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Eleven Haitian asylum seekers, along with the nonprofit organizations Justice Action Center and Innovation Law Lab, brought a federal class action lawsuit against the Biden administration. They allege racist and abusive treatment of Haitian migrants living in a border encampment in Del Rio, Texas, back in September, and a violation of their statutory and constitutional rights. The plaintiffs are requesting the return of thousands of Haitians expelled by the Biden administration from the Del Rio encampment since September so they can pursue their asylum claims in the United States. The lawsuit challenges Title 42, the public health order used to rapidly expel migrants.
In other national immigration news…
Lawsuit against Muslim Uzbek assaulted by ICE agents reaches a pay settlement
A settlement has finally been reached in the lawsuit filed against the United States and three Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for assaulting Bakhodir Madjitov, a native of Uzbekistan. In the settlement, the federal government agreed the ICE agents violated Madjitov’s constitutional rights, beating him, injuring his neck, and subjecting him to painful tasings during an unlawful attempt to deport him in June 2019. Soon after Madjitov filed the lawsuit, he was forced to board a plane in 2020, leaving the U.S. after his temporary restraining order was denied. The attorney on the case, Max E. Rodriguez, Esq., told Documented’s Fisayo Okare that Madjitov, was able to secure a “favorable” monetary resolution.
Advocacy group fights new ICE facility in Rhode Island
Immigration justice advocates affiliated with Never Again Action, a Jewish-led immigrant rights group, voiced their opposition to the construction of new Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices with detention capacity being built in Warwick, Rhode Island. Advocates pressed the Warwick city council members to stop the process at all costs by revoking permits, refusing occupancy certificates, and construction of the facility. The new facility will replace an existing one that has been in the city for decades. Uprise RI
Decline in immigrant workers affected industries and the U.S. economy
A new NPR audio report analyzes the decline of immigrant workers in the labor force in the last few years as COVID-19 slowed immigration into the U.S. Economists say more than a million immigrants would have entered the U.S. if not for the pandemic and the Trump administration’s immigration restrictions. The shortage may be more acutely felt in some industries that rely on immigrant workers such as food service, healthcare, trucking and warehousing, where about one in five workers are foreign born. NPR
New Orleans human rights groups speak out against abuse of detainees
A coalition of human rights groups wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security calling for its immediate intervention into allegations of human rights abuses against detainees in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office in New Orleans. The undersigned organizations included ACLU of Louisiana Foundation, ACLU of Mississippi, Adelante Alabama Worker Center, and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. They cited an abusive and racially discriminatory pattern of treatment, unlawful conduct, and lack of oversight and accountability within facilities under the jurisdiction of the New Orleans ICE Field Office.