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Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador warned migrants that they should not expect a smooth entry into the U.S. just because of President Joe Biden’s recent actions on immigration. “Now, for example, that there is a U.S. immigration policy to regularize the situation of migrants, Mexicans and our Central American brothers, people think that now the doors are open, that President Biden is going to immediately regularize all migrants,” said López Obrador. Over the weekend, the Biden administration ended the Trump administration’s asylum agreements with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. This move was called “the first concrete steps on the path to greater partnership and collaboration in the region.” The Hill
In other national immigration news…
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Maryland Plans Bill to Get Rid of Immigration Jails
Maryland lawmakers discussed a bill regarding Immigration and Customs Enforcement jails on Wednesday, along with a testimony from a previous detainee who spoke about her experience in a Maryland jail. The Dignity Not Detention Act would block Maryland detention centers from renewing current contracts with ICE or private prison companies and prevent ICE from building new detention centers in the state. Cathryn Paul, a research and policy analyst at CASA, the largest immigrant service and advocacy organization in Maryland, said many immigrant detainees were not provided with masks until late in the pandemic and some were not given basic necessities when they got sick. The Associated Press
Haitian Detainee Accuses Guards of Attacking Him
Herby “Herb” Yves Pierre-Gilles, an ICE detainee, filed a complaint against two federal agencies alleging prison guards harshly beat him and put him into a chokehold after slamming him to the ground. He said he was in a cell at the Krome detention center in Florida’s South Miami-Dade County and was getting treated for mental health problems when the assault took place in December. Immigration advocates are demanding ICE dos not deport Pierre-Gilles until his claims are investigated. Since October 2020, ICE officers and private prison guards have faced four civil rights complaints after allegations of using illegal threats, coercion and direct force on Black immigrant detainees. Miami Herald
Activists Demand Florida Governor Prioritize Vaccinating Farmworkers
Farmworker organizations are asking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to prioritize farmworkers getting the COVID-19 vaccine. These agricultural workers live and work in crowded conditions and don’t always get protective gear from employers, advocates say. DeSantis diverged from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines in saying that Florida would issue the vaccine to people 65 and older after health care workers were vaccinated, not mentioning essential workers. Rev. Frank O’Loughlin, a Catholic priest and founder of the Guatemalan-Maya Center, sent a letter to DeSantis urging him to “prioritize essential farmworkers for the COVID-19 vaccine independent of their immigration status.” NBC News
Woman Can Leave Church After Three Years of Fearing Deportation in Michigan
“Auntie” Saheeda Nadeem started living in the First Congregational United Church of Christ in March 2018 after overstaying her visa. She faced immediate deportation to Pakistan, a country she left over 40 years ago but was afraid to return to due to personal, family and cultural circumstances. But recently, Nadeem was given a supervision order by the federal government, lifting any threats of her being deported, a lawyer from the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center said. MIRC said ICE decided to grant her this because of the new immigration enforcement priorities under the Biden administration. WZZM13
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