#OutragedAndUnafraid: Undocumented Youth Confront Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Agenda

"Taking brave action has been the only thing that has never failed us," said Maria Fernanda Cabello, a spokesperson for Movimiento Cosecha. (Photo: Movimiento Cosecha/Twitter)

By Jake Johnson for Common Dreams – “For the last 20 years, Republicans and Democrats have failed to deliver on promise after promise to the immigrant community. We will not put our trust in them. We are putting our faith in our people.” As the Trump administration continues to take aim at sanctuary cities and carry out a “draconian” immigration agenda that has led to a large spike in detentions, undocumented youth immigrants and activists took to the streets of Austin, Texas, on Wednesday to both demand that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) be kept in place and to “pledge their renewed commitment to winning permanent protection, dignity, and respect for all eleven million undocumented immigrants.” In a statement, Cosecha organizers said that Wednesday’s actions were meant to call attention to the fact that Texas “leads the country in mass deportations and recently passed SB4, the most anti-immigrant statewide law.”Wednesday marks the first time undocumented youth have carried out a day of civil disobedience of this magnitude since President Donald Trump took office, according to Movimiento Cosecha, the group that organized the effort.

SJC Rules Against ICE In Blockbuster Massachusetts Immigration Case

Angela Rowlings. Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Justice Barbara A. Lenk speaks during a hearing, Thursday, March 09, 2017. Staff photo by Angela Rowlings.

By Chris Villani for Boston Herald – Massachusetts court officers cannot hold a suspected illegal immigrant in custody at the request of federal immigration agents if there is no criminal warrant or criminal detainer, the state’s highest court today found today in a blockbuster ruling sure to send shockwaves through the Bay State’s immigration enforcement system. “Massachusetts law provides no authority for Massachusetts court officers to arrest and hold an individual solely on the basis of a Federal civil immigration detainer beyond the time that individual would otherwise be entitled to a release from State custody,” the unanimous Supreme Judicial Court ruling states. The case was brought to the SJC by a Cambodian national named Sreynuon Lunn who was in custody on a case out of Boston Municipal Court. Unable to post a $1,500 bail, Lunn was held until his trial date, Feb. 6 of this year, at which time the charges were dismissed when Suffolk prosecutors could not move forward with a trial. However, Judge Michael Coyne refused to release Lunn due to a request from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to court documents.

An Undocumented Teen Gains Asylum With The Help Of His Undocumented Lawyer

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Attorney Cesar Vargas, right, the first openly undocumented attorney in New York, with his client Ivan Ruiz in Manhattan.

By Rebecca Klein for The Huffington Post – NEW YORK ― When attorney Cesar Vargas first met his teenage client Ivan Ruiz, a newly arrived undocumented immigrant from Honduras, he noticed Ruiz seemed to wear the weight of his traumatic childhood on his sleeve. Ruiz, 15 at the time, rarely spoke, returning questions about his life in Honduras with long stares and heavy nods. It was only over the course of a year that Vargas would learn the extent of abuse Ruiz suffered while living with extended family members after his parents immigrated to the United States for a better life. Ruiz was barely fed, forced to work long hours and beaten ― even whipped with tire rubber ― as punishment. The abuse became too much to bear. After trekking through Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador, Ruiz crossed the border into the United States in spring 2016. His journey wasn’t over, though, and a year ago he was ordered to appear in immigration court. With Vargas’ help, Ruiz recently won a life-changing victory: He was granted asylum. He now spends his days in summer school, soaking up new English words and the novelty of life with only low-stakes, teenage worries. He recently took two girls to the prom and is delicately balancing the affections of another.

With A Michigan City Fighting Back, DHS Pushes A Controversial Deportation Forward

Lourdes Salazar-Bautista of Ann Arbor speaks at a press conference on ICE policies in Michigan on July 8, 2017. Photo: Hunter Dyke/The Ann Arbor News

By Maryam Saleh for The Intercept – IN THE FACE of intense community opposition, immigration officials are vowing to push ahead with plans to deport a 20-year Ann Arbor, Michigan, resident. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has ordered Lourdes Salazar-Bautista, 49, to leave the country by August 2. The local community and elected officials have rallied in support of the mother of three, but ICE spokesperson Khaalid Walls told The Intercept that the agency will not back down. “In a current exercise of discretion, the agency has allowed her to remain free from custody while timely finalizing her departure plans,” Walls wrote in a statement. “ICE focuses its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety, and border security. However, as Secretary Kelly has made clear, ICE will not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention, and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.” The Mexican native says she’s not done fighting. “I’m not a threat to this country,” said Salazar-Bautista, choking back tears during a vigil at St. Mary Student Parish in Ann Arbor on Tuesday evening, broadcast on Facebook live.

Incredible Quinceañera Protest At Texas Capitol Against Vile Anti-Immigrant Law

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By Rafi Schwartz for Fusion – On Wednesday, a group of 15 teenage girls, dressed in brightly colored gowns, stood in front of the Texas State Capitol to participate in one of Latin American culture’s most cherished traditions: the quinceañera. But this quinceañera was more than simply a coming-of-age celebration. Instead, it was a public protest against one of the most viciously anti-immigrant pieces of legislation in Texas’ recent history: SB4, the so-called “sanctuary cities bill.” SB4—which essentially forces Texas cities to comply with federal immigration law enforcement actions—has been one of the state’s most hotly contested pieces of legislation all year, drawing comparisons to Arizona’s infamous “papers please” law, and prompting massive protests. Dubbed “Quinceañera at the Capitol,” the protest was organized by Latino advocacy group Jolt, which describes itself on Facebook as a “Texas-based multi-issue organization that builds the political power and influence of Latinos in our democracy.”

Snowden’s Hong Kong Lawyer Being Threatened By Authorities

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By Raquel Carvalho for South China Morning Post – Barrister Robert Tibbo says he is facing complaints from Immigration Department accusing him of having conflicting interests and breaching professional code of conduct. The Immigration Department has asked to replace the lawyer for the seven asylum seekers who sheltered American whistle-blower Edward Snowden in 2013, accusing him of breaching the professional code of conduct and of having conflicting interests, as fears of detention among the refugees grow stronger. Canadian barrister Robert Tibbo said that formal complaints were filed against him on July 13, and he was made aware of them late that Friday afternoon, just days before the seven asylum seekers – who had their protection claims rejected in May – attended their first hearing at the Torture Claims Appeal Board on Monday. “It’s another desperate attempt to prevent me from providing legal services to my clients,” he claimed. Tibbo said that the immigration director had previously tried to remove him from their cases. “They have systematically made efforts to remove me … They have come up with a myriad of excuses and allegations that were completely without any merit,” he added. According to Tibbo, the Immigration Department filed a complaint with the Hong Kong Bar Association on July 13 accusing him of a possible breach of the bar’s code of conduct.

60 Days Of Deportations And Detainments Under Trump

Fatima Avelica, 13, daughter of Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, attends a rally for his release outside Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices March 13, 2017, in Los Angeles. Her father is mentioned in the Slate piece. 
Photo: David McNew/Getty Images)

By Yessenia Funes for Color Lines – Tactics once reserved for violent criminals are now targeting undocumented youth and parents. In a cover story published today (June 16), Slate lays out 60 scenes from life as an undocumented immigrant in President Donald Trump’s America, pulled from the Columbia Journalism School’s Global Migration Project. Slate starts with February 20, the day the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued two memos on immigration enforcement. The following day, 25-year-old Edwin Romero, an undocumented youth who would have qualified for citizenship under the proposed (and failed) DREAM Act, was arrested for a traffic violation but, ultimately held overnight in jail on an “immigration hold.” Then, in March, there was a teacher in Honolulu who wrote a staff-wide email that he wouldn’t teach any undocumented student. The examples go on and on—up until April 20, exactly 60 days after the DHS memos. As Slate points out, fewer than 9 percent of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees have been connected to violent crime.

ICE Officers Told To Take Action Against All Undocumented Immigrants Encountered While On Duty

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By Marcelo Rochabrun for Pro Publica – A directive from the head of ICE’s enforcement unit appears to push for tougher action than the Trump administration has publicly promised. The head of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit in charge of deportations has directed his officers to take action against all undocumented immigrants they may cross paths with, regardless of criminal histories. The guidance appears to go beyond the Trump administration’s publicly stated aims, and some advocates say may explain a marked increase in immigration arrests. In a February memo, Matthew Albence, a career official who heads the Enforcement and Removal Operations division of ICE, informed his 5,700 deportation officers that, “effective immediately, ERO officers will take enforcement action against all removable aliens encountered in the course of their duties.” The Trump administration, including Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, has been clear in promising to ramp up immigration enforcement, but has so far emphasized that its priority was deporting immigrants who posed a public safety threat. Indeed, Kelly, to whom Albence ultimately reports, had seemed to suggest a degree of discretion when he told the agencies under his command earlier this year that immigration officers “may” initiate enforcement actions against any undocumented person they encountered.

Immigration Court Spotlights The ‘Legal Hell’ Of The U.S. Deportation System

Officers from the Department of Homeland Security stand guard at a federal immigration court in Los Angeles in March as people outside protest the arrest and ordered deportation of Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez, an immigrant detained while dropping his daughter off at school. (Michael Balsamo / AP)

By Bill Boyarsky for Truth Dig – I spent four days in immigration court recently as I began reporting on how President Trump’s nativist immigration policy, favoring native-born Americans, is reaching down to the street level. Contempt for immigrants was at the heart of his presidential campaign, and it remains a cornerstone of his domestic policy, whether the immigrants are from Muslim countries or are from Mexico and Central America. The United States is a nation of immigrants, founded and shaped by them, an idea so ingrained in the national psyche that it is almost a cliche. So is opposition to them, from the 19th century and the Know Nothing Party to Donald Trump. But the immigrants—Germans, Asians, Irish, Italians, Jews and many others—survived and prospered. “The migration of foreign peoples to the United States has been one of the most significant transformation processes in American history,” Erika Lee writes in her review of Roger Daniels’ book “Guarding the Golden Door.” Personally, I root for the immigrants. I see them as America’s future, a feeling reinforced most recently while I watched journalism students, children or grandchildren of immigrants, from Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles’ heavily Latino Boyle Heights. They were learning the best way of using their mobile phones to cover their community and transmit the news stories they dig up.

Women In California’s Largest Immigrant Prison Hold Hunger Strike

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By Victoria Law for Waging Nonviolence – On June 14, 33 women who have been detained and incarcerated by ICE in California’s Adelanto Detention Facility launched a hunger strike. They were protesting the poor conditions at the facility as well as the policies that were keeping them away from their children and loved ones. The Adelanto Detention Facility, with a capacity of 1,940, is the largest private immigration detention facility in the United States. Run by the GEO Group, ICE pays $111 per person per day for the first 975 detainees, thus guaranteeing GEO a minimum of $40 million each year. If more than 975 people are detained inside Adelanto, the daily rate drops to less than $50 per day. Immigrant rights organizations, such as Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement, or CIVIC, and Detention Watch Network, have sharply criticized Adelanto for its widespread and systemic abuses towards immigrants in custody. Since March 2017, three people have died at Adelanto. Others have reported medical neglect and, on at least one occasion, being punished for seeking medical care. Norma Gutierrez, one of the women on hunger strike has suffered multiple strokes during her incarceration at Adelanto. Instead of receiving proper medical care, she was placed in solitary confinement.

Judge Halts Deportation Of More Than 1,000 Iraqi Nationals From US

A protester demonstrates against the arrest of dozens of Iraqi Christians in south-eastern Michigan by US immigration officials. Photograph: Todd McInturf/AP

By Amanda Holpuch for The Guardian – More than 1,400 Iraqi nationals in the US have been protected from deportation for the next two weeks, because of an order issued late on Monday by a federal district judge. Judge Mark Goldsmith temporarily halted deportations while he considers a class-action lawsuit representing 114 Iraqis who were arrested in the Detroit area earlier this month. Attorneys say the defendants, most of whom are members of the Chaldean minority, could face persecution or death if returned to their country of birth. Islamic State and other jihadist groups have targeted Christians, including Chaldeans, and Shia Muslims in Iraq. Goldsmith said on Monday that given evidence provided about the “extraordinarily grave consequences” detainees could face if returned to Iraq, he would extend an existing halt on deportations to all 1,444 Iraqi nationals who are subject to orders of removal. “Such harm far outweighs any interest the government may have in proceeding with the removals immediately,” Goldsmith said. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) conducted a series of raids on Iraqi communities following negotiations between the US and Iraq, which resulted in Iraq agreeing, for the first time in several years, to provide travel documents to people the US attempted to deport.

An Interview With Ingrid Latorre About The Sanctuary Movement

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By Lucy Duncan for AFSC – Lucy Duncan: Ingrid, thank you very much, it’s wonderful to meet you. It’s been very inspiring to watch your journey and your courage in the face of your struggles and in the last few weeks. I know that you have told this story a number of times, but just for the purpose of this interview and considering the situation now, Ingrid, could you please tell the story briefly of what led you to enter Sanctuary at Mountain View Friends Meeting? Ingrid Latorre: Really I took Sanctuary because all of the other options were being denied to me by Immigration. I took Sanctuary in order to continue fighting for justice in my case. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had what they call a voluntary departure, and then I asked for a stay in order to try and reopen my criminal case where I had received poor legal advice, and immigration denied that stay, twice, and the Quakers had been accompanying me during the two times they denied my stay and they offered me Sanctuary and that was a chance to keep fighting my legal case and to try and get justice. It was also the only way to keep my family together, to keep my two boys and my partner and I together in the United States while I fight my case.

‘Reign Of Terror’: ICE Chief Says Immigrants Should Be Looking Over Their Shoulders

"More evidence the administration is methodically building a deportation force," wrote Ali Noorani, an immigrant rights advocate. (Photo: Susan Walsh/AP)

By Jake Johnson for Common Dreams – The remarks came during a House Appropriations Committee hearing, in which Homan asked for more than a billion dollars to expand ICE’s capacity to detain and deport undocumented immigrants. Immigration arrests are “already up sharply since President Trump took office,” the Washington Post noted, and they “could rise dramatically next year” if Homan’s requests are fulfilled. “Part of that increase,” added Buzzfeed’s Salvador Hernandez, “is due…to what many have seen as a shift in the agency to not just focus on immigrants with violent criminal histories, but minor crimes as well. Attorneys have also pointed to undocumented immigrants who have been detained without any criminal history, or minor convictions.” Last week, Reuters reported that not only is the Trump administration rounding up undocumented immigrants at a staggering clip, it is also “reopen[ing] the cases of hundreds of illegal immigrants who…had been given a reprieve from deportation” by the Obama administration.

The Supreme Court Just Made Messed Up Immigration Law Even Uglier

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

By Ian Millhiser for Think Progress – Sessions v. Morales-Santana is an unfortunate case, revealing that sometimes the Constitution demands truly harsh results. The holding of Morales-Santana is that a federal citizenship law that gives preferential treatment to the children of unwed U.S. citizen mothers — and only to unwed mothers, not to unwed fathers — is unconstitutional. This is a natural conclusion from the Court’s previous decisions holding that gender discrimination must be viewed with skepticism. But the practical consequence of Monday’s decision in Morales-Santana is that fewer children of U.S. citizens will themselves gain citizenship, and that more people will be subject to deportation. It also means that the individual at the heart of this case, Luis Ramón Morales-Santana, is now set to be deported to a nation he has not lived in since 1975. In this context, it’s easy to imagine the kind of click-bait headlines that conservative outlets could append to their write-ups of the decision. Headlines like “Immigrants suffer because of feminism” or “How do you like the Notorious RBG now, liberals?” come to mind.

Fire And ICE: The Return Of Workplace Immigration Raids

Erik McGregor/Sipa via AP Images

By David Bacon for The American Prospect – Capital & Main is an award-winning publication that reports from California on economic, political, and social issues. The American Prospect is co-publishing this piece. At the end of February immigration agents descended on a handful of Japanese and Chinese restaurants in the suburbs of Jackson, Mississippi, and in nearby Meridian. Fifty-five immigrant cooks, dishwashers, servers and bussers were loaded into vans and taken to a detention center about 160 miles away in Jena, Louisiana. Their arrests and subsequent treatment did more than provoke outrage among Jackson’s immigrant rights activists. Labor advocates in California also took note of the incident, fearing that it marked the beginning of a new wave of immigrant raids and enforcement actions in workplaces. In response, California legislators have written a bill providing legal protections for workers, to keep the Mississippi experience from being duplicated in the Golden State. Once the Mississippi restaurant workers had been arrested, they essentially fell off the radar screen for several days. Jackson lawyer Jeremy Litton, who represented three Guatemalan workers picked up in the raid, could not get the government to schedule hearing dates for them.