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Honduran Judge Authorizes Extradition of Ex-President to the U.S.

Plus: ICE detainees haven't seen their loved ones in 2 years, and Chinese agents are accused of harassing a NY congressional candidate

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A judge in Honduras has authorized the extradition of former president Juan Orlando Hernandez to the United States on drug-trafficking and firearms charges. U.S. authorities charged that Hernandez, 53, participated in a drug-trafficking scheme between 2004 and 2022. The right-wing former leader is also accused of accepting millions of dollars in bribes to protect drug traffickers from investigation and prosecution, and carrying, using, or aiding and abetting the use of weapons. He was replaced as president in January by leftist Xiomara Castro after eight years in office, and has denied any wrongdoing. “We are going to file an appeal to try to avoid extradition,” Felix Avila, a defense attorney for Hernandez, told journalists outside the court. Reuters

In other national immigration news…

ICE Detainees Haven’t Seen Loved Ones in 2 Years

Health protocols put in place on March 13, 2020 are still preventing Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees from seeing their loved ones in person, despite the fact that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and states have loosened their pandemic-related protocols. Immigrants and their advocates say the lack of in-person visitations is cruel and ICE should restore its pre-pandemic policy. Freedom for Immigrants, a nonprofit that monitors abuses faced by ICE detainees, along with more than 20 immigrant advocacy organizations launched a campaign this week to demand that ICE restore visitation. TIME

Agents of Chinese Government Charged with Harassing NY Congressional Candidate

The U.S. Justice Department unsealed three criminal complaints in which prosecutors described several attempts by Chinese secret police to spy on or intimidate dozens of Chinese American dissidents and others living across the U.S. One of those harassed is Yan Xiong, a Chinese dissident who immigrated to America and is now a political candidate in New York. Three of the agents accused of harassing Yan Xiong and others were arrested this week and appeared in Brooklyn federal court on Wednesday, while two other defendants remain at large in China, prosecutors said. The allegations show the extent to which U.S. officials believe Chinese spy agencies will go to retrieve information about critics of the government. New York Times

Families of Gambians Who Died in the Bronx Fire Denied Travel Visas With No Explanation

The U.S. consulate in The Gambia denied visas to families of those who died in the Bronx Fire earlier in the year. The individuals attempted to travel to the U.S. in order to bury their loved ones or take care of the survivors but their visa applications were rejected with no real explanation as to why. One family, in particular, the Jawara family, saw a six-person family stripped down to four after both parents died in the building fire. Their grandmother’s visa has been denied, and, as a result, the children are left to fend for themselves as their new caregiver tries desperately to reach them. “They are grieving and just went through a very tragic loss,” said Salim Drammeh, president of the Gambian Youth Organization (GYO) in New York. Okay Africa

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