Monday, October 19, 2020



Border Patrol is Going After Humanitarian Aid in the Arizona Desert—Again

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) launched another military-style raid on a humanitarian aid station in the Arizona desert, close to the U.S.-Mexico border.

On October 5, Border Patrol agents and CBP’s para-military arm Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC) descended on the aid camp. They charged in with assault rifles, an armored vehicle, ATVs, a helicopter, and multiple marked and unmarked vehicles.

Border Patrol’s raid comes less than three months after a strikingly similar show of force. In that instance, at least one agent carried sophisticated video equipment into the camp. The agency claimed to have warrants but did not readily display them when arriving at the camp.

Advocates filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on October 14 to demand CBP’s records related to this and previous raids. The request seeks footage CBP may have recorded during the events, agency communications, and search warrants requested or received.

The aid station known as Byrd Camp has operated for more than a decade under the group No More Deaths/No Más Muertes. The volunteer-based organization maintains a year-round humanitarian presence in remote desert areas of southwestern Arizona, providing life-saving aid and care to migrants in need.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Rock Legend Immigrant


Eddie Van Halen endured a 'horrifying racist environment' before becoming a rock legend

Music fans around the world are mourning the loss of iconic Van Halen rock star Eddie Van Halen. And while many today honor his legacy as one of the all-time greatest guitarists, fans are also highlighting past interviews describing his encounters with painful racism and discrimination because of his mixed race in his early years.

Van Halen, who died of throat cancer at 65, was the son of Dutch and Indonesian immigrants and spent his childhood in the Netherlands. His former bandmate David Lee Roth, a fellow rock superstar, once revealed on the podcast "WTF with Marc Maron" just how painful the experience was for the young Van Halen and his brother, drummer Alex Van Halen.

In the 2019 interview, Roth described how poorly the Van Halens' parents were treated because of their mixed-race relationship in the 1950s.

"It was a big deal. Those homeboys grew up in a horrifying racist environment to where they actually had to leave the country," Roth said in the podcast.

He added that the brothers, who were often referred to as "half-breed" in the Netherlands, still met difficult circumstances after immigrating to the U.S.

"Then they came to America and did not speak English as a first language in the early '60s. Wow," Roth told Maron. "So that kind of sparking, that kind of stuff, that runs deep."

The brothers' mother, Eugenia, met their father, Jan, a traveling musician, in Indonesia when it was under Dutch rule. Shortly after World War II, the couple decided to move to the Netherlands, where the rock stars were born.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Green Card Give Away


The U.S. is once again giving away 55,000 green cards to foreigners. It’s simple and free.

The U.S. State Department announced on Wednesday that it will officially open registration for the Diversity Visa Program for Fiscal Year 2022 (DV-2022), better known as the visa lottery.

The popular program for foreigners who lack U.S. sponsors to come to America will provide up to 55,000 permanent resident cards or green cards in 2022, authorities said.

Foreigners interested in immigrating legally to the United States, must submit their applications electronically starting next Wednesday, Oct. 7, at noon and until Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020.

The winners will be drawn from random selection and there is no cost to register.

visit for more info

Monday, September 21, 2020

Court Rules


ICE Violates the Fourth Amendment When It Detains People Without Probable Cause, 

Court Rules

A federal appeals court recently ruled that the Fourth Amendment requires a neutral decisionmaker to review the detention of anyone held based on an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer. The decision came after ICE attempted to detain an American citizen without probable cause and flagged him as eligible for deportation from the United States.

In Gonzalez v. ICE, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed ICE’s process for issuing immigration detainers. ICE issues an immigration detainer when it wants state or local law enforcement officers to hold a person after their release date so ICE can arrest and detain them.

Detainers are often issued based on information contained in ICE or other government agency databases. These databases are notorious for their frequent errors.

ICE must have probable cause that a person can be deported before it may detain them. Based on this fact, the judge ruled there must also be a neutral evaluation of probable cause. Such review must occur “promptly,” which is usually defined as 48 hours.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Racism @ the Border

 Institutional Racism Is Rampant in Immigration Enforcement at the U.S.-Mexico Border

A Black former U.S. diplomat recently shared her experience of months of racial profiling by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials while she was stationed at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. She was tasked with enforcing U.S. immigration law, but nevertheless found herself racially profiled and discriminated against by U.S. immigration authorities.

The problem became so severe that she now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and had to quit her job. Unfortunately, this is just one example of immigration officials’ long history of racism at the border.

CBP Racially Profiles a U.S. Diplomat

In 2018, Tianna Spears was a new diplomat stationed at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. She frequently crossed the border into El Paso, Texas, as thousands of other U.S. citizens do every day. However, she soon found that she was treated differently than others by CBP officers at the border.

Spears estimates that CBP officers required her to go through “secondary inspection” approximately two out of every three times that she crossed. This outcome should have been extremely rare given her diplomatic passport and SENTRI card allowing for expedited clearance. Her non-Black colleagues never had similar experiences.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Hope for Asylum Seekers

Legal Victory Brings Hope to Asylum Seekers Turned Away at the Border

Asylum seekers got a major win in a lawsuit challenging the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) illegal policy of turning back asylum seekers at ports of entry. In Al Otro Lado v. Wolf, a federal judge decided that the case may proceed as a class action.

This decision means that the named plaintiffs—14 individuals and an organization that assists asylum seekers—can seek relief for both themselves and the thousands of asylum seekers that have been turned away since 2016 or will be turned away in the future. In two ports of entry alone, over 57,640 asylum seekers were turned back in 2018 and 2019.

Asylum seekers’ victory in this case is a welcome development in the face of an otherwise grim situation at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Expelling Asylum Seekers From the Border

The Trump administration has used the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to impose a near-complete shutdown of the U.S.-Mexico border. At the same time, the administration has rapidly “expelled” thousands of unaccompanied minors in the name of public health, even when they test negative for COVID-19.

Over 105,000 adults and children have been expelled through July. Hundreds of those who were not expelled have been sent back to Mexico to wait an unknown period of time for their U.S. immigration court hearings under the indefinitely-suspended “Migrant Protection Protocols.”

Monday, August 10, 2020

COVID-19 Wreaks Havoc


COVID-19 Wreaks Havoc on Immigration Courts With No Clear Plan to Stop Spread

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread throughout the United States, immigration courts around the country remain in turmoil.

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (“EOIR”) initially postponed all non-detained hearings when lockdowns began in March. However, EOIR refused to close all courts. Hearings for detained immigrants and unaccompanied children continued, despite the risks. Now, nearly five months later, EOIR still has no public plan to limit the spread of COVID-19 as it slowly begins to reopen courts around the country.

Immigration Courts Reopen Across the U.S.

Beginning in mid-June, EOIR began reopening some immigration courts, starting with the Honolulu immigration court.

Since then, courts have reopened for hearings in Boston, Dallas, Las Vegas, Hartford, New Orleans, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Newark, Baltimore, Detroit, and Arlington. However, following the rise in COVID-19 cases in Texas, the Dallas immigration court was open for less than a week before shutting again. It remains closed.

After the court reopened in Newark, immigration lawyers filed a lawsuit seeking to halt the court reopening. They explained that the court has not provided enough safety protocols. According to the lawsuit, they believe at least two deaths, including an immigration lawyer and a clerk for ICE in Newark, can already be traced to court hearings that occurred before the initial shutdown.