While enroute to observe the presidential elections in Colombia, Teri Mattson was denied entry by Colombian authorities and had her passport seized. After arriving at 6:55 am on May 22, she was forced to spend the day and the night at the Bogotá Airport before being deported the following morning and flown out of the country. Although Mattson resides in Mexico and first flown there, her tribulations did not end there. She was then held in Mexico without passport or phone while immigration waited for the first available flight to the US, because she is a US citizen. Only when Mattson exited the plane in the US were her phone and passport returned to her. Colombian authorities falsely claimed that Mattson “represents a risk to the security of the State.”
The Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) denounces the detention and deportation of COHA Board Member and CODEPINK Latin America organizer and media host Teri Mattson, who traveled to Bogota to serve as an accredited international observer for the historic May 29th election in Colombia. She had been invited by Colombia’s Permanent Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CPDH). Ms. Mattson, having arrived in Bogota on May 22, was refused entry by Colombian authorities, forced to stay in the airport overnight and deported on May 23 on the absurd grounds that she “represents a risk to the security of the State.” Ms. Mattson is a person of impeccable integrity and has served on a number of electoral missions to Latin America.
As morning broke over San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge on Thursday, northbound traffic was brought to a halt when dozens of undocumented mothers, students and their allies risked arrest to engage in civil disobedience. Just before 7 a.m., protesters exited their cars, carrying banners and calling on Congress to provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Traffic piled up in the bridge’s northbound lanes as demonstrators decried the Democrats’ lack of action to pass meaningful immigration reform, stopping morning commuters for about an hour.
Women who have spoken out about alleged abuse by a gynecologist while in U.S. custody won a reprieve Tuesday when the U.S. Department of Justice agreed to halt their deportations until President Donald Trump is nearly out of office. The motion filed by the DOJ must still be approved by a federal judge, but the department reached an agreement with the lawyers of several women who say Dr. Mahendra Amin abused them and subjected them to invasive procedures without their consent while they were being held at Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia.
Aurora, CO — On the morning of June 30, 2020, Pablo Mackleen Grijalva’s lawyer tried to contact him at the GEO Group’s ICE jail where he is detained, but to her shock, the officer on the phone told her he was not there. She immediately called Kesha Davalos Grijalva, Mackleen Grijalva’s wife, and told her what the officer said. After calling the jail a second time, an officer confirmed that Mackleen Grijalva was going to be deported that day with others in the weekly deportation van. When Davalos Grijalva heard the deportation news, she called her friends and family and a group of them decided to drive to the small airport near the Denver International Airport (DIA) where deportation planes depart.
Legions of undocumented immigrants in the United States carry letters signed by their employers stating that President Donald Trump's administration considers them essential workers amid the pandemic. While these letters exempt them from being arrested by local agents for violating stay-at-home orders, these workers could still be detained and deported by federal authorities. Although deemed “essential,” they are not entitled to protective gear, compensation, federal financial aid or safeguards from immigration agents. Undocumented essential workers were not even considered in the $2.5 trillion relief package approved by Congress and, except in California, have not received financial aid from state or local governments. Additionally, they are being detained and deported.
Washington, DC ― New analysis from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) shows that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) likely has carried out at least 232 deportation flights to Latin American and Caribbean countries since February 3, 2020, just after the Trump administration declared a public health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. By examining flight data for known ICE Air contractors taking off from airports near ICE detention facilities, with destinations frequently used for deportations, CEPR is able to provide estimates of the numbers of deportation flights since the pandemic began. In some cases, there has been evidence of deportations of people known to be infected with the novel coronavirus, and many other cases of people being deported after being exposed to the virus while in ICE detention.
Rights are routinely being violated as hundreds of ICE agents storm New York City and other sanctuary cities in a fresh attempt to round up undocumented immigrants. Operation Palladium has begun. Hundreds of agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have entered New York and other sanctuary cities in a fresh attempt to round up undocumented immigrants.
The Trump Administration Will Start Sending Most Immigrant Families Arrested At The Border Back To Mexico
DHS says it marks the end of “catch and release.” Starting next week, the Trump administration will begin sending most immigrant families arrested along the southern border back to Mexico to await their immigration court hearings. This policy is being presented as an alternative to detaining asylum seekers indefinitely but it raises concerns about the safety of the people involved. The policy change signals a significant expansion of the administration’s program requiring immigrants who fear persecution and are claiming asylum to wait in Mexico until their cases can be heard.
Arizona Students Marched For Classmate Thomas Torres-Maytorena, Who’s Facing Deportation Court On Graduation Day
Students from Arizona’s Desert View High School marched miles from their campus to a local sheriff's office in a show of support for Thomas Torres-Maytorena, an 18-year-old senior and football player facing possible deportation just weeks ahead of when he was scheduled to graduate, NBC News and the Associated Press reported. That’s because Customs and Border Protection (CBP, which oversees Border Patrol) is holding Thomas on immigration charges following a traffic stop by local law enforcement.
Since May 19, a hotline dedicated to assisting families threatened by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been ringing nonstop. That same day is when ICE agents across the Chicagoland area began a widespread sweep, including at a worksite near a Home Depot, where laborers go to find work. According to immigrants’ rights organizers, at least 80 people have been detained since the sweep began, and likely many more. On Thursday, a group of around 75 protesters gathered on Chicago’s Southwest side at the intersection of 45th St. and Western Ave., across the street from the worksite. Organizers, as well as several workers who were at the job site when ICE arrived last weekend, spoke to the gathered crowd. With ICE threatening their livelihoods and their communities, those who spoke gave urgency to the ongoing fight to end police intimidation and for immigrants to earn a living and to live without fear.
For Richard Aguirre, protesting the deportations of people who have entered the country without permission from the Gary/Chicago International Airport was a natural extension of his work that stopped a proposed Elkhart County detention center last month. Gary activists had reached out, providing support and assistance for the effort, Aguirre said. He wanted to return the favor. "We feel connected to them, because they were with us when we started our struggle, so we want to be here as they continue their fight against these flights," said Aguirre, co-coordinator of the Coalition Against the Elkhart County Immigration Center. Shouting cries including "love, not hate makes America great," more than 200 protesters came to the Gary Jet Center on Friday where a busload of people who had entered the country illegally were expected to be boarded onto a plane for Texas, then deported.
Some undocumented immigrants keep their heads down, careful not to attract attention that might get them noticed by federal officers. Not Maru Mora-Villalpando. The 47-year-old Mexican native has been an outspoken activist for years and has been upfront about staying in the United States after her tourist visa expired. Now, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has put Mora-Villalpando in deportation proceedings, and she and her supporters have charged the agency with retaliation. She said she has lived in the United States for more than 25 years. Her daughter, Josefina Alanis Mora, a 20-year-old born in the United States and studying at Western Washington University, called the situation a “nightmare.” Speaking at a protest Tuesday in front of ICE offices in downtown Seattle, Mora-Villalpando said she was with her daughter when she got a knock at the door of her Bellingham home Dec. 20.
By Maria Paradia for Occupy - At last count, one-third of the 60,000 refugees currently stranded in Greece are school-age children. Trapped in the country due to the E.U.'s inability to address the escalating humanitarian crisis, the children's educational prospects are shrinking by the day. Now, since summer school programs for refugee children failed last summer due to budget constraints and lack of specialized staff, individual teachers have begun taking it upon themselves to teach Syrian children elementary Greek. However, a lack of government-appointed translators has made the volunteers' work all the harder, forcing them to improvise or pantomime their way through classes while relying on older students to help get the message across. Despite their attempts, little progress has been made toward integrating the refugee children with Greek students. If anything, it appears the process is being actively discouraged by a Greek educational system that separates Syrian students' class schedules from locals, exacerbating the rift. According to Aura, a child psychologist working in the Softex refugee camp in Thessaloniki, "Being present at school during totally different hours makes it impossible to make contact and friends with local children. The longer they are excluded, the harder it gets to seek out contact because of the feelings of shame – not knowing the language, living in a camp – which of course has an impact on the self-esteem of the child."
By Diane Lederman for Mass Live - Living at First Congregational Church for the last month, he misses his wife and children. But with the help of the greater faith community, he has adapted to a new way to be. The church has given sanctuary from deportation to Perez, a Springfield resident who entered the U.S. illegally from Guatemala in 1999. He moved into the church Oct. 19, the same day he had been ordered to fly back to Guatemala. Leaders of Amherst's First Congregational Church pledged Thursday to provide Springfield immigrant Lucio Perez sanctuary from deportation. Through translator Margaret Sawyer from the Pioneer Valley Workers Center, Perez said, "The first few days were hard but now I'm getting used to it." Perez has a small apartment in the church and a portable shower. He attends Pentecostal services three days a week. He reads the Bible. He lifts weights and rides an exercise bicycle. He has a TV and watches movies or listens to music. And he has been helping the church get ready for its Nov. 18 cranberry fair. Perez has lots of visitors, including Amherst College students and a recent guest lecturer from Guatemala. The church has screened and trained a stable of volunteers to help Perez and keep him company. "There are lots of really nice people here," he said through Sawyer. "They give me courage and strength."