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suffragette

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Gender: Female
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Member since: Mon Dec 13, 2004, 02:55 AM
Number of posts: 12,232

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Seattle ICE lawyer facing prison time for stealing identities of would-be immigrants

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/seattle-ice-lawyer-facing-prison-time-for-stealing-identities-of-would-be-immigrants/

Federal prosecutors and defense attorneys have agreed to recommend a four-year prison sentence for the former chief attorney for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Seattle for stealing the identities of immigrants to defraud banks and credit-card companies.

~~~

As the lead attorney responsible for providing ICE agents with legal counsel and overseeing deportation and asylum hearings in four states, the 44-year-old Sanchez “was entrusted with ensuring the honest enforcement” of the country’s immigration laws.

~~~

Sanchez is the second Seattle-based ICE attorney to face legal trouble in recent years.

In April 2016, Jonathan Love, a former ICE prosecutor, was sentenced to 30 days in custody after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor for forging a document to make it look like a Mexican citizen who wanted to stay in the U.S. was not eligible to do so. Love was an assistant chief counsel for ICE in Seattle before his resignation.


Talk about your pattern of criminal behavior.

Republican immigration overhaul fails in heavier than expected defeat

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/27/republican-immigration-overhaul-fails-in-heavier-than-expected-defeat


Republicans failed to pass immigration reform on Wednesday, despite party dominance in government and a president elected on his vision to crackdown on illegal immigration, narrow legal entry and build a wall along the US-Mexico border.

The measure fell short, as it was widely expected to do, but in a heavier than expected defeat, after repeated attempts to pass an overhaul of the immigration laws, despite a last minute intervention by Donald Trump:

Trump doubles down on rejecting due process

Trump repeats call to deport undocumented migrants without due process

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/25/trump-repeats-call-to-deprive-undocumented-migrants-due-process

Donald Trump on Monday again issued a call to deprive undocumented immigrants of their right to due process, arguing that people trying to cross the border should be summarily deported without a trial or an appearance before a judge.

Trump’s sustained attacks on the American judicial system come amid extraordinary condemnation of his administration’s zero-tolerance enforcement policy at the southern border, which led to more than 2,300 children being separated from their families in recent months. Trump last week was pressured into halting his administration’s practice of separating families, in an abrupt reversal that overruled the views of his hardline advisers.

“Hiring many thousands of judges, and going through a long and complicated legal process, is not the way to go – will always be disfunctional [sic]. People must simply be stopped at the Border and told they cannot come into the U.S. illegally,” Trump said via Twitter on Monday. “Children brought back to their country......”

~~~
The statement, which is tantamount to a proposal for the suspension of law, compounds an already confusing situation as Republican lawmakers scrambled to build a consensus around immigration legislation, and federal agencies work to reunite migrant families separated under Trump’s policy, with many children now scattered across the US without their parents.

The numbers of children separated and reunited aren't adding up.

Anyone else notice that the numbers of children separated from parents don’t seem to be adding up?

Especially when compared to those supposedly reunited and what then would be the ones who are still being held alone.

From NPR last week:

https://www.npr.org/2018/06/19/621065383/what-we-know-family-separation-and-zero-tolerance-at-the-border

Since early May, 2,342 children have been separated from their parents after crossing the Southern U.S. border, according to the Department of Homeland Security, as part of a new immigration strategy by the Trump administration that has prompted widespread outcry.U.S. border, according to the Department of Homeland Security, as part of a new immigration strategy by the Trump administration that has prompted widespread outcry.


From NBC today:

https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/immigration-border-crisis/where-s-my-kid-texas-border-desperate-parents-turn-attorneys-n886181

DHS said late Saturday that more than 2,000 children have been reunited with parents. More were expected before the weekend is up. Officials said Port Isabel would be its reunification center.


ARTIFACTS OF INJUSTICE: From Oppression to Resistance to Optimism

The Seattle Times has a pair of articles today about the importance of learning and acknowledging our history in the United States, especially how our history of slavery and the struggle for civil rights has shaped who we are as a people and nation.

The first article is about how and why a man in Seattle gathered an extraordinary collection of historical artifacts, in the effort “to preserve history that has been “very deliberately overlooked and very deliberately distorted.”

Coopersmith began collecting in the 1970s because, “growing up in Washington, D.C., I witnessed history and I saw people struggle over that story.” He saw there was history behind the political and social conflicts of the 1960s and ’70s. “I knew that this story wasn’t really being told because I could see it.” He collected both items associated with famous people and those not.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/seattle-man-collects-thousands-of-rare-artifacts-that-reveal-americas-past-and-present-and-how-little-we-know/

Here in Seattle, attorney Jeffrey Coopersmith has spent five decades collecting thousands of items that trace American history from colonial times through Barack Obama’s presidency.

The artifacts spotlight women’s suffrage, Japanese-American internment, and the anti-Chinese immigrant fervor that led to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. But the great majority focus on slavery and the oppression and resistance that followed.

“Too many people do not appreciate how central this story is to our success and our flaws as a country,” Coopersmith said. “It was not a side story. It was the story.”


The second article shows some of the artifacts, arranged into the categories of Oppression, Resistance and Optimism. These images are moving, in ways ranging from horrific to hopeful. Given our current immersion into yet another cycle of hate and struggle to overcome it, I think viewing these and fully acknowledging our past and envisioning our future is more important than ever.

https://projects.seattletimes.com/2018/artifacts-of-injustice/

One image that especially stood out for me is the picture of two brothers who volunteered for the Union army.

The larger image is of two brothers who have signed up to fight in the Civil War with the United States Colored Troops, or USCT, a volunteer regiment out of Connecticut. “You can see in their eyes, both the fear and the hope, and they’re holding each other’s hands. It’s just a very emotional, moving moment that shows that, yes, they’re proud to be in their uniforms, but they’re scared, as they should be. It’s the real human face of the war, and we imagine that the cause meant so much to them to fight for their freedom.” It’s unknown what happened to them afterward.


People seeking asylum keep better track of themselves than the US Gov't does after imprisoning them

This is from a live blog The Guardian is running today, so if you click on the link, you’ll need to scroll down to see this item. Much more there that is worthwhile to see.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2018/jun/22/trump-family-separation-crisis-immigration-border

Despite the large numbers of people from Central America waiting at the US border in Tijuana, Mexico, the scene is remarkably ordered and cooperative.

The people are initially strangers to each other, brought together in an alien location.

It’s not risk-free at the shelters and while lining up at the border, but the atmosphere is largely one of stoicism and mutual assistance. As well as an informal numbered ticketing system for the queue, devised by migrants themselves, those waiting put themselves forward as volunteers to manage the list of names seeking asylum. On Friday morning, a Honduran man was looking after the list and he was ready to hand over to someone else when his turn came to get ready to cross the border.

So, far from a Lord of the Flies-type breakdown in social order, as you might expect if you only listened to Donald Trump’s name-calling and aspersion-casting, these would-be immigrants are more inclined to help one another as they wait and hope to escape from dire straits.

Pramila Jayapal "We cannot let up until we have a humane system in place."

She nails it on all counts.

https://twitter.com/RepJayapal/status/1009562047225290752

Trump's exec order is same as GEO Group pushed Republicans to enact last year to increase profits.

GEO Group and CoreCivic both operate family detention centers that had population drops last year.

In May 2017, Newsweek reported on the bill that GEO pushed to change law to be able to detain immigrant children indefinitely. A Republican Representative even stated that the legislation came from GEO Group. GEO Group also pumped money into a PAC and into Republicans’ campaigns, much as they have already done for Trump.

Even with all this, they could not pass this law last year.

This year Trump and Sessions created a crisis by enacting a policy separating families. After first saying he could not change this, Trump is signing an executive order which sounds exactly like the law GEO Group wanted to be able to fill their family detention centers.



http://www.newsweek.com/geo-group-private-prisons-immigration-detention-trump-596505

PRIVATE PRISON COMPANY GEO GROUP GAVE GENEROUSLY TO TRUMP AND NOW HAS LUCRATIVE CONTRACT


Within the Texas legislature, a controversial bill is pending. A private prisons company called the GEO Group has allegedly asked Republicans to submit a law that could lead to immigrant children being indefinitely detained in its lucrative centers.

Representatives John Raney, John Cyrier and Mark Keough—all Republicans—have authored legislation that, if passed, would allow immigration detention centers to obtain child care licenses. Equipped with the permits, the centers would then be able to circumvent a 2015 federal ruling that said detained immigrant children must be transferred to a child care facility after 20 days in detention.

Raney, Cyrier and Keough’s bill would not require the detention centers to change their setups, but it could significantly benefit them. The GEO Group, which runs the Karnes Residential Center—one of two family detention facilities in Texas—earns $55 million annually from the facility. At present, just 100 of its 830 beds are occupied, according to the Associated Press.

This perhaps explains why the GEO Group—despite having a Greek immigrant, George Zoley as its CEO—is so keen to see Raney, Cyrier and Keough’s bill pass. So keen, in fact, that the organization essentially wrotePrison company struggles to get license to hold children it. “I’ve known the lady who's [the GEO Group’s] lobbyist for a long time,” Raney told the Associated Press. That's where the legislation came from. We don't make things up. People bring things to us and ask us to help.”


From April 2017:

https://apnews.com/adbd71efcfaf4b9a96c379face79fbe9/private-prison-company-struggles-get-license-family

Prison company struggles to get license to hold children

The Karnes Residential Center, 60 miles south of San Antonio, opened as a family detention center in 2014 and used to hold detainees for months, until a federal judge ruled that children held longer than 20 days must be housed in “non-secure” facilities with child care licenses.

~~~
State Sen. Bryan Hughes, another Republican and sponsor of the Senate bill, said the family facilities will probably close without licenses. He said he remains confident the bill will advance because “illegal immigration is one of the top, if not the No. 1 concern of people in Texas.”

GEO Group’s political action committee has spent up to $320,000 lobbying the Texas Legislature since January and contributed $193,000 to Texas lawmakers’ campaigns since 2013, according to Texans for Public Justice, a left-leaning political watchdog group that compiled its findings using Texas Ethics Commission filings.
~~~
Based in Boca Raton, Florida, GEO earns about $55 million annually from Karnes, its only family facility. Karnes’ population has plummeted to about 100 in the 830-bed facility. The state’s other family facility, the 2,400-bed South Texas Residential Center, is run by CoreCivic, America’s largest private prison operator. Its population has dropped to about 200.


https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/20/politics/trump-separation-action-immigration/index.html

Even so, the move is almost certain to face immediate legal action challenging the administration's authority to keep families detained at length.
The President was not required to sign anything to change the administration's practice that elicited outrage. He could have reversed the practice of splitting children from their parents with a phone call.

GEO private prisons profit from immigrant detention in contracts and labor. Stocks spike, too.

And of course, they support Trump, cycling some of the profit back to him.
UPDATED: they are also pushing legislation to detain immigrant children indefinitely.

Big Money As Private Immigrant Jails Boom

https://www.npr.org/2017/11/21/565318778/big-money-as-private-immigrant-jails-boom

The Trump administration wants to expand its network of immigrant jails. In recent months, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has called for five new detention facilities to be built and operated by private prison corporations across the country. Critics are alarmed at the rising fortunes of an industry that had fallen out of favor with the previous administration.

~~~

The forced labor allegations are part of two class-action lawsuits in federal court.

GEO "strongly refutes" these claims and plans to fight them. In an emailed statement, the company says detainee labor is voluntary and immigrant workers are paid a dollar a day because that's the rate set by ICE. GEO also says it provides "culturally responsive services in safe and humane environments," and that all of its facilities comply with national detention standards.

~~~
The two largest private corrections corporations, GEO Group and CoreCivic, each gave $250,000 to Trump's inaugural festivities.


JUDGE REJECTS FOR-PROFIT NORTHWEST DETENTION CENTER OPERATOR’S MOTION TO DISMISS AG LAWSUIT

https://www.atg.wa.gov/news/news-releases/judge-rejects-profit-northwest-detention-center-operator-s-motion-dismiss-ag

Apr 26 2018


Lawsuit alleges multi-billion dollar corporation violates state minimum wage law by paying workers $1 per day

OLYMPIA — A federal judge today rejected an effort by the Northwest Detention Center’s operator, GEO Group, Inc. (GEO), to dismiss Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s lawsuit against the company for allegedly violating Washington’s minimum wage laws.

“The court is clear: GEO cannot avoid accountability by hiding behind its contract with ICE,” Ferguson said. “This is an important step toward holding this multi-billion dollar company accountable for exploiting its detainee workers in Washington by not following our minimum wage laws.”

GEO uses immigration detainee labor to perform virtually all non-security functions at Tacoma’s Northwest Detention Center (NWDC), the only private detention facility in the state. Since at least 2005, GEO has paid thousands of detainee workers $1 per day or, in some instances, snacks and extra food for labor that is necessary to keep NWDC operational. Washington’s minimum wage is $11.50 per hour.



Geo Group Inc (The) REIT (GEO) Moves Higher on Volume Spike for June 15
https://www.equities.com/news/geo-group-inc-the-reit-geo-moves-higher-on-volume-spike-for-june-15

Geo Group Inc (The) REIT (GEO) traded on unusually high volume on Jun. 15, as the stock gained 0.08% to close at $24.96. On the day, Geo Group Inc (The) REIT saw 1.34 million shares trade hands on 5,098 trades. Considering that the stock averages only a daily volume of 781,210 shares a day over the last month, this represents a pretty significant bump in volume over the norm.



Edit to add:

In May 2017, Newsweek reported on bill that GEO pushed to change law to be able to detain immigrant children indefinitely

http://www.newsweek.com/geo-group-private-prisons-immigration-detention-trump-596505

PRIVATE PRISON COMPANY GEO GROUP GAVE GENEROUSLY TO TRUMP AND NOW HAS LUCRATIVE CONTRACT


Within the Texas legislature, a controversial bill is pending. A private prisons company called the GEO Group has allegedly asked Republicans to submit a law that could lead to immigrant children being indefinitely detained in its lucrative centers.

Representatives John Raney, John Cyrier and Mark Keough—all Republicans—have authored legislation that, if passed, would allow immigration detention centers to obtain child care licenses. Equipped with the permits, the centers would then be able to circumvent a 2015 federal ruling that said detained immigrant children must be transferred to a child care facility after 20 days in detention.

Raney, Cyrier and Keough’s bill would not require the detention centers to change their setups, but it could significantly benefit them. The GEO Group, which runs the Karnes Residential Center—one of two family detention facilities in Texas—earns $55 million annually from the facility. At present, just 100 of its 830 beds are occupied, according to the Associated Press.

This perhaps explains why the GEO Group—despite having a Greek immigrant, George Zoley as its CEO—is so keen to see Raney, Cyrier and Keough’s bill pass. So keen, in fact, that the organization essentially wrote it. “I’ve known the lady who's [the GEO Group’s] lobbyist for a long time,” Raney told the Associated Press. That's where the legislation came from. We don't make things up. People bring things to us and ask us to help.”

Trump's minions are creating a border/immigration crisis in effort to change asylum/immigration laws

Something I’ve been noticing has been Trump’s mouthpieces circling questions about the separation of children from parents by saying it’s an issue with immigration laws and that Congress needs to act to change the laws. They are doing this from every quarter even when it is evident that this is a new policy change from them, not continuing application of existing law.

Here’s an example of Giuliani doing this. Note the way he interjects “comprehensive immigration reform” into his answer.
https://www.democraticunderground.com/1017496807

This is classic Shock Doctrine: create or use a crisis to get changes you wanted all along. It is being done in the most cynical and callous way possible. They have not been successful at getting the draconian changes they have wanted, so they are trying to force a reopening of legislating the “comprehensive” issue. They rip children from parents, then argue that the existing law is forcing them to do this so they can create a way to reintroduce substantive changes in the law.

The New Yorker has an excellent article which includes people identifying the underlying (and lie filled) process:


https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-trump-administration-is-completely-unraveling-the-us-asylum-system

Since becoming Attorney General, Sessions has limited the ability of asylum seekers to appeal decisions, restricted the discretion that immigration judges have over their own dockets, and used his authority as Attorney General to personally review immigration cases—as he did in the case of the Salvadoran domestic-violence victim. “ ‘Zero tolerance’ is part of Sessions’s ongoing plans to rewrite asylum law,” Michelle Brané, of the Women’s Refugee Commission, told me. “The Administration is unilaterally dismantling access to any protection for those seeking safety.”

Just a month after it was announced, the zero-tolerance policy is giving rise to a full-blown crisis at the border. This may give Sessions the pretext he needs to institute further changes. In El Paso, as Texas Monthly reported earlier this month, officers are intercepting asylum seekers travelling from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, before they can cross the bridge that separates the two cities. Elsewhere in Texas, asylum seekers are being told there isn’t enough room to process them on the American side of the border. “They are using that tactic as a way to push people out and deny people asylum,” Ruben García, who runs a migrant shelter along the border, told the Los Angeles Times.

~~~
On Thursday, ice, the federal agency most directly associated with immigration enforcement, directed five medium-security federal prisons in California to take some sixteen hundred people into custody while they wait for a final determination in their civil immigration cases. An agency spokesperson cited a surge in illegal immigration as a reason for the demand for more space, but border crossings are actually at relatively low levels. In fact, much of the crowding at immigration detention centers is a consequence of the new zero-tolerance policy, which calls for the arrest and detention of people who, in the past, would have been released pending the outcome of their cases. “The government is manufacturing a border crisis as a way of saying, ‘This is why we need to change our asylum laws,’ ” Brané, of the Women’s Refugee Commission, said.

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