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Westlake Legal Group > immigration and customs enforcement

ICE cancels fines on illegals hiding in church sanctuaries

Westlake Legal Group primacy-peter ICE cancels fines on illegals hiding in church sanctuaries The Blog sanctuary Immigration and Customs Enforcement Fines churches

During this past summer, ICE instituted a new policy aimed at flushing some of the illegal aliens currently taking sanctuary in churches out of their hiding places and into a courthouse for a hearing. They began issuing fines, sometimes adding up to hundreds of thousands of dollars on the sanctuary recipients. This had the usual list of suspects up in arms, but it also didn’t seem to produce much in the way of results.

Now, that policy has apparently been rescinded. In a recent announcement, they confirmed that the orders of “Notice of Intention to Fine” had been withdrawn. (Washington Times)

The government’s deportation agency has canceled the fines of up to $500,000 it had tried to levy on some illegal immigrants who are living in protection in churches, the sanctuary movement said Tuesday.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had fired off notices to a number of migrants earlier this year telling them they owed massive fines for defying deportation orders.

After an outcry from the migrants, and mocking from immigrant-rights advocates, ICE relented.

“Following consideration of matters you forwarded for ICE review, and in the exercise of discretion under applicable regulations, ICE hereby withdraws the Notice of Intention to Fine,” the agency said in letters to migrants. That portion of the letter was released publicly by the National Sanctuary Collective.

There are probably more illegal aliens doing this than you might imagine. The article linked at the top tells the story of Maria Chavalan-Sut, a Guatemalan illegal immigrant who has been holed up in a Methodist church in Virginia for more than a year now. There are plenty of others, like Jose Robles, a Mexican illegal who has been living in a Lutheran church in downtown Seattle for even longer.

Due to traditions and conventions at the agency, ICE doesn’t forcibly remove such individuals from churches where they have been granted sanctuary. And with enough community support and patience on the part of the church, they can last there for a long time.

So why did ICE decide to back off the policy at this point? They’re not saying, but it’s not too difficult to speculate. While perhaps not the deciding factor, the press, and the Democrats have been having a field day painting the agency as some sort of collection of evil monsters. With the elections drawing closer, perhaps someone determined that the massive fines would probably be yet another PR headache that they didn’t need.

Also, there’s the question of effectiveness. As I mentioned above, I’ve yet to find a single instance of a person in sanctuary coming out of hiding because they were worried about the fines. Most of the people taking this course of action have tended to stay in the church for a long time. If the strategy isn’t working there isn’t much sense continuing to generate all the paperwork to keep it going.

The bottom line is that if these individuals don’t qualify for any sort of exemption that would allow them to remain in the country, they’re just compounding their problems. Having spent so much time in violation of a court order to appear at a hearing, they’re unlikely to receive a sympathetic ear from the judge when they finally come out. And the reality is that you can’t stay in the same building indefinitely without eventually going stir crazy. They’ll have to come out sooner or later and all ICE really needs to do is be patient. And as long as they’re staying in the church they aren’t causing any other problems.

The post ICE cancels fines on illegals hiding in church sanctuaries appeared first on Hot Air.

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Suspended Fairfax Co. officer who held driver to be detained by ICE will return to duty

A Fairfax County, Virginia, police officer will return to full duty three days after being suspended for holding a driver at the scene of a crash so the driver could be picked up by immigration officials.

Fairfax County police Chief Edwin C. Roessler said in a statement Wednesday that after an update from internal affairs, he has concurred with the procedural recommendation to return the officer to full duty on Friday.

“We have one of the best police forces in the U.S. and I have confidence that our officer will represent us well throughout his career,” Roessler said.

The incident started with a traffic incident on Sept. 21 at Harrison Lane and South Kings Highway in the Alexandria section.

When the officer responded and started to handle the crash, they found one of the drivers did not have a driver’s license. When the officer checked the driver’s information, he found the driver was wanted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for failing to appear for a deportation hearing.

The officer contacted the ICE agent listed on the warrant, who said they were nearby. The officer then gave the driver a summons for not having a license, held the driver through a “custodial detention,” then turned them over to the ICE agent.

Roessler said that since the driver was not being taken into custody for any violation of law, they should not have been turned over to ICE. He announced on Tuesday that the officer had been “relieved of all law enforcement duties pending the outcome of this investigation.”

Per policy, Roessler said that the internal administrative investigation continues.

WTOP’s Rick Massimo contributed to this report.

Source

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Virginia cop turns illegal alien over to ICE and then things get weird

Westlake Legal Group ICEofficers Virginia cop turns illegal alien over to ICE and then things get weird The Blog suspension police Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deportation arrest

I keep dreaming that the day will come when we’ll stop seeing these stories and having to report on them, but that day is still not here. This time we’re talking about a recent incident in Fairfax County, Virginia. A police officer responded to the scene of an automobile accident and began the usual investigation. The driver of one of the vehicles turned out to not have a valid Virginia driver’s license, so the officer ran his name through the DMV and discovered that he was in the country illegally and had a bench warrant out for failing to appear at a deportation hearing.

The officer had the name of the ICE agent assigned to the case, so he contacted them and waited on the scene for the agent to arrive. The driver received a ticket for driving without a license and was then turned over to immigration officials. What happened next is a sad story of the decline of the rule of law in this country. The cop was almost immediately suspended from his duties on the force. Be sure to read this next bit. (National Review)

Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler lamented the incident and assured the officer is being disciplined.

“This is an unfortunate issue where the officer was confused,” the police chief said, according to the Washington Post. “We have trained on this issue a lot. This is the first time we’ve had a lapse in judgment, and the officer is being punished.”

The officer has been relieved of all law enforcement duties pending an internal investigation.

“Our police officer violated our longstanding policy and deprived a person of their freedom, which is unacceptable,” Roessler added in a statement.

The woke police chief then went on to extoll the virtues of his county as being “one of the most diverse counties in the nation.” He went on to bemoan the idea that the officer in question had “damaged their reputation.”

This is just one small story from the local news in Virginia. The illegal alien was processed by ICE and released with an ankle monitor later that day. But it’s also an episode that reminds us of what’s becoming an epidemic across the country. We have a police chief basically apologizing to an illegal alien because one of his cops enforced the law. He’s repeating whatever the politicians have told him to say in the era of the resistance.

Perhaps the illegal alien will wind up in court for processing now that he’s being tracked. Or maybe he’ll cut the ankle monitor off and disappear like he did last time. We’ll probably never know. But a police officer who was doing his job and enforcing the law is now relieved of his duties and his boss is out there giving press conferences apologizing for his behavior.

We’ve truly landed on the far side of the rainbow at this point. And since most of these policies are handed down at the state and local levels instead of the federal, I’m at a loss as to what should be done about it. The President has tried to rein in the sanctuary cities and states but has been repeatedly thwarted in the courts. And we’re watching this descent into madness all unfold right before our eyes.

The post Virginia cop turns illegal alien over to ICE and then things get weird appeared first on Hot Air.

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New Jersey AG orders counties to stop cooperating with ICE

Westlake Legal Group Grewal New Jersey AG orders counties to stop cooperating with ICE The Blog New Jersey Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers cooperation

We’ve seen far too many of these stories, but this one out of New Jersey comes with a twist. The Attorney General for the Garden State, Gurbir Grewal, has issued marching orders to the Sheriff’s Departments in both Cape May and Monmouth counties, telling them that they can no longer take part in voluntary law enforcement programs allowing them to cooperate with ICE in certain immigration matters. He arrived at this decision despite specific, valid requests from the Sheriffs that they be exempted from the new rules. (CBS New York)

New Jersey’s attorney general is ordering two counties to end their cooperation agreements with federal immigration authorities.
State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal says the Immigrant Trust Directive issued last year limits law enforcement’s cooperation with ICE.

But sheriff’s departments in Cape May and Monmouth counties still maintain agreements to perform some immigration functions.

The attorney general says those agreements prevent victims from reporting crimes.

None of this is happening in a vacuum. The AG has been going after these counties all year to demonstrate his woke credentials and battle the evil that is ICE. But when the Sheriffs made their request to be exempted last month, they cited very valid reasons. For one example, Monmouth County picked up an illegal alien in January who we definitely didn’t want back out on the streets. Check out the rap sheet on this guy. (USA Today)

When a Guatemalan national was charged with aggravated assault with a handgun, terroristic threats and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose in January, a Monmouth County corrections officer ran the person’s name in a federal database and discovered that the inmate had entered the United States on a visitor’s visa and never left.

A corrections officer placed an immigration hold on the inmate that flagged federal immigration authorities.

In addition to that guy, they arrested another illegal alien in March on charges of burglary, harassment and domestic violence. He’d been arrested at the border with his mother three years earlier. He too was turned over to ICE and processed.

In other words, we’re not talking about a program where the Sheriff’s deputies are rounding up random illegal aliens at the local grocery store. These are dangerous criminals who are already in custody on serious charges. And the State Attorney General wants to forbid the Sheriffs from notifying or holding them for ICE.

His excuse for this, as explained in his statement last week, is that he is “taking another step forward here in New Jersey to build trust, to fight crime and to make this state safe for all of our residents.” That quote about the state being “safe for all of our residents” is standard code in woke circles, meaning “safe for illegal aliens.” But is that guy from Guatemala with the gun charges and domestic violence rap really the person you’re trying to keep the state safe for? Shouldn’t you really be focusing more on keeping everyone else safe from him?

This suicidal behavior in the blue “sanctuary” states should be driving residents to either start voting some new people into office or get to packing their stuff and moving. These policies may look good on the AG’s resume when he’s running in the primary for higher office, but he’s not doing a thing to keep the legal citizens under his protection safe. Also, immigration law is precisely what it says… the law. Isn’t an Attorney General supposed to be upholding all the laws by definition?

The post New Jersey AG orders counties to stop cooperating with ICE appeared first on Hot Air.

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Nothing Remains of This Know-Nothing Democrat but Hair, Teeth, and Eyeballs After Thomas Homan Gets Done

Westlake Legal Group thomas-homan-620x317 Nothing Remains of This Know-Nothing Democrat but Hair, Teeth, and Eyeballs After Thomas Homan Gets Done Thomas Homan Politics Immigration and Customs Enforcement immigration and citizenship subcommittee immigration Front Page Stories Featured Story democrats Congress Allow Media Exception

File – In this Dec. 5, 2017 file photo, then Acting Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thomas Homan takes a question from a reporter at a Department of Homeland Security news conference in Washington. A federal immigration official says about 800 people living in Northern California were able to avoid arrest because of a warning by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. Homan, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement chief, told “Fox and Friends” Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, that what Schaaf did was “no better than a gang lookout yelling ‘police’ when a police cruiser comes in the neighborhood.” (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

One of the unsung heroes in the fight over border security is former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thomas Homan. The guy is not only an authority of immigration policy and the nuts-and-bolts of how all the components of the immigration system works, he has damned little patience for idiots or stooges which means he and House Democrats and their staffs do not have a great relationship.

He probably received the most attention for an encounter he had with the “Squad” leader and general twit, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. (Read my AOC Suffers Third Degree Burns Over 90% Of Her Butt After This Encounter With Former Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan for details.)

Homan was back on the Hill yesterday at a hearing on detention policy before the House Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee. Compared to the goat-rope about the so-called whisleblower complaint, this was an undercard match, but it provided a great deal of amusement on its own.

This was the view from the left

This is how Americans viewed the carnage

Here is Townhall colleague Leah Barkoukis

During a House Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship hearing on “The Expansion and Troubling Use of ICE Detention,” Homan and [Washington Democrat Pramila] Jayapal, the vice chairwoman, got into a shouting match, which started after she brought up reallocating funds to go towards more detention beds.

“I’d like to remind you, under the Obama administration, we did that most of the years he was president. We moved money around DHS — it’s called reprogramming. We did that under the Obama administration, and I don’t remember any hearings on that,” Homan said, reminding her that during the border surge under Obama Congress was quick to give the money needed.

“I didn’t like it under the Obama administration either,” she replied.

At another point, Homan explained why there’s such a crisis at the border, placing the blame on Democrats in Congress.

“Look, you want to know why there’s 50,000 people in detention? You want to know why there are a million illegal entries into the United States? You want to know why we have these issues? Because you have failed to secure the border,” Homan said. “You guys failed to work with this president to close the three loopholes we’ve asked for two years to close.”

Jayapal interrupted to cut him off because his time was up, but he continued nonetheless.

“I’ve asked you politely to let me go beyond my time, and you let other people go beyond their time, but not to Tom Homan!” he fired back.

Jayapal slammed her gavel down to quiet a frustrated Homan, who exclaimed, “This is a circus.”

The situation escalated from there, with Jayapal demanding that he “respect the chair’s authority.”

When he started to respond, she once again began banging her gavel.

“Mr. Homan!” she yelled.

“You work for me!” he shot back. “I’m a taxpayer. I’m a taxpayer, you work for me.”

One thing we’re seeing under Trump are more and more executive branch officers willing to call out members of Congress on their own actions and duplicity. Instead of meekly sitting there and being abused, there is a realization that they are members of a different branch of government and they owe no obeisance to quasi-literates who often can’t be bothered to even master the slightest bit of knowledge about the agencies and programs they are supposed to be overseeing. In the long run, this is good. Before a member of Congress grandstands at the expense of a literal expert in the field, they should be required to either have their stuff together or take a verbal beat down. It will make for better members of Congress and more informative hearings. And watching the left squirt blood out of their whatever in rage over seeing their precious ones disrespected is definitely a big plus.

The post Nothing Remains of This Know-Nothing Democrat but Hair, Teeth, and Eyeballs After Thomas Homan Gets Done appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group thomas-homan-300x153 Nothing Remains of This Know-Nothing Democrat but Hair, Teeth, and Eyeballs After Thomas Homan Gets Done Thomas Homan Politics Immigration and Customs Enforcement immigration and citizenship subcommittee immigration Front Page Stories Featured Story democrats Congress Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

New York State sues ICE for doing its job

Westlake Legal Group ice-arrest New York State sues ICE for doing its job The Blog New York State lawsuit Immigration and Customs Enforcement Illegal Immigration illegal aliens courthouse arrests

New York, New York. So nice they say it twice. But not when it comes to ICE. (Save your booing. I never claimed to be a poet.)

Out in the Empire State, the Attorney General is preparing to sue Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the crime of (wait for it…) arresting illegal aliens. That’s right, folks. The government entity responsible for identifying and detaining illegal aliens and processing them for deportation is under fire for doing precisely that. It seems that Attorney General Letitia James is upset that ICE has been arresting illegals in and around courthouses in her state and that’s just not fair. (The Hill)

State and local officials on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), alleging the agency makes “unlawful and unconstitutional” civil immigration arrests in and around courthouses in New York City.

The lawsuit, filed by Attorney General Letitia James and Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, claims these arrests deter witnesses from helping law enforcement and prevents victims from reporting crimes to the authorities out of fear of being detained.

“This lawsuit challenges the federal government’s recent unlawful and unconstitutional policy authorizing civil immigration arrests in and around New York State courthouses — a policy that disrupts the effective functioning of our courts, deters victims and witnesses from assisting law enforcement and vindicating their rights, hinders criminal prosecution, and undermines public safety,” the complaint reads.

We’ve seen the same complaints in California, all to little or no effect. The first thing to keep in mind is that these aren’t random sweeps or general raids. These are cases where ICE has a warrant for a specific person that they haven’t been able to track down otherwise. And given how they prioritize which illegal aliens to go after, these are almost always illegals charged with other, more serious crimes.

And why does ICE need to pick them up when they have a court date? Because New York City doesn’t allow the police to honor ICE detainers and hold them in jail until immigration officers arrive to safely take them into custody. That means they either have to track them down out in the community (which can be more dangerous) or catch up with them at the only place they can reasonably predict they will show up. In court.

Both New York City and the state have been bending over backward to make life easier for illegal aliens and tougher for immigration law enforcement for years now. Most recently, the state government approved driver’s licenses for illegals, despite polls showing a clear majority of voters in the state opposed the measure. I can’t wait to see how many of them mysteriously show up as registered voters through the error-prone motor voter program.

But in any event, the lawsuit will no doubt move forward. I find it difficult to imagine that this suit will stand up if it goes all the way to the top. The fact is that it was never technically illegal for federal agents to make arrests in or around courthouses. That was just a policy initiated under the Obama administration. That policy changed under Trump, so this lawsuit should be regarded as frivolous.

The post New York State sues ICE for doing its job appeared first on Hot Air.

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Sanders’ new plan for deportations is really… something

Westlake Legal Group Bernie-Sanders-3 Sanders’ new plan for deportations is really… something The Blog mexican border Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportations Bernie Sanders

We recently discussed the completely radical immigration and border control proposals of Julian Castro. As I mentioned in that piece, the rest of the 2020 field of candidates should probably be criticizing Castro, and they likely would be if he was any threat to anyone’s electoral chances but his own. Well, we can scratch that theory for the moment. Bernie Sanders has ridden to the rescue and decided to adopt at least one of Castro’s policies for his own platform.

This had to do with the deportation of illegal immigrants caught inside the borders of the United States. You might guess that Bernie is looking for less people “living in cages” or perhaps better legal representation. But you’d be wrong. Now Bernie wants to end all deportations. Period. Full stop. (Daily Caller)

While speaking before a left-wing Latino audience, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders pledged to end immigration raids and impose a “moratorium” on all deportations.

“We are going to end the ICE raids that are terrorizing communities all across this country,” Sanders said Saturday in Las Vegas, according to footage flagged by the Republican National Committee. “We are going to impose a moratorium on deportations. And we are going to, as I mentioned — and there are some things that a president can do with executive orders and some things you can’t.”

You’re to be forgiven if you think this is too crazy of an idea, even for Sanders, and are demanding some proof. Well, let’s go to the video.

At first glance, this looks like a desperation move by Sanders. He’s been essentially running the same playbook this year that he used when he came close to beating Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primary. But back then he was really the only viable, hard-left option on the table for voters. Now the field is littered with socialists proposing even crazier plans than his. Sanders sees his position as the only alternative to Biden slipping away to Elizabeth Warren and he needs to get his mojo back. I’m guessing that’s where this scheme came from.

If we stop and think about it, however, this “policy” is somewhat in line with most of the rest of Bernie’s grandiose plans. For example, when it comes to Medicare for All, Bernie tosses out the grenade and offer no sane explanation as to how he would pay for it all. Now, on the immigration control front, he declares that we’ll simply stop deporting people. But he offers not the slightest clue as to what we’ll do with all of them.

We already have a massive backlog in our immigration courts. The holding facilities for illegal aliens are mostly full to the brim, a fact that Sanders has fundraised off of and complained about loudly. So what does Sanders propose that we do with them all? He won’t come out and say the words, but there’s only one other option. Release them all. This would effectively work out to be the same as Castro’s proposal to decriminalize illegal border crossings and let people simply come and go as they please.

There’s another popular phrase to describe plans such as this. Open borders. That’s where Sanders has landed on immigration. He’s literally proposing an open borders policy. So please do us all a favor and stop claiming that “none of the Democrats support open borders.” One of your top tier candidates is doing just that.

The post Sanders’ new plan for deportations is really… something appeared first on Hot Air.

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Illegal immigrant invites ICE to town hall. Is shocked to find he’s being deported

Westlake Legal Group RolandGramajo-1 Illegal immigrant invites ICE to town hall. Is shocked to find he’s being deported The Blog Roland Gramajo Immigration and Customs Enforcement Illegal Immigrants detained Deportation

This is one of those heartwarming stories that only comes along once in a while and is too good to not share. It takes place in Houston, Texas and features local businessman Roland Gramajo. The father of five has been operating his own business in the city for the past fifteen years, also serving as a vocal activist in support of the Guatemalan community, providing help with translations and locating legal services where required.

Recently, Mr. Gramajo sought to open the lines of communication on immigration matters further by hosting a town hall. He invited members of the community, elected officials and even representatives of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to share their stories and work on finding solutions. Shortly after the town hall took place, however, Mr. Gramajo received an unpleasant surprise. (NY Times, emphasis added)

In August, Roland Gramajo, a Houston businessman and celebrated advocate in the local Guatemalan community, helped organize a town-hall meeting to quell fears about recent federal immigration raids.

He invited community activists from across the country. He also invited members of Congress. He even invited officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to talk about what rights people had and didn’t have if they were confronted by the authorities.

But three weeks after the meeting, it is Mr. Gramajo who faces deportation. He was arrested near his home last Thursday, a move that has stunned his family and rekindled concerns that the Trump administration is targeting advocates as part of its crackdown on illegal immigration.

If you click through to the Times article, you’ll see that I wasn’t trying to mislead you about this story. That’s how they told it. In fact, you have to work your way down several paragraphs before finally locating the following biographical information. “Mr. Gramajo had been staying in the country illegally — raising his five children, running a business in Houston and helping fellow immigrants with translations — without contact from ICE for about 15 years.

The crux of the Times coverage focuses on suspicions that ICE is “targeting activists” who are “helping” (illegal) immigrants. But let’s face the facts here. Dude…you’re in the country illegally and have been breaking the law by operating a business for a decade and a half. And then you decided to throw a big shindig and you invited the office of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

It’s true that ICE doesn’t put a high priority on people without serious criminal records, but when you just throw it in their face like that you can’t expect them to ignore the law. Were you expecting a merit badge or something?

This is one of those stories like the ones you read in the local police blotter about the criminal who decides to rob the diner by sliding down the grill’s exhaust vent in the middle of the night, only to get caught in the grease trap and has to be rescued by the cops. Maybe you expect me to feel bad about laughing, but… sorry, not sorry. This was just hilarious.

I’ll tell you what it reminds me of even more, however, and this one was a more serious story. Way back in 2014, you may recall that an illegal immigrant named Jose Antonio Vargas was being celebrated by people on the left and even working as a journalist at various outlets. He was published in major news outlets and showed up at all sorts of newsworthy events. He was literally just daring ICE to pick him up.

When he announced that he was reporting live from a border town in Texas about immigration issues, I’d had enough. I published a column with the rather unsubtle title of, “ICE has the chance to catch Jose Antonio Vargas RIGHT NOW.” I included a picture of him. I quoted his own comments about being an illegal alien. I gave the location where he was staying. Hell, I even included a link to Google Maps with a set of driving instructions from the closest ICE office to where he was staying.

Now, I’m not saying ICE agents sit around all day reading my columns at Hot Air looking for tips. I’m sure they don’t. But however the story reached their ears, Vargas was arrested the next day while attempting to drive out of the area. And after a long period of legal wrangling, he was indeed deported from the country. As far as I was concerned it was a story with a happy ending.

Who knows? Perhaps Roland Gramajo can be the Jose Antonio Vargas of the next generation.

The post Illegal immigrant invites ICE to town hall. Is shocked to find he’s being deported appeared first on Hot Air.

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Illegal border crossings drop hugely in August

Westlake Legal Group border-crossing Illegal border crossings drop hugely in August The Blog mexican border Immigration and Customs Enforcement Illegal Immigration customs and border protection arrests

It’s a mystery for the ages. Preliminary figures from immigration enforcement agencies indicate that the number of illegal border crossings in August was down. And not just down by a little, either. We’re talking about a roughly 60% decrease from the largest surge back in May. How on Earth did that happen? Politico has a few guesses.

President Donald Trump’s plan to force Mexico to stem the flow of migrants across the southwest border of the U.S. appears to be working.

Border arrests, a metric for illegal crossings, plummeted to 51,000 in August, according to preliminary government figures obtained by POLITICO Wednesday, down more than 60 percent since a peak in May. And border watchers say it’s largely because of an agreement Trump struck with Mexico in June. Mexican authorities, backed by the newly formed National Guard, are now cracking down on migrants traversing Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala, monitoring river crossings and stopping buses carrying migrants from Central America through Mexico. At the same time, the U.S. is making tens of thousands of asylum seekers wait in Mexico while their applications are considered.

Before we start breaking out the party balloons, let’s keep in mind that while this is a welcome improvement, 51,000 illegal border-crossing attempts is still far higher than should be acceptable. That works out to roughly 1,650 per day. Our immigration courts can’t process that many cases per day, so we’re still losing ground, though not as quickly.

Two other cautionary notes should be included here. First of all, we’ll have to wait and see if these lower levels are sustainable or if this was just a blip in the normal trends. Also, July and August are traditionally times when illegal crossings dip because of the high heat and harsh conditions in much of northern Mexico during the summer months. If we keep seeing figures like this into November and December we’ll have more reason to be confident.

But with all that said, this is still good news and demonstrates that the new policies arranged with the government of Mexico are having a positive effect. They’re working to cut off the flow of illegal migrants near their own southern border and keeping more migrants on their side of the border while they await court hearings. The word seems to be getting around in Central and South America that entering the United States illegally isn’t as simple as it used to be and it might not be worth the trip.

Still, the missing piece of the puzzle is the wall. A daunting physical barrier channeling people toward legal crossing points could still cut those numbers down massively. We don’t need to have the entire border walled off all at once. Some of the more inhospitable areas see very little traffic. But we could be doing far better than we are now. And we should make sure that happens.

The post Illegal border crossings drop hugely in August appeared first on Hot Air.

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Dem TX Rep wants to abolish ICE… for doing its job

Westlake Legal Group DeportationICE Dem TX Rep wants to abolish ICE… for doing its job The Blog Texas Roland Gramajo Rep. Sylvia Garcia open borders Immigration and Customs Enforcement Houston Deportation border security #AbolishICE

The swamp in Washington, D.C. can change a person. Sometimes that happens so quickly that a casual observer’s head spins. Case in point – Rep. Sylvia Garcia, a freshman Democrat congresswoman from Houston.

Once considered a rather run-of-the-mill kind of Texas Democrat, since jumping feet first into the swamp Garcia has gone to the far left side of hot button issues. Now she has placed herself in the middle of a story about an illegal alien’s deportation order and is promoting her agreement with the open borders crowd – just abolish ICE.

Rep. Garcia is no wide-eyed young idealist like Sandy from the Bronx, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She’s a woman of a certain age, shall we say, and a lawyer, a former municipal judge, the first woman, and the first Latina to serve on Harris County Commissioner’s Court, and a Texas State Senator. In other words, she’s not a rookie in the political world. After noticing how frequently Garcia is positioned favorably for camera exposure during the press conferences with her party’s leaders on television, many of us in Houston pondered how she managed that. Granted, Texas is now considered a blossoming battleground state, but still.

It’s becoming clear that Rep. Garcia is using the method of choice for political opportunists – identity politics. In the Texas State Senate, she did vote against sanctuary city legislation and additional funding for border security. She stated a popular opinion among the open borders crowd – that she doesn’t want local law enforcement to become ICE agents. All of these positions were standard for Democrats at the time. Now, however, at the federal level of politics, she’s moved further to the left.

A Guatemalan illegal alien was taken into custody by immigration agents on September 5 as he was driving to work. You already see where the narrative is going, right? He’s just a hard-working man… Roland Gramajo isn’t just any illegal alien living in Houston, though. He’s a business owner, a political activist, a community organizer, and a married father of five. His wife is a legal permanent resident originally from Peru. His children are American citizens. In May 2018, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, at the request of a City Councilman, honored Gramajo with a proclamation.

Last May, District F Council Member Steve Le asked the mayor to name May 17 in honor of Gramajo. The proclamation praised him for being an “extremely positive role model,” including working with the city to improve the Alief and Sharpstown areas.

“He spends countless hours working on community projects motivating the community through scholarships,” it said. “His selfless volunteer efforts inspire the community to become future humble, honest and protective leaders of this great city.”

Gramajo, as it turns out, has been living in Houston since first coming here in 1994 with his mother from Guatemala. He attended public high school and was arrested for his part in a “prank” – he and some friends took a friend’s car without his knowledge and when it was reported as stolen, he was charged with burglary of a vehicle — a class A misdemeanor. Gramajo was sentenced to 60 days in jail, although he served less. This flagged him for immigration officials. In 1998 (the Clinton era) he was ordered to be deported. His appeal was denied in 2001 (the G.W. Bush era) and he was deported in 2004 after he was stopped for a traffic violation.

In 2004, he and his wife had two children. A few months after deportation, Gramajo again entered the country and border patrol agents didn’t stop him. Gramajo picked his life back up. He opened a business as a notary, paralegal, and community advocate. Let that sink in – he was working within the legal community. He often worked for a local attorney, according to his wife, and was working for him in a downtown courthouse just last week. He clearly wasn’t one who is a part of those who live in fear in the shadows. He was living the American Dream, illegally.

Gramajo’s current trouble was of his own making, frankly. He was asked to organize a community forum to calm the fears of those concerned about possible immigration law enforcement actions. The bad Orange Man has frightened illegal aliens, you see. Nonetheless, Gramajo reached out and invited immigration officials by email but they declined to come. During the forum, Rep. Garcia stirred the pot by noticing three “suspicious-looking” men in attendance. She alerted another community organizer present who asked staffers to check the situation out.

The men said they were looking at the architecture of the room and eventually left, Garcia’s spokesman Robert Julien said.

“We can’t speculate as to who they were or what they were doing,” he said.

ICE officials said none of its agents attended in any official capacity.

Gramajo’s wife said her husband recently told her someone had threatened to call immigration officials about his status, although she did not know details.

“We believe in this case, particularly, that he was targeted by immigration and he was being followed,” Espinosa told reporters at the Thursday press conference.

Yes, looking at architecture was a lame explanation present by the men. However, it was Garcia who played a part in this story. She amplified Gramajo’s exposure. He’s currently being detained in a federal detention facility in Conroe.

Gramajo is now in a federal detention facility in Conroe and faces not only immediate deportation but a 20-year bar from returning to the United States. He will only be able to petition the U.S. government to waive that bar after spending 10 years outside of the country.

His lawyer, Gonzalez, is asking the government to grant Gramajo a stay of deportation for humanitarian reasons or to release him on a status known as parole.

“He’s not a risk to anybody,” the lawyer said. “This guy only has a very minor offense from when he was a kid. Exceptions have to be made, especially when so many U.S. citizens are involved. We’re talking about five kids.”

Gramajo was given a lot of time to make his legal status right. He didn’t. He put his family’s security in jeopardy by his own actions. He was deported once and the border patrol agents turned a blind eye when he returned. His immigration status was known to his community and yet the Mayor of Houston held him up as a hero. None of this is the fault of ICE. Rep. Garcia and those in her party calling for the abolition of ICE by using stories that tug at the hearts of regular Americans are the worst kinds of deceptive politicians. It’s a slap in the face to those doing their jobs securing our borders. Making an example of such a high profile offender sends a message. We can no longer sit out the debate over legal immigration and the laws that govern it.

So, yeah, Rep. Garcia, you’ve gone radical up there in the swamp.

She’s looking for a little high-profile help, too. She looks desperate to be one of the cool kids.

The post Dem TX Rep wants to abolish ICE… for doing its job appeared first on Hot Air.

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