Our report this month includes coverage of a new expedited deportation policy, Border Patrol’s rampant inaccuracies in paperwork, and last month’s Catholic Day of Action for Immigrant Children.
- Expedited Deportations: A new policy announced by the Trump administration last month will require anyone apprehended by immigration officials to show that they’ve been in the country for two or more years continuously, or else be deported without a hearing before an immigration judge. The new rule expands an existing policy, which since 2004 has been implemented within 100 miles of the U.S.–Mexico border, that allows for the expedited removal of undocumented individuals who have been in the country less than two weeks. In broadening the geographic reach of the policy and its criteria, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers may well arrest and deport lawful permanent residents and citizens. The rule is being challenged in court. Read more here: https://www.pri.org/stories/2019-07-23/new-trump-administration-policy-could-lead-more-us-citizens-being-deported.
- Jeopardized Asylum Claims: Recent investigation reveals that U.S. Border Patrol agents have written misinformation and outright lies in arrest reports for asylum seekers, creating obstacles to their applications. In instances when Border Patrol confiscates cell phones and USB drives, and doesn’t return them, evidence stored in those devices is effectively stolen. Without evidence and testifying to fear in contradiction to their intake forms, asylum seekers are not able to present a credible case, resulting in dismissal, denial, or deportation. Border Patrol’s widespread falsification of reports places lives in danger, yet despite increasing documentation of the practice, it continues. This article outlines this disturbing situation: https://theintercept.com/2019/08/11/border-patrol-asylum-claim/.
- Catholic Day of Action: On July 18, hundreds of Catholics gathered on Capitol Hill to protest child detention and family separation. The Catholic Day of Action for Immigrant Children, co-sponsored in part by the Ignatian Solidarity Network and the Jesuit Conference Office of Justice and Ecology and endorsed by the KBI, brought these advocates together, and is the first step in a larger campaign to end immigrant child detention. Drawing national and international attention to this humanitarian crisis, the action included a press conference, prayer service, and march into the rotunda of the Senate building, after which seventy participants were arrested. This coverage contains more information and commentary from advocacy leaders: https://www.ncronline.org/news/justice/catholic-day-action-protesters-arrested-stand-against-child-detention?fbclid=IwAR2KYTDwL9pukK3wPQ85ZP8fChplwmeiPEh7xI-4H4yUhzlRZbPe64R91XY.