Homeland Security

Will the U.S. take Australia's Unwanted Asylum Seekers

WASHINGTON (February 3, 2017) – A report from the Center for Immigration Studies covers the asylum seeker resettlement deal the Obama administration entered into with Australia, which is currently on hold. President Trump is considering honoring the agreement, which would bring to the U.S. 1,250 detainees – mostly men (1,161 men, 49 women and 44 children) from Iran. But he questions the security risk of offering permanent resettlement to the population who refuse to return to their country of origin or to accept an offer of asylum from Cambodia.
 
The asylum seekers reside at Australia's offshore detention centers on the small island nation of Nauru and on Manus Island, part of Papua New Guinea. The Australian government spent at least $3.6 billion on offshore processing at these detention centers between 2013 and 2016, but is now closing the facilities and hopes to transfer the costs and security risks of resettling these individuals to the U.S.
 
Nayla Rush, a senior researcher at the Center and author of the report said, “Convincing the U.S. to take Australia's unwanted asylum seekers would be a great achievement for Australia, but one of America's worst deals.”
 
Although negotiations between the two governments were ongoing for months, President Obama did not announce the agreement until just a few days after the U.S. presidential election. Australia is unwilling to take the detainees as the nation follows a policy of mandatory and indefinite detention of unlawful non-citizens, including asylum seekers.
 
View the entire report at: http://cis.org/rush/australias-unwanted-asylum-seekers-mostly-iranians-be-resettled-us
 
The detainees were offered the opportunity to return home or to resettle in Cambodia. To encourage resettlement to Cambodia, Australia offered cash incentives of $15,000 per person and promises of family reunification with the same cash amount given to these family members. Five refugees accepted the offer.
 
Rush writes, “The refugee resettlement program is not about 'picking and choosing' one's resettlement country. Resettlement, by definition, is to be implemented when no other viable option is available. Cambodia (or other countries) might not be ideal for asylum seekers trying to reach Australia and family members already settled there. But America is no consolation prize either.”

Oregon activists react to Trump's executive orders

Opponents of President Trump's executive orders concerning immigrants and refugees plan to rally at the Oregon State Capitol on Wednesday.

"We will demand that the Governor and the State Legislature take immediate actions to defend and protect immigrants and refugees in Oregon," said rally organizers from Voz Hispana, an immigrants rights organization. "Oregon will not become a cog in the Trump deportation machine."

Last Friday, President Trump suspended the U.S. refugee program for 120 days, banned all immigrants from seven Muslim countries — Syria, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, and Libya — for 90 days, and ordered his administration to develop "extreme vetting" measures for immigrants from those countries to keep "radical Islamic terrorists" out of the United States, as reported by USA Today.

A protest against the orders was held at the Portland International Airport Sunday.

Steve and Cindy Spinnett went with signs reading, "Thank you, President Trump."

"We wanted to be an encouragement to President Trump for keeping his promises to the American people," Steve said.

At first, Steve said he and his wife ran into resistance from some protesters, but as they spoke to them, they found common ground.

"We told them they were sincere and we're glad to see them out there expressing their beliefs," he said. "We then warmed up to each other. We agreed that loving one another was more important than our disagreements politically."

Doug and Anya Holcomb, founders of Salem for Refugees, said they are going to continue to provide services for locals impacted by the actions.

"In the coming days, our focus will be on caring for the refugees who are already in Salem, advocating for the 65.3 million people across the globe who have been forced to flee their homes, educating our community about the global refugee crisis, and preparing our city to welcome the refugees who will be coming when resettlement begins again," the two activists said in a statement.

According to the Oregon Department of Human Services, more than 64,000 refugees have resettled in Oregon since 1975. Most of these refugees initially settle in the greater Portland metro area.

Currently, the most common refugee groups arriving in Oregon are from, Cuba, Burma, Bhutan, Iran, Iraq, and Somalia.

As for immigrants, Oregon is home to more than 391,000 immigrants, making about 10 percent of all Oregonians "foreign-born."

More than 11 million immigrants are estimated to be living in the United States illegally, according to the PEW Research Center and Migration Policy Institute.

By comparison, in 2014, around 47 percent, or 20 million, of all U.S. immigrants were naturalized U.S. citizens. The remaining 53 percent, or 22.4 million, included lawful permanent residents, unauthorized immigrants, and legal residents on temporary visas, such as students and temporary workers.

Jim Ludwick, communications director for Oregonians for Immigration Reform, said the organization saw the president's actions as a hopeful sign of Trump keeping his promises.

"We were hopeful that President Trump will come out and build the wall, and we think he will," he said.

Oregonians for Immigration Reform, Ludwick said, is not against all immigration; rather, it is in favor of stricter background checks and a lower volume of people brought in each year.

"We need to make sure the people who come in are the people they say they are," he said.

Aside from violent attacks, he said the country isn't able to sustain much more than 230,000 legal immigrants a year.

"We aren't able to sustain (the number of people now), environmentally, socially, financially or politically," he said.

He said multiple U.S. Presidents in the past, including Carter and Clinton, placed travel and immigration bans on certain areas.

"This is not a new thing — there are just new players," he said.

Contact Natalie Pate at npate@StatesmanJournal.com, 503-399-6745, or follow her on Twitter @Nataliempate and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/nataliepatejournalist

Rally at the Capitol

Voz Hispana, an immigrants rights organization, is a hosting rally on the front steps of the Oregon State Capitol.

Where: Oregon State Capitol, 900 Court St NE
When: Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 1 p.m.

"Welcoming Our New Neighbors" meeting

The “Welcoming Our New Neighbors” meetings discuss ways to assist incoming refugees in the Salem area. The events are organized by Catholic Charities, Salem for Refugees and the Salem Leadership Foundation, among others.

Where: Salem Alliance Church, 555 Gaines St NE
When: Monday, Feb. 6 at 12 p.m.

Event at Willamette Heritage Center

Toc Soneoulay-Gillespie, director of Refugee Resettlement for Catholic Charities of Oregon, will discuss both the state and national refugee programs and their challenges in 2017.

She will be joined by Doug and Anya Holcomb, co-directors of Salem for Refugees, and a representative of the refugee population, to explain the Salem-area program to members of the Salem City Club and the public on Feb. 3.

Where: Willamette Heritage Center, 1313 Mill St SE
When: Friday, Feb. 3 at 11:30 a.m.
Cost: $15 per person

Curious? Read the full text of Trump's border security executive order

Alert date: 
2017-01-25
Alert body: 

BORDER SECURITY AND IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT IMPROVEMENTS

     By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.) (INA), the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (Public Law 109‑367) (Secure Fence Act), and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (Public Law 104‑208 Div. C) (IIRIRA), and in order to ensure the safety and territorial integrity of the United States as well as to ensure that the Nation's immigration laws are faithfully executed, I hereby order as follows:

     Section 1.  Purpose.  Border security is critically important to the national security of the United States.  Aliens who illegally enter the United States without inspection or admission present a significant threat to national security and public safety.  Such aliens have not been identified or inspected by Federal immigration officers to determine their admissibility to the United States.  The recent surge of illegal immigration at the southern border with Mexico has placed a significant strain on Federal resources and overwhelmed agencies charged with border security and immigration enforcement, as well as the local communities into which many of the aliens are placed.

     Transnational criminal organizations operate sophisticated drug- and human-trafficking networks and smuggling operations on both sides of the southern border, contributing to a significant increase in violent crime and United States deaths from dangerous drugs.  Among those who illegally enter are those who seek to harm Americans through acts of terror or criminal conduct.  Continued illegal immigration presents a clear and present danger to the interests of the United States.

     Federal immigration law both imposes the responsibility and provides the means for the Federal Government, in cooperation with border States, to secure the Nation's southern border.  Although Federal immigration law provides a robust framework for Federal-State partnership in enforcing our immigration laws ‑‑ and the Congress has authorized and provided appropriations to secure our borders ‑‑ the Federal Government has failed to discharge this basic sovereign responsibility.  The purpose of this order is to direct executive departments and agencies (agencies) to deploy all lawful means to secure the Nation's southern border, to prevent further illegal immigration into the United States, and to repatriate illegal aliens swiftly, consistently, and humanely.

     Sec. 2.  Policy.  It is the policy of the executive branch to:

     (a)  secure the southern border of the United States through the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border, monitored and supported by adequate personnel so as to prevent illegal immigration, drug and human trafficking, and acts of terrorism;

     (b)  detain individuals apprehended on suspicion of violating Federal or State law, including Federal immigration law, pending further proceedings regarding those violations;

     (c)  expedite determinations of apprehended individuals' claims of eligibility to remain in the United States;

     (d)  remove promptly those individuals whose legal claims to remain in the United States have been lawfully rejected, after any appropriate civil or criminal sanctions have been imposed; and

     (e)  cooperate fully with States and local law enforcement in enacting Federal-State partnerships to enforce Federal immigration priorities, as well as State monitoring and detention programs that are consistent with Federal law and do not undermine Federal immigration priorities.

     Sec. 3.  Definitions.  (a)  "Asylum officer" has the meaning given the term in section 235(b)(1)(E) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1225(b)(1)).

     (b)  "Southern border" shall mean the contiguous land border between the United States and Mexico, including all points of entry.

     (c)  "Border States" shall mean the States of the United States immediately adjacent to the contiguous land border between the United States and Mexico.

     (d)  Except as otherwise noted, "the Secretary" shall refer to the Secretary of Homeland Security.

     (e)  "Wall" shall mean a contiguous, physical wall or other similarly secure, contiguous, and impassable physical barrier.

     (f)  "Executive department" shall have the meaning given in section 101 of title 5, United States Code.

     (g)  "Regulations" shall mean any and all Federal rules, regulations, and directives lawfully promulgated by agencies.

     (h)  "Operational control" shall mean the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband.

     Sec. 4.  Physical Security of the Southern Border of the United States.  The Secretary shall immediately take the following steps to obtain complete operational control, as determined by the Secretary, of the southern border:

     (a)  In accordance with existing law, including the Secure Fence Act and IIRIRA, take all appropriate steps to immediately plan, design, and construct a physical wall along the southern border, using appropriate materials and technology to most effectively achieve complete operational control of the southern border;

     (b)  Identify and, to the extent permitted by law, allocate all sources of Federal funds for the planning, designing, and constructing of a physical wall along the southern border;

     (c)  Project and develop long-term funding requirements for the wall, including preparing Congressional budget requests for the current and upcoming fiscal years; and

     (d)  Produce a comprehensive study of the security of the southern border, to be completed within 180 days of this order, that shall include the current state of southern border security, all geophysical and topographical aspects of the southern border, the availability of Federal and State resources necessary to achieve complete operational control of the southern border, and a strategy to obtain and maintain complete operational control of the southern border.

     Sec. 5.  Detention Facilities.  (a)  The Secretary shall take all appropriate action and allocate all legally available resources to immediately construct, operate, control, or establish contracts to construct, operate, or control facilities to detain aliens at or near the land border with Mexico.

     (b)  The Secretary shall take all appropriate action and allocate all legally available resources to immediately assign asylum officers to immigration detention facilities for the purpose of accepting asylum referrals and conducting credible fear determinations pursuant to section 235(b)(1) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1225(b)(1)) and applicable regulations and reasonable fear determinations pursuant to applicable regulations.

     (c)  The Attorney General shall take all appropriate action and allocate all legally available resources to immediately assign immigration judges to immigration detention facilities operated or controlled by the Secretary, or operated or controlled pursuant to contract by the Secretary, for the purpose of conducting proceedings authorized under title 8, chapter 12, subchapter II, United States Code.

     Sec. 6.  Detention for Illegal Entry.  The Secretary shall immediately take all appropriate actions to ensure the detention of aliens apprehended for violations of immigration law pending the outcome of their removal proceedings or their removal from the country to the extent permitted by law.  The Secretary shall issue new policy guidance to all Department of Homeland Security personnel regarding the appropriate and consistent use of lawful detention authority under the INA, including the termination of the practice commonly known as "catch and release," whereby aliens are routinely released in the United States shortly after their apprehension for violations of immigration law.

     Sec. 7.  Return to Territory.  The Secretary shall take appropriate action, consistent with the requirements of section 1232 of title 8, United States Code, to ensure that aliens described in section 235(b)(2)(C) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1225(b)(2)(C)) are returned to the territory from which they came pending a formal removal proceeding.

     Sec. 8.  Additional Border Patrol Agents.  Subject to available appropriations, the Secretary, through the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, shall take all appropriate action to hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents, and all appropriate action to ensure that such agents enter on duty and are assigned to duty stations as soon as is practicable.

     Sec. 9.  Foreign Aid Reporting Requirements.  The head of each executive department and agency shall identify and quantify all sources of direct and indirect Federal aid or assistance to the Government of Mexico on an annual basis over the past five years, including all bilateral and multilateral development aid, economic assistance, humanitarian aid, and military aid.  Within 30 days of the date of this order, the head of each executive department and agency shall submit this information to the Secretary of State.  Within 60 days of the date of this order, the Secretary shall submit to the President a consolidated report reflecting the levels of such aid and assistance that has been provided annually, over each of the past five years.

     Sec. 10.  Federal-State Agreements.  It is the policy of the executive branch to empower State and local law enforcement agencies across the country to perform the functions of an immigration officer in the interior of the United States to the maximum extent permitted by law.

     (a)  In furtherance of this policy, the Secretary shall immediately take appropriate action to engage with the Governors of the States, as well as local officials, for the purpose of preparing to enter into agreements under section 287(g) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1357(g)).

     (b)  To the extent permitted by law, and with the consent of State or local officials, as appropriate, the Secretary shall take appropriate action, through agreements under section 287(g) of the INA, or otherwise, to authorize State and local law enforcement officials, as the Secretary determines are qualified and appropriate, to perform the functions of immigration officers in relation to the investigation, apprehension, or detention of aliens in the United States under the direction and the supervision of the Secretary.  Such authorization shall be in addition to, rather than in place of, Federal performance of these duties.

     (c)  To the extent permitted by law, the Secretary may structure each agreement under section 287(g) of the INA in the manner that provides the most effective model for enforcing Federal immigration laws and obtaining operational control over the border for that jurisdiction.

     Sec. 11.  Parole, Asylum, and Removal.  It is the policy of the executive branch to end the abuse of parole and asylum provisions currently used to prevent the lawful removal of removable aliens.

     (a)  The Secretary shall immediately take all appropriate action to ensure that the parole and asylum provisions of Federal immigration law are not illegally exploited to prevent the removal of otherwise removable aliens.

     (b)  The Secretary shall take all appropriate action, including by promulgating any appropriate regulations, to ensure that asylum referrals and credible fear determinations pursuant to section 235(b)(1) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1125(b)(1)) and 8 CFR 208.30, and reasonable fear determinations pursuant to 8 CFR 208.31, are conducted in a manner consistent with the plain language of those provisions.

     (c)  Pursuant to section 235(b)(1)(A)(iii)(I) of the INA, the Secretary shall take appropriate action to apply, in his sole and unreviewable discretion, the provisions of section 235(b)(1)(A)(i) and (ii) of the INA to the aliens designated under section 235(b)(1)(A)(iii)(II).

     (d)  The Secretary shall take appropriate action to ensure that parole authority under section 212(d)(5) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5)) is exercised only on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the plain language of the statute, and in all circumstances only when an individual demonstrates urgent humanitarian reasons or a significant public benefit derived from such parole.

     (e)  The Secretary shall take appropriate action to require that all Department of Homeland Security personnel are properly trained on the proper application of section 235 of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (8 U.S.C. 1232) and section 462(g)(2) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 279(g)(2)), to ensure that unaccompanied alien children are properly processed, receive appropriate care and placement while in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security, and, when appropriate, are safely repatriated in accordance with law.

     Sec. 12.  Authorization to Enter Federal Lands.  The Secretary, in conjunction with the Secretary of the Interior and any other heads of agencies as necessary, shall take all appropriate action to:

     (a)  permit all officers and employees of the United States, as well as all State and local officers as authorized by the Secretary, to have access to all Federal lands as necessary and appropriate to implement this order; and

     (b)  enable those officers and employees of the United States, as well as all State and local officers as authorized by the Secretary, to perform such actions on Federal lands as the Secretary deems necessary and appropriate to implement this order.

     Sec. 13.  Priority Enforcement.  The Attorney General shall take all appropriate steps to establish prosecution guidelines and allocate appropriate resources to ensure that Federal prosecutors accord a high priority to prosecutions of offenses having a nexus to the southern border.

     Sec. 14.  Government Transparency.  The Secretary shall, on a monthly basis and in a publicly available way, report statistical data on aliens apprehended at or near the southern border using a uniform method of reporting by all Department of Homeland Security components, in a format that is easily understandable by the public.

     Sec. 15.  Reporting.  Except as otherwise provided in this order, the Secretary, within 90 days of the date of this order, and the Attorney General, within 180 days, shall each submit to the President a report on the progress of the directives contained in this order.

     Sec. 16.  Hiring.  The Office of Personnel Management shall take appropriate action as may be necessary to facilitate hiring personnel to implement this order.

     Sec. 17.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

          (i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

          (ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

     (b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

     (c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Forest Grove won't be a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants

The mayor thought declaring Forest Grove a "sanctuary city" would be a no-brainer.

About a quarter of the Washington County city's 21,000 residents are Latino...

"They play a significant role in the culture of this community," Truax said.

But Monday night, in a tie vote that has divided the community, the council decided it wouldn't be a sanctuary city....

Councilors said they worried the term is too polarizing. President Donald Trump has vowed to withhold federal funding from sanctuary cities...

Sanctuary cities have been around since the 1980s and use a variety of tactics to shield undocumented immigrants. Some prevent local law enforcement officers from asking about the immigration status of residents. Others refuse to hold suspected undocumented immigrants past their scheduled release dates.

After Trump won the presidency in November, dozens of officials across the country voted to declare sanctuary.

Oregon is, by practice, a sanctuary state. A state law prevents local police officers from inquiring about anyone's immigration status if they have not committed a crime. Still, some Oregon cities and counties have passed symbolic resolutions...

Last year, then Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler said Portland will remain a sanctuary city under his tenure. In December, Corvallis declared itself a sanctuary city. And Beaverton's council unanimously passed a sanctuary city resolution...

Washington County activists want others to follow suit. In January, a crowd rallied outside a Hillsboro City Council meeting to demand that city declare sanctuary....

"I think it would have given all of our residents the opportunity to know Forest Grove is an open and accepting community that honors diversity," Truax said.

The mayor drafted a resolution defining "sanctuary city" as one that is safe for residents, regardless of their immigration status, one that ensures undocumented immigrants can call police or fire crews for help without fear of being deported.

About 150 people packed a Jan. 9 public hearing. Six people opposed the resolution. Thirty-four people supported the idea. Most said they wanted the city to use the word "sanctuary" in its resolution.

"When cities declare that they're sanctuaries, those people know for a fact that they are welcome there, that they won't be torn away from their families...

Since then, 53 more people have sent in supportive comments, while two people wrote to oppose the resolution.

"When I see that kind of imbalance between those in favor and those opposed, to me my vote was a no-brainer," Truax said.

Other councilors agonized.

"This is the hardest decision that I have ever had to make," said Ron Thompson, who has spent 15 years on the council.

Thompson said he wants to make the city a better place for minorities. He has worked to add low-income housing for migrant workers. But he also worried approving the resolution might cause residents to revolt and vote down a public safety levy that pays for nearly a quarter of the town's police and fire bureaus.

"I don't want the sanctuary thing to split our community so that we are not working together to make improvements," Thompson said.

Timothy Rippe, a retiree who joined the council in November, said he knows Forest Grove residents have experienced "real fear, real vulnerability" following Trump's election...

Ultimately, Rippe decided he had to vote against declaring sanctuary. The label is too polarizing, he said, and Forest Grove can't risk losing any federal money. Other vulnerable residents depend on the dollars, he said.

According to staff reports -- printed in both English and Spanish -- Forest Grove will receive about $4 million in federal aid this year. The city is expecting $325,000 for a senior center kitchen remodel, $240,000 for sewer work and $3.6 million for road improvements.

Rippe worried especially about the money earmarked for the senior center. Meals on Wheels plans to use the kitchen, he said, to deliver food to the elderly.

"I just don't see how we can morally say one group is more important than another group," Rippe said. "We all have parents and grandparents who are getting older and more vulnerable. To jeopardize their well-being is not taking care of the entire community."

Matthew Vandehey, a new councilor who voted against Truax's proposal, said he worried declaring sanctuary would have given undocumented immigrants "a false sense of security."

"Throughout history, both church and political sanctuary offered immunity to arrest," Vandehey said. "That is how it can be interpreted, but that is not what the city can provide."

If federal immigration agents want to raid Forest Grove, local officials won't be able to stop residents from being deported.

Bridget Cooke, executive director of Adelante Mujeres, said people at her Latino community nonprofit are "saddened but not disheartened.

"We were hoping for a shout out of support, instead we got a whisper," Cooke said. "But we can work with that."

Truax said he is "deeply disappointed" and unsure of what to do next.

"A 3-3 tie is almost worse than a no vote," Truax said. "It really leaves us in a quandary."

Only a few hours after the meeting, Truax said he'd already heard from many angry residents on both sides.

"Make no mistake: When I talk to people who share with me disappointment right now, I say I share their disappointment," Truax said. "We will struggle on. The arc of justice, as Dr. King says, bends. But it takes time."

Arrest Made In Death Of Marion County Deputy Kelly Fredinburg Nearly A Decade Later

On January 20, 2017, it was learned that Alfredo De JESUS ASCENCIO, age 29, was arrested in the Mexican state of Puebla on an arrest warrant for the death of Marion County Deputy Kelly Fredinburg and another man in June of 2007.

On June 16, 2007 Deputy Fredinburg was enroute to an emergency call southbound on Highway 99E north of Gervais when his patrol car was struck head-on by a northbound vehicle driven by Alfredo De JESUS ASCENCIO. Deputy Fredinburg's patrol car caught fire and he was pronounced deceased at the scene. Deputy Fredinburg joined the Marion County Sheriff's Office in August 2006 after working the previous six years for the Polk County Sheriff's Office. He was 33 years old when he died.

De JESUS ASCENCIO, who was 20 years of age at the time of the crash, was treated for critical injuries at a Portland-area hospital. De JESUS ASCENCIO had two passengers one of which died the next day at a Portland area hospital. He was identified as nineteen year old Oscar ASCENCIO AMAYA.

Oregon State Police investigated the crash and received an indictment on August 3rd, 2007 for two counts of Criminally Negligent Homicide on De JESUS ASCENCIO. It was learned he fled the US to Mexico to avoid prosecution around the time of the indictment.

De JESUS ASCENCIO was believed to be hiding in Mexico and there was no chance of him being returned to the US due to the limitations in the extradition treaty. In 2010 Oregon prosecutors sought an Article 4 prosecution which allows certain crimes committed in the US to be prosecuted by the Mexican judicial system.

In 2010, OSP investigators traveled to Mexico and filed the Article 4 paperwork in front of the Procurador General de la República (PGR), which is the equivalent of the Attorney General's Office in the US, and presented them with all police reports translated into Spanish. The case went to a Mexican federal judge for review. In 2011, OSP learned that the judge had approved the Article 4 paperwork and a warrant was issue for De JESUS ASCENCIO's arrest. Since that time, OSP, the Marion County District Attorney's Office, the Marion County Sheriff's Office and FBI have collaborated in efforts in locating De JESUS ASCENCIO.

Interpol, in coordination with FBI agents working in Mexico and in Salem, determined De JESUS ASCENCIO's location. On January 20, 2017, Interpol confirmed the arrest to the FBI. He is currently being held in custody while the Article 4 process continues.

Marion County Sheriff Jason Myers commented today saying, "It has been nearly 10 years since the tragic loss of Deputy Kelly Fredinburg. While no one has ever given up hope that the individual responsible for this tragedy would be apprehended, it has been an emotional, trying and difficult journey to reach this point. I would like to thank the Marion County District Attorney's Office and the Oregon State Police for their tenacity with this investigation. I also express my heartfelt condolences to the Fredinburg family, as this capture may bring relief, but also a renewed sense of loss. My sincere hope is for justice and healing as this case proceeds ahead."

This is a preliminary release. More information will be released as it becomes available.

ICE Deportations Hit 10-Year Low

WASHINGTON (January 12, 2017) – The Center for Immigration Studies new report analyzes the FY 2016 enforcement statistics from the Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS), released by Department of Homeland Security on the last work day of the calendar year, on the eve of a holiday weekend. The deportation numbers credited to ICE are the lowest since 2006.

Aliens removed from the interior in 2016 have declined 73 percent from 2009, the year President Obama took office; and, unfortunately for community safety, there has been a 60 percent decline from the peak in interior criminal alien removals in 2010.

Unlike in past years, the annual enforcement reports contain only a fraction of the important statistics that traditionally have been published on the work of the immigration agencies. Past numbers allowed observation of historical trends and comparisons that are more difficult to make now.

View the full report at: http://cis.org/ICE-deportations-hit-10-yr-low.

Jessica Vaughan, the Center’s director of policy studies and author or the report, lamented, “DHS discloses few actual statistics now, and even fewer trends. Instead they claim success because most of those removed were 'priorities,' not because the agencies made any headway on the illegal immigration problem. The new reports are of interest only to those who believe that enforcement should be constrained as much as possible. They are of no use to the rest of us who want to know what the DHS agencies actually did all year with taxpayer funds.”

Key Findings

  • Deportations credited to ICE in 2016 increased by two percent. All of the increase was in cases of aliens arrested by the Border Patrol, not interior enforcement.
  • Interior deportations fell from 69,478 in 2015 to 65,322 in 2016, out of a population of illegal aliens now estimated at 12 million.
  • Deportations of criminal aliens fell from 63,127 in 2015 to 60,318 in 2016, out of an estimated population of 2 million criminal aliens.
  • The number of deportations under the Obama administration is not easily comparable to prior administrations because of the number of border cases included, but it certainly is not record-breaking, as Obama has claimed. The most deportations occurred under the Clinton administration.
  • DHS maintains that CBP arrests have always been a large share of ICE deportations, but in fact this is a new development under the Obama administration. In prior administrations only one-third of deportations credited to ICE were border cases; now about two-thirds are border cases.

Trump team seeks agency records on border barriers, surveillance

...President-elect Donald Trump's transition team asked the Department of Homeland Security last month to assess all assets available for border wall and barrier construction.

The team also asked about the department's capacity for expanding immigrant detention and about an aerial surveillance program...

The requests were made in a Dec. 5 meeting between Trump's transition team and Department of Homeland Security officials...  for securing the U.S. borders and reversing polices put in place by the Obama administration. 

Trump's transition team did not comment in response to Reuters inquiries. A spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection declined to comment.

In response to the transition team request, U.S. Customs and Border Protection staffers identified more than 400 miles along the U.S.-Mexico border, and about the same distance along the U.S.-Canada border, where new fencing could be erected, according to a document seen by Reuters.

Reuters could not determine whether the Trump team is considering a northern border barrier. During the campaign, Trump pledged to build a wall and expand fencing on parts of the U.S.-Mexico border but said he sees no need to build a wall on the border with Canada.

One program the transition team asked about, according to the email summary, was Operation Phalanx, an aerial surveillance program that authorizes 1,200 Army National Guard airmen to monitor the southern border for drug trafficking and illegal migration.

The program once deployed 6,000 airmen under President George W. Bush but was downsized by Barack Obama...

POLICY SHIFT

The transition team also asked for copies of every executive order and directive sent to immigration agents since Obama took office in 2009, according to the memo summarizing the meeting.

Trump has said he intends to undo Obama's executive actions on immigration, including a 2012 order to allow children brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents to remain in the country on temporary authorizations that allow them to attend college and work.

The program, known as DACA, collected information including participants' addresses that could theoretically be used to locate and deport them if the policy is reversed. Another request of the transition team was for information about whether any migrant records have been changed for any reason, including for civil rights or civil liberties concerns, according to the internal memo seen by Reuters.

A Department of Homeland Security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the agency interpreted the request to mean the transition team wanted to make sure that federal workers were not tampering with information to protect DACA recipients and other migrants from deportation.

On the campaign trail, Trump vowed to deport more undocumented immigrants...

The internal memo summarizing the meeting between Trump's transition team and U.S. Customs and Border protection said the team had requested a comprehensive picture of border security as well as resources available for walls and barriers...

Reuters reviewed a copy of the report, which estimated the cost of building fencing along the northern border fence would be $3.3 billion and cover 452 miles along border of Canada and the states of Washington, Idaho, Montana, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Adding 413 miles of fencing on the southwest border would be more expensive, according to the estimate of $11.37 billion, because it would be aimed at keeping pedestrians as well as vehicles from crossing.

Pedestrian fences require more staff and would cost $11.2 million per mile versus $4.1 million per mile to build to build, according to the report.

In fiscal year 2015, the latest year for which data is available, border patrol agents apprehended 2,626 illegal migrants on the U.S.-Canada border compared to 331,333 apprehended on the U.S.-Mexico border.

How Attorney General Jeff Sessions could make it easier to deport immigrants

The Department of Justice hired 59 immigration judges in 2016.

There are more immigration judges now – 296 – than at any point in the agency’s history. Given the 500,000-case backlog in the immigration court system, that current hiring spree is not expected to change.

But something that is expected to change is the person who decides who future immigration judges will be. Immigration judges are employees of the Department of Justice and, as head of that agency, the incoming attorney general will have a say in who is hired.

“Whoever is ultimately confirmed to head the Department of Justice is hugely significant,” said Cesar Cuauhtemoc Garcia Hernandez, law professor at the University of Denver who runs a website that follows developments in immigration law and detainment policies.

For attorney general, President-Elect Donald Trump plans to nominate Jeff Sessions, a Republican Senator from Alabama who has made a name for himself as one of the most anti-immigrant voices in Washington.

The National Review, a conservative news magazine, credited Sessions with single-handedly destroying immigration reform attempts in 2004 and 2014. He is strongly opposed to illegal immigration and is also in favor of limiting legal immigration because he believes it harms domestic workers.

Sessions, or whoever the head of the Department of Justice is, can hire judges who will decide deportation, asylum and all immigration cases over the next four years.

During 2016's hiring spree, immigration judges were hired at courts throughout the country. However, since January 2015, the court in Imperial County has not had a sitting judge. It is the only immigration court in the country to have a vacant bench.

The case backlog in Imperial County is so large that hearings are being scheduled for 2019 and 2020.

Julio Cesar Mendez, 42, has been fighting a deportation case in Imperial County since 2009.

“I’ve been waiting all those years,” he said. “It is very difficult, very stressful and frustrating. I don’t have a criminal charge.”

Mendez hasn’t had a court hearing since 2009. His next hearing is currently scheduled for Dec. 2017 but Mendez suspects that it will get pushed back.

While he waits, Mendez can stay in the country and pay $600 each year to apply for an annual work permit. He would like to buy a house, but the bank wants him to pay 30 percent upfront because of his status, which he cannot afford from the money he makes installing and repairing air conditioning units.

Mendez, who has one son at UCLA and another in high school who has been accepted to California State University, Fullerton, has thought of trying to move the case to immigration courts in San Diego or Los Angeles, but the motion costs $1,000 to file and there is no guarantee a judge will grant it.

Sessions could push current immigration judges, who do not share his politics, into early retirement by transferring them to undesirable locations like the Imperial courthouse.

“Short of firing, life can be made difficult or unpleasant for employees,” Garcia Hernandez said. “Superiors can increase workloads or transfer them to unattractive locations. These are highly qualified professionals with deep ties to a particular community so the prospect of being transferred may be enough for them to say, 'You know what, I might just do something else.'”

There is precedent for attorney generals pushing people out of the Department of Justice.

In 2003, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft asked five members of the Board of Immigration Appeals – a panel that reviews the decisions of immigration judges – to find new jobs. Critics saw it as a purge of their most pro-immigration members while the Department of Justice defended the move as a way to streamline the appeals process, according to media reports at the time.

If confirmed by Congress, Sessions will play a key role in realizing Trump’s campaign promises of deporting millions of immigrants and securing the U.S. borders.

As attorney general, he would not only be in charge of who he hires but also how immigration judges are trained. One way he could influence what kind of judges are hired is by prioritizing those with previous experience as prosecutors for the Department of Homeland Security who work deportation cases, Garcia Hernandez said.

“Immigration judges are employees of the justice department,” Garcia Hernandez said. “Just like any other employee of the Justice Department, they answer to the AG.”

FAIR: General Kelly strong choice for DHS

 
PRESS RELEASE | DECEMBER 7, 2016
 
“General Kelly has spent his life defending our nation and fully understands the critical role border security plays in protecting the country from the threats of terrorism, uncontrolled illegal immigration, and drugs.” —Dan Stein, President of FAIR
 
(Washington, D.C.)  The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) President Dan Stein hailed the selection of Retired General John Kelly as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), noting that the appointment will bring some much needed expertise and unwavering commitment to securing the nation's borders against terrorism and illegal immigration.
 
"General Kelly has spent his life defending our nation and fully understands the critical role border security plays in protecting the country from the threats of terrorism, uncontrolled illegal immigration, and drugs. He will bring a renewed commitment to controlling our borders and ensuring the safety of the American homeland."
 
Stein noted that under the Obama Administration, border security has been all but ignored, criminal aliens have been regularly released back onto the streets, and the men and women risking their lives working in immigration enforcement have been largely demoralized.
 
"General Kelly's commitment to the nation's security is without question, and his military expertise and experience fighting the influx of illegal drugs from Latin America gives him unique insight into the challenges faced by the nation's immigration enforcement agents, as well as practical knowledge of border deterrents," he said.
 
Stein also urged the consideration of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach for a key position with the administration in immigration enforcement. "Kris Kobach has decades of hands-on experience working both in the administration and with communities on the frontlines of illegal immigration," said Stein. "He's an incredibly sharp constitutional lawyer who understands the law, and knows exactly what needs to be done to quickly regain control of the nation's borders," he said.
 
About FAIR -- Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country's largest immigration reform group. With over 500,000 members nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.
 

How Trump can ramp up deportations

Donald Trump says one of the first things he'll do when he becomes president is deport up to 3 million undocumented immigrants. It would be one of the largest such roundups in American history.

Here are answers to many questions about how he will accomplish that.

How many "criminal" undocumented immigrants are there?

In a post-election interview with CBS' 60 Minutes, Trump said he would deport 2 million to 3 million of the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are "criminal and have criminal records." The actual number depends on how one defines "criminal."...

The Department of Homeland Security puts the number of "removable criminal aliens" at 1.9 million...

Many are already in custody, making them the easiest to identify....

How will the government track down those undocumented immigrants?

Trump could ask Congress for more funding to increase the size of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), but a quicker solution would be redirecting the current 14,000 ICE officers, agents and special agents to concentrate on arrests.

But only 1,000-1,100 agents currently down fugitive undocumented immigrants who are criminals or gang members....    The rest work on detention operations, screening visa applicants in foreign countries, conducting immigration audits of U.S. businesses and investigating crimes that include money laundering, import and export fraud, and human trafficking.

Sandweg said several core functions must be maintained because of congressional mandates, but an ICE director could easily refocus more people to finding undocumented immigrants.

"There would be a lot of flexibility for an ICE director to re-calibrate the agency," said Sandweg, now an attorney with Frontier Solutions.

How quickly can undocumented immigrants be deported?

Before they can be deported to their home country, immigrants have the right to a hearing before an immigration judge. But the nation's immigration courts are already overburdened.

That has led to a huge backlog of 521,676 cases waiting nearly two years on average to be heard, ...

The only way to speed up those cases is to hire more immigration judges....

Yet, even if Trump filled all 374 posts and added 150 more judges over the next two years, they could not clear out all the currently pending immigration cases until 2023, according to a review by Human Rights First, a non-profit advocacy group.

Which undocumented immigrants will be targeted?

Trump's emphasis on criminals may leave millions of other undocumented immigrants in the clear.

One such group: the 740,000 young undocumented immigrants granted deportation protections under President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. To qualify, they had to register with the federal government, have a clean record and work or go to school.

Trump has vowed to end the program and rescind their deportation protections, leaving them fearful of being targeted.

Mexican nationals would be the most heavily targeted, because they account for 52% of undocumented immigrants, according to the Pew Research Center. Another 15% come from Central America, 13% are from Asia, and 6% come from South America.

Deported Mexicans are usually sent home by bus, while those from other countries are put on flights.

What will happen to those who remain?

As a candidate, Trump often hinted that some undocumented immigrants could remain in the U.S. During the 60 Minutes interview, he said that after the border is secured, his border wall is completed and "everything gets normalized," he would "make a determination" on how to handle those who remain.

Trump has not elaborated, but Republican proposals in recent years provide some possibilities....

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