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USA: 10/31 Immigration News - NY Detainees on Hunger Strike!

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  • SIUHIN@aol.com
    Immigration News Briefs 10/31/03 Date: 11/2/2003 10:15:27 PM Pacific Standard Time From: nicajg@panix.com Immigration News Briefs Vol. 6, No. 44 - October 31,
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 3 2:56 AM
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      Immigration News Briefs 10/31/03
      Date: 11/2/2003 10:15:27 PM Pacific Standard Time
      From: nicajg@...

      Immigration News Briefs
      Vol. 6, No. 44 - October 31, 2003

      1. NY: Detainees on Hunger Strike
      2. MN: Somali's Deportation Halted
      3. Senate Committee Passes DREAM Act

      Immigration News Briefs is a weekly supplement to Weekly News
      Update on the Americas, published by Nicaragua Solidarity
      Network, 339 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012; tel 212-674-9499;
      fax 212-674-9139; wnu@.... INB is also distributed free via
      email (see below).


      About 180 asylum seekers being held by immigration authorities at
      the Wackenhut Detention Center near JFK airport in Queens, New
      York, have been on hunger strike since Oct. 22, according to
      advocates for the detainees. "We have heard that all of the men
      at the facility have been engaging in a hunger strike to protest
      the length of their detention and jail-like conditions," Eleanor
      Acer, asylum program director at the Lawyers Committee for Human
      Rights, said on Oct. 24. "They seem prepared to go as long as
      they possibly can," said Manhattan resident Marie Viola. Viola
      works with Sojourners Ministry, a Riverside Church volunteer
      group which visits detainees at Wackenhut every week. [Newsday
      (Long Island, NY) 10/25/03]

      The detainees say 87 asylum seekers began the hunger strike on
      Oct. 22; as of Oct. 27, 54 of them were still refusing food, and
      the other 33 had eaten only small amounts. Two of the detainees
      were hospitalized over the weekend of Oct. 25. [Newsday 10/29/03]

      According to Mark Thorn, a spokesperson for the New York office
      of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE), 46
      of the 112 men held at Wackenhut refused to eat breakfast on Oct.
      27. Thorn said none of the 27 women at the detention center were
      participating in the protest. The detainees have not presented a
      list of demands, but advocates say they are seeking release on
      parole while their asylum cases proceed. [Daily News (NY)

      The 200-bed facility, a former cargo warehouse, is owned by the
      Florida-based Wackenhut Corrections Corp. and operated under a
      contract with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It holds
      immigrants while their asylum applications are being processed,
      which sometimes takes years. No one in the detention center is
      charged with or suspected of a crime. [Newsday 10/25/03]

      Wackenhut Corrections Corp., which trades its shares publicly on
      the New York Stock Exchange, is meanwhile gearing up for a name
      change. Last year Group 4 Falck A/S of Denmark acquired a
      controlling interest in Wackenhut Corrections when it bought the
      prison management firm's 49-year old parent company, Wackenhut
      Corp. Earlier this year, Wackenhut Corrections bought back that
      stake for $132 million, with the agreement that it would drop the
      Wackenhut name. In November, Wackenhut Corrections will ask its
      shareholders to approve a name change to The Geo Group Inc..
      [Miami Herald 10/22/03]


      On Oct. 24, US District Court Judge John Tunheim of Minneapolis
      issued an order giving the Bureau of Immigration and Customs
      Enforcement (BICE) until Oct. 27 to release Keyse Jama, a Somali-
      born Minnesota resident who has been detained since May 2001.
      Instead of arranging his release, BICE officials hastily arranged
      a deportation flight for Oct. 26 to Hargesa, Somalia, and took
      Jama to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Jama has
      been fighting his deportation since June 2001, arguing that he
      cannot be sent to Somalia because that country has no functioning
      government to accept him.

      On Oct. 26, following an unusual telephone hearing, Tunheim
      stayed the deportation to give Jama time to decide whether to
      renew his appeal to the 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals in St.
      Louis, Missouri. On Oct. 27, Jama gave his lawyers permission to
      appeal his case to the Supreme Court. [A three-judge panel of the
      8th Circuit Appeals Court rejected Jama's appeal on May 27, but
      he can appeal to the full court; meanwhile, the 9th Circuit Court
      of Appeals in San Francisco ruled on Sept. 17 that Somalis cannot
      be deported--see INB 5/30/03, 9/19/03.]

      During the Oct. 26 hearing, Jama told Tunheim he wants to stay in
      the US, but if he is going to be deported, he wants to go to the
      Somali city of Bossaso, since he is unfamiliar with Hargesa and
      fears he would be in danger because of tribal conflicts. [Pioneer
      Press (MN) 10/28/03; Grand Forks Herald (North Dakota) 10/28/03]


      On Oct. 23, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 16-3 to send the
      bipartisan Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors
      (DREAM) Act (S 1545) to the full Senate. The bill would provide
      opportunities for legal residency to undocumented youth who
      graduate high school and seek higher education. The Committee
      approved the bill after voting 18-1 for an amendment sponsored by
      Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Charles Grassley (R-IA).
      Among other things, the amendment bars beneficiaries from
      receiving federal financial aid grants and requires them to
      register in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System
      (SEVIS), the system for tracking students who are in the US
      attending college on a student visa. [National Immigration Law
      Center 10/24/03; Miami Herald 10/26/03]

      The House has failed to act on a similar bill, the Student
      Adjustment Act (HR 1684). So far, the Bush administration has not
      taken a position on the bills. [MH 10/26/03]


      Immigration News Briefs (INB), a weekly English-language summary of US
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