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Three employees and others familiar with the conditions at a Chicago shelter housing Afghan children described horrific events to ProPublica. There are some Afghan children who have harmed themselves or others, or even threatened staff. Some have also tried to escape, talked about suicide or required psychiatric hospitalization. Workers mentioned that no employees speak Pashto or Dari, the children’s main languages, which makes it difficult to communicate. According to records, 41 of 50 minors at the shelter were from Afghanistan and 25 had been at the facility for 50 days, meanwhile 15 had been there for almost 60 days. ProPublica
In other local immigration news…
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Investigation into Border Patrol’s Horse Unit Moving Slow
An investigation on U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback who challenged migrants in Texas is still ongoing after Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the investigation would be finished in “days.” Last month, pictures surfaced of border agents swinging long reins close to migrants who crossed the southern border into Del Rio. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said back in September that the horse patrol would no longer be used, but Customs and Border Protection confirmed Wednesday that it is still operating. According to National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd, two agents at the center of the investigation still haven’t been interviewed. CNN
Immigrant Detainees Will Receive Minimum Wage, Says Federal Jury
A U.S. District Court determined Wednesday that GEO Group should pay minimum wage to immigrant detainees who work in its for-profit jail in Washington state. Those detainees currently receive about $1 a day. “This multi-billion dollar corporation illegally exploited the people it detains to line its own pockets,” Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a statement. Ferguson said he plans on putting aside money the state won through the case into a fund for these detainees. The jury will now decide how much detainees who worked at the facility are owed. The Associated Press
Haitian Americans in Florida Waiting for Relatives
Dr. Eden Valentin, an Oviedo internal medicine specialist, is one of many Florida’s Haitian Americans who are waiting for their relatives to arrive in the U.S. His nephew, John Wesbert Alexandre, has been held in the South Texas Detention Center Complex since Sept. 18. He was one of thousands of Haitians who waited under a bridge in Del Rio to enter the country. According to Krystina François, executive director of Miami-Dade County’s Office of New Americans, roughly 7,000 Haitians are being held in U.S. custody, with some being released to family and others in immigration jails. She mentioned that those in detention don’t know when they’ll be released and that the long process could take up to three years. Florida Politics
Minneapolis Mayoral Candidate Shares Immigration Policy Plan
Minneapolis Democratic mayoral candidate Kate Knuth released a detailed immigration policy proposal Thursday. Part of the plan includes demanding the city council pass the “Minneapolis Dream Act,” which would bar federal money from heading to certain immigration enforcement programs, and designing a city task force concentrated on immigration rights. Sahan Journal reported that this proposal is “the most detailed immigration platform” from any city mayoral candidate. Knuth’s plan also talks about passing a municipal “Dream act” for Dreamers and establishing Minneapolis as a “sanctuary city.” Sahan Journal
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