fbpx Pennsylvania Immigrant Family Jail Reopens for Women Only - Documented

Pennsylvania Immigrant Family Jail Reopens for Women Only

Plus: Two non U.S.-citizens are cited in a fraudulent voter registration case, and a Guatemalan teenager works a grueling job in the U.S.

Fisayo Okare

Feb 10, 2022

Advocates protest outside the Bergen County Jail. Photo: Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio

This summary was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

An immigrant family detention center in Berks County, Pennsylvania, has reopened after closing last year, and now houses only adult women. At least 65 people are currently being held at the jail. Immigration attorney Jackie Kline said starting last week, the pro bono legal clinic Aldea–People’s Justice Center began receiving calls from women who had been transferred into the Berks County Residential Center. A majority of the women recently entered the U.S. and are Haitian, Roma or Spanish-speaking. Advocates have spent years seeking the center’s closure. WHYY

In other national immigration news…

Two non U.S.-citizens cited in fraudulent voter registration case 

Prosecutors said on Monday that two non U.S.-citizens accused of casting votes in a mayor’s race in Montana have been cited for allegedly signing fraudulent voter registration applications.  It is unclear if the candidate who lost will seek a new election since the race was lost by two votes. Grace Albia and Jannet Zeta, who moved from the Philippines last summer to teach in an elementary school, have work visas and are not allowed to vote, but they had filled out voter registration applications in October saying they were U.S. citizens. AP News

Guatemalan teenager works grueling job at Alabama chicken plant 

16-year-old Amelia Domingo took the harrowing journey from her home in Guatemala, and has now found herself working at a U.S. poultry plant in an Alabama farm town. She crossed into Arizona from Mexico in February 2021 after borrowing $10,000 for smugglers to sneak her in. She then turned herself over to immigration officials, who took her to a shelter for unaccompanied minors. Eventually, Amelia was handed over to her sister in Alabama. Amelia is part of a recent increase in minors who are migrating from Central America to the U.S. in hopes of finding a better life and helping their family back home. Reuters

No resolution for asylum seeker after 8 years, 3 presidents

It’s been nearly eight years since Maribel left Honduras for the U.S., but she is still waiting for a court to decide whether she can remain in the U.S. or if she’ll be deported. Maribel’s case is among more than 660,000 pending in the U.S. immigration system. To cut down the backlog of immigration court cases, the Biden administration is considering dismissing thousands of cases. Esther Olavarria, a top White House official, said the administration is looking to identify immigration court cases that aren’t priorities and can either be closed or terminated. CNN

Arizona AG says governor can use state law to deploy armed troops to border

Arizona’s Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich said this week that the state’s Republican governor could use National Guard troops and state law enforcement to force migrants back to Mexico without regard to federal laws. Brnovich’s suggestion comes as he faces a challenging GOP primary as he runs for Senate in a race where border security is a major issue. An expert in constitutional law contended that the provision Brnovich cited is actually intended to restrict states, not empower them. AP News

Fisayo Okare

Fisayo writes Documented’s "Early Arrival" newsletter and "Our City" column. She is an MSc. graduate of Columbia Journalism School, New York, and earned her BSc. degree in Mass Comm. from Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos.




PO Box 924
New York, NY 10272

General Inquiries:
+1 (917) 409-6022
Sales Inquiries:
Documented Advertising Solutions
+1 (917) 409-6022
Pitches & Story Ideas: