Updates on Immigration This Week


(ESPAÑOL) A number of important updates on immigration have come about this week. For convenience’s sake, a number of these updates will be compiled into one blog post today.

The first update is that Daniela Vargas, the DREAMer who had been placed under arrest by ICE officials on March 1 as she left a news conference where she discussed her father and brother’s arrest by ICE. Although now free, her lawyer warns that he is prepared to challenge any further government actions against her, and depending on the stance that the new presidential administration takes in regard to DREAMers, Vargas’ status in the United States, and that of thousands of other DREAMers, might become endangered once more.

Another update, immigration officials in the Chicago area have shifted where they detain immigrants being deported to Mexico. Instead of the regular detention in suburban Broadview, detainees are being driven out to the Kankakee County Detention Center, about 70 miles from Chicago.

ICE cites efficiency as a reason for the move, stating that it makes a smoother process for visiting families. However, immigration advocates and families criticize the shift as not transparent and forcing families to travel further, which seems to be a trend in immigration detention centers being stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Meanwhile, Rhode Island joins the group of state legislators debating proposed changes on how the state reacts to any future changes to immigration policies by the new presidential administration. Three bills are currently proposed in the state: one punishing sanctuary cities in the state (such as Providence), one that would require sheriffs to check the immigration status of incarcerated people who appear in court and notify federal agents if they’re in the country illegally, and a bill creating standards limiting the detention of immigrants.

Finally, the attorney general of New York, Eric Schneiderman, stated his opposition to the president’s immigration policies and claimed that he did not have the authority to unilaterally transform state and local police into federal immigration agents. Instead, local police should honor requests to detain immigrants only if ICE presents a warrant or probable cause for serious crimes.