ICE has done facial recognition searches on millions of photos Maryland drivers without court approval. They appear to be targeting immigrants who sought driver’s licenses after 2013. Read the rest
Many abuses of the Trump administration are sadly nothing out of the ordinary — rather, they're just continuations of the snowballing precedent of presidential power abuses set forth by their predecessors. But there are still some ways in which Trump's real estate legal bullying tactics have made for a uniquely terrible and dangerous situation. Consider his liberal use of non-disclosure agreements that trap public servants — people whose should be part of the public record to which they should be held accountable — in a catch-22 between legal transparency and legal retaliation.
But it goes further than that, too.
The National Archives have already been struggling to keep up with the paper records that the President has destroyed — a clear violation of the Presidential Records Act. Archivists have allegedly been fired when trying to piece together those little scraps of paperwork. And as if that wasn't bad enough, the administration has now made it an official policy that records of ICE abuses be treated as temporary documents, immune from the eye of history. From the New York Times:
Read the rest
In 2017, a normally routine document released by the archives, a records retention schedule, revealed that archivists had agreed that officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement could delete or destroy documents detailing the sexual abuse and death of undocumented immigrants. Tens of thousands of people posted critical comments, and dozens of senators and representatives objected. The National Archives made some changes to the plan, but last month it announced that ICE could go ahead and start destroying records from Mr.
I've previously posted about the "University of Farmington," the fake college pyramid scheme sting operation that ICE set up in order to seduce and capture devious immigrants of various statuses who had the gall to, uhh … want to go to college.
Most of the coverage on this story originates comes from Niraj Warikoo at the Detroit Free Press:
7 stories I've written this year about the fake university in metro Detroit created by ICE:1) https://t.co/pIBpaSXRl62)https://t.co/ROlJgJ62kM3)https://t.co/PNp6R5jtO34)https://t.co/Gep5RzKQbq5)https://t.co/8LbNU82lYg6) https://t.co/my3KWjAKy97) https://t.co/18SYfNAg9z
— Niraj Warikoo (@nwarikoo) November 29, 2019
The latest update shares some transcripts from undercover recordings, obtained by the Free Press, that shed light on the alleged entrapment techniques that ICE employed to trick immigrants into attending their fake university, and then engaging in the recruitment scams that were allegedly "required" in order for the students to maintain their statuses with said university:
Read the rest
In February 2018, a foreign student from India called a university in metro Detroit to ask when classes would start.
"University of Farmington, office of admissions," answered a woman who posed as a university official. The woman was actually an undercover agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
"Is there any chance to get me ... to know about my class schedule?" the student asked the university official, according to court records.
"Can we do what?" the undercover agent posing as a university official replied. "We're completely full. We don't have any normal classes to put you in.
Obama brought McKinsey and Co, the giant management consulting firm, into ICE to effect an "organizational transformation," so they were already in place when Trump took office, and as Trump pivoted to concentration camps, McKinsey had some suggestions to save money: cut back on food, medicine and supervision. Read the rest
For the last year, the Detroit Free Press has been reporting on the strange saga of the University of Farmington, a fake educational institution outside of Detroit. Homeland Security Investigations actually spent taxpayer dollars on an epic sting operation, renting out a building to create the appearance of a legitimate college campus staffed with actual ICE agents in order to apprehend…people who want to go to college.
As of November 2019, they've arrested about 250 people on immigration violations. From the latest Detroit Free Press update:
Out of the approximately 250 students arrested on administrative charges, "nearly 80% were granted voluntary departure and departed the United States," the Detroit office of ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) told the Free Press in a statement Tuesday.
Out of the remaining 20%, about half of them have received a final order of removal; some of them were ordered removed by an immigration judge, and others "were given an expedited removal by U.S. Customs and Border Protection," said HSI Detroit.
The remaining 10% "have either filed for some sort of relief or are contesting their removals with Executive Office for Immigration Review," said HSI Detroit.
To be clear: this is not a new Trumpian phenomenon. It's been going on since January 2016 (although the majority of the arrests have taken place more recently, including 90 since this past March).
And if that's not maddening enough, consider that there were several hundred other students at the university who weren't arrested for immigration violations. The total enrollment was around 600 students, and the school was charging about $12,000 per year for tuition and fees. Read the rest
Stop, collaborate, and listen: Amazon's complicit in ICE's extraditions (plus other abuses of human rights enabled by that agency's authoritarian agenda)
That's why hundreds of musicians—nearly 500, at the time of this writing, though it was just over 100 when news broke Thursday morning—have signed onto an open letter pledging to boycott Amazon festivals, events, and other exclusive deals until the tech giant stops enabling the systematic abuses of Immigration Customs Enforcement. The list of signatories includes Guy Picciotto of Fugazi, as well as Ted Leo, Immortal Technique, Downtown Boys, Thursday, WHY?, Jeff Rosenstock, the Mowglis, War on Women, Diet Cig, Tim Kasher (of Cursive/The Good Life), and many more.
These are the demands for Amazon, directly from that open letter:
Terminate existing contracts with military, law enforcement, and government agencies (ICE, CBP, ORR) that commit human rights abuses
Stop providing Cloud services & tools to organizations (such as Palantir) that power the US government's deportation machine
End projects that encourage racial profiling and discrimination, such as Amazon's facial recognition product
Reject future engagements w/ aforementioned bad actors.
I signed my own band onto the list earlier this week, after catching wind of the movement on Twitter. (I tried to pull our songs from all Amazon-affiliated services, but our distro service makes that difficult to do.) My friends in the Kominas mentioned something about it, and then I noticed Deerhoof interacting with Sadie Dupois of Speedy Ortiz and Sad13, following up on the recent op-ed by Tom Morello and Evan Greer of Fight For The Future (both musicians and activists in their own rights). Read the rest
A Federal appeals court today upheld an order that requires Trump immigration authorities with the US Customs and Border Patrol to provide detained migrant kids with the humane basics: food, water, bedding, toothbrushes, soap, and conditions in which children can be expected to sleep.
“Assuring that children eat enough edible food, drink clean water, are housed in hygienic facilities with sanitary bathrooms, have soap and toothpaste, and are not sleep-deprived are without doubt essential to the children’s safety,” said the court.
A lot of ICE agents are gonna haz a sad tonight, as will Donald Trump's White House concentration camp advocate Stephen Miller. Read the rest
The largest single-state worksite immigration raid in American history took place today. Under orders from openly racist U.S. president Donald Trump, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents arrested 680 Latinx people who worked at numerous food processing plants throughout the state of Mississippi. Read the rest
• The change is expected to be a massive expansion of the government's power to seize, detain, and abruptly deport.
• Previously, “expedited removal” was limited to undocumented immigrants caught within 100 miles of the U.S. border who had been in the U.S. for less than two weeks.
The Trump administration's extrajudicial 'Expedited Removal' of undocumented immigrants will be radically expanded to apply everywhere within the United States, not just within 100 miles of the Mexico border, after the new rule is published in the Federal Register on Tuesday. Read the rest
Here are the 10 U.S. cities where ICE, CBP, DHS, and other agencies plan to execute mass raids. Read the rest