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Advocate Arrested After Protesting at ICE Director’s Home

The director of an advocacy organization was arrested for dumping trash in the yard of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's director

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The executive director of an advocacy organization based in New Jersey and Philadelphia was arrested for dumping trash in the yard of Tony Pham, the Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Nancy Nguyen, executive director of VietLead, was charged with entering the Pham’s property for the purposes of interfering with property rights and dumping trash, according to Henrico County police Lt. Matt Pecka. VietLead said the charges are “bogus.” Nguyen was released last week. abc13 NEWS

In other local immigration news…

How ICE Controls Journalists’ Access to the Immigration Courts

For three months, Documented sent a team of reporters to cover New York City’s immigration courts and observe how the Trump administration has upended it. Phoebe Taylor-Vuolo was one of our reporters who regularly clashed with a particular ICE attorney. We invited her to write about her experience. Here is an edited excerpt:

“Actually, I would prefer if we didn’t have a journalist here.” 

“It’s a public space. It’s up to the respondent and if the respondent is okay with it, I’m going to go ahead.”

I had been refused entry to hearings many times over the course of my job as a reporter for Documented’s New York Immigration Court watch project, but this was the first time I’d seen a government attorney argue with a judge over my presence. 

“It’s up to the respondent,” said Judge F. James Loprest. “I don’t want to take up any more time with this.”

ICE attorney Eileen McCrohan’s voice rose slightly. “Can we speak about this out of earshot of the journalist?”

Fifteen minutes earlier, the three respondents had given me permission to sit in on their hearing. Now, they watched the ICE attorney walk toward me, as though she was planning to shoo me out of the room. Judge Loprest put his hand up and gestured to me. “You stay here, you sit down and stay here.” He turned to McCrohan. “If you want to, you can talk to the respondent’s attorney outside.” As the two attorneys moved towards the hallway, he added, “It’s a public space. Period.”“We’ve just had a lot of bad experiences with journalists,” McCrohan responded. “And she —” She pointed at me from the door. “She’s been tracking me.” Read more at Documented.

Why 1 Immigrant Flew From Texas to New York 3 Times for Her Immigration Court Hearing

New York immigration Judge Francisco Prieto had decided Jossany Nicolle Gutierrez-Puerto should be ordered deported, concluding she was not going to show up for her hearing. She wasn’t there, and she didn’t have an attorney. But as the judge announced the decision to deport her, a young woman walked into the courtroom and sat in the back in silence until Prieto’s clerk walked over. It was Gutierrez-Puerto; The removal hearing was stopped. Gutierrez-Puerto had flown from Texas to New York City to attend the May 2019 hearing, which she nearly missed by moments. Because of the sometimes chaotic nature of scheduling in the immigration court, it was the 21-year-old Honduran single mother’s third trip from Texas for this hearing. Read more at Documented

Census Workers Scramble to Count New Yorkers as Deadline Nears

New York census workers scrambled to count as many people as they can after a Supreme Court ruling cut the U.S. Census reporting deadline short. Residents have until 6 a.m. EDT Friday to self-report at My2020Census.gov, but the deadline was Thursday for in-person methods. Workers ramped up visits to hospitals, houses of worship and neighborhoods across the city to meet the shortened deadline. The Trump administration has tried again and again to exclude undocumented immigrants from the count. Census officials insist the process is confidential, and opponents say the Constitution demands a count of every resident, not just citizens. “This is literally about counting the number of people that are residing in the city of New York. We aren’t talking about immigration issues and that is not on the table,” said Nick Smith, with the office of New York City Public Advocate. CBS 2

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