deportation

Rick Senften / WKSU

One of Northeast Ohio’s four sanctuary churches held an interfaith prayer service this weekend marking Father’s Day and protesting the Trump administration’s policy of splitting families at the border.

Updated at 4:28 p.m. ET

The Trump administration's decision to separate children from their families as a way to curb illegal immigration is adding fuel to an already fiery debate over immigration.

A group of House Democrats converged on an immigration detention facility in New Jersey on Sunday, days before a planned vote by House Republicans next week. Meanwhile, Trump administration officials alternately took credit and sought to distance the administration from the family separation policy.

After a raid on Tuesday that led to the arrest of 114 undocumented employees — rounded up by more than 100 immigration agents, using dogs and helicopters — at an Ohio landscaping company, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials reported some workers have been released for "humanitarian reasons."

Meanwhile, immigrant rights advocates said minors and U.S.-born workers caught up in the sting were released after nearly 12 hours in detention.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered the nation's immigration judges to end their practice of temporarily removing cases from their dockets without issuing decisions.

Immigrant advocates say the move is part of a broader strategy to influence the immigration courts, which fall under the purview of the Department of Justice, in order to hasten the removal of some immigrants.

In the small city of Fort Morgan, Colo., 33-year-old Verónica delicately stacks cans of food into her mini shopping cart, strolling the narrow aisles of the Rising Up food pantry to gather eggs, milk, apples and an extra-large box of cereal.

"This [place] is really helpful for me," Verónica says in Spanish. She has asked not to be identified by her full name because of the sensitive nature of the topic. "Without it, I'd be left some days without any food."

The Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati is considering whether the federal government should be allowed to proceed with deporting hundreds of Detroit-area Iraqis.

President Trump is already tweeting his displeasure about a Supreme Court decision that makes it more difficult to deport a small number of lawful permanent residents convicted of crimes.

In a 5-to-4 decision Tuesday, the court overturned the deportation of a 25-year legal U.S. resident from the Philippines who was convicted of two burglaries.

The Trump administration has been trying to ramp up deportations of immigrants in the country illegally. But one thing has been standing in its way: Immigration judges often put these cases on hold.

Now Attorney General Jeff Sessions is considering overruling the judges.

One practice that is particularly infuriating to Sessions and other immigration hard-liners is called administrative closure. It allows judges to put deportation proceedings on hold indefinitely.

Activists across the country say they are being targeted by federal immigration authorities for speaking out at protests and accusing the government of heavy-handed tactics.

The Trump administration has warned that anyone in the country illegally could be arrested and deported under tough new enforcement rules. And federal officials deny allegations of retaliation.

But the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups say they have documented two dozen cases of immigrant activists and volunteers who say they have been arrested or face fines for their work.

The issue of immigration reform may have been swept from the headlines in the past couple weeks, but it hasn’t left the minds of many immigrants.

Local immigration attorneys say they’ve been getting worried calls from clients ever since the President proposed eliminating some categories of family-based visas.

“Most immigration attorneys would tell you that they are seeing a trend of people worried,” said immigration lawyer Melissa Gawelek, “especially people who are living thousands of miles away from their loved ones.”

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