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Tag: ICE

Trump’s Threats of Large-Scale ICE Raids Never Materialized

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump threatened mass roundups of undocumented immigrants over the weekend, but nothing remotely close to that happened.

There were only scattered reports of ICE raids in New York City and a small town in Florida.

Raids expected in major cities, including Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix, Denver, Philadelphia and Atlanta, never happened, at least not on a large scale. Many of those cities only saw large protests, which underscore the anxiety nationwide as immigrant communities grapple with what’s next.

Mayors in Los Angeles and New York City criticized Trump’s threats.

“Here’s the blunt truth: @realDonaldTrump isn’t trying to ‘secure our borders.’ He’s trying to make America HATE again,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted.

Ice declined to comment on the raids – or lack of them.

“As always, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of unlawfully present aliens who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security,” an ICE spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal.

White House officials walked back some of the threats of large-scale raids.

“I take issue with the word ‘raids,’” Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary and communications director, said Sunday. “These are law enforcement officials carrying out law enforcement operations as they have done in the past and will continue to do.”

FBI, ICE Scan Driver’s License Databases to Conduct Facial-Recognition Searches

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have been given access to driver’s license photos to conduct facial-recognition scans without motorists’ consent.

ICE officials were authorized by three states to use the repositories of license photos to scan through facial-recognition technology in search of undocumented immigrants, according to documents obtained by Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology and first reported by The Washington Post.

The searches involved databases from Utah and Vermont, which complied with ICE’s request to access the photos. In Washington, agents also were given permission to scan license photos, but it wasn’t immediately clear if those searches were carried out.

The discovery comes as Congress considers a moratorium on facial-recognition technology because of serious concerns over privacy rights and the inaccuracy of the systems. Researchers said the technology is racially biased and prone to errors, which could lead to false arrests.

“Law enforcement’s access of state databases,” particularly driver’s license databases, is “often done in the shadows with no consent,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md. said in a statement to The Post.

San Francisco became the first city to ban the technology. In Detroit and Chicago, police departments have software that enables them to conduct facial-recognition searches in real-time.

Mark Morgan Promoted to Replace Sanders as CBP Head

Mark Morgan will head CBP.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Acting ICE Director Mark Morgan will replace John Sanders as head of Customs and Border Protection.

Sanders resigned from ICE earlier this week following growing criticism of the deplorable conditions reported at border facilities.

Morgan had previously served as chief of Border Patrol before taking over as head of ICE in May.

“I am confident he will bring the same commitment to the agency as it continues to navigate the current humanitarian and operational crisis,” Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said in a statement.

ICE will promote Matthew Albence , deputy director of the agency’s deportation operations, to replace Morgan.

“Assuming the role of Acting Director of ICE is Matthew T. Albence, who has been performing the duties of the agency’s Deputy Director since August 2018. Mr. Albence brings years of experience, as he’s held a number of key positions within the ICE domain,” McAleenan said in a statement.

Albence faced criticism last year when he told a congressional committee that family detention centers are “more like summer camp” than jail.

Since Albence and Morgan will appointed, rather than nominated, they will not have to be confirmed by the Senate.

Trump Pledges to Deport ‘Millions’ of Undocumented Immigrants

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump warned Monday night that ICE will be deporting “millions” of undocumented immigrants beginning next week.

“Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in,” Trump tweeted.

The announcement came one day before Trump is expected to announce his re-election bid.

An administration official told The Associated Press that the deportation will target more than 1 million people who remain at large after receiving final deportation orders by federal judges.

The threat of mass arrests prompted many on Twitter to compare the actions to Kristallnacht, a reference to Nazis rounding up tens of thousands of Jewish people and taking them to concentration camps. Others said the comparison is offensive to Jews who ended up massacred and their communities burned.

Whatever the case, mass arrests by ICE typically aren’t announced.

Homeland Security Watchdog Finds ‘Egregious Violation’ at ICE Detention Facilities

A shower stall and bathroom pictured in the report.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Nooses in detainee cells, inadequate medical care, unreported security incidents, moldy and dilapidated bathrooms, rotting food and overly restrictive segregation were among the findings at immigration detention facilities.

Homeland Security’s internal watchdog made the discoveries during unannounced visits to four facilities in California, Colorado, Louisiana and New Jersey between May 2018 and November 2018, according to a report published by the Office of Inspector General on Thursday.

The discoveries raise serious questions about how the Trump administration is handling the dramatic increase in Central American migrants crossing the border.

Just last month, Border Patrol agents apprehended 132,887 migrants. It was the first time the apprehensions topped 100,000 since April 2007.

“All ICE detainees are held in civil, not criminal custody, which is not supposed to be punitive,” the reported stated.

According to the report, the unannounced visits uncovered “immediate risks and egregious violations of detention standards at the Adelanto and Essex facilities.”

“Overall, our inspections of the four detention facilities revealed violations of ICE’s detention standards and raised concerns about the environment in which detainees are held,” the report states. “Although the conditions varied among the facilities and not every problem was present at each, our observations, interviews with detainees and staff, and reviews of documents revealed several persistent issues.”

ICE to Ramp Up Deportations of Families Living in U.S.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ICE is planning to increase deportations of families who are in the U.S. illegally, acting ICE Director Mark Morgan said Tuesday.

While Morgan said the priority would be on people with criminal histories, he emphasized that no one is exempt from enforcement.

“This will include families,” he told reporters at ICE headquarters in Washington D.C., according to USA Today.

Families also make up a majority of the people apprehended at the border.

Morgan’s announcement, which comes during a sharp increase in migrants crossing the border, shows he’s aligned with Trump’s tough stance on immigration.

Border Patrol, ICE Criticized for Handling of Surge in Migrants Crossing Border

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Detention facilities are overflowing with migrants because of the surge in people, many of them children, crossing the southern border illegally, and Border Patrol is struggling to handle the crisis.

More than 200,000 migrants illegally crossed the southern border in March and April, and more than two-thirds of them were either children or adults with children, according to UPI.

“Our immigration system is full, and we are well beyond our capacity at every stage of the process,” Kevin McAleenan, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, told a House committee last week.

Many of those crossing are seeking asylum, forcing ICE to release them to a network of migrant shelters in communities along the border. But with insufficient space, Border Patrol is beginning to release asylum seekers into border communities, often with little to no warning.

That new policy has rattled volunteer coordinators who try to house and feed the migrants.

“Sometimes the agents tell us to expect 50 migrants, but we end up with 150. Other times, a bus filled with migrants will show up unannounced at a shelter,” said Ashley Heidebrecht, a social work student and intern at the Borderlands Rainbow Coalition, a nonprofit that provides meals to migrants.

El Paso’s Hope Border Institute, a think tank that supports the humane treatment of migrants, has criticized the Border Patrol’s handling of the surge.

“The Border Patrol is not thinking strategically,” Dylan Corbett, director of the think tank, told UPI. “The agency doesn’t seem to have any goals and is just operating as things come up, day to day. I really don’t know who is calling the shots.”

Number of Migrants Held by ICE Reaches 52,000+ As Trump’s Crackdown Continues

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

More than 52,000 migrants detained by ICE are currently being held in facilities across the country as part of President Trump’s ongoing crackdown on undocumented immigrants, BuzzFeed reports.

The surge of migrants at the southern border has prompted ICE to request more space to handle the influx. 

The increase in detentions “have a direct correlation to border crossings,” an ICE official said. 

Under the Obama administration, the population in ICE custody was around 35,000. 

Activists said the latest detention figures are alarming. 

“What the administration is doing is operating entirely outside of the constraints imposed on them by Congress by jailing more and more people every week to now hit a breathtaking record,” said Heidi Altman, director of policy at the National Immigrant Justice Center. “The administration knows very well that this is needless cruelty and there are better alternatives that work and are cheaper and more humane.”