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Federal Judge: Hawaii Dad’s Deportation a Reminder that “Good Hombres” Not Safe Under Trump and Sec. Kelly

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A federal judge yesterday blasted the Trump Administration’s mass deportation policy for its cruelty and indiscriminate nature. 9th Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt noted that “even the ‘good hombres’ are not safe”from President Trump and DHS Secretary John Kelly’s Deportation Force.  Judge Reinhardt wrote that the scheduled deportation of Andres Magana Ortiz, a father of three U.S. citizen children who has lived for nearly three decades in Hawaii:

[D]iminishes not only our country but our courts, which are supposedly dedicated to the pursuit of justice … Magana Ortiz and his family are in truth not the only victims. Among the others are judges who, forced to participate in such inhumane acts, suffer a loss of dignity and humanity as well … It is difficult to see how the government’s decision to expel him is consistent with the President’s promise of an immigration system with ‘a lot of heart’ … In doing so, the government forces us to participate in ripping apart a family. Three United States citizen children will now have to choose between their father and their country.

As Lynn Tramonte of America’s Voice Education Fund recently noted:

Every day, we see new examples from different corners of the country that prove Secretary Kelly either has no clue what his agents are doing, or is willfully refusing to tell the truth. From the detention of a U.S. citizen in San Bernardino, to the arrest of an American citizen’s spouse in Cincinnati – while he was literally in the process of fixing his papers – it’s clear that Kelly’s DHS is implementing a mass deportation policy that targets anyone and everyone they come across.

More recent deportation cases under Trump

In addition to the referenced examples from Cincinnati and San Bernardino, here are more examples of how the Trump Administration’s policy is divorced from its rhetoric:

Immigration enforcement is having a chilling effect on crime reporting and harming public safety for all. In TIME, Maya Rhodan writes how some domestic violence victims are staying silent and not reporting abuse due to a fear of immigration enforcement and deportation. Writes Rhodan: “A recent survey of over 700 advocates and legal service providers found that 62% have observed an increase in immigration-related questions from survivors of violence. About three-fourths of those surveyed said immigrants have expressed concern about contacting police and appearing in court.

‘I know that there’s a survivor today who is not making the call or the neighbor is not making the call to 911,’ says [Tahirih Justice Center of Houston Executive Director Anne] Chandler. ‘And I know that because of the phone calls I’m receiving and the client stories that I’m hearing from our attorneys. It’s not speculation.’”

FOX 5 reports that Long Island and the New York metro area have seen a 31-percent increase in arrests of immigrants for deportation in the first 100 days of the Trump administration, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Since then, the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office of Immigrant Affairs hotline has received far fewer calls than in years past, due to the looming fear of deportation. Similar examples have been reported in Texas, Colorado, Florida, and throughout the country.

In Minneapolis, as the New York Times describes, a “man who was arrested and charged with failing to pay his fare on a Minnesota light rail train is facing deportation after undergoing what the authorities described as inappropriate questioning about his immigration status by a transit police officer. The encounter, which took place in Minneapolis on May 14, was captured on a video that was posted to Facebook on May 19.

In it, an officer approaches the man, identified in a police report as Ariel Vences-Lopez, 23, and requests his name and state identification. ‘Are you here illegally?’ the officer asks. A bystander who appears to be the person filming the interaction asks whether he or other transit police officers are authorized to act as immigration authorities. The officer shrugs, and replies, ‘No, not necessarily.’

According to the Metro Transit Police Department’s incident report, an officer identified as Andy Lamers also used a Taser on Mr. Vences-Lopez, an action not captured in the 35-second video, after he refused orders to sit.’ … In a statement on Saturday, Adam Duininck, chairman of the Metropolitan Council that oversees Metro Transit, said he was ‘shocked and dismayed’ to learn that Mr. Vences-Lopez was in ICE custody and scheduled for deportation.”