Jamaican national Horace Tajah is facing asecond deportation after spending four years behind bars after he was caught trying to re-enter the United States.Convicted in a New York City gang case in 2010, Tajah was sentenced to prison and eventually deported back to Jamaica and barred from the United States for life.Prosecutors point to the drug, gun and murder convictions on his record to suggest that his motivation in trying to re-enter the United States was to commit more violent crime.On Monday, a federal judge set the stage for Tajah’s second deportation back to Jamaica by sentencing him to time served – he’s been in custody since his arrest four years ago – and three years of probation.Just months after his removal, he tried to re-enter the United States by crossing the Peace Bridge on a commercial tour bus. He was caught, and so was his wife, who later admitted to lying about her husband’s identity during the illegal border crossing.“I wasn’t coming here to commit any crimes,” Tajah told U.S. District Judge Lawrence J.Vilardo . “I committed a lot of crimes when I was younger, but I’m older now.”Unlike most illegal re-entry cases, Tajah’s prosecution attracted attention because of his previous criminal record in New York City, where he was convicted on multiple federal charges in 2010.The charges included drug dealing, weapons possession and conspiracy to commit murder. He was sentenced to six years in prison and eventually deported to Jamaica.“While in Jamaica, he received various threats and attempted to relocate to Canada where he still didn’t feel safe,” said defense lawyer John P. Pieri.Pieri said the threats stem from Tajah’s cooperation with federal prosecutors in the 2010 gang case and that, even now, his client fears a return to Jamaica.LaTanya N. Notice, Tajah’s wife, who is also a non-citizen from Jamaica, had previously pleaded guilty to making a false statement and will face a recommended sentence of up to six months in prison when she is sentenced by Vilardo. She also will face possible deportation, a punishment she hopes to avoid. Jamaican murder convict faces second deportation after caught trying to re-enter the US
Update: (October 5) A United States federal district judge has granted reprieve to tens of thousands of Haitians on Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the country.Judge Edward M. Chen ruled that the Trump administration could not immediately end special protections for undocumented immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Sudan, whose countries have been ravaged by wars and natural disasters.About 59,000 Haitians have been granted TPS, which does not offer them a path to permanent residency in the US.Judge’s ruling“It is hereby ordered that defendants, their officers, agents, employees, representatives, and all persons acting in concert or participating with them, are enjoined and restrained from engaging in, committing, or performing, directly or indirectly, by any means whatsoever, implementation and/or enforcement of the decisions to terminate TPS for Sudan, Haiti, El Salvador, and Nicaragua pending resolution of this case on the merits,” he ruled.Take action to preserve the status quo“It is further ordered that defendants shall take all administrative actions needed to preserve the status quo pending completion of discovery and a ruling on the merits of the case,” the judge said, adding that the defendants should report to the court within 15 days of this order on the administrative steps taken to comply with this paragraph and otherwise preserve the status quo.Effective immediately“The preliminary injunction shall take effect immediately and shall remain in effect pending resolution of this case on the merits or further order of this court,” the judge said, adding that a case management conference will be held on October 26.Judge Chen said the parties shall file a joint case management conference statement by October 19, “and shall address, inter alia, the expedited setting of trial or other means of adjudication of the merits.”In his ruling, Judge Chen noted that Haiti was originally designed for TPS on January 21, 2010 based on the 7.0-magnitude earthquake on January 12, 2010 that prevented Haitians from returning home safely. He said the Haiti designation was subsequently “extended and re-designated four times by the Obama administration and once by the Trump administration.”The judge noted that, although the Trump administration extended Haiti’s TPS designation one time, the extension was for six months only, in contrast to the customary 12 months.He ruled that TPS beneficiaries and their children “indisputably will suffer irreparable harm and great hardship.“TPS beneficiaries who have lived, worked, and raised families in the United States, many for more than a decade, will be subject to removal,” Judge Chen said.“Many have US-born children; those may be faced with the Hobson’s choice of bringing their children with them and tearing them away from the only country and community they have known or splitting their families apart.”Failed to establish real harm In contrast, the judge said the Trump administration has “failed to establish any real harm were the status quo, which has been in existence for as long as two decades, is maintained during the pendency of this litigation.“Indeed, if anything, plaintiffs and amici (court brief) have established without dispute that local and national economies will be hurt if hundreds of thousands of TPS beneficiaries are uprooted and removed,” he said.On January 18, this year, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had announced that current beneficiaries of TPS under Haiti’s designation, who wanted to maintain that status through the program’s termination date of July 22, 2019, must re-register before March 19 this year.Marleine Bastien, executive director for the Family Action Network Movement (FANM) in Miami, Florida, issued the following statement after U.S. District Judge Edward Chen recently granted a preliminary injunction stopping the Trump administration from terminating temporary protected status, or TPS, for immigrants Haiti and other nations. The original TPS expiration dates by the Trump administration were: Sudan, 11/2/2018, Nicaragua, 1/5/2019, Nepal, 6/24/2019, Haiti, 7/22/2019, El Salvador, 9/9/2019, and Honduras, 1/5/2020Judge Chen ruled that the government must continue TPS, and employment authorizations for TPS beneficiaries from those countries, while a lawsuit challenging the government’s decision to eliminate their protections proceeds. Bastien said, “This decision is tremendous news. I commend Judge Chen for his courage and thank him for the sign of relief he brought to hundreds of thousands of families, including their American-born children, from the specter of family separation that loomed over them. Make no mistake, the Trump administration’s decision to terminate TPS was based on racism and xenophobia. Our hope is that this decision will hold to allow us to continue our efforts toward a permanent solution for those 300,000 deserving families. These immigrants and their families deserve better and we thank Judge Chen for his sensible decision.” FANM will hold a press conference in reaction to the ruling today, Thursday, October 4 at 11 a.m. FANM’s mission is to empower low to moderate-income families socially, financially, and politically and to give them the tools to transform their communities.
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NEW YORK – In the days leading up to Christmas, the nation’s retailers worked up a lather to attract last-minute shoppers to salvage what has been a mediocre December. Department-store operator Macy’s Inc. slashed prices, and Toys “R” Us offered price cuts of up to 75 percent. At stake are retailers’ profits for the year and perhaps even the strength of the economy. While consumers jammed stores at the start of the season for big discounts and shopped early for Nintendo Co.’s hard-to-find Wii game console, popular video games like “Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock” and Australian sheepskin UGG boots, they waited until the end for most everything else, to take advantage of the best deals amid a challenging economy. The biggest disappointment comes from women’s apparel, extending a downturn that’s grown deeper in recent months and serving as an ominous sign for the health of retailing in general. Women do the primary shopping for the family, so analysts say it’s troubling that they are spending less time in the stores. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson“I have no money or time to shop,” said Tina Morabito, who started her holiday shopping Friday morning at a mall in Providence, R.I. She was buying greeting cards and mint chocolates but didn’t plan to buy clothing. “There’s been a malaise” among women’s clothing sales and “it has spread to other areas,” said Dan Hess, chief executive of Merchant Forecast, a New York-based research firm. “The panic button has been pushed, particularly in department stores.” And even with an expected sales surge over the weekend, which traditionally accounts for about 10 percent of holiday sales, Lazard Capital Markets analyst Todd Slater expected that the last-minute spending would be too little, too late.