Homeland Theater

ICE "anti-gang" raids sweep US

On Aug. 28, 29 and 30, ICE agents swept through the greater Boston area, arresting 36 immigrants the agency claims are members or associates of the MS-13 street gang. ICE said the raids were part of ICE's national anti-gang initiative, Operation Community Shield, launched in 2005. Most of the arrests were made in Chelsea, East Boston, Everett, Lynn, Revere and Somerville. Those arrested come from El Salvador, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

ICE arrest protested in Hartford

On Aug. 24, 140 people rallied outside the immigration court in Hartford, Connecticut to demand the release of Said Zaim-Sassi, a Moroccan-born resident of Wallingford, Connecticut. Marchers wore T-shirts that said "Keep Families Together" and held up signs that called for a stop to immigration raids. Zaim-Sassi has been living in the US for 20 years; he worked for Metro-North, volunteered to help other immigrants and played soccer. His wife, Souhair Zaim-Sassi, is a Morocco-born US citizen; the couple has three US-born children, ages two, four and seven.

Arizona: ICE detainees on hunger strike

According to information confirmed by Raha Jorjani of the School of Law Clinical Programs at University of California, Davis, at least 30 immigration detainees have been refusing some or all meals at Pinal County Jail in Florence, Arizona. The hunger strikers are among some 60 detained immigrants who were transferred on or around Sept. 5 from the Florence Service Processing Center to the county jail, which has a new contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to provide bed space for immigration detainees.

Minneapolis Critical Mass attacked

From the sarcastically-named RNC Welcoming Committee, Sept. 3:

We Will Not Be Intimidated
On Friday, August 31, nineteen people were arrested after police brutally attacked cyclists with Tasers, pepper spray, and excessive physical force. The cyclists were part of the monthly Critical Mass bike ride.

Suit settled over ICE detention of children

On Aug. 27, the ACLU announced a settlement with ICE that improves conditions for immigrant children and their families inside the T. Don Hutto detention center in Taylor, Texas, a former medium security prison managed for ICE by the for-profit Corrections Corporation of America. The case was to go to trial in Austin on Aug. 27. The settlement was approved on Aug. 30 by Judge Sam Sparks of the US District Court for the Western District of Texas in Austin. "Though we continue to believe that Hutto is an inappropriate place to house children, conditions have drastically improved in areas like education, recreation, medical care, and privacy," said Vanita Gupta, a staff attorney with the ACLU's Racial Justice Program.

Judge halts Social Security "no match" letters

On Aug. 31, Judge Maxine M. Chesney of the US District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco issued a temporary restraining order preventing the Social Security Administration (SSA) from sending "no-match" letters to companies whose employees' names do not match the Social Security numbers they used when they applied for their jobs. The letters were scheduled to be sent on Sept. 4 to about 140,000 employers with at least 10 workers whose names and Social Security numbers don't match. Chesney's order also prohibits the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from implementing a new rule, set to go into effect Sept. 14, under which the affected companies would have to resolve any discrepancies within 90 days or face sanctions, including fines.


As Reports Reveal Free Trade's Empty Promise

from Weekly News Update on the Americas

Security industry unveils "vomit torch"

We got sick just reading about it. Good news the New Zealand cops turned it down. Bad news that it exists. From NZ's The Press, Aug. 15:

Police pass on acquiring 'vomit torch'
It is enough to make you sick – a crime-fighting flashlight that makes a culprit vomit.

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