Coronavirus: ICE to stop arresting migrants other than 'mission critical' arrests, whatever that is

Immigration and Customs Enforcement to halt most arrests until after coronavirus crisis

Trump administration to begin taking DNA samples from migrants crossing border or in detention for federal criminal database

'Rule will require immigration officers to collect cheek swabs from what could amount to hundreds of thousands of people a year '

ICE ran facial recognition searches on millions of Maryland drivers' photos without court approval; activists say they're targeting immigrants

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

The US Department of Justice has officially begun to un-naturalize citizens

Today on "Every Single Expectation of Gradual Fascist Action Under the Trump Administration Has Continued Coming True:"

The Department of Justice today announced the creation of a section dedicated to investigating and litigating revocation of naturalization.  The Denaturalization Section will join the existing sections within the Civil Division’s Office of Immigration Litigation—the District Court Section and the Appellate Section.  This move underscores the Department’s commitment to bring justice to terrorists, war criminals, sex offenders, and other fraudsters who illegally obtained naturalization.

I generally try to avoid slippery slope arguments as they are a logical fallacy. But this one is particularly concerning. Take it in good faith, and there's still the issue of "de-naturalizing" people from countries like Tibet, or the Kingdom of Fiji, or Czechoslovakia,  or the United Arab Republic, or the Catalan Republic — nation-states that technically no longer exist, but from which naturalized US citizens could have possibly emigrated.

And then there are the worst-case scenarios: who could trust that the government would limit these cases to terrorists and sex offenders, and who gets to define what constitutes terrorism or a sex offense?

This is a dangerous nativist agenda no matter what way you slice it,

The Department of Justice Creates Section Dedicated to Denaturalization Cases [US Department of Justice]

Image: U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Tracy L. DeMarco / Public Domain, depicting a military spouse becoming a military spouse receiving her naturalized US citizenship on foreign soil. Read the rest

'We are desperate — we need more immigrants.' Mick Mulvaney, Trump's Office of Management and Budget chief

“We are desperate — desperate — for more people,” Donald Trump cabinet member Mick Mulvaney said in a recording obtained by The Washington Post. “We are running out of people to fuel the economic growth that we’ve had in our nation over the last four years. We need more immigrants.” Read the rest

Trump's immigration enforcement agents use cellphone location data to track individuals for detention - WSJ

A commercial database that maps the movements of millions of cellphones is being used by immigration and border authorities to round up undesirable immigrants for detention and deportation. Read the rest

CBP went against court orders and deported an Iranian student with a fully legal presence in the country

Shahab Dehghani is an Iranian citizen and college student who has been studying in Boston for the past several years. According to MassLive, he had been in the United States for two years while enrolled at UMass Boston. Dehghani had planned to transfer to Northeastern University, but returned home to Iran in December 2018, and had to wait a year for his F-1 student visa to get re-approved. With all the proper paperwork in place, he returned to Boston to start his first semester at Northeastern.

Upon landing at Logan Airport this past Sunday, he was immediately detained US Customs and Border Protection agents.

The agents wanted to remove him from the country right away. But a federal court upheld an emergency stay from Dehghani's lawyer that would ensure he remained in the country for 48-hours until a proper hearing could be held. According to that same lawyer, CBP deported Dehghani anyway.

It's kind of hard for authoritarian law enforcement to argue that they're upholding "law and order" when they're literally disobeying the law. But somehow that never stops them.

Student Deported From Boston Despite Federal Court Order [Shannon Dooling / WBUR]

Image of Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston via Wikimedia Commons Read the rest

Homeland Security labelled a group of volunteer doctors as "radical political activists"

The Trump administration's brazen propaganda game has always been strong, and always finds impressive new ways to out-horrible itself.

So this is really just the latest example of dehumanizing language presented in an official context.

The Washington Examiner article linked to in the tweet is hardly objective, but even it still holds back from this kind of labelling.

Left-wing organizations that have called for the closing of immigrant detention facilities said they were turned away from a Border Patrol facility in Southern California after showing up to provide what they said were flu vaccines for detainees.

Members from Doctors for Camp Closures, Families Belong Together, and Never Again Action arrived at the Chula Vista Border Patrol Station in San Ysidro, California, Monday saying they wanted to vaccinate adults and children in temporary custody. The organizations said employees from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, who oversee station operations, turned them away.

Which part of this is "radical," exactly? Is it the belief in vaccines? Treating immigrants like human beings? Trying to prevent disease from spreading? Or handing out free healthcare?

I'm even willing (begrudgingly so) to overlook the CBP policy that allegedly required these Border Patrol agents to turn the doctors away. Maybe there's a reason for that policy that's not inherently xenophobic and authoritarian (maybe); the Examiner article does note that, "Detainees at Border Patrol facilities are not supposed to be kept for more than 72 hours, and people can get flu vaccines after they are transferred out of CBP custody to other agencies." Read the rest

Trump admin sued for requiring foreigners to disclose social media accounts when applying for visas

Two of documentary film groups are suing the administration of President Donald Trump for requiring foreigners to hand over their social media account IDs, even pseudonymous ones, to U.S. officials when applying for a visa. Read the rest

A janitor at a detention center saved immigrants' belongings and turned them into art

In 2003, artist Tom Kiefer took a part-time job as a janitor at a Border Patrol facility in Ajo, Arizona. It was just something to subsidize his creative work. But he watched first-hand as things got more crowded, and policies became more cruel. He saw canned food taken away from migrants and donated to a food pantry, then later thrown away entirely, even though it was still good. The same thing happened with water bottles. Then there were the personal possessions deemed "non-essential" — the toothbrushes, rosaries, medication, and toys. Some things — like shoelaces — were thrown away as potential weapons.

So Kiefer began to collect these discarded items and photograph them. He gathered more than 100,000 items over the course of a decade or so, and saved them in his studio to photograph.

He's barely made it through the pile. But now the photographs are on display at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, providing a compassionate insight into migrant lives, and how the things that we discard might matter to some people.

You can learn more in the video, or check out the gallery website below.

 

El Sueño Americano | The American Dream: Photographs by Tom Kiefer at the Skirball Cultural Center Read the rest

Trump policies result in 69,550 migrant children held in U.S. government custody over past year

We're number one. In the racist, eugenicist, genocidal theft of infants, toddlers, and tender-age children from undocumented and mostly indigenous migrants who are fleeing violence in Guatemala and other Central American failed states. Read the rest

After a police raid, a Nicaraguan cartoonist has found sanctuary in the United States

Positive stories about Latin American immigrants and the United States are difficult to come by right now. But at least Pedro X. Molina and his family have found a happy ending.

Molina is an award-winning political cartoonist, whose scathing satire has been syndicated all across the world. Originally from Nicaragua, Molina was on staff at the Confidencial when their offices were raided and ransacked by police in December 2018. Like most dictatorial leaders, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega was none-too-pleased with the Confidencial for doing such terrible things as, well, reporting the truth about his brutal and inhumane actions—you know, like ordering a violent police raid on journalists who dared to criticize him. Read the rest

In Supreme Court filing, Apple CEO Tim Cook opposes Trump, supports immigrant rights and 'Dreamers'

On Wednesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court declaring opposition to efforts by Donald Trump’s administration to end the federal 'Dreamer' program which protects from deportation hundreds of thousands of immigrants who brought into the country as kids. Read the rest

What is it like to be a foreign worker in Tokyo?

Asian Boss went to the streets of Tokyo to interview people from Nepal, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, who moved to Japan to become convenience store staffers, fast food employees, farm workers, translators, and blue collar workers. Read the rest

Trump to rob Homeland Security of $270M, including $155M in FEMA disaster relief, to pay for migrant detention

The administration of Donald Trump is pulling $270 million from the Department of Homeland Security, including $155 million of FEMA disaster relief funding, to pay for all migrant concentration camps, according to DHS and a leading congressional Democrat.

Money will also reportedly be taken away from the budget for planned upgrades to the National Cybersecurity Protection System, and new equipment for the U.S. Coast Guard.

Everything is awful, and getting worse.

From Reuters:

The money, which was also set aside for the U.S. Coast Guard, will be used to pay for detention facilities and courts for migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. DHS officials say they have been overwhelmed by a surge of asylum-seeking migrants who are fleeing violence and poverty in Central America.

The Trump administration is seeking to circumvent Congress and move money originally designated for other programs. This will allow the administration to continue to house immigrants arriving at the border, part of President Donald Trump’s promise not to “catch and release” migrants and allow them to await hearings outside of custody.

The administration plans to take $115 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster-relief fund just as hurricane season is heating up in the Atlantic Ocean, according to a letter from U.S. Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard, who chairs the congressional panel that oversees Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spending.

The letter also details that money will be taken for planned upgrades to the National Cybersecurity Protection System and new equipment for the U.S. Coast Guard, Roybal-Allard said.

Read the rest

Immigrant detention facility driver slams truck into protesters, causing serious injuries

Several injured when black pickup truck drove into protesters at Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility on Wednesday night.

Trump immigration thugs can't deny kids water, food, toilets, or sleep: Federal Appeals Court

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

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