For the next month, cryptographically unique coupons representing an undisclosed number of Jordanian dinars will be sent to dozens of shops in five refugee camps across the nation. Then, instead of using a smartphone or a paper wallet to access the funds, recipients will rely on yet another emerging technology. Continue reading
Republican and Democratic lawmakers forged a $1.07 trillion spending package that would fund the government through the end of September, but does not include some of President Trump’s cornerstone promises including funding for a border wall or funding cuts to sanctuary cities.
Maria Sacchetti & Ed O’Keefe
The Washington Post
About half of the 675 immigrants picked up in roundups across the United States in the days after President Trump took office either had no criminal convictions or had committed traffic offenses, mostly drunken driving, as their most serious crimes, according to data obtained by The Washington Post.
Records provided by congressional aides Friday offered the most detailed look yet at the backgrounds of the individuals rounded up and targeted for deportation in early February by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents assigned to regional offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio and New York. Continue reading
For the faith-based nonprofit Border Angels, the Easter resurrection narrative finds its most meaningful expression in providing life-giving supplies for those facing death crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
Yesterday, about sixty volunteers with Border Angels spent Holy Saturday of Passion Week walking in the footsteps of undocumented border crossers in the desert expanse between San Diego and Tijuana, leaving supplies for migrants along known migration routes. By providing water, clothing and nonperishable food items, Border Angels volunteers hope to prevent the death of migrants attempting the perilous crossing. An estimated 10,000 have died attempting to reach the United States since Operation Gatekeeper, a Clinton-era measure to curtail unlawful immigration. Continue reading
The Washington Post
Immigration arrests rose 32.6 percent in the first weeks of the Trump administration, with newly empowered federal agents intensifying their pursuit of not just undocumented immigrants with criminal records, but also thousands of illegal immigrants who have been otherwise law-abiding.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 21,362 immigrants, mostly convicted criminals, from January through mid-March, compared to 16,104 during the same period last year, according to statistics requested by The Washington Post.
Arrests of immigrants with no criminal records more than doubled to 5,441, the clearest sign yet that President Trump has ditched his predecessor’s protective stance toward most of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Continue reading
The Trump administration is seeking ways to increase capacity within immigration enforcement agencies to create a deportation force President Donald Trump repeatedly advocated on the campaign trail.
According to a document obtained by The Washington Post, the Department of Homeland Security has begun the process of ramping up its abilities to rapidly deport thousands of people who are in the country illegally. Continue reading
“We learned through immigration sources that the total number of the Somalis that are in the books of [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] to be removed are close to 4,000,” Ahmed Isse Awad told VOA‘s Somali service Saturday. “Most of them are not in detention centers.”
Since Somalia’s embassy in Washington reopened in November 2015, the ambassador said, about 170 Somali immigrants who either ran afoul of U.S. law or had their asylum applications rejected have been deported to Mogadishu, the Somali capital.
Most of those previously deported had applied for but been denied political asylum in the U.S., he added. Another group of Somali applicants whose requests for asylum have been denied are now in detention centers or prisons, awaiting deportation.
Fewer than 300 Somalis are scheduled to be moved out in the next couple of months, Awad told VOA, adding that his embassy was awaiting information from U.S. authorities on who the deportees were and when they would depart.
ICE agents recently arrested 82 people from 26 nations during a five-day operation in and around the U.S. capital.
According to a statement from ICE, 68 of those detained March 26-30 had previous criminal convictions, for crimes including armed robbery, larceny and drug offenses. All but three were arrested in the state of Virginia.
One of those arrested last month, Awad said, was a 50-year-old Somali man who identified himself as second in command of Somalia’s National Security Service. He had previously been deported to Somalia in 1996.
“According to ICE, he came back to the U.S. in 1997 under a different name,” the Somali envoy said. “In 2014, he was jailed for 11 months for forgery and drug-related crimes, and since then has committed several other felonies.”
U.S. immigration officials said eight of those arrested during ICE’s end-of-March roundup had no known criminal records; they either had overstayed visitor visas or ignored final orders to leave the country.
Some of the Somali nationals who already have been sent back to their homeland have told VOA and media outlets in Somalia they found a different and dangerous country awaiting them in East Africa.
Since Somalia has lacked a strong central government for more than a quarter-century, many Western nations have refrained from forcibly returning Somali immigrants to their home country because of safety concerns. U.S. immigration policies have been tightened considerably under the administration of President Donald Trump, and such a clemency policy for Somali nationals is no longer being observed.
The Los Angeles Times
Like many law enforcement agencies across California, Culver City police say officers don’t enforce federal immigration law. The City Council declared the town a so-called sanctuary city last month, promising to protect the public safety of all city residents, regardless of immigration status.
But the Police Department’s manual seems to suggest something different, offering officers guidance on how to stop people suspected of illegally entering the U.S., a misdemeanor under federal law. Continue reading
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexicans who help build U.S. President Donald Trump’s planned border wall would be acting immorally and should be deemed traitors, the Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico said on Sunday, turning up the heat on a simmering dispute over the project.
In a provocative editorial, the country’s biggest Archdiocese sought to increase pressure on the government to take a tougher line on companies aiming to profit from the wall, which has strained relations between Trump and the Mexican government. Continue reading
HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS are expressing concern that a new State Department directive requiring consular officials to look through social media accounts of some visa applicants will effectively expand President Trump’s Muslim ban — and be used to exclude people with certain political viewpoints.
On Thursday, Reuters reported that even as some key parts of Trump’s Muslim ban executive order are being held up by legal challenges, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has ordered “mandatory social media checks” on visa applicants who have ever spent time in territory controlled by ISIS. He also directed embassies and diplomatic missions to identify other “populations warranting increased scrutiny,” whose visas would receive increased scrutiny. Continue reading