Quotation of the Week

By Karen Alford

One of our members was talking with a newly released detainee about the chaotic situation in the prisons and with ICE. “I didn’t realize the United States would be so disorganized,” he said.

May Reading

By LA-AID

We appreciated this piece on statelessness in the US, from the United Nations Refugee Agency, and the Tulane Immigrant Rights Clinic has produced a report on immigration detention in Louisiana that we are dying to see.

“The report, titled No End in Sight: Prolonged and Punitive Immigration Detention in Louisiana, is the result of a year of research analyzing the 499 Louisiana habeas cases filed in federal court from 2010 to 2020. Researchers found that by the time that detained immigrants filed habeas petitions in court, they have typically already endured nearly one year and one month of detention. On average, the cases last a further six months, during which the immigrant is still held in confinement. Researchers also found serious challenges for detainees to access lawyers to represent them in their habeas case, with 85% of detained immigrants filing their cases without legal representation. Lastly, they found disturbing racial disparities, with Black immigrants representing more than half of detained immigrants filing habeas petitions. The researchers offer recommendations to the Court, immigration authorities, and advocates to reduce potentially unconstitutional detention and promote transparent, efficient, and reasoned adjudication.”

This Week in Immigration

Reposted from Immigration Impact by LA-AID

The American Immigration Council sends weekly newsletters. Here is the one for this week!


FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Biden administration announced it is seeking to increase legal pathways for those interested in performing seasonal work in the U.S. this year. If accomplished, the move would offer 22,000 additional guest worker visas—a substantial increase in the number of H-2B visas—which otherwise caps at 66,000 per year and allows people to enter the U.S. for seasonal work in industries such as tourism and landscaping.  Current U.S. immigration law provides several paths for foreign workers to enter the United States for employment purposes on a temporary or permanent basis. This fact sheet from the American Immigration Council provides basic information about how the employment-based U.S. immigration system works. Read more: Employment-Based Visa Categories in the United States

 ACROSS THE NATION 

  • The Biden administration’s deadline to conduct a 100-day review of its enforcement priorities is fast approaching. Meanwhile ICE has yet to announce a formal process to review the cases of those in its custody for release. The American Immigration Council’s Immigration Justice Campaign—a nationwide network of volunteer attorneys and advocates that serves thousands of detained individuals who would otherwise go unrepresented—is working to ensure people have the help of a dedicated attorney to ask ICE to review their cases and release them from detention. Understanding the experiences of detained individuals and the harsh realities of immigration detention are an important reminder of why we must ensure that ICE is held accountable to its new enforcement priorities and case review process.  Read more: Impacted Individuals Build the Case to End Immigration Detention

QUOTE OF THE WEEK 

“The Trump-era approach to interior enforcement was to cast as wide a net as possible, to enforce immigration law by dragnet, with the goal of terrorizing communities, instilling fear and, ultimately, the sort of overarching goal was to create deterrents to immigrating to the United States.

“What the Biden administration did was to try to create priorities and new levels of oversight mechanisms to redirect immigration enforcement so that we’re not going after people who have been in the United States for many years, people who have strong ties to our communities.”

– Jorge Loweree, policy director at the American Immigration Council


 FURTHER READING

New Reimbursement Policy

By LA-AID

The revised reimbursement policy for the Acadiana Group is available under “For Drivers and Hosts,” to your right, although you may request reimbursement for other out-of-pocket expenses. The driving and hosting reimbursement policies outlined here apply to people released from the ICE detention at Allen Parish, South Louisiana (Basile), and Pine Prairie.

The Biden Plan for Central America

By Leslie Bary

The Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), area experts like Aviva Chomsky, and others are concerned about the Biden plan for Central America, which as Common Dreams explains, may exacerbate and not alleviate conditions there. Whatever the United States does in Central America will be felt here.

Obama and Biden functionary Cecilia Muñoz is far less critical of current policy and plans. It is interesting to see what she, from the point of view of the government, has to say about immigration policy and advocacy. Freedom for Immigrants, the organization with which we work the most closely, has these policy goals on immigration detention.

On the Haitian Bridge Project

By Leslie Bary

“That morning, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents had forced 30 Haitians—almost all of them Black—to board a deportation flight from Alexandria, La.”

This is from The Nation, 5/12 April 2021 and the article is worth reading, as it has to do with New Orleans, and us, and of the depth of the work going on.

News Archive

By LA-AID

In 2021 we’ve been too busy to keep up our news page. This is the archive. We plan to add to it, especially when LA-AID gets media attention. In the meantime, look too at the News link in our category cloud, to the right, headed “TOPICS.”

January 4, 2021
Djibril Coulibaly
Awaiting deportation in Louisiana after 19 years teaching school here.

December 22, 2020
Felber dismissal
Washington Post. Garrett Felber, a major scholar of mass incarceration, has been dismissed from the University of Mississippi.

December 18, 2020
Baton Rouge Advocate (Acadiana edition) on LA-AID
LA-AID Video for International Migrants Day

December 16, 2020
KRVS (Lafayette, LA) interview with Nell Hahn on LA-AID
On the political interview show Bayou to Beltway, with Pearson Cross.

November 22, 2020
Links to information and resources on Cameroon

September 1, 2020
Democracy Now on Hurricane Laura and asylum seeker strikes

August 14, 2020
Protest outside Pine Prairie
Protesters were pepper-sprayed by police, who later claimed the protesters had pepper-sprayed them.