Daily Dispatch 10/15/2019: California eliminates private immigrant jails and other updates.

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Daily Dispatch

October 15, 2019


Today the Dispatch is focusing on a few updates of news items and campaigns we have written about recently.  The first is a big win in California. On Friday we joined a bunch of folks - many of whom have put in years on this campaign - in encouraging our network to pressure California’s governor to sign law AB32, which ends the use of private contractors in immigrant detention in the state beginning on January 1st, and begins the process of phasing out existing contracts. 

The governor signed!

I share an update from California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance’s statewide director, Sandy Valenciano in order give a shout out to some of the groups that did all of the heavy lifting on this campaign.

Dear community! 

I am filled with so much joy in sharing with you all that AB32 has been signed by Governor Newsom thanks to all of your support!🎉

A special thanks to CIYJA's youth and leadership along with, ILRC, CCIJ, ICIJ, IM4HI, Pangea, Resilience OC, IDP, Freedom for Immigrant, Human Rights Watch, Free SF, CCIRA, SIREN, Bay Resistance, and so many others! 

We owe this victory to Floricel, Raul, Ny, Valeria, Mario, and so many individuals who despite being targeted by the state continue to fight for our collective liberations! 

Please continue supporting us in these next steps as we begin our fight to For now we celebrate and hold our loved ones closer and continue ensuring each other that a world without cages is possible! 

If you made a call, shared a post or took other action, THANK YOU!!!

Good News/Bad News on Public Charge Rule

Three separate judges issued an injunction Friday against the Trump administration’s new Public Charge rule. :

Federal judges in three states on Friday temporarily blocked changes to the so-called public charge rule, which would make getting permanent residency more difficult for immigrants deemed likely to seek public assistance.

Abbey Sussell, of the New York Immigration Coalition, said that confusion over the measure already has spurred some immigrant New Yorkers to drop benefits — even ones not specified in the new Department of Homeland Security policy.

“It’s still going to be really complex” to explain to immigrant communities what exactly the court rulings mean, given “a lot of damage that has been done,” Sussell said.

New York Attorney General Letitia James secured an injunction Friday temporarily blocking the federal rule changes, which were to have gone into effect Tuesday. Federal judges in California and Washington issued similar decisions.

The is that the State Department issued a separate rule that takes effect today, directing consular officers to apply public charge ineligibility more broadly to people seeking visas to come to the United States. 

More worrying for advocates are separate rules from the State Department — published one day before Friday’s injunctions — which, as of Tuesday, will affect some green card and visa applicants who live outside of the U.S.

The State Department rule could hinder applicants abroad who have family petitioning for them in the U.S. — all based on the same 20-point public charge test.

“I think the Department of State thing is really big,” said Jessica Young, an attorney at Make the Road New York, an immigration advocacy group. “And I think that’s not being discussed right now.”

Young noted the State Department rule could affect up to 13 million people.

So, good news, the public charge definition Trump was pushing is blocked for now regarding people already in the United States seeking permanent residency. However, the new definition currently still applies to people trying to get here - with the same discriminatory impact against people who have less economic means.

Less happy news...ICE is still trying to deport a U.S. Citizen

In July the story broke about a U.S. citizen, 18 years old Francisco Erwin Galicia, who was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for three weeks, despite having a U.S. birth certificate clearly showing him to be a citizen. The issue was that he also had been issued birth record from Mexico (issued three years after his birth in the U.S.). His mother had sought this so that he could attend public school in Mexico where they had relocated after Francisco’s parents separated. This birth record was later used to secure a visitors visa to the United States - and this raised a red flag for ICE. Whatever one thinks of the decisions made by the mother (and before passing judgement know that her situation is something faced by thousands of Mexican nationals who move back to Mexico with U.S. citizen children), these were not decisions made by Francisco, who was three years old at the time, and is a U.S. born citizen. 

Nevertheless, ICE still has Francisco in removal proceedings, and earlier this month issued him a notice to appear before an immigration judge in 2020. From

Two immigration attorneys specializing in deportation defense told The News that based on the fact that Galicia received this most recent notice, he remains in deportation proceedings until a judge cancels the proceedings or ICE terminates the case based on prosecutorial discretion.

Prosecutors for ICE, the agency charged with removing unauthorized immigrants from the U.S., may believe that they have enough evidence to continue pursuing Galicia’s case, said Sui Chung, an immigration attorney who focuses on removal defense and serves as chair of the national ICE committee with the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

“It is ICE’s burden to prove that he is deportable, but if you as his attorney want to kill the case, then you have to show evidence to question why the case is still moving forward,” Chung said.

Chung added that the visitors visa that was issued to Galicia was sufficient enough proof for Border Patrol to hold him for a few hours. But the 23 days he spent in detention seemed like an excess and the current removal proceedings should probably have already been stopped, she said.

So why haven’t they? U.S. citizens end up in removal proceedings at an alarming rate already. It is just one factor evidencing the broken system run by ICE, which prioritizes removals above all else. (“We are in the removal business,” as an ICE officer recently said in relation to a different case).