One of Borey “Peejay” Ai’s earliest memories is the sound of gunfire. “My mom would put us under the table,” he recalled. Ai was too young to understand what was happening, but he remembered being afraid like his mother. “Because I felt her fear, I felt fear too,” he said. Ai was born in a refugee camp in Thailand after his mother fled Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide. As a small child, he would climb a hill to water a pepper plant he had been growing. From the vantage point, he would look across the border and see people shooting at one another. Nearly 40 years later, after surviving the brutality of the U.S. prison system, Ai now faces the possibility of deportation back to Cambodia, where he has never set foot. And he’s not the only one.
On Tuesday, November 29, hundreds of Haitians protested in Port-au-Prince against the mass deportations of Haitian migrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent from the Dominican Republic. The protest was called by the Haiti chapter of the Assembly of Caribbean People (ACP). The protesters gathered in front of the embassy of the Dominican Republic in Port-au-Prince and demanded that Dominican authorities end the indiscriminate deportations and the inhumane treatment of Haitians on the other side of the border. They condemned the harassment meted out to their compatriots by the Dominican immigration authorities and security forces as racist and discriminatory in nature. Economist Camille Chalmers, leader of ACP Haiti and spokesperson of the Rasin Kan Pep La party, read a statement by the ACP denouncing the systematic repression of Haitians in the Dominican Republic and their mass deportation ordered by the Dominican President Luis Abinader.
A day after President Joe Biden's State of the Union address, immigrant youth from across the U.S. rallied outside the White House on Wednesday, demanding an end to all deportations. Organized by United We Dream—the largest immigrant youth-led group in the country—activists at the rally drew attention to the president's failed immigration policies and unveiled a banner acknowledging the over two million people who have been deported or expelled under the Biden administration. "President Biden can praise his administration's purported achievements all he wants, but at the end of the day, young, Black, brown, and immigrant people from across the country know of his failures to protect our communities," said Cynthia Garcia, national campaigns manager for community protection at United We Dream, in a statement.
Deportation flights are a big business. Typically these flights are managed by ICE Air Operations – yes, ICE has its own airline. The chain of responsibility runs like this: Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE’s) office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) is the entity responsible for deporting people. ERO oversees ICE Air Operations. ICE Air Operations owns none of its own planes. So, ICE signs a contract with a private vendor to coordinate removal flights. The company that has the current contract is Classic Air Charter. For managing ICE Air Operations from October 2017 through the end of September 2022, CAC’s contract is potentially worth $739 million. Classic Air Charters doesn’t actually fly the planes either – that would be too easy.
The Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, New Jersey has been the site of recurring actions in solidarity with detained immigrants. On Tuesday, June 8, one such action ended with cops arresting 14 protesters who were trying to peacefully stop a deportation. The 14 people arrested had camped out at the Bergen County Jail the previous night to try and stop the deportation of Marvin Jerezano Peña, a father from Red Bank, New Jersey who migrated from Mexico to the United States as a child. He had been arrested by ICE and was being held for marijuana possession, something now fully legal in the state. Nevertheless, ICE planned to deport Peña. Protesters at the jail Tuesday bravely blocked an ICE van that afternoon in an attempt to stop the deportation.
In the days it took to pull together this Q&A with two leaders in the immigrant rights movement—Haitian Bridge Alliance’s Guerline Jozef and the UndocuBlack Network’s Patrice Lawrence—the federal government deported more than 70 asylum-seekers to Haiti, including a two-month-old baby and 21 other children. Haiti is in the midst of political turmoil and advocates are calling these deportations “death flights.” Soon, hundreds more Black immigrants are expected to be deported, including 135 Haitian immigrants. Most of them are families. While the coverage of these deportations hasn’t been extensive, what does exist largely frames the large-scale deportation of Black immigrants as an example of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operating as a “rogue agency” that is refusing to comply with the Biden administration’s orders...
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to deport migrants despite president Joe Biden's 100-day moratorium on deporting most people in the U.S. without authorization. This decision was barred by a federal judge in Texas last week. During the first days of Biden's administration, ICE has deported hundreds of immigrants, including 269 people, to Guatemala and Honduras last Friday. The agency has been accused of violating human rights as a coalition of immigrant groups denounced that Cameroonian asylum seekers were tortured to be forced to approve their deportations.
Lawyers tasked with identifying and reuniting families separated in 2017 and 2018 under the Trump administration’s so-called “zero tolerance” border policy say they still haven’t been able to locate the parents of at least 545 migrant children, according to a Tuesday court filing from the American Civil Liberties Union. A majority of these parents — “approximately two-thirds,” the filing said — are believed to have been deported to Central America without their children, some of whom were “just babies” at the time of the separation, ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt told CNN this week.
I’m squatting on a round piece of concrete, and a 72-year-old man is sitting in the gutter, his walking stick beside him. He tells me that after being deported from the United States, he has been hiking the streets of Mexico City trying to find somewhere to stay. But all the refuges are closed due to the pandemic, including the one we’re sitting outside of, where I volunteer. He has run out of insulin for his diabetes and says he can’t walk anymore. I’m aware that he may not survive much longer. He’s the fifth person that day that I have to turn away and I can’t stand it. Back in the migrant refuge, we organize working groups and events to add structure to the empty days and try to prevent tension building up. It’s bad enough that many of the refugees here have fled violence, only to wait months for their visas, to now be stuck inside because of the quarantine, unable to work, even informally.
At least 138 people deported from the United States to El Salvador since 2013 have been killed, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch, which investigates human rights abuses worldwide. The 117-page report also says researchers identified at least 70 deportees who were sexually assaulted, tortured or kidnapped. Many victims were asylum-seekers attacked or killed by the gangs they originally fled.
What happens to people after they are deported from the United States? And if they no longer have family in their countries of origin, how do they make their way in an unfamiliar place? In 2014, Christina Zaldivar found herself pondering these questions with some fellow activists after she had accompanied one of them to an immigration check-in in Centennial, Colorado.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials at Logan International Airport denied entry to an Iranian national who was set to study economics this spring at Northeastern University. Despite a federal court order to delay the man's removal, CBP placed him on a plane Monday night. Kerry Doyle, an attorney for Mohammad Shahab Dehghani Hossein Abadi, said the 24-year-old was traveling to the U.S. with a valid F1 student visa before he was held for secondary questioning by CBP at the Boston airport.
New York, NY, September 14, 2019 — Close the Camps NYC coalition led hundreds of protestors to peacefully march on the premiere retail location of Microsoft on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, staging a sit-in to demand that the tech giant stop allowing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to use its technology in the racist campaign against immigrants and legal asylum seekers. This action comes one month after the Close the Camps NYC coalition successfully gathered hundreds of protestors who shut down the West Side Highway. That event publicly shamed RXR Realty LLC for allowing ICE to covertly operate among social justice organizations in its Starrett-Lehigh office building. “By knowingly and willingly providing technology support to ICE, Microsoft Corporation is colluding with ICE and its racist mission to tear apart families, and mistreat children” said Andy Ratto.
On April 23, the government of King County, Washington released an executive order expressing the intention to ban deportation flights from passing through King County International Airport - Boeing Field. The decision, which left Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with one less facility for ground support, was won by years of local organizing by immigrant justice organizations. Monserrat Padilla is a coordinator of the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network, an organization building a defense line for immigrant and refugee communities. In 2017, the organization established a hotline, designed to be a resource for individuals to report any observed immigration or detention activity. Through the hotline, the organization heard from passersby who said they’d witnessed ICE vehicles outside of the Boeing Field Airport, and detained persons being escorted through the airport by ICE officials, Padilla tells In These Times.
US immigration services have informed families struggling with HIV, cancer, cerebral palsy and other conditions they must leave in 33 days The Trump administration has ended a policy that allows undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States and avoid deportation if they are receiving life-saving medical treatments, in a change that advocates have criticised as inhumane. The policy change, which also takes away protections for immigrants whose family members are receiving life-saving care, was announced this month in letters sent to families informing them of their new standing.