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Thread: ICE agents arrest Syrian man outside Providence courthouse

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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    ICE agents arrest Syrian man outside Providence courthouse

    By Katie Mulvaney
    Journal Staff Writer
    Posted at 3:01 PM
    Updated at 4:17 PM

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents this month arrested a Syrian man who had overstayed his guest visa by 19 years outside a Providence courthouse, where he was due to appear on charges of an unlicensed sale of cigarettes, according to a spokesman for ICE.

    Deportation officers with ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations took Abulkhalek Darwich, 48, of Pawtucket, into custody on June 1, following his Superior Court appearance at Licht Judicial Complex on a 2015 case charging him with felony importation of cigarettes with the intent to evade taxes and other misdemeanor tax offenses, according to Shawn Neudauer, public affairs officer for ICE New England.

    Darwich entered the United States lawfully as a visitor in 1998 and overstayed his lawful visit by nearly 20 years, Neudauer said in an email. Darwich will remain in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.

    Darwich in 2010 admitted to a misdemeanor charge of selling unstamped cigarettes and received a sentence of one year probation and $3,000-plus in fees, fines and restitution.

    Asked what piqued ICE interest in Darwich recently, Neudauer said overstaying a visa by more than six months is of significance to ICE, along with his Syrian heritage.

    It was unclear, he said, why Darwich was allowed to overstay, but that it likely dealt with “shifting priorities over the past 20 years as well as the number of encounters, or lack thereof, with federal law enforcement.”

    ICE does check a variety of sources of information, from public records to law-enforcement databases, as a means of locating and identifying offenders, Neudauer said.

    In response to news of the ICE arrest, the state American Civil Liberties Union urged Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin and state Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul A. Suttell to call on ICE officials to refrain from conducting enforcement actions at or near courthouses.

    “Last month, more than a dozen organizations, including the ACLU of RI, called on the state’s top officials to take action to protect Rhode Island’s immigrant communities from heavy-handed enforcement actions by ICE. In particular, we noted the harm that ICE courthouse arrests elsewhere in the country were causing, discouraging victims of domestic violence and other crime victims and witnesses from contacting and helping law enforcement in their investigation of crimes,” Steven Brown, state ACLU executive director, said in an email statement.

    “There will be no equal access to justice in Rhode Island if residents are afraid to make use of their judicial system,” he said.

    http://www.providencejournal.com/new...nce-courthouse
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    Immediate deportation...I do not want to pay for his incarceration!
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  3. #3
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    High court judge addresses courthouse arrest of Syrian man

    June 17, 2017
    The Associated Press

    PROVIDENCE, R.I.
    The chief justice of Rhode Island's highest court says courthouses should be accessible to all people after federal immigration officials arrested a Syrian man outside one in Providence earlier this month.

    The Providence Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2sBbJeu ) state Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Suttell addressed the arrest of Abulkhalek Darwich on Friday at the Rhode Island Bar Association.

    A spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Darwich was taken into custody June 1 for overstaying his guest visa by 19 years.

    Suttell says that if immigrants are afraid to come to court out of fear of being detained, "our mission is compromised."

    Suttell says The National Center of State Courts and Conference of Chief Justices are working with Homeland Security representatives and the ICE's acting director to establish protocols.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/poli...156746459.html
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Suttell says that if immigrants are afraid to come to court out of fear of being detained, "our mission is compromised."
    This was not an "immigrant", this was an illegal alien, a fugitive. I hope Department of Homeland Security sets the court system in Rhode Island straight on this.
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