Georgia immigration news


Woman arrested for stealing a salad now facing deportation

  A North Carolina woman is facing deportation after allegedly stealing a salad and fruit last month from the Wilmington restaurant where she worked, according to news reports. >> Read more trending news  Irma Carranza Cruz, 43, was accused of stealing food valued at $28.44 from her employer, the Famous Toastery in Wilmington, WECT-TV reported. When Cruz was arrested on the felony...


Georgia’s Isakson, Perdue take own approaches to immigration debate

Georgia’s Isakson, Perdue take own approaches to immigration debate

Ask them about their views on immigration and Georgia Republican U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Johnny Isakson hit many of the same notes. Border security should be substantially beefed up, both say, and policies allowing migrants to sponsor family members to come live in the U.S. tightened. A decades-old lottery program granting U.S. visas to people from countries with historically low immigration...
Federal budget agreement would free up billions to be spent in Georgia

Federal budget agreement would free up billions to be spent in Georgia

A two-year budget agreement struck this week by congressional leaders would clear the way for billions of dollars to be sent to Georgia hospitals, military bases and local farmers, but broader disagreements over immigration and the national debt prompted some local lawmakers to think twice about supporting the legislation. The $320 billion bill would loosen the grip of strict 7-year-old spending caps...
Five things to know about DACA amid federal government shutdown debate

Five things to know about DACA amid federal government shutdown debate

As Congress races to avert another federal government shutdown this week, the fate of an Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — DACA for short — hangs in the balance. Last year, the Trump administration announced it was phasing out DACA, which temporarily shields from deportation young immigrants who were brought here as children. He gave Congress a March 5 deadline...
Impact of immigration on Georgia economy: not huge, but wide

Impact of immigration on Georgia economy: not huge, but wide

Georgia may not be one of the states with the highest percentage of immigrants, but their economic impact here is stronger than average, according to a report issued Thursday. Overall, the state ranks 20th in the country in terms of the impact of immigrants, using 19 metrics, according to WalletHub, consumer credit and data company. With immigration getting so much national attention, the...
ICE detainee third to die since May after being held in Georgia

ICE detainee third to die since May after being held in Georgia

A Cuban national who was being held at a federal immigration detention center in South Georgia died Tuesday night. Yulio Castro-Garrido, 33, is the third U.S. Immigration and Enforcement detainee to die since May after being held in Georgia. Authorities at Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin diagnosed Castro-Garrido with pneumonia on Jan. 7 and took him to Southwest Georgia Regional Medical Center...
Georgia conservatives fear a Trump betrayal on immigration

Georgia conservatives fear a Trump betrayal on immigration

Debbie Dooley switched away from President Donald Trump’s televised State of the Union address right after he proposed creating a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants illegally brought to America as children. Then the Lawrenceville resident vented on Twitter. “AmnestyDon has lost my support,” tweeted Dooley, a Trump voter and one of the founders of the tea party movement...
Catholic priest in Atlanta may be only such DACA recipient in America

Catholic priest in Atlanta may be only such DACA recipient in America

The Rev. Rey Pineda celebrates Mass with fellow Catholics in Atlanta. He officiates at their weddings. He baptizes their children. And he ministers to them when they crawl into their deathbeds. Now he is in the middle of the national debate over whether “Dreamers” such as him should stay or go. Pineda, 29, may be the only Catholic priest in the United States who has been granted a special...
This Life with Gracie: Overseas work makes nurse long for more merciful immigration policy

This Life with Gracie: Overseas work makes nurse long for more merciful immigration policy

When Connie Venuso arrived in Bangladesh late last year, she’d seen enough refugee camps, cared for enough of their sick to know life in these places can be untenable. That kind of bird’s-eye view allows us to look at people as just “people” and not make any judgments. And so having looked into the faces of thousands of immigrants, Venuso can’t help feeling disheartened...
Nuestra Comunidad: Undocumented youth see parallels in MLK’s struggles

Nuestra Comunidad: Undocumented youth see parallels in MLK’s struggles

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy is an inspiration for the fight being waged by young undocumented immigrants, serving as an example to those who are raising their voice and pleading for change in immigration laws and policies. King’s life is particularly relevant in today’s movement, say advocates, which urges the approval of a permanent solution for the millions of Hispanics...
‘We’ve helped the country,’ says Salvadoran of losing protective status

‘We’ve helped the country,’ says Salvadoran of losing protective status

José Fermán sat in the Atlanta offices of the El Salvadoran consulate, overwhelmed with a sense of pressure, sadness and fear. All playing out on his tear-stained face. He has been in the United States since 1999. “I’ve been living in the country all that time. We’ve worked, we’ve helped the country,” Fermán said. “We are Hispanics who come...
‘This guy is a bigot,’ Atlanta immigrants say of Trump 

‘This guy is a bigot,’ Atlanta immigrants say of Trump 

Haitian and African immigrants across metro Atlanta reacted with fury and disgust Friday to President Donald Trump’s reported assertion that they come from “shithole countries.”  “I haven’t seen anyone so brazenly institutionalizing bigotry and racism,” said Leo Mulbah, former president of the Liberian Community of Georgia. “This guy is a bigot. I&rsquo...
DACA residents await immigration plan as government shutdown looms

DACA residents await immigration plan as government shutdown looms

Yehimi Cambron missed class this week to fight for her life. The DeKalb County teacher was among immigrants and activists in Washington, putting a full-court press on legislators to pass the Dream Act, which would add protections for undocumented residents brought to the United States as children. Their efforts, planned over the past few weeks, took place as the contentious national debate about whether...
Lawsuit: Somalis beaten, straightjacketed on failed deportation flight

Lawsuit: Somalis beaten, straightjacketed on failed deportation flight

Federal immigration authorities and their contract guards “beat, kicked, choked, pushed, straightjacketed, threatened to kill, and berated” detainees during a failed attempt to deport them to Somalia this month, a new class-action lawsuit alleges. Filed this week, the federal complaint says the Somali men and women — some residing in Georgia — were shackled for almost two days...
Report: Safety problems at immigration detention center in S. Georgia

Report: Safety problems at immigration detention center in S. Georgia

An immigration detention center in South Georgia has struggled with serious safety problems undermining the “humane treatment” of its detainees, according to a stinging new report by the U.S. Homeland Security Department’s Office of Inspector General. At Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, some detainees with high-risk criminal convictions have been misclassified and housed...
Christie Thuy Pham, a Vietnamese-American, aims to blend two cultures

Christie Thuy Pham, a Vietnamese-American, aims to blend two cultures

Christie Thuy Pham is a first-generation Vietnamese-American and senior at Georgia State University. She grew up as a first-generation American in rural Morrow, and Georgia was challenging because she was raised in an American setting, but her family life was firmly rooted in traditional Vietnamese culture.  She has struggled seeing her American friends be raised in a looser environment while...
German Botello, a Mexican-American, finds a welcoming place at GSU

German Botello, a Mexican-American, finds a welcoming place at GSU

German Botello was born at Grady Memorial Hospital to two Mexican immigrants. He was raised speaking both English and Spanish (but mostly Spanish) at home. Now a senior at Georgia State University, he is the first in his family to attend a four-year university, and he’s felt the pressure to make the case that studying in college makes sense. He has become a go-to resource for helping his younger...
ICE: Hotel power, water outages caused deportation flight to turn back

ICE: Hotel power, water outages caused deportation flight to turn back

Power and water outages at a Senegalese hotel triggered a bizarre episode last week when a U.S. deportation flight returned to America with all its 92 Somali nationals onboard, including some who resided in Georgia, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. En route to Djibouti — a country adjacent to Somalia — the plane first landed in the Senegalese capital of Dakar to pick...
U.S. deportation flight returns from Africa with all on board

U.S. deportation flight returns from Africa with all on board

The government’s efforts to deport 92 Somali nationals — including some who lived in Georgia and Minnesota — did not go as planned this week, when the flight encountered some snags in Senegal and returned to the U.S. with all on board. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released statement Saturday, saying relief flight crew members were “unable to get sufficient rest...
ICE arrests, deportations way up in Georgia, Carolinas amid Trump era

ICE arrests, deportations way up in Georgia, Carolinas amid Trump era

Arrests and deportations have risen sharply in Georgia and the Carolinas amid the Trump administration’s clampdown on illegal immigration, according to new figures the government released Tuesday. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement made 13,551 arrests during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 in its Atlanta area of operations, which includes Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina...
Sweet Sweet Syria: How a cookie can save a family

Sweet Sweet Syria: How a cookie can save a family

The young Syrian woman’s fingers (even wrapped in plastic gloves) move like those of a concert violinist as she produces a symphony of sweet tastes. She pinches, rolls, squashes and stretches a ball of sweet, orange blossom-scented dough, forming it into a pocket, ready for filling. Into the recess goes a marble-sized nugget of ground pistachios, or smooth dates, or coconut, before she reseals...
Georgia schools seek, enjoy international students

Georgia schools seek, enjoy international students

Oglethorpe University president Larry Schall is like a college basketball coach when it comes to recruiting students. He looks for them throughout metro Atlanta and increasingly abroad, in countries such as Dubai and Jordan. Oglethorpe and many metro Atlanta colleges and universities are seeing a higher percentage of their students come from other nations, and they want more international students...
Torpy at Large: Too bad Atlanta’s immigration hypocrisy isn’t illegal

Torpy at Large: Too bad Atlanta’s immigration hypocrisy isn’t illegal

Earlier this month, Mayor Kasim Reed boasted on his very active Twitter account that his town is immigrant friendly. “Atlanta is proud to be a welcoming city,” he wrote. “Pleased to be a part of the Safe Cities Network offering legal representation for those individuals facing deportation.” Fighting for the rights of immigrants is now an important battleground for Dems and...
Atlanta mayor under fire amid debate over illegal immigration

Atlanta mayor under fire amid debate over illegal immigration

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is drawing fire from multiple sides in the hot-button debate over illegal immigration after recently announcing the city had joined a nationwide effort in finding legal help for immigrants facing deportation. When Reed announced the city’s new policy this month, he called Atlanta a “welcoming city that stands up for the civil and human rights of every person.&rdquo...
Georgia immigration enforcement board weighs hiring outside help

Georgia immigration enforcement board weighs hiring outside help

Georgia’s Immigration Enforcement Review Board is considering hiring a private investigator or a paralegal to help it get through a backlog of complaints, most of them filed by longtime anti-illegal immigration activist D.A. King. Appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor and House speaker, the seven-member board — which has a $20,000 annual budget — is now tracking 14 pending...
Visa lottery draws scrutiny in Georgia following N.Y. terror attack

Visa lottery draws scrutiny in Georgia following N.Y. terror attack

Banji Oyebisi felt a heavy weight lift off his shoulders when he learned he had won America’s diversity visa lottery. His native Nigeria beset with political upheaval and violence, Oyebisi immigrated to Georgia in 1996 and worked his way up from washing dishes to employing four people at his own technology consulting business in Sandy Springs. The program that brought Oyebisi to America is now...
Immigration stories from Atlanta slated for new book

Immigration stories from Atlanta slated for new book

The teen’s story was too compelling to be left on the cutting room floor. She’d come to the United States from Guatemala earlier this year as a 15-year-old, her 4-month-old child in tow. She traveled to the U.S. border for months, mostly on foot, leaving behind a village with no electricity and little running water. When it came time for the interview, she couldn’t get through it...
ICE moves to close South Georgia detention center, then re-evaluates

ICE moves to close South Georgia detention center, then re-evaluates

The Trump administration moved this week to close a federal immigration detention center in South Georgia just months after it opened, and then said it was re-evaluating that decision, leaving 170 jobs, $4 million in private investments, and a big chunk of local tax revenue up in the air. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s change of direction Friday came after Republican U.S. Rep. Buddy...
Torpy at Large: The real reason Casey Cagle is on Decatur’s case

Torpy at Large: The real reason Casey Cagle is on Decatur’s case

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle this week again tore into Decatur, alleging that the liberal bastion is a hideaway — no, more like a sanctuary — for immigrants who have entered this country without legal permission. Cagle filed a complaint with something called the Immigration Enforcement Review Board, a kangaroo court created by the state to give anti-immigration activist D.A...
Georgia could see expansion in immigration enforcement program

Georgia could see expansion in immigration enforcement program

Georgia’s Corrections Department and authorities in Bartow and Floyd counties have applied to team up with federal deportation officers through an immigration enforcement program promoted by President Donald Trump, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned. At issue is the federal 287(g) program — named after the section of the 1996 federal law that authorizes it — which deputizes...
Immigration enforcement program could be expanded in Georgia

Immigration enforcement program could be expanded in Georgia

Georgia’s Corrections Department and authorities in Bartow and Floyd counties have applied to team up with federal deportation officers through an immigration enforcement program promoted by President Donald Trump, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.  At issue is the federal 287(g) program – named after the section of the 1996 federal law that authorizes it – which...
Judge: Keep Jessica Colotl’s DACA status in place

Judge: Keep Jessica Colotl’s DACA status in place

A federal judge in Atlanta has for a second time ordered the Trump administration to keep in place a temporary reprieve from deportation for Jessica Colotl, the Norcross woman who has become a flashpoint in the national debate over illegal immigration.  In his ruling issued Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Cohen said the Mexican native’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status...
Georgia Appeals Court denies in-state tuition for DACA recipients

Georgia Appeals Court denies in-state tuition for DACA recipients

Georgia’s Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court’s decision that said the state must permit residents who have been granted a special reprieve from deportation to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities. At issue is the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, or DACA, which grants two-year work permits and deportation deferrals...
Georgia Appeals Court rules against DACA recipients seeking in-state tuition

Georgia Appeals Court rules against DACA recipients seeking in-state tuition

Georgia’s Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court’s decision that said the state must permit residents who have been granted a special reprieve from deportation to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities.  At issue is the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, or DACA, which grants two-year work permits and deportation deferrals...
Georgia’s immigration enforcement panel draws scrutiny

Georgia’s immigration enforcement panel draws scrutiny

When Georgia lawmakers passed a sweeping law cracking down on illegal immigration in 2011, they created a board to hold state and local government officials accountable. Over the next six years the Immigration Enforcement Review Board received 20 complaints to investigate, according to documents obtained through Georgia’s Open Records Act. And all but one came from the same person: D.A. King...
Warden of ICE detention center in South Georgia retires

Warden of ICE detention center in South Georgia retires

The head of a privately operated immigration detention center in South Georgia has retired. Warden Bill Spivey left his post at Stewart Detention Center last month, according to CoreCivic, the Nashville-based corrections company that operates the facility through agreements with Stewart County and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Spivey’s retirement followed the suicide of a detainee...
Exclusive: ICE’s top official in Atlanta details enforcement priorities

Exclusive: ICE’s top official in Atlanta details enforcement priorities

The man in charge of immigration enforcement for Georgia and the Carolinas has a message for immigrants living here without proper papers: Stay out of trouble, be careful about who you hang out with and get ready to return to your homeland. “They know that at any point while they are in the country illegally that they could be subject to enforcement,” said Sean Gallagher, the Atlanta field...
Born in the Philippines, but Georgia is home to this immigrant fighting for DACA

Born in the Philippines, but Georgia is home to this immigrant fighting for DACA

Raymond Partolan lifted his denim pant leg a few inches to reveal more of his brown boots. He offered an apology for his casual attire; it’s Friday — the one weekday where he can wear what makes him feel most comfortable to work at the Atlanta-area law office. He loves country music. The background picture on his cell phone depicts Georgia’s state flag. The state motto — &ldquo...
Georgia’s DACA immigrants fight for their lives in U.S.

Georgia’s DACA immigrants fight for their lives in U.S.

The freshly painted mural on a Buford Highway liquor store may seem an unlikely spot for a political statement. But to its creator, Roberto Hernandez, the many-hued hands that reach upward along the once-drab exterior of Atlanta Package tell his chapter in a story that a gutsy immigrant generation wants the nation to hear. Hernandez, 31, was born in Mexico and lived there until 1999, when he and his...
Georgia cities limiting cooperation with ICE amid Trump’s crackdown

Georgia cities limiting cooperation with ICE amid Trump’s crackdown

Civil rights activists are pushing communities across the nation to limit their cooperation with federal deportation officers. They are keeping their phone lines ringing. They are packing their City Council meetings. And they are drafting model rules for them to adopt. Those efforts are catching fire in the Atlanta area now that President Donald Trump is carrying out a broad crackdown on illegal immigration...
Decatur: ICE policy does not violate Georgia ‘sanctuary’ law

Decatur: ICE policy does not violate Georgia ‘sanctuary’ law

Decatur is violating a state law prohibiting “sanctuary policies” through its newly written policy limiting cooperation with federal immigration authorities, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle charged in a recent letter. City officials are adamantly denying the Republican gubernatorial candidate’s allegation.  In a letter Friday to State Auditor Greg Griffin, Cagle pointed out state law bars...
Georgia has head start when it comes to Trump’s immigration wish list

Georgia has head start when it comes to Trump’s immigration wish list

President Donald Trump set his sights on the nation’s employers this week when he outlined his wish list for any deal with Congress that would extend protections for young immigrants who could face deportation. Among other things, Trump said he wants to require businesses to use E-Verify, a federal workforce authorization program. The program works by checking information employees provide on...
Report: 15,700 DACA recipients in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell area

Report: 15,700 DACA recipients in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell area

President Donald Trump’s decision to phase out an Obama administration program that is temporarily shielding young immigrants from deportation would affect 15,700 people in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell area, federal records show. That represents a little more than 2 percent of the 689,800 people who were participating in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, as of...
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