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Tag: ICE

ICE Spokesman Resigns Over Trump Administration’s ‘Misleading’ Statements on Raid

By Steve Neavling

A spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Francisco resigned over what he called “false” and “misleading” statements by the Trump administration and top-ranking immigration officials.

James Schwab told media outlets on Monday evening that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and ICE Acting Director Thomas D. Homan were peddling a false narrative that hundreds of “criminal aliens” eluded arrest because Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf warned immigrants of a forthcoming ICE raid.

Schwab said his concerns about the misleading statements were dismissed, and ICE instructed him to “deflect” questions from the media.

“I quit because I didn’t want to perpetuate misleading facts,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I asked them to change the information. I told them that the information was wrong, they asked me to deflect, and I didn’t agree with that. Then I took some time and I quit.”

After 232 people were detained in the raid, Sessions and Homan claimed as many as 800 “criminals” evaded arrest and were a danger to the public.

Schwab said top officials painted a misleading portrait by inflating the number of people who may have avoided arrest and sensationalizing the danger that each poses.

“I didn’t feel like fabricating the truth to defend ourselves against her actions was the way to go about it,” Schwab said. “We were never going to pick up that many people. To say that 100% are dangerous criminals on the street, or that those people weren’t picked up because of the misguided actions of the mayor, is just wrong.”

In fact, Schwab told Oakland Fox affiliate KTVU that the raid netted more arrests than initially planned.

Trump Threatens to Pull ICE from California over ‘Lousy Management Job’

An ICE agent.

By Steve Neavling

President Trump threatened to withdraw Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents from California for what he claimed was a “lousy management job” in combatting illegal immigration.

“You know what, I’m thinking about doing it,” Trump said at a roundtable to address gun violence after last week’s Florida school shooting, CNN reported. 

“We’re getting no help from the state of California. Frankly, if I pulled our people from California, you would have a crime nest like you’ve never seen in California. All I’d have to do is say ‘ICE, Border Patrol, leave California alone,'” he said during meeting with local and state officials at the White House.

“You would see crime like nobody has ever seen crime in this country. And yet we get no help from the state of California. They are doing a lousy management job,” Trump continued. “They have the highest taxes in the nation. And they don’t know what’s happening out there. Frankly it’s a disgrace.”

Some cities in California have refused to work with ICE over Trump’s crackdown on immigration.

It’s unclear whether Trump plans to follow through on his threat, which would leave a key border state without federal protection.

Homeland Security did not publicly respond to Trump’s threat.

Father Who Spent 3 Decades in America Forced to Leave, Too Old for DACA

ICE official, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling

Jorge Garcia was only 10 years old when an undocumented family member brought him to the U.S. from Mexico.

Three decades later, after raising two teenage children with his beloved wife, the 39-year-old landscaper from suburban Detroit was forced to say goodbye  to his weeping family and return to Mexico under President Trump’s stiff crackdown on illegal immigration, the USA Today reports

Garcia, who appears to have a clean criminal record, was too old to qualify for Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era policy that protected children of undocumented immigrations from deportation. Immigrants who want to qualify for DACA status DACA must be 31 or younger as of June 15, 2012.

Garcia routinely checked in with ICE but was never forced to leave.

That changed in November during his last check-in, when immigration agents told him he must leave the country.

On Sunday night, a heavy-hearted Garcia said he was sad and worried.

 “I got to leave my family behind, knowing that they’re probably going to have a hard time adjusting, me not being there for them for who knows how long,” he said, his hands pressed against his forehead. “It’s just hard.”

Trump’s Choice for ICE Leader Suggests Criminal Charges against Sanctuary Cities

ICE official, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling

Leaders of so-called sanctuary cities should be criminally charged and held “personally accountable” for shielding illegal immigrants from deportation, said President Trump’s choice to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan suggested in an interview with Fox News that places like California are putting “politics ahead of safety.”

“We gotta take [sanctuary cities] to court, and we gotta start charging some of these politicians with crimes,” Homan said.

Claiming “more citizens are going to die because of these policies,” Homan said the Justice Department must hold some politicians “personally accountable.”

Human said he plans to send in federal agents to protect residents in cities and states that refuse to work with ICE on immigration issues.

Check Out ICE’s Top Photos of 2017

By Steve Neavling

Immigration and Customs Enforcement posted its “Top Images of 2017,” offering an inside look into an agency responsible for combating human trafficking, illegal immigration and other crimes.

ICE also posted the agency’s favorite story of the year.

Here are some of the photos:

Special Agent Alexandra DeArmas of the HSI Newark Rapid Response Team delivers water in Barrio Campanella, Toa Baja, Puerto Rico.

A member of the ICE Honor Guard places a rose above the name of a fallen ICE officer. The members of the Honor Guard walk around the entire National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., and lay roses at every fallen ICE officer’s name.

An ERO deportation officer checks fingerprints using a mobile biometric software application in Long Island, N.Y., during Operation Raging Bull, a federal law enforcement operation targeting MS-13.

Ingmar Guandique, a known MS-13 gang member, is removed to his native El Salvador by ERO deportation officers.

HSI Special Readiness Team sharp shooters keep a keen eye out to assist federal, state and local law enforcement officials in maintaining public safety during Super Bowl 51 in Houston, Texas.

ICE Seeks Help from Social Media Companies to Spy on Visa Holders

By Steve Neavling

The Trump administration’s increasing battle against illegal immigration may soon include tracking the social media feeds of foreign visitors.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement told software providers that it’s seeking “algorithms that would assess potential threats posed by visa holders in the U.S. and conduct ongoing social media surveillance of those deemed high risk,” ProPublica reports. 

The move appears to be part of Trump’s demands for the “extreme vetting” of visitors from Muslim countries, raising criticism from immigrants and civil liberties advocates.

ICE is searching for “risk-based metrics” to indicate potential dangers posed by visa holders, who could remain under continuous surveillance while in the U.S., according to Louis Rodi, deputy assistant director of ICE Homeland Security Investigations’ National Security Program, who spoke at a recent tech industry conference in Arlington, Va.

“We have millions and millions and millions of people coming every year, and subsequently departing, so we have to be smart about it,” said Rodi to a room of representatives from companies like Microsoft, Accenture, Deloitte and Motorola Solutions. “And I’m sure there are tools out there that can help.”

The program, however, has not begun, stressed ICE spokeswoman Carissa Curttel.

“The request for information on this initiative was simply that—an opportunity to gather information from industry professionals and other government agencies on current technological capabilities to determine the best way forward,” Cutrell wrote in an email.

Latinos Less Likely to Report Domestic Violence Because of Fears of Deportation

ICE agents, via ICE.

ICE agents, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling

The Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration appears to have made victims of domestic violence less likely to report the incidents because of fears of deportation.

Reports of domestic violence fell by as much as 18% in California’s Latino community in the first six months of 2017, according to data compiled by the Los Angeles Times

The reports fell 18% in San Francisco, 13.3% in San Diego and 3.5% in Los Angeles.

By comparison, the drops in domestic violence reporting among non-Latinos dropped less than 1%, “prompting fears among professionals working in the domestic violence field that the declines are linked to a fear of deportation,” the LA Times reported.

One U.S. official said the fears are grounded more in perception than reality.

“ICE still has a policy that we don’t pursue removal proceedings against victims or witnesses of crime, and I haven’t seen any documented instances where that actually happened,” Claude Arnold, who oversaw ICE in Los Angeles between 2010 and 2015, told the Times. “To a great degree, we facilitate those people having legal status in the U.S.”

Other Stories of Interest

Homeland Security Leader Accidentally Gave Out Sex Hotline Number

cell-phone-app-fbiBy Steve Neavling

A Homeland Security leader who was warming the public about dangers of sexual predators passed out business cards for his desk, but there was only one problem: The phone number directed people to a 24-hour sex talk line.

The Desert News reports that Steve Cagen, the new head of the investigative arm of Homeland Security’s Utah division, disseminated his business cards, which contained the wrong phone number.

When reporters called the number, they were greeted with a woman’s voice who said, “Hi, sexy” with sultry music in the background. The woman told callers that they had reached the “hottest fantasy line in North America” while offering “private erotic conversations.”

An ICE spokeswoman later acknowledged that the numbers on Cagen’s business card were wrong.

Other Stories of Interest