Reunited: Honduran immigrant and father leaves sanctuary in St. Louis-area church
MAPLEWOOD, Mo. — After three years in a Maplewood church to avoid immediate deportation, Alex Garcia returned home to his wife and children Wednesday without fear of imminent separation while he petitions for permanent legal status. Garcia, a Honduran immigrant and father of five who has lived in the U.S. for 17 years, left Christ Church United Church of Christ where he has sought refuge from federal officials looking to enforce a deportation order stemming from his first entry into the U.S. in 2000. His departure, Garcia and his advocates said, follows orders from President Joe Biden to Immig...
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Excitement over Biden immigration proposals could lead to uptick in scams, experts warn
MIAMI — Joe Biden's first acts as president included taking steps to undo many of his predecessor's restrictionist immigration policies. But a slew of immigration-related executive orders and a proposed immigration reform bill unveiled Thursday — aimed at ushering in a more welcoming era for immigrants in the U.S. — could in the short term set some immigrants back, as confusion about what each development means leaves certain members of the community vulnerable to immigration scams and fraudsters, advocates warn. Oscar Londoño, executive director of WeCount!, a South Dade immigrant workers' ce...
Biden’s deportation freeze is blocked again for 2 weeksWASHINGTON — The Biden administration’s plan to freeze deportations for 100 days was temporarily blocked again by a judge in a lawsuit brought by Texas, which argues the federal government can’t make immigration enforcement changes without first consulting the state. U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton in Victoria, Texas, on Tuesday extended by two weeks a temporary restraining order against the deportation pause that was set to expire today. Texas has also requested a longer-lasting injunction that could block the plan during the entire litig...
Tribune News Service
Before leaving office, Trump sends final deportation flight to Haiti
MIAMI — The Trump administration sent a final deportation flight to Haiti on the eve of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, who has promised to halt removals during his first 100 days. In a last salvo of President Donald Trump’s hardline policy, Immigration and Customs Enforcement chartered a flight Tuesday operated by Swift Air, which departed from Louisiana and arrived in Port-au-Prince by early afternoon. A total of 25 deportees landed in the capital, including five infants, Jean Négot Bonheur Delva, the head of Haiti’s Office of National Migration (ONM), told the Miami Herald. S...
The hardest change to immigration policy post-Trump? Ending the mindset that immigrants are criminals
PHILADELPHIA — Like heads of other Philadelphia-based agencies that support and defend immigrants, Cathryn Miller-Wilson has been staggered by the four-year onslaught of nationalist Trump administration directives, policies and rules. The incoming Biden administration has pledged to undo as much as it can as fast as it can. But the hardest single thing to change, said Miller-Wilson, director of HIAS Pennsylvania, will be the one that’s not written down on any executive order or legislation: The belief that immigration equates to criminality, that it’s wrong, a detriment and not a benefit to Am...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
In other white Christmas news, 74 pounds of cocaine found floating off the Florida Keys
MIAMI — The Keys sheriff’s office came across some white stuff Christmas week. But it wasn’t the usual kind of snow. About 74 pounds of cocaine was spotted floating off the Lower Keys by a fisherman Wednesday afternoon. The fisherman, who was boating south of Sugarloaf Key, notified a Monroe County sheriff’s deputy who was on marine patrol at the time. Because the floating packages were in federal waters, the packages were put in a Monroe County sheriff’s patrol boat and turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol. Historically but also recently, lost shipments are trending in South Florida and the ...
Lightfoot offers plan to close loopholes allowing Chicago police to cooperate with immigration agents
CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday followed through on a pledge to introduce a plan to the City Council that would eliminate loopholes in the city’s Welcoming City Ordinance that allow police to in some cases cooperate with federal immigration agents. Lightfoot drew the ire of some Latino aldermen and activists this fall when she tried to include the changes in her 2021 budget as a way to try to get their support. Facing criticism, the mayor removed the language from the package, and it passed 29-21. The mayor’s proposed ordinance would no longer let Chicago police cooperate with Immi...