Things That Matter

ICE Has Detained A Worker Who Was Injured In The Hard Rock Hotel Collapse And Now He Could Be Deported Back To Honduras

Native Honduran Delmer Ramirez Palma, a worker injured in the deadly collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans, has been detained for deportation after speaking with the media. The high profile building collapse seems to have exposed Ramirez to immigration authorities, at least that’s what his attorneys believe. The deadly catastrophe killed three workers and injured dozens, many of whom are suing for compensation. 

Ramirez’s detention is in the wake of the Trump administration using increasingly extreme tactics to detain undocumented immigrants, including work raids and ambushing court appearances. According to CNN, in this fiscal year alone, 800,000 migrants have been arrested for crossing the border illegally as laws that protect asylum seekers have been weakened. 

ICE maintains that Ramirez’s arrest has nothing to do with his appearance on a Spanish-language news network where he discussed the building collapse, however, Ramirez’s lawyers feel differently. 

The Hard Rock Hotel’s deadly collapse.

On October 12, an unfinished Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans collapsed killing three workers and injuring dozens. Workers have now filed a lawsuit against the companies involved in the hotel construction, claiming they were negligent and used shoddy materials that were not adequate to support the weight of the higher floors. 

According to NBC, the lawsuit claims the six plaintiffs “sustained serious injuries when the upper floors of the structure under construction began to fall apart, crumble, and collapse upon said workers present on the site.”

Among the plaintiffs is Ramirez who suffered injuries that require medical care. 

Ramirez is arrested two days after discussing the collapse on television. 

Ramirez’s lawyers, Jeremy Pichon, Eric Wright and Daryl Gray, believe it is no coincidence that he was arrested two days after speaking out about the accident on the news. While fishing Ramirez was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents in Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge. 

A Border Patrol spokeswoman said the Wildlife Service agents summoned officers to arrest Ramirez on the grounds that they saw him fishing without a license. When they asked him for identification, the spokeswoman says he was only able to present “foreign citizenship documentation.” 

According to Nola.com, Bryan Cox a regional spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement claimed it was “simply false” to suggest Ramirez’s arrest was related to his employment at the Hard Rock Hotel construction site or his appearance on a Spanish-language television news network.

Ramirez faces deportation as he awaits his fate in a detention center.

A federal immigration judge ordered Ramirez’s deportation in February 2016, according to Cox, who says he will remain in ICE custody “pending removal to his country of citizenship.” Ramirez’s attorneys believe he needs surgery for his injuries but has not had adequate medical treatment in the Louisiana detention center where he is being held. 

Gray and his colleagues say they plan to seek compensation for Ramirez’s injuries but also plan to oppose his deportation. He believes his client’s arrest was set in motion 24 hours before “making a statement about the tragic events” on the news. 

According to CNN, ICE has increasingly deported immigrants who do not have criminal records, “on Trump’s first year, for example, ICE arrested 109,000 criminals and 46,000 people without criminal records—a 171% increase in the number of non-criminal individuals arrested over 2016.”

Ramirez’s story will deter other migrant workers from seeking justice. 

The attorneys fear that Ramirez’s potential deportation will thwart other immigrants injured by the collapse from coming forward with the necessary information or seeking compensation. 

“[They] fear … being deported or some other retribution by their employers,” Gray said at a news. “Just like all Americans, however, they do have the rights that are afforded to us within this courthouse.” 

He added that “Immigrants are exploited for the growth of our great nation. And that does not have to be the case.” 

 Ramirez is joined by Juan Fiallos, Tufino Velazquez, Jorge O’Campo and Genssner Alejandro Villalobos Tejada as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The attorneys expect more will join because so many were injured. Ramirez and the plaintiffs say they warned many individuals in charge of the potential disaster. 

According to the Washington Post, the disaster area is still hazardous with unstable cranes that could potentially topple over and cause more damage. City authorities have ordered people to leave the evacuation zone which is a four-block radius around the site. Residents have been forced to stay in relocation centers while the building is demolished. 

“We’ll find out who did this, we’ll hold them accountable, and we’re going to make sure nothing like this happens again,” Pichon said. 

ICE Subpoenas Denver Officials Requesting Info On Undocumented Migrants But State Lawyer Says They’re Not Valid

Things That Matter

ICE Subpoenas Denver Officials Requesting Info On Undocumented Migrants But State Lawyer Says They’re Not Valid

@workpermitcom / Twitter

It is the right, under the constitution, of state and local governments, including law enforcement, to refuse to cooperate with federal law. In other words, if the federal government issues a mandate, local officials do not have to comply. That is why some cities abide by Sanctuary policies to protect undocumented immigrants that are being persecuted by government agencies such as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). However, ICE isn’t bowing down to the constitution and is taking matters to the courts. 

Earlier this week, Homeland Security has issued a subpoena to Denver law enforcement to get information on three Mexican nationals and one Honduran who were previously in custody. 

“Since we have no cooperation at the Denver justice center, we are modifying our tactics to produce information,” Henry Lucero, deputy executive associate director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, said, according to the Associated Press

According to the AP, Denver officials have 14 days to respond to the subpoena in three of the cases, but in the other, they have three days to respond. ICE officials allege that all four foreign nationals have been in jail for sexual assault and child abuse and have been previously deported.

“In the past, we had full support. We collaborated in the interest of public safety,” Lucero added. “This is a drastic change. And one ICE is forced to do and puts other agencies on notice that we don’t want this to happen. We want to protect the public.”

Officials at the Denver mayor’s office said they would not comply with the demands of ICE because the paperwork issued by ICE are not proper subpoenas but rather administrative forms and not legal document signed by a judge. 

“The documents appear to be a request for information related to alleged violations of civil immigration law,” Chad Sublet, Senior Counsel to the Department of Safety in Denver, wrote, according to Time magazine. “Based on these facts, we are denying your request.”

Sublet also said that Denver officials have collaborated with ICE on information previously with other requests. He showed documentation that proves Denver responded to “88 requests by ICE between October and December of last year.”

Despite the support of local officials of Sanctuary policies, the majority of those cities have been struck by ICE as they have conducted numerous raids there, including in Denver. 

Cities including Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago all have protections in place for undocumented people, but that has only fueled ICE to conduct raids there and elsewhere. Last year in September, ICE conducted raids in Colorado and Wyoming and, within four days, arrested 42 undocumented immigrants. 

“It is our belief that state sanctuary policies [do] not keep the community safe,” John Fabbricatore, the acting director of the Denver ICE field office, said last year, according to KDVR news. 

“We don’t believe deportation is ever the answer to what criminal activity might be going on,” Jordan García, with the Colorado Rapid Response Network, said in response to the raids

In 2017, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock signed a law that stated law officials would not comply with ICE in any capacity. 

The Denver Public Safety Enforcement Priorities Act was first signed unanimously by the Denver City Council, which was then signed by Mayor Hancock. The mandate “bans city officials from asking an arrested individual’s immigration status.”

While some city officials have prohibited the collaboration between local officials and federal agencies, that has not stopped some from working with ICE to arrest undocumented immigrants. 

Last year in September, the Milwaukee Police Department assisted ICE agents in the detainment of a local resident who was undocumented. Even though Milwaukee does not have a Sanctuary policy in place, Police Chief Morales had previously said a year before they would not collaborate with ICE. 

“I promised to bring back the public trust,” Morales said in 2018. “My job is to bring (back) trust from the community and work with them; my job is not to go out and enforce those types of laws.”

Those statements are why people were outraged that local Milwaukee officers assisted ICE in the detainment of an undocumented father. 

“Chief Morales is gonna love to see police collaborating with ICE,” a bystander said last year as he witnessed ICE and local police working together during that arrest. The Mayor of Milwaukee and police stood on the same grounds that police would “not inform federal immigration officials of whereabouts or behavior of any suspect illegal immigrant.” However, that’s only if a person has never been arrested for a serious crime. 

READ: Woman Records Scene Inside Family Car As ICE Pulls Husband Out While Daughters Cry And Scream

Leaked Emails Show Stephen Miller Believed DREAMERs Would Replace White Americans

Things That Matter

Leaked Emails Show Stephen Miller Believed DREAMERs Would Replace White Americans

Win McNamee / Getty

White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller is still in office, despite mounting proof that he harbors white supremacist’s beliefs and numerous politicians and activists calling for his resignation. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hatewatch” vertical published a series of Miller’s emails leaked by an ex-Breitbart news editor. 

In the emails, Miller expressed fear that DREAMERs would replace white Americans and suggested deporting immigrants on trains to scare them. SPLC’s Michael Hayden says Miller is a supporter of the “great replacement theory” championed by white supremacists who fear white people will become a racial minority. The theory has been echoed in the manifestos of mass shooters and prominent white supremacist leaders. 

Miller believes his fellow Republicans aren’t hard enough on immigrants. 

“Demanding DREAMers be given citizenship because they ‘know no other home.’ That principle is an endorsement of perpetual birthright citizenship for the foreign-born,” Miller wrote in an email.  “Not only will the U.S.-born children of future illegal immigrants and guest workers be made automatic U.S. citizens, but their foreign-born children will too because, as [former Republican House Majority Leader Eric] Cantor said, ‘Our country was founded on the principle.’”

Miller praised Florida’s very own former governor Jeb Bush for his use of moderate rhetoric to push extreme policies. The emails leaked are from around 2015, when Miller was an aide to Senator Jeff Sessions before being selected by Trump.

 “Jeb [Bush] has mastered the art of using immigration rhetoric to sound ‘moderate’ while pushing the most extremist policies,” Miller wrote in an email. 

Former Breitbart editor Katie McHugh provided over 900 emails to SPLC in which Miller expressed disdain for non-white immigrants. McHugh says she leaked the emails addressed to her from Miller to expose the hidden “evil” of the Trump administration’s immigration policies. 

“In a November 2015 email that Hatewatch has not previously published, Miller forwarded an interview with Phyllis Schlafly from far-right conspiracy website WorldNetDaily that argued undocumented immigrants should be shipped out on trains to ‘scare out the people who want to undo our country,’” according to SPLC. 

25 interfaith groups call for the resignation of Stephen Miller. 

Yesterday, 25 faith groups, among them many prominent Jewish, Muslim, and Christian leaders including the Anti-Defamation League, The Nation’s Mosque, and African American Ministers in Action, signed a letter calling for Miller’s resignation. 

“Stephen Miller authored many of these destructive policies and helped ensure their enactment via his network of anti-immigrant officials throughout the federal government. Further, these policies have been paired with heightened and unrelenting anti-immigrant and xenophobic rhetoric coming from the White House,” the organizations said. 

The group also called out the Trump administration for allowing white supremacist views in the White House. 

“At one point in history, harboring a white supremacist in the White House could harm an administration. Today, President Trump appears unbothered by his close official’s ties to white supremacy. This cannot stand. As organizations of many faiths, who feel love and respect where Miller advances disdain and hate, we call for his resignation immediately,” the letter stated

Last November 100 lawmakers demanded Stephen Miller resign. 

Miller has been in the hot seat for a while. Last year 100 lawmakers demanded the advisor’s resignation, a couple of weeks ago 25 Jewish members of congress joined that call following Rolling Stone’spublication of a different set of leaked emails that further establish his support of xenophobic ideas. 

“A documented white nationalist has no place in any presidential administration, and especially not in such an influential position,” the 100 representatives wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump. “Miller’s white supremacist influence on your immigration policy, and it seems like that his perfidious adherence to extremist ideology has shaped your administration in ways that are not yet public.”

In the Rolling Stone emails, Miller called refugees “foreign-born terrorists” and expressed a fondness for a book called “Camp of Saints” which is a favorite of neo-Nazis.

“The dystopian 1973 novel is widely regarded as racist and traffics in fear-mongering about immigrant invasions. It is popular among white nationalist circles and has been invoked by former White House aide Steve Bannon and Iowa Congressman Steve King,” according to Newsweek

Other emails show Miller is using his influence in the White House to coordinate anti-immigration policies that reflect his views. 

“In the emails, [senior advisor at ICE Jon] Feere strategizes with Miller about how to use the federal government to amplify their anti-immigration message; tees up potential attacks on prominent Democratic politicians; directly briefs Miller in great detail about upcoming enforcement actions and policy changes in the works; and recommends to Miller people the administration should hire to expedite its immigration agenda,” according to Rolling Stone

While Miller has still not resigned, the pressure is continuing to mount in Congress and among activists.