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FW: [CHRI] Immigration News Briefs 5/30/03

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  • Fogel, Jerise
    Immigration News Briefs Vol. 6, No. 22 - May 30, 2003 1. Brazil Blocks Mass Deportation 2. Palestinians Shipped to West Bank 3. Supreme Court Upholds Secrecy
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2003
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      Immigration News Briefs
      Vol. 6, No. 22 - May 30, 2003

      1. Brazil Blocks Mass Deportation
      2. Palestinians Shipped to West Bank
      3. Supreme Court Upholds Secrecy
      4. Appeals Panel OKs Somali Deport

      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).

      *1. BRAZIL BLOCKS MASS DEPORTATION

      Protesting that mass deportations make immigrants look like
      criminals, the Brazilian government blocked a charter flight of
      Brazil's TAM airline scheduled to take 260 undocumented migrants
      on May 28 from El Paso, Texas, to Belo Horizonte, capital of the
      central state of Minas Gerais. Brazil's foreign affairs minister,
      human rights organizations and representatives of cities in Minas
      Gerais--where most of the deportees were from--filed protests
      with the US government through diplomatic channels. Leftist
      Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is set to begin his
      first official visit to the White House on June 20.

      The migrants are instead being sent back in small groups on
      commercial flights: 16 left on May 27; 30 left on May 28; and
      more were to leave on May 29. [Deportees on commercial flights
      are generally not handcuffed, since officials fear that would
      alarm other passengers. On chartered mass deportation flights,
      deportees are nearly always kept in restraints for most or all of
      the trip.] As visas become harder to obtain, more Brazilians are
      aparently entering the US by crossing the border from Mexico;
      arrests of undocumented Brazilians jumped from 246 in 1998 to
      3,100 in 2002. [El Paso Times 5/30/03]

      *2. PALESTINIANS SHIPPED TO WEST BANK

      In the early hours of May 14, the BICE shipped out a group of 15
      Palestinians on a secret deportation flight from the Batavia
      immigration detention facility near Buffalo, New York. The flight
      also reportedly included some 65 other deportees, mostly
      nationals of Jordan and Egypt. Immigration authorities refused to
      confirm any information about the flight, but advocates verified
      through independent sources that the 15 Palestinian deportees
      reached the West Bank three days after landing in Amman, Jordan.

      There are unofficial reports that two more deportation flights
      possibly involving Palestinians and other Middle Eastern
      detainees are planned, or may have already taken place--one from
      Batavia and another from Louisiana. Advocates fear the US
      government may have worked out secret agreements with the
      governments of Jordan, Israel and Egypt and may be planning to
      deport more Palestinians to the Israeli-occupied West Bank
      (through Jordan) and Gaza (through Egypt). Such agreements were
      alluded to last December by immigration officer Bret Bradford in
      an affidavit filed in the habeas case of Farouk Abdel-Muhti, a
      stateless Palestinian detained since April 2002. Neither Abdel-
      Muhti nor Mohammad Bachir, a stateless Palestinian detained since
      February 2002, were on the May 14 flight. [Coalition for the
      Human Rights of Immigrants (CHRI) Press Release 5/28/03;
      Immigrant Detention Action Alert 5/28/03]

      *3. SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS SECRECY

      On May 27, the Supreme Court declined--without comment--to review
      an appeal of a lawsuit questioning closed hearings for
      immigration cases deemed to be of "special interest" to terrorism
      investigations. The New Jersey Law Journal and the North Jersey
      Media Group brought the suit in March 2002, challenging the
      federal government's right to keep the public and the press from
      the hearings. Solicitor General Theodore Olson told the Supreme
      Court that most of the secret deportation hearings are already
      complete: of 766 detainees designated as special interest, 505
      have been deported, according to Olson. The case is North Jersey
      Media Group v. Ashcroft, 02-1289.

      The Supreme Court's decision lets stand an Oct. 8 ruling by the
      Third US Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, which upheld
      the government's secrecy policy within its jurisdiction:
      Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the Virgin Islands. The
      Supreme Court has not reviewed an opposite ruling on a similar
      case by the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, which
      deemed secret immigration hearings unconstitutional. The Justice
      Department has not decided whether to appeal that ruling, which
      applies in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee [see INB
      6/21/02, 6/29/02, 10/11/02, 12/6/02]. [Associated Press 5/27/03;
      St. Louis Post-Dispatch 5/28/03]

      *4. APPEALS PANEL OKS SOMALI DEPORT

      A panel of the Eighth US Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis
      ruled 2-1 on May 27 that the federal government can deport Keyse
      Jama, a Somali refugee living in Minnesota, even though there is
      no functioning government in Somalia. The ruling technically
      applies only to Jama, who was ordered deported after being
      convicted of a crime, but advocates fear it could have broader
      ramifications. No Somalis have been deported for more than a
      year; after a Minnesota judge blocked Jama's deportation on Mar.
      31, 2002, a Seattle judge moved last Jan. 14 to bar the federal
      government from carrying out any deportations to Somalia [see INB
      12/6/02, 12/13/02, 1/18/03]. Michelle Garnett McKenzie, who works
      with Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights and is one of Jama's
      lawyers, said that if Jama agrees, his legal team will seek a
      rehearing by all 10 judges of the Appeals Court. [Star Tribune
      (Minneapolis) 5/28/03]

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