Friday, July 3, 2015

Immigrants' Lawsuit Over Post-9/11 Detention Is Revived; Ashcroft and Mueller to be Deposed

By Adam Liptak, New York Times
June 17, 2015

Saying that high-ranking Bush administration officials may have taken part in grave constitutional violations after the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal appeals court in New York on Wednesday revived a long-running lawsuit brought by immigrants, most of them Muslim, who said they were subjected to beatings, humiliating searches and other abuses in a Brooklyn detention center.

"The suffering endured by those who were imprisoned merely because they were caught up in the hysteria of the days immediately following 9/11 is not without a remedy," Judges Rosemary S. Pooler and Richard C. Wesley wrote in a joint opinion for a divided three-judge panel of the court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

"Holding individuals in solitary confinement 23 hours a day with regular strip-searches because their perceived faith or race placed them in the group targeted for recruitment by Al Qaeda violated the detainees' constitutional rights," the judges said.[...]

Read the full article:

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Agentes de Migra Fuera de Control/Confront Rogue ICE Agents

Agentes de Migra Fuera de Control
Por Elvira Arellano
17 de junio, 2015

(English Version folows below)

Mientras que esperamos para que las cortes federales fallen a favor de las órdenes ejecutivas del presidente Obama, el presidente ha mandado que el departamento de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE) suelte a todas aquellas personas que calificarían para un aplazamiento según aquellas órdenes. El Jefe del Departamento de Seguridad Interna (Homeland Security), Jeh Johnson, ha dicho que esta “acción por discreción” debe llevarse a cabo lo más pronto posible. Es una política beneficiosa y las familias que, si se llega a implementar, podrán quedar unificadas, merecen que se cumpla en forma total y completa.

Las familias lo merecen pero muchas veces no lo están recibiendo. Acompañados por el congresista Luis Gutiérrez, hace poco tuvimos una reunión con los agentes encargados de la oficina de ICE en Chicago. Cuando en caso de ellos se les apela un fallo, estoy segura que van a responder conforme a las órdenes dadas por el presidente Obama. Pero la reacción de los agentes que trabajan para ellos es otro asunto.[...]

Lea el artículo completo:

Confront Rogue ICE Agents
By Elvira Arellano
June 17, 2015

While we wait for the courts to clear President Obama’s executive orders ICE is under instruction from the President to release those who would qualify for deferments under those orders. The head of Homeland Security has said that this “discretionary action” should happen at the earliest stage possible of the process. It is a good policy and the families that will be kept together deserve its full, complete and thorough implementation.

The families deserve it - but often they are not getting it. We recently met with the agents in charge of the Chicago office along with Congressman Gutierrez. When an appeal for a ruling is made to them I am convinced they will follow the guidelines set out by the President. The agents that work for them are a different story.[...]

Read the full article:

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Suit alleges U.S. violates rights of immigrant detainees

By Emile Schepers, People's World
June 15 2015

An important class action suit was filed in United States District Court for the District of Arizona last week alleging that U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement (CBP) officials have been massively violating the constitutional and human rights of detainees in Border Patrol lockups in the Tucson, Arizona sector of their operations.

The suit, filed by three specific plaintiffs as representative of a class of at least 75 and potentially tens of thousands, was filed by attorneys for the law firm of Morrison and Foerster LLP, the National Immigration Law Center, the American Immigration Council, the American Civil Liberties Council of Arizona, and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area.[...]

Read the full article:

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Thousands of Farmworkers in California Can't Make a Living

By David Bacon, New America Media
June 2, 2015

Editor's note: California farmworkers once made a decent living but according to NAM contributing writer, David Bacon, those days are long gone. Now the majority is struggling to survive. More than a third of the farmworkers population makes less than the minimum wage, while the other third earns the exact minimum. Many suffer from various health issues as the result of years of backbreaking work. Undocumented farm laborers find movement back and forth across the militarized border far more dangerous and expensive than before, and many are stuck even when picking season has ended. In a three parts series, Bacon gives his analysis of the situation and provides two moving portraits of struggling Triqui farmworkers. Bacon’s analysis is below.

At the end of the 1970s California farm workers were the highest-paid in the U.S., with the possible exception of Hawaii's long-unionized sugar and pineapple workers. Today their economic situation is not much different from that of their coworkers elsewhere around the country. California's agricultural laborers are trapped in jobs that pay the minimum wage and often less, and are mostly unable to find permanent year-round work.

The decline in income is apparent in three ways. The minimum wage is the current wage standard for most farm workers. They receive a tiny percentage of the retail price of the crops they produce. And their living conditions reflect incomes that are at the bottom of the U.S. wage scale.[...]

Read the full article:

Monday, June 29, 2015

Death in Detention

Congressman Grijalva calls for Justice Department investigation into suicide of undocumented man at private prison

By Jim Nintzel, Tucson Weekly
June 25, 2015

The autopsy shows that while undocumented immigrant Jose de Jesus Deniz-Sahagun was being housed in a privately run Eloy prison in May, he shoved a sock down his throat and choked on it.

Deniz-Sahagun, 31, was a troubled inmate. The autopsy report, by Pima County Forensic Pathologist Gregory L. Hess, notes that Deniz-Sahagun arrived at the Eloy Detention Center on May 18 with "delusional thoughts and behaviors" and was placed on a constant watch because he was threatening to kill himself. On May 20, the guards reduced the constant watch to cell checks every 15 minutes, which evidently gave Deniz-Sahagun enough time to swallow his knee-high orange sock and end his own life.

In the wake of his death, rampant rumors were coming out of the prison, where Corrections Corporation of America detains undocumented immigrants under contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Phoenix-based Puente Human Rights Movement announced that 200 people were refusing to eat, calling for an end to abuse and exploitation, but INS officials have told the press that no hunger strike was [...]

Read the full article:

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Study: Private contracts encourage federal immigrant detentions

Quotas create incentive for authorities to detain more immigrants than they would otherwise need to, report says

By Tom Kutsch, AlJazeera America
June 11, 2015

A system of local quotas for privately run immigration detention facilities across the United States has created a strong incentive for federal immigration authorities to detain more immigrants than it would otherwise need to, while increasing profits for private companies, according to a study.

The report (PDF), released Thursday by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Detention Watch Network, says that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – the division of the Department of Homeland Security that manages immigration detention facilities – supports a system where its contracts with private companies establish “guaranteed minimums,” taxpayer-supported monetary obligations to pay for a set number of detention beds, regardless of whether they are used.

That, the report says, means ICE has an incentive to detain individuals, and gives private companies that run detention facilities a say in the number of immigrants the U.S. detains annually.[...]

Read the full article:

Download the report:

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Enforcement is not the answer to the migrant crisis

EU’s plan to crack down on traffickers and stop migrant boats in the Mediterranean will endanger the migrants even more

By David Bacon, AlJazeera America
June 8, 2015

The influx of migrants trying to reach Europe from North Africa continues unabated. In the last weekend of May alone, European naval and merchant ships rescued more than 5,000 migrants after boats in the Mediterranean issued distress calls, according the European Union border control agency, Frontex. The death toll is also on the rise. At least 1,770 people have died so far this year — up from 56 at this same time last year. The International Organization for Migration warns that the migrant death toll could reach 30,000 in 2015.

Frontex has stepped up its search and rescue efforts after nearly 900 migrants drowned off Libya’s coast in April. But EU leaders remain divided on just what to do with those already in Europe. At least 40,000 people have reached Italy by boat since January. Yet so far, the EU’s response has focused on border enforcement and a crackdown on traffickers. This emphasis not only ignores the primary drives of migration but also jeopardizes millions of people who are seeking refuge from repressive regimes.

Other European plans are equally riddled with flaws.[...]

Read the full article: