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Democratic Sheriffs End Connections with ICE in Georgia and South Carolina

Sheriffs plan to end agreements with ICE that allow local law enforcement to arrest and detain illegal immigrants.

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Three Democratic sheriffs in Georgia and South Carolina’s most populous counties plan to end agreements with ICE. These 287(g) agreements were expanded under an executive order from President Trump, which allowed him to quickly approve more agreements with local law enforcement to arrest and detain illegal immigrants. In Gwinnett County, Georgia, more than 21,000 people were handed to ICE through these agreements throughout the past decade. But incoming Gwinnett County Sheriff Keybo Taylor has pledged to end them, as have the sheriffs in Cobb County and South Carolina’s Charleston County. Vox

In other national immigration news…

LGBTQ+ Detainees Fear Retribution for Disclosing Pandemic Mistreatment

LGBTQ+ people in immigration custody allege ICE failed to enforce protocols to avoid the spread of coronavirus and has not given protective gear — but have feared speaking out earlier for fear of gender-based harassment and violence. This is especially true of transgender people, who are often forced to stay in facilities that correspond with their birth sex. LGBTQ+ people are 97 times more likely to be discriminated against in detention than other detainees, according to a 2017 Center for American Progress analysis. This has only become worse throughout the pandemic as LGBTQ+ people often end up in close quarters with harassers and fear retribution for speaking out. The Guardian

DHS Projects to Collect DNA Samples from Applicants

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is planning to collect eye scans, voiceprints and palm prints from immigration applicants and their sponsors, including U.S. citizens. The plan would replace DHS’s current Automated Biometric Identification System and would allow it to collect more types of biometric data. Defense giant BAE Systems has a $47 million government contract to provide U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services with biometrics support and collection, and focuses fingerprints and photographs. North Grumman will likely build the new system through a contract worth upwards of $143 million. The Intercept 

Trump’s Latino Support Grew in Small Massachusetts Cities

While President Trump lost the 2020 election, it did reveal how politically divided Latino Americans remain as Democrats try to firmly draw them into their camp. That was especially true in Massachusetts, which President-elect Joe Biden handily won. Latino voters increased their support of Trump in the state’s smaller cities, revealing how their politics differ based on religion, nationality, and other factors. Rich Parr, research director at MassINC Polling Group, noted Trump outperformed his 2016 results in small Massachusetts cities such as Lawrence, Holyoke, and Springfield. WBUR News 

How Private Prison Companies Plan to Pivot

President-elect Joe Biden has promised to “stop corporations from profiteering from incarceration,” creating a threat to the multi-billion-dollar private prison industry. Some of those big-name companies, including CoreCivic and Geo Group, are reportedly planning to pivot within the criminal justice industry to focus on electronic monitoring and halfway houses, as well as commercial real estate. CoreCivic CEO Damon Hininger was asked after the election about the possible end of the company’s contracts with the federal Bureau of Prisons, but he said he didn’t fear much loss. He mentioned that in 2010, prisons accounted for 15 percent of the company’s revenue, but now only account for two percent. The Marshall Project

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