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Homeland Security Is Changing How It Will Tackle Immigration. Here Are Some Important Things You Should Know

On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security announced its plans for tackling immigration reform under President Trump. The reforms allow departments like ICE to take a less restrained approach to both border security and immigration control. Here are a few of the details from the recently released memos from Homeland Security.

The memos broaden the definition of “criminal aliens” to include those with less serious infractions.


The memos released by the Department of Homeland Security outline the types of crimes that could make immigrants vulnerable to ICE. This includes individuals who have “engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation,” those who have “abused any program related to receipt of public benefits,” and those who “pose a risk to public safety” as determined by “an immigration officer.”

The Department of Homeland Security memo calls for ICE to hire an additional 10,000 “officers and agents.”

STEVE RHODES / FLICKR

As the number of immigrants subject to deportation has increased, arrests are expected to increase as well. To keep up, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly has asked for the expeditious hiring of 10,000 ICE employees. So far little has been said about where these 10,000 agents will come from.

Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly has also called for an additional 5,000 Border Patrol Agents.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/FLICKR

According to the memo, the increase is needed because the U.S. Customs and Border Protection currently “has insufficient agents/officers to effectively detect, track, and apprehend all aliens illegally entering the United States. The United States needs additional agents and officers to ensure complete operational control of the border.”

More undocumented immigrants could face expedited removal due to changes in the procedure.

Credit: fibonacciblue / Flickr

The memos released by the Department of Homeland Security outlines changes in the rule governing which immigrants are subject to expedited removal. Under the old terms, undocumented immigrants could only be targeted if they were found within 100 air miles of the border and if they had been in the country for 14 days or less.



Under President Trump, undocumented immigrants anywhere in the country can be rounded up, and they must prove that they have lived in the U.S. for more than two years.

The Department of Homeland Security memos outline a few exceptions to the expedited removal terms.

These exceptions include:

The alien is an unaccompanied alien child […] indicates an intention to apply for asylum or a fear of persecution or torture or a fear of return to his or her country, or claims to have a valid immigration status within the United States or to be a citizen or national of the United States.

According to the memos, some immigrants that qualify for expedited removal can claim asylum if they “claim fear of return.” Asylum officers will then “determine whether they have established a credible fear of persecution or torture.”

Individuals caught attempting to enter the country will held at detainment facilities around the border.

FOX NEWS / YOUTUBE

The memo calls for an increase in facilities to detain immigrants until their cases can be heard, which would effectively end the program known as “catch-and-release,” where detainees were released and asked to return to court at a later date. In order to speed up the processing of people detained at the border, “the Department will publish in the Federal Register a new Notice Designating Aliens Subject to Expedited Removal.”

However, unaccompanied “alien children” will receive “special protections to ensure that they are properly processed.”

Satish Krishnamurthy/FLICKR

The memos define “unaccompanied alien children” as someone who is not legally in the United States, not yet 18 years of age, and has “no legal guardian” or “parent of legal guardian” in the U.S. According to the memo, a child that meets the requirements will “be transferred to the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) within 72 hours.” They will also find “placement in a suitable care facility” and have “access to social services.”

Those under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are currently still protected.


According to USA Today, members of the DACA program are still protected and will remain so as long as they do not break any rule of the program. At last week’s new conference, President Trump has said he would show “great heart” when making a decision about DACA. However, a few days earlier 23-year-old DACA recipient Daniel Ramirez Medina was detained by ICE, allegedly because of his tattoo.


READ: Trump Nominates His First Latino Cabinet Member For Secretary Of Labor

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Tate’s Cookies Threatened to Report Undocumented Workers to ICE If They Unionized

Culture

Tate’s Cookies Threatened to Report Undocumented Workers to ICE If They Unionized

Photo via chocolleto/Instagram

Fans of the crispy, buttery Tate’s cookies might be sad when they hear this news. According to current employees, the popular cookie business has been threatening employees who are trying to unionize.

According to multiple employees, Tate’s cookies threatened to contact ICE if workers vote to unionize next month.

According to Gothamist, most of Tate Bake Shop’s 432 employees are undocumented workers. But the National Labor Relations Act says that undocumented workers have a lawful right to unionize.

The powerhouse baked goods company Mondelēz International owns Tate’s cookies. Additionally, Mondelēz owns other popular brands like Oreo and Chips Ahoy. Local union leaders have called the company “anti-union on steroids”.

Once Tate’s cookies heard rumblings of their workers unionizing, however, they hired an anti-labor consultant. The consultant, Carlos Flores, brags on LinkedIn about keeping businesses “labor free”.

“They began threatening people based on their immigration status, telling them that if their documents are not in order and they attempted to join the labor union they would get deported,” said Eastern States’ Union president, Cosmo Lubrano.

The consultant allegedly told workers that he would review their documentation to see if “everything was in order”. If it wasn’t, he said ICE might “send them back”.

“Just because a worker wants to organize, wants to have representation doesn’t mean a company should make their life miserable,” said Julio, an undocumented worker, to The New York Times.

Tate’s cookies employees only began to discuss the possibility of unionizing when the pandemic hit. Workers felt that the cookie company might not protect them should they fall ill.

“We were in the heart of the pandemic at that time and they didn’t know any of the rules that applied to them,” said Anthony Miranti, an Eastern States’ union delegate.

“Will they get paid if they have to self-quarantine? How do they get safety equipment? They were telling us about how they’re all at minimum wage and needed more paid time off and there was just nobody to listen to their problems.”

Officially, Mondelēz denies all claims or threatening workers. They released a statement saying: “Any allegation that the company has violated any aspect of the National Labor Relations Act is untrue. Tate’s prides itself on treating all its employees with respect, and we have fostered over many years an inclusive, supportive, caring work environment and culture with our employees.”

Despite the threats to their livelihood, many workers still believe unionizing will ultimately be beneficial.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of people who work in union shops. They say things are better,” said an undocumented worker by the name of Catalina to the New York Times. “Why not give this an opportunity?”

As Miranti says, “I think the workers that produce these products should be able to put their heads down on their pillows at night and know their job is secured, that their family has the best coverage out there, that they’ll have a pension to retire on someday.”

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Racists Threatened To Call ICE On This Mexican Restaurant After They Kept Their Mask Rule

Things That Matter

Racists Threatened To Call ICE On This Mexican Restaurant After They Kept Their Mask Rule

Several states across the country (mostly governed by Republican leaders) have decided to repeal their mask mandates despite their own health officials urging against such moves.

Yes, the vaccine roll out has improved under the Biden administration – with nearly 2 million people getting vaccinated each day – but that is still not enough for the United States to reach herd immunity over night.

Now, thanks to these irresponsible moves by Republican governors, Americans are left to fend for themselves against anti-makers. In fact, a Mexican restaurant in Texas that decided to keep its mask mandate for diners is now facing racist attacks with people threatening to call ICE on its workers.

Texas Mexican restaurant is facing a backlash for sticking to its mask rules.

Houston’s Picos Restaurant, a small family-owned Mexican restaurant, is facing racist threatening comments after deciding to prioritize public health amid an ongoing pandemic. Several people sent hateful messages through social media and called the restaurant, threatening to report staffers to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“It was just horrific,” co-owner Monica Richards told the Washington Post. “People don’t understand unless you’re in our business what it felt like, how hard it was to go through everything we went through during covid. For people to be negative toward us for trying to remain safe, so that this doesn’t continue to happen, just makes zero sense to us.”

Picos decided to maintain their mask mandate as the governor lifted the state-wide one.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) rescind the statewide mask mandate despite the fact that a vast majority of his state’s residents remain vulnerable to COVID-19. The governor has ignored the advice of his own public health officials who say the state should wait on lifting these mandates until their is a greater incidence of vaccination in communities.

With Abbotts order, Texas will become the largest state in the nation to no longer require masks, which has not come easily for many businesses that are navigating enforcement mask rules to protect employees and customers while facing backlash.

Experts agree that masks are among the most effective way to curb the spread of COVID-19, but they’ve also become a partisan symbol. Masks have become so symbolic that one conservative group is set to hold a mask burning party the day the order is lifted, according to the Washington Post.

Picos hasn’t been the only restaurant facing such a backlash.

In fact, another Mexican restaurant in Houston, Cantina Bar, has been the victim of similar threatening messages, while several staff have been intimidated by screaming customers who refuse to wear masks even while it was required by a state order. Another Houston Mexican restaurant, Cantina Barba, received similar intimidating messages, and staff have been bullied by some screaming customers who refused to wear masks while it was required statewide, co-owner Steven O’Sullivan said.

“This has been ongoing through covid,” co-owner Steven O’Sullivan told the Post. “We’ve had threats of calling ICE. I had one guy just stand there and berate one of my bartenders and tell her ‘you’re an absolute idiot, you don’t know what you’re doing. If you think these masks are going to save your life, you’re stupid’ blah, blah, blah. Nobody wants to deal with that stuff.”

Another employee at a separate restaurant had to get stitches after he was hit in the head with a glass by a maskless customer he approached, Houston Police said. Hopefully, the governor will still encourage his constituents to do what’s right and continue to wear masks when asked to do.

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