Monday, April 3, 2017

ICE Update: Five Green Card Applicants Detained, Raids in Northwest, Government Defend Courthouse Arrests

“Why don’t they just get legal?” people ask. Well, one reason is that they might be arrested and deported when they go for their green card interviews. And  a domestic abuse victim now needs to think twice before applying for a protection order, since ICE agents are apparently free to make arrests in courthouses..—TPOI editor

Arrested while applying for a green card: US immigration experts fear policy shift
Multiple cases of people being arrested while seeking green cards marks a dramatic shift in immigration policy, say observers: ‘This is what we all feared’

By Susan Zalkind, The Guardian
April 1, 2017
Leandro Arriaga arrived at the immigration office with his US citizen wife and three-month-old daughter on Wednesday.

Their lawyer knew the meeting was a risk. Arriago, 43, who had come to the US from the Dominican Republic in 2000, did have an order of deportation out against him. But she had never had a client detained at a US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) meeting before.

The arrest of Arriago and at least three other people in Massachusetts this week while they were applying for their green cards marks a dramatic shift in immigration policy, say attorneys and experts.[…]

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ICE arrests 84 people during 3-day sweep of Pacific Northwest

Sara Roth,
March 30, 2017
PORTLAND, Ore. – Eighty-four undocumented immigrants in Oregon and Washington were arrested during a three-day sweep, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Thursday.

Sixty of the people arrested had criminal histories, ICE said. Twenty-four did not.

Not everyone who was arrested during the sweep had a criminal background. ICE said agents “frequently encounter additional suspects” and those people may also be arrested after a case-by-case evaluation.[…]

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Top U.S. officials defend courthouse arrests of undocumented immigrants in escalating feud with California justice

By Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post
March 31, 2017
Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly fired back at California’s chief justice for criticizing the use of courthouses to arrest undocumented immigrants, writing in a letter released Friday that the practice was only necessary because the state was so uncooperative on immigration enforcement matters.

Responding to a missive from California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, Sessions and Kelly wrote that the characterization of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers “stalking” undocumented immigrants at courthouses was “particularly troubling,” and that officers were within their rights to arrest undocumented immigrants in public places.

They blamed state and local officials for enacting “statutes and ordinances designed to specifically prohibit or hinder ICE from enforcing immigration law” and “denying requests by ICE officers and agents to enter prisons and jails to make arrests.” Such policies, they wrote, made it necessary for officers to arrest undocumented immigrants at courthouses.[…]

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