Border Arrests Decline for Sixth Consecutive Month
For the sixth consecutive month, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reported that fewer individuals were apprehended illegally crossing the border. Mark Morgan, the Acting Commissioner of CBP, attributed the perpetual decline to the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement policies.
CBP announced that there were 1,905 fewer individuals apprehended while attempting to cross the southwest border in November compared to October, and there were 623 fewer apprehensions at ports of entry across the same time frame. This marks the sixth straight month where apprehensions and turn-aways at border checkpoints have declined. While in November there were 42,649 total combined apprehensions and turn-aways, May reports indicated that there were 132,856 apprehensions and 11,260 turn-aways, totaling 144,116 combined. According to Morgan, recruitment efforts with the governments of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico have helped fuel this significant decline.
For more information, view the full article from The Hill.
Feds Defend Creation of Fake School to Fight Visa Fraud
Federal agencies have rebuked claims that they entrapped hundreds of immigrants who were enrolled at a fabricated school established by the agencies. The agencies went so far as to maintain a staff of undercover agents at the school and even create a fake website to bolster the charade. The agencies have asserted the enrolled students were aware of the fraudulent nature of the school, only signing up in order to remain in the United States.
According to agents in charge of the undercover operation, which targeted students at the University of Farmington in Farmington Hills, Michigan, their efforts were entirely legal. Interactions with prospective students were transparent about the school not offering academic or vocational programs of any kind, and the individuals who enrolled at the school did so on their own accord.
ICE has released information which indicates that the students, primarily from India, were on F-1 student visa programs upon their enrollment in the university, and close to 80 percent of the 250 who were arrested have voluntarily left the country.
Defense lawyers who represent the students assert that their clients were entrapped and were unaware as to the fraudulent nature of the school at the time of their enrollment.
For more information, view the full article from The Associated Press.
Immigration Advocates Identify Medical Screenings as Latest Attempt to Thwart Asylum Seekers
Immigration advocates have identified the latest strategy employed by the government to discourage migrants from seeking asylum. Medical screenings, which begin as a physical examination the results of which can warrant further screening, have been lauded as a practical necessity by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and decried as a violation of migrants’ rights by advocate groups.
The screenings begin by medical contractors, including nurse assistants, nurse practitioners, paramedics, or medical technicians instructing the individual to remove his or her shirts for a skin examination. Individuals who appear ill are then subject to further medical screenings, the results of which will either send them to a hospital or back to Mexico.
Immigrant rights advocates assert that the unilateral authority CBP has to hold these screenings and the lack of recourse in the event of a misdiagnosis resulting in deportation violate the rights of asylum seekers. Furthermore, the ramifications of these screenings can be far reaching; if one family member is diagnosed the entire family is sent back to Mexico. Advocates classify this practice as a violation of due process for every family member who is not sick.
For more information, view the full article from the Los Angeles Times.
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