Judge slams ICE for targeting migrants based on their political opposition to ICE

Trump's election promise to be cruel to brown people manifested most tangibly as a campaign to deport "undocumented criminals" -- but there aren't many of those (migrants are more law-abiding, on average, than native-born Americans), so now ICE is scrambling for other brown people to be cruel to. Read the rest

A brief history of how the rich world brutalized and looted Haiti, a country the US owes its very existence to

When Donald Trump calls Haiti a "shithole country," he's dismissing one of the hardest-done-by countries in the history of the world -- and moreover, a land whose sacrifices made the US itself possible. Read the rest

Private prison tortures asylum seeker who refused "voluntary" labor

Shoaib Ahmed is a Bangladeshi asylum seeker whom ICE has imprisoned in the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia, a private prison run by CoreCivic (formerly the notorious Corrections Corporation of America, where he has been placed in solitary confinement -- a form of torture -- for refusing "voluntary" labor. Read the rest

San Francisco judge says Trump can't kill DACA until lawsuits are resolved

The Trump administration won't be able to order the cancellation the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program until the outstanding lawsuits about the legality of such an order have been resolved, thanks to a ruling by Federal judge in San Francisco. Read the rest

ICE Director wants criminal charges against local officials in sanctuary cities

Thomas Homan is the acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency; in an interview on (where else) Fox News, he said that local officials in "sanctuary cities" (cities where law enforcement agencies do not pro-actively check immigration status of people they question or arrest, and require immigration officials to present warrants along with requests to detain people) should be held criminally liable for "harboring and smuggling" unauthorized immigrants. Read the rest

Coalition of 100+ tech groups and leaders warn the DHS that "extreme vetting" software will be a worse-than-useless, discriminatory nightmare

In a pair of open letters to Letter to The Honorable Elaine C. Duke, Acting Secretary of Homeland, a coalition of more than 100 tech liberties groups and leading technology experts urged the DHS to abandon its plan to develop a black-box algorithmic system for predicting whether foreigners coming to the USA to visit or live are likely to be positive contributors or risks to the nation. Read the rest

Leaked ICE forfeiture manual instructs agents to seize houses if they contain a phone implicated in crime

ICE have become house-flippers, using the notorious and discredited "civil asset forfeiture" process to steal houses from people they say were involved in crime, then selling the houses to fund their operations, and more seizures of more houses. Read the rest

Portland police stage bizarre sensory deprivation stunt against ICE protesters

Protesters against ICE's campaign of mass deportations were treated to a bizarre public stunt by Portland, OR police, who put them in isolation hoods and sound-muffling ear-protectors reminiscent of the treatment described by Gitmo prisoners and other survivors of US torture. The police were attempting separate the protesters from the bonds they used to stick themselves together and the measures were nominally taken to protect the protesters' hearing and vision from police power-tools. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

Trump's ICE snitch-line is full of people secretly trying to deport their in-laws

Since April, Trump's Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been running a snitchline called "Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE)" whose mission is to "provide proactive, timely, adequate, and professional services to victims of crimes committed by removable aliens." Read the rest

Supreme Court will rule on whether immigrants have constitutional rights

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard the re-argument of Sessions v. Dimaya, a case that asks whether the administration can treat lawful immigrants to the USA (including Green Card holders like me) as though we have no Constitutional rights. Read the rest

Donald Trump has ushered in a "golden age of private prisons"

With Donald Trump reversing Obama's ban on the use of private prisons for federal prisoners and vowing to deport 11 million people; and Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructing prosecutors to seek long prison sentences for minor offenses, the investor community could not be more bullish on the private prison sector. Read the rest

An absurd and awful moment in Switzerland's legendarily bonkers citizenship process

When I was becoming a British citizen, the one thing everyone knew was that the Life in the UK citizenship test was full of weird, arbitrary questions that most Britons couldn't answer, but next to Switzerland, the British process seems downright sane.

Read the rest

SXSW condemns Texas's state-level law banning "sanctuary cities" like Austin

SXSW has made good on its promises to walk the talk on supporting immigration rights, coming out in support of the city of Austin's lawsuit against the state of Texas over SB-4, the Texas law that bans "sanctuary cities" where law enforcement officers do not check or take action on arrestees' immigration status unless it is relevant to their alleged crimes. Read the rest

American regions with high immigration enjoy persistent, long-term higher incomes and lower unemployment

If you're an American who's lucky enough to live somewhere that received large influxes of immigrants during the "Age of Mass Migration" (1860 to 1920), congratulations! The immigrants who came to your territory brought along higher incomes, lower unemployment, higher levels of educational attainment -- and no reduction in social cohesion! Read the rest

Germany mulls sweeping surveillance bill, crypto backdoors and fingerprinting kids

Germany's interior ministry has announced sweeping new surveillance powers ahead of the coming national election, which would include the right to infect residents' computers with malware in order to spy on their encrypted communications (shades of the illegal Bundestrojaner program), ordering tech companies to deliberately introduce defects into their cryptography, and fingerprinting children as young as 6. Read the rest

US border officials will examine 5 years' worth of visa-seekers' social media posts

The new questionnaire that US visa applicants have to fill in requires them to supply biographical information stretching back 15 years and all their social media handles for the past 5 years. Read the rest

Feds admit they used secret anti-terror mass surveillance tool to catch an undocumented waiter

Rudy Carcamo-Carranza was an undocumented restaurant worker in Michigan wanted for a DUI and a hit-and-run; the FBI and ICE used IMSI catchers -- powerful, secretive cellphone tracking tools that the agencies bill as a kind of superweapon in the war on terror -- to catch him and put him up for deportation. Read the rest

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