‘Psychological warfare’: immigrants in America held hostage by fear of raids (The Guardian, 2/18/2017) “Immigrant communities across the United States are in a state of fear and uncertainty after a week of immigration raids and leaks from the Trump administration that have raised the specter of a mass deportations.”
The most alarming leak was an 11-page memo from DHS Secretary John Kelly to ranking officials at ICE and CBP. When AP revealed the memo’s proposal to use National Guard troops to arrest immigrants (AP Exclusive: DHS weighed Nat Guard for immigration roundups), the White House promptly denied that it was considering any such action. But the memo includes other repressive measures that are being implemented, such as restrictions on release of persons awaiting hearings, and a characterization of the asylum process as “rife with fraud and abuse.” AP reported that
“The pushback from administration officials did little to quell outrage over the draft plan. Three Republican governors spoke out against the proposal and numerous Democratic lawmakers denounced it as an overly aggressive approach to immigration enforcement.”
Memos signed by DHS secretary describe sweeping new guidelines for deporting illegal immigrants (Washington Post, 2/18/2017)
“In a pair of memos, Kelly offered more detail on plans for the agency to hire thousands of additional enforcement agents, expand the pool of immigrants who are prioritized for removal, speed up deportation hearings and enlist local law enforcement to help make arrests.
“The new directives would supersede nearly all of those issued under previous administrations, Kelly said, including measures from President Barack Obama aimed at focusing deportations exclusively on hardened criminals and those with terrorist ties….
“However, many specifics of achieving the goals of Trump’s executive orders remain unclear. …”
ICE Agents Arrest Men Leaving Fairfax County Church Shelter (NBC 4 TV, Washington, 2/19/2017) “Oscar Ramirez said he had just left the hypothermia shelter at Rising Hope Mission Church on Russell Road in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County, Virginia, when about a dozen ICE agents surround him and other Latino men.”
Minnesota Republicans jumped on the anti-immigrant bandwagon on February 15, introducing a bill to ban all state aid to “sanctuary cities,” defined as “if the city has, or had within the last year, an ordinance prohibiting public safety officials from undertaking any law enforcement action for the purpose of detecting the presence of undocumented persons or to verify immigration status.”
Josue Romero, a 19-year-old DACA recipient arrested by ICE agents last week, has been released. But –
Detained Dreamer’s Lawyers Say Government Doctored Document to Justify False Gang Affiliation (The Stranger, 2/17/2017) Daniel Ramirez is still being held.
“Lawyers for Daniel Ramirez Medina, the 23-year-old, twice-authorized Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) recipient who was scooped up by immigration enforcement near Seattle last week, say that government officials doctored a legal document at the Northwest Detention Center in an attempt to prove that Ramirez Medina belonged to a gang.
“The allegation of government misconduct is outlined in a brief filed by Ramirez Medina’s lawyers in US District Court in Seattle. The lawyers say that when Ramirez Medina—who has been detained inside the Tacoma’s Northwest Detention Center’s gang unit for a week—tried to petition to be removed from the gang unit, part of his written petition was erased.”
Breaking the Deportation Machine (Moyers & Company, 2/17/2017)
U.S. accelerates deportation of Haitian migrants (Arizona Republic, 2/17/2017)
Why tens of thousands of kids from El Salvador continue to flee to the United States (Los Angeles Times, 2/16/2017)
“The death threats started last spring. Sixteen-year-old Mauricio Gomez answered a phone call from an unknown number and heard a nasal voice on the line.
Give me $400 by the end of the week, the gangster warned, or I’ll kill you and your family.
“Do you understand me?” the voice continued. “We can cut you into pieces.”