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Tag: ICE

Results of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Program Not Good Report Says

This program has opened up the door for endless abuses. Local and state police officers, who are supposed to use this program to round up illegal immigrants committing serious crimes, are instead nabbing folks who urinate in public or speed. That’s not how the program was supposed to work.
By N.C. Aizenman
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Immigration officials have failed to develop “key internal controls” over a controversial program that trains state and local police to identify illegal immigrants involved in crime, so some departments are focusing on minor violations rather than on serious offenses, according to federal investigators.

A Government Accountability Office report released last night was requested by congressional oversight panels in advance of hearings on the program to be held today by the House Committee on Homeland Security.

Known as 287(g) after the legal provision authorizing it, the identification program has expanded rapidly in recent years, receiving $60 million between 2006 and 2008, training 951 state and local law enforcement officers in 67 agencies — including the police forces of counties including Prince William — and resulting in the arrests of at least 43,000 immigrants, almost 28,000 of whom ultimately were ordered out of the country.

For Full Story

ICE Stops Detentions at Va. Facility After a Death

The death has made ICE rethink the way it handles non-citizens awaiting deportation. But is this an indication of something more systemic, something beyond Virginia?

By Nick Mirroff and Josh White
Washington Post Staff Writer

The November death of a Prince William County man in immigration custody at Piedmont Regional Jail has prompted Immigration and Customs Enforcement to suspend placing new detainees at the facility, three hours south of the District near Farmville, Va.

In recent years, the rural six-county jail has contracted with ICE at rock-bottom rates to become a principal storehouse for noncitizen detainees from Northern Virginia and the District awaiting deportation. But since the Nov. 28 death of detainee Guido Newbrough, ICE has launched an investigation into medical care at the facility, and its detainee population had plunged from 330 to 53 as of yesterday. As a result, 50 jail employees have been laid off.

“There is no effort underway to cease utilizing Piedmont. However, we have stopped housing detainees at Piedmont while we continue to monitor current conditions at the facility,” said Cori Bassett, an ICE spokeswoman.
For Full Story

Ex-ICE Agent Who Served in Venezuela Gets 7 1/2 Years For Bribes

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Gerardo Chavez knew how to get coveted posts at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He was a special supervisory special agent and attaché in Caracas, Venezuela.
He also knew how to make money illegally.
On Friday a federal judge in Alexandria, Va., sentenced him to 7 ½ years in prison for taking kickbacks for a no-bid U.S. government contract for defective armor 4-wheel drive vehicles in South America and the Carribean .
According to court documents, Chavez, 46, of Clifton, Va., served in Venezuela from 2003 to 2007.
During that period, he used his position to steer $2.8 million in “sole source U.S. Government contracts” to a Caracas-based firm Blincar for the armored vehicles, the U.S. Attorney’s office said. In turn, he got a $172,000 kickback from the owner of Blincar and was hoping to get $87,000 more before the crime was uncovered by the FBI and Homeland Security, authorities said.
The FBI eventually conducted ballistic tests on the armored cars and found the armoring to be defective, authorities charged. Consequently, the government said, 45 armored vehicles were replaced at a cost of more than $5 million.
Authorities said that in addition to the kickbacks, Chavez also received about $250,000 in unreported funds outside of his salary.
He wired that money and the kickback funds to California in his brother-in-laws’s name to purchase and remodel a home in Clifton, Va., authorities alleged.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Death at ICE Facility in Viriginia Raises Questions

Treatment of detainees at Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities has been an issue some insist needs to be resolved now. Will the death of Guido Newbrough force authorities to take a harder look at the issue? That remains to be seen.

By Nick Miroff
Washington Post Staff Writer
One morning last November, Prince William County resident Guido Newbrough woke up in crippling pain at Piedmont Regional Jail, 150 miles south of the District. Delirious and unable to walk, he asked fellow inmates to bring him ice. They began pounding on the doors to summon guards.
Among the mostly Central American and African inmates who slept on the triple-stacked bunk beds of Piedmont’s dormlike holding cells, Newbrough, 48, was an unusual case. He was born in Germany but raised in Prince William and had lived in Virginia since age 6. But a 2003 conviction for aggravated sexual battery made him eligible for deportation, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested him in February.
Newbrough had been at Piedmont for nine months when he began complaining of sharp pain in his abdomen and back.
For Full Story

Immigration Officials Curbing Controversial Drugging of Deportees

The treatment of illegal immigrants remains a controversial issue in the U.S. Here’s the latest issue.

By DIANNE SOLÍS
The Dallas Morning News
DALLAS — Federal immigration officials, over the past year, have dramatically curtailed the controversial practice of sedating deportees with powerful anti-psychotic medication.
The move followed court challenges and a public outcry over the practice, which often involved the use of Haldol, a drug used to treat schizophrenia.
Data collected through Freedom of Information Act requests by The Dallas Morning News show that Immigration and Customs Enforcement sedated only 10 people in the past fiscal year. Haldol was used in only three cases.
Over the past six years, through October, federal immigration personnel sedated 384 deportees, an average of 64 a year, the government disclosed. Of those cases, 356 involved the use of Haldol.
U.S. officials defended the sedation policy but declined to discuss it in detail, including the frequency with which sedation has been used, which led The News to request the information through the Freedom of Information Act.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Probing Fla. Rep. Tim Mahoney (ABC News)

Adovocate Group in Fla. Accuses ICE of Using Excessive Force During Raids

Did ICE agents use excessive force? An advocacy group says yes.

BY TRENTON DANIEL
Miami Herald
MIAMI— A coalition of immigrant advocates is demanding that the U.S. attorney’s office in Miami investigate the arrests of dozens of Mexicans and Guatemalans taken into custody as undocumented immigrants last month during a raid targeting a separate group of alleged sex-trade traffickers in Homestead.
The advocates, along with local community leaders, say the 42 Mexicans and 35 Guatemalans — who were not involved in sex-trade trafficking — were rounded up Nov. 19 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. They accused ICE agents of using excessive force when they took the foreign nationals into custody.
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