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Texas Governor Asking for Donations to Build Border Wall

Plus: South Texas prison making room for immigrants, ICE surveils Georgia advocates, and more U.S. immigration news

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Last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced he plans on reviving former President Donald Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall construction. Abbott revealed on Wednesday that he would use $250 million of state revenue to begin the process and asked supporters to help with donations. His announcement was dismissed by critics and immigration advocates as an attempt to appease right-leaning voters for his reelection next year. Abbott said he is confident he will build parts of the wall on state and private property and along sections where the federal government won’t have a say. The New York Times 

In other national immigration news…

South Texas Prison Making Room to House Migrants

Abbott also announced that Texas’ jails were looking for additional bed space to house migrants arrested while crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. On Thursday, a prison system spokesperson said Texas started transferring inmates from a state prison to make room for migrants detained by state authorities. According to Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jeremy Desel, the prison system began moving inmates from the Dolph Briscoe Unit prison in Dilley to other prisons. An ICE detention facility, South Texas Family Residential Center, which can hold 2,400 detainees including children, is already in the Dilley area. The Associated Press 

Immigrant Advocates and Organizations Surveilled by ICE 

Documents obtained by immigrant advocacy groups show ICE kept note of the groups’ nonviolent protests and social media posts, and at one point suggested blocking visitations to an immigration jail by one organization. Some of the groups watched by ICE include Project South, Georgia Detention Watch, El Refugio and some individual activists. The emails reveal that at one point, ICE thought of retaliating against El Refugio, which visits and supports immigrant detainees in Georgia’s Stewart Detention Center. An ICE official was observing a planned vigil for a man who died in custody, and suggested he would’ve blocked the visitation if El Refugio were holding it. The Intercept 

South Florida Immigrants Afraid for Their Future

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally and were given temporary protection in the U.S. are not eligible for citizenship. This announcement worried many immigrants who have Temporary Protected Status. Kerlyne Paraison travelled to the U.S. from Haiti on a boat with her cousin and 35 strangers while three months pregnant. “They always tell you that in life, if you want to reach some place, you have to make the sacrifice,” she said. But the sacrifice she made could cost her the chance of becoming a green card holder with U.S. permanent residency. Miami Herald 

Book Fair Highlights Somali Voices

Fadumo Yusuf, a Somali author in the Twin Cities, noticed a novel from a Somali author in Minnesota and wanted to find other Somali writers on Facebook, eventually receiving an overwhelming response. This led Yusuf to establish the Somali Community Outdoor Book Fair that would include the local Somali authors who responded. Yusuf said there hasn’t been a book fair specifically for Somali authors in the state. She published her own novel, “Ayan, of the Lucky,” a year ago and was featured in “Green Card STEM Voices,” a collection of essays from immigrants and refugees in Minnesota who work in the fields science, technology, engineering and math. Sahan Journal

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