Joel Guerrero Freed; What Comes Next?

Numbers only provide a snapshot, a sense of the size of the story. In February, soon after the new U.S. President announced a desire to deport three million illegal immigrants in his first year in office, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) started to conduct what it called “targeted enforcement operations” across the nation.

Sources report that in a five-day operation in February, some 680 individuals were detained under ICE’s new mandate. In March, another 729 were arrested in actions across the country. The total numbers are not yet known. The number deported has not been publicized.
Read More

Advertisements

ICE Detainees: Working for $1 a Day

When Will We Know?”—an ongoing series

* * * *
The federal government established the rate of pay for undocumented workers in detention centers and prisons at $1 per day back in 1979 and this pay rate has not been adjusted since. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) does not consider $1 for a day’s labor to be pay, anyway; officially, what it pays detained immigrants is referred to in its documentation as an “allowance.”

José Coyote Pérez (seen at top), an immigrant laborer and labor activist in upstate New York, was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement on February 24 and is prisoner number A#099757267 in the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia, New York. He and other new detainees held at the Buffalo facility are working there and they are being paid $1 per day, it has been confirmed by activists.
Read More

ICE Arrests Green Card Holder; Community Responds

UPDATED, April 29: When a GoFundMe page was established to help the family of Joel and Jessica Guerrero of New Paltz, New York, some 400 people donated $16,165 to the family of Joel and Jessica Guerrero within days. The community grew from immediate neighbors and family to the rest of the nation and beyond borders. When we remember that we are all cousins, the world shrinks in happy ways.

The fundraiser was closed at the start of April, but Joel remains in federal custody, detained by ICE. A petition on Change.org to free Joel has attracted almost 1000 signatures and many more are needed: “Please Stand With Joel & Jessica Guerrero.”

My column from March 5, 2017, with some corrections (thank you, Jessica Guerrero):
Read More

Breaking a Family Apart

When Will We Know?”—an ongoing series

NEW PALTZ, NEW YORK: Joel Guerrero, a New Paltz, New York, resident arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at his biannual check-in with ICE on March 1, is being held at the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearney, New Jersey.

ICE arrested Guerrero at his appointment on the grounds that Joel had once missed a court date—in 2011. He was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana at that time. Because of that conviction, under the rules for immigrants, Guerrero was mandated to check in with ICE two times a year, which is a rule he complied with. Guerrero legally immigrated from the Dominican Republic two decades ago and has his green card. He has kept his papers up-to-date.

Guerrero has attended every court date since that missed one, but ICE yesterday put a deportation order in effect for the single court appearance that he missed five years ago, nonetheless.

He was accompanied on his regularly scheduled appointment in New York City with ICE by his wife Jessica, a U.S. citizen and New Paltz native who is six months pregnant with their first child.
Read More

‘You are breaking a family apart’

The following article has been updated: “Breaking a Family Apart.”

BREAKING

NEW PALTZ, NEW YORK: Joel Guerrero, a green card holder and New Paltz resident, was arrested at his biannual check-in appointment with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on March 1 in New York City.

He was accompanied by his wife Jessica, a U.S. citizen who is six months pregnant with their first child.

ICE arrested Guerrero at his appointment on the grounds that Joel had once missed a court date—in 2009. Guerrero has attended every court date since that missed one, but nonetheless ICE this week put a deportation order in effect for the single court appearance that he missed seven years ago.
Read More

Unfairly Detained by ICE

When Will We Know?”—an ongoing series

* * * *
José Coyote Pérez, an immigrant laborer and labor activist in upstate New York, was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on February 24. He is prisoner number A#099757267 in the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia, New York.

He ought not be there. He should not be detained.

Pérez has been in America for fifteen years, he has a permit to work in the U.S., he has a social security number, and he was about to earn his driver’s license. Further, his ICE case was administratively closed in September 2016. In other words, he was a part of the New York State economy, he was a law-abiding resident on his way to citizenship. ICE had closed its file on him.
Read More

The New DOJ: Protect the Violent from Their Victims

When Will We Know?”—an ongoing series

* * * *

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.—Title IX

The new U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) thinks that the larger problem in society is not the scourge of rape and sexual assault but the reporting of it. The authors of a new, leaked, memo from the Department of Justice appear the think that the quickest way to reduce sexual violence is to report it less.

A Justice Department draft memorandum that proposes “recommendations on the interpretation and enforcement of Title IX” was leaked on February 20 by one of the many online accounts of government employees who have “gone rogue” and are hard at work sharing with the world all the changes that have been introduced since the new presidential administration took the reins of power. Three days later, the document was confirmed to me as legitimate by a source.

The Twitter account that published the document, @ALT_USCIS, is operated by insiders who claim to be employed at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, and it has been a reliable source for information about the “ICE Raids” that took place the last three weeks and quite a few other things.

The thrust of the leaked draft memo is to change operational procedures in our nation’s schools and law enforcement from what has been a history of protecting victims of sexual assault to a new standard in which those accused of sexual assault are to be protected.
Read More