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On May 13, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas told Congress he would be “taking action very quickly” on immigrant detention centers. Within a week, he ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to cut contracts with two detention centers that have been the targets of extended organizing and community-led shutdown campaigns.

On a winter day in 2016, Carolina Roman stepped into the Consulate of Mexico in Chicago, ready to head back to her hometown in Morelos, Mexico, after seven years of living in the country without documentation. It was a difficult decision for the 33-year-old mother of three.

On May 13, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas told Congress he would be “taking action very quickly” on immigrant detention centers. Within a week, he ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to cut contracts with two detention centers that have been the targets of extended organizing and community-led shutdown campaigns.

Slate, Tom Scocca – January 24, 2021. The Trump years tested America’s capacity for indifference, and America failed.

On Tuesday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton, a Donald Trump appointee, issued a bizarre decision purporting to block Joe Biden’s 100-day halt on deportations. Tipton’s order, which applies nationwide, claims to freeze Biden’s effort to pause the Department of Homeland Security’s deportation machine while the new president revises its priorities. In reality, however, it is unclear whether the order will do anything. Tipton does not appear to have a rudimentary understanding of either immigration law or the practical realities of the immigration system. His ignorance may well render Tuesday’s order effectively toothless.

Originally Published in Slate

Elliot Hannon – December 9, 2020

Construction vehicles and workers next to a section of tall fencing with a gap in it
Construction crews work on the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Jacumba, California, on Dec. 1. Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Donald Trump used the idea of the wall to propel his run to the White House in 2016, but two whistleblowers allege the border wall’s construction has gotten an assist from unauthorized workers smuggled into the U.S. and hired by contractors to preform construction and security jobs. That’s according to a federal complaint, filed in February and unsealed last week, brought by two workers employed by a contractor to provide security at wall construction sites along the border. The workers also accused the company they were employed by, Sullivan Land Services Co., and a subcontractor, Ultimate Concrete of El Paso, of myriad misdeeds, including hiring unauthorized workers and overcharging the U.S. government.

The most jaw-dropping charge in the whistleblower complaint, however, is that Ultimate Concrete not only smuggled armed Mexican security personnel over the border to provide protection, but the company went so far as to build a dirt road to expedite illegal border crossings to sites in San Diego, using construction vehicles to block security cameras, the New York Times reported. An unnamed supervisor at the Army Corps of Engineers approved the operation.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Originally published by Slate.com

Henry Grabar

On Sunday, Feb. 26, the sermon at the Spanish-language Mass in Waterloo, Iowa, was about fear. Like many Catholic churches, the tan-brick, gothic Queen of Peace serves as a community center for Hispanic immigrants in this Cedar River town of 68,000. Waterloo has a claim to be Iowa’s most diverse big city.