Daily Dispatch 3/21/2019


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Daily Dispatch

March 21, 2019


ICE Issuing Deportation Orders for U.S. Citizens…

From the Miami News Times:

Two American citizens who live in South Florida— Miamian Garland Creedle and Keys resident Peter Sean Brown — sued Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties after being wrongly held in jail and nearly deported thanks to mistaken paperwork from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Frighteningly, those two people are not alone. According to a report released today by the American Civil Liberties Union, ICE erred in issuing 420 “detainer requests” for U.S. citizens in Miami-Dade from 2017 to 2019 alone. It’s unclear how many of those 420 people were actually detained by county police or jails, but it’s possible tens or hundreds of Americans have been sitting behind bars in the Magic City awaiting wrongful deportation.

The ACLU obtained Miami-Dade’s ICE detainer documents as part of Creedle’s lawsuit against the county. According to the group’s report, ICE voluntarily rescinded 83 of those requests after likely realizing the orders were mistakes.

This following a CNN report documenting that ICE agents will forge warrants and other paperwork for people they consider to be here illegally.

Lawyers and advocates interviewed by CNN expressed surprise about the improperly signed warrants, which could be used to challenge individual deportation orders at immigration hearings.

“If there’s evidence of that, that’s a big deal,” said Jeremy McKinney, a member of the executive committee of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, whose members represent clients in deportations and immigration matters. “That’s the root of an illegal arrest.”

More broadly, improperly signed warrants could become a point of contention in several ongoing lawsuits over ICE’s practice of asking law enforcement to hold undocumented immigrants in detention up to 48 hours longer than they otherwise would. With each such request, called a detainer, ICE sends along a warrant.

Circumventing Sanctuary Policies

All of the above are good reasons not to cooperate with ICE. State or, more often, local authorities often seek to push back against federal immigration enforcement, usually by refusing to cooperate with ICE on data sharing or refusing ICE access to jails. Where these sanctuary laws have been implemented, however, they can also be undermined by informal networks linking police and federal agents. From the Associated Press:

Two years after New Mexico’s largest county barred local law enforcement from cooperating with immigration authorities, its leaders learned that the policy was being subverted from within.

Staff members at the Bernalillo County jail in Albuquerque were still granting immigration authorities access to its database and, in some cases, tipping them off when a person of interest was being released.

“I was surprised and horrified,” said Maggie Hart Stebbins, chairwoman of the Bernalillo County Commission. “Individual employees do not have the freedom to pick and choose what they want to observe.”

The disclosure last month cast a spotlight on an often-overlooked way in which immigration officials around the U.S. may be getting around local “sanctuary” policies — through informal relationships with police and others willing to cooperate when they’re not supposed to. Immigration activists say they have seen it places like Philadelphia, Chicago and several communities in California, which has a statewide sanctuary law.

#abolishICE

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Daily Dispatch 3/14/2019


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Daily Dispatch

March 14, 2019


Feds Set Up Fake University to Go After Students….because….?

At the end of January Federal authorities announced that the Department of Homeland Investigations, part of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, had set up a fake university as part of sting operation:

“Beginning in 2015, the university was part of a federal law enforcement undercover operation designed to identify recruiters and entities engaged in immigration fraud,” said a federal indictment. “The University was not staffed with instructors/educators, it had no curriculum, no actual classes.”

In January, indictments were issued against 8 individuals involved in recruiting students to the university.

[The indictments] allege that from February 2017 through January 2019, the defendants “conspired with each other and others to fraudulently facilitate hundreds of foreign nationals in illegally remaining and working in the United States by actively recruiting them to enroll into a metro Detroit private university that, unbeknownst to the conspirators, was operated by HSI (Homeland Security Investigation) special agents as part of an undercover operation.”

In addition to the 8 indictments issued against those who allegedly conspired to break the law, hundreds of students have been detained, and some already deported. The Detroit Free Press followed up on the story earlier this week.

[M]any of the students who enrolled at the university created by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are now in the process of being removed from the U.S. as Indian-American advocates grapple with what they say is an unprecedented number of arrests of Indian students.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has arrested 161 foreign students from the University of Farmington on civil immigration violations, ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls said this week…

….About 600 students, mostly from India, were enrolled at the university in Farmington Hills, a majority of them in master’s degree programs in engineering or computer-related fields. The students had arrived in the U.S. legally through approved student visas and didn’t have criminal records, said immigration attorneys. (emphasis added)

Trump’s Budget Request Dramatically Expands Immigration Enforcement

#DefundHate (a project of the Detention Watch Network, of which the Quixote Center is a member) released its assessment of Trump’s budget request, and, not surprisingly, it is bad. Very bad. Remember that the context is a budget that otherwise slashes social programs. The budget still has to come before congress, where there will be a fight over all of this. But it signals that Trump’s priorities still remain skewed toward deterrence as an immigration strategy. From the coalition document:

Overall 2020 funding for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) ($18.2 billion) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ($8.8 billion) is 19 percent higher than the FY 2019 level.

Increases in funding for CBP:

  • $5 billion to construct approximately 200 miles of border wall along the U.S. Southwest border (Note: $5 billion wall funding through CBP + $3.6 billion of wall construction funding through DOD/military construction = $8.6 billion total request for wall construction);
  • $192 million to hire 750 Border Patrol agents, 171 CBP Officers, and support staff;
  • $367 million for aircraft, vessels, surveillance technology, and equipment.

Increases in funding for ICE:

  • $314 million to hire an additional 1,000 ICE law enforcement officers, 128 immigration court prosecuting attorneys, and 538 support staff
  • Funding to detain 54,000 people per day (from 40K in FY19; 45K in FY20) with a stated goal of increasing to 60,000 of whom 10,000 are in family jails
  • Significant expansion of the number of people under electronic or other surveillance (funding requested for 120K people per day, up from 53K in FY17, 79K in FY18 and 100K in FY19)
  • Increases in transportation accounts (for often-retaliatory transfers between detention facilities and for deportations) but doesn’t say by how much

Creation of a new slush fund:

  • Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Fund aims to accomplish these goals:
    • Expand immigration detention capacity to 60,000—including 10,000 family detention beds (which would constitute a 300% increase);
    • Hire 15,000 DHS law enforcement officers, 600 new ICE immigration court prosecuting attorneys, 100 new immigration judge teams and associated support, and 50 new Federal prosecutors at DOJ’s Offices of the United States Attorneys–likely to ramp up immigration-related prosecutions
  • We are extremely worried that this will be funded by the “surcharge” on all immigration services which is anticipated to yield $466 million dollars in FY20, as well as other massive increases in fees on processes like naturalization and DAC

Increases in deployment of harmful technology:

  • $367 million in CBP aircraft, vessels, surveillance technology, and equipment [doesn’t specify which technologies]
  • $7.8 billion to support the TSA employees and technology that ensure the free movement of people and commerce, including the deployment of new technologies [doesn’t specify which technologies]
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Daily Dispatch 3/13/2019


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Daily Dispatch

March 13, 2019


USCIS Set to Close Field Offices Overseas

In a new effort to make legal immigration even more difficult, the Trump administration is looking to close U.S. immigration offices overseas and transfers some of those responsibilities to the State Department.  

The Trump administration is seeking to close nearly two dozen U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field offices around the world in a move it estimates would save millions per year. But critics argue the closures will further slow refugee processing, family reunification petitions and military citizenship applications.

USCIS spokeswoman Jessica Collins announced on Tuesday the agency is in “preliminary discussions” to delegate its international responsibilities to the State Department, or to its own personnel in the U.S. In some cases, the workload would be absorbed by U.S. embassies and consulates abroad.

Such measures may save money (the stated goal) but will ensure that backlogs for processing of visas, family reunification efforts and other normal immigration functions will be further delayed – likely increasing pressure for irregular border crossing.

Update on Arrests in Haiti

 

A couple of weeks ago we put out a dispatch focused on the arrest of five heavily armed, U.S. Americans in Haiti. Yesterday, Jake Johnston from the Center for Economic and Policy Research published a detailed investigative report about the arrests and the controversy that has ensued in Haiti over their release.

On February 17, Haitian police arrested seven Blackwater-like security contractors a few blocks from the country’s Central Bank. They claimed to be on a government mission, and had a cache of weapons. Four days later the US “rescued” them. What happened? Read the whole story here.

 

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Daily Dispatch 3/12/2019


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Daily Dispatch

March 12, 2019


Together Rising, others, work to reconnect families

During the peak of the family separation crisis last year, hundreds of immigrant parents were deported without their children. Last weekend, 29 parents presented themselves at the border, once again seeking asylum with the hope of be reunited with their children.

Background, Washington Post:

In most of the 2,700 cases from when the Trump administration separated families at the border last year, both the parents and children remained in the United States, sometimes held in shelters and detention centers thousands of miles apart. Almost all of those families have now been reunified and are in the process of pursuing their asylum claims.

But the cases of about 430 parents deported without their children were particularly difficult. Often, the government lost track of which child belonged to which parent, and it did not link their immigration cases, sending parents back to Central America without telling them where their children were….

After Trump signed an executive order officially ending the family separation policy on June 20, lawyers launched a legal battle to reunify many of the deported parents and their children in the United States. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit demanding that the government allow 52 parents back into the United States to pursue their asylum claims, which the lawyers argued had been stymied after the parents were separated from their children at the border.

But the government has not responded to that appeal and later said it needed more information about the parents from the ACLU. It remains unclear when, or if, the U.S. government will invite those parents back to the United States to launch new asylum claims.

Sojourners:

Saturday evening….29 parents were at the U.S. border with legal advocates, reapplying for asylum and attempting to get back the children that had been taken from them into U.S. custody. At the same time, Glennon Doyle and her nonprofit group Together Rising sent out an email giving more background on how those 29 parents were found and brought together to the border. Two of Together Rising’s board members, Liz Book and Glennon’s sister Amanda Doyle, were there with the families and sending live video updates. Initially, they were told that there was no capacity to process the asylum seekers — but around 8 p.m. Saturday they began allowing all 29 parents and their families to enter…Saturday night’s action at the border was the result of intense, on-the-ground work organized and funded by Together Rising and Al Otro Lado, along with Matthew 25 Southern California, ACLU, Families Belong Together, and clergy partners.

RAICES Sets Up IceBox at SXSW (from RAICES announcement)

RAICES, in cooperation with Austin-based artists Yocelyn Riojas and Jerry Silguero, will recreate a hielera during South by Southwest this weekend and next. The 8 x 20 foot storage pod turned hielera will be kept at approximately -10 degrees Fahrenheit to recreate what most migrants face after apprehension by ICE agents. Though visitors are not expected to stay the one to three days migrants report they are forced to stay in these rooms, guests will leave with a small taste of what it is like to be immersed in the immigration process as a migrant.

Outside the hielera, visitors can observe the community painted mural, “Asylum Is A Human Right,” but only from outside a wire fence placed at a distance from the artwork symbolizing the barriers our immigration system imposes on that internationally-recognized right. Bandanas will be tied to the fence with messages written by any and all who wish to comment on our country’s approach to immigration.

RAICES hopes that visitors will feel moved to join us in calling on ICE and CBP to stop the practice of holding migrants in freezing temperatures and inhumane conditions as part of this country’s immigration process. After having experienced it first hand, perhaps guests will feel as we do that this is an unnecessary and cruel practice that must end.

The hielera installation can be viewed in a parking lot at 308 Guadalupe St. in Austin at the following times:
12 PM to 6 PM Friday, March 8
11 AM to 2 PM Saturday, March 9
11 AM to 6 PM Friday, March 15
11 AM to 2 PM Saturday, March 16

Southwest Key Founder and Chief Executive Officer Resigns

After decades of making millions from government contracts to detain children, Southwest Key’s founder and CEO is out. From the New York Times:

For months, Juan Sanchez was at the center of the national uproar over family separations at the Mexican border because the nonprofit he founded, Southwest Key Programs, was housing migrant children taken from their parents. On Monday, facing intense scrutiny from his own organization and federal investigations over alleged financial improprieties, he stepped down after 32 years at the helm.

The charity’s chief financial officer, Melody Chung, left last month after a New York Times article outlined allegations of mismanagement and possible malfeasance at the charity.

Southwest Key began an internal investigation after the article was published in December. The Justice Department also started investigating.

The Southwest Key shelter in a former Walmart superstore in Brownsville, Tex., known as Casa Padre, became a symbol of the Trump administration’s family separation policy, with immigration advocates likening it to a warehouse for children. But it was also a generator of millions of dollars in federal grants at a nonprofit unusually concerned with its bottom line.

Worth noting that Juan Sanchez leaves under suspicion of financial mismanagement. Decades of documented abuse at facilities, failure to complete background checks, even the temporary suspension of Southwest Key’s Arizona license, was not enough to get him out. Of course, none of these violations actually threatened federal contracts: Money matters. Immigrant kids, not so much.

 

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Daily Dispatch 3/11/2019


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Daily Dispatch

March 11, 2019


National Call in Day to block new detention facility near Chicago. Today!

Alert from #CommunitiesNotCages

This evening, the Dwight, IL Village Board will be voting on three proposals presented by Immigration Centers of America (ICA) to build a 1,200 bed detention center just 90 miles south of Chicago. This proposal, which has faced a consistent and public rebuke from the community, as well as, faith, legal, and grassroots organizations from across the state, has moved forward to this final stage. Earlier last month, the Dwight Planning Commission issued a three to two vote to recommend a ‘yes’ vote to the Village Board regarding this ICA proposal.

Late last week, facing pressure from the Mayor, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church cancelled a planned information session regarding the proposal. This move, which shocked community members, is emblematic of the secrecy that ICE detention center agreements are always shrouded in. Given today’s timeline for the vote, it is crucial to flood the phone lines of the Dwight Village Board, who need a majority vote to approve this toxic proposal.

Take 5 minutes today to urge the Dwight Village Board to vote no to ICA’s proposed immigrant jail. Call the members of the Dwight, IL Village Board and urge them to vote no on this destructive proposal.

Step 1: Call Justin Eggenberger, 815-584-0010, and Randy Irvin, 815-474-9795. We believe they are persuadable targets. Additional members of the Village Board to call can be found here.

Step 2: Use the following script as a guide, we encourage you to add an example of why this is important to you:

Hello, my name is [first and last name] and I’m calling to urge you to please vote NO to all proposals presented by Immigration Centers of America to build a detention center in your community. ICA is a company that is no different from ICE’s other private prison contractors and will yield the same results that immigrant detention has created since its inception. The jobs this jail will create are low-wage, non-union jobs. This detention center, like all others, will largely be run on forced labor as people detained are paid at most $1 a day to work and maintain the jail running. Currently, there are seven different lawsuits across the country because of the coerced labor people detained are forced to perform. Lastly, detention centers are deadly, in the past two years, 22 people have died inside of them largely due to the medical negligence and abuses rampant in the immigrant detention system. Dwight needs a sustainable way to thrive as a community, not a jail that will create unstable, low wage jobs, legal liabilities, and carry out extensive human rights abuses. We urge you to vote NO on all ICA proposals. Thank you.”

A Border Energy Corridor?

Turning the border into an energy corridor that would offer employment and many long-term benefits to people on both sides is an interesting idea. This idea draws life from the idea that the ecological features of the border can be re-imagined as shared resources, and that cooperative management of those resources would offer a path to a more peaceful relationship between the United States of America and Mexico. Read more about the idea in Scientific American.

The idea is more than a pipe dream. A consortium of 27 engineers and scientists from a dozen U.S. universities has developed a plan. Last week they delivered it to three U.S. representatives and one senator. “Let’s put the best scientists and engineers together to create a new way to deal with migration, trafficking—and access to water. These are regions of severe drought,” says Luciano Castillo, a professor of energy and power at Purdue University who leads the group. “Water supply is a huge future issue for all the states along the border in both countries.”

The devil is in the details, of course, and no doubt many issues would arise to complicate this scenario. But a different kind of conversation about the border is desperately needed. One that emphasizes both sides of the border and shared benefits would be much better than the current debate about walls and security cameras.

 

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Daily Dispatch 3/8/2019: Murder, etc.


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Daily Dispatch

March 8, 2019


Murder Etc. investigates the murder of Frank Looper, Charles Wakefield’s innocence

On January 31, 1975, Frank Looper and his father, Rufus Looper ,were shot dead in Rufus’s garage. Frank Looper was the head of the narcotics unit in Greenville, South Carolina. The murder was declared an armed robbery gone bad, and shortly afterward Charles Wakefield was accused of the crime. In February of 1976, Wakefield was convicted of the double murder and sentenced to death. In 1978, South Carolina’s death penalty was overturned in federal court and Wakefield’s sentence was commuted to life in prison. Over the next 40 years, he would fight for his freedom, claiming innocence of this crime. In 2010, he was paroled. He is still fighting to clear his name.

Brad Willis is a reporter from Greenville, South Carolina and has been investigating this case for the last 17 years. Last week, he launched a podcast called Murder, etc. in which he details elements of the case through extensive interviews. The first two episodes are already available and you can learn much more by listening to them. 

Claudia and Charles

Claudia Whitman, the director of National Capital Crime Assistant Network (NCCAN), was the long-time coordinator of the Quixote Center’s Grassroots Investigation Project (GRIP), during which time she worked with Charles. They remain close. Charles currently serves on the board of directors of NCCAN.

The Quixote Center’s support for Claudia’s work through GRIP was always supplemental to the core support she received from her own network of donors and NCCAN. We are nevertheless happy to see the work carrying forward and hopeful that Charles may one day get the full pardon so many people familiar with the case – including members of Looper’s own family – believe he deserves.  

 

To follow and/or support the work of NCCAN, visit their website here.

Charles Wakefield is now living in North Carolina and, among other pursuits, is an gifted artist. You can visit his website, and view some of his work here.

To keep up with podcast, Murder, etc. visit the site and subscribe through whichever platform you prefer to listen. The podcast itself is free.

 

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Annual Report 2018

The Quixote Center’s Annual Report for 2018 is now available. If you like the work we are doing, please consider a tax-deductible contribution. You can designate funds to a specific program, or put it toward general funds that support all of our work. 

 

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Update on Temporary Protected Status: It will not end on July 22 for Haiti

There are currently four different legal challenges to Trump’s decision to suspend Temporary Protected Status for most countries. Developments in one particular case have ramifications for TPS holders from Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Sudan. We are working to ensure that this information gets out into communities affected as there continues to be much confusion about the timeframe.

We will continue to demand a permanent solution, one that offers a path to permanent residency and citizenship.

The following update is from Steve Forester, an attorney with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti:

As a result of developments in the Ramos case, Haiti TPS WON’T end July 22!  It’ll go thru December at least, and no one who now has TPS needs to pay or do ANYTHING at all to benefit!  More good news: any Haitian who had TPS but doesn’t anymore because they didn’t reregister for it in either 2017 or 2018 may and should reregister now!  (But beware of rip-off artists: no one who now has TPS needs to pay anyone or do anything except show their employer a Fed Register Notice to be published in March extending TPS thru December!)

DETAILS OF THIS:  Due to TPS-related legal developments in the ongoing Ramos federal court case:

1)  TPS for Haitians will virtually certainly NOT end on July 22, 2019; the government in early March will automatically extend it to approximately January 1, 2020, and quite possibly will do so for another nine months beyond that date, to September, 2020; no one who properly re-registered for TPS needs to pay or do anything at all to benefit from this!

2)  Haitians with TPS who didn’t re-register for it in 2017 or 2018 out of fear, confusion, or another good reason can and should seek to reregister now; the gov’t has agreed to give such applications “presumptive weight” as being filed late for good cause—meaning they should be granted and then entitled to the TPS extensions described above/below!

More Details:

As you know, DHS’s November 2017 decision ending Haiti TPS, with an 18-month grace period set to expire on July 22, 2019, is being challenged in four federal district court suits, including the Ramos litigation in San Francisco. On October 3, 2018, Judge Chen in Ramos issued a preliminary injunction (“PI”) in the plaintiffs’ favor, blocking as unconstitutional, while the injunction remains in effect, implementation of DHS’s TPS termination decisions for Haiti, El Salvador, Sudan, and Nicaragua.

The U.S. government (“USG”) has appealed Judge Chen’s order to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals but has agreed, while the court’s order is in effect, to certain important measures. These measures are reflected in an October 31 Federal Register Notice (“FRN”) (“Continuation of Documentation for Beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status Designations for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador”) or in a declaration filed in Ramos by a high-ranking USG official.

These important protective measures include the following:

  • Automatic 9 month extensions, starting in April 2019, unless there is a loss at a court of appeals: “DHS will issue another Federal Register Notice approximately 30 days before April 2, 2019, that will extend TPS for an additional nine months from April 2, 2019, for all affected beneficiaries under the TPS designations for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador.  DHS will continue to issue Federal Register Notices at nine-month intervals so long as the preliminary injunction remains in place and will continue its commitment to [an] orderly transition period, as described above.” (There’s no way the Ninth Circuit will decide by early March, much less the Supreme Court.  So the early March additional Federal Register Notice referenced above will issue.)
  • TPS work and legal status will be automatic for those registered—no need to pay for employment authorization cards or further registration:Under the agreement, for as long as the district court’s order is in place, people with TPS who have re-registered previously – or who re-register late – will not need to register again or apply for a new EAD. They can rely on their existing (to-be-expired) EAD or TPS approval notice, as well as the Federal Register Notice, as valid authorization to work or as proof of legal status in the United States. They do not need to pay any further money to the US government, and should not need to pay for additional legal assistance either.
  • Re-registration possible—and likely guaranteed—for people who did not re-register during the Trump Administration: Crucially, Haitians with TPS who didn’t reregister in 2017 or 2018 due to fear or other good reason can successfully do so now!  If they now reregister for TPS late for good cause, the USG will give their applications “presumptive weight” as being valid!  This means that any Haitian TPS recipient who failed to reregister in 2017 or 2018 should be successful in doing so now — late — if they explain that they didn’t reregister on time due to fear, confusion, or other good reason.  (This is extremely important for example for the estimated nearly 16,000 Haitians with TPS who let their TPS status lapse early this year by not trying to reregister!)
  • No new terminations for these countries for now: The USG will not try to write new TPS termination notices for Haiti or the three other nations while the court’s order remains valid.
  • At least 6 months additional protection even if there is a loss at a higher court: “In the event the preliminary injunction is reversed and that reversal becomes final, DHS will allow for an orderly transition period,” which effectively amounts to about six months from the date of any such hypothetical future final, non-appealable order. This means that – if the district court’s order is overturned on appeal (at the court of appeals or the Supreme Court), the earliest that TPS holders from these countries could lose their legal status is about 6 months after the appeals court’s decision.

Prompt congressional action for a longer-term solution remains key.  But please help spread this crucially important info for TPS’ers explained above in Haitian American communities! Haitians with TPS need to know they needn’t fear anything changing on July 22; and Haitians who used to have it but who failed to reregister for it under Trump need to know that they may and should reregister for it now to get its protections.

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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 10/17/18

A sampling of today’s headlines on immigration, race, and related stories.

October 17, 2018

Top Story

Jay Root of the Texas Tribune writes about struggles Central American migrants face crossing Mexico en route to the United States.

Democratic Process:

54 days left to post your comments on the proposed “public charge” rule that doctors say pose public health threats.

Caravan

Almost 2,000 people fleeing violence and instability in Honduras begin long walk to the United States seeking political asylum.

Trump threatens to suspend aid to Honduras unless it stops migrant caravan (which is no longer even in Honduras?)

Related: Pressure from the Trump administration did lead the government of Honduras to demand the arrest in Guatemala of, Bartolo Fuentes, one of the organizers.

The organization Rights Action, which has been a leading advocate for human rights in Honduras, has been reporting on the caravan. Photos and video clips here.

 

In the courts

Legal battles over family separation continue.

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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)