Accommodations at detention centers have never been a suite at a three-star hotel. They’ve never been like a hotel at all; they’re even worse than homeless shelters because at detention centers people are forced to sleep on the floor, forced to be in freezing temperatures, and forced to be in unsanitary conditions for weeks or months. Lately, they’re just in “tent cities.”
This is how the U.S. government has always treated the unwanted who come here for a better life. Now it seems that the conditions have worsened.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is reporting that 5,200 adult immigrants are under quarantine after being exposed to mumps or chicken pox.
According to CNN, the spread of the disease is at happening various locations around the country. They also said that while thousands are under quarantine that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re all infected. They’re just keeping them isolated as a precautionary measure.
The issue, however, is a matter of great concern because there’s been a spike in cases and because mumps hasn’t been seen among the immigrants until now.
It’s unclear where the root of the issue is coming from. But people cannot assume undocumented people are bringing in the disease. U.S. citizens have it too.
“I think there is heightened interest in this situation because it’s the mumps, which is a new occurrence in custody, but preventing the spread of communicable disease in ICE custody is something we have demonstrated success doing,” Nathalie Asher, ICE executive associate director for enforcement and removal operations, told CNN. “From an operational perspective, the impact is significant in the short and long term and will result in an increase in cohorted detainees’ length of stay in detention, an inability to effect removal of eligible cohorted detainees, and postponing scheduled consular interviews for quarantined detainees,” she added.
Many advocates are concerned that the use of the quarantine is being used to delay asylum requests.
A couple of months ago, Newsweek spoke to an undocumented man who was told he could not meet with his lawyer because of the spread of disease.
“When there is just one person who is sick, everybody pays,” he told the publication and added that he could meet with anyone for weeks.
Outside of a school or courthouse. A place of business such as a meat factory plant. A traffic stop. Outside your home. What do all of these locations have in common? These are all place where U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have shown up to detain, roundup, and arrest undocumented people. They can also show up just about anywhere, even sports games.
On the first day of the Raiders season —during a game against the Denver Broncos — the real commotion wasn’t on the football but rather outside in the parking lot where ICE showed up.
On Sept. 9, at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, ICE was there to seize unofficial Raiders merchandise. It’s unclear if they were there looking for undocumented people, or whether they believed the vendors of the unofficial Raiders merchandise were undocumented people. Either way, ICE agents took all of the fake swag.
ICE reports they seized $11,000 worth of counterfeit goods. ICE also claims that last week’s seizure is part of a nationwide trend of illegal merchandise that generates $1.4 billion a year.
“Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Francisco is committed to conducting intellectual property theft investigations throughout the year and preventing the sale of counterfeit goods during the home opener of the Oakland Raiders is just one example of HSI working to ensure that the public is purchasing legitimate products” Tatum King, special agent in charge, HSI San Francisco and Northern California, said in a press release statement. King added, “The lost revenue equals lost jobs and counterfeit materials typically contain substandard products and can also be a safety risk to the public.”
Here’s what ICE said you should look for when purchasing your Raiders gear:
Shop at authorized retail locations, such as the official team stores rather than buying items from street vendors, flea markets, online auctions or other questionable sources
Buy tickets from authorized dealers
Look out for ripped tags or irregular markings on apparel
If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. While some counterfeiters may attract fans with a low price tag or 2-for-1 deal, just as many try to legitimize their merchandise with a higher price point.
“Oakland Raiders fans attending the first game of the season deserve genuine products and the proceeds of counterfeit merchandise ends up in the hands of transnational criminal organizations engaged in varying types of illegal activities,” King stated. King didn’t elaborate or give evidence as to the type of criminal organizations they have arrested in the past.
People on social media were not pleased to hear that ICE attended an NFL game during the kick-off of Hispanic Heritage Month.
It is definitely clear that ICE wanted to show their presence at an NFL game especially when an overwhelming amount of Latinx were expected to show up.
This is not the first time ICE and the NFL have partnered up. ICE has paid for commercials during the Super Bowl games.
It’s not clear whether these campaigns launched by ICE — that included the hashtag #TackleICE — but it’s not so much about whether something works or doesn’t. ICE wants to get their message across that they are everywhere, and there’s no denying that.
Some on social media some wondered now that Jay Z is an official NFL employee whether he will speak up against ICE and about how they’re targeting Latinos.
Last month, the NFL announced that they “formally launched the Inspire Change initiative in early 2019, after more than two years of work with NFL players, with the goal of creating positive change in communities across the country.” The NFL added, “Through this initiative, NFL teams and the league office work with the Players Coalition and other NFL players to support programs and initiatives that reduce barriers to opportunity, with a focus on three priority areas: education and economic advancement; police and community relations; and criminal justice reform.”
“With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country,” Jay Z said in a press release. “Roc Nation has shown that entertainment and enacting change are not mutually exclusive ideas — instead, we unify them. This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America.”
Do these communities include undocumented immigrants?
We will have to wait and see how Jay’s involvement will help the Latino community, especially as the NFL is clearly targeting them.
ICE also failed to disclose why they were targeting illegal merchandise since that doesn’t seem to all under the umbrella of immigration. Also, if ICE is showing up at games, you know they will definitely be attending the Dodgers games as well. Just for a heads up, here’s the entire Raiders season schedule
Judge V. Stuart Couch was placed on the Justice Department’s Board of Immigration Appeals last month, but his record shows that he once threatened a toddler in court that a dog would bite him if he didn’t behave.
This story at first sounds hilarious and unbelievable, but it’s actually quite disturbing and very real. According to a Mother Jones report in 2016, Couch told a Guatemalan toddler who was in court for an asylum hearing to stop making noise or else he would get a dog to attack him. The boy was in a courtroom in Charlotte, North Carolina with his mother. The pair were in a hearing in Couch’s courtroom where he would decide their fate over whether they would get asylum or not.
The judge told the 2-year-old: “I have a very big dog in my office, and if you don’t be quiet, he will come out and bite you!”
The entire exchange between the heated judge and the toddler was witnessed by Kathryn Coiner-Collier, a then a coordinator for a project run by the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy. Coiner-Collier recounted her story to Mother Jones and said that she, along with the boy, and his mother, experienced trauma unlike ever before. She said that Couch scolded this young boy to behave and made a Spanish translator tell the boy exactly what he was saying.
“Want me to go get the dog? If you don’t stop talking, I will bring the dog out. Do you want him to bite you?” Coiner-Collier recalled to the publication. For anyone wondering how she could remember what Couch said in 2016, Coiner-Collier wrote down every single work the judge said because not only was it incredibly terrible but she needed a record of what happened that day. Coiner-Collier also believed Couch would possibly bring the dog in the courtroom because it’s very typical for police dogs to be sniffing around.
The boy was eventually removed from the courtroom and the entire family was left traumatized by the judge’s outburst. Coiner-Collier said that she has witnessed Couch be a “fair and thorough” judge in previous cases, but that he definitely has a temper.
Couch ended up removing himself from the case. The following judge who heard the asylum case on this young boy and his mother from Guatemala ended up rejecting their case. The mom has now filed an appeal. But here’s the ironic twist.
Now that her asylum case is headed to the appeals court, and the new judge could be…you guessed it: Judge V. Stuart Couch.
Couch was one of six new hires on the Justice Department’s Board of Immigration Appeals and his record for rejecting asylum cases is just what you would expect. This tidbit of facts by Mother Jones is especially interesting:
“All six judges reject asylum requests at a far higher rate than the national average; Couch granted just 7.9 percent of asylum claims between 2013 and 2018, compared to the national average of about 45 percent. (Before becoming an immigration judge, Couch served as a military prosecutor and attracted widespread attention for refusing to prosecute a Guantanamo detainee because he had been tortured.).”
People on Twitter were livid, though not surprised, to find out that a judge like Couch would now be calling the shots in immigration appeals court.
Laila L. Hlass, a law professor tweeted, “Is #immigrationtwitter surprised Judge Couch, known for trying to end refugee protections for domestic violence survivors also threatened a 2 yr old child in court with a dog attack? Or that he was recently promoted? In a word, no. #immigrationlaw.”
It’s almost as if Trump hired this judge for the very reason that he threatened a 2-year-old.