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Tag: immigration

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

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

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.

DOJ Disperses Crime-Fighting Grants to Cities That Help Feds Crack Down on Illegal Immigration

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Local police departments that cooperate with federal immigration officials were given preferential treatment for crime-fighting funds.

The Justice Department dangled more than $98 million as a reward for police departments that cooperate with President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration by letting immigration officials inside local jails and notifying the feds about undocumented immigrants, BuzzFeed reports.

At the same time, Trump’s administration is threatening to withhold crime-fighting grants from so-called sanctuary cities.

The Justice Department is disbursing $98.5 million to 179 local law enforcement agencies to hire a total of 802 officers.

About 80% of the 179 agencies that received a grant were given preferential treatment because they have agreed to cooperate with the crackdown on illegal immigration.

“Cities and states that cooperate with federal law enforcement make all of us safer by helping remove dangerous criminals from our communities,” Sessions said in a statement. “Today, the Justice Department announced that 80 percent of this year’s COPS Hiring Program grantees have agreed to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in their detention facilities. I applaud their commitment to the rule of law and to ending violent crime, including violent crime stemming from illegal immigration.”

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

ICE agents, via ICE.

ICE agents, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

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

Deal to Protect ‘Dreamers’ Endangered by Trump’s Hard-Line Immigration Plan

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hopes of a bi-partisan measure to protect younger immigrants, known as “dreamers,” from being deported may have been dashed after President Trump’s administration released a list of hard-line crackdown on immigration.

In exchange for protecting hundreds of thousands of younger undocumented immigrants in the U.S., the administration said it wants funding for a border wall, a crackdown on Central American children and punishment for “sanctuary cities,” the Washington Post reports

Democratic leaders quickly rejected the Trump’s wish list.

“The administration can’t be serious about compromise or helping the Dreamers if they begin with a list that is anathema to the Dreamers, to the immigrant community and to the vast majority of Americans,” Schumer and Pelosi said in a joint statement Sunday evening. “We told the President at our meeting that we were open to reasonable border security measures … but this list goes so far beyond what is reasonable. This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise.”

The Post reported:

About 690,000 immigrants are enrolled in DACA, but their work permits are set to begin expiring in March. Trump had met last month with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and agreed to try to strike a deal, worrying immigration hawks who feared that Trump would support a bill that would allow dreamers to gain full legal status without asking for significant border security measures in return.

The list released by the administration, however, would represent a major tightening of immigration laws. Cuts to legal immigration also are included. And, while Democrats have called for a path to citizenship for all dreamers, a group estimated at more than 1.5 million, a White House aide said Sunday night the administration is “not interested in granting a path to citizenship” in a deal to preserve the DACA program.

Homeland Security to Phase Out Parts of DACA

homeland2department-of-homeland-security-logo-300x300By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security has rolled out a plan to deal with the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The agency won’t accept new DACA applications for deferments or two-year work permits unless they are already in the pipeline, the New York Post reports. For those that have been submitted already, Homeland Security will consider them on a case-by-case basis.

DACA recipients may apply for renewal if they submit the application by Oct. 5.

By March 6, 2020, the federal government will phase out the program.

The Post wrote:

Once a permit expires, a person will not be “considered lawfully present in the US” and will be subject to deportation, the DHS said.

Their “removal will no longer be deferred and they will no longer be eligible for lawful employment,” the agency said.

The law as it stands now does not grant DACA recipients, also known as “Dreamers,” any legal status — unless Congress amends the existing immigration laws.

But the DHS said persons whose permits have expired will not be targeted, and federal immigration enforcement agencies will continue to focus on people who are known criminals or national security threats.

“Our enforcement posture has not changed. We still are prioritizing criminal aliens, illegal re-entrants — in other words persons who have been previously removed — and those persons with standing orders for removal,” a senior DHS official told reporters. “There is no plan at this time to target persons outside those parameters. Persons who are currently in (DACA), their DACA remains in effect if encountered during law enforcement operations.”

Authorities Warn Houston Flood Victims of Homeland Security Impersonators

homeland-security-investigationsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Authorities are warning flood victims in Houston that Homeland Security impersonators are telling residents to evacuate before burglarizing their homes.

In response, Houston officials are urging residents to ask for officials’ badges and credentials before taking orders, the Associated Press reports

The city also notified residents that ICE won’t be conducting immigration enforcement operations in the area, including at shelters.

The hurricane’s death toll has reached at least 18 and is expected to climb.

Houston Mayor Offers to Help Immigrants Facing Deportation in Midst of Flooding

border patrol helicopterBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Aware that some undocumented immigrants want call for help from flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he would help any immigrant who faces deportation as a result of requesting assistance.

“There is absolutely no reason” why anyone shouldn’t call for help, Turner said at a press conference, The Hill reports

“I and others will be the first ones to stand up with you,” said Turner. “If you need help and someone comes and they require help, and then for some reason, then somebody tries to deport them, I will represent them myself, okay?”

Turner encouraged immigrants to call for help if they need it.

“If you are in a stressful situation, I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what you’re religion is, I don’t care what your language is, you come and take advantage of every service that we have,” he said. 

“If you’re in a stressful situation and you need help, you call us for help. We want you to call. There is absolutely no reason why anyone should not call okay?”

U.S. Custom and Border Protection and ICE said its “highest priorities” will be saving lives.

“Routine noncriminal immigration enforcement operations will not be conducted at evacuation sites, or assistance centers such as shelters or food banks,” the agencies said. “The laws will not be suspended, and we will be vigilant against any effort by criminals to exploit disruptions caused by the storm.”

Border Patrol Detains 30 Immigrants Who Entered U.S. Through Tunnel

Tunnel used by Chinese and Mexican immigrants. Photo via CBP.

Tunnel used by Chinese and Mexican immigrants. Photo via CBP.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol believe 30 immigrants used an underground tunnel to cross a Southern California border.

Agents arrested the immigrants on Saturday and found an opening in the ground with a ladder and tunnel north of the Otay Mesa border entrance shortly after 1 a.m., CBP wrote in a statement.

Seven Mexicans and 23 Chinese citizens were taken into custody.

No injuries were reported.

“While subterranean tunnels are not a new occurrence along the California-Mexico border, they are more commonly utilized by transnational criminal organizations to smuggle narcotics,” CBP said.

“However, as this case demonstrates, law enforcement has also identified instances where such tunnels were used to facilitate human smuggling.”