Tag: ICE

Department of Homeland Security Scraps Trump ICE Union Policy

 

On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security scrapped a Trump-era contract that could have allowed a union of deportation officers to stall the implementation of Biden’s immigration policies. A whistleblower complained the contract would grant AFGE National ICE Council 118 “veto authority” over certain policy decisions at ICE. AFGE National ICE Council 118 has thousands of members and has repeatedly endorsed Donald Trump. The contract granted the organization extraordinary powers, and the complaint argued these excess benefits were granted based on their affiliation with Donald Trump. The whistleblower accused Ken Cuccinelli, the DHS official who signed the agreement, of “gross mismanagement, gross waste of government funds and abuse of authority.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security has assured that ICE and the union have been notified the agreement has been disapproved. Ken Cuccinelli has defended his position, arguing the contract was “both legal and good policy for ICE.” The ICE union may still appeal the Department of Homeland Security’s decision with the Federal Labor Relations Authority, possibly leading to a lengthy legal battle. For now, though, the threat they pose to progessive immigration policy has been thwarted.

 

Be careful when using online/social media!

For years, DHS agencies including USCIS and ICE have investigated non-citizens through social media. USCIS and ICE will present documents that show clients, for example, using controlled substances, advocating support for terrorist-designated organizations and other problematic organizations, and having romantic relationships with people other than the US citizens petitioning for green card.

This week DHS announced that it will create fake social media accounts to further its long-standing practice of investigating non-citizens through social media. This announcement caused Facebook to reiterate its policy of prohibiting fake accounts and caused uproar among immigrant advocates, privacy advocates and free-speech advocates alike.

This policy, however, should not surprise anyone. Non-citizens have fewer privacy, free-speech and other rights in this country than do US citizens (generally speaking except for systemic issues of racism, sexism and other discrimination that may trump immigration status). Non-citizens need to strive for very clean, if not non-existent, social media presences. Regardless of whether Facebook prevails in disallowing DHS from setting up fake accounts, non-citizens in the US need to make sure that their social media records do not cause them harm vis-a-vis their immigration status.

 

Petition on AILA- Help Mother and Her Daughter

Please take a moment to check the sign-on petition on AILA website and tell ICE you support the release of Melida and her four-year-old daughter Estrella from family detention in Karnes City, Texas.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and her counsel will deliver the petition to ICE and DHS.

Contact Karen Lucas, klucas@aila.org, or Greg Chen, gchen@aila.org, with questions.