DHS Records of Calendars for Senior Staff

These are the calendars for Barbara Gonzalez, the assistant director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Office of Partnerships and Engagements, where she oversees the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) office. VOICE was created by the Trump administration in early 2017 to document stories of crime committed by undocumented immigrants. 

These records show that Gonzalez repeatedly had contact with two organizations that the Southern Poverty Law Center designates as anti-immigrant hate groups: the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and the Rememberance Project. She also had meetings and phone calls with ICE Senior Adviser Jon Feere, who is known to have a close working relationship with White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller, and had worked for CIS before joining the administration. You can read some of Miller and Feere’s correspondence here, which include numerous instances of Feere pushing a narrative that tied immigration to crime.

The records below span February 2018 to September 2019. 

 

In these records

March 22, 2018: Conference call with individuals whose names are redacted on the subject of “ICE PR challenges.”

May 11, 2018: Gonzalez had a phone call with an individual (name redacted) from the Census Bureau. This was while the administration was pushing for the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 census, which the Supreme Court blocked in 2019, though it is unclear what the subject of this meeting was.

June 13, 2018: Gonzalez had a call with Matthew T. Albence Deputy, then the executive associate director for Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). In an email attached to the calendar entry, Gonzalez wrote: “[Albence] has graciously agreed to chat with us about the new process for ensuring regular communication and removal coordination of separated parents and children.” 

July 27, 2018: Gonzalez joined a Department of Homeland  Security (DHS) “update call” with multiple airlines and the Global Business Travel Association. 

Nov. 1, 2018: Gonzalez had a phone call with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) sheriffs to “discuss operational preparation for migrant caravan,” referring to a group of asylum-seekers that was then making its way to the U.S. from Central America. ICE was expected to participate. 

Nov. 20, 2018: A CBP and ICE “law enforcement stakeholder call” regarding the so-called caravans.

Dec. 18, 2018: Gonzalez attended a discussion about the death of a Russian citizen in ICE custody.  

Feb. 25, 2019: Phone call with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s office. 

March 12, 2019: Gonzalez reached out to the Department of Justice about a list of “fugitive cases” and to discuss what information the department might need from VOICE. 

May 1, 2019: Gonzalez met with California Rep. Jim Costa (whose first name was, unusually, redacted) and Texas Rep. Pete Olson to brief them on VOICE.

 

Contact with Southern Poverty Law Center–designated hate groups: 

May 8, 2018: Gonzalez reached out to CIS regarding a speaking event for then-ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan. 

June 5, 2018: Homan participated in CIS’s “Immigration Newsmaker” series, which Gonzalez attended. 

July 26, 2018: Gonzalez attended a webinar with the Remembrance Project. 

Aug. 10, 2018: Gonzalez met with CIS at her office. The subject of the meeting is redacted.

Nov. 28, 2018: Gonzalez participated in a teleconference with the Remembrance Project. 

May 2, 2019: Gonzalez reached out to CIS (the subject of the discussion is redacted). 

June 7, 2019: Gonzalez had a meeting about FOIA litigation. That same day, she met with CIS, along with ICE Senior Adviser Feere. 

 

Other meetings with or concerning ICE Senior Adviser Jon Feere:

Feb. 14, 2018: Gonzalez and Feere had a meeting to discuss “WSE” (possibly an abbreviation for “worksite enforcement,” though this is uncertain.)

Feb. 15, 2018: Gonzalez met with Feere and Tom Blank, who then served as Homan’s chief of staff, about “VOICE Office admin issues.” 

Feb. 21, 2018: Gonzalez sent an updated VOICE organizational chart to Feere and one other individual whose name is redacted.

March 23, 2018: Gonzalez and Feere met with the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL). The names of other participants in the meeting are redacted. 

June 7, 2018: Gonzalez discussed “victim stories flagged by Feere” with ICE spokesperson Liz Johnson. On June 13, Gonzalez, Feere, and Johnson met to discuss “victim issues.” Gonzalez wrote in an attached email to Feere: “Liz and I met and we’d like to brief you on what we discussed.”

July 24, 2018: Gonzalez attended a briefing, at which Feere was expected to attend. The attached background information on the event says, “ICE ERO reached out to national NGOs with existing federal government agreements to assist with post release drop off locations during phase 2 family reunifications.” 

Aug. 22, 2018: Gonzalez and Feere had a meeting regarding “Detention NGOs.” 

Sept. 5, 2018: Gonzalez met with Feere about “stakeholder engagement.” A second meeting on the same subject took place on Sept. 7

Sept. 12, 2018: Meeting with Feere on VOICE special projects.

Nov. 5, 2018: Gonzalez and Feere met and discussed VOICE.

Nov. 14, 2018:  Gonzalez, Feere, and Blank had a discussion about the “background” of VOICE. 

Nov. 29, 2018: Gonzalez and Feere were part of a teleconference on the “Introduction of VOICE Office Victim Assistance Specialist.”

Dec. 6, 2018: Gonzalez and Feere met about VOICE. 

Feb. 7, 2019: Feere and Gonzalez met for a “Brainstorming session.” 

March 12, 2019: Gonzalez, Feere, Special Assistant to ERO Chief of Staff Eliman Solorzano, and ICE Executive Associate Director Staci Barrera met to share information about ICE public-facing events. 

April 1, 2019: Gonzalez and Feere met with Jessica E. Hart, then the intergovernmental and public liaison at the Justice Department, and now the director of the department’s Office for Victims of Crime.

May 10, 2019: Gonzalez met with Feere to discuss VOICE outreach strategy. 

Sept. 25, 2019: Gonzalez, Feere, and Albence attended a “Badges and Angels Meeting” in which law enforcement, DHS officials, and “angel moms” (mothers of people who have been killed by undocumented persons) met with the president. 

Part of Investigation: