ICE stories

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ICE stories

Postby 82_28 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:12 am

There are too many blips already but I think shit like this is going to tick up to the point we should keep track of it. So let this thread keep track of it. Also, how long are we (Americans) going to allow this to continue?

Upstate NY farmer says ICE officers stormed his farm without a warrant, cuffed him, threw his phone

Rome, N.Y. -- John Collins was standing outside the milk house at his dairy farm this morning when he heard yelling coming from inside. He ran in, he says, and saw his worker, Marcial de Leon Aguilar, pinned up against the window by armed men.

The men did not identify themselves and were screaming at Aguilar, Collins said.

"I run and say, 'What the hell is going on in here?'" Collins said.

Then the men told Collins they were officers with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He asked them for a warrant or some paperwork to explain what they were doing. They had none, he said, so he ordered them to get off his property and leave Aguilar alone.

As this happened, Collins said, Aguilar's children watched. They were waiting nearby for the school bus to come. Collins said the officers put Aguilar in handcuffs and took him across the rural road to their vehicles. At least seven officers had come onto the small farm, Collins said.

An ICE spokesman said the worker detained during a raid on a Rome farm had a criminal conviction and had been deported, previously.

Collins said he followed the officers cross the street and asked them why they were taking Aguilar, but he didn't get a straight answer. He also continued to ask for paperwork, but was not offered any by the ICE officers.

Aguilar and his wife, Virginia, are Guatemalan. Aguilar has worked for Collins for about nine months, Collins said. Aguilar, his wife, and his children live in a home on Collins' property.

Collins said Aguilar had proper documentation to work for him. And he's been paying taxes since working for Collins.

Aguilar's wife, Virginia, and the couple's four children were not in the U.S. until recently. She was caught crossing the border, illegally, with the children. Collins said she has been meeting with ICE officers since she arrived, and is seeking asylum for herself and the children because of the violence in Guatemala. Collins said Virginia met with ICE officers as recently as last week, and has another meeting scheduled for this Friday. At times, Aguilar has accompanied his wife, who is pregnant, to some of the meetings, Collins said.

Collins said he isn't sure why ICE officers came for Aguilar and he was upset that they came onto his property without any notification or permission and roughed up Aguilar in front of his four children.

Just like police officers, ICE officers are required to provide a warrant before they go onto private property.

"ICE needs a warrant. If they go on someone's property without one, they are violating the law," said immigration law expert and Cornell law professor Stephen Yale-Loehr.

Collins said the officers gave him nothing when he continued to ask.

Collins followed the ICE officers across as they took Aguilar, in handcuffs, to their three waiting vehicles.

"I told them you can't come in here without a warrant," Collins said. "They can't take someone and throw them up against the wall because of the color of their skin."

Collins attempted to take photos and video with his phone. When he did that, he said, one of the ICE officers grabbed his phone and threw it into the road. Then they handcuffed him and threatened to arrest him for hindering a federal investigation, he said.

But then the officers uncuffed him and left with Aguilar in the backseat of a dark Dodge Caravan.

"This was something you see on TV," Collins said. "You don't expect it to be here." ... ed_hi.html
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Re: ICE stories

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:10 am

ICE Is a Renegade National Police Force Operating Beyond the Law
It is a violation of the foundational principles of this country.

APR 19, 2018
Fourthly, by this writ not only deputies, etc., but even their menial servants, are allowed to lord it over us. What is this but to have the curse of Canaan with a witness on us: to be the servants of servants, the most despicable of God's creation?

—James Otis, On the Writs of Assistance, Superior Court of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, 1761

There is a fully deputized, well-armed national police force operating in this country like we’ve never seen operate before. It cannot truly be called lawless because it is operating under the laws as executed by the national Executive, consented to by the national Legislature, and approved of, tacitly, by the people who elected the members of the former two branches. In another sense, however, in its contempt for the rights of citizens guaranteed by the Constitution, it is acting not against the law, but in a dark space beyond it, where the law is as weak and irrelevant as gravity is in outer space. From

John Collins was standing outside the milk house at his dairy farm this morning when he heard yelling coming from inside. He ran in, he says, and saw his worker, Marcial de Leon Aguilar, pinned up against the window by armed men. The men did not identify themselves and were screaming at Aguilar, Collins said. "I run and say, 'What the hell is going on in here?'" Collins said.
There is no question more vital to the survival of democracy than, “Hey, what the hell is going on here?”

Then the men told Collins they were officers with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He asked them for a warrant or some paperwork to explain what they were doing. They had none, he said, so he ordered them to get off his property and leave Aguilar alone. As this happened, Collins said, Aguilar's children watched. They were waiting nearby for the school bus to come. Collins said the officers put Aguilar in handcuffs and took him across the rural road to their vehicles. At least seven officers had come onto the small farm, Collins said.

Getty Images
Seven fully armed cops storm a farm to bust one guy? Was he an undocumented immigrant from fcking Krypton?

Collins said he followed the officers cross the street and asked them why they were taking Aguilar, but he didn't get a straight answer. He also continued to ask for paperwork, but was not offered any by the ICE officers. Aguilar and his wife, Virginia, are Guatemalan. Aguilar has worked for Collins for about nine months, Collins said. Aguilar, his wife, and his children live in a home on Collins' property. Collins said Aguilar had proper documentation to work for him. And he's been paying taxes since working for Collins. Aguilar's wife, Virginia, and the couple's four children were not in the U.S. until recently. She was caught crossing the border, illegally, with the children. Collins said she has been meeting with ICE officers since she arrived, and is seeking asylum for herself and the children because of the violence in Guatemala. Collins said Virginia met with ICE officers as recently as last week, and has another meeting scheduled for this Friday. At times, Aguilar has accompanied his wife, who is pregnant, to some of the meetings, Collins said.

Sounds like both the Aguilars and the Collinses have been playing it pretty straight.

"ICE needs a warrant. If they go on someone's property without one, they are violating the law," said immigration law expert and Cornell law professor Stephen Yale-Loehr. Collins said the officers gave him nothing when he continued to ask. Collins followed the ICE officers across as they took Aguilar, in handcuffs, to their three waiting vehicles."I told them you can't come in here without a warrant," Collins said. "They can't take someone and throw them up against the wall because of the color of their skin."
News travels slowly upstate. Mr. Collins may have missed what happened to the country on November 9, 2016.

Getty Images
It’s long past time for ICE to get a cavity search by the institutions of democracy. This, of course, will not happen under the current president* nor under the current Congress. Rein these cowboys in before a whole lot of somebodies get badly dead.

Collins attempted to take photos and video with his phone. When he did that, he said, one of the ICE officers grabbed his phone and threw it into the road. Then they handcuffed him and threatened to arrest him for hindering a federal investigation, he said. But then the officers uncuffed him and left with Aguilar in the backseat of a dark Dodge Caravan. "This was something you see on TV," Collins said. "You don't expect it to be here."
But see, that’s the thing. Eventually, it always happens here. Wherever you are. That’s what James Otis meant. This entire country started as a revolution against arbitrary and unwarranted searches and seizures. That’s what originally lit the fire in Boston that spread to the other colonies. Looked at in the long view of history, this country’s origin story is a Fourth Amendment story.

If it can happen to people in the Arizona desert, or in the barrios of Los Angeles, or in the meat-packing plants in Iowa or Kansas, it can happen on a dairy farm in rural New York. If it can happen to families in El Paso, it can happen to the Collinses in Rome, New York. And if it can happen to the Collinses, it can happen to us all. That’s the fundamental truth of the American experiment.

What a scene does this open! Every man prompted by revenge, ill-humor, or wantonness to inspect the inside of his neighbor's house, may get a Writ of Assistance. Others will ask it from self-defence; one arbitrary exertion will provoke another, until society be involved in tumult and in blood.
—James Otis, on the Writs of Assistance, Superior Court of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, 1761. ... o-warrant/

In Rural Tennessee, a Big ICE Raid Makes Some Conservative Voters Rethink Trump’s Immigration Agenda ... ion-agenda

Palantir Working With Local Police, ICE for Federal Funding

Peter Thiel's data-mining company Palantir has been working with local police forces and ICE for federal funding—including giving law enforcement information to “identify and deter people likely to commit crimes” and preemptively stop them, according to Bloomberg. Palantir started working with the Los Angeles Police Department in 2009 on a system that generates “a list of people the department defines as chronic offenders.” The list is given out to officers who are told to stop or monitor these chronic offenders, often using “jaywalking or fix-it tickets” as an excuse. Information from the tickets is then added to the database, creating a rich system of connections and profiles all available to police without a warrant. In 2016, the LAPD arrested a man for having connections to the 18th Street gang—even though he wasn't a member. The man claims he’s been “stopped more than a dozen times” since. ICE reportedly detained two men in Chicago based on “erroneous information in gang databases” that Palantir likely had a role in. Palantir’s systems were used by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office to “integrate information from at least 14 different databases,” including gang lists. The company also has a “$41 million data-mining contract” with ICE. ... al-funding

Peter Thiel’s data-mining company is using War on Terror tools to track American citizens. The scary thing? Palantir is desperate for new customers. ... ter-thiel/
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Re: ICE stories

Postby Pele'sDaughter » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:10 am ... calls.html

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been going around arresting undocumented immigrants who have no criminal history at far higher rates in Pennsylvania than in other parts of the country, a recent investigation by ProPublica and the Philadelphia Inquirer found.

The report found numerous examples of state and local police who appear to be assisting ICE by, for example, detaining people stopped for traffic violations until ICE can confirm their status.

One of the more unusual examples of locals trying to assist ICE was a case of a Cumberland County district judge who twice called ICE about couples who came before her to be married, according to the report.

The district judge, Elizabeth Beckley, did not respond to numerous attempts from PennLive this week get her side of the story.

ProPublic said Beckley first preempted the wedding of a Tajik couple by calling ICE on the groom and his best man, who were led away in handcuffs.

She also called ICE, ProPublic said, when Alexander Curtis Parker and Krisha Amber Schmick showed up at her courthouse last May asking to be wed.

Here's an account of what happened from ProPublica:

"When the constable announced he would be detaining Parker for ICE, the couple was stunned. Though born in Guatemala, Parker, 21, had been adopted by American parents when he was 8 months old. At that moment, he was technically undocumented, with his green-card renewal being processed. But he does not speak Spanish or consider himself an immigrant, much less a deportable one.

"Philadelphia ICE was in the midst of its second big enforcement operation of 2017, and federal agents rushed to the courthouse with their biometric identification device. At about the time Parker had hoped to be slipping a ring onto his wife's finger, he was reluctantly putting his own hand into a fingerprint machine.

"But in this case, as rarely happened last year, ICE backed off. The judge, who did not respond to calls, emails, or visits to her courthouse, apologized and offered to proceed with the nuptials. Having already paid the $45 fee, Parker and Schmick uncomfortably allowed the judge to marry them, and celebrated afterward at a LongHorn Steakhouse."

According to the account, the Parkers moved from Pennsylvania to Kissimmee, Fla. Parker said he felt he was safer there "from people like the judge the would try to do anything to have me deported."
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Don't believe that they say anything without a reason.
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Re: ICE stories

Postby Pele'sDaughter » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:42 am ... story.html

Celestino Hilario Garcia, his eyes bloodshot and his voice raw, struggled to explain that his brother's and sister-in-law's deaths were not his fault.

A month ago, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents had trained their sights on Santos Hilario Garcia. In the early morning darkness, they followed in two black Jeeps as he and his wife, Marcelina Garcia Profecto, dropped their teenage daughter off at Robert F. Kennedy High School.

Minutes later, the couple were dead, having crashed their truck as they tried to escape the agents. ICE officials later said that the couple had not been their target — Garcia happened to have matched the description of the person they were after.

That person was Celestino, a Mexican immigrant who, like his brother, was in the country illegally.

"It was his car, it was in his name. If I lent him my car, then it's my fault," Celestino said. "It was his car. His car…. They had time to check the plates."

Blame has been a recurrent theme since the fatal crash in this Central Valley town of vast farmlands.

There have been protests, with some Delano officials and residents blaming ICE and the Trump administration for being too aggressive in their crusade against illegal immigration. ICE has blamed the deaths on California's "sanctuary" policies, which the agency says put it in a position to target, and sometimes arrest, immigrants without legal status who were not initially sought for removal.

Aggressive immigration enforcement by the Trump administration has become an issue across the nation. Last month, top federal officials and the president condemned Oakland's mayor, Libby Schaaf, after she warned the community of upcoming ICE sweeps.

The Delano case took on a new dimension when the local police department asked prosecutors to look into whether two ICE agents had given false information to police after the crash. On Wednesday, Kern County prosecutors said they would not file charges.

"There is no credible evidence that either agent lied," Kern County Dist. Atty. Lisa Green said. "I approached this case, and every other case, by trying to do the right thing, for the right reason. Politics had nothing to do with it."

The decision is unlikely to settle matters, particularly since ICE will not say why deportation officers were after Celestino. And it still is unclear why the couple initially stopped for the agents before speeding off.

"Santos Hilario and Marcelina did not get justice today from the Kern County district attorney, and they deserved it," said Diana Tellefson Torres, the executive director of the United Farm Workers Foundation. "They and their six orphaned children are just the latest casualties of the federal government's recent targeting of hardworking immigrant farmworkers who feed all of us."

Delano, with a population of about 52,000, is a town of farmworkers.

About 76% of the city's residents are Latino, and nearly 40% are foreign born — many of them now deep in the labor of filling buckets with plucked blueberries and tying grapevines to metal wires to help them grow properly.

The town's median household income is $36,265.

Interim Police Chief Raul Alvizo's parents labored in the fields, as did he as a teenager. Mayor Grace Vallejo was a migrant farmworker, bouncing from town to town across the state with her parents and siblings.
On a recent afternoon, under a clear sky, six women with bandannas covering their faces fanned out among rows of grapevines.

"We leave our homes not knowing if we're going to come back," said one, who is originally from the Mexican state of Sinaloa.

"Imagine the necessity to work but with the fear that when we leave, that immigration is going to stop and take us," another said. "And our children? What is going to happen to them?"

The workers refused to give their names, fearing being targeted for arrest and deportation.

After the crash that killed Garcia and Profecto, many immigrants were afraid to leave their homes. Business owners and residents in Delano, many of whom could see their own story in Garcia's and Profecto's, set about raising money for the couple's children.

At Tony's Barbershop, Osbaldo Prieto, whose mother is a farmworker, gave the couple's two sons free haircuts in preparation for the memorial service this month. The mayor's niece donated haircuts to the four daughters.

Emmanuel Perez, who left for the U.S. from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, in 1978, was a farmworker for more than a decade.

The week of the crash, Perez, who owns a furniture store on Main Street, donated beds, a dining set and sofas to the family.

"We felt bad, because that's how we came," Perez said, taking a shaky breath as tears filled his eyes. "We came here to progress…. These people came probably the same way. Now their kids are going to be the ones suffering without their parents."

After leaving Mexico, Garcia and his wife landed first in Arizona and later in Delano. Celestino and his wife came also, raising four children in the city.

"In Mexico, there is work, but there aren't opportunities to progress or have a better future for your kids, better education — that's what I wanted for my kids. That's what my brother-in-law wanted," said Celestino's wife, who asked that she not be named. "He wanted his kids to get ahead and have a better education than what they could get in Mexico."

Garcia and Profecto had built a life in a drab apartment complex alongside dozens of other farmworkers' families.

In the predawn hours of March 13, ICE agents were outside, watching for Celestino, who said he had not lived there since 2014.

Citing an ongoing review, ICE declined to say why Celestino was wanted for removal. He said he did not know why the agents were after him.

Garcia and Profecto had just dropped their daughter off and turned their blue pickup onto a busy road when emergency lights flashed behind them. They stopped, but as the deportation officer got out of his Jeep, the pickup took off.

Ramiro Sanchez, an ICE deportation officer, said he followed in the same direction but was not in "pursuit with emergency lights/sirens," according to a Delano police report. Dimas Benitez, an ICE agent in a second vehicle, also stated the two were not in "pursuit."

Surveillance video, shot at the midway point from the initial stop and the collision, showed the immigration agents' vehicles traveling in the same direction as the couple's truck with their emergency lights activated.

ICE said it is reviewing the incident but noted that three separate witnesses who spoke with Delano police about the crash said they did not see anyone pursuing the couple. They previously cited sanctuary policies that "have pushed ICE out of jails" and "force our officers to conduct more enforcement in the community — which poses increased risks for law enforcement and the public."

"It also increases the likelihood that ICE will encounter other illegal aliens who previously weren't on our radar," spokesman Richard Rocha said in a statement.

"The unfortunate outcome of the decision made by the vehicle driver to erratically evade ICE officers is why ICE encourages all of those we encounter to comply with officers' commands in order to ensure our ability to carry out our mission as safely as possible," the agency said in a statement.

Although Garcia had been convicted in 2014 of driving under the influence and was voluntarily returned to Mexico three times from 2008 to 2017, he was not an arrest target. Profecto had no prior encounters with ICE and no criminal record.

Celestino was informed about their deaths by one of their daughters. He burst into tears before going to the spot where his brother's car had overturned. At the scene, Delano police showed him his brother's Mexican consular identification card — which is what they used to identify him.

"We're not animals, we're people," Celestino said. "They want to clean their hands of this, but it's not going to be that easy."

At his brother's funeral service, next to the church hall where Cesar Chavez's union voted to join the Delano grape strike decades ago, Celestino sobbed. As two pewter gray caskets were taken out to waiting hearses, he draped his body over one of them.
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Re: ICE stories

Postby 82_28 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:58 am

Family pleads for release of immigrant with Down syndrome arrested during recent raid

A Guatemalan man, whose family says needs special care because he has Down syndrome, was arrested during a recent Department of Homeland Security search in Florida. Now his relatives are pleading for his release from a detention center for undocumented immigrants in Broward.

Juan Gaspar-García was one of 28 people detained in Fort Pierce on March 28, when federal agents served a search warrant at a tent installation company, a family member said.

Gaspar-García, 22, worked at the TentLogix with his brother, whose name was not disclosed. Gaspar-García's brother was released because he is protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), a protection from deportation granted to certain undocumented youth.

But Gaspar-García, who immigrated to the United States when he was 14, after the death of his mother in Guatemala, did not apply for DACA and doesn’t have any other immigration protection status. He remains detained at the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach.

His sister, Dolores Gaspar-García, launched a petition on the website, asking Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., to help protect Juan Gaspar-García from deportation.

“My brother does not have the ability to understand certain situations without a proper explanation because he has Down syndrome, and probably does not understand why he is there or what is happening,” Dolores told el Nuevo Herald. “He also has diabetes, he takes medication and it is very important that he is with us so we can take care of his special needs.”

Dolores said that if Gaspar-García is deported to Guatemala, he has no one to take care of him in his native country. His three siblings and his father live in Florida. In 2007, Gaspar-García graduated from South Fork High School in the city of Stuart, Florida in a special program for people with disabilities.

“We are a family of four. Juan is the oldest but we have always seen him as the youngest due to his developmental delays,” Dolores said. “In reality he does not know how to read, write or express himself well and stutters when he gets nervous. I’m sure he needs me right now.”

Rubio’s office was made aware of the online petition on Tuesday and will reach out to the family to offer any assistance, a staff member said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Nestor Yglesias, a spokesperson for ICE in Miami, issued the following statement:

“ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations special agents encountered Juan Gaspar-Garcia while executing a criminal search warrant at his place of employment. They contacted their counterparts with the ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations who determined Gaspar-Garcia was in the country illegally, arrested him and issued him a notice to appear in immigration court. His immigration proceedings are ongoing,” the statement says.

“ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement in compliance with federal law and agency policy. However, as ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan has made clear, ICE does not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.”

The agency alsoprovided a manual that details the protocol immigration detention facilities must follow when dealing with people with disabilities or special needs.

The document says, in part, that detainees who are identified as having “a cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disability” may be referred to a “multidisciplinary team”.

“Such detainees may face difficulties navigating the detention environment… Additionally, such detainees may not understand the process for requesting an accommodation or be aware of limitations on their access to facility programs,” the manual says. “Facility staff should provide appropriate assistance to a detainee with a cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disability, even if not explicitly requested (for example, reading and explaining a form to a detainee with limited cognitive abilities)”.

It is also required that the facility reports the identification of detainees with certain disabilities to the immigration agents in charge of the detainees’ case.

It isn’t clear if any of those steps were followed in Gaspar-García’s case.

“When we talked on the phone, he told me that he had to be taken to the clinic [in the detention center] the night he got there,” Dolores said of her brother. “When he gets nervous or has strong emotions we have to check his blood.”

Although during the raid on March 28 at the company TentLogix almost 30 immigrants were arrested, federal authorities insist that it was not an immigration raid but a “criminal search” conducted at the business. When agents arrived to serve the warrant, they found the group of undocumented workers, according to the authorities.

continues: ... 14679.html
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Re: ICE stories

Postby Jerky » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:57 am

This is grotesque Gestapo / Stasi level bullshit that we're seeing, and hardly anybody raises a peep because it's pretty much exclusively people of color being unceremoniously gathered up in vans like so much dirty laundry and whisked away from their homes and families in the dead of night (or, even worse for its shamlessness, under the full light of day). Has anyone here ever heard of a Canadian or a Swedish person being hunted down and chained like an animal for staying beyond their work or student visa due dates? I sure as hell haven't.

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Re: ICE stories

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:25 am

ICE held an American man in custody for 1,273 days. He’s not the only one who had to prove his citizenship

Immigration officers in the United States operate under a cardinal rule: Keep your hands off Americans.

But Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents repeatedly target U.S. citizens for deportation by mistake, making wrongful arrests based on incomplete government records, bad data and lax investigations, according to a Times review of federal lawsuits, internal ICE documents and interviews.

Since 2012, ICE has released from its custody more than 1,480 people after investigating their citizenship claims, according to agency figures. And a Times review of Department of Justice records and interviews with immigration attorneys uncovered hundreds of additional cases in the country’s immigration courts in which people were forced to prove they are Americans and sometimes spent months or even years in detention.

Victims include a landscaper snatched in a Home Depot parking lot in Rialto and held for days despite his son’s attempts to show agents the man’s U.S. passport; a New York resident locked up for more than three years fighting deportation efforts after a federal agent mistook his father for someone who wasn’t a U.S. citizen; and a Rhode Island housekeeper mistakenly targeted twice, resulting in her spending a night in prison the second time even though her husband had brought her U.S. passport to a court hearing.

They and others described the panic and feeling of powerlessness that set in as agents took them into custody without explanation and ignored their claims of citizenship.

Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security L.A. Times Graphics
The wrongful arrests account for a small fraction of the more than 100,000 arrests ICE makes each year, and it’s unclear whether the Trump administration’s aggressive push to increase deportations will lead to more mistakes. But the detentions of U.S. citizens amount to an unsettling type of collateral damage in the government’s effort to remove illegal or unwanted immigrants.

The errors reveal flaws in the way ICE identifies people for deportation, including its reliance on databases that are incomplete and plagued by mistakes. The wrongful arrests also highlight a presumption that pervades U.S. immigration agencies and courts that those born outside the United States are not here legally unless electronic records show otherwise. And when mistakes are not quickly remedied, citizens are forced into an immigration court system where they must fight to prove they should not be removed from the country, often without the help of an attorney.

The Times found that the two groups most vulnerable to becoming mistaken ICE targets are the children of immigrants and citizens born outside the country.

Matthew Albence, the head of ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, declined to be interviewed but said in a written statement that investigating citizen claims can be a complex task involving searches of electronic and paper records as well as personal interviews. He said ICE updates records when errors are found and agents arrest only those they have probable cause to suspect are eligible for deportation.

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement takes very seriously any and all assertions that an individual detained in its custody may be a U.S. citizen,” he said.

But The Times’ review of federal documents and lawsuits turned up cases in which Americans were arrested based on mistakes or cursory ICE investigations and some who were repeatedly targeted because the government failed to update its records. Immigration lawyers said federal agents rarely conduct interviews before making arrests and getting ICE to correct its records is difficult.

A big mistake

Sergio Carrillo had already been handcuffed in the Home Depot parking lot in Rialto on a July morning in 2016 when an officer in Homeland Security uniform appeared.

“Homeland Security?” Carrillo asked. “What do you want with me?”

Ignoring Carrillo’s demands for an explanation, the officer ordered the 39-year-old landscaper taken to a federal detention facility in downtown Los Angeles.

“You’re making a big mistake,” Carrillo recalled saying from the back seat to the officers driving him. “I am a U.S. citizen.”

Born in Mexico, Carrillo has lived nearly his entire life in the United States and automatically gained citizenship as a teen in 1994 when his mother became a citizen. He received a certificate of citizenship from the U.S. government and a passport to document his status.

Federal policies require ICE agents to “carefully and expeditiously” investigate any claim of U.S. citizenship. But throughout his detention, Carrillo said, ICE officers either ignored or scoffed at his repeated claims. When his son rushed to the downtown booking facility with his father’s passport and citizenship certificate, ICE officers refused to consider the documents, he said.

After he was moved to a privately run immigration detention center 85 miles outside Los Angeles in the Mojave Desert, Carrillo’s hope that ICE would quickly remedy its mistake gave way to a sense of despair.

“Inmates were telling me, ‘You’re not going to see a judge for weeks. In here, you don’t have any rights,’” he said. “I started getting real scared: How long was I going to be in here? How could this be happening?”

It was not until Carrillo’s fourth day in detention, when an attorney intervened and presented agents with Carrillo’s passport, that ICE corrected its error. Carrillo emerged from custody to find his phone filled with messages from angry clients. Several fired him.

“For ICE, it’s like, ‘Oops, we made a mistake,’” Carrillo said. “But for me on the other end, it tears up your life.”

Carrillo sued for false imprisonment and was awarded a $20,000 settlement, but ICE made no admission of wrongdoing. An agency spokeswoman declined to comment, citing Carrillo’s right to privacy.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Valencia prepare to make an early morning arrest in 2012. Al Seib / Los Angeles Times
Carrillo’s arrest highlights pitfalls in ICE’s digitally driven search for the deportable. At the core of the hunt are massive federal databases containing records on citizenship, crime, foreign travel, education and work.

Deportation officers and contract analysts ply these databases from cubicles on the second floor of a pyramid-shaped building in Laguna Niguel, one of the nerve centers ICE relies on to determine whom to target for deportation.

When a person is arrested in the U.S., their fingerprints are sent electronically to the FBI and automatically checked against those of millions of immigrants in Homeland Security databases. Where there is a match, deportation officers in Laguna Nigel and elsewhere scour other databases for indications a person is in the country illegally. Last year, they identified some 70,000 people they concluded should be deported.

Homeland Security computers also flag people with past criminal convictions. Carrillo had been convicted years earlier of carrying a concealed weapon and sending sexually explicit material to a minor — crimes that would have made him a priority for deportation had he been in the country illegally.

Digital copies of Carrillo’s fingerprints and certificate of citizenship had never been entered into federal databases, and his name was misspelled “Cabrillo” in a central database used heavily by ICE officers. There also was no evidence ICE agents checked if Carrillo held a passport.

Agents simply assumed he was in the country illegally because they could not find any evidence to the contrary, Carrillo alleged in his lawsuit.

Similarly, in three dozen false arrest lawsuits, Americans caught in the ICE dragnet alleged that officers took them into custody on the basis of cursory computer searches. The agents, according to the lawsuits, often overlooked evidence of citizenship, such as passports, and failed to examine paper files or conduct interviews to confirm the accuracy of their database searches.

“We could, but we don't interview because we have all of the information, all of the facts,” an ICE agent said in a federal court deposition, explaining how he used database searches to mark a Chicago man for deportation.

The 2011 mistake led to the man, a Belarusian native convicted of burglary, being booted from an early release program and into prison, though his paper files noted he was the son of a U.S. citizen and himself an American.

Assuming they are lying

For a decade, ICE administrators have sought to end such mistakes. In 2009, after repeated warnings to agents from top ICE officials and a series of embarrassing deportations of U.S. citizens, then-ICE Director John Morton mandated that citizenship claims be investigated and reviewed by agency lawyers within 48 hours. A hotline was later set up to receive the claims.

In 2015, ICE officials again instructed agents to conduct deeper investigations into a person’s possible citizenship, requiring them to check if a person met any of a number of indicators of citizenship, such as whether they had served in the military or were adopted by a U.S. citizen. Last April, ICE abandoned a policy that allowed agents to ask local police to detain people born abroad if there was no evidence in the databases showing they were citizens.

That standard, however, persists in immigration court, where those born outside the country must prove why they belong in the U.S.

A former senior attorney for ICE’s regional office in Los Angeles said the 2009 directive to conduct legal reviews of all citizenship claims brought dozens of cases to her desk every week. The people were all in custody, and agents, she said, generally assumed they were lying.

Note: Data is from 2008 to January 2018.
“The automatic response was, ‘Yeah, you’re just doing that to get out of our custody,’” said Patty Corrales, who left the federal agency in 2012 and now works in private practice. Most citizenship claims were false, she said, but “there were real citizens out there.”

In the seven and a half years ending in February, ICE reviewed 8,043 citizenship claims of people in custody, according to figures provided by the Department of Homeland Security. In 1,488 — nearly a fifth of those cases — ICE lawyers concluded the evidence “tended to show that the individual may, in fact, be a U.S. citizen,” a DHS spokeswoman said.

The largest number of those arrests occurred in 2012 and 2013 — at the height of an aggressive push by the Obama administration to deport unauthorized immigrants. When Obama reversed course and took a more selective approach, the number of citizenship cases dropped significantly.

Department of Justice records show that hundreds more people fighting deportation in immigration court have argued they are citizens. From 2008 to the start of 2018, judges terminated or suspended removal proceedings against 880 people whose citizenship claims warranted investigation. Immigration court files are confidential and the DOJ does not track whether the defendants prevailed on citizenship claims or other points of law.

U.S. citizens mistakenly arrested by ICE

Sergey Mayorov

Detained in 2011 in Vienna, Ill.
ICE mistakenly identified him as deportable after an agent noted he was a citizen but never updated his digital records. The error led to him spending an extra year in prison.

Guadalupe Plascencia

Detained in 2017 in San Bernardino, CA
Plascencia, a hairdresser, was arrested and detained for a day by ICE despite claiming repeatedly that she was a citizen.
(Passports provided by Sergey Mayorov and Guadalupe Plascencia)
Justice Department records show at least two-thirds of the people had spent some time in custody. Among them was a 10-year-old boy from the San Francisco area whose attorney said he was held in a Texas detention center for two months.

In addition, The Times found more than two dozen federal lawsuits in which U.S. citizens sued for unlawful arrest after ICE changed its polices in 2008 to prevent such detentions. Their time in custody ranged from a day to more than three years. Twelve of the men and women held U.S. passports proving their citizenship. ICE had mistakenly arrested several of the people more than once.

In an internal email prompted by the seven-day jailing of a Chicago man, an ICE official wrote that it was agency practice to tell citizens that the burden was on them to obtain written proof of their legal status to ensure they would not be wrongly targeted again.

Corrales, the former ICE general counsel, said it took her a year and the testimony of fingerprint and handwriting experts to persuade ICE to fix an error made when an agent halfway across the country linked the file of one of her Los Angeles clients, a legal permanent resident with no criminal history, with that of a deported criminal. The men, she said, looked nothing alike — the other man had tattoos across his face. Only their names were similar.

Wrongly targeted again

Ada Morales, a Guatemalan native who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1995, was first held overnight in a county jail in 2004 when authorities mistakenly identified her as living in the country illegally. Five years later, she came under ICE scrutiny again when police in Rhode Island arrested her on a welfare fraud warrant.

An immigration agent checking federal databases failed to run her Social Security number or her maiden name, which would have confirmed her citizenship, according to court records. When the state court judge handling Morales’ case issued an order that would have allowed her to go home, ICE detained her.

(Ada Morales)
Ada Morales
Detained in 2004 and 2009 in Cranston, Rhode Island.
ICE mistakenly targeted her twice. The second time she spent a night in prison despite her husband bringing her U.S. passport to a court hearing.
The mother of five, who cleaned houses and offices for a living, was strip-searched and her anxiety medications were confiscated. The following day, an ICE agent drove Morales to the federal agency’s offices for questioning. Met there by her husband with her passport, the agent realized the error and freed Morales.

Nearly nine years later, Morales, 54, still sobs recalling her night in prison, where she said she suffered panic attacks and guards accused her of lying about her citizenship.

“Nobody wanted to listen to anything,” she said.

That year, the ICE agent who conducted the flawed investigation into Morales issued 77 official requests to detain people he identified as eligible for deportation. Of those, 31 had to be canceled when it turned out the subjects were Americans or lawful residents, according to records in a lawsuit Morales later filed against the agency.

“Where an individual’s liberty is at stake, a 50/50 success rate is not acceptable,” U.S. District Judge John J. McConnell wrote in his 2017 order finding ICE negligent for holding Morales in prison. Mistakes like those, the judge wrote, “should concern all Americans.”

The government’s near complete reliance on data to find deportable immigrants began in 2007 with a project called IDENT, which aimed to match jail booking records against the FBI’s fingerprint database in near real time.

In the years since, the government has expanded its reach with computer programs bearing names such as CLAIMS, EAGLE, ENFORCE and FALCON that contain troves of state and federal information on hundreds of millions of people.

The architecture of those programs is so sensitive that federal attorneys have sought to keep details under seal and to prevent former federal employees from testifying in open court.

LAGUNA NIGUEL, CALIF. — WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26, 2017: An unidentified Immigration and Customs Enforc
A deportation officer at an ICE facility in Laguna Niguel reviews federal databases to determine if someone arrested by police is eligible for deportation. Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times
However, ICE administrators and agents have testified that the databases they use are known to contain flaws and holes. Digital fingerprint records, for example, were not consistently uploaded until 2010 and the files that Homeland Security kept on people before 1992 are spotty.

Because the extent of the problems is unknown, agents are advised to check multiple databases when determining a person’s status in the country to guard against being misled by errors or missing information, court records show.

A 2011 UC Berkeley study of ICE’s early use of IDENT found six U.S. citizens, including one who had previously been deported, in a sample of 375 arrests — an error rate that would affect thousands of Americans on a national scale. And government audits showed that last year 52,000 people were wrongly tagged in the Central Index System, a key database used by immigration agents, as being ineligible to work in the U.S.

A training document for users of the Central Index System, which is maintained by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, warns of incorrect or multiple identification numbers, scrambled names, inconsistent procedures for recording multi-part names common in Latin and Chinese cultures, aliases, misspellings and typographical errors, incorrect birth dates and lost records.

“Garbage in, garbage out,” the document cautions, a reminder that what computer systems deliver is only as good as what goes in.

The reliability of the government’s databases is at the center of a class-action lawsuit headed to jury trial in Los Angeles. The American Civil Liberties Union contends flaws in data ICE uses are so common agents should not be allowed to rely on the records to hold people in jail.

You feel like your rights are stripped from you. You feel hopeless. . . . I spent many nights crying.

Davino Watson, wrongfully held in detention centers for more than three years

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK--JAN 8, 2018--Davino Watson, a U.S. citizen wrongfully held in immigration detent
Davino Watson, a U.S. citizen, was wrongfully held in immigration detention centers for more than three years while he sought to prove his citizenship. Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times
ICE agents found Davino Watson when the Jamaican native was serving time in a New York state prison on a drug charge.

Under questioning about his immigration status, Watson said he was a U.S. citizen through his father, who had naturalized. An agent looked for Watson’s father in immigration databases, but he pulled up the wrong person, court records show. Instead of Hopeton Ulando Watson, who lived in New York, the agent landed on Hopeton Livingston Watson, a man living a state away in Connecticut who wasn’t a U.S. citizen.

Once he had served his sentence for selling cocaine, Watson was transferred to ICE custody, where he remained for 3½ years. Even after ICE realized the error in identifying his parents, federal lawyers refused to free Watson. They seized on a new U.S. reading of Jamaican law to argue Watson should be deported because his father was not his legal guardian when they left the island nation.

Watson discovered that rights inherent in the U.S. justice system don’t apply in immigration court, where there is no guarantee to a legal defense.

“You feel like your rights are stripped from you. You feel hopeless,” Watson said. “It was very hard to understand. I spent many nights crying.”

He had never finished high school, but from a prison law library, Watson mounted his citizenship case. An immigration judge ordered him deported. The Board of Immigration Appeals agreed.

It was only when Watson’s appeal reached U.S. District Court and a court-appointed attorney pressed ICE that immigration authorities conducted the internal legal review they should have done when Watson first claimed to be a citizen. The review found the government had misinterpreted an arcane aspect of immigration law. ICE abruptly freed Watson.

Surprised by his unexplained freedom, Watson walked out of a federal detention center in rural Alabama. He recalled how he was penniless, in prison garb and thousands of miles from home when he approached strangers at a gas station to borrow a phone.

Colossal government failure

Immigration lawyers said deportation proceedings can turn on obscure and evolving U.S. citizenship laws. A child born outside the U.S. after Nov. 11, 1986, for example, is a citizen if a parent was a citizen and that parent had lived in the United States or its territories for at least five years, at least two of which were when the parent was at least 14 years old. But if a child was born before the cutoff date, the parent would have had to have lived in the U.S. for at least 10 years.

It is common for people facing deportation to be unaware they have a rightful claim to citizenship, both ICE officials and immigration attorneys said.

The task of proving citizenship can mean digging up the birth certificates of dead parents and finding work records from decades ago to show they lived in the country long enough to confer citizenship on their children.

Such legal fights “can be really, really difficult,” especially if the person is locked in a detention facility, said Ashley Tabbador, a federal immigration judge in Los Angeles who spoke in her capacity as president of the National Assn. of Immigration Judges. “Unless the person is able to come forth with enough facts,” Tabbador said, judges are likely to side with ICE.

Immigration lawyers said they make it a habit to ask clients about their parents’ immigration status and other indications of citizenship that ICE agents often overlook. Los Angeles immigration lawyer Danielle Rosché said she has seen so many U.S. citizens arrested that she tells clients to arm themselves and their children with U.S. passports and certificates of citizenship as a “defense against government mistakes” and skimpy ICE investigations.

ADELANTO, CA - JULY 7, 2014: Detainees work out in the yard behind double fencing and barbed wire at
Detainees work out in the yard at the Adelanto Detention Center in Adelanto, Calif., where Sergio Carrillo was detained. Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times
A decade of Justice Department records analyzed by the Times show the success of defendants making U.S. citizenship claims more than doubled if they had an attorney.

After Watson was freed, he sued the government for false imprisonment and won an $82,500 judgment. Then a federal appeals court took it away, ruling that while Watson was in detention he missed the two-year deadline to file his claim.

Despite its decision, the panel of judges found that the legal safeguards created to protect citizens had been undone as one ICE superior after another approved Watson’s detention without reviewing his case records.

One of the court’s judges went a step further, saying Watson should have been allowed to keep the money in light of the extraordinary struggles he was put through.

The 1,273-day imprisonment was a “striking illustration of the consequences that stem from the government’s broad discretion to initiate detention and removal proceedings” and the “sometimes limited ability” of citizens to fight back, wrote Robert Katzmann, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

It was, Katzmann said, a “colossal government failure.”

For Watson, the failure did not end when ICE let him go.

A court expert diagnosed him with depression and anxiety brought on by his time in ICE custody. Government lawyers said his difficulties were of his own doing, hammering on his history of addiction and earlier drug conviction.

“To see how the government attorneys treated me opened up old wounds,” he said. “They never said, ‘Mr. Watson, we’re sorry.’” ... story.html
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Re: ICE stories

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri May 04, 2018 2:47 pm

Working to Uncover How ICE Treats Pregnant Women in Detention

In 2016, Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued a policy advising against the detention of pregnant women. The rationale seemed simple enough: incarceration creates serious health risks for expectant mothers, and detention facilities are not equipped to serve those unique needs.

But in December 2017, Thomas Homan, the acting director of ICE, announced that the agency would change that directive to comply with President Trump’s executive order on immigration and eliminate the presumption of release for pregnant women.

In addition, the policy change allows ICE to remove critical reporting procedures required for oversight of the detention system, making it extremely difficult to monitor the treatment of pregnant women, despite evidence that such oversight is desperately needed.

The mistreatment of pregnant women in ICE detention is well-documented. Despite the earlier directive not to detain pregnant women, the agency frequently did anyway — as many as hundreds of pregnant women, according to its own figures. Based on reports that we and partner organizations have received, we’re concerned that many of them may not have received adequate healthcare in detention. So with aggressive enforcement practices targeting immigrants, an expansion of the detention system, and the removal of various oversight mechanisms, pregnant women in ICE detention face more danger than ever before.

When the change in ICE policy became public knowledge this spring, it prompted immediate outrage by medical associations, human rights groups, immigrants’ rights groups, and religious organizations. In response, more than 250 organizations sent a letter to ICE last month urging it to reverse this decision.

Despite the outcry, ICE remains unmoved, and appears determined to continue this cruel and unnecessary practice. That’s why on Thursday the ACLU, along with the American Immigration Council and the Women’s Refugee Commission, filed a Freedom of Information Act request asking that ICE make available all documents related to its detention of pregnant women.

The ACLU and partners have worked to document the harmful and dangerous conditions pregnant women face, including verbal and physical abuse, as well as delays in emergency care and prenatal treatment. In September 2017, the ACLU and seven other organizations filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and its Office of Inspector General detailing those conditions. The complaint included testimony from 10 women, some of whom suffered miscarriages while in detention.

Their stories are harrowing. One 31-year-old asylum seeker was detained when she was four months pregnant. Shortly after her arrest, she began to experience severe pain and bleeding. She pleaded with detention authorities for medical care, but she was ignored. Instead, she was transferred from a Border Patrol holding facility to an ICE detention center in southern California, and miscarried.

Another 23-year-old asylum seeker was detained at a U.S. port of entry when she was 12 weeks pregnant. She was held in ICE custody for three months and transferred between facilities six times. One transfer between New Mexico and Texas took 23 hours and landed her in the hospital for exhaustion and dehydration. She experienced nausea, vomiting, weakness, headaches, and abdominal pain during her detention and did not receive sufficient prenatal vitamins or adequate medical attention.

Pregnancy is a serious medical issue that requires close monitoring and attention, which ICE is not equipped to provide. Locking up more pregnant women is cruel, and puts them needlessly at risk. ... nant-women
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Re: ICE stories

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon May 07, 2018 2:45 pm

ICE Issues More Detainers in Texas, Withholds Crucial Data

In the past, ICE regularly wasted local resources by not following up on its own detainer requests. Now, that information is secret.

The use of immigration detainers — requests for jails to hold immigrants for an extra 48 hours so they can potentially be deported — has spiked in Texas since President Trump took office, according to data released last week by the research organization TRAC. Thanks to Texas’ “sanctuary cities” ban, county jails across the state are forced to comply with the growing influx of once-voluntary requests.

But starting last year, Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began withholding key information about the effectiveness of detainers, and the agency is fighting TRAC in court to continue withholding the information. In the past, ICE released statistics on how frequently its agents followed up on detainers and picked up immigrants in jail. Surprisingly, ICE regularly failed to act on its detainers, leaving people, including parents of young children, locked up for extra time and county jails picking up the tab.

detainers, ice
ICE detainers nationally from 2008 to 2017. In his second term, President Obama ramped down detainer use, but Trump has reversed that trend. TRAC
“The withholding of these public records has a direct impact on the public’s ability to be informed about the government’s immigration policy and actions,” wrote the Syracuse University professors who run TRAC in their ongoing open records lawsuit against ICE.

From November 2016, when Trump won the presidential election, through November 2017, the use of detainers rose nationally by 89 percent and in Texas by 57 percent, the newly released statistics show. But the information blackout means there’s no accounting for how many immigrants were picked up by ICE or later deported.

In Texas from 2003 to 2016, ICE took custody of only a little more than half of migrants with detainers — leaving the rest to linger in jail to no end.

detainers, ice
ICE detainers issued in Texas from 2003 to 2017. TRAC
That extra time locked up can hit Texas county budgets hard. In 2017, Texas counties spent about $72 million detaining inmates with ICE holds. Some of that money would’ve been spent anyway, but inmates with detainers are generally held longer because they’re often denied bond, on top of spending the extra 48 hours waiting on ICE.

In an anti-SB 4 op-ed last year, a quintet of Texas sheriffs wrote that the “sanctuary cities” ban would exacerbate an already uneven arrangement. “SB 4 provides zero support to local officials,” they wrote. “Despite the federal government’s promises, they have only reimbursed a tiny fraction of the costs to local communities and counties. Ultimately, it is our local taxpayers that will pay even more for this unfunded state mandate.”

Last year, ICE also began refusing to release information about the number of deportations in which a detainer was involved. From 2013 to 2015, according to TRAC, some 460,000 detainers were issued, while only 71,000 deportations involved a detainer. That suggests a rather constricted detainer-to-deportation pipeline: a rate of about 15 percent.

An ICE official told the Observer that the 15 percent rate is inconclusive, because multiple detainers can be placed on a single person, and because a detainer placed in one year may lead to deportation years later, for example if an immigrant serves a prison sentence. Of course, it’s also possible that detainers have become more effective under the Trump administration, but ICE isn’t releasing the data that could prove that. ... cial-data/

Chelsea Manning’s Senate bid: Abolishing ICE at top of her agenda

Associated PressMay 7, 2018 at 6:37 am

NORTH BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Chelsea Manning is no longer living as a transgender woman in a male military prison, serving the lengthiest sentence ever for revealing U.S. government secrets. She’s free to grow out her hair, travel the world, and spend time with whomever she likes.

But a year since former President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s 35-year sentence, America’s most famous convicted leaker isn’t taking an extended vacation. Far from it: The Oklahoma native has decided to make an unlikely bid for the U.S. Senate in her adopted state of Maryland.

Manning, 30, filed to run in January and has been registered to vote in Maryland since August. She lives in North Bethesda, not far from where she stayed with an aunt while awaiting trial. Her aim is to unseat Sen. Ben Cardin, a 74-year-old Maryland Democrat who is seeking his third Senate term and previously served 10 terms in the U.S. House.

Manning, who also has become an internationally recognized transgender activist, said she’s motivated by a desire to fight what she sees as a shadowy surveillance state and a rising tide of nightmarish repression.

“The rise of authoritarianism is encroaching in every aspect of life, whether it’s government or corporate or technological,” Manning told the Associated Press during an interview at her home in an upscale apartment tower. On the walls of her barely furnished living room hang Obama’s commutation order, and photos of U.S. anarchist Emma Goldman and British playwright Oscar Wilde.

Manning’s longshot campaign for the June 26 primary would appear to be one of the more unorthodox U.S. Senate bids in recent memory, and the candidate is operating well outside the party’s playbook. She says she doesn’t, in fact, even consider herself a Democrat, but is motivated by a desire to shake up establishment Democrats who are “caving in” to President Donald Trump’s administration. She vows she won’t run as an independent if her primary bid fails.

She’s certainly got an eye-catching platform: Close prisons and free inmates; eliminate national borders; restructure the criminal justice system; provide universal health care and basic income. The top of her agenda? Abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a federal agency created in 2003 that Manning asserts is preparing for an “ethnic cleansing.”

Manning ticks off life experiences she believes would make her an effective senator: a stint being homeless in Chicago, her wartime experiences as a U.S. Army intelligence analyst in Iraq — even her seven years in prison. She asserts she’s got a “bigger vision” than establishment politicians.

But political analysts suspect the convicted felon is not running to win.

“Manning is running as a protest candidate, which has a long lineage in American history, to shine light on American empire,” said Daniel Schlozman, a political science professor at Johns Hopkins University. “That’s a very different goal, with a very different campaign, than if she wanted to beat Ben Cardin.”

Manning’s insurgent candidacy thus far has been a decidedly stripped-down affair, with few appearances and a campaign website that just went up. In recent days, she approached an anti-fracking rally in Baltimore almost furtively, keeping to herself for much of the demonstration. But when it was her turn to address the small group, her celebrity status was evident. People who never met her called her by her first name and eagerly took photos.

Manning has acknowledged leaking more than 700,000 military and State Department documents to anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks in 2010. She said her motivation was a desire to spark debate about U.S. foreign policy, and she has been portrayed as both a hero and a traitor.

Known as Bradley Manning at the time of her arrest, she came out as transgender after her 2013 court-martial. She was barred from growing her hair long in prison, and was approved for hormone therapy only after litigation. She spent long stints in solitary confinement, and twice tried to kill herself.

The Pentagon, which has repeatedly declined to discuss Manning’s treatment in military prison, is also staying mum about her political ambitions. Democratic Party officials say they have no comment, citing a policy not to weigh in on primaries. Republican operatives are quiet.

In Maryland, a blue state that’s home to tens of thousands of federal employees and defense contractors, it appears Manning’s main supporters are independents or anti-politics, making them unlikely to coalesce politically. She recently reported contributions of $72,000 on this year’s first quarterly finance statement, compared with Cardin’s $336,000.

The candidate has barely made an effort at tapping sources of grassroots enthusiasm outside of activism circles. And it’s easy to find progressive Democrats who feel her candidacy is just a vehicle to boost her profile.

“It feels to me almost like it’s part of a book tour — that this is her moment after being released from prison,” said Dana Beyer, a transgender woman who leads the Gender Rights Maryland nonprofit and is a Democratic candidate for state senate. “I don’t think this is a serious effort.”

Manning is indeed working on a book about her dramatic life. For now, she says she supports herself with income from speaking engagements. She’s spoken at various U.S. colleges and is due to take the stage at a Montreal conference later this month.

Last week, she appeared at a tech conference in Germany’s capital of Berlin, arriving to cheers from the audience of several thousand people. She told attendees she’s still struggling to adjust to life after prison and hasn’t gotten used to her celebrity status yet.

“There’s been a kind of cult of personality that is really intimidating and that is overwhelming for me,” she said in Berlin.

At her Maryland apartment, Manning told the AP she occasionally wakes up panicked that she’s back in the cage in Kuwait where she was first jailed, or incarcerated at the Marine base at Quantico, Virginia, where a U.N. official concluded she’d been subjected to “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.” She works hard to overcome anxiety, centering herself with yoga, breathing exercises, and reading.

“I’ve been out for almost a year now and it’s becoming increasingly clear to me just how deep the wounds are,” she said in her spartan living room.

Asked how she would define success, Manning responded with passionate intensity: “Success for me is survival.” ... rgets-ice/

Federal judge weighs request to stop ICE practice of separating families

Greg Moran
Federal judge weighs request to stop ICE practice of separating families

The front main entrance to Otay Mesa Detention Center is seen in south San Diego. (Nelvin C. Cepeda / San Diego Union-Tribune)
A federal court judge in San Diego will decide whether to issue an injunction ordering federal immigration officials to stop automatically separating children from their parents when they are taken into custody at the nation's border.

U.S. District Court Judge Dana Sabraw said he would issue a ruling later on a case filed by the American Civil Liberties Union that seeks to stop the practice by Immigration and Customs Enforcement of separating families.

The suit contends that the agency splits parents from children without a compelling reason, such as doubts about whether the adult is the actual parent of the child or whether the parent is otherwise legally unfit to have custody.

Sabraw seemed to be leaning toward granting the injunction and certifying a class action that would encompass children and parents — known as family units in immigration parlance — taken into custody, most of whom are seeking asylum.

But the judge also seemed to want to carefully fashion an injunction that would not intrude on the federal government's broad authority over immigration enforcement.

The Trump administration has indicated that it would consider separating families at the border as a deterrent to other families coming to the U.S. but has not made it official policy.

While it's not exactly known how many families have been separated, a government lawyer at the hearing did not dispute that an estimated 700 minors are currently in custody and separated from their parents.

The issue largely turns on the interplay of several legal issues — laws governing asylum-seekers, a federal law known as the Trafficking Victims Protection and Reauthorization Act and issues of due process rights under the law.

The ACLU is asking parents and children to be detained together and wants an order prohibiting ICE from splitting up families when there is no legal reason to separate them.

ACLU lawyer Lee Gelernt said that when family units are taken into custody, the government does not have any procedure to determine whether they can stay together. That violates the due process rights of the families, he said. In addition he said that the trafficking victims law requires the government to consider the "best interests of the child" when deciding where to place a detainee.

"If there is no reason whatsoever to keep them apart," he argued, "you can't do this to these little children."

Department of Justice lawyer Sarah Fabian contended that there is no right for families to be detained together under the law. She also said families are separated not as a matter of policy, but often as a result of another lawful and legally authorized decision — such as when an agent decides to take a mother into custody, leaving the minor children technically "unaccompanied" under the law.

When that happens, the government is required to turn the children over quickly to the Health and Human Services agency, which then houses the children.

Sabraw focused many of his questions on the process the government goes through when dealing with a family unit. He questioned Fabian about whether the government is required to make determinations about parentage and whether a child would be safe with the adult before separating them.

He also questioned whether the trafficking law's emphasis on considering the best interest of the child should also be considered by immigration officials. Gelernt had argued that experts say separating children from their families causes great trauma and anxiety to children, who already are spooked by fleeing from their home country. ... story.html
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Re: ICE stories

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu May 10, 2018 12:27 am

Father arrested at gunpoint by ICE officers with riot shield

Kate Morrissey

A father who had previously been removed from the U.S. was arrested Tuesday in his home after immigration officers pried open the back door with a crowbar and entered with guns drawn and carrying a riot shield.

Alberto Alonso Hernandez, 31, was targeted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement because of his immigration and criminal history, according to Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for the agency.

“ICE records reveal he was convicted for battery of a spouse in 2007, and has illegally re-entered the United States 16 times since 2003,” Mack said.

Alonso’s wife Brianna, who is a U.S. citizen, disputed the agency’s claims about her husband’s past. She remembered Alonso being deported twice, not 16 times. A statement from ICE requesting a warrant for Alonso cited two removals, one in 2008 and one in 2015.

Brianna Alonso, 32, also did not think her husband was convicted of any domestic violence charges. The San Diego Union-Tribune searched several databases and could not locate court records for the reported 2007 conviction. ICE confirmed that the conviction happened in San Diego but had not responded to a request for more details in time for publication.

Alonso’s wife said they hadn’t tried to get Alonso a green card when they first got married because they didn’t have enough money.

ICE officers tried to arrest Alonso on Tuesday as he left for work that morning shortly after 6:30 a.m. He fled back into his house and hid upstairs with his family. Passersby and family friends began to congregate outside the home in support of the family.

The officers turned the electricity to the house off to try to get him to come out. The agency then got Federal Judge Bernard Skomel to sign a warrant for Alonso’s arrest on a charge of illegal reentry so that officers would have the right to enter the home.

“ERO officers attempted to arrest Mr. Alonso-Hernandez during a vehicle stop near this residence,” Mack said. “The suspect fled from the scene and hid inside his house, forcing the officers to obtain a criminal arrest warrant for illegal re-entering the United States.”

Around 10 a.m., ICE officers began trying to enter the home.

Alonso’s 11-year-old daughter Jocelyn showed the Union-Tribune where the metal mesh on the front door was detached from the frame, which she said the officers pulled apart. She showed where officers had cut a chain locking the gate to the backyard and where they broke the back door to get it open.

Jocelyn filmed the scene as she and her step-mother Brianna Alonso yelled for ICE officers to show them a warrant.

“We’ll show you the warrant when we’re done,” one of the officers responded as he worked to open the metal door, according to the video viewed by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

When the door opened, an officer clutching a riot shield in one hand and a gun in the other came in first as an officer yelled for everyone to show their hands. Another officer pointed his gun at the family members.

Brianna Alonso continued to ask for the warrant.

“You don’t control the situation. We do,” an officer responded. “We’ll give you the warrant when we’re done.”

Jocelyn said that one officer grabbed her wrist, leaving a temporary red mark, and took her phone to delete the video she was recording. (She was later able to recover it, she said.)

Another family member continued filming as Alonso was handcuffed and taken out the door. After the officers were out of the home, one reached his arm through the doorway and dropped the warrant on the floor.

Pedro Rios of American Friends Service Committee, who was notified about the situation by someone in the neighborhood, documented the scene as a human rights observer. He saw the two officers with guns point them at a child’s face in a second floor window.

“I certainly think it’s excessive,” Rios said of the officers’ arrest tactics. “Pointing multiple guns at children, I think, is excessive.”

Ginger Jacobs, an immigration attorney in San Diego, said that Alonso’s arrest may have been unlawful and that because of that, a federal judge might throw out the criminal reentry charges brought against him.

The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure require officers to show the warrant at the time of the arrest to the person being arrested.

As the officers tried to leave the scene, community members blocked several of their vehicles until they turned the home’s electricity back on.

Brianna Alonso met with an attorney late in the afternoon Tuesday and returned home to find many of her friends gathered in her front yard. They consoled her and watched as Telemundo aired a story on the family’s situation.

“I’m still in shock completely,” Brianna Alonso said. “It hurts me because my kids saw everything. They don’t have no need to see them with guns and screaming.”

She said she would’ve let the officers in if they showed her the warrant.

“In my mind, I thought, ‘They’re lying,’ because I don’t see it,” she said.

Alonso was the sole bread winner for their home which included their five children, Brianna Alonso’s mother and a couple of extended family members. Their daughter’s First Communion is scheduled for this Saturday ... story.html
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Re: ICE stories

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri May 11, 2018 11:23 am

I'm going to put this here...not exactly ICE ...but just as disgusting

Geoff Bennett

WH Chief of Staff John Kelly, asked about separating migrant families at the border, tells @NPR, “They don’t integrate well. They don’t have skills.” Interview airs on tomorrow’s @MorningEdition

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Re: ICE stories

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu May 17, 2018 7:54 am

ICE targets husband of Army chaplain for deportation after he was granted marriage exception

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials targeted a man for deportation shortly after he was granted a marriage exception for his immigration status, ABC News reported.

Sergio Avila immigrated illegally to the U.S. with his uncle when he was 7 years old. But after he married Army Chaplain Tim Brown last year, the couple filed for a marriage exception to allow Avila to become a legal citizen.

The couple was granted the exception by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services last month.

However, citing a past deportation order, ICE took Avila into custody last week. The agency targeted Avila "due to his status as an immigration fugitive and convicted criminal alien,” ICE said in a statement to ABC News.

A federal judge had ordered Avila to be removed from the U.S. in 2002 after he had been caught trying to enter the country illegally in Texas the year before. He was also convicted for driving while intoxicated in 2015.

ABC News reported that the outstanding detention order against Avila superseded the marriage exception.

Brown, Avila’s husband, is now fighting the order. He told ABC News that the detention came as a surprise because ICE agents had previously told him that they wouldn’t take the spouse of a military service member into custody and had thanked him for his service.

"U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) respects the service and sacrifice of those in the military and the families who support them and is very deliberate in its review of cases associated with veterans and active-duty service members," ICE said in a statement on Monday.

"Foreign nationals illegally present in the United States are generally not eligible to adjust status through marriage without first leaving the United States," the agency continued.

Avila was released from ICE custody on Monday while an immigration court weighs an appeal on the order.

-Updated 8:45 p.m. ... d-marriage

Man Threatens Spanish-Speaking Workers: ‘My Next Call Will Be to ICE’

May 16, 2018
About a quarter of New York City speaks Spanish, but one man did not want to hear it from the staff making his lunch at a Midtown Manhattan spot on Tuesday. A video of his racist insults and assumptions, coupled with a threat to call immigration officials to have the Spanish speakers deported, went from viral to virulent on the internet Wednesday.

The video shows a middle-aged, athletic-looking white man berating both customers and a manager at a cavernous fast-casual restaurant called Fresh Kitchen. “Your staff is speaking Spanish to customers when they should be speaking English,” he says. “It’s America.” He adds: “I will be following up, and my guess is they’re not documented. So my next call is to ICE to have each one of them kicked out of my country.”

He said that he was paying for their “welfare.”

Officials in New York, which as a so-called sanctuary city limits its cooperation with immigration enforcement officials, quickly denounced the man’s action. Mayor Bill de Blasio reminded people on Twitter that New York was a welcoming city, where 8.6 million residents speak more than 200 languages. The city’s Commission on Human Rights, which investigates discrimination and harassment, said in a statement that it was “aware of the matter.” And the city’s commissioner of immigrant affairs, Bitta Mostofi, said in an interview that incidents like this, “while horrifying, are not commonplace — they also don’t belong in our city.”

Even the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE, distanced itself from the man’s threat to call the office. But a spokeswoman acknowledged that all undocumented immigrants are subject to deportation.

“ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tip Line is solely for the purposes of making legitimate reports of suspected criminal activity. The Tip Line should not be used as an instrument to intimidate or harass,” said Rachael Yong Yow, the spokeswoman for the New York field office of ICE.

Still, she added, “all of those in violation of immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.”

Some social media users said they knew the man in the video’s identity, though The Times was unable to immediately confirm it. He was said to be a lawyer who founded his own firm, but he did not respond to a call and email seeking comment. At the office of the firm identified on social media, an administrator firmly asked a reporter to leave because it was private property. The firm’s website advertises services in Spanish, French, Chinese and Hebrew.

Last year, Thomas D. Homan, the acting director of ICE, warned anyone living in the country illegally that they were deportable: “You should look over your shoulder,” he said.

Across the country, ICE increased arrests domestically in 2017 by 41 percent. In New York, since Mr. Trump took office in 2017, the immigration arrests of undocumented people without criminal records has more than tripled.

Juan Cartagena, the President of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, a civil rights advocacy group, was outraged that the man in the video assumed that because people speak Spanish they are not citizens.

“There is alignment here between what this person thinks ICE can do and what ICE has been doing,” Mr. Cartagena said.

Daniel Victor contributed reporting. ... video.html
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Re: ICE stories

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri May 18, 2018 12:04 pm

ICE arrests of immigrants with no criminal convictions rises: report

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers are increasingly picking up undocumented immigrants without a record of criminal conviction, despite the Trump administration's promise to focus on those with criminal backgrounds.

ICE data released by the agency and obtained by HuffPost finds that nearly two-thirds of all undocumented immigrants arrested by ICE agents between October 2017 and April 2018 had no criminal convictions.

That is a 21 percent rise from the same period in 2016 and 2017 and a 13 percent rise from the year prior to that. The agency noted that some of those arrested had been charged with a crime and had not yet been convicted.

ICE assistant enforcement director Corey Price said during a press call that the agency's scope was "narrowed" during the Obama administration, but has since abandoned its policy of targeting just criminal aliens for deportation.

“If somebody has violated our immigration laws, they are priorities now,” Price told reporters, according to the report.

While more conviction-less immigrants are being detained, the number actually being deported remains about the same. Overall, about 54 percent of deported undocumented immigrants in the first half of fiscal 2018 had criminal convictions, a figure unchanged from the year before.

Trump praised his administration's efforts for targeting immigrants affiliated with gangs such as MS-13 in remarks at the White House on Wednesday.

“You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are,” Trump said. “These aren’t people. These are animals. And we’re taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that’s never happened before.”

-Updated 9:37 a.m. ... ear-report
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Re: ICE stories

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri May 25, 2018 7:39 am

Under new orders from Sessions, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is already separating parents and children at the border, with no clear answer for when they will be reunited:


Parents, children ensnared in 'zero-tolerance' border prosecutions
By Curt Prendergast and Perla Trevizo Arizona Daily Star May 19, 2018 Updated 10 hrs ago

A Mexican woman alters her pants at Casa Alitas after being released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and fitted with an ankle monitoring bracelet.
Perla Trevizo / Arizona Daily Star

Immigrant shelter in Nogales, Son.
An immigrant woman colors a heart with the Guatemalan flag to thank the staff at Casa Alitas, a shelter run by Catholic Community Services to help parents traveling with children.
photos by Perla Trevizo / Arizona Daily Star

Immigrant shelter in Nogales, Son.
A Guatemalan father who presented himself at the Nogales port of entry with his toddler daughter looks at a map at Casa Alitas, an initiative by Catholic Community Services, to see the distance between Arizona and California.
Perla Trevizo / Arizona Daily Star

Alma Jacinto covered her eyes with her hands as tears streamed down her cheeks.

The 36-year-old from Guatemala was led out of the federal courtroom without an answer to the question that brought her to tears: When would she see her boys again?

Jacinto wore a yellow bracelet on her left wrist, which defense lawyers said identifies parents who are arrested with their children and prosecuted in Operation Streamline, a fast-track program for illegal border crossers.

Moments earlier, her public defender asked the magistrate judge when Jacinto would be reunited with her sons, ages 8 and 11. There was no clear answer for Jacinto, who was sentenced to time served on an illegal-entry charge after crossing the border with her sons near Lukeville on May 14.

Parents who cross the border illegally with their children may face criminal charges as federal prosecutors in Tucson follow through on a recent directive from Attorney General Jeff Sessions to prosecute all valid cases, said U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Cosme Lopez.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection started referring families caught crossing illegally for prosecution several weeks ago, Lopez said. Those prosecutions unfold both in Streamline cases and through individual prosecutions.

On Thursday, Efrain Chun Carlos, also from Guatemala, received more information than Jacinto when he asked Magistrate Judge Lynnette C. Kimmins about his child during Streamline proceedings.

“I only wanted to ask about the whereabouts of my child in this country,” Chun said.

Kimmins responded she didn’t know where his child was and suggested he ask officials at the facility where he will be detained.

Christopher Lewis, the federal prosecutor at the hearing, told Kimmins that children from countries that are not contiguous to the United States will be placed in foster care with the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

“When they will be reunited, I cannot say because that’s an immigration matter,” Lewis said.

A spokesman for CBP did not provide information about the process for parents and children apprehended by Border Patrol and those presenting themselves at ports of entry.

It is still unclear what happens to the children of parents who are prosecuted, said Laura St. John, legal director with the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project based in Arizona. Technically, once the child is separated from the parent they are deemed an unaccompanied minor and their cases should be processed separately.

If parents are deported, they can ask that their children go with them or ask that the child be reunited with another sponsor in the U.S., which gives the child a chance to fight an immigration case on his/her own as an unaccompanied child, consulate officials and attorneys said. If the parent decides to fight the case and is released from ICE custody, they can request to be reunited outside detention.

Lopez said he did not know how many prosecutions of parents with children had occurred so far. The Arizona Daily Star found nine Streamline cases last week in which defendants asked the judge about their minor children.

The parents in those cases were arrested by Border Patrol agents near Lukeville between May 12 and May 15. Eight of them were from Guatemala and one was from El Salvador. Seven were men and two were women.

In an April 6 memorandum to federal prosecutors, Sessions announced a “zero tolerance” policy for first-time illegal border crossers. On May 7, he said the Department of Homeland Security was referring 100 percent of illegal crossers for criminal prosecution in federal court.

“If you cross this border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you,” Sessions said. “It’s that simple.”

He included parents who come with their children in his directive.

“If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child may be separated from you as required by law,” he said.

Criminal prosecutions of parents illegally crossing with their children have unfolded in Texas for several months, as have separations of families through civil immigration measures along much of the U.S.-Mexico border, according to media reports.

Border Patrol statistics show fewer apprehensions of families in sectors in Texas so far in fiscal 2018, which began last October, compared with the same period in fiscal 2017. Meanwhile, those apprehensions rose 103 percent in the Yuma Sector and 69 percent in the Tucson Sector.

In an interview with National Public Radio, White House Chief of Staff John Kellly said family separation could be a tough deterrent, “a much faster turnaround on asylum seekers.”

The children would be “put into foster care or whatever,” Kelly said in response to criticism that taking a mother from her child is cruel and heartless.

“But the big point is they elected to come illegally into the United States and this is a technique that no one hopes will be used extensively or for very long,” Kelly told NPR.

Border Patrol agents in the Tucson Sector apprehended 2,500 people crossing the border as families from October to the end of April, CBP records show. In the Yuma Sector, agents apprehended nearly 8,000. The borderwide total is nearly 50,000, down from 59,500 during the same period in fiscal 2017.

At Arizona’s ports of entry, about 5,500 people traveling as families were deemed inadmissible from October to April. The borderwide total was 30,000, up from about 21,000 during the same period in fiscal 2017.

The number of Salvadorans arriving at the border has increased about 40 percent compared to last year, said German Alvarez Oviedo, the consul in Tucson. He estimated the total is still in the dozens but didn’t have final numbers yet.

“There’s no policy of family separation as such,” he said, “but by declaring a zero-tolerance policy and prosecuting everyone who comes in, it results in family separation.”

If the parent gets sentenced to time served, which is common for first-time entrants, officials should consider keeping young children with their parents, he said.

“It’s not the same to be under the care of the mother than a shelter, especially when the child is 2,” Alvarez Oviedo said.

The government has struggled to handle the increase of families coming across the border — at ports of entry and between the ports — since the numbers first started to rise in 2014.

Initially, officials allowed parents with children to enter the country under humanitarian parole. They were dropped off at a bus station in Tucson with an appointment to meet with ICE at their final destination within two weeks.

Later, officials started to release them, but with an ankle bracelet to limit what critics called a catch-and-release policy, since not all parents kept their appointments. The government also increased detention space for families.

This past week, more than 100 parents and children — many of them Guatemalans — lined up at the port of entry in downtown Nogales to be processed for entry into the United States, some waiting more than a day.

In general, the parents waiting to cross at the port who have no prior immigration history are processed and released with their children in Tucson with an ankle monitor and an appointment to meet with immigration officials. In at least one case, the families said, a man with prior immigration violations was separated from his son to be prosecuted.

Some of the families the Star spoke with Monday on the Mexican side of the port of entry went to Casa Alitas, a house in Tucson opened by Catholic Community Services to avoid having families spend the night at bus stations. Families can bathe, get clean clothes and eat a warm meal while their relatives buy their bus or plane tickets.

In a written statement, ICE officials said the agency prioritizes placing families in residential centers. But if they are operating at capacity, “We can also look for temporary hotel space or consider alternatives to detention, such as supervised paroles or use of ankle placement for monitoring.”

The families said customs officials at the Nogales port of entry didn’t ask them many questions, besides their reasons for coming to the United States.

Extortion, domestic violence and extreme poverty were all reasons they were seeking a better future in the United States, they told the Star.

The lack of rain also was hurting their ability to survive. For coffee farmers, their fields weren’t producing enough and their crops were more susceptible to plagues they had no money to treat.

Katherine Smith, site and volunteer coordinator at Casa Alitas, said few families came last fall. Then it started to pick up around Christmas, with ICE trying to find placement for 100 people in one day.

It had slowed again until recently, when ICE started to ask Casa Alitas daily if it could take 40 to 60 parents and children the agency was releasing, Smith said.

Smith doesn’t know the reason for the increase, other than the normal rise in Southern Arizona right before the triple-digit heat of summer.

As of May 7, the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project had served 135 families separated by immigration authorities this year. At this rate, the group said, family separations are on pace to increase 75 percent from recent years.

Given recent announcements by federal officials, they believe the numbers will continue to rise, although it doesn’t mean that all of them were prosecuted, the group said.

“A number of these families appear to have a real fear of returning to their country of origin,” said St. John, the Florence Project’s legal director. “Fleeing or leaving a child behind to avoid being separated by the U.S. government is not a choice any parent should have to make.” ... f2bd8.html

Montini: The feds lost – yes, lost – 1,475 migrant children

EJ MontiniUpdated 10:34 p.m. MT May 24, 2018
The Trump administration recently announced a new, get-tough policy that will separate parents from their children if the family is caught crossing the border illegally.

It was a big news story. So big it overshadowed the fact that the federal government has lost – yes, lost – 1,475 migrant children in its custody.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told Congress that within 48 hours of being taken into custody the children are transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services, which finds places for them to stay.

“They will be separated from their parent,” said Democratic Sen Kamala Harris.

“Just like we do in the United States every day,” Nielsen replied.

Just like in the states, only ... not

Except that the states, unlike the federal government, have systems in place to better screen the people who become guardians of the children and much better ways to keep track of those children.

And not lose them.

That is what happened to 1,475 minors swept up at the border and taken into custody by the federal government.


The Office of Refugee Resettlement reported at the end of 2017 that of the 7,000-plus children placed with sponsored individuals, the agency did not know where 1,475 of them were.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman said, “It’s just a system that has so many gaps, so many opportunities for these children to fall between the cracks, that we just don’t know what’s going on — how much trafficking or abuse or simply immigration law violations are occurring.”

Ever wonder why all the pictures of the border wall prototypes were taken from above? Columnist EJ Montini asks.

A documentary from the PBS program "Frontline" said that the federal government has actually released some of the minors to human traffickers.

Imagine that.

And now we want to dramatically ramp up the number of children who are removed from their parents?

When pressed about safety concerns Secretary Nielsen said, "I just want to say, I couldn't agree with your concerns more, period. We owe more to these children to protect them. So I'm saying I agree, we've taken steps and we will continue to strengthen what our partners do to protect these children."

Trust the feds to keep kids safe?

There are 1,475 reasons not to be reassured by the secretary’s promise.

If anything, it would have been better to have a policy in place, with protections, and safe places to stay, and safe people to stay with, and personnel on the government payroll to check-up on them before the administration’s new policy was implemented.

Secretary Nielsen said, "My decision has been that anyone who breaks the law will be prosecuted. If you are parent, or you're a single person or if you happen to have a family, if you cross between the ports of entry we will refer you for prosecution. You have broken U.S. law."

We all get that. And we all want a secure border. But we don’t want to trade in our humanity in the process.

As Sen. Portman told Frontline, “We’ve got these kids. They’re here. They’re living on our soil. And for us to just, you know, assume someone else is going to take care of them and throw them to the wolves, which is what HHS was doing, is flat-out wrong. I don’t care what you think about immigration policy, it’s wrong.”

He’s right. ... 631627002/
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Re: ICE stories

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat May 26, 2018 1:41 pm

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