Daily Dispatch 11/30/18


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Daily Dispatch

November 30, 2018


 

Top Stories:

Reporters Report that Other Reporters Are Reporting on Deporting by Resorting to Exporting from ICE’s Own Distorting Purporting:

Audio from NPR’s On the Media: “many news outlets are reporting on deportations simply by lifting text verbatim from I.C.E. press releases.”

Baltimore files suit against Donald J. Trump, Michael R. Pompeo, and the U.S. Department of State over the now-infamous “public charge” rule change, saying that “Baltimore is left to sort through the mess Defendants have made.” The city of Baltimore’s “Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief” can be found here.

Quixote Center joins with 140 national and regional organizations in sending a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy requesting censure of Rep. Steve King (R-IA) for his use of incendiary and racist rhetoric and his endorsement of white supremacist and other far right causes.

 

Other News:

Texas’s 3rd Court of Appeals issues a ruling that forbids challenging “a state agency rule that permits unrelated adults to be assigned to children’s bedrooms” after advocacy groups attempted to prevent jails from being licensed as child care centers. Ruling here.

Churches react against ICE arrest of undocumented immigrant taking sanctuary in NC church.

A Very Sad Tweet From the Border:

More Recommended Reads:

From Mother Jones: “A Private Prison Company Says Georgia’s Investigation Into a Detainee’s Death Must Stay Secret”

From CityLab: “What Border Security and Police Violence Have In Common”

From The New Yorker: “The Long Wait for Tijuana’s Migrants to Process Their Own Asylum Claims”

 


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Daily Dispatch 11/29/18


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InAlienable
Daily Dispatch

November 29, 2018


 

Top Stories:

Congressional Hispanic Caucus sends letter to House and Senate Appropriations Committees, demanding (a) a decrease in ICE detention beds, (b) reduced funding for ICE agents, and (c) zero funding for the border wall.

Chief agent for San Diego CBP has asked Office of Professional Responsibility to investigate use of tear gas at the border.

The Texas Tribune and Reveal report on the gag orders placed on those allowed inside Tornillo tent city.

With cotton fields in the foreground and the border fence in the back, young boys walk with staff
inside the tent city in Tornillo on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018.
Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre for Reveal.

Detainee Deaths:

ICE and GEO Group claim another victim, as detainee on hunger strike dies after hanging himself with handmade rope and being placed on life support.

Private autopsy reveals transgender asylum seeker, in custody of ICE and CoreCivic, was shackled and beaten with ASP baton before dying of dehydration.

Other News:

From the BBC: “Six charts on the immigrants who call the US home”

Opinion piece from NBC News: “Trump’s border wall is both the cornerstone of his immigration policy, and the dumbest thing about it”

From Vox: “The US has made migrants at the border wait months to apply for asylum. Now the dam is breaking. By limiting the number of asylum seekers allowed to come legally, Trump made his own immigration crisis”

 


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No one on the inside can talk about what’s happening at the tent city for migrant kids


The following was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.


 

No one on the inside can talk about what’s happening at the tent city for migrant kids

With cotton fields in the foreground and the border fence in the back, young boys walk with staff
inside the tent city in Tornillo on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018.
Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre for Reveal.

TORNILLO – About 40 miles southeast of El Paso, past the billboards for fast food joints and rugged desert hills, residents of this small community sometimes can see the lights of the nearby detention camp glowing in the night.

Some of them have brought gifts for the roughly 2,300 children inside, only to be turned away by guards.

Months after the government erected a tent city in the desert, most of what happens inside the encampment remains hidden, even from curious neighbors in the nearby town of 1,600 residents. The only images of the minors in the camp, standing outside in an orderly line or playing soccer, have been released by the Department of Health and Human Services.

“We have the same access that the whole world has,” said Tornillo schools Superintendent Rosy Vega-Barrio, “which is none.”

There is one local organization that gets inside the camp regularly: Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services. The El Paso legal nonprofit is among dozens of groups funded by the government to provide legal services to immigrant children in custody.

But lawyers at Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services, known locally as DMRS, can’t speak publicly about the children at Tornillo. Their contract prohibits them from talking to the media, Executive Director Melissa Lopez said in an interview. It’s another aspect of the conflict of interest built into the funding for legal aid, which also prevents lawyers from taking the government to court to get children released.

She referred questions to the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement. “It’s better for the details to come from them,” she said. The agency has not responded to a request for comment.

When it opened over the summer, the camp was meant to be a temporary home for children ages 13 to 17 caught crossing the border alone. But with a growing population and a contract to keep it open at least through December, the camp is taking on a role similar to the government’s permanent shelters for unaccompanied migrant children. It can now accommodate up to 3,800 minors.

The secrecy surrounding the camp has frustrated longtime residents of Tornillo and alarmed lawyers and advocates who question its conditions. After a tour of the tent city Sept. 24, advocates left with concerns that children were given only workbooks, but no other education, and less access to mental health counseling than found in other shelters.

There is also evidence that children aren’t getting the legal representation they need.

The town’s representative in the Texas Legislature, Democratic state Rep. Mary González, said she is particularly concerned that the children aren’t receiving adequate legal help. During a recent morning at immigration court in El Paso, she saw several minors from the camp appear before a judge without a lawyer, González said.

“DMRS is a nonprofit organization. They’re doing the best that they can,” González said. “But think about it this way: They were already overwhelmed with the services they had to provide in the local community. Now there’s a thousand kids in Tornillo.”

However strained the group has been, its contract prevents officials from complaining publicly if children aren’t getting representation.

“I don’t want the government telling anyone they can’t speak to the press,” González said. “Transparency, particularly in a situation as sensitive as this, is such a vital tool.”

***

There is someone who can talk about life inside the tent city.

Over the summer, a 17-year-old boy named Bruno left Guatemala and traversed 1,800 miles on buses, semitrailers and trains until he reached an El Paso port of entry in July.

After more than a month at another Texas shelter for immigrant children, Bruno was transferred. No one told him why, he said. Reveal is not using his full name due to concerns that his decision to speak publicly about Tornillo may affect his pending immigration case.

Bruno arrived at the Tornillo camp at night. He saw the tents and asked a worker where he would be sleeping. “Here,” the worker told him.

His friends called the camp “el infierno,” because of the sweltering summer temperatures. The teens were allowed to play soccer only early in the morning when it was cooler outside, Bruno said. He remembers one week when the air conditioning in his tent stopped working.

“My friends would tell me that maybe we would never get out,” Bruno said. “And I told them we would leave one day. But then I started to think, ‘I’m in the desert. I’m never leaving.’ ”

Children sent here were supposed to move through Tornillo quickly, on their way to placement with family in the United States while they awaited a court date. But the government’s placement process has stalled. Roughly 90 children have been held at the camp for more than three months, according to recent court filings.

BCFS Health and Human Services, the contractor running the camp, has said many of the teens stuck at the camp for months were awaiting fingerprint results for their prospective sponsors, according to a court declaration from Leah J. Chavla, a visiting attorney from the Women’s Refugee Commission.

In her declaration, Chavla said hundreds of children “were not far along in the reunification process,” including more than 150 who had no viable sponsors.

During his seven weeks at Tornillo, Bruno remembers seeing an attorney who asked him and other teens about conditions at the camp. But he never met with a lawyer about his case or his legal rights, he said.

He tried to stay hopeful and followed orders from the staff. Bruno slept with 19 other boys in a tent lined with bunk beds. Workers taught the teens how to make bracelets. He went to church services at the cafeteria.

Bruno was released from the shelter Sept. 22 and reunited with family. He searches Facebook for the friends he left behind at Tornillo, hoping some may have been released and have access to social media.

So far, he hasn’t found them.

***

As sweltering summer days at the tent city have given way to freezing fall desert nights, more and more of the children living there are going to court.

Iliana Holguin, an El Paso immigration attorney, said her understanding was that, since Tornillo was a temporary shelter, children weren’t supposed to face immigration court while being held at the camp.

“We always were under the impression that the Tornillo kids were not going to be appearing in court here in El Paso because it was considered a temporary shelter,” Holguin said.

Today, that’s all changed. Children are hauled from Tornillo to El Paso’s downtown immigration court as many as four days a week. Without their families and, in many cases, without the legal help to which they’re entitled, they’re forced to make major decisions like whether to return to their home countries or whether to seek asylum.

Detained migrant children are entitled to legal representation under federal law. Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services’ federally funded legal aid contract includes doing that work.

But on Oct. 11, according to a BuzzFeed report, 11 children from Tornillo faced a judge with no legal help, only a representative from BCFS Health and Human Services, the contractor that runs the shelter.

The following week, González, the state lawmaker, went to court to see for herself. This time, she said there were about 10 children, most in their mid-teens.

“The kids walk in, they’re asked their name and age, they’re told how important this hearing is,” she recalled. “They’re told, ‘We advise you to get a lawyer.’ ”

González said there was an attorney from Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services present – but only to give advice as a “friend of the court,” not to represent the children. Instead, she said, they were given a list of pro bono legal resources – in English only – which includes DMRS and five other groups, one of which won’t take clients who are in detention.

It was clear, González said, that children weren’t getting the help they needed. Most were making their first court appearance and asked the judge for later court dates to prepare their asylum claims.

One of the minors was a 12-year-old boy from Guatemala, González said. It was his fourth court hearing, but the first in which he had access to a translator who spoke his indigenous language. Rather than seek asylum, she said, the boy agreed to be sent back to Guatemala.

“He was so little, he was so adorable. He came all this way from Guatemala not even speaking Spanish,” she said. “I don’t know, maybe that kid wanted to go home. I know he had already been in our system, detained for a significant time. I don’t know his story. All I know is that in the little bit that I saw, he wasn’t given full access to the United States justice system.”

“I’ll be honest,” she said, “I walked out and I cried.”

Without answers from DMRS or the federal government, it’s unclear how many of the children at Tornillo are getting legal representation in court.

Another group on the list of pro bono legal providers that children are given is the Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center. Its director, Linda Rivas, said in an email that she has not received calls from children at Tornillo seeking representation. But she’s not surprised, because she knows that DMRS has a contract to represent them.

“DMRS is passionate about their representation of unaccompanied children and always has been,” Rivas said. “If they were to need our help, I know they wouldn’t hesitate to ask, and we would help them as much as we can.”

But Holguin believes that DMRS only recently got approval from the government to begin representing kids from Tornillo directly, and not only appear with them as a “friend of the court.”

Holguin was the legal aid group’s executive director from 2006 to 2012. She said DMRS will have to hire more lawyers to do the job. “I’m sure they didn’t have staff members to absorb that demand,” she said.

If lawyers with the group already are frustrated by the sudden increase in clients, they can’t say so without risking their government funding.

“The attorneys at DMRS are very hesitant to disclose something that would cause ORR (the refugee office) to potentially risk their contract, leaving these children without representation,” Holguin said.

Back then, Holguin said, there was less of a concern about speaking out of turn. “I never felt like if I said something I was going to lose my ORR contract,” she said. “I get the sense that it’s a very different kind of threat now.”

***

González, the state legislator, is one of the few people who tried to bring attention to Tornillo before the summer. She tried to extend natural gas service to homes and clean up its arsenic-laced drinking water. (The $1,000-a-day cost of housing each child at the tent camp includes delivery of water from the outside.)

“This is a beautiful, humble, loving community, and this is really antithetical to what the community stands for,” González said. “It’s family separation, just by another name. All these kids have a place to go, have a family to be with.”

When Alfredo Escalante first heard about the encampment, he headed to the shelter with a few other residents and hauled goods, such as soccer balls and home-grown watermelon, for the children. But a guard at the gate told them to leave.

“They turned us away,” Escalante said. “We were just rejected from the door.”

Escalante and other Tornillo residents joined protests outside the shelter at the height of the Trump administration’s policy that separated roughly 2,600 immigrant children from their parents at the border.

In conversations with school staff, Superintendent Vega-Barrio said the camp comes up often. The district has requested access to the shelter through local lawmakers, but hasn’t received a response.

“We need answers – as the public, as the community, as a nation. I think that’s what’s really frustrating at this point in time,” Vega-Barrio said. “I don’t want Tornillo to be seen or to be remembered as a place where kids – underage kids – were detained. It’s just not who we are.”

Vega-Barrio described the town as quiet and family-oriented. There are reminders of the town’s new neighbor. The lights illuminating the tents at night can be seen from the high school stadium. Large white buses heading to the camp sometimes cut through Tornillo.

Surrounded by desert and cotton fields, the town with no traffic lights has one mom-and-pop grocery store and a gas station. On a recent afternoon, Escalante’s mother waited for customers to arrive at her hair salon, which she runs out of a small brick house in her backyard.

People in town talk about the shelter, Maria Escalante said. Many are sympathetic to the children because they’re separated from their families and living in a strange place. Some residents, she’s heard, now are working at the camp.

“It came out of nowhere,” she said of the shelter. “If it was a good thing, we would feel good about it. But what’s happening is just sad.”

Editor’s note: This story is by Reveal, from the Center for Investigative Reporting.


This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2018/11/28/tent-city-texas-migrant-children/.


Texas Tribune mission statement

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.


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Daily Dispatch 11/28/18


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Daily Dispatch

November 28, 2018


 

Top Story – Tornillo detention camp, now holding 2,300 children

From Las Vegas Review Journal:

The Trump administration announced in June it would open a temporary shelter for up to 360 migrant children in this isolated corner of the Texas desert. Less than six months later, the facility has expanded into a detention camp holding thousands of teenagers — and it shows every sign of becoming more permanent.

By Tuesday, 2,324 boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 17, largely from Central America, were sleeping inside the highly-guarded facility in rows of bunk beds in canvas tents, some of which once housed first responders to Hurricane Harvey. More than 1,300 teens have arrived since the end of October alone.

Meanwhile…

Trump administration waives FBI background checks for caregivers and staff at Tornillo

And….

Families are still being separated!

Fighting back in court..

San Diego courts, attorneys and grassroots groups push back against “zero-tolerance” policies.

U.S. Prisons…

The Marshall Project investigates the death of Karl Taylor in a New York prison, and discusses systemic weaknesses in caring for those with mental illness.

 


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Daily Dispatch 11/27/18


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Daily Dispatch

November 27, 2018


 

Today in Federal Contracts: 

CBP rents 34 port-o-potties and 7 sinks due to “increase in detainees at the Centralized Processing Center,” extending a contract with Rockwell American Services by $228,870 (damn, those are some pricey potties!).

Top Stories:

Migrants at the border have second thoughts about seeking asylum in the U.S. after clashes with CBP.

Fact checking Trump’s latest claims on immigration.

As he prepares to move from Ranking Member to Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) demands answers from Trump on the use of military personnel at the border. Among his demands: a detailed justification, a list of authorized equipment and weapons, details on foreign language training, and cost-to-date. Here’s the full letter:

 

Other Stories:

From CBS’s 60 Minutes: “The Chaos Behind Donald Trump’s Policy of Family Separation at the Border” (video)

From the Los Angeles Times: “I resigned from the Department of Justice because of Trump’s campaign against immigration judges”

 


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Daily Dispatch 11/26/18


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Daily Dispatch

November 26, 2018


Top Story: Border Meltdown

Border closing at San Ysidro port of entry causes chaos; CBP agents shoot teargas into crowds. Full coverage from AP, Reuters, and HuffPo.

Tijuana’s mayor petitions the U.N. for aid in dealing with the humanitarian crisis at the border.

Details remain unclear, but an official from Obrador’s transition team confirms planned deal with U.S. to keep asylum seekers in Mexico: “Either you sit at the table or you’re a part of the menu.” More coverage from the Texas Tribune here.

Stephen Miller’s faction wins out over Kelly and Nielsen in West Wing clash over military use of lethal force at the border.

REUTERS: A Honduran toddler in diapers who came to the border on the migrant caravan sobs
after she and her mother fled tear gas fired by American officers at the Mexican border Sunday.

Other Stories:

From Houston Public Media: “Fifty Percent Fewer Texas ‘Dreamers’ Renewed DACA in Fiscal Year 2018”

From the New York Times: “Why Big Law Is Taking On Trump Over Immigration”

From Politico: “Stalemate on Trump’s wall amid threat of shutdown”

From the Texas Tribune: “Advocates say the timing is right for independent oversight of Texas prisons”

 


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Haiti Update 11/16/18

Deforestation may take all of Haiti’s Primary Forest

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds that Haiti may lose all of its primary forest within the next 20 years:

Here, we find that Haiti has less than 1% of its original primary forest and is therefore among the most deforested countries. Primary forest has declined over three decades inside national parks, and 42 of the 50 highest and largest mountains have lost all primary forest.

The impact of this loss has been dramatic. The study is particularly concerned with the resulting loss of biodiversity. The authors find that:

surveys of vertebrate diversity (especially amphibians and reptiles) on mountaintops indicates that endemic species have been lost along with the loss of forest. At the current rate, Haiti will lose essentially all of its primary forest during the next two decades and is already undergoing a mass extinction of its biodiversity because of deforestation.

The loss of biodiversity and forest cover also impacts people’s lives directly, through increased flooding events and mudslides. As a result hundreds of people die each year in flooding events directly tied to deforestation.

Primary forests in this study refer to forests that have not yet been cut by humans – as opposed to secondary forests that are the result of reforestation efforts. While reforestation can have a huge impact in prevention of flooding, secondary forests lack the biodiversity of primary forest cover.

The one weakness in the report is that it lays blame on the poor who clear forests for charcoal and small-scale agriculture. While this dynamic is undeniable, the root cause of these practices is deep inequity in Haiti’s social-economy that drives the poor onto vulnerable land. Protecting forests from such encroachment may be necessary, but absent other solutions that provide avenues for alternative means to make a living, conservation efforts will simply further marginalize the poor. This is why our work in reforestation is first and foremost an agricultural project that integrates tree planting with agro-ecology, water protection, and animal husbandry. There is an inherent value in planting and preserving trees – but neither works sustainably unless accompanied by social practices that respond to the lived reality of the communities most directly affected.

TPS Extended for Haitians

As reported last week, Temporary Protected Status for Haitians will “almost certainly” be extended as the result of lawsuits moving forward in the federal courts. Temporary Protected Status is a special designation that allows people already in the United States to remain here following natural disasters or periods of political instability in their country of origin. Haiti is one of nine countries that have been granted TPS. Last year, Trump announced that TPS for Haitians in the United States would not be extended – and he has moved to phase out TPS for most other countries covered by it. Without an extension, Haitians living in the United States under TPS had until July 22, 2019 to leave the U.S. With the cases moving forward in the federal courts, this deadline will most likely be extended.

Canceling TPS impacts 50,000 Haitians living in the United States, and another 27,000 children born in the U.S. that would either be deported with their parents, or would be separated. Sejal Zota, legal director for the National  Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild writes:

In 2017, Trump announced that TPS for Haitian nationals would end on July 22, 2019…In response, NIPNLG filed a lawsuit, Saget v. Trump, with the law firms of Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger, Tetzeli and Pratt P.A, (Kurzban), and Mayer Brown. The suit was brought on behalf of a dozen plaintiffs, including Patrick Saget, Haïti Liberté, the largest weekly Haitian newspaper in this hemisphere, and Family Action Network Movement, Inc. (FANM). Trials these days are rare in cases like this: they are usually decided on motions. This makes the decision even more notable, suggesting that the court may truly wish to hold the government accountable. A trial will begin promptly on January 7, 2019.

Read more about what this means in this message from Steve Forester of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti.

 

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Local Action on Immigration Policy

Immigration policy is the responsibility of the federal government. However, in the deeply polarized times we live in, achieving comprehensive immigration reform at the national level has not been achieved. Indeed, the last comprehensive legislation passed was in 1996 – and it was not good legislation, paving the way for mandatory detention.

While there have been a number of bills introduced into congress with the aim of overhauling the immigration system, the good bills have languished in committee, and the more problematic compromise bills have failed to gain enough support on the House or Senate floors.

In the absence of a reform bill, and amidst the ongoing war against immigrants being waged by the Trump administration, local action is an important way to push back against the system, while building networks and relationships that can become the foundation for a political alliance to ultimately transform the system. This past weekend the Quixote Center presented some ideas about local action in a workshop at Call to Action in San Antonio. While not comprehensive, we did offer a few examples of ways people can get engaged in local action to support immigrant communities. We offer a summary of these ideas below:

Rapid Response Networks

If you have a flexible schedule and are able to mobilize at a moment’s notice, volunteering with a rapid response network is worth considering. Response networks take on a variety of roles, the most common being mobilizing to be a witness to (and/or at times to disrupt) ICE activity in your community.

How to get started!

Labor Notes has a brief guide to creating a rapid response network here: http://www.labornotes.org/2018/08/building-rapid-response-network-defend-immigrant-workers

Before launching the process to create a rapid response network, first see what might already exist in your community. This is not an exhaustive list, but a few places to check:

National: United We Dream, Here to Stay Network https://actionnetwork.org/forms/immigrants-are-heretostay/

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (list of hotlines): https://www.nnirr.org/drupal/sites/default/files/immigration_hotlines_pdf.pdf

 

Visitation Programs

Being held in detention is very isolating experience. People often have no idea how long they will be held, and can be moved at any moment. Visiting people in detention can make a huge difference for those being held.

Creating a visitation program requires meeting ICE guidelines and the specific rules of the facilities. They do not make it easy!

The best place to start is Freedom for Immigrants, which provides detailed information on how to create a program, and will help guide local groups in creating a visitation program.

To see a list of visitation programs around the country and learn more: https://www.freedomforimmigrants.org/visitation-network/

 

Local Policy Actions

There are a variety of ways in which people have organized campaigns to resist immigration enforcement measures at the local level. Until there is a comprehensive reform at the federal level, such efforts create important means of support, and help to build a broader network of public officials working in support of more humane policies. We offer a few examples below.

SAFE Cities Network

The Vera Institute for Justice coordinates the SAFE Cities Network, which provides legal assistance to immigrants who are facing deportation. SAFE Cities Network is a year old, and includes 12 cities and 8 counties in the United States. Through the first year, 38% of the people who received legal assistance were able to stay in the U.S., compared to the national average of 3% of people who face these proceedings without assistance. For more information about the SAFE Cities Network: https://www.vera.org/spotlights/safe-expansion-and-success

Freedom Cities

Trump has made Sanctuary Cities a target, by threatening to suspend federal funding in some cases. In addition, some states like Texas have passed state laws that attempt to obligate cities to enforce immigration laws. In response, new strategies have evolved for localities to push back. In Austin, for example, the City Council passed a resolution that police must inform people that they have the right to refuse to answer questions related to immigration status.

Background: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/crackdown-sanctuary-cities-gives-birth-freedom-cities-n909606

287(g) Campaigns

287(g) refers to a section of the Immigration and Naturalization Act that allows the federal government to enter into formal agreements with localities in order to, in essence, deputize local law enforcement to take on the roles normally reserved for ICE. Over the past several years, there have been numerous campaigns by local activists for their communities to withdraw from 287(g) agreements.

Background (map and explanation): https://www.ilrc.org/national-map-287g-agreements

 

Shutdown ICE

There are a variety of actions community groups can take to challenge ICE, raise awareness about conditions in detention facilities located in their area, or work to block the opening of new detention facilities. There is no specific model to follow here, but we provide a few examples of campaigns.

Using inspections to end abusive detention

This is an initiative coordinated by Detention Watch Network. They have a detailed guide on how to use ICE contracts and inspections to build campaigns to challenge detention policies. The guide includes creation of visitation programs and ways to use the media and other grassroots actions to build local campaigns. You can connect to the toolkit and other information here:  https://www.detentionwatchnetwork.org/issues/detention-oversight

Occupy ICE

A grassroots movement which has adopted some of the strategies of the Occupy Wall Street movement to protest ICE activity in cities around the country. The first encampment was in Portland in June this year. In Philadelphia protests led to the city canceling its arrest database sharing agreement with ICE. There have been Occupy ICE actions in many cities, mostly during the peak of the family separation crisis. Follow at hashtag #OccupyICE. Website: https://occupyice.org/

Background article (Guardian): https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/06/occupy-ice-movement-new-york-louisville-portland

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Daily Dispatch 11/16/18


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Daily Dispatch

November 16, 2018


Top Story – Caravan News

As reported earlier, the first of the recent refugee caravans from Central America arrived at the U.S./Mexico border this week. The group of LGBTQ refugees had left the main group following harassment. The San Antonio, Texas-based organization RAICES raised funds for buses from Mexico City to the border. Sandra Cuffe, writing for Al Jazeera, provides some excellent context. [Note: Sandra Cuffe has been covering the refugee caravan for Al Jazeera since the beginning. You can review her articles here.]

 

More Good news

An appellate court in Brooklyn ruled Wednesday that local police officers in New York state can’t hold immigrants in custody beyond their release date solely to turn them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement without a judicial warrant.

 

A network of cities that provide legal services to immigrants facing deportation is expanding. The Vera Institute for Justice launched the Safety and Fairness for Everyone (SAFE) Network, which currently includes 12 cities and 8 counties around the country.

Denver is the latest city to extend this program.

More background on the SAFE Cities Network.

 

TPS for Haitians will be extended as federal courts agree to let lawsuit move forward.

 

Elizabeth Warren is among a group of Senators who sent letters demanding details from private detention center operators CoreCivic and the GEO Group, as well as their auditors, The Nakamoto Group. 

 

Mother reunited with child five months after separation at the border. More evidence that having legal representation makes all of the difference!

 

 

 

 


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Daily Dispatch 11/15/18


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Daily Dispatch

November 15, 2018


Top story

According to leaked documents received by The Nation, the Army will provide Customs and Border Protection officers with anti-riot weapons and protective equipment, further blurring the line between military and civilian law enforcement. Full story.

It’s hard to keep up with the firings and new faces…

Ronald D. Vitiello, Trump’s pick to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement is testifying before the Senate this week as part of his confirmation process. Vitiello is currently the acting director.

This is what oppression looks like…

Trump’s rhetoric is driving immigrants away from accessing programs like food stamps, even though no formal changes to eligibility have been made. Immigrants, and we are speaking of documented immigrants, are now forgoing assistance they otherwise qualify for out of fear they could be deported, or later denied citizenship. Vox does a deep dive into the changes and new report documenting the pattern.

And…

It seems that every federal agency is being enrolled into Trump’s war on immigrants, now the Department of Interior: “Immigration arrests at U.S. national parks and other federal lands spiked dramatically this year under President Donald Trump, with some 4,010 immigration-related arrests alone since May compared to only 126 arrests in 2016, according to the Interior Department”

GEO Group – the Profits of Pain

From early October, but still worth a read. Department of Homeland Security inspects a GEO Group run detention facility. “DHS inspectors reviewed all requests for dental fillings since 2014 and found that although the jail’s two dentists identified cavities and placed detainees on a waiting list for fillings, no detainees received them. “One detainee we interviewed reported having multiple teeth fall out while waiting more than 2 years for cavities to be filled,” the report said.

Geo Group remains the largest private company in the detention business.

Some good news!

On the good news front, the city of Denver is extending a program to provide legal defense to immigrants facing deportation.

 


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Contact Us

  • Quixote Center
    7307 Baltimore Ave.
    Ste 214
    College Park, MD 20740
  • Office: 301-699-0042
    Email: info@quixote.org

Direction to office:

For driving: From Baltimore Ave (Route 1) towards University of Maryland, turn right onto Hartwick Rd. Turn immediate right in the office complex.

Look for building 7307. We are located on the 2nd floor.

For public transportation: We are located near the College Park metro station (green line)