Saturday, February 27, 2021

Hundreds of Kids Being Held by Border Patrol

 More than 700 children who crossed from Mexico into the United States without their parents were in Border Patrol custody as of Sunday, according to an internal Customs and Border Protection document obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The current backup is yet another sign of a brewing crisis for President Biden — and a worsening dilemma for these vulnerable children. Biden is finding it's easier to talk about preventing warehousing kids at the southern border than solving the problem.

  • Making matters worse, border crossings usually peak in the spring, and it's only February.

Behind the scenes: Of the more than 700 kids waiting to be transferred to shelters overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 200 had been held in these Border Patrol stations for more than 48 hours.

  • Nine had been detained for longer than the agreed-upon limit of 72 hours, according to the internal document, which timestamped the data current as of 8:15 a.m. on Feb. 21.

During Wednesday's White House media briefing, press secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged some kids had been held four or five days — or more.

  • She blamed some of the delays on the bad weather that shut down Texas last week, saying some long-term shelters "did not have power and were not in a place where they had the capacity to take in these kids and do it safely."
  • She also pushed back — hard — on an equivalency between the current and past administrations' handling of children, who generally come from countries in Central America, at the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • While president, Donald Trump was criticized for separating children from their parents. That policy is no longer in place, although rising numbers of children arriving now are unaccompanied, meaning they are detained alone anyway.

What they're saying: "We have a couple of options: We can send them back home. ... We can quickly transfer them from CPB to these HHS-run facilities. ... We can put them with families and sponsors without any vetting," Psaki said. "We've chosen the middle option."

During the surge in 2019, government watchdogs found severe overcrowding and concerning sanitation, health and safety issues at the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol intake facilities, which are special concerns for children.

  • CBP is only meant to have short-term custody of migrants before adults and families are transferred to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and unaccompanied children are transferred to HHS.
  • Nonetheless, in January, at least 179 migrant minors spent more than three days in CBP custody, as well as at least 48 kids in December, CBS News' Camilo Montoya-Galvez reported this week.

What to watch: Coronavirus protocols have also significantly lowered the number of children who can be held at the longer-term HHS shelters.

  • The Biden administration has already been forced to open a temporary influx shelter in Texas for child migrants, which also has the capacity to add tent-like structures.

More than 400 migrant kids were referred to HHS shelters just on Tuesday, according to one administration official.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Matamoros Border Crossing Opened


Less than a week after beginning to process asylum cases of immigrants awaiting in Mexico the resolution of their cases under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), the government of Joe Biden announced on Wednesday the opening of a second door to attend people living in the refugee camp located in Matamoros. Last week the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began the entry of asylum seekers through the San Ysidro border crossing, in California, the first phase of a plan that aims to process more than 25,000 active cases of migrants that since the end January 2019, they have arrived at the border with Mexico in search of asylum, but were returned under the protection of the zero tolerance immigration policy imposed by the Donald Trump government.  Under the MPP, more than 70,000 migrants were returned to Mexican territory to await the resolution of their asylum cases in the US immigration courts. Of these, only 25,000 remain or are pending processing. Team work According to a DHS report, the opening of the second gate, at the Matamoros border crossing, the United States immigration authorities will have the support of the Government of Mexico and international humanitarian organizations, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Refugees (UNHCR). 

Source: Univision


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Quienes somos y qué queremos los Socialistas Democráticos


DSA Immigrants' Rights Working Group

Quienes somos y qué queremos los Socialistas Democráticos

Start: Thursday, February 25, 2021  8:00 PM  Eastern Daylight Time (US & Canada) (GMT-04:00)

End: Thursday, February 25, 2021  9:30 PM  Eastern Daylight Time (US & Canada) (GMT-04:00)

Host Contact Info: 

El Grupo de Trabajo por los Derechos de los Inmigrantes de DSA los invita a un seminario web en español: "Quienes somos y qué queremos los Socialistas Democráticos."

Escuche a algunos de nuestros miembros sobre su trabajo en DSA y en sus comunidades.
Moderador: Blanca Estevez - Comité Político Nacional de DSA

Jorge Mujica, Organizador de trabajadores inmigrantes y de bajos ingresos con Arise Chicago. Arise Chicago crea asociaciones entre comunidades religiosas ytrabajadores para luchar contra la injusticia en el lugar de trabajo mediante la educación, la organización y la promoción de cambios en las políticas públicas. Miembro del Consejo Nacional de la Unión Nacional de Escritores y copresidente del IMWG de DSA.

Ald. Rossana Rodríguez - Concejal del Distrito 35 de Chicago y miembrx de DSA. Sus prioridades como Concejala incluyen proteger la asequibilidad del vecindario, apoyar a la población inmigrante de nuestro barrio y crear procesos más democráticos para que los residentes del barrio participen en las decisiones que afectan sus vidas.

Join the Immigrants' Rights Working Group of Democratic Socialists of America for a Spanish webinar:  Quienes somos y qué queremos los Socialistas Democráticos.

Hear from some of our members about their work in DSA and their communities. 

Moderator: Blanca Estevez - DSA National Political Committee

Jorge Mujica,  Immigrant and low-income workers Organizer with Arise Chicago. Arise Chicago builds partnerships between faith communities and workers to fight workplace injustice through education, organizing, and advocating for public policy changes. Member of the National Council of the National Writers Union, and co chair of the IMWG of DSA. 

Ald. Rossana Rodriguez - Chicago 35th Ward Alderwoman and DSA member. Her priorities as Alderwoman include protecting neighborhood affordability, supporting our ward’s immigrant population, and creating more democratic processes so that ward residents are involved in the decisions that impact their lives.

Zoom Registration info in instructions and reply.


Sunday, February 21, 2021

Latino Anti Disinformation Lab Launched

A new $22 million “Latino Anti-Disinformation Lab” is being launched by Voto Latino and Media Matters for America, a Thursday media release announced.

News of the initiative was first reported on Wednesday by NBC News.

The Thursday release noted that the Latino Anti-Disinformation Lab will be chaired by Voto Latino co-founding President and CEO María Teresa Kumar, Media Matters for America President and CEO Angelo Carusone and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez.

“The need for this initiative is clear,” the release noted. “In the months leading up to the 2020 general election, voters were subject to higher levels of mis- and disinformation than ever before. Spanish and English language voter fraud misinformation, fear-mongering tactics, and disinformation about COVID-19 spread throughout the media and on mainstream social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, YouTube, and other online communities. This included a significant increase in false information targeting communities of color, disproportionately impacting Spanish-speaking audiences over the age of 40.”

The Latino Anti-Disinformation Lab is believed to be the largest investment ever to target disinformation in the Latino community as a means of voter outreach. A significant part of the lab will focus on the monitoring of Spanish-language media and online communities. According to the release, research produced by the media analysis will be used for more strategic efforts by Voto Latino to identify and communicate with at-risk Latino voters.

“For decades, disinformation has been a weapon that corrupt governments in failing states use against their own people,” Kumar said in the release. “But now that same weapon is aimed at the most vulnerable in the United States, exploiting some officials’ moral weakness and social media’s deliberate lawlessness to sow greater distrust of our critical institutions than ever before. The spread of lies around the COVID vaccine is proof positive that disinformation has become a life and death issue if not curbed and addressed.”

“The right-wing sphere has spent years building a misinformation machine to target the Latinx community, which has resulted in a rising tide of disinformation. Despite how overwhelming it may seem, it is both possible and absolutely necessary to confront misinformation head on. This partnership will provide an essential check on that rising tide of disinformation,” Carusone said.

Perez, the former DNC chair, is expected to lend his voice and support to the effort, the release said.

“This is the kind of lasting investment in communications infrastructure within the Latino community that is necessary to respond to the threat of misinformation as well as harness durable political and civic power,” Perez said.


Friday, February 19, 2021

Quienes Somos, ?



Quienes somos y qué queremos los Socialistas Democráticos

Free  Online Event
Boost Unavailable

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Biden Must Address the Detention System

*Mensaje Bilingüe/ Bilingual Message*
Dear DWN community, 
It’s been 27 days since President Joe Biden has taken office. While we are encouraged that the administration has been taking action on immigration, there is one critical priority that has yet to be addressed: the deadly and inhumane detention system. 
Now, more than ever, it is important for us to come out strong and push the new administration to defund and dismantle a system that deprives thousands of our loved ones, neighbors, friends, coworkers and community members of their freedom. That’s why on Thursday, February 25, DWN, along with our members and allies, will be launching a unified effort to demand action from the Biden administration. Mark your calendars and get ready to join us when we make the announcement. 
In the meantime, build up momentum and amplify the demands to abolish detention, halt all deportations and free them all! Here are some actions you can plug into: 
  • Biden’s 100-day deportation moratorium, which is temporarily on pause, still allows ICE to arrest people who have completed their time in jail and prison. This leaves the most vulnerable immigrants to be incarcerated again by ICE. Take action by joining the Asian Prisoner Support Committee and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus in advocating for the release of people in detention. This is an ongoing action that occurs every Tuesday from 9am-5pm PST for the duration of the moratorium (by May 2, 2021). Visit the #100DaysforFreedom toolkit for action steps.
Sign the petition: Demand DHS halt ALL deportations 
  • Since the Biden administration has taken office, ICE has doubled down on deportations. The agency has deported hundreds of Black immigrants to countries in Africa and the Caribbean, including Cameroon, Angola, Haiti and Jamaica -- including over two dozen children deported to Haiti. ICE’s latest action further affirms the agency’s plans to inflict pain and suffering on Black and brown immigrants. Add your name today.
Send a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and demand he CANCELS a Trump-era agreement with ICE. Act before tomorrow! 
  • On the final day of the Trump administration, former acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli wrongfully signed an agreement with ICE’s union that essentially gives the union veto power over decisions made by DHS. The Department has until February 17 to dissolve the agreement. Send a letter.
In resistance,
Detention Watch Network


Monday, February 15, 2021

Quienes Somos y qué queremos ?


Quienes somos y qué queremos los Socialistas Democráticos

Free  Online Event
Boost Unavailable

Border Surge by Children


Border agency reports spike of nearly 6,000 immigrant children crossing into US alone

The surge is low compared to past years, but Covid-19 has reduced housing capacity, necessitating use of a controversial influx facility

Unaccompanied immigrant children deported from the US walk toward Mexico on 22 January.
Unaccompanied immigrant children deported from the US walk toward Mexico on 22 January. Photograph: José Luis González/Reuters

Last modified on Mon 15 Feb 2021 05.03 EST

Thousands of unaccompanied immigrant children are attempting to flee to the United States amid the coronavirus pandemic, propelled by devastating natural disasters, chronic violence, and severe economic hardship at home.

US Customs and Border Protection encountered 5,871 kids at the south-west border without a parent or legal guardian last month, the largest influx yet since the start of the public health crisis in early 2020.

That sudden spike is still relatively modest compared to huge figures from fiscal year 2019, when Border Patrol apprehended more than 76,000 unaccompanied children, a trend that reached its zenith that spring.

But unlike in past years, the Office of Refugee Resettlement – which cares for those kids – has had to slash its housing capacity nearly in half in light of Covid-19. And, with nearly 5,700 of 7,100 total beds already accounted for, ORR is preparing to resurrect a controversial influx facility to create more space.

“Even though the numbers of children in custody are still relatively low by historical standards,” the lack of available shelter beds is cause for concern, warned Mark Greenberg, director of the Human Services Initiative at the Migration Policy Institute.

Greenberg added: “If we return to the levels that had been experienced in all recent years except 2020, it will pose a significant challenge because of Covid.”

As more migrants attempt the arduous journey across the US-Mexico border, CBP officials are citing push factors such as “underlying crime and instability” in their countries of origin and “inaccurate perceptions of shifts in immigration and border security policies”.

Before taking office, Joe Biden’s administration warned that its comparatively pro-immigrant agenda would not translate to an immediate shift in practice at the border. On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki reiterated that, despite rare exceptions, the vast majority of migrants are still being turned away.

“Now is not the time to come,” she said.

Since 2014, a flood of immigrant children and families largely from Central America’s Northern Triangle have made their way to the US, many of them in search of refuge from a crush of gang-related violence, poverty and persecution. Between fiscal year 2013 and 2014, CBP apprehensions of unaccompanied children at the south-west border surged by 77%, while apprehensions for families more than quadrupled.

That significant change heralded a new era in US border migration, defined by asylum seekers and other vulnerable populations. In response to the humanitarian crisis, former president Donald Trump devised hard-line tactics to try to deter Central Americans and others from seeking protection in the US, then used Covid-19 as a rationale to effectively shutter the border altogether to defenseless migrants.

Under the guise of public health, the Trump administration subjected hundreds of thousands of people – and at least 13,000 unaccompanied children, according to the ACLU – to rapid expulsion from the US without due process during the pandemic.

A federal judge eventually blocked the US government from applying that policy to unaccompanied minors, and Biden has said he will not resume expulsions for kids who show up without a parent or guardian, according to CBS News.

But amid the border closure, children unable to safely enter US custody have turned to perilous border crossings, said Erika Pinheiro, policy and litigation director at Al Otro Lado.

“They suffer so much,” she said. “And the fact that the US government forces them to suffer more is really hurtful to think about.”

In an elaborate game of telephone, news articles about immigration enforcement in the US and Mexico have gotten distorted in the foreign press, then exploited by smugglers, who have every incentive to spread rumors encouraging people to cross the border.

“There’s sort of like one message that comes out of the news. It gets repeated down here, maybe not completely accurately, and then the smugglers really capitalize on that, too. So it sort of builds on itself,” Pinheiro said.

As the number of unaccompanied children encountered by border enforcement increases to levels not seen since the summer of 2019, ORR is preparing to reactivate a temporary influx care facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, that will initially be able to house about 700 kids.

ORR said in a statement that officials anticipate “the need to start placing children at Carrizo Springs in 15 days or soon after”, a move that has alarmed some advocates.

“There’s no reason to warehouse these children in these potentially dangerous facilities,” Linda Brandmiller, an immigration attorney in San Antonio, told USA Today.

Unaccompanied kids have been arriving primarily from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras in recent years. The vast majority are teenagers.

“In a substantial number of cases, they are fleeing for their lives,” Greenberg said. “But whether that will allow them to qualify for asylum will depend upon how asylum policies are now changed.”

© 2021 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. (modern)

See prior post on creating new detention centers.