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Carlos Rios, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Mexico, is suing Immigration and Customs Enforcement for holding him in a detention center even after he showed a U.S. passport and insisted he was American. Rios, who identified as a native of Mexicali, has been in the U.S. since the 1980s and became a citizen in 2000. According to the lawsuit, Rios was pulled over on his motorcycle in November 2019 on suspicion of driving under the influence. The next day, two ICE officers who didn’t identify themselves allegedly seized him and brought him to the Northwest immigration jail in Tacoma, Washington. A week after Rios was detained, ICE officials took his biometric information and realized he was a U.S. citizen. The Associated Press
Mexican Migrant Children Returned Without Protection Screenings
According to a report by Amnesty International, U.S. officials are sending unaccompanied migrant children who cross the southern border back to Mexico without screening them to see if they need protection. The report also alleged U.S. border policy treats children from Mexico different from children of other nationalities. About 95 percent Mexican children caught by Border Patrol were sent back without seeing the Office of Refugee Resettlement between November and April, according to the report, even though they are legally required to receive ORR screenings. These screenings are meant to ensure children are not facing potential human trafficking if they’re sent back. The San Diego Union Tribune
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Texas Building Wall Along Mexico Border
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced the state is planning on building a wall at the southern border with Mexico. Texas will also construct its own detention center and $1 billion of the state’s budget will be put toward border security. More undocumented immigrants will be arrested by state and local law enforcement and sent to local jails instead of to ICE, Abbott said. It’s unclear if Texas has permission to build a border wall after Biden cancelled the original project. Immigrant advocates argue Abbott’s claims of the dangers posed by migrants are false and that his actions have done little to address migration concerns. The Guardian
Women Detainees Protest in ICE Facility
Women detainees at the South Louisiana ICE Processing Center, run by for-profit prison operator GEO Group, were put on a communication lockdown after they protested unsafe medical communications. Six detainees told The Intercept that staff informed a woman at the facility she tested positive for tuberculosis and would have to go into quarantine. The news caused panic within the detention facility. Tuberculosis is extremely rare in the U.S. but is more common in ICE facilities than in the general U.S. population. The Intercept
Immigrant-Owned Businesses Reopen With Energy Improvements
Dawit Assefa, who immigrated to the U.S. from Ethiopia 20 years ago, opened his second laundromat months before the pandemic hit. But after the death of George Floyd, people destroyed the laundromat. A year later, it is set to reopen with a new clothes-cleaning system that will both reduce its carbon footprint and provide better service. HD Laundry is one of several stores destroyed last summer that were given energy-efficiency upgrade rebates. Other businesses, such as an immigrant-owned restaurant Hamburguesas El Gordo, used the program to make small improvements that led to sizable energy benefits. Sahan Journal
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