Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Immigrant Rights News - Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Immigrant Rights News – Tuesday, August 18, 2009


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1. New York Times: Officials Say Detainee Fatalities Were Missed

2. Austin American-Statesman: Charges on border police surging

3. San Francisco Chronicle: New sanctuary proposal on protecting youths

4. Bangor Daily News: Ordeal at the border: Blueberry rakers — Micmacs from New Brunswick — complain about aggressive stops by U.S. Customs. Was it racial profiling?

5. Los Angeles Times: Immigration official says agents will no longer have to meet quotas



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New York Times



August 18, 2009

Officials Say Detainee Fatalities Were Missed


More than one in 10 deaths in immigration detention in the last six years have been overlooked and were omitted from an official list of detainee fatalities issued to Congress in March, the Obama administration said Monday.

The administration added 10 previously unreported deaths to the official roster and disclosed an 11th, which occurred Friday: that of Huluf Guangule Negusse, a 24-year-old Ethiopian. Mr. Negusse died from the effects of an Aug. 3 suicide attempt in the Wakulla County correctional facility near Tallahassee, Fla.

What Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials call “the death roster” stands at 104 since October 2003, up from the 90 that were on the list the agency gave to Congress this spring.

his month, the Obama administration announced a plan to revamp the detention system. […]


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Austin American-Statesman





AP: Charges on border police surging



Monday, August 10, 2009


McALLEN Corruption along the U.S.-Mexico border takes many forms.

It can start as small as a smuggler's $50 gift to the child of a federal agent and then escalate into out-and-out bribes. "Everyone does it," the agent, now in prison, recalled telling himself.

In other situations, sheriffs grab thousands of dollars from drug dealers.

And in a few instances, traffickers place members in the applicant pool for sensitive border protection jobs.

An Associated Press investigation has found that U.S. law enforcement officers who work on the border are being charged with criminal corruption in numbers not seen before as drug and immigrant smugglers use money and sex to buy protection and internal investigators crack down.

Based on Freedom of Information Act requests, interviews with sentenced agents and a review of court records, the AP tallied corruption-related convictions against more than 80 enforcement officials at all levels — federal, state and local — since 2007, shortly after Mexican President Felipe Calderón declared war on the cartels that peddle up to $39 billion in drugs in the United States each year. […]


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San Francisco Chronicle



New sanctuary proposal on protecting youths


Marisa Lagos,John Coté, Chronicle Staff Writers

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


A San Francisco supervisor's proposed legislation would make it more difficult for officials to hand over undocumented youths suspected of crimes to federal immigration authorities, a policy that, if approved, could have far-reaching impacts.

The proposed law would require that juvenile suspects be convicted of a felony before San Francisco officials contact federal immigration authorities - unless the suspect is charged as an adult.

Currently, immigration authorities are contacted at the time of a felony arrest - a change implemented last year by Mayor Gavin Newsom after the city's sanctuary city policy made national headlines. Newsom's change angered many in the city's immigrant community.

Supporters of Supervisor David Campos' proposed amendment to the 1989 sanctuary city ordinance say most juveniles arrested on suspicion of a felony later see those charges dropped to a lesser offense in court. They also argue that youths should be treated differently than adults and make the case that police would gain greater trust if the threat of splitting up families is removed. […]


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Bangor Daily News



Ordeal at the border

Blueberry rakers — Micmacs from New Brunswick — complain about aggressive stops by U.S. Customs. Was it racial profiling?


By Sharon Kiley Mack

BDN Staff


TOWNSHIP 25, Maine — Hundreds of blueberry rakers traveling from Canada into Maine at the Calais border crossing during the past week were stopped, searched and questioned by U.S. Customs officials, something many said hasn’t happened to them in more than 40 years.

The rakers on their way to Maine’s blueberry fields were Micmacs, one of the First Nations groups of aboriginal peoples of northeastern Canada. Many said this week they believe they were stopped because they are Micmacs.

At the blueberry-harvesting areas north of Columbia Falls on Tuesday, many said their vehicles were searched by customs officials and dogs and that their paperwork was scrutinized. They carry First Nations status cards that serve as identification. The cards should enable them to cross the border under recently implemented Department of Homeland Security regulations.

Some of the Micmacs said they were held up for as long as three hours. Many reported that border agents frightened them with an aggressive attitude.

Several people who did not want to be identified reported that flour for their traditional fry bread was confiscated and at least two vehicles were damaged during searches. One, a pickup truck belonging to John Augustine, was damaged when a search dog trying to climb onto the back of the truck badly scratched the paint on the tailgate. Augustine said he was given a damage claim form and instructed to get estimates for repairs and submit appropriate paperwork. […]


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Los Angeles Times



Immigration official says agents will no longer have to meet quotas

Teams of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were expected to increase the number of annual arrests in the controversial 'fugitive operations' program, according to memos.


By Anna Gorman

August 18, 2009


The head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Monday in Los Angeles that he has ended quotas on a controversial program designed to go after illegal immigrants with outstanding deportation orders.


John Morton, a career prosecutor who took over as assistant secretary of Homeland Security in May, said during a meeting with reporters that he planned to make more changes soon. The "fugitive operations" program, he said, should do what it was created to do -- target absconders who have already had their day in court.


"The fugitive operations program needs to focus first and foremost on people who have knowingly flouted an immigration removal order and within that category, obviously, we will focus first on criminals," he said.


Beginning in 2003, the immigration agency dispatched teams around the country to arrest and deport immigrants who had criminal records, who had ignored deportation orders or who had been deported and illegally reentered the United States.


Between March 1, 2003, and April 30, 2009, fugitive operations teams made more than 12,300 arrests in Los Angeles and surrounding counties. […]



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