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ICE Is Using A Program To Target Gang Members To Arrest Undocumented Immigrants And Some Teens Have Been Affected

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers in New York City are engaging in an arrest strategy called Operation Matador. The operation is an attempt by law enforcement to arrest suspected gang members, according to ICE. The operation focuses more on people associated with MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha. However, reports from CBS and AlterNet have cast doubt on its integrity. Officers are now being accused of using the operation to detain undocumented immigrants rather than targeting gang members. ICE has arrested nearly 350 people in the New York area in connection with Operation Matador .

Recently, a group of almost 32 undocumented teenagers were detained as part of the operation. Officials suspected the teens were members of MS-13, as reported by The New York Times. The teens, who are not identified because of their age, were held in centers across the country until a judge decided that immigration officials did not have enough evidence to detain them, according to NPR. Officers arrested one teen because they believed him to be associated with gang members.

“Arrests were based on nothing more than a third-hand report from an unidentified local police officer that a child was wearing a certain article of clothing or was seen with certain people,” William Freeman, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, told NPR.

CBS This Morning followed ICE officers in New York as they made an arrest of a 20-year-old man. According to the report, ICE agents had photos of the young man flashing gang signs but it is not illegal to be a member of a gang. Yet, the officers told CBS that they would use the gang affiliation against the man in immigration court to deny him a chance at bail.

“The purpose of classifying him as a gang member or a gang associate is because once he goes in front of an immigration judge, we don’t want him to get bail, because the whole point of this operation is to get these known gang members off the street,” Jason Molina, the assistant special agent at the arrest, told CBS This Morning.

(H/T: CBS This Morning)

READ: Undocumented Man Claims ICE Detained Him After He Spoke To the Media

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Rep. Ruben Kihuen Refuses To Resign After Being Accused Of Sexual Harassment During His Campaign

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Rep. Ruben Kihuen Refuses To Resign After Being Accused Of Sexual Harassment During His Campaign

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Rep. Ruben Kihuen is a freshman Congressman representing Nevada’s 4th district. In his first year in office, a former campaign staffer has accused the Democrat of sexual misconduct. The staffer, identified as only Samantha by BuzzFeed News, claims that Rep. Kihuen made several unwanted sexual advances during the campaign. She eventually resigned as his finance director.

The allegations have not bothered Rep. Kihuen, who has vowed that he will not resign.

“The staff member in question was a valued member of my team. I sincerely apologize for anything that I may have said or done that made her feel uncomfortable,” Kihuen said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. “I take this matter seriously as it is not indicative of who I am. I was raised in a strong family that taught me to treat women with the utmost dignity and respect. I have spent my fifteen years in public service fighting for women’s equality, and I will continue to do so.”

Democratic leaders have called for Rep. Kihuen to step down, but he claims that they knew about the allegations during the campaign and continued to support him anyway.

“I’m not resigning. I plan on continuing the job that I was elected to do by the people of the 4th Congressional district [of Nevada],” Rep. Kihuen told ABC News. “I do find it interesting that the DCCC [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee], leader Pelosi and chairman Ben Ray Luján… They knew about these allegations last year. They looked into them. They didn’t find anything, and they continued investing millions of dollars into my campaign. They went out there and campaigned for me. Again, I’m not going to resign. I’m going to continue the job I was elected to do and continue to represent my constituents with dignity and honor in Congress.”

Samantha confirmed to BuzzFeed News that she went to the DCCC to warn them about the sexual harassment from Rep. Kihuen.

(H/T: BuzzFeed News)

READ: Melanie Martinez Has Been Accused Of Rape From A Former Friend And Roommate

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