[Correction 7/3/18**] The Abolish ICE movement is growing, with more organizations and politicians taking stands for and against it. Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI) introduced a bill to abolish ICE and set up a commission to figure out what to do to replace it. Other early supporters of the legislation include Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and Jim McGovern (D-MA). Jayapal explained to The Intercept:
“The argument to shut ICE down revolves around its cultural ecology. The agency has become corrupted with a military mentality that doesn’t respect civilian oversight and has little effective oversight. Once an institution’s culture has metastasized, reforming it can become impossible, with the only solution to abolish it and disperse its various authorities elsewhere.”
Some Democrats are not signing on: Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) are among those saying they don’t support abolishing ICE because some enforcement agency is needed. Politicians and activists in the Abolish ICE movement may not have exactly the same aims in mind: Pocan’s bill calls for a study commission and redistribution of ICE enforcement responsibilities, while Mijente wants an end to deportations. Trump says he hopes Democrats will continue to focus on the issue as he believes it will get Democrats beaten in mid-term elections.
In Los Angeles, ICE agents say, “Even the cops don’t like us anymore because they’re listening to the news also.”
Immigration News format: I’m experimenting for a week with changing the daily post format to discussion plus links, rather than a long list of linked articles and quotes. Please let me know which format you like best.
ICE detention centers, many run by for-profit corporations, fail inspections but suffer no consequences and do not fix the deficiencies, according to an internal report from the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security. That’s not news to David, a juvenile who was assaulted by other detainees, and forced to take psychotropic medications in ICE detention. Attorney Becky Wolozin of the Legal Aid Justice Center in Falls Church, Virginia said that David and other detainees do not understand that when they talk to a therapist in these facilities, anything they say can be used against them to put them in higher-security facilities.
The city council in Pine Island, Minnesota voted last week to get a piece of the private immigration jail action, instructing city staff to work with corporate developers to develop plans “for a state-of-the-art detention facility with an aesthetically pleasing design.” Other cities around the country have been ending contracts for private immigration jails.
Family separation began last year, long before the official announcement of zero tolerance, reports the New York Times. Despite official denials, the Los Angeles Times found that immigration authorities separated many families who came to border checkpoints and asked for asylum.
The latest developments in the administration’s non-reunification plan include a requirement that family members who agree to sponsor an immigrant child, getting them out of detention, must pay exorbitant fees for transportation, as well as submitting fingerprints for all adults in the household to ICE, potentially providing ICE with evidence to deport any who are undocumented. Some families have been told they have to move to larger homes or better neighborhoods if they want to sponsor their nieces, nephews, or grandchildren. Some detained parents are told they can only get their children back by abandoning their asylum claims and agreeing to be deported.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) has ended for more than 250,000 people, and the next country up for decision is Yemen. About 1,200 Yemenis who currently have TPS await a DHS decision on July 5 on whether to extend the program, or force people to return to Yemen. How they would do so is unclear, since U.S.-backed forces have closed the country’s airport and blockaded the coastline. A decision on TPS for Somalia will come later this month.
CORRECTION 7/3/18: Oops – I misplaced Senator Tammy Duckworth, who actually represents Illinois, not Wisconsin.