ICE

FEDERAL JUDGE ORDERS RELEASE OF DOZENS OF MEDICALLY VULNERABLE PEOPLE AT OTAY MESA DETENTION CENTER

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo (Google): CoreCivic's Otay Mesa Detention Center
 
May 5, 2020 (San Diego) – Judge Dana Sabraw issued an order on April 30 directing the federal government to release more than 50 medically vulnerable individuals who are in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody at the Otay Mesa Detention Center. According to the ICE website, at least 105 detainees at the facility have tested positive for COVID-19.
 
Judge Sabraw wrote in his decision, “The Court HEREBY DECLARES that current conditions of confinement for Otay Mesa Medically Vulnerable subclass members held at the Otay Mesa Detention Center are unconstitutional under the Fifth Amendment because the conditions of their confinement place subclass members at substantial risk of serious illness or death.”

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ACLU DISMISSES LAWSUIT AFTER ICE RELEASES 4 IMMIGRANT DETAINEES VULNERABLE TO COVID-19

Otay Mesa ICE facility has at least 16 COVID-19 cases, highest of any  U.S. detention site

Story and photo by Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

April 13, 2020 (San Diego) – After the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed lawsuits in 13 states demanding release of detained immigrants at high risk due to COVID-19, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sent a letter to Congress on April 7 announcing it had identified 600 medically vulnerable detainees and to date, had released 160 of them.

Today, local ACLU representatives asked the court to dismiss a suit filed earlier this month on behalf of four medically vulnerable people detained at the ICE Otay Mesa Detention Center and Imperial Regional Detention Facility, after ICE released all four  plaintiffs.

“Our clients, Yusuf Ozdemir and Jane Doe, were released Thursday night; and Miguel Angel Benitez and Issis Yoselin Zelaya Sagastume were released Friday night,” states a press release issued today by  the ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties, ACLU Foundation Immigrants' Rights Project, ACLU Foundation National Prison Project and ACLU Foundation Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & HIV Project.


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VIETNAMESE, CAMBODIAN IMMIGRANTS DETENTIONS BY ICE CHALLENGED

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 29, 2017 (San Diego) — Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials have raised concerns among Asian communities after rounding up and detaining an estimated 200 Vietnamese and Cambodian immigrants in the Bay Area.


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ICE THREATENS CRACKDOWN ON IMMIGRANT NEIGHBORHOODS AFTER GOVERNOR SIGNS “SANCTUARY STATE” BILL

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 10, 2017 (San Diego) — Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law Senate Bill 54, the “sanctuary state” measure aimed at protecting undocumented immigrants in California. In his signing statement, Brown says, “These are uncertain times for undocumented Californians and their families, and this bill strikes a balance that will protect public safety, while bringing a measure of comfort to those families who are now living in fear every day.”


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ICE DEPLOYS TEAMS TO HELP IN HURRICANE RESCUES, SAYS IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT WON’T BE DONE AT EVACATION CENTERS OR OTHER SITES HELPING VICTIMS

 

Source:  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

August 31, 2017 (San Diego) -- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has deployed approximately 200 law enforcement personnel from Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) and Special Response Teams (SRTs) around the country, including San Diego, to provide security for search and rescue teams and to assist with search and rescue operations in Southeast Texas in response to Hurricane Harvey. 


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ACTIVISTS SUGGEST A WRONGFUL DEPORTATION OF AN UNDOCUMENTED 22 YEAR-OLD COLLEGE STUDENT

 

By Rachel Williams

Public protest planned Monday in San Diego

May 22, 2017 (San Diego) -- Last Thursday the Border Patrol detained college student Claudia Rueda from Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, as she moved her mother’s car for street cleaning. Agents tried to enter the family home, but they were denied access without a warrant. Rueda, a “dreamer” who came to America as a minor, was eventually taken to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in Chula Vista.


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NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD ISSUES COMMUNITY ADVISORY ON SWEEPING NEW IMMIGRATION IMPLEMENTATION MEMOS ISSUED BY HOMELAND SECURITY

 

“DHS policies confirm that ICE can target anyone who is removable for detention and deportation, even if they fall outside of the broad ‘priorities’ of the President’s executive order.” –Community advisory issued by the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild

By Miriam Raftery

April 2, 2017 (San Diego) – The National Immigration Project (NIP) of the National Lawyers Guild has issued a Community Advisory on memos issued by the Department of Homeland Security in late February  to implement President Donald Trump’s executive orders ramping up deportation of  immigrants.  The immigration attorneys warn of sweeping changes that represent “a major shift and escalation in immigration enforcement.”

The NIP includes legal and policy analysis of key changes in immigration enforcement that “we believe will most impact community defense strategies," along with tips and suggestions for immigrations and those who assist immigrations.


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ORDER TO BOOST HIRING OF BORDER PATROL AGENTS AND ICE OFFICERS RAISES QUESTIONS OVER SCREENING PROCEDURES

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 15, 2017 (San Diego) - President Donald Trump’s executive order requires Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to hire 10,000 officers, including 5,000 Border Patrol agents.  But where to find qualified officers and agents is a challenge for the agency—and some proposed solutions are raising concerns.


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TRUMP BROADENS ICE SWEEPS TO INCLUDE MANY MORE IMMIGRANTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 23, 2017 (San Diego) — Immigration and Customs Enforcement Secretary John F. Kelly has signed sweeping new guidelines that dramatically expand powers of federal authorities to detain and deport many more undocumented immigrants than in the past – including some who have never been arrested or convicted of any crime.


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IMMIGRATION RAIDS SPARK FEAR, GO BEYOND DEPORTING CRIMINALS

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 11, 2017 (San Diego) – Immigration raids in cities across the nation conducted since Friday are striking fear among immigrant communities.  Although the Trump administration has claimed the sweeps are routine, some of those picked up for deportation have no criminal backgrounds, belying President Donald Trump’s post-election promise to focus on criminals.


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ICE SUPERVISOR ACCUSED OF RECRUITING WORKERS FOR SEX PARTIES AND OTHER MISCONDUCT

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 20, 2015 (San Diego)--A federal investigation is under way into allegations claiming that a supervisor at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE , in downtown San Diego has been recruiting workers for swinger sex parties at his home that he shares with his wife, who is also an ICE agent.

The anonymous complaint was filed with Homeland Security’s Inspector General, however the department referred the complaints to Ice for an internal investigation and has questioned several people in the local ICE office, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The Union-Tribune has reviewed the complaint and reports that it contends workers were approached during work and via text messages. The sex parties reportedly included sexual romps which allegedly occurred in a bedroom while children were at home.


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ICE ISSUES RESPONSE ON IRAQI DETAINEES AT OTAY: 5 ORDERED DEPORTED, 1 FACES CHARGES OVER FALSE PAPERS, 22 REMAIN BEHIND BARS

 

Congresswoman Davis wants to speak with family members of detained Chaldeans

By Miriam Raftery

August 3, 2015 (Otay) –After our story  yesterday on efforts by local Chaldeans to free more than 20 Iraqi Chaldean Christians detained for months at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)/Homeland Security facility in Otay Mesa, we received a response from Lauren Mack, public affairs officer for ICE in San Diego. 

Mack advised us via e-mail, “There are currently 28 Iraqi nationals in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody at the Otay Detention Facility in San Diego. One of those individuals was criminally charged this week in federal court with providing false information on an immigration application. Five others in the group have now been ordered removed (i.e., deported) by an immigration judge.”

Asked if these six individuals are Chaldean Christians or not, Mack declined to reveal the religion of these detainees. However she did provide a copy of the criminal complaint filed against Reta Morrogi (a.k.a. Zina Hormes Oraha Delli. It states that Morrogo communicated through an interpreter in the Chaldean dialect. She is charged with failing to disclose time spent in Germany on her flight from Iraq to the U.S.


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IRAQI CHRISTIANS WHO FLED ISIS ARE IN DETENTION CENTER AT OTAY: LOCAL LEADERS CALL FOR RELEASE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

East County News Service

Photos of rally by Peter Mansour

June 24, 2015 (San Diego) – Clergy members and Iraqi community leaders held a prayer vigil on June 18th, calling for release Iraqi Chaldean Christians held in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center.

Since the rise of ISIS, many Iraqi Chaldean Christian have fled to neighboring countries. Some have been fortunate enough to make it across the Mexico-US border. But many of these Christians have now been imprisoned in the detention center for up to four months without any indication of imminent release, despite testimony from Christian family members in San Diego that can vouch for their identity.


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SETTLEMENT TO HALT FORCED DEPORTATIONS

 

East County News Service

November 6, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – A hearing is set for February 9, 2015 to approve a final settlement in the American Civil Liberties (ACLU) lawsuit to halt forced deportations by the U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The ACLU won a class action lawsuit filed in 2013 after demonstrating that officials threatened, lied and intimidated undocumented immigrants, forcing them to sign “voluntary” deportation papers even if they had strong claims to remain in the U.S.


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CENTRAL AMERICAN IMMIGRANTS BOUND FOR SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 29, 2014 (San Diego) – The Border Patrol has announced that starting this week, it will bring undocumented Central American immigrants from Texas to California.  The first groups will include families, not unaccompanied minors, to ease overcrowding of facilities due to an influx of children fleeing violence in Central America.

The families will be brought to San Diego and El Centro to ease what President Barack Obama has called a humanitarian crisis. 

ABC News this week interviewed a 17 year old girl who was among those immigrants apprehended attempting to cross into the U.S.   In a tearful voice, she told them that she fled her home in Central America after her brother was murdered and a gang threatened her with harm if she would not join.  On her journey here, she was gang-raped by several men before reaching the U.S. She was  detained after reaching the U.S. but eventually released into custody of a relative in Florida, where she awaits an asylum hearing to determine if she can stay in the U.S. or not.


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OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TAKING MEASURES TO DEAL WITH INFLUX OF IMMIGRANT MINORS

 

 

By Trevor Hill

June 11, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--This year, the number of minors illegally crossing the border north through Mexico into the United States has increased to approximately 48,000 (92% higher than last year) and is projected to reach over 60,000 by the end of the 2014 fiscal year. The vast majority of these children is not coming from Mexico, but in fact is fleeing Central American countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.

To deal with the influx, immigrant minors and adults alike are being shipped to warehouses and other facilities in order to hold them until they can be deported or granted a green card. About 700 minors are currently being held in a warehouse Nogales, Arizona, where living conditions have become deplorable due to overcrowding and lack of supplies. Fortunately, this is only a temporary housing for the children who will spend only enough time in Nogales to receive vaccinations and be checked medically before being sent to facilities in Ventura, California; San Antonio, Texas; and Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

This overcrowding is due to a lack of legal representatives willing and/or able to represent these children in Immigration Court. Because courts are not required to fund lawyers for the children, they must find a legal representative through advocacy groups or pro bono law programs.


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BODY BEAUTIFUL CAR WASH, INC. TEAMS WITH HOMELAND SECURITY TO PROMOTE LEGAL HIRING

  

July 9, 2011 (San Diego County) – A San Diego business is the first car wash in the country to partner with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in an innovative program that helps businesses ensure that all their employees are authorized to work in the United States. 

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ICE AGREES TO IMPROVE HEALTH CARE FOR IMMIGRATION DETAINEES IN SETTLEMENT OF ACLU SUIT

 

Lawsuit Charged Lack Of Medical And Mental Health Care Led To Death and Unnecessary Suffering


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FEDS FIND BORDER TUNNEL, SEIZE 30 TONS OF MARIJUANA

 

November 3, 2010 (San Diego) – The San Diego Tunnel Task Force uncovered a sophisticated 600-yard underground cross-border tunnel overnight, the U.S. Justice Department Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reveals. Approximately 30 tons of marijuana seized in the US and Mexico have been linked to the tunnel.


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