Articles Tagged with Department of Homeland Security

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The American Immigration Council, a nonprofit research and legal organization, recently filed a lawsuit demanding United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to provide information on their actions over the two years since records revealed the agency had taken “no action” in 97 percent of cases where agents committed acts of abuse. The organization calls on the Customs and Border Protection to respond to a long overdue request under the Freedom of Information Act filed in October 2015. The nonprofit also named the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the agency’s operations, as a co-defendant.

The lawsuit demands access to documents related to complaints filed against Customs and Border against dating back to 2012, as well as information on the procedures used by the agency to investigate and resolve these issues.

A previous FOIA request gave the Immigration Council information on more than 800 abuse complaints against Border Patrol agents filed between 2009 and 2012. With the data in hand, the organization was able to publish a 2014 report titled, “No Action Taken: Lack of CBP Accountability in Responding to Complaints of Abuse.”

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In a sting operation spearheaded by the Department of Homeland Security in New Jersey, operatives from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency created a fake university profile to attract and arrest criminal visa brokers. The operation led to the successful arrest of 21 individuals, who have been charged with student and work visa fraud.

On the surface, the University of Northern New Jersey looked like your regular college in the United States, with a campus located in Cranford, New Jersey, some 22 miles south of New York. It also had a friendly-looking website and Facebook page (both of which have since been shut down), complete with a fictional coat of arms bearing the words, “Humanus, Scientia, Integritas.” However, UNNJ had no professors or instructors, no curriculum, and no classes or other educational activities.

Instead, undercover agents from the ICE posed as corrupt administrators looking to work with unscrupulous brokers and scam foreign students wanting to enter the country on student visas.

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A great deal of attention has been paid to the ongoing immigration reform debate brewing in the United States. Several developments have cropped up over the past few weeks that further complicate the delicate state of affairs, including conflicting opinions that cluster around President Obama’s proposals for undocumented immigrants. The controversy surrounding the President’s proposed executive action may be acquiring a decent chunk of media attention but there are other immigration issues that pose considerable ramifications for a number of immigrants. One of the more notable occurrences that have garnered a measure of importance deals with the new procedures that have been implemented by the Department of Homeland Security for immigrants who have had a history of criminal convictions.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement arm of the DHS has recently rolled out a number of changes to the way that they handle release procedures for detained immigrants with a history of criminal convictions. All in all, there are a total of 5 changes that have been implemented. What’s interesting about these changes is that it reflects a sudden shift in the way that ICE officials deal with their policies for immigrants with criminal convictions. ICE officials have expressed that the changes should exponentially increase the level of safety that the American public currently enjoys as well as enhance the confidence that citizens have when it comes to the way that officials enforce immigration policies and regulations.

The major changes that have been stipulated by the ICE officials largely deals with methods of release and detainment of immigrants with specific criminal convictions. Immigrants who are slated for a release should be backed by the approval of a supervisor if they have a criminal conviction. Immigrants who possess serious criminal records will remain in detention even if the detention facilities are grappling with resource limitations. For detained immigrants who have been convicted of violent crimes, ICE will form a panel of senior managers to discuss the possibility of discretionary release for these specific cases. After previously detained immigrants have been released, ICE will continue to monitor them through the use of methods like personal contact and phone reporting. ICE will also bolster its methods of reporting the release of immigrants with criminal convictions to various state law enforcement arms.

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