GIBSON REPORT 12-04-17
Legal Aid Lawyers Stage Walkout After Yet Another ICE Court Arrest
Village Voice: “Genaro Rojas Hernandez, thirty, was in court to face charges of violating a restraining order. Just after 11 a.m., after a judge asked him and his court-appointed attorney to step into the hallway with a Spanish interpreter, Hernandez was arrested by ICE agents, according to his lawyer, Rebecca Kavanagh. After the arrest, attorneys with the Legal Aid Society stormed out of the courthouse on Schermerhorn Street and held a noisy picket line outside the building, calling on immigration officials to stay out of the courthouse. The arrest makes Hernandez the fortieth individual taken into custody by immigration enforcement agents inside a New York City courthouse.”
On Thursday there will be a Rally to Keep ICE Out of Courts.
Cash Assistance for Asylum Applicants
New guidance says that applicants for asylum are now eligible for Cash Assistance in the PRUCOL category if they have an EAD.
IJs McManus and Lamb are both retiring around the end of the year. It’s too early to know who will be inheriting their dockets, but this is sad news for respondents on top of the loss of several other good judges in NY over the course of the last year.
· Gillibrand, Espaillat Say They’ll Force Government Shutdown To Save DACA
· McConnell: No government shutdown this week over immigration: Tribune: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared Sunday there won’t be a government shutdown this week over the question of protecting immigrants brought to the country illegally as children, describing it as a “non-emergency” to be addressed next year.”
· Key Senator to Vote ‘Yes’ on Tax Bill in Exchange for DACA Commitment
· Some Republicans are pushing for restrictions on asylum in exchange for DACA protections
Asylum Vetting Office
Rumor has it that the asylum division is creating an Asylum Vetting Office. It is currently unclear what the office’s specific mandate would be and how it would interact with existing programs.
Multiple reports of people with final orders but no criminal records picked up at I-130 interviews
NYIC: “This issue is on the agenda for the next USCIS liaison meeting. Phyllis had made it clear she did not want ICE making arrests at interviews. Now that she has left we don’t yet know what the position of the acting DD, or who they ultimately hire, will be.”
As Immigration Enforcement Ramps up, Neighbors Sign up to Defend Immigrants
AIC: “Poised to act at a moment’s notice, Migra Watch volunteers are trained to manage distress calls, provide support to children whose family members have been detained or deported, and show up where ICE is conducting roundups of their immigrant neighbors. Trainings typically take place at churches or community centers, where legal residents and citizens are taught to not interfere with ICE operations, but to document them.”
ICE Arrests & Detains Man Who Spoke to Media on Girlfriend’s Arrest
ImmProf: “ICE agents have reportedly arrested a man who was quoted in that article about his girlfriend’s immigration arrest last month. And his arrest appears to be a form of retaliation against him for speaking out.”
United States Ends Participation in Global Compact on Migration
ImmProf: “The administration of President Donald Trump has withdrawn the United States from a United Nations pact to improve the handling of migrant and refugee situations, deeming it “inconsistent” with its policies.” (Note: It’s a bit confusing from the article, but the administration is pulling out of the negotiations, not withdrawing from the compact, which is still in development and expected to be complete by the end of 2018.)
Court Orders Federal Immigration Jail in Buffalo to Offer Parole, Bond Hearings for Asylum-Seekers
NYCLU: “A federal court on Friday night ordered the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia, New York to stop detaining asylum-seekers without a fair opportunity for release on parole or bond while awaiting asylum hearings. The New York Civil Liberties Union and the International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center originally filed suit in July over the practice at the state’s largest immigration detention facility.”
How the GOP tax bills hurt undocumented immigrants
· “Currently, non-citizens filing taxes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN, are allowed to claim the child tax credit, which gives back up to $1,000 per child under age 17. In tax year 2013, according to the Government Accountability Office, 4.4 million ITIN filers claimed child tax credits worth $6 billion. Under both the House and Senate versions of the Republican tax bill, ITIN filers — most of whom are undocumented — would need to provide Social Security numbers for each child in order to claim the refundable part of the credit…
· “In addition, the House bill tightens up the rules for the Earned Income Tax Credit in such a way that immigrants covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will no longer be able to receive the credit when their work authorization expires.
· “The House bill would also require a Social Security number for the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which is worth $2,500 annually towards the first four years of higher education expenses. In 2013, ITIN filers claimed $204 million through this credit. The Senate bill makes no changes to these credits.”
· Rally to Keep ICE OUT of Courts: Rally at Brooklyn Borough Hall to call on the Office of Court Administration to comply with a “Sanctuary Courts” policy which would bar ICE officers from entering Court premises and detaining our clients
· URGENT RFR Help Needed! – CARA: We have an urgent need for help drafting Requests for Reinterview/Reconsideration (RFR) for the Houston Asylum Office. If you are able to draft an RFR, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We have RFR samples and will forward along each client’s IJ court submission, which includes each client’s signed declaration. We need a draft of each RFR by next Wednesday, December 6 at noon (at the latest). If you are an experienced attorney and have capacity to review an RFR and provide mentorship to a volunteer drafter, that is a huge help too!
· AILA: Call for Examples: Problematic SIJS Adjudications at the National Benefits Center
· AILA: Call for Examples: Barriers and Inadequate Access to Detained Clients