Immigration News and Developments

By Mallika Singh on September 18, 2019

ICE arrests 39 in national sweep that includes Westchester and New York City.
U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have arrested six people in New York City and Westchester County during the last week of August, part of a national operation across the country, the agency announced. From Aug. 27-29, ICE arrested 39 people in the U.S. that it says that they were known or suspected human rights violators.  They were picked up in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and Ossining, the agency said in a statement. The agency called it Operation ‘No Safe Haven’.
A spokeswoman for ICE didn't respond to a request for more details on the specifics of who was arrested in which location, but the agency said in a statement that those in custody include a Guatemalan former military official who served at the site of sweeps and massacres and a Chinese national who assisted in forced abortion or sterilization. Operation “No Safe Haven” also included arrests in Newark, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Chicago, and elsewhere. Of the 39 arrested, 16 people were said to also have been convicted in the U.S. for crimes ranging from driving under the influence to robbery, fraud and theft.

To deal with the increase in deportation cases New immigration court have opened in Manhattan. The new Court openings are not without controversy as some deportation attorneys cite a lack of transparency in the process and the new courts are feared to make the immigration courts more of an assembly line. 


In the meanwhile, a new immigration court opened in Manhattan on September 9, 2019, bringing the number of courts that handle deportation cases in New York City to three. The Broadway Immigration Court is housed at 290 Broadway and across the street from the existing Federal Plaza Immigration Court. It will be staffed by three immigration judges who will hear all types of immigration cases involving people throughout New York state, said a spokesman for the U.S. Justice Department's Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) in New York. He said the office is constantly monitoring its caseloads nationwide and shifts resources to meet needs in an "efficient manner."  As per the spokesperson EOIR is aggressively working to strengthen and improve the functioning of our immigration court system by hiring additional judges and support staff, implementing performance measures and completing goals long recommended by multiple agencies, increasing the use of video-teleconference capabilities, and launching electronic filing. The move was quickly criticized by immigration attorneys who accused the Executive Office for Immigration Review of providing little information about the opening of the new court. They stated that it was done  with hardly any public notice or transparency, and is emblematic of this Administration’s practice to speed up the deportation process to deport as many immigrants as possible, as quickly as possible. As defenders representing vulnerable individuals, we continue to demand more transparency by EOIR protocol to ensure that our clients’ cases are adjudicated fairly and expeditiously.
The attorneys said no information was given on whether hearing dates had been moved to the new location, or which judges had been relocated. A lack of information could lead to people being ordered deported for not showing up to their hearings despite a lack of adequate notice of where the hearing was. However, an EOIR official said that there was plenty of notice of the opening of the new court, and that officials held a meeting with members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association about the opening of the new court as early as September 2018.   A notice, dated Aug. 21, announcing the opening of the court on Broadway is posted on the Executive Office for Immigration Review's website 

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