Arrests on civil immigration charges are up 38% in 100 days since Trump’s executive order

By Nigel Duara

Federal immigration agents have arrested more than 40,000 people since President Trump signed executive orders expanding the scope of deportation priorities in January, a 38% increase over the same period last year.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Thomas Homan said Wednesday that Trump has “opened the aperture” of charges that immigration agents are permitted to prosecute, a departure fromObama administration priorities which targeted immigrants in the country illegally who have serious criminal convictions.

“There is no category of aliens off the table,” Homan said.

In late January, Trump stripped away most restrictions on who should be deported. A Los Angeles Times analysis revealed that more than 8 million people who crossed the border illegally could now be considered priorities for deportation.

Trump’s orders instruct federal agents to deport not only those convicted of crimes, but also those who aren’t charged but are believed to have committed “acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense.”

The new numbers, released in a press call with reporters, suggest that Trump’s pledge to step up deportations is bearing fruit, at least in some parts of the country.

Although the president’s plan to build an expanded new wall on the Mexican border has been stymied – Congress refused to include funding for it in a recent budget deal – his new border security priorities appear to be having a significant impact on immigration enforcement.

According to calculations by Los Angeles Times, as many as 8 million people living in the country illegally could be considered priorities for deportation under Trump’s new policy. Under the Obama administration, about 1.4 million people were considered priorities for removal.

The stepped-up immigration arrests have not been reflected in Southern California, where the detention rate has remained relatively flat, and agents say they have done little to change their enforcement strategy.

Homan said that, in his estimation, federal agents are happier with Trump’s directives than they were under Obama’s more cautious approach.

“When officers are allowed to do their jobs, morale increases,” said Homan, who also served under Obama. “I think morale is up.”

Homan said the paucity of people trying to enter the country illegally, a number which has reached a record low, means agents have more time to spend on removals from the nation’s interior.

According to the new ICE data, nearly 75 percent of those arrested in the 100 days since Trump signed his new executive orders on immigration are convicted criminals, with offenses ranging from homicide and assault to sexual abuse and drug-related charges.

But there has also been a significant increase in the number of non-criminals arrested. A total of 10,800 people were arrested whose only offense was entering the country illegally, more than twice the 4,200 such immigrants taken into custody in the first four months of 2016.

“While these data clearly reflect the fact that convicted criminals are an immigration enforcement priority, Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly has made it clear that ICE will no longer exempt any class of individuals from removal proceedings if they are found to be in the country illegally,” the agency said in its report.

Migrant advocates were quick to condemn the administration’s priorities.

Addressing claims by John F. Kelly, Trump’s secretary of Homeland Security, that the administration is only focusing on criminals, and Wednesday’s numbers, Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice Education Fund, said the majority of people targeted cannot be considered “serious criminals.”

“These guys spin, distort, exaggerate, and dissemble almost as much as the president they work for,” Sharry said. “The false claims are aimed at providing cover for an agenda that calls for the deportation of millions. Instead of targeting serious criminals, they are targeting every immigrant they can get their hands on and calling all of them criminals.”

While deportations of migrants caught near the border are generally a quick matter, Homan said, the removal processes for so-called “interior deportations” take longer. He expects the overall pace of removal proceedings to slow down as fewer border crossers are removed and interior deportations make up a larger share of all removals.

Without providing specific numbers, Homan said assaults on federal agents conducting arrests are up 150% over the same period last year. Homan attributes the increase to “noncompliance” — meaning actively resisting arrest.

Federal agents must also contend with jails that refuse to allow ICE agents inside. Such jails contend that immigration enforcement is outside the scope of their duties, and some also say the presence of immigration enforcement agents adversely affects relations with local migrant communities.

Homan said jails that do not allow ICE agents inside to make arrests force the agents to capture migrants on the street, a far more dangerous and expensive proposition.

“If the jail lets them go, we have to send a team of officers,” Homan said. “One officer can make a safe arrest inside a facility. If the jail doesn’t cooperate, we have to go get them.”

Edited For mb3-org.com

35 demonstrators, including clergy, arrested during ICE protest in downtown L.A.

By Veronica Rocha

Police arrested 35 demonstrators Thursday in downtown Los Angeles during a protest over recent actions by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, officials said.

The demonstrators were cited for refusing to comply with police commands after blocking the entry into Metropolitan Detention Center, at 535 Alameda St., said Officer Irma Mota, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department. They were later released.

Clergy members and civil rights activists were among those arrested in the march, according to Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, an interfaith and worker rights organization.

Organizers called the protest “An Interfaith Day of Prophetic Action” and said it was inspired by religious events this Holy Week and enforcement actions by federal authorities.

“ICE is an active danger to members of our community — both our community at All Saints Church and our wider communities of Los Angeles, California and the nation,” the Rev. Mike Kinman, who was arrested, said in a statement. “Its targeting of people for deportation is based on race and class. It splits up families, has communities living in fear and exacerbates the already shrinking trust between communities of color and police and government authorities.”

The demonstration started Thursday morning at La Plaza United Methodist Church at Placita Olvera.

From there, protesters marched along Los Angeles Street, holding signs and chanting, “Immigrants are welcomed here.”

They called for the release of Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez by ICE who was arrested in February after dropping his daughter off at her Lincoln Heights school. ICE officials said the arrest was routine, citing a 2014 order for Avelica-Gonzalez’s deportation.

Later, clergy members released statements about their arrests.

“I know that I will be released soon after my arrest. Romulo Avelica-Gonzalez’s fate is not the same as mine: he is still being detained and his future is uncertain,” David Bocarsly, who was one of those arrested, said in a statement. “I chose to get arrested while observing the Passover rituals to serve as a reminder that, until we are all free, we are none of us free.”

The Rev. Janet Gollery McKeithen said she felt compelled to march because her friend was recently picked up by ICE.

“His partner not only has to figure out how to live without his income, but now has to try to comfort their three children, one of whom is marking the calendar with an X for each day her daddy is gone,” she said.

Source:http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-ice-protests-arrest-downtown-los-angeles-20170414-story.html

 

Congressman handcuffed at sit-in at ICE office to protest immigration policy

GTY 653031522 A POL USA IL

By :

CHICAGO — U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez and several immigrant advocates were briefly placed in restraints by federal officers after they staged a sit-in at the regional office of the Immigration Customs and Enforcement agency on Monday to protest the Trump administration’s increased targeting of undocumented immigrants for deportation.

Gutierrez, D-Ill., and activists began their sit-in at the Chicago office after a contentious meeting with ICE officials. The lawmaker said that he stood ready to be arrested when he started the protest late Monday morning, but ended the sit-in more than four hours later without incident.

Federal Protective Service officers gave the congressman and seven immigration advocates taking part-in the sit-in three warnings to leave the facility or face arrest, according to Gail Montenegro, an ICE spokeswoman. At one point, Gutierrez posted on social media that he was even placed in handcuffs but agents changed their mind and allowed the sit-in to continue.

Montenegro said federal agents removed the flex cuffs within approximately two minutes, after ICE officials  relayed to the FPS officers that they no longer wanted the congressman and others removed from the building.

“They threatened us with arrest. We said ‘We’re ready to go to jail,'” Gutierrez told reporters after ending the protest. “We stood up to the bullies here…Unfortunately, tonight and tomorrow they will continue to prey on very vulnerable, defenseless people in their homes in the darkness of the night.”

The congressman said he decided to start the sit-in after he felt he received unsatisfactory or incomplete answers from ICE officials about whether they would carry out enforcement raids in churches and other sensitive locations.

Gutierrez also said he did not receive clear answers on whether the agency would target young undocumented immigrants living in the US under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy started under the Obama administration. The agency said in a statement that the sit-in began after the “Congressman sought actions and assurances that ICE officials couldn’t provide.”

Last week, ICE wrote on its Twitter that “DACA is not a protected legal status, but active DACA recipients are typically a lower level of enforcement priority.” The program provided hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants—commonly referred to as DREAMers— brought to the U.S. as children certain protections and a pathway to becoming U.S. citizens. ICE’s messages on social media have left many immigration advocates concerned that DREAMers could also be targeted.

The protest comes after the Department of Homeland Security issued a sweeping set of orders last month to increase immigration enforcement, placing the vast majority of the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants at risk of deportation.

The new policy calls for immigration enforcement — including Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and ICE — to identify, capture and quickly deport every undocumented immigrant they encounter.

The Trump administration’s guidance also calls for undocumented immigrants caught entering the country to be placed in detention until their cases are resolved and increases the ability of local police to help in immigration enforcement.The new guidance make undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of a crime the highest priority for enforcement operations. They also make clear that ICE agents should also arrest and initiate deportation proceedings against any other undocumented immigrant they encounter.

Gutierrez said he also questioned ICE officials about the scheduled deportations of several immigrants living in the Chicago area.

One, Miguel Perez, is a Mexican-born legal permanent resident and Army veteran and is facing deportation after a felony drug conviction. Perez served two tours in Afghanistan.

Last month, Gutierrez and several other members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus were barred by staffers from House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office from attending a meeting in Washington with acting ICE director Thomas Homan.

Several Democratic lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., were invited to the meeting and attended.

Source:http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/03/13/congressman-stages-sit–ice-office-protest-trump-immigration-policy/99136490/

Defend Against ICE Raids and Community Arrests

ice-raid-toolkit

Defend Against ICE Raids and Community Arrests, the product of IDP’s and CCR’s collective work against ICE arrests under Bush and Obama, serves as the first comprehensive guide and organizing resource to fight back against the Trump administration’s efforts to criminalize communities and deport millions of people.

Download Entire Toolkit (incl. Appendices) (Total 212 pages)

Download Toolkit without appendices (Total 44 pages)

Download appendices

Appendix A (111 pages) : Select documents pertaining to ICE enforcement tactics obtained in the Immigrant Defense Project et al. v. ICE et al. FOIA litigation.

Appendix B (50 pages): Reports of raids collected by IDP, broken down by the identified ICE tactic, demonstrating the range of strategies used in their enforcement actions.

Appendix C (7 pages): Press coverage on the human toll of raids. Select stories that have been in the press humanizing individuals who have been subject to ICE enforcement.

Visit here for other resources related to ICE raids and community arrests, including Know Your Rights flyers and emergency preparedness tools.

Based on years of community defense experience, litigation, and legal research, including hundreds of first-hand accounts of ICE raids from immigrants, our joint #stopICEcold toolkit offers social justice advocates, lawyers, and community members critical information and analysis of our country’s massive detention and deportation system, as well as straightforward guidance on how to prepare for the ICE raids.

Inside the #stopICEcold toolkit:

  • Definitive information on who ICE targets for deportation, priority locations for ICE activity, and common ICE arrest tactics and strategies.
  • Recommendations for immigrants and advocates on emergency preparedness for those at risk of deportation, individual rights during ICE encounters, and potential legal and community challenges to ICE raids.
  • Key takeaways from years of critical research and experience with the mechanics of the world’s largest detention and deportation apparatus — including an initial forecast of what we may see under a Trump administration.
  • Select internal DHS/ICE enforcement memos and training documents secured through a pending FOIA litigation — as well as summaries of raids reported to IDP, organized by common ICE tactics and ruses.

Coming soon:

  • An online interactive map of the raids reported to IDP in the New York City area.
  • An online directory of FOIA documents from Immigrant Defense Project et al. v. ICE et al.
  • A web-based version of the toolkit.
  • Ongoing updates and more resources on emergency preparedness.

http://www.immdefense.org/raids-toolkit/