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Immigration: issues and policy

(David Bythewood) #261

More for the Immigration section.

Release Karnes Women Detained In Mississippi

RAICES is working with women transferred from Karnes detention center in Texas to Adams County Correctional Center in Natchez, Mississippi. These women are part of a group of more than 1,000 women transferred by ICE from the Karnes detention center to various detention facilities across the country. Through exhaustive efforts, we’ve managed to locate all but 87 of the women.

Our clients were transferred to Mississippi with little or no notice. The transfers occurred as various news outlets covered the poor medical treatment at Karnes. Sadly, these issues persist at the prison where these women are currently detained, and those listed here are dealing with serious medical issues.

One woman was the victim of a violent rape in her home country that left her with severe abdominal pain and untreated PTSD. After two weeks and several requests to see a doctor, she was only given aspirin and she has still not received proper psychological care for her PTSD.

Another client is a 24-year-old woman from Honduras. While meeting with attorneys, she had such intense abdominal pain that she was unable to sit up throughout the meeting. She has been bleeding from her belly button. A nurse told her she suffers from endometriosis but she has not received proper treatment.

Still another client suffers from complications after a brain tumor surgery she received in Venezuela. She saw a specialist in detention, but without an interpreter, she was unable to understand or communicate with the doctor. Her lack of information makes her feel powerless and afraid.

These women have already passed their initial asylum-screening interviews. ICE’s decision to continue their detention is cruel and unnecessary. The sooner they are out, the sooner they can access the medical care they need. Please join the effort by adding your name to the petition below:

(Petition on page)

When ICE Emptied Out an All-Women Detention Center in Texas, Chaos Ensued

Women formerly detained in Karnes County Residential Center have been lost in the shuffle, facing moved or cancelled court dates, high bonds, and legal confusion.

The Karnes County Residential Center is a private facility designed for short-term family detentions and run by the GEO Group. The facility came under scrutiny after allegations that detainees were being denied medical care.

They were then moved en masse and secretly to another facility to avoid the fallout of these human rights violations.

RAICES is working with more than 1,000 women secretly transferred from Karnes detention center in Texas to Adams County Correctional Center in Natchez, Mississippi. Through exhaustive efforts, RAICES managed to locate all but 87 of the women.

The Trump regime has finally reached their goal of making it so they can turn away ALL non-Mexican asylum seekers coming through the southern border. I bet they’re proud.

This is but one reason so many are coming, combined with growing gang violence and government repression. Climate issues become immigration and human issues.

Worst drought in 40 years puts more than 2 million people in Central America at risk

What The Fuck Happened Over The Weekend?

refreshed, @Windthin post away!

(David Bythewood) #263

The Trump regime has been moving to allow states to decide if they will allow refugees, a move designed to let red states turn them away as part of its overall goal of entirely denying refugees entry into the U.S.

Texas is the only state to turn its back on refugees, and we should be ashamed

Abbott’s decision marks departure from Texas tradition.

Refugees will no longer be allowed to resettle in Texas, Governor Abbott tells feds

Two Migrant Kids Separated from Dads at Border Were Sexually Abused in U.S. Custody, Lawsuit Claims


House Judiciary Will Investigate Trump Administration’s “Remain in Mexico” Policy

January 14, 2020

Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship Chair Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), along with Subcommittee Members Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Veronica Escobar (D-TX), Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), Joe Neguse (D-CO), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL), and Lou Correa (D-CA), announced the start of an investigation into how the Administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy has morphed into a policy whereby refugees and asylum seekers are being kept in Mexico indefinitely and without due process or access to counsel.

The letter, sent to Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf, demands the Department turn over any information regarding the development and execution of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, which threatens the health and safety of legitimate asylum seekers—including women, children, and families.

In their letter, the Members wrote , “The policy has nearly eliminated the already scarce due process protections available to asylum-seekers—such as access to counsel—further reducing the likelihood that legitimate asylum-seekers can obtain asylum. Moreover, MPP forces women, children, and families to remain in areas that the federal government recognizes as especially unsafe. As of today, there are 31 active travel advisories for Mexico, including 5 warnings in which the State Department explicitly advises Americans against travel. It is difficult to understand why this administration is sending children and families to areas where they will face certain harm.”

Full text of the letter can be found below and here:

January 14, 2020

The Honorable Chad Wolf
Acting Secretary
Department of Homeland Security
301 7th Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20528

Dear Acting Secretary Wolf:

We write to renew our objections to the “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP), as we continue to question the policy’s legality and remain deeply concerned about its impact on vulnerable populations. We strongly believe that MPP is a dangerously flawed policy that threatens the health and safety of legitimate asylum seekers—including women, children, and families—and should be abandoned.

As we have previously written to you, MPP is inconsistent with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) statutory authority, while exposing thousands of people to threats of murder, sexual violence, and kidnapping as they are forced to wait in extremely dangerous conditions before their asylum claims may be heard. The policy has nearly eliminated the already scarce due process protections available to asylum-seekers—such as access to counsel—further reducing the likelihood that legitimate asylum-seekers can obtain asylum. Moreover, MPP forces women, children, and families to remain in areas that the federal government recognizes as especially unsafe. As of today, there are 31 active travel advisories for Mexico, including 5 warnings in which the State Department explicitly advises Americans against travel.[1] It is difficult to understand why this administration is sending children and families to areas where they will face certain harm.

The House Judiciary Committee has held hearings, sent oversight letters, and participated in a variety of staff-level briefings in which administration officials have been unable or unwilling to answer basic questions relating to MPP. A comprehensive review of the policy, its implementation, and its impact on vulnerable populations is necessary. Therefore, we respectfully ask that you produce the relevant documents, data, and communications listed below by January 30, 2020.

  1. Documents and communications dated from December 20, 2018 to January 2, 2020 relating to the implementation of MPP along the southern border.
  2. The total number of individuals subjected to MPP and breakdown of this number by nationality, gender, and age.
  3. The total number of family units subjected to MPP and a breakdown of this number by nationality.
  4. The total number of individuals initially placed in MPP but later removed from the program, including the reason an individual (or family unit) was removed from MPP.
  5. The total number of nonrefoulement interviews, including the number of people given nonrefoulement interviews, that have been conducted for individuals in MPP, including the results of those interviews.
  6. An unredacted copy of “The Migrant Protection Protocols Red Team Report,” including the “MPP Flow Chart” and “MPP Recommendations Matrix Summary” attached to the report.
  7. Documents and communications, dated from December 19, 2018 to January 4, 2020, referring or relating to policies, processes, or resources needed to implement or expand MPP.
  8. Documents and communications referring or relating to “tent courts”[2] being erected along the southern border for MPP, including policies related to access to tent courts or other nonpermanent facilities by attorneys, the public, and media.
  9. Documents and communications referring or relating to individuals in MPP who were granted relief by an immigration judge and then were subsequently transported or sent back to Mexico.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

The Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump
(David Bythewood) #265

Does Stephen Miller crib all of his ideas from Hitler?

Stephen Miller Shared Idea Of Shipping Undocumented Immigrants Out of The U.S. on Trains as Scare Tactic, Leaked Breitbart Emails Reveal


What the actual fuck?!

(David Bythewood) #267

With ICE, the cruelty is the point.

Every time.

(David Bythewood) #268

My soul hurts.

(David Bythewood) #269

This Venezuelan migrant won in immigration court, but the U.S. sent him to Mexico anyway, citing a false claim that they might challenge the ruling and placing a non-existent court date on his papers.

This is not an isolated case.

For a moment, Jesus thought his ordeal was coming to an end. Three months after fleeing Venezuela, he got his chance to tell a judge how he and his mother escaped political persecution.

“The judge asked me three questions,” Jesus said in Spanish through an interpreter. “What’s your nationality? Why did you leave your country? Why can’t you go back?”

Jesus asked NPR not to use his last name because he wants to protect relatives who are still in Venezuela. He doesn’t speak English, and he didn’t have a lawyer at the time of his immigration court hearing. Still, he felt the judge really understood his story.

“I explained my case to him. And he accepted my experience,” Jesus said.

The judge granted Jesus withholding of removal, a form of protection from deportation. In other words, he won — something that very few migrants at the border can say these days. Jesus thought he might finally be allowed into the U.S., where he could reunite with his family.

Instead, immigration officers told him he was going back to Mexico, where he’d already spent nearly three months waiting to see a judge.

“I had no idea what was happening,” he said. “No one explained it to me.”

More than 55,000 migrants have been forced to wait in Mexico for their day in U.S. immigration court under the Trump administration program known as Remain in Mexico. It’s one of several key changes that have made it extremely difficult to win asylum in the United States. Just a tiny fraction of migrants in the program — less than 1% — have gotten protection.

Even when migrants win in immigration court, in some cases they’re still not allowed to stay here. Immigrant advocates have identified at least 17 cases of migrants who have been returned to Mexico after being granted protection by an immigration judge.

When Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, was asked about this case at a news conference in December, he said that any migrants who have won their case should be allowed into the United States.

“I don’t think that should be happening,” Morgan said in response to questions about Jesus’ case. “If that’s happened the way you described that, then that’s an anomaly. It’s a mistake. But we’ll take a look at that.”

Last week, however, Customs and Border Protection offered a different explanation. In a statement, the agency says it can return migrants to Mexico while authorities consider whether to appeal an immigration judge’s ruling.

“When an immigration judge’s decision is appealed or under consideration for appeal, immigration proceedings remain underway,” a CBP spokesman said.

Immigration lawyers disagree with that interpretation.

“The proceedings in immigration court were finished. There were no more hearings to be held,” said Kennji Kizuka, a lawyer with Human Rights First. He took on Jesus’ case after he’d already won in immigration court.

When immigration authorities returned Jesus to Mexico, the paperwork they gave him listed a court date in November. But that date didn’t appear on any court docket.

“They put a fake date on a piece of paper that says you have an upcoming hearing. And there was no hearing,” Kizuka said.

The date is important, Kizuka says, because under the rules of Remain in Mexico, migrants can be returned only if their court case is still pending. “They wanted to return him to Mexico again, and they needed to convince the Mexican officials to take him back,” Kizuka said.

CBP denies using fake court dates. The agency provides migrants “with a date that the individual can check in with U.S. officials about the status of the appeal,” according to a spokesperson.

But Kizuka says the paperwork CBP provided to Jesus after his final court hearing contains a number of false statements. It says that Jesus was “currently in proceedings before an immigration judge” and that “an immigration judge ordered you to return to court for another hearing.”

The document does not mention a possible appeal. In fact, the government did not appeal Jesus’ case.

The Trump administration has been trying to limit asylum at the southern border by discouraging what it considers frivolous claims. But Kizuka says the administration is turning away legitimate cases too.

“The Trump administration is trying to basically frighten refugees away from the United States,” he said. “To make it so scary and dangerous for them to come to the border and ask for help that they just give up and go away or never come to begin with.”

Jesus says it was too dangerous to stay in Venezuela, a country that has been rocked by political upheaval. He was a police officer there, and he says his superiors ordered him to arrest members of a political opposition party on bogus charges. He refused.

“They started to persecute me and my family,” he said. “They killed my father. My mother was followed. She was threatened with a pistol and beatings.”

Jesus says that he was jailed and beaten and that his father died after being refused treatment for a heart condition at a local government hospital. That is when he and his mother decided to leave.

“I had already lost my father, and I didn’t want to lose my mother,” he said. “So I sold all my belongings in Venezuela.”

That was the beginning of a five-month saga for Jesus and his mother. They tried to put their names on a waiting list to request asylum at a port of entry in Texas, but they say they were told repeatedly by the keepers of that list in Mexico that it was full.

So they crossed illegally and turned themselves over to the Border Patrol. Jesus’ mother was detained in Louisiana. But Jesus was sent back to Mexico until his court date.

“As I was about to leave the Mexican immigration office, one of the officials told me that with the way you look, you won’t go 50 steps without being kidnapped,” he said.

Jesus was dropped off in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, where migrants are frequently targeted by cartels. He says he did witness kidnapping and violence and narrowly avoided being kidnapped himself, when he managed to escape from a group of thugs at the bus station. He was on his way to meet his lawyer, Kizuka, in person for the first time.

Together, they tried once again to get Jesus into the United States. Kizuka showed immigration authorities the judge’s order granting Jesus protection in the United States.

“They told us that Jesus was not going to be allowed into the United States,” Kizuka said. “One officer told me that by going back to Mexico, his deportation had already been carried out.”

Kizuka says he spent more than four hours arguing with officers at the border, while the staff at Human Rights First called the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, members of Congress — anyone they could think of for help.

Finally, without explanation, Kizuka says immigration officials relented and let Jesus in. He’s now in Florida, reunited with his sister and mother. They’re all fighting for full asylum protections, which would give them a path to citizenship in the United States.

“I hoped the treatment would be warmer, more humane,” Jesus said. “But the officials are really harsh and insulting to migrants. And the system is really complicated.”

Still, Jesus is grateful to be here. He knows a lot of people from Venezuela who are still in Mexico, waiting for their day in U.S. immigration court.

A thread accounting the names of those who have died in ICE custody. Hard reading.


Poor immigrants will no longer be allowed to gain green cards.

(Kara Hurvitz) #271

Hi there–that’s a true statement, but the new public charge rules are devastating for a lot of reasons more broad than poverty alone, and this will have a lot of health implications for populations afraid to access things like SNAP, WIC, and health insurance. I’ll try to write a more complete summary as soon as I’ve completed this week’s roundup!


:wave: yes please do, this group would love to read more.

(David Bythewood) #273

Agreed. this is one of THE big issues I follow, as you can probably tell.

(David Bythewood) #274

He’ll have the best walls. Great big walls that topple over in the wind.

Wait. Whoops.

(M A Croft) #275

Trump builds the best walls ever - and Mexico is paying for it.

(David Bythewood) #276

The story comes out about Trump’s border wall falling down, and predictably he just posted this:

The last one, where he talks about CAGES being placed, rather caught my eye in a bad way.


(David Bythewood) #277

Trump’s border wall, vulnerable to flash floods, needs large storm gates left open for months

This is a metaphor for Trump’s whole presidency.

(David Bythewood) #278

Can somebody bump this thread after this post of mine?

ICE and CBP are teaming up with the NFL to make Superbowl propaganda videos.

Here is where ICE brags about being at the Superbowl on their website. This was apparently posted in November, as I discovered when I did a web search for “superbowl ICE”.

Apparently they’ve been posting these pages for a couple of years now.

ICE claims to be cracking down on illegal merchandise sales, drugs, and sex trafficking, but it’s been noted that their annual Super Bowl presence nets them a LOT of revenue in merchandising of their own.

Right wing propaganda outlets like the Washington Examiner spin this as part of an effort to catch human traffickers and rescue sex workers, but the fact that ICE does this specifically at an event they can monetize makes this a hollow argument.


Thank you for your frequent, in-depth immigration posts. I comb the major news sites constantly, but still somehow miss many of the immigration reports that you alert us to.

(David Bythewood) #280

I am fortunate enough to be alerted to them myself from insiders who work in this field. I’m really just working to ensure their efforts and alarms spread far and wide.