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Judge Bars CBP Agents from Conducting Credible Fear Interviews

Granting the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia barred CBP agents, who receive substantially less training than USCIS asylum officers, from conducting credible fear interviews for asylum seekers.

Undocumented immigrant activists face immigration risks in joining protests.

The past week has seen protests across the U.S. in response to George Floyd’s death and against police brutality and systemic racism. In some cities, the protests were accompanied by “riots” and “looting.” Across the U.S., some peaceful protesters have been arrested, tear-gassed, and shot with rubber bullets. Undocumented immigrants, including DACA beneficiaries, have had to grapple with these risks to protesting, in addition to the risk that an arrest could affect their immigration status. On Sunday, CBP acting Commissioner Morgan said that the agency was supporting law enforcement against “rioters,” but also said that the move was not meant to enforce immigration law. One DACA recipient and activist named Máxima Guerrero was arrested in her car while leaving a demonstration in Phoenix, and was in ICE custody for two days. After a large community outcry, she was released by ICE.

A government watchdog reported that DHS underestimated family separations.

According to a new Inspector General report published on June 2, DHS reported only a fraction of the families who were separated at the border by CBP. The government watchdog found that at least 60 families were separated in May-June 2018, when DHS had reported only 7. These separations occurred at the height of the Trump administration’s now-ended “zero tolerance” policy. CBP took issue with the report’s suggestion that CBP separated families without regard to their health, safety, and reunification.

A government watchdog reported that DHS underestimated family separations.

According to a new Inspector General report published on June 2, DHS reported only a fraction of the families who were separated at the border by CBP. The government watchdog found that at least 60 families were separated in May-June 2018, when DHS had reported only 7. These separations occurred at the height of the Trump administration’s now-ended “zero tolerance” policy. CBP took issue with the report’s suggestion that CBP separated families without regard to their health, safety, and reunification.

CBP has 160 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

On April 6, U.S. Customs and Border Protection disclosed that it has 160 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Those infected include customs officers and border patrol agents, but there is no existing breakdown on how many infected had jobs where they had contact with the public.

Greyhound will stop allowing immigration checks on buses.

On February 21, Greyhound announced that the company will no longer allow Border Patrol to conduct immigration checks on buses. To facilitate this, Greyhound said it would notify CBP and DHS that it does not consent to searches and train employees on the updated policy. Border Patrol agents who do not have a warrant cannot board the buses without the consent of the company.

CBP will use elite tactical agents in sanctuary cities.

The Trump administration is sending tactical units of border patrol officers to sanctuary cities. These units are normally used to detect smuggling at the border. Specifically, officers are being sent to Chicago and New York, with agents expected in other cities as well. According to an internal CBP email, the tactical agents will be deployed from February through May.

CBP officers were allegedly ordered to stop Iranian or Iranian-born travelers at the Canadian border.

After the drone strike on Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, U.S. border officers at the U.S.-Canadian border were told to stop Iranian travelers for questioning, according to an unnamed officer. Dozens of Americans of Iranian descent were stopped at the port of entry, and some were held for hours and questioned. CBP has so far denied that there was any directive given to officers to target Iranians and said that stories detailing stops were categorically false. The unnamed officer contradicted this and said that the order was in place until the story “hit the national news.” The officer did not provide a copy of the initial directive.

San Diego Union-Tribune: CBP Agents Wrote Fake Court Dates on Paperwork to Send Migrants Back to Mexico, Records Show

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that asylum seekers who have finished their court cases are being sent back to Mexico with documents that contain fraudulent future court dates, keeping some migrants south of the border indefinitely.

U.S. Border Agency to Expand Use of Facial Recognition Tech

CBP is set to expand its use of facial recognition technology to screen people entering the country. A draft request for bids lays out CBP’s plans to replace its existing “token-based” security system, which relies on verification methods such as passwords, with a biometric one. CBP also plans to replace Global Entry kiosks at the border with a “facial recognition solution.”

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