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News Round Up In-Brief

U.S. News

  • Also in its year-end press release, ICE announced new “immigration hold” guidelines that aim to focus mainly on targeting serious criminals for detention. However, the memo states that mere “illegal entry” to the U.S. can justify a detainer.
  • The New York Times expressed optimism about the Obama Administration and ICE’s new detainer policies. Though ICE was already operating under a policy of “prosecutorial discretion,” it had outsourced much of its “discretion” to local police outfits through the Secure Communities program, which the new policy could remedy.
  • Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC), described as “hawkish” on immigration issues and an opponent of the Obama administration’s deferred action decisions, was recently selected to chair the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security.
  • At the end of this year, ICE plans to scale back the 287(g) program, which authorized local police to act as immigration authorities. However, the Secure Communities program that began in 2009 may take its place. There are rumors that cities whose 287(g) agreements concern “jails” rather than task forces, such as Farmers Branch, Texas, will not be affected by the scale-back, and ICE continues to receive occasional applications to instate new 287(g) programs.

International News

  • Asylum claimants in Italy face extremely long waiting lists, restricted travel, and scarce refugee assistance, leaving many recognized refugees to fend for their own health and survival in shantytowns.

Research

Report

In December, the ACLU reported on the U.S.’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, before the United Nations Human Rights Committee. It recommended the end of both the 287(g) program and the Secure Communities program, the passage of the End Racial Profiling Act, and federal opposition to local and state anti-immigrant laws. The full report can be downloaded here.

Prepared by Rachel Stonecipher 

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