U.S. Officials Worry Immigrant Fears Could Make Census Inaccurate

Early test surveys have found that some immigrants are afraid to provide information to U.S. Census workers because of fears about being deported, which could compromise the accuracy of the 2020 census, a government official warned this month.

There has been an “unprecedented ground swell in confidentiality and data-sharing concerns among immigrants or those who live with immigrants,” Mikelyn Meyers, a researcher at the Census Bureau’s Center for Survey Measurement, told a meeting of the bureau’s National Advisory Committee.

The census, which is mandated under the U.S. Constitution and takes place every 10 years, counts every resident in the United States and its used to determine the allocation by states of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and to distribute billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities.


Feds Crack Down on MS-13, but Immigration Policy Lets New Recruits in, Figures Show

The Office of Refugee Resettlement in the 2017 fiscal year placed more than 40,000 unaccompanied Central American teenagers around the country, and while most are likely not criminals, some most certainly are

Of 214 MS-13 members rounded up by law enforcement in the past few weeks, officials say at least a third of the suspects would have been classified as UACs (unaccompanied alien children). Meanwhile, the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Department of Health and Human Services continues to place children, some with existing gang ties, some vulnerable to recruitment and still others to victimization, as was the case in an April quadruple homicide in Central Islip, New York, that has been tied to the gang.

“In their relentless effort to expand gang membership and gain traction within our communities, they aggressively target our children in school,” said the Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director, Tom Homan.


Welcoming City Status for Immigrants Pushed in Bloomington

The Bloomington City Council will meet in December to discuss the idea of drafting a resolution or an ordinance that declares the city is a welcoming and safe place for immigrants, regardless of their immigration status.

“As I have said before many times, I do strongly support a welcoming city ordinance, as the mayor,” said Mayor Tari Renner, drawing cheers and applause from an overflow crowd at the council’s Monday night meeting. “Everyone should be welcomed and feel safe.”

The pledge of a future meeting comes nearly five months after the council put on hold a proposed welcoming resolution.


Immigration Attorney Pleads Guilty to Filing More Than 250 False Visa Applications

Joel Paul, 45, an immigration attorney from Fishers, Indiana, entered a guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson of the Southern District of Indiana. Paul filed more than 250 false visa applications on behalf of clients, and was charged with mail fraud, immigration document fraud and aggravated identity theft.

“Individuals who commit immigration fraud undermine and abuse our generous immigration system, a system that lawfully admits more immigrants than any other country in the world, and put our public safety and national security at risk,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement about the case.

Prosecutors said Paul orchestrated a scheme to submit fraudulent applications for U-visas, reaping about $750,000 in fraudulent fees


LA Defense Fund to Help Immigrants Facing Deportation Gets Underway

Money to help immigrants fight deportation will be distributed to legal nonprofits from a $10 million defense fund set up with public money from the city and county of Los Angeles and private philanthropic contributions.

Grants from the L.A. Justice Fund were announced this week by the California Community Foundation, which administers the fund, which is expected to benefit an estimated 2,000 immigrants.

For now, $7.4 million will be awarded for legal services, according to the foundation. The remainder of the $10 million is still being raised. The county is contributing $3 million and the city $2 million to the fund.


Immigrant Rights Seminar Planned in Aurora

State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) and representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union will host a seminar focusing on immigrant rights Dec. 5 in Aurora. The event was set for 5:30 p.m. at La Sierra de Aurora at 2121 E. New York St. in Aurora. The seminar include information on what individuals can do if stopped by law enforcement, are questioned about their immigration status or are detained by law enforcement.

“With the current political climate in Washington, it’s more important than ever for area residents to have an understanding of what’s going on with federal and state programs that relate to immigration,” Chapa LaVia said in a press release about the event. “By working with the ACLU and community activists, I hope to provide a strong support system for those who may feel vulnerable as a result of their immigration status or that of their family and friends.”