WUOMFM

us immigration and customs enforcement

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Lansing-area churches are banding together to provide sanctuary to immigrants fighting deportation.

“I officially declare, as of this moment, that All Saints Episcopal Church is a sanctuary church,” Pastor Kit Carlson said, standing in front of her East Lansing church Thursday afternoon. She and other religious leaders announced what they call a community sanctuary effort in the Lansing area.  

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arrested three workers at an Ann Arbor restaurant Wednesday morning.

The owner of Sava's Restaurant says the ICE agents had breakfast before they went into the kitchen to arrest an employee who wasn't on duty at the time.

Instead, Sava Lelcaj Farah says they began questioning other employees before taking three into custody.

KIT JOHNSON / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

President Trump appears to be keeping his campaign promise to go after unauthorized immigrants. 

 Federal immigration agents are arresting more than 400 immigrants a day. That’s a sizeable jump from levels a year ago.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers
Kit Johnson / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A Wayne County sheriff is urging his staff to deny detainer requests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

According to an April 28 memo obtained by The Detroit News, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon ordered staffers to deny any ICE requests to turn over immigrant inmates without an order signed by a judge or magistrate.

More from the sheriff's memo:

A rally in support of Jose Luis Sanchez-Ronquillo at Bach Elementary School
Catherine Shaffer

Supporters of Jose Luis Sanchez-Ronquillo rallied at Ann Arbor's Bach Elementary School today to protest his deportation. Sanchez-Ronquillo has been detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement since April 19. He is married with two children in Ann Arbor schools, and is the primary breadwinner for the family.

Sanchez-Ronquillo has been fighting to remain in the U.S. since a 2012 court order for his removal. He was detained during what his family thought was a routine immigration check-in. 

Supporters of Jose Luise Sanchez-Ronquillo rally in front of ICE offices in Detroit.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Supporters of Jose Luis Sanchez Ranquillo say they expect to know as early as Tuesday if he faces imminent deportation, or has a chance of remaining in the U.S.

The Ann Arbor father of two is fighting to say in the country. 

Family members say Sanchez was detained after what he thought was a routine immigration check-in last week.

That’s not a new thing. But anecdotally, immigration attorneys say it seems to have picked up steam in the early days of the Trump administration.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

The state departments of education and civil rights are asking school administrators to be prepared if immigration authorities arrive at their doors.

Agustin Arbulu is the director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. Right now, immigration authorities don’t go to schools. But Arbulu says school officials should know their rights and responsibilities, and be ready to answer parents’ questions.

Karn Bulsuk / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A state of limbo is about to lift for hundreds of Iraqis in the United States. The government tried to deport them after they committed crimes, but Iraq wouldn’t take them back.

Now some of them are headed home – and, quite possibly, into danger.

Trump administration strikes a deal with Iraq

As part of the negotiations surrounding the most recent Trump executive order on immigration, Iraq came off the list of countries whose citizens are barred from entering the U.S.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers
Kit Johnson / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been picking up undocumented people, but processing their cases is hitting a bottleneck.

There are not enough immigration judges to handle the additional caseload.

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

A father who went to court hoping to gain custody of his children Wednesday found himself getting arrested by immigration agents instead.

crowd at protest
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Mario Hernandez came to Detroit as an adult from Mexico without a visa in 1998.

Hernandez has since started a small business, raised three daughters, and given back to his community. But he may not be able to stay here if the U.S. The Board of Immigration Appeals is considering his appeal of a deportation order.

Estrella Hernandez, Mario's oldest daughter, says it wouldn't make any sense to deport her father.

Detroit's Central United Methodist Church is already sheltering a family seeking political asylum.
via Wikipedia

At least eight Michigan houses of worship announced plans to form a “sanctuary network” on Tuesday.

STEVE CARMODY / Michigan Radio

Within days of being sworn into office, President Trump signed executive orders calling for tougher enforcement of immigration laws and increased border security.

This week Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly signed off on new rules that show us how the government will be implementing this immigration crackdown.

DOJ

The U.S. Justice Department has charged two people in Detroit with taking bribes in order to defer the deportations of immigrants. 

The government says Detroit attorney Charles Busse took bribes from Iraqi, Mexican, and Albanian immigrants facing deportation, and then paid bribes to Clifton Divers, a special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The scheme had Divers claiming the clients were confidential government informants in order to get the deportations deferred. 

The crimes allegedly took place between 2009 and 2015.

The federal agent who shot and killed Detroit armed robbery suspect Terrence Kellom was justified in doing so, Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy said Tuesday.

Worthy said that following a lengthy investigation, there's no evidence to warrant charging Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer Mitchell Quinn with a crime.

Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

A group of about a dozen activists rallied in front of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office in Detroit today.

Last month,an ICE agent fatally shot a 20-year-old black man in Detroit during a police raid. 

Kevin Kellom
Rebecca Kruth

The father of a young black man shot and killed by a federal agent on Detroit's west side said his son didn't deserve to die.

Terrance Kellom died  in his home from multiple gunshot wounds after a fugitive task force arrived to serve him with an arrest warrant on armed robbery charges.

www.retreat-lc.com

Michigan is part of a big national crackdown on illegal synthetic drug trafficking.

This week, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies arrested more than 150 people in more than two dozen states on charges they imported and sold illegal synthetic drugs. More than 20 of those arrests took place in southeast Michigan.

Find out about the H-4 visa and why it’s troubling to many families coming to the U.S. 

*Listen to the interview above.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A Michigan company has been charged in a scheme federal officials have dubbed ‘Honeygate.’

Michigan-based Groeb Farms is one of the nation’s largest honey suppliers.   The company buys honey in 42 states and around the world.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say Groeb Farms and another honey supplier were involved in a scheme to dump Chinese honey in the United States. 

Federal officials say the Chinese honey was declared as other commodities and shipped through third countries. The defendants in the investigation dubbed "Project Honeygate" are accused of evading anti-dumping duties totaling more than $180 million.

Groeb Farms has agreed to pay a $2 million fine. 

“We take full responsibility for and deeply regret any errors that were made in the past regarding the import of honey,” said Groeb Farms CEO Rolf Richter in a written statement. 

Some of the honey contained antibiotics not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in honey.   None of the charges allege any instances of illness or other public health consequences attributed to consumption of the honey.

The investigation is continuing.

ICE

The owner of a Michigan auction house is facing federal charges that he sold a stolen Korean artifact.

James Amato, of Oxford, was arrested today.  He handled the sale of a rare Korean currency plate back in 2010.  

The family of a deceased Korean War vet offered the plate for sale through Amato’s auction house.   The buyer paid 35 thousand dollars for the plate.

Experts believe it's one of three currency plates still in existence from the 1890s. 

Wendy Medrano / Michigan Organizing Project

More people are protesting against a decision to deny Michigan driver's licenses to immigrants granted work permits under a new federal deferred-action program.

President Obama announced the "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" program in June. It provides work permits and Social Security cards to young people brought to the United States without legal permission.

But Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson will not issue those in the program driver’s licenses because she says they don’t have legal status.

The ACLU and the Michigan Immigrants Rights Center have filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Luis Valdez and his mother Telma Valdez. Telma was born in Guatemala but is a legal, permanent U.S. resident. Her son Luis is a U.S. citizen.

The lawsuit alleges ICE agents illegally detained the two in February of last year when Valdez and his mother pulled up to a relative’s home in Grand Rapids for a visit. He says U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers approached them with their guns drawn.

It’s alleged the agents illegally detained and interrogated the two; even after they produced proof they are legal U.S. residents.  

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have arrested 3,168 people for "egregious immigration law" violations as part of a six-day enforcement operation.

The Detroit Free Press reports 67 were arrested in Michigan:

  • 21 in metro Detroit,
  • 19 in the Grand Rapids area,
  • and 27 others around the state.

From the Freep:

According to ICE, the Michigan arrestees were primarily men from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Cuba, Iraq, El Salvador, Bosnia-Herzegovinian, Cuba, Ghana, the U.K., Haiti and Lebanon.

ICE Director John Morton said in a press release:

"The results of this targeted enforcement operation underscore ICE's ongoing commitment and focus on the arrest and removal of convicted criminal aliens and those that game our nation's immigration system. Because of the tireless efforts and teamwork of ICE officers and agents in tracking down criminal aliens and fugitives, there are 3,168 fewer criminal aliens and egregious immigration law violators in our neighborhoods across the country."

U.S. ICE officials released this video of arrests made in metro Detroit:

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

Advocates for a Detroit woman held a rally today urging the federal government to scrap its plans to deport her to Mexico this week. Hours after the demonstration, immigration officials announced they would stop Leslie Hernandez’s deportation and release her.

Hernandez is – by her family’s account – exactly the kind of immigrant for whom the Obama administration says deportations should be halted.

Hernandez came to the U.S. as a child and has lived here longer than she ever lived in Mexico. She has a clean record, and three young children.

"She’s not a criminal, and it wasn’t her fault that she was brought the United States when she was a minor," said Hernandez’s sister-in-law, Cecelia Manquera.

President Obama wants immigration agents to focus enforcement efforts on removing immigrants convicted of crimes.

A spokesman for the Detroit immigration enforcement office says Hernandez will be released under federal supervision.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

Activists and families packed a school lunchroom in southwest Detroit to vent their frustrations with immigration and border enforcement in that part of the city.

U.S. Representatives John Conyers and Hansen Clarke convened the forum in the wake of complaints about immigration enforcement near schools.

That’s prohibited by Immigration and Customs Enforcement policy. And Conyers says the head of ICE, John Morton, has expressed his commitment to making sure it’s enforced:

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

A standing-room-only crowd packed a union hall in Dearborn tonight for a rally to protest what they call harassment by immigration officials. Hundreds of people poured into UAW Local 600 to hear activists and politicians discuss allegations of wrongdoing by Immigration and Customs Enforcement – or ICE – agents.

Complaints include warrantless searches, racial profiling and enforcement actions near schools and churches.