Criminal Justice

Breakfast with the Newsmakers: Charles Maldonado interviews lawyer for Workers’ Center for Racial Justice (live blog transcript)

Thursday morning at 8 a.m., The Lens’ Charles Maldonado will interview Yihong “Julie” Mao, a lawyer for the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, about immigration issues in New Orleans. The group, which advocates for immigration reform, has connections to two recent Lens stories.

The organization has accused the New Orleans Police Department of racially profiling Latinos and inappropriately aiding federal immigration agents. A federally appointed firm overseeing reforms of the Police Department has said it is reviewing those complaints, and the department is revising its immigration violation policy.

And this year, thousands of undocumented children from Central America have shown up at the Mexico border. Many of them are now in New Orleans while their cases are pending in federal immigration court. Some of those children are staying with family members, including members of the Workers’ Center.

For those who can’t make the event, I’ll live-blog it below. If you have questions for Mao, tweet them to #BreakfastNews and we’ll try to pose them during the event.

Event details

Date: Thursday, Sept. 25

Time: 8 to 9 a.m. (doors open at 7:30 a.m.)

RSVP: Anne Mueller,

Location: Basin St. Station, 4th floor, 501 Basin St. at St. Louis Street

Parking: Available in the Basin St. Station parking lot adjacent to the facility. This map shows the location of the parking lot and adjacent access points.

Live blog, 8 a.m. Thursday

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About Steve Myers

Steve Myers was editor of The Lens. Before joining the staff in 2012, Myers was managing editor of Poynter Online, the preeminent source of news and training about the journalism industry. At Poynter, he wrote about emerging media practices such as citizen journalism, nonprofit news sites, real-time reporting via social media, data-oriented news apps, iPhoneography, and the fact-checking movement. Six of his 10 years in newspapers were spent as a local government reporter in Mobile, Ala., where he focused on local government accountability, from jail management to hurricane preparation and response. He can be reached at (504) 298-9750.

  • Steve Myers

    During the interview, Charles Maldonado referred to a statement from Immigration and Customs Enforcement on its immigration enforcement tactics. Here’s the entire statement:


    “The Criminal Alien Removal Initiative (CARI) is a national strategy begun in May 2012 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that focuses ICE’s limited enforcement resources on identifying, arresting and removing at-large criminal aliens who pose a risk to community safety. ICE’s criminal alien enforcement actions are designed to be narrowly focused and limited to identified individuals known to fit within the agency’s enforcement priorities. ICE does not conduct sweeps or raids to target undocumented immigrants indiscriminately.

    In short, the CARI strategy directs ICE fugitive operations teams nationwide to prioritize their targets based on the totality of an individual’s public safety threat beyond their status as an immigration fugitive.

    ICE’s FY2013 removal numbers make clear the agency’s enforcement prioritization efforts are paying dividends. Nearly 60 percent of individuals removed by ICE had previously been convicted of a criminal offense; 82 percent of individuals removed from the interior of the country had previously been convicted of a criminal offense.”


    · CARI is a strategy; there are no CARI teams per se. ICE realigned existing resources to increase the number of long-established fugitive operations teams by nearly 25 percent nationwide as part of the CARI initiative. This realignment added 25 fugitive operations teams to the previously existing 104 teams operating nationwide and supports ICE’s focus on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of criminal aliens, recent border crossers and egregious immigration law violators, such as those who have been previously removed from the United States.

    · ICE fugitive operations teams continue to receive the same training and duties. The CARI initiative simply tasks these teams to further prioritize limited resources toward targeting and arresting at-large criminal aliens.

    · In FY2013, ICE conducted a total of 368,644 removals, 235,093 of whom were apprehended while, or shortly after, attempting to illegally enter the United States, and 133,551 of whom were apprehended in the interior of the United States. Other than convicted criminals, the agency’s enforcement priorities include: those apprehended while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States, illegal re-entrants – individuals who returned to the U.S. after being previously removed by ICE – and immigration fugitives. Ninety eight percent of those removed in the last year met one of these priorities – a record high and a testament to the men and women of ICE who are helping to implement a strong and focused immigration enforcement strategy.

    · ICE’s mobile IDENT units have been in operation for nearly 10 years. The biometric units are an invaluable resource in the field and allow ICE to make decisions about whether or not to take an individual into custody subsequent to an arrest without first bringing them into a local ICE or law enforcement facility for fingerprinting. As such, this technology supports ICE’s prosecutorial discretion policies by allowing officers to exercise discretion at the earliest stage possible in the process. In fact, in the New Orleans field office, use of the mobile IDENT unit enabled ICE to exercise discretion for 75% of individuals scanned.

  • nickelndime

    Thanks, I am making a note of this. Now, let’s try to make NOPD understand what this means. Is there a primer version?

  • nickelndime

    “…exercise discretion…” is a problem area.