But U.S. officials say Tankoano misrepresented his status when he enlisted in 2018 and on passport applications. Tankoano’s father was a diplomat from Niger and had full diplomatic immunity when his son was born. State Department officials say this means Tankoano is not subject to domestic law and exempt from birthright citizenship. The Washington Post
In other national immigration news…
DHS Officials Admit Detention Transfers Contributed to COVID Outbreaks
Department of Homeland Security officials admitted detention transfers “contributed to outbreaks” of COVID-19, according to a draft report obtained by BuzzFeed News. The document also said poor information sharing made preventing the spread more difficult. The report, titled “DHS COVID-19 After Action Report,” details how the agency could have improved on its pandemic response. “This report is incredibly consistent in reflecting long-standing issues of ICE detainee management and medical care that have only been exacerbated by a pandemic,” one former official said. BuzzFeed News
Appeals Court Refuses to Allow Trump Administration to Continue Detaining Kids in Hotel Rooms
An appeals court refused to allow the Trump administration to resume detaining immigrant children in hotel rooms on the border under rules adopted during the coronavirus pandemic. Three judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals left a lower court’s order in place, which ordered the federal government to halt the practice. Border agents have placed at least 577 unaccompanied children in hotel rooms since March before expelling them from the country. The Trump administration has argued it has to do this to protect public health. The Associated Press
DHS Deems Undocumented Immigrants National Threat
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf issued the agency’s first ever “Homeland Threat Assessment” report on the state of security in the United States. The agency says the top security threats to the American public include cyber-hacking by China and Russia and Iran, which threatens the 2020 presidential election; the COVID-19 pandemic; domestic violent extremists, such as white supremacist organizations; and undocumented immigrants traveling to the U.S. The report says Mexican-based transnational criminal organizations “represent an acute and devastating threat to public health and safety.” Border Report
More Immigrants Susceptible to Having Their DNA Collected
It’ll take up to three years for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection’s efforts to collect DNA from all immigrant detainees. But in Detroit, the practice is expected to be fully in place by December, subjecting detainees to the practice earlier than expected. ICE and CBP are undertaking a federal effort to obtain the DNA, and as of Sept. 29, ICE’s Detroit office said it had fully expanded the practice. Residents who are 14 or older and detained for civil immigration violations can be swabbed for DNA, which the FBI will maintain indefinitely. Detroit Free Press
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