Daily Dispatch 12/14/18


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Daily Dispatch

December 14, 2018


Top Stories:

CBP is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 7 year old girl from dehydration while in CBP custody. The girl arrived last week with her father, who remains in El Paso. More coverage from WaPo here.

The Office of the Inspector General released scathing report on CBP’s contract with Accenture, which was paid $13.6 million to provide the agency with thousands of new hires, but so far has only hired 2 people.

Other Stories:

After ankle monitoring, bi-weekly ICE check-ins, and threats to be put on a plane to El Salvador without her U.S. citizen children (one of whom has Downs Syndrome), Rosa Gutierrez Lopez decides to seek sanctuary in Unitarian church in South Kensington, MD.

Lawmakers pack-up for the holidays with no indications of solving border wall showdown.

Trump tweets that USMCA = Mexico pays for border wall.

Friday Bonus: Tucker Carlson rants about immigration.


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Daily Dispatch 12/13/18


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Daily Dispatch

December 13, 2018


Top Stories:

Nancy Pelosi responds to White House meeting on government shutdown and Trump’s obsession with the border wall:

It’s like a manhood thing with him — as if manhood can be associated with him.”

In FY 2018, ICE workplace arrests increased 666% over FY 2017 and employer audits increased 361%.

Due to the information sharing rule that uses kids as bait, ICE has arrested 109 people with no criminal records after they came forward to sponsor unaccompanied or separated children.

68 judges send letter to ICE Acting Director Ronald Vitiello asking that courthouses be off limits to ICE arrests.

Letter From Former Judges -… by on Scribd

Other Stories:

From Politico:  “How the Migrant Caravan Built Its Own Democracy”

From NYMag: “Why Do Libertarians and Left Have Such Similar Views on Immigration”

From the New Yorker: “Trump’s Ongoing Disinformatin Campaign Against Latino Immigrants”

From Vox: “The hypocrisy of Trump’s immigration agenda is getting harder to ignore”

From the Atlantic: “Trump Keeps Invoking Terrorism to Get His Border Wall”

 


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Daily Dispatch 12/11/18


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InAlienable
Daily Dispatch

December 11, 2018


Top Stories:

General John Kelly will be freed from the White House through Trump’s early-release program (aka Twitter), having served only 18 months of his 3-and-a-half year sentence as White House Chief of Staff. With Kelly out, most expect DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to be next on the chopping block. While Kelly made his fair share of derogatory comments about America’s immigrant population, he and Nielsen represented the less extreme faction in the administration, butting heads with Stephen Miller on issues like deploying military to the US-Mexico border. Trump has never been a fan of Nielsen (e.g., this infamous encounter) and despite her recent efforts to placate the “president,” Kelly was likely solely responsible for her remaining in her post at DHS. Odds are good she’ll also be gone by the end of year.

Remember our buddy Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III – also recently fired by tweet? His likely replacement, William Barr, has been to this rodeo before, serving as AG in the early 1990s. Vox looks at his record on immigration during his first go ‘round in the DOJ.

Trump met with “Chuck and Nancy” yesterday, the latter hoping to avoid a government shutdown over border wall funding. Let’s just say, things got heated. Despite the cameras, Pelosi complained that open debate and transparency could not take place if both parties don’t accede to a set of facts. Afterwards, Pelosi told Trump to “pray about it” before shutting down the government, while Schumer talked of Trump’s “temper tantrum.” 

 

Public comment period has ended for the “public charge” rule. 210,889 comments were received (17,073 are available to view), including these, signed by 28 sitting Senators.

Local Papers:

From ABC7 (Denver, CO): “Judge: Sheriff can’t hold people for immigration authorities”

From the TimesUnion (Albany, NY): “Albany County receives millions for immigrant detainees”

From the News & Observer (Raleigh, NC): “New sheriffs in Wake and Durham will no longer cooperate with immigration agency”

From the Boston Herald (Boston, MA): “Maura Healey, Brigham and Women’s protest proposed immigration rule”

Other Reads:

From NYT: “Life in Tijuana Means Negotiating ‘La Linea,’ an Always Present Wall”

From WaPo: “Is the UN’s new migration compact a major breakthrough?”

From Bloomberg Businessweek: “This Obama-Era Agency Is Trying to Speed Immigration Under Trump’s Nose”

From Politico Magazine: “How Atlanta Is Turning Ex-Cons Into Urban Farmers”


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Texas Tribune: Report highlights the trauma that thousands of Texas families have experienced with incarceration


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.


 

Report highlights the trauma that thousands of Texas families have experienced with incarceration

With more than 200,000 people in Texas jails and prisons, and nearly half a million children in Texas who have experienced a parent getting locked up, a new national report highlighted something Texas families are well aware of: family incarceration leads to potentially devastating emotional and financial effects.

Half of American adults — 113 million people in the country — have had a family member incarcerated, according to the report, which was released Thursday by the bipartisan advocacy and policy organization FWD.us and Cornell University.

“This report is about us, it’s about the families,” said Jennifer Erschabek, the Austin executive director of Texas Inmate Families Association. “When it comes to the stress, when it comes to the financial hardships imposed on families, when it comes to visitation, everything about the prison system and how it affects families, it’s all there.”

In the study, researchers analyzed prison data and surveyed more than 4,000 adults this summer in a quest to determine the financial and emotional ripple effects on those who experience incarceration secondhand. The United States incarcerated more than 1.5 million people in prisons and another 740,000 in jails in 2016, according to a Bureau of Justice report, contributing to a desperately swollen prison system.

FWD.us was founded in 2013 by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg with a focus on immigration, eventually expanding to include criminal justice reform.

The report’s authors said they wanted to measure how the overwhelming impact of the criminal justice network spreads into American homes and touches the people nearest to the prisoners.

“Nobody knew how many families were touched by it,” said Felicity Rose, research and policy director of criminal justice reform at FWD.us, and lead researcher for the study. “You can’t talk about the impact and understand what it means for families in America unless you understand how many people are affected.”

The study discovered that there are currently 6.5 million people who have an immediate family member in jail or prison, but that almost half the population has experienced family incarceration.

While the researchers acknowledge the difference between a single night spent in county jail and a 10-year prison sentence, Rose said that even a brief brush with the system can be destabilizing and traumatic for families.

The analysis also highlighted the racial and socioeconomic disparities within the criminal justice system. The researchers determined that black adults are imprisoned at six times the rate of whites, and that individuals who make less than $25,000 per year face a 61 percent greater risk of having a family member serve time than those who earn more than $100,000.

Rose said the demographic disparities mean that for poor inmates and prisoners of color, along with their families, even a three-day jail stint could lead to a downward spiral of economic instability that comes with job loss, legal fines, and court and lawyer fees that quickly pile up.

Around 90 percent of adults in jail or prison are men and a third of the women in the study reported that they lost their household’s primary source of income due to a male loved one’s incarceration. Then there are the long drives to the prisons, the fees associated with background checks for visitation, and the anxieties that come with juggling life as a single parent or caretaker.

In the last two and a half years alone, Child Protective Services removed approximately 19,500 children each year because of parental incarceration. A May 2018 budget report revealed that more than 60 percent of the women in Texas prisons have at least one minor child, which comes with an annual taxpayer price tag of $30,960 for each child in the foster care system.

These daunting facts are what Marc Levin, vice president of criminal justice policy at the conservative Austin think tank Texas Public Policy Foundation and a leader on TPPF’s national reform campaign Right on Crime, says Texas needs to work on.

“We obviously need to continue to reduce both crime and incarceration in Texas,” Levin said. “And we have a lot of room to do that. We still have more than 16,000 people in Texas in state prisons and jails for drug possession.”

Levin said that Texas should focus on pushing legislation that supports drug courts and reducing the disparity of who is arrested and booked into jail, as well as rehabilitation efforts.

“We need to look at the total cost of the criminal justice system, including the child welfare system costs, the loss of productivity, and the generational impact of children of incarcerated parents going on to be incarcerated themselves,” Levin said.

And with Texas legislators preparing to flock to the Capitol for the 86th legislative session, Erschabek said she hopes the report sets the table for further reform in Texas.

“Families are also crime survivors,” Erschabek said. “They didn’t buy into this. This isn’t because of what they did, but they are still suffering the consequences of what has happened.”

Disclosure: The University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Public Policy Foundation have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.


This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2018/12/07/family-incarceration-texas-prison-system/.


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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With contract set to expire, still no word on what’s next for immigration center at Tornillo


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.


 

With contract set to expire, still no word on what’s next for immigration center at Tornillo

With just weeks before a federal contract to operate a West Texas detention center for undocumented immigrant minors is set to expire, there is still no word whether the Trump administration plans to keep the site open into 2019.

But the shelter operators maintain that another contract extension would be just one more short-term solution to a larger problem that needs a permanent fix.

The contract between the federal Health and Human Services’ Offices of Refugee Resettlement and San Antonio nonprofit BCFS to operate the controversial detention camp at Tornillo is due to expire at the end of this month after being extended several times since the original 30-day contract in June.

“The ball is in their court,” said BCFS spokeswoman Evy Ramos. “We have said to them just recently this week, we can’t just keep extending this, this is not a permanent solution. Something else has to be figured out.”

The facility — a collection of dozens of military-grade tents on the grounds of a federal port of entry surrounded by acres of farmland — has swelled from a few hundred immigrants in June to about 2,300. Its capacity was expanded to about 3,800 after the administration realized the flow of unauthorized minors seeking asylum in the United States did not dwindle despite efforts to deter asylum seekers by turning them away at the international ports of entry and urging the Mexican government to block Central Americans from traveling through that country.

If the government didn’t extend the contract for Tornillo, it would have to build or find another facility that’s designed for long-term detention, Ramos said. But that decision is ultimately up to ORR officials. She said the company, which as of Nov. 30 had received just over $144 million from the government to run the facility, doesn’t know what the government plans to do. But it “will not just abandon the children in Tornillo,” Ramos said.

HHS spokesman Mark Weber said late Wednesday that children in the agency’s care would continue to be “provided critical services in a safe and compassionate matter,” no matter where they are placed.

“Just like we have in the past, we will make a public announcement when/if operation at Tornillo are extended,” he said.

Ramos isn’t the first BCFS employee to question the Trump administration’s handling of undocumented immigrant children. In June, the incident commander at the facility said the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy — which resulted in thousands of immigrant children being separated from their parents — was a mistake that prompted building the makeshift shelter in Tornillo. The president ended the policy about two months after it was initiated after a public outcry over the family separations.

“It was an incredibly dumb, stupid decision,” the incident commander said at the time, adding that he hoped to never again conduct a similar operation. He added that he thought the facility wouldn’t be needed past the middle of July, when the first contract was set to expire.

That was almost six months ago.

When the facility first opened, a small number of children at the facility had been separated from their parents under zero tolerance. Ramos said Wednesday that all the children currently in the facility are minors who arrived to the country without a parent or guardian, and the large majority are from Central America.

Tornillo holds youths age 17 or younger. Before they can be released to a U.S. sponsor, those adults need to be vetted. Ramos said that process has slowed considerably since the summer, when minors were released after only a few weeks in the facility.

“I support the fact that they need to do fingerprinting and background checks on every adult in the [sponsor’s] home in order to ensure the safety of the children,” she said. “It’s just the speed at which they’re doing it, it’s just taking too long.”

Last week, a report from the Office of the Inspector General confirmed media reports that employees at the facility did not undergo FBI background checks. The issue was first reported by VICE News last month.

Ramos said that at BCFS’s long-term care facilities that are licensed by the state, access to the FBI database is allowed because the state acts as BCFS’s government sponsor. But because Tornillo is a federal project on federal land, that access hasn’t been granted.

“We’re wondering why ORR couldn’t have been our sponsoring agency in order to be able to process those FBI fingerprint background checks,” she said. “It’s not that we don’t want to, or wanted to go around it. We could not do it.”

After the OIG report was released, U.S. Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif. and Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., called for HHS and the Department of Homeland Security to immediately close the facility.

“It is clear the administration’s actions are putting thousands of children in danger,” they wrote to HHS Secretary Alex Azar.

Weber said the Office of Refugee Resettlement is working with the FBI and Texas Department of Public Safety “to conduct FBI fingerprint background checks as quickly as possible for current and future employees at Tornillo.” He added that BCFS has conducted other pre-employment background checks, including standard state felony and misdemeanor checks and multi-state sex offender registry checks.


This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2018/12/07/future-tornillo-immigration-center-unclear-after-contract-expires/.


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 12/7/18


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InAlienable
Daily Dispatch

December 7, 2018


Top Stories:

The one everyone’s talking about: Undocumented immigrants talk about working for Trump.

Related (sort of): WaPo article on “unlawful immigrant” soldier deployed on southern border.

White House wants another $190 million for HHS’ Office of Refugee Resettlement to deal with detained children, but one Dem says “over my dead body will we provide another nickel.” New leadership in House Appropriations Committee plan to increase oversight of detention facilities.

Related: Tornillo tent city contract between HHS and BCFS soon to expire, but no one knows what happens next.

As New Jersey creates new rules limiting local cooperation with immigration enforcement, ICE responds with threats: “As a result of limited cooperation with local and state authorities, ICE will have no choice but to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites.”

Massachusetts church puts a baby Jesus (a doll, not the real one) in a cage for a nativity scene that highlights family separation, immigrant detention, and deportation. Fox News reacts in typical end-is-nigh fashion, claiming “CHRISTMAS IS UNDER SIEGE.”

Nativity Scene at Saint Susanna Parish, Dedham MA

Other Stories:

From In These Times: “The Troubling Link Between Attacks on Immigrants and Repression of Labor Activists”

From Reuters: “Trump, without evidence, says Arizona ‘bracing’ for surge of immigrants”


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Daily Dispatch 12/5/18


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Daily Dispatch

December 5, 2018


All politics are local…

On his first full day as Mecklenburg County Sheriff Wednesday, Garry McFadden notified the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that it was ending the county’s 287(g) agreement, according to a news release.

The bed-rental program will bring in in more than $10 million by the end of 2018, up from $8.3 million last year for housing detainees, officials said. The 2018 revenue would be the most since at least 2015, documents show. McHenry County administrator Peter Austin said the take in is among the most, if not the most, the contract has ever raised for the county in any one year.

San Luis Obispo County sheriff turned over 87 immigrants to ICE in 2017. This year, it’s zero thanks to “sanctuary state” laws.

Denver courts are part of new Department of Justice program to expedite family asylum proceedings.

See our guide to local actions to challenge immigration policy.

Other news…

Sarah Knopp  writes in Jacobin a few days ago – the so called “private violence” that people are fleeing is very much rooted in state policies, and should not disqualify people from seeking asylum.

Mexico’s new president wants to have a good relationship with Trump and is expecting talks on immigration soon (hard to see that going well….)

Trump considering charging a fee for immigrants applying for asylum.

European nationalists respond to new UN Pact on migration.

 


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Daily Dispatch 12/04/18


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InAlienable
Daily Dispatch

December 4, 2018


Top story…

400 former Department of Justice officials send letter denouncing Whitaker’s appointment as acting Attorney General. As Attorney General Whitaker potentially has the authority to make unilateral decisions on immigration rules. Michael Cohen writes in the Boston Globe that Whitaker must go.

 

Asylum…

Asylum denials at an all time high.

 

In the courts…

A federal appeals court has struck down a portion of federal law that makes it a crime to encourage foreigners to enter or reside in the United States illegally.  The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled that the provision violates the First Amendment by covering speech that is constitutionally protected.

A judge in Boston is under fire from the governor. She is accused of helping a defendant avoid arrest by ICE agents who sought to detain him after criminal hearing.

 

Fact checking….

Trump tweets that illegal immigration costs the United States $250 billion a year…it doesn’t.

 

Around the world…

Danish government presents plan to relocate some immigrants to a mostly deserted island, also the site of a research facility for infectious animal diseases.

 


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Daily Dispatch 12/3/18


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Daily Dispatch

December 3, 2018


 

Top Story:

Expose of Southwest Key and its Executive Director, Juan Sanchez (from the New York Times): “He’s Built an Empire, With Detained Migrant Children as the Bricks.”

House Dems hop on board with calls to censure Steve King (R-IA). (Note: Quixote Center is among the 140 signing organizations mentioned in this report.)

House and Senate Democrats battle over border wall funding. Meanwhile, the government shutdown showdown has been delayed, according to comments made by the president to reporters on Saturday.

DHS head sends memo to State, Labor, Energy, Transportation, Interior, and Justice departments asking them to send “any available law enforcement personnel… to the Southwest Border.” This is in addition to the active military troops deployed to the border area last month.

Federal judge rules against Trump’s intention to withhold federal grant money from sanctuary cities.

Other Stories:

In depth piece from the New York Times: “Hazing Humiliation, Terror: Working While Female in Federal Prison”

From HuffPo: “Texas Sues San Antonio In First Test Of Sanctuary City Immigration Crackdown”

 


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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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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)