Things That Matter

ICE Agents Returned An Undocumented Immigrant’s Wallet And Then Promptly Arrested Him

When Flavio Musmanno lost his wallet back in late August, he received a call a few hours later that someone had found it. Musmanno met up with the caller to retrieve his wallet but was confronted by immigration authorities who handcuffed and arrested by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent. On Oct. 9, he was deported back to Argentina. His family told the Miami New Times that he has never been arrested and has no criminal record.

North Miami Beach dad Flavio Musmanno has been deported back to Argentina.

Originally from Argentina, Musmanno is married to an American citizen and the father of a U.S. born son. He’d been living in North Miami on an expired visa after moving to the U.S. almost 20 years ago. He was away from home working construction jobs when he was detained by ICE in Ohio. Musmanno and his wife have filed a petition asking for a green card for him, since his wife is a U.S. citizen.

Before being deported, Musmanno was given enough time to post a note of thanks on Facebook.

“Kind family and friends. I have two minutes to give thanks to everyone for everything you have done for me. Today, they are deporting me to Argentina. I lost this battle but I promise that I have not lost the war. I love you all for real. I am very sad today but with the help of my beautiful family and friends and I will overcome. I can even write how much I love you all. Thank you again.”

His stepdaughter said ICE agents never identified themselves on the phone and portrayed themselves as “good people trying to return his wallet.”

When Musmanno lost the wallet, it contained a couple of credit cards, an expired ID, and $40.

“When I found out what was in the wallet, I was like, ‘Oh, Dad, why did you go?'” Musmanno’s stepdaughter Paola told The New Times. “There was no phone number in the wallet. You wouldn’t go meet strangers who found you like that, right?”

In April, ICE had begun deporting even people who were married to U.S. citizens, including at interviews required to get marriage-based green cards. According to Bloomberg, ICE arrests of people without criminal records have increased 66 percent just this year but arrests of people with criminal records increased just two percent.

Musmanno and his family now have to start the lengthy and expensive process of getting their father and husband back to the U.S.

ICE agents in Ohio are known for being particularly aggressive in their deportation tactics. Back in June, ICE agents conducted one of their biggest raids in history on a large gardening operation in Salem, Ohio.

“They just want to deport him,” Paola told The New Times. “They won’t tell us anything else. We sent them the petition he filed, but they just ignored it and keep saying they’re going to deport him. And things are not good where we came from — if people find out he was living in Miami, they might think he has money and try to rob him or kidnap him.”


READ: Hurricane Florence Left Devastating Flooding In Its Wake But Undocumented Residents Are Too Fearful To Seek Help

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Congressional Hispanic Caucus Calls For ICE To Release Some Migrants To Help Fight COVID-19

Things That Matter

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Calls For ICE To Release Some Migrants To Help Fight COVID-19

icegov / Instagram

COVID-19 cases continue to increase across the globe and governments are desperately trying to get a handle on the virus. More than a third of the world’s population are living under lockdown conditions in more than 20 countries on all continents. Thirty-two states are currently under lockdown orders as of April 1 and Florida’s lockdown will take effect the night of April 2. That translates to about three out of every four Americans living under some form of lockdown orders.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is demanding ICE release migrants in detention centers during the COVID-19 crisis.

Credit: @NBCLatino / Twitter

Now, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus is calling for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to step up and release migrants in detention. There are thousands of migrants currently in detention centers in the U.S. and documented overcrowding of the facilities is cause for alarm during a health pandemic.

According to a report from ICE, four detainees and five agents have tested positive for COVID-19. Immigration advocates have been calling for ICE to release detainees to protect migrants from contracting COVID-19.

“ICE’s failure to reduce detention numbers and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 has a real possibility of creating a severe health crisis for detention centers and overwhelming local health care facilities,” Rep. Sylvia Garcia of Texas said in a statement.

As the novel coronavirus COVID-19 spreads across the globe, there is one population the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of San Diego and Imperial Counties (ACLUF-SDIC) is trying to protect: migrants. The virus, which is highly contagious, has infected more than 127,000 people across 6 continents. More than 68,000 people have recovered from the virus. To date, more than 4,700 people have died from the disease and the ACLU wants to make sure detained migrants don’t die because of the virus.

The ACLUF-SDIC is calling on the U.S. federal government to create a plan to prevent COVID-19 from spreading in migrant detention centers.

Credit: @ACLU_NorCal / Twitter

The novel coronavirus COVID-19 is spreading across the globe triggering strong reactions from governments seeking to limit the spread. Italy has locked down the country to tell everyone in the country to quarantine.

So far, more than 1,300 people in the U.S have tested positive for COVID-19 and 38 have died. Most of the fatalities were in Washington state where 21 deaths happened in Seattle-area long-care facilities.

The ACLUF-SDIC is calling on Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to develop a detailed plan to prevent the spreading of COVID-19 in detention centers.

The ACLUF-SDIC wants a written plan to prove that immigration officials have the migrants’ health in mind.

“ICE detention facilities in San Diego and Imperial counties must act quickly to put in place a comprehensive emergency plan that protects people in their custody from COVID-19,” Monika Langarica, immigrants’ rights staff attorney for the ACLUF-SDIC, is quoted in a release. “The spread of the virus into a detention center would have devastating consequences for the people locked up inside.”

The ACLUF-SIDC is concerned about the inadequate medical care and overcrowding could lead to a serious outbreak of COVID-19 within the detained migrant population.

Other ACLU chapters are calling on ICE to work with migrants to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The ACLU of Louisiana has asked ICE to offer expedited hearings for the elderly detained migrants to preserve their health.

“Given the CDC’s warnings about avoiding confined spaces and the threat COVID-19 poses to the frail and elderly, immediate steps must be taken to safeguard the health and well-being of incarcerated people across the state,” Alanah Odoms Hebert, ACLU of Louisiana executive director is quoted in a statement. “We know that confining people in close quarters increases the risk of infection, but right now thousands of Louisianans are incarcerated based on the mere accusation of a crime and an inability to pay bail. In the interests of public health, we’re calling for expedited parole hearings for the elderly in state prisons and for the immediate release of people who are being jailed pretrial based solely on their inability to pay bail. We look forward to working with state, federal, and local officials to ensure the health and well-being of all people under correctional control in our state.”

For more information about COVID-19 and how you can prevent it, click here.

READ: What To Know About The Coronavirus And How To Prevent It

J.Lo Speaks Up About The Super Bowl Halftime Show And How She Wants Girls To Raise Their Voices

Entertainment

J.Lo Speaks Up About The Super Bowl Halftime Show And How She Wants Girls To Raise Their Voices

jlo / shakira / Instagram

The J.Lo and Shakira halftime show at Super Bowl LIV was electric, powerful, empowering, and contagious. The two Latina performers gave Super Bowl viewers and audience the show of a lifetime. Latin pride was at the forefront of this year’s halftime show and there was also a strong political message because Latinos live in terrifying times.

J.Lo and Shakira used part of their halftime show to give a voice to the voiceless in the Latino and immigrant communities.

During J.Lo’s performance, her daughter Emme started “Let’s Get Loud” and the imagery struck a nerve with some viewers. Litter in front of the stage were children in orbed cages. Many have speculated that the children are a nod at the Trump administration’s immigration policies that forced children into cages and separated families.

The mother and daughter duo then covered “Born In The USA” by Bruce Springsteen and J.Lo flashed a Puerto Rican flag.

The Puerto Rican people, who are Americans, have been let down by the current administration as they try to recover from Hurricane Maria. Now, the island is recovering from devastating earthquakes. The Trump administration has actively cut funding to Medicaid in Puerto Rico as more and more people are reliant on the assistance.

J.Lo shared a video on Instagram right before the performance and included a rallying call to all Latinas and young girls around the world.

The global pop star wanted to use her performance at Super Bowl LIV performance to give people a chance to raise their voices. In a time where children are in cages, women are losing healthcare rights, and vulnerable communities are under attack around the world, these moments matter.

The Super Bowl LIV halftime show’s message is resonating far and wide.

The image of Emme “locked” in a cage while singing “Let’s Get Loud” caught everyone’s attention. Her voice, accompanied by a choir of children behind her, gave viewers a striking visual of children in cages.

Some pointed to other elements of the performance that referenced the administration’s treatment of migrants.

Credit: @HelloOElaine / Twitter

There were so many elements of the half time show that people pointed to as reminiscent of the policies devastating migrant families. The lights behind the performers interlocked in the pattern of a chainlink fence we have all seen along the border.

Some people were very much bothered by the strong Latino representation at the Super Bowl.

Pobercitos. Who knew that strong Latinas on stage showing their brown bodies and Latin dancing would trigger them?

Some people are showing the double standard that exists among performers at the Super Bowl.

Women, especially Black and brown women, are often treated to this double standard. Somehow, dancing as a brown or Black woman is overly sexual when white men are not subjected to the same scrutiny.

To top it off, let’s not forget that the Super Bowl was in Miami, a Latino enclave and the halftime performance was representative of that culture.

Credit: @ExtraLars / Twitter

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READ: Italian Mayors Are Showing J.Lo A Lot Of Love After She Mentioned Wanting To Move To The Country