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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced Friday they made 170 arrests in Denver, Seattle, New York, Baltimore, Washington and Philadelphia during an operation last week targeting “sanctuary” jurisdictions. These areas have been the subject of President Trump’s attacks as they resisted immigration enforcement. ICE officials also referred to immigrants as a danger to public safety. ICE started using more extensive enforcement authorities this month. These rules imply the agency is allowed to fast-track deportation for anyone who has been in the country for less than two years and cannot provide evidence they are in the U.S. legally. The Washington Post
In other national immigration news…
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Hundreds of Calls Made to California Police About Abuse in Private ICE Detention Centers
Since 2017, about 265 calls were made to police through 911 and non-emergency lines to report violence inside four privately run federal detention centers supervised by ICE in California, according to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times. Some of the calls alleged sex crimes, such as rape, sexual assault and abuse against detainees. The other half reported assault, battery and other violent threats against detainees and staff. Eventually, detainees were banned from calling 911 and forced to rely on others to report anything on their behalf, according to ICE. A few private detention centers arranged agreements with law enforcement agencies to avoid talking to detainees who alleged abuse for investigation. Los Angeles Times
Iraqis Who Helped U.S. Military Shut Out from Refugee Status
Only 161 Iraqis were admitted from the 4,000 slots retained by the Trump administration for Iraqi refugees who assisted American troops, contractors, news media, or members of a persecuted minority. This was the lowest percentage of the four categories of refugees authorized for resettlement last year. The pandemic did cancel refugee flights, but immigration lawyers also pointed out Trump’s original refugee bans and expanded cross-checking of those leaving persecution slowed refugee acceptance. Trump recently announced he wanted to admit a record low number of refugees in 2021. Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden proposed to raise refugee admission to 125,000. The New York Times
Continuous Waiting at Immigration Camp Causes Difficult Decisions
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration has stopped holding Migrant Protection Protocol hearings that would allow migrants to leave the so-called “Remain in Mexico” program and enter the U.S. It has also allowed dangerous conditions to persist inside migrant camps across the southern border. This has led immigrants to find new ways to arrive in the U.S. undetected by paying smugglers or sending their kids to cross alone. Gaby Zavala, the founder of Resource Center Matamoros, an organization that assists immigrants at one border camp, said the Matamoros tent camp currently has 685 people filling 2,500 spots. BuzzFeed News
Trump Administration’s New Version of H-1B Visa Program Questioned
Information technology companies filed a lawsuit Friday evening questioning the Trump administration’s rule raising salary requirements of employers for foreign workers on H-1B visas. The Labor Department presented the new changes to the H-1B visa program for experienced workers last week in an attempt to discourage companies from hiring foreign workers. A group of IT companies united under ITServe Alliance argued the administration didn’t analyze the news rules fully before implementing them. More lawsuits are anticipated against an additional set of rules from the Department of Homeland Security, which would limit eligibility for H-1B visa qualification and shorten the duration contract workers can stay in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal
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