Immigration

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Voters in Lebanon will decide in March whether to adopt a proposed "Welcoming Ordinance" for the city.

The ordinance would limit city employees from working with or sharing immigration-related information with federal immigration authorities.

Lebanon city councilors considered the proposal Wednesday night, and voted 8 to 1 put the matter on the March ballot.

Doug Kerr

Immigration advocates in Lebanon have enough signatures for a proposed “welcoming ordinance” to move forward.  

With 680 signatures, the petition will head to the Lebanon City Council for a public hearing on January 22. 

Under the ordinance, city employees could not ask about a person’s immigration status or participate in immigration enforcement actions.

This year dozens of people in the Upper Valley were detained by federal immigration authorities during roving patrols and at a checkpoint on I-89.

Robert Garrova

The ACLU of New Hampshire has filed a lawsuit against the Merrimack police department in federal court, arguing that the department illegally detained an immigrant.

Willy Fernando Godoy-Ramirez was a passenger in a car that broke down along Daniel Webster Highway on August 29, 2019.

Police had asked for the driver and Godoy-Ramirez’s identification, and told both to stay in the vehicle for about an hour until Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrived, according to court documents.

Both Godoy-Ramirez and the driver provided identification from Guatemala.

Matt York / AP

Immigration advocates in New Hampshire are preparing for it to become more expensive to apply for citizenship and legal residence.

It currently costs $640 to apply for citizenship. But a proposed rule by the federal government would bump that application fee to $1,170 starting in 2020. Other fees are set to rise as well, though some will go down. [Go to Table 19 on this PDF to see the proposed fee changes, or view them in the slideshow above.]

Bruno Soares is an immigration advocate in Nashua. He says the changes could put citizenship out of reach for some legal residents.

Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Immigration advocates in Lebanon are hoping to get a "welcoming" ordinance approved in that city. 

Under the ordinance, city employees could not ask about a person’s immigration status or participate in immigration enforcement actions. 

Yolanda Huerta is with Rise Upper Valley, an activist organization working on immigration issues. She says she and others have lost faith that reforms will happen on the federal level. 

Daniela Allee / NHPR

Immigration advocates in New Hampshire are working on ways to get presidential candidates more engaged with their issue.

About 30 advocates from around the state met today in Manchester to talk about what’s happening in New Hampshire's immigrant communities.

Many said they don't feel immigration is getting enough attention.

The Granite State Organizing Project has been setting up meetings with presidential candidates to talk about the issue.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

A group of advocates will address the issue of domestic violence in immigrant communities this weekend.

The event Saturday was spurred by incidents in the Brazilian community in New Hampshire and neighboring states, including several women killed by their partners.

UScourts.gov

The American Civil Liberties Union in New Hampshire is challenging the federal government’s decision to deport a man to his native El Salvador, despite a court order allowing him to remain in the United States.

In its brief filed Wednesday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, the ACLU said that José Daniel Guerra-Castañeda was deported last month by U.S. Immigration and Enforcement to El Salvador and is currently in a crowded jail there.

Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Earlier this month, Customs and Border Protection detained 24 undocumented immigrants in the Lebanon area, four of those at a roadside checkpoint.

But documents obtained by the New Hampshire ACLU show another, less publicly visible method that CBP uses.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

Four posters covered the columns of the church. They read “Estamos contigo Miguel. Estamos Contigo Gregorio. Estamos Contigo Facundo. Si se puede.”

These three men were among the more than 30 people detained in the Upper Valley in the past two months. "We are with you. Yes we can." The signs said.

About 60 people gathered in front of the First Congregational Church in Lebanon on Monday night to call attention to people detained by federal immigration authorities in the Upper Valley.

Asma Elhuni, an immigration organizer, shared their stories.

ICE.gov

A federal immigration judge has ruled to defer the deportation of a detainee from Somalia who was convicted years ago of possessing an illegal stimulant.

The judge ruled in August that Abdigani Faisal Hussein, of Portland, Maine, would likely be subject to torture in Somalia, so his removal from the country is being deferred under the Convention Against Torture. Hussein's attorney, Ben Wahrer, said last week the ruling means Hussein can remain in the U.S., but the government could seek to enforce his removal if conditions were to improve in Somalia.

USCBP

The Border Patrol checkpoint on I-89 in Lebanon resulted in four arrests Thursday. U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrested another 21 people this week in other operations.

That includes one U.S. Citizen wanted on an outstanding warrant. Other people detained came from Russia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

Those who didn’t have proper documentation are now in removal proceedings.

Seven of the undocumented are facing felony prosecution for allegedly reentering the country after previously being deported. 

Courtesy of CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is conducting a checkpoint Thursday on Interstate 89 South, between exits 19 and 18, in Lebanon.

The checkpoint follows the arrest of 18 people in the Lebanon area between July 29 and August 1, for not having immigration documentation.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

The ACLU of New Hampshire has won a settlement against the Northwood police for illegally detaining an immigrant last year.

Johoani Velasco Perea lives legally in the United States. He was arrested in 2018 by Northwood Police while walking to work.

According to the ACLU, the police arrested Perea on suspicion that he was in the country illegally and held him to confirm his status with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Hundreds of people protested outside a federal immigration detention center in New Hampshire this weekend, after spending a week marching to the facility from across New England in a show of solidarity with migrants at the southern border.


Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster is cosponsoring legislation to reduce border zones from 100 to 25 miles from the border, within which U.S. Customs and Border Patrol can set up immigration checkpoints.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

About 150 people gathered on Wednesday night in Hartford, Vermont, to protest arrests made by ICE.  Seventeen people in Hartford and Lebanon were detained by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement in late July and early August. 

Many chanted, "Say it loud, say it clear: immigrants are welcome here." 

Ali Oshinskie / NHPR

A federal court judge in New Hampshire has ruled that a Haitian immigrant who claims he fled politically-motivated attacks in his home country can remain the United States for now.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit late Monday requesting that judge halt the transfer of Jeff Beaubrun from New Hampshire to Louisiana, where he was set to be deported to Haiti.

U.S. Court of Appeals, Boston

 

A federal appeals court has declined to act on the case of an immigrant from Brazil who faces deportation from New Hampshire and says the United States isn't honoring an agreement allowing him to remain in the country.

A three-judge panel of the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston reviewed the case of Renato Filippi, of Nashua.

In its judgment Friday, the panel agreed with a 2017 ruling from a federal judge in New Hampshire that the court lacked jurisdiction over his case.

Annie Kuster

Congresswoman Annie Kuster describes conditions at border facilities in Texas as "inhumane."

Kuster visited the facilities in McAllen and Brownsville this past weekend with a congressional delegation.

She says she saw overcrowding, and the abnormally high volume of migrants that have been passing through the facility.

"The night before we were there, they had picked up 2,000 migrants. So the volume coming through the facilities at this point is extremely high. They told us it was the highest it had been since 1986,” Kuster said.

Jordyn Haime / NHPR

Presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke decried the treatment of immigrants and asylum seekers at the U.S. border while campaigning Friday night in Peterborough.

O’Rourke spoke at one of many “Lights for Liberty” vigils held across the state and the country. The vigils were part of a nationwide campaign to protest reported conditions at immigrant detention centers.

Lights for Liberty

Candlelight vigils focusing on the treatment of immigrants and asylum seekers at the border will take place across New Hampshire Friday night.

They're part of a national event called “Lights for Liberty,” happening across the country.

“We believe that these child prisons should be closed immediately, and the children released to their relatives and extended families in the U.S.,” reads a press release from Lights for Liberty event organizers in Hanover.

Courtesy of the Manchester Equity Review Team.

 

The Manchester Equity Review Team, a group tasked with improving equity in the city's public schools, is recommending the district increase racial diversity among staff and change how it disciplines students.

In the last decade, Manchester has struggled with a decline in state aid and major demographic shifts; the percentage of Latino students, English language learners (ELL's) and students on free and reduced lunch in Manchester have nearly doubled.

The ACLU is accusing the federal government of denying undocumented immigrants due process rights while they’re detained, in violation of constitutional protections.

Courtesy of Thomas Labore

 

Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued tickets to 29 people for alleged immigration violations at a checkpoint on I-93 near Woodstock on Sunday.  

 

The violations were for legal visitors to the U.S. who didn’t have appropriate paperwork on them, as required by law, accordign to the CBP.

 

Agents also made six marijuana seizures.

 

A checkpoint held over Memorial Day weekend on Route 3 led to six of the same immigration citations, but also no arrests. 

 

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson made a stop by the Statehouse in Concord on Wednesday as she wrapped up her latest campaign swing through New Hampshire.

Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Border Patrol agents issued six immigration-related citations during a checkpoint in the northern New Hampshire town of Columbia on Memorial Day, but officials say that they made no arrests for immigration violations.

Rather, the tickets were issued to legal visitors of the United States who didn't have appropriate paperwork in their possession, as required by law.

Border Patrol says they made nine separate marijuana-related busts, but aren’t pursuing criminal charges in those cases. The agents used K9 teams during the stop.

ICE.gov

The debate over immigration policy and migrants showing up at the southern border can feel far away, but these stories are also playing out much closer to home in New Hampshire. On Monday, a 28-year old Somali man was released from the Strafford County Jail in Dover after more than two-and-a-half years in detention.

 

Lawyers representing an asylum-seeker from Somalia who's been detained for over 2 ½ years without a bond hearing say he's been released.

Acting on behalf of Mahamed Ahmed-Cali, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire sued the heads of the departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, and Enforcement and Removal Operations, as well as a county corrections department.

ICE.gov

 

Immigrant rights activists in Massachusetts are calling for the release of two local organizers detained by federal immigration authorities in New Hampshire.

Cosecha Massachusetts is hosting a vigil Monday night in front of Lawrence City Hall to support residents Nelson Lopez and Heiner Nolasco.

The advocacy group says the two men were detained May 13 after the car they were riding in was stopped for speeding and local New Hampshire police turned them over to federal authorities.

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman said he'd comment later.

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