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Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Tony Pham plans to resign from his position by the end of the year after holding the role for five months. ICE has seen many leaders resign under the Trump administration, though none of them were ever confirmed by the Senate. While acting leader, Pham, a refugee from Vietnam, had ICE put up billboards along highways in Pennsylvania showcasing faces of “at-large immigration violators who may pose a public safety threat.” Pham also led an agency that saw COVID-19 outbreaks hit immigration jails, leading several ICE detainees to test positive for the virus and die in government custody. BuzzFeed News
DHS Holds Indoor Holiday Party
The Department of Homeland Security held an indoor holiday party at DHS headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, where acting secretary Chad Wolf and other Trump administration appointees appeared. DHS Chief Financial Officer Troy Edgar posted a picture on Twitter of himself with DHS chief information officer Karen Evans and Wolf, all not wearing masks. Chase Jennings, a spokesman for Wolf, claimed the event followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, yet declined to answer how many people attended, if there was food or alcohol, how long the event lasted and why Wolf and others were not wearing masks. The Washington Post
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Mayorkas Could Face Opposition Over Past Visa Management
Alejandro Mayorkas, President-elect Joe Biden’s appointee to lead the Department of Homeland Security, seems likely to face opposition from Senate Republicans. The GOP did not vote for Mayorkas the last time he was nominated for a DHS role because there was an open investigation of his management of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services during former President Barack Obama’s term. In a 2015 report, the department’s Office of Inspector General criticized how Mayorkas handled three politically connected people’s applications to the program that grants visas to investors. Mayorkas denied wrongdoing. The Associated Press
Progressives Want More From Biden’s Immigration Reform
Progressive Democrats in Congress want Biden to stop the federal government’s constant deportations, expand immigrants’ access to social programs and stop relying on detention centers to make sure immigrants attend court hearings. Progressive congressmembers are not only pushing to undo Trump’s immigration system, but to rethink a system that “criminalize[d] desperation” of immigrants searching for a better life in the U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, plans on introducing a resolution to enact broad immigration reform, with support from fellow progressives and immigration advocates. Vox
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