Named, blamed, shamed: What’s up with ICE and Hennepin County?

american-and-pattiotHennepin County was one of the jurisdictions named, blamed, and shamed in the first weekly report from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The weekly reports, required by Trump’s executive order, list the jurisdictions that don’t hold immigrants on ICE detainers, called “non-cooperative jurisdictions.” Hennepin County was targeted for refusing to hold two individuals, but Sheriff Rich Stanek hit back with photos showing the two leaving the jail in the custody of ICE agents.

What’s going on here? The sheriff says Hennepin County does not comply with ICE detainers because they are illegal, but the the county does advise ICE of the time of release. That’s not good enough for ICE, which demands absolute obedience – hold those prisoners, on ICE say-so, without judicial authorization, without warrants, in violation of the constitution.

The New York Times calls it President Trump’s reckless shame game :

“President Trump’s Homeland Security Department turned its immigration purge — and assault on the Constitution — up a notch this week. It posted the first of what it says will be weekly online reports identifying state and local law enforcement agencies that decline its requests to keep immigrants in jail to give federal agents time to pick them up.

“The idea is to name and shame these agencies, accusing them of recklessly loosing dangerous aliens onto the streets….

“The accusation is dishonest. The report is a sham. And the claim of protecting public safety is ridiculous — dangerously so.”


The news in this post comes from last week’s Monday-Friday daily posts in my Immigration News blog. If you’d like a quick summary of each day’s immigration news, click over to Immigration News and subscribe.

More Minnesota immigration news:

On Wednesday, March 22, DHS officers showed up on Twin Cities rapid transit lines. The DHS presence provoked a flurry of Facebook and Twitter posts asking what Homeland Security agents were doing on the trains. In his MPR News Cut blog, Bob Collins accurately noted:

“Far from bringing a sense of security, the officers appear to have caused some discomfort for passengers.

“A reporter for the Star Tribune says the Homeland Security police told passengers it wasn’t an immigration raid, they were just checking tickets.

“Why would anyone think it was a raid?

“Because the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has Minneapolis and Hennepin County in its sights.”

The Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota posted on Facebook on Wednesday afternoon:

“There have been concerns raised over Department of Homeland Security Agents on Metro Transit today. ILCM’s executive director has spoken with Chief John Harrington of the Metro Police and he asked us to reassure the immigrant community that these agents are not part of ICE. That they are not collaborating with ICE. And that they are from a different division of DHS that helps coordinate security in the event of a crisis.”

Metro Transit also has a page explaining its relationship with DHS.

Kudos to John Keller

Ibrahim Hirsi, writing in MinnPost, and Ruben Rosario over at the St. Paul Pioneer Press profiled John Keller, executive director of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota (ILCM).

Meet the Minnesota lawyer standing up to Trump administration’s immigration orders (MinnPost, 3/17/17)

“Whenever there’s an immigration crisis, John always shows up,” said Sandra Feist, an attorney and member of the local American Immigration Lawyers Association. “He’s tireless … and always leading the charge.” …

“In the wake of the immigration executive orders, however, Keller learned something he didn’t know about himself. “I’ve never been so proud or honored to be a lawyer and have this privilege directly defending the Constitution,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve seen my work as a defender of the Constitution in any way close to what we’re doing right now.”

Immigration lawyer works to allay fears, keep advice realistic (Pioneer Press, 3/17/17)

“The youngest of eight siblings who grew up on a dairy farm north of Stillwater in May Township, Keller runs the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota. He was afflicted early with that unshakable bug for social justice and championing the underdog….

“Those of us who have options have the responsibility to give back, to use education for its highest purpose: social good,” he told me.”

Irony department:

The annual African trade summit in California had no African participants this year. Zero. Not one.  Because they couldn’t get visas. The Guardian reported on March 20:

“The African Global Economic and Development Summit, a three-day conference at the University of Southern California (USC), typically brings delegations from across Africa to meet with business leaders in the US in an effort to foster partnerships. But this year, every single African citizen who requested a visa was rejected, according to organizer Mary Flowers. …

“Flowers said roughly 60 to 100 people from at least a dozen nations were denied entry to the summit, which went on as planned with a much smaller group last Thursday through Saturday.

“I don’t know if it’s Trump or if it’s the fact that the embassies that have been discriminating for a long time see this as an opportunity, because of talk of the travel ban, to blatantly reject everyone,” Flowers said.”

Why These Trump Voters Are Sticking Up for an Undocumented Neighbor (Huffington Post, 3/1/17) and Indiana restaurant owner to be deported Friday (Indiana Public Media, 3/22/17) He’s married to a U.S. citizen, father of four U.S. citizen children, owner of a restaurant, a “model resident,” according to South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who wrote the Huffington Post article and was quoted in the Indiana Public Media article. After living in this country since 1998, Roberto Beristain is being deported. Not because he committed a crime, but because he accidentally crossed into Canada while visiting Niagara Falls – in 2000.

“During an interview earlier this month, [his wife] Helen said she voted for President Donald Trump because she supports his immigration policies. She said criminals should be deported, but she didn’t think her husband would face that fate.

“[Trump] did say the good people would not be deported, the good people would be checked,” Helen said.”

Food and farming:

Under Trump, Wisconsin dairies struggle to keep immigrant workers (Channel 3000  Wisconsin TV, 3/19/17)

“Dairy producers in Wisconsin increasingly struggle to recruit and maintain the immigrant workforce on which the state’s $43 billion-a-year dairy industry relies…

“Farmers say deporting immigrants working here illegally could harm Wisconsin’s signature industry, which ranks second in the nation for milk production and first for cheese. Milking cows can be a dirty, physically demanding job that includes long, irregular work hours; farmers say few Americans are willing to do it.”

Rural Areas Brace for a Shortage of Doctors Due to Visa Policy (New York Times, 3/18/17) A little-publicized change in the H-1B visa program eliminates a “premium” option for employers to pay an extra $1,225 to get visas processed in weeks, rather than months.

“Small-town America relies on a steady flow of doctors from around the world to deliver babies, treat heart ailments and address its residents’ medical needs. But a recent, little-publicized decision by the government to alter the timetable for some visa applications is likely to delay the arrival of new foreign doctors, and is causing concern in the places that depend on them.

The food and farm fallout from a trade war with Mexico (Civil Eats, 3/21/17)

“Because U.S. agriculture is so intertwined with the Mexican economy, the U.S. has a lot to lose in a trade war. As do American eaters: A full 93 percent of the Hass avocadoes in the U.S. come from Mexico, as well as 71 percent of the tomatoes and 15 percent of the sugar. Additionally, the U.S. imports 79 percent of its neighbor’s exported tequila….

“In addition to providing America a large portion of its food, Mexico is the third largest buyer of U.S. agriculture; in 2015, ag exports to the country totaled $18 billion, including $2.3 billion in corn, more than $1 billion each in soybeans, dairy products, pork, and beef.”


The news in this post comes from last week’s Monday-Friday daily posts in my Immigration News blog. If you’d like a quick summary of each day’s immigration news, click over to Immigration News and subscribe.


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