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Study Provides ‘Irrefutable Evidence’ Most Immigrants Show Up to Court Hearings

Trump has claimed immigrants don't show up for court hearings if they're not detained, but that's not true

EOIR, Immigration Court, El Paso, Texas

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The federal government says it detains immigrants when a judge determines they’re at risk of skipping their court hearing or they are a danger to society. Because they fear migrants won’t return, judges overwhelmingly decide to keep immigrants in jail, leading to the expansion of the immigrant detention system; Trump has repeated claims that immigrants don’t show up for court hearings as well. But a new study from the Vera Institute of Justice shares “irrefutable evidence” that “over the past two decades, the majority of immigrants have shown up immigration court hearings.” The study also found having legal representation increases the likelihood of an immigrant showing up for court. Vera Institute of Justice

In other national immigration news…

Editor’s Note: In the leadup to the election, Documented will be looking back at the Trump administration’s immigration policies over the past four years and examining how they’ve impacted New Yorkers. Read all of our coverage here.

The Legal Battle That Followed Trump’s Plan To End DACA

Before moving to officially end the program in 2017, President Donald Trump said he would give Congress six months to enshrine DACA´s protections into law. But just two days after Trump’s announcement, his administration ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. In September 2017, then-Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke issued a memo terminating the program, prompting nearly immediate lawsuits from the University of California, 15 states, and Washington, D.C. Find a full account of the history of the program’s past four years at Documented

Vermont Advocates Win Lawsuit Against ICE Claiming Retaliation 

The federal government has agreed not to deport three immigrant advocates in Vermont who said they were targeted for their advocacy. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will also pay $100,000 to be split between the three activists and Migrant Justice, an organization that represents immigrant farmworkers in Vermont. “ICE tried to terrorize us by going after our leaders,” said plaintiff Victor Diaz, a member of Migrant Justice, at a rally outside Burlington’s federal courthouse Wednesday. He spoke in Spanish as a translator interpreted. “They tried to divide us by going after our organization. They tried to silence us, but with this settlement we are saying that we will not be silenced.” The Associated Press 

13,000 Migrant Children Rapidly ‘Expelled’

The Department of Homeland Security has expelled more than 13,000 unaccompanied minors attempting to cross the U.S.–Mexico border since March, according to BuzzFeed News. The children were expelled under new powers Border Patrol agents were given by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to rapidly deport anyone crossing the border during the pandemic. Nearly all immigrants crossing from Mexico have been deported under the CDC order. These removals are referred to as “expulsions,” as the immigrant has not undergone the immigration process and found to be inadmissible. Before the pandemic, unaccompanied minors were typically sent to government-run shelters as they pursued asylum cases. BuzzFeed News

Cameroonian Asylum Seekers Wait for Results on Complaint Over Torture

Cameroonian asylum seekers are waiting to hear the results of a complaint they filed last month alleging their civil rights were violated by physical abuse that amounted to torture in Mississippi. Eight men filed the complaint. Five are said to have been deported after the complaint was filed, one is being held in Mississippi, and two are currently being held at the Prairieland Detention Center in Alvarado, Texas. The asylum seekers say they were pepper-sprayed while guards were pressing on top of them. One of the men at Prairieland said that he was forced into a chair in a room and an officer forced his neck on a table. “I was crying, ‘I need to talk to my attorney,’” the complaint said. The Dallas Morning News

Max Siegelbaum

Co-executive Director of Documented


Mazin Sidahmed

Mazin Sidahmed is the co-executive director of Documented. He previously worked for the Guardian US in New York. He started his career writing for The Daily Star in Beirut and he also contributed to Politico New York.




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