Undocumented Immigrants Face Inhumane and Unconstitutional Mistreatment in ICE Custody

The Trump administration plans to increase the number of federal immigration detention centers across the country to house thousands more detainees.

With increasing pressure to track down and deport undocumented immigrants, the escalation of arrests raises concerns about the use of force by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents, indefinite detention in prison-like conditions, and failure to protect fundamental due process rights. With more than 55,000 armed law enforcement officers, DHS comprises the nation’s largest, yet least supervised, police force.

Many people in these detention centers receive inadequate medical and mental health care, have experienced verbal, physical and sexual abuse, and face restricted access to legal representation.  When they complain, they are punished with solitary confinement, which is increasingly recognized around the world as torture.

Extreme Digital Vetting of Visitors to the U.S. Moves Forward Under a New Name

The Department of Immigration & Customs Enforcement is taking new steps in its plans for monitoring the social media accounts of applicants and holders of U.S. visas.

The initial announcement of the plans this summer, viewed as part of President Donald Trump’s calls for the “extreme vetting” of visitors from Muslim countries, stoked a public outcry from immigrants and civil liberties advocates. They argued that such a plan would discriminate against Muslim visitors and potentially place a huge number of individuals under watch.

ICE officials subsequently changed the program’s name to “Visa Lifecycle Vetting.” But, according to the ICE presentation, the goal of the initiative,  enhanced monitoring of visa holders using social media, remains the same.

Trump Building Wall of Bureaucracy to Slow Illegal Immigration

President Donald Trump’s vision of a “big, beautiful” wall along the Mexican border may never be realized, and almost certainly not as a 2,000-mile physical structure spanning sea to sea.

But in a systematic and less visible way, his administration is following a blueprint to reduce the number of legal and illegal immigrants and overhaul the entire U.S. immigration system for generations to come. “He’s building a virtual wall by his actions and his rhetoric,” said Kevin Appleby, migration policy director for the Center for Migration Studies, a nonprofit think tank.

Advocates Decry End to protection for Haitian Immigrants

Religious leaders and immigrant rights groups condemned the termination of a program that protected Haitian immigrants from returning to dangerous conditions and renewed their call for Congress to create a “permanent solution” for beneficiaries of the program.

Jeanne Atkinson, executive director of Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), pointed out that even a U.S. city with more resources would take at least 10 years to recover from a natural disaster like the 2010 earthquake that prompted Haiti’s protected designation.  According to Atkinson, “At least 38,000 earthquake victims are still homeless” and 50 percent do not have adequate food.

A cholera epidemic is also a concern. “There have been nearly 11,000 new cases of cholera in 2017 alone,” she said. “It is a doubly cruel blow to Haiti, cutting off some of the essential income that has been contributing to its recovery.”

 

Federal Judge Orders Hearings for Teens targeted   for Deportation

A federal judge in California has ordered government agencies to present evidence bolstering the arrest and detainment of immigrant minors from Long Island targeted for deportation based on alleged involvement with MS-13, or to otherwise release them back to their families.

Three teenagers from Brentwood are the primary plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit filed in August by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California against federal agencies involved in their arrest and detention, as those young immigrants were at the time being held in secure facilities in that state.

 

Wisconsin Immigration Group Calling for ‘Clean Dream Act’

Voces de la Frontera and local supporters called on House Speaker Paul Ryan to extend protections for DACA recipients Wednesday using an electronic billboard.

Voces organizers, along with some local Dreamers, unveiled the billboard at an event in Janesville Wednesday. They shared stories of how DACA has helped them. Now, they say, their future is unknown.

Immigrant Rights Groups March Through San Fernando Valley for Thanksgiving Rally

For more than 15 years, immigrant rights activists have marched through the streets of the San Fernando Valley on the day before Thanksgiving.

Their message, according to the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, also known as CHIRLA, is this: “We’re here in our march united to stay. Understanding that we are marching in order to fight for our rightful place in this country, our home,” said Angelica Salas.

 

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