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Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Bowman Demand Answers and Accountability Over Orange County ICE Transfers

This summary about ICE transfers at the Orange County Correctional Facility was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s transfers of migrants from a New York jail have continued despite demands from state officials, advocates, and attorneys.

Following ICE transfers of at least 60 people from the Orange County Correctional Facility that began late last month, immigrants are beginning to share what they are experiencing during the transfers. 

Seeking transparency from ICE about ongoing procedures: New York Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman sent a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and ICE Acting Director Tae D. Johnson.

In it, the congress members sought transparency from ICE about its ongoing procedures, particularly concerning the recent transfer of people out of OCCF. Those transfers happened before ICE told detainees’ attorneys where the immigrants were going to be sent. 

The Congress members also sought information about the status of OCCF’s contract with ICE, saying the transfers are “unacceptable” even if that contract is expiring soon.

“Retaliatory and punitive”: Reps AOC and Bowman are questioning whether these sudden transfers are “retaliatory and punitive,” given that OCCF has faced serious allegations of abuse, racism and egregious conditions of confinement.

Advocates and attorneys have said ICE is tampering with immigrants’ legal cases and due process rights. 

Immigrants say they are facing harassment and abuse during transfers: Documented received information from the Dignity Not Detention working group, which shared experiences of what immigrants have said they are enduring during the transfer. 

They have faced verbal harassment and abuse as they exited the facility, the detainees said. They are reportedly not being fed well — given only bologna sandwiches and had limited access to water. 

Sergeant Figueroa, an employee of Orange County Correctional Facility, who was named in a civil rights complaint earlier this year for allegedly harassing and abusing people in ICE detention, reportedly harassed the transfers verbally. 

Many of those transferred also claim to have lost valuable items during the transfer, resulting in missing commissary funds of as much as $900.

At least four additional people were transferred from OCCF last week, according to Dignity Not Detention. The first in the series of recent transfers happened on July 25th. 


New York

Mayor Adams pushes back as Texas governor transports 4,000 migrants to New York: Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Manuel Castro said “Our budgets are impacted because no one plans for [4,000] or [5,000] or 6,000 or even more people to arrive. — Gothamist

Newly arrived asylum seekers apply for NYC ID cards to get work: IDNYC makes it easier for undocumented immigrants to enroll in banking, apply for city services, and more, and enrollments are accelerating. — THE CITY 

Make The Road relaunches deportation defense manual: The guide addresses immigrants’ rights when dealing with ICE, steps to take when supporting a loved one after an ICE raid, and more — Read more and download in Spanish and English

Around the U.S. 

Suspect arrested in killing of Muslim men in Albuquerque, where many immigrants and refugees had felt at home: Muhammad Syed, 51, will be charged in two killings and is a suspect in the other two. Police found evidence that an interpersonal conflict led to the shootings. — New York Times

Poll shows support for immigration has hit two-year low: Opposition to expanding immigration has been on a decline since a high of 65% in 1995, but has now rebounded to 2016 levels of 38%, a Gallup poll found. — Forbes

  • Learn more: Read Aaron Reichlin-Melnick’s thread about the Gallup poll

Human Rights Watch, ACLU question U.S. compliance with anti-discrimination pledge: The groups alleged the U.S. isn’t complying with an international anti-discrimination pledge, including when it comes to the regulation and enforcement of migration control. — Read more

Opinion: Do nations really need borders? Today’s borders are struggling to cope with a range of challenges, from globalization to mass migration and climate change. The Guardian

How a Ukrainian family found refuge in Utah: A family among first Ukrainian refugees allowed from Tijuana into the U.S. were taken in by a Utah family. — People

Washington D.C.

Following court win, Biden administration says it’s ending “Remain in Mexico” policy: Migrants forced to wait in Mexico will be allowed to enter the U.S. to pursue their asylum claims in coming weeks. — AP News

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