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Tag: ICE

About 50 Undocumented Immigrants Detained in Detroit During Alleged Cockfighting

Courtesy of ICE

Courtesy of ICE

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Federal authorities busted an alleged cockfighting and gambling ring in southwest Detroit over the weekend, detaining about 50 undocumented immigrants.

ICE agents and law enforcement from local and state agencies executed a search warrant at 1 p.m. Saturday at an abandoned building where authorities said they found about 85 people and 100 chickens, Motor City Muckraker reports. 

ICE agents said the raid was the culmination of a months-long investigation.

About 85 people were in the building, and only one was charged criminally.

The largest concentration of Hispanic immigrants live in southwest Detroit.

LA Times: Arresting Immigrants at Hospitals, Schools, Courthouses Is Counterproductive

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

By Editorial Board
Los Angeles Times

A woman in El Paso showed up at a courthouse last month seeking protection from an abusive spouse. Instead, she was arrested by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and slated for deportation. In a Pasadena courthouse, a defendant was snatched from his attorney’s side and whisked away for deportation.

President Trump’s supporters may cheer on the ICE agents in these cases — after all, he won the White House in part by promising to crack down on illegal immigration. But as the government itself has recognized, it is both heartless and counterproductive to arrest people on immigration violations as they engage with the fundamentals of civic life: taking children to school (remember: children here illegally are entitled to attend public schools under the Supreme Court’s 1982 Plyler v. Doe ruling) or going to church or seeking treatment at a hospital. Under the Obama administration, ICE adopted a formal policy of avoiding arrests in such “sensitive locations.”

Courthouses, however, were wrongly excluded from the list of sensitive locations. On Thursday, the chief justice of the California Supreme Court, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, asked the government to keep ICE agents away from courthouses, which, she said, “should not be used as bait in the necessary enforcement of our country’s immigration laws.” The ACLU, noting countless cases around the country in which ICE has interrogated and arrested people as they sought to pay for traffic citations, appear for court hearings as witnesses, get married or obtain restraining orders in domestic violence cases, said the practice “obstructs the ability of immigrants to access the courts” and “endangers public safety.”

To read more click here. 

Congressman Among Activists Handcuffed at Sit-In at ICE Office

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez was among several immigrant advocates briefly handcuffed by federal officials for staging a sit-in at the regional ICE office Monday to protest President Trump’s immigration policies.

The Democrat from Illinois joined other activists at the Chicago office, rallying against increased targeting of undocumented immigrants for deportation, the USA Today reports. 

Federal Protection Service officers gave the protesters three warnings before placing them in handcuffs. But agents had a change of heart and allowed the protest to continue.

“They threatened us with arrest. We said ‘We’re ready to go to jail,'” Gutierrez told reporters after ending the protest. “We stood up to the bullies here…Unfortunately, tonight and tomorrow they will continue to prey on very vulnerable, defenseless people in their homes in the darkness of the night.”

Gutierrez said he was concerned after meeting with ICE officials, who gave incomplete answers about whether raids would be carried out in churches, schools and other sensitive places.

Feds May Lower Hiring Standards to Hire More Border Patrol, ICE Agents

ICE agents, via ICE.

ICE agents, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security may have to lower its hiring standards to increase immigration enforcement and shut down the border with Mexico.

The agency, which has struggled to fill vacant positions, wants to hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents and 10,000 more ICE agents.

Strict hiring standards have made it difficult to fill those positions, so now DHS is considering eliminating the polygraph test, requiring less thorough background checks and making an entrance exam easier, according to a DHS memo obtained by Vice

“The idea that they would be able to hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents without lowering the standards always struck me as unrealistic,” said Stephen Legomsky, who served as senior counsel to DHS under President Barack Obama. “It would be a terrible idea to eliminate the [lie detector] test, but if they don’t, I don’t see how they could meet their hiring target.”

The hiring standards are so strict that a vast majority of applicants never make it through the process. For example, about 65% of applicants fail the polygraph test.

ICE Raids Spike in Alabama As Agents Detain Undocumented Immigrants without Criminal Records

ICE agents, via ICE.

ICE agents, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Since President Trump was elected, ICE agents have been conducting raids and detaining undocumented immigrants in Alabama at a rate higher than anywhere else in the Deep South, AL.com reports. 

Among those detained are undocumented immigrants with no criminal records.

During targeted raids, ICE agents are detaining anyone they encounter without documentation.

“It’s blown up over the past two weeks,” Baton Rouge, La., defense attorney Paul “Woody” Scott, said. “We can’t even attend our phones because so many people are calling with these kinds of detentions.”

ICE officials declined to give state-by-state breakdowns of detainments.

“ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement in compliance with federal law and agency policy,” Thomas Byrd, a spokesman for ICE’s New Orleans field office, wrote. “ICE does not conduct sweeps or raids that target aliens indiscriminately.”

ICE Agents Are Ignoring Finer Points of Immigration Law

Courtesy of ICE

Courtesy of ICE

By Sandra Hernandez
Los Angeles Times

Whenever U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement insists it is just doing its job, Americans should take a closer look at what is happening.

With an executive order signed in his first week in office, President Trump has “taken the shackles off” ICE and Border Patrol officers, according to the White House, expanding the priorities for deporting immigrants.  Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly claims his agents will focus on those convicted of or charged with crimes, but immigrant advocacy groups and the news media already have documented arrests, detentions and deportations of  immigrants who in no way represent a threat to public safety.

From 2006 through early 2010, I reported on Immigration and Customs Enforcement. What I learned was that no matter the ostensible priorities of federal agencies — or even settled law — ICE was an agency prone to overreach.

In those days, immigration agents liked to roll out press releases touting the successes of their  “fugitive operations.” The releases detailed how violent gang members, sexual predators and other criminals were taken off the streets. Time and again, I pressed the agency for detailed information on those arrested only to discover the detainees were neither fugitives nor serious criminals.

Instead, I found longtime green card holders who had been convicted decades earlier of minor offenses.  Or who were ordered deported in absentia, in some cases because they had moved or the wrong paperwork had been filed.  Among the detainees without green cards, many simply didn’t come close to fitting the description “danger to society.” They were street vendors, construction workers, janitors and small business owners, albeit without papers.

To read more click here.

Baltimore Sun: Trump’s Immigration Policies Are Inhumane, Unsafe

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Editorial Board
The Baltimore Sun

The new immigration policies President Donald Trump‘s administration released Tuesday make America less humane; they target millions of people who have been in this country for years, have contributed to society and have raised children here. They make America less free because they portend the creation of a massive “deportation force” that will hunt through communities coast-to-coast for those here illegally, inevitably sweeping up the innocent and increasing racial and ethnic profiling. But most of all, they will make America less safe.

Mr. Trump’s spokesman, Sean Spicer, says the president intends to “take the shackles off” immigration officers to make “the No. 1 priority” removing those “who pose a threat to our country.” Actually, that was the No. 1 priority under the Obama administration, which instructed immigration enforcement agents to prioritize deportation of those who committed serious crimes while in the United States. The Trump policy would allow for deportation of people who violate traffic laws or who have even been accused of a crime but not convicted. Innocent until proven guilty no longer applies, and immigration agents will have vastly expanded authority to determine on their own who constitutes a “threat.”

Immigration courts are facing a huge backlog as it is, some 540,000 cases with an average wait of more than two years. In some courts, the delay is much longer. Mr. Trump says he wants to throw more resources at the system, but how much and how quickly? For the time being, flooding the courts with people who have not shown themselves to be a danger would only delay the deportation of people who are.

Mr. Trump plans to deal with that to some degree by vastly expanding a program that eliminates due process for some immigrants caught in this country illegally. The “expedited removal” program, as it was used by the Obama administration, allowed for the elimination of some protections and hearings before deportation for people caught near the border who had been in the country for less than two weeks. Mr. Trump wants to expand it nationwide and draw in those who have been here for up to two years.

To read more click here. 

Other Stories of Interest

President Trump Faces Big Hurdle in Hiring 15,000 Agents for ICE, Border Patrol

ICE agents, via Wikipedia

ICE agents, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s plans to hire 10,000 more ICE officers and 5,000 more Border Patrol agents may not succeed.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said it’s unlikely that “we’re going to get 10,000 and 5,000 on board within the next couple of year,” NPR reports.

That’s largely because of the extensive training and background checks for potential agents.

When the number of agents at Customs and Border Protection were increased from 10,000 to 21,000 during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administration, problems occurred. For example, new agents were rushed into the field, many without completed background checks.

“You have to make sure that no red flags come up in someone’s background before you’re putting them in a position like this,” says Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents Border Patrol agents.

One of the most burdensome steps to becoming an agent is passing a rigorous – and some say flawed and overly burdensome – polygraph exam that two out of three applicants fail.

Moran said the exams, which can take up to eight hours, “is excluding qualified candidates from being Border Patrol agents.”

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