Racial profiling, morphing the border wall, and other immigration stories – May 3, 2017

judge's gavel weissparzThe immigration judge in Atlanta had heard the same story before: he looked like the person we were going to arrest, he tried to run away, so we arrested him – and look, he’s undocumented! So let’s deport him. This time was one time too many – Judge Dan Pelletier told ICE to bring the arresting agents in to court to testify. ICE refused to bring the agents to court.

Immigration judge finds racial profiling in immigration case (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 4/28/17)

“The judge then found the arresting officers’ conduct to be racial profiling and an “egregious violation” of the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee against unlawful searches and seizures.

“The ruling is remarkable because it was issued by Pelletier, who routinely sides with the government in immigration cases, said Atlanta lawyer Carolina Antonini, who teaches immigration law at Georgia State University law school.;;;

“The decision, issued Thursday, was a victory for Osvaldo Menese Chavez, who was taken into custody March 6. Chavez was arrested by two Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents as he walked away from his apartment complex on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard to catch a ride to work.”

Well – a moral victory maybe. But Chavez remained n detention. 

Trump defeat in Congress morphs border wall into a fence

A big fence, of course. Maybe a big, beautiful fence?

The Trump administration sketches out its border fence plan (The Atlantic, 5/2/17)

“Mick Mulvaney, the president’s budget director, said on Tuesday that the administration will replace segments of chain-link fencing with a 20-foot-tall steel fence along the southern border, despite Congress refusal to fund the president’s border wall in its spending bill.”

Blacklisted For Building Trump’s Wall? California Considers It (NPR, 5/2/17)

“What would we think of businesses that would work on an internment camp?” Lara asked. “What would we think of businesses that work on segregated schools? I mean, these were legitimate projects back in the day. And if they so happened to exist in this time, would we be OK with businesses contributing to that?”

Contractors, of course, see big problems with this legislation.

And in other news

‘Collateral’ immigration arrests threaten key crime alliances (San Francisco Chronicle, 4/28/17)

“When U.S. Homeland Security agents requested local help in a major gang bust, Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart was hesitant….

“The sheriff’s fears were realized when Homeland Security Investigations, known as HSI, swarmed Santa Cruz and arrested not just alleged MS-13 members but others suspected only of immigration violations — actions known as collateral arrests. The Santa Cruz Police Department soon apologized for participating, and what could have been a visible victory in the fight against a notorious gang became, at least in part, a symbol of something else.”

Manitoba sets up reception centre for asylum-seekers near U.S. border (The Star, 5/1/17)

“The Manitoba government is transforming a former seniors residence into a reception centre for asylum-seekers who walk across the border….

“The province says the centre will provide short-term shelter, food and help with the necessary refugee claimant paperwork.”

May Day protest: ‘I support immigrants. But closing businesses is really tough.’ (Washington Post, 5/1/17)

“Organizers planned 149 strikes, rallies, marches and other events in 125 cities and 35 states, in addition to one overseas in Vienna.

“Facebook, Google and the City of Seattle all told employees they could take the day off to participate.”

Visa crackdown threatens seasonal help at US resorts (AP via Star Tribune, 5/2/17) And not only resorts – hotels, restaurants, landscapers, and more.

Innkeepers, restaurateurs and landscapers around the U.S. say they are struggling to find seasonal help and turning down business in some cases because the government tightened up on visas for temporary foreign workers.

“There’s going to be a lot of businesses that just can’t function on a full-time basis, and some might not even open at all,” said Mac Hay, who co-owns Mac’s Seafood on Cape Cod and has organized seasonal businesses to lobby Congress.


About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet, www.tcdailyplanet.net, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
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