TASK FORCE MATTERS:Our next meeting will be held on October 12 at 7:00PM.  Please email me any item you wish included in the agenda.
Thanks to Will for designing the new letter head for From the Chair.
Bill has prepared a list of legislation in the MA Legislature that we should be tracking.  See the attached.

>> The House Committee on Oversight and Reform released a report on for-profit contractors’ detention of immigrants. The committee inspected several detention facilities and found deficient sanitation/mismanagement of infectious diseases and that detainees died after receiving inadequate medical care.  SEE: https://homeland.house.gov/news/press-releases/homeland-security-committee-releases-staff-report-finding-ice-facilities-fail-to-meet-basic-standards-of-care-

>>9,000 That’s about how many refugees had been admitted to the US as of August 31, according to the Refugee Processing Center. That’s half the refugee limit — 18,000 ( a record low)  — set late last year. The Trump administration still has not released the number of refugees the US will accept for fiscal year 2021.

>> You will recall that the Courts have ruled that Chad Wolf, the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security was inappropriately appointed because he failed to qualify under the Succession Act protocols when Secretary Nielsen resigned.  At the time he was the chief of staff to the Secretary. The president has recently formally nominated him to become the Secretary fo DHS.  During his senate confirmation hearing he was pressed on the origins of the family-separation policy.  SEE:  https://wreg.com/news/trumps-pick-to-lead-homeland-security-pressed-on-origins-of-family-separation-policy/

>> In a related matter, DHS published a ratification of actions taken by Acting Secretary Chad Wolf between November 13, 2019, and September 10, 2020. The notification states, “The attached ratification provides the public with certainty, by resolving any potential defect in the validity of those actions.” The move follows a Government Accountability Office report issued in August that found Acting DHS Secretary Wolf and current Senior Official Performing the Duties of DHS Deputy Secretary Kenneth Cuccinelli were named to their positions by reference to an invalid order of succession.

>> Twenty-one people died in ICE custody in the fiscal year that ended yesterday. That’s more than double the number of deaths in fiscal year 2019 and the highest annual death toll in 15 years. Immigrants rights advocates say the deaths are a sign of deteriorating conditions, serious problems with medical care and ICE’s flawed approach to handling the pandemic. More than a third of those who died in ICE custody last year had tested positive for Covid-19. While ICE officials maintain that deaths in custody are extremely rare, the agency has faced growing scrutiny for how it handles even routine medical care. Two weeks ago, a former employee at an ICE facility in Georgia filed a complaint detailing high rates of hysterectomies and alleged medical neglect.

>>. On Sept 25, the Washington Post reported that a federal Court sides with House Democrats in challenge to Trump’s border wall SEE:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/court-sides-with-house-democrats-in-challenge-to-trumps-border-wall-spending/2020/09/25/a29aaa20-ff43-11ea-b555-4d71a9254f4b_story.html

>> Drivers’ License Bill:  Mike Diener has sent the attached letter asking for your help

>>. Safe Community Bill.  Amy Grunder from MIRA asks you to contact your legislators
>> Carolyn has sent some information about actions against ICE and contacting detainees.  Her letter is attached.

I hope you all stay well.
Gerry Rovner