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U.S. immigration authorities released the remaining nine women who were taken to see Dr. Mahendra Amin, a Georgia gynecologist, while they were held in immigration jail. At least 41 women held at the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia, claimed Amin would conduct procedures without their consent that were medically unnecessary and could endanger their ability to reproduce. He has denied these accusations through his lawyer while a federal criminal investigation goes on. Former President Donald Trump’s administration allowed ICE to deport about six women last year who spoke out against Amin. A court order put remaining deportations among possible witnesses on hold. The Associated Press
In other national immigration news…
Texas Sues Biden For Deportation Pause
Texas sued the Biden administration Friday in federal court over his 100-day pause on deportation. The state claims the Department of Homeland Security violated the terms of an unusual agreement with the Trump administration, which let the state have a say on immigration policies. DHS signed those agreements in December and January with multiple states. They appear designed to hinder President Joe Biden’s goals. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wants to block the 100-day pause by claiming it violates the agreement, as well as breaks federal immigration and administrative law. BuzzFeed News
Florida May Not Provide Migrant Farmworkers With COVID-19 Vaccines
Hundreds of thousands of Florida farmworkers hope to receive the vaccine, but the state is requiring a proof of residency in order to get it, worrying immigrant workers. Florida’s draft vaccination plan will likely include essential workers in the next batch of vaccines, but officials have not clarified who is in that category. Still, the advisory requests vaccine recipients show a valid Florida driver’s license or photo identification, a utility bill with a Florida address with the patient’s name, or a part-time rental agreement. Florida farmworkers are especially prone to contracting the virus as they work closely in fields and live in confined spaces. Tampa Bay Times
Syrian Refugee Family Hopes To Reunite After Biden Ends Travel Ban
The Alsidnawi family spends most meals huddled over a laptop or phone to talk with Ahmad Alsidnawi and Sami Labbad. The two have been stuck in El Cajon for years after former President Donald Trump’s administration complicated the visa admittance process for Syrians. The U.S. State Department says the number of visas given annually to Syrians declined by 64 percent from 2016 to 2019, from over 2,600 to less than 950. Just 14 out of the more than 11,000 visas issued last month were to Syrians. After Biden ended Trump’s travel ban, Syria’s visa numbers should increase again, perhaps allowing the Alsidnawis to be reunited. San Diego Union-Tribune
Tear Gas Used at Portland ICE Facility Protest
Federal agents dressed in riot gear used tear gas and flash bangs to disband a protest outside of the ICE office in Portland, Oregon, Saturday night. Protesters were calling to end deportations. Officers from the Federal Protective Service, a unit with DHS, announced it as an “unlawful assembly” at 10 p.n. and demanded the group to break up, according to Fox News. “If you trespass on federal property with a weapon… you will be arrested,” a recording played to the crowd as a warning. It is unclear if any arrests were made. The New York Post
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