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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

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  1. DAPA Eligible Father of Four Scheduled For Deportation TODAY

    by , 02-27-2015 at 09:32 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The following is courtesy of Houston immigration lawyer Amy Maldanado:

    Just this morning, I received an e-mail from an Attorney with a DAPA eligible, non-enforcement priority client scheduled to be deported today by St Louis ERO because he has an outstanding voluntary departure order from June of 2012. He has four USC kids under the age of five, including seven-month old twins. The attorney filed a stay of removal yesterday and got the NILC involved in helping her contact DHS Headquarters about this.

    When the attorney asked the client's ICE officer whether he knew my client was DAPA eligible and not an enforcement priority, he told her they're not following that right now. When she saw him in person as she filed the stay, she asked him if he heard about the President's town hall speech on Wed night, about how this scenario isn't & shouldn't be happening. The ICE officer told her again that they aren't following that right now. She asked why they're not following it or who they are following, and he said "the federal judge." She said that even if DAPA is halted, the enforcement priorities memo is still in place, and her client is not an enforcement priority. He said they're following some other guidelines. When she pressed him on why he's not following the guidelines set out by his Department's secretary, he told her that he's not the one who will decide my stay & they will get back to her.

    Decision and/or imminent removal pending.

    UPDATE: The immigration lawyer handling the case in St. Louis is Meggie Biesenthal. She has given permission to publish the original email sent to Amy Maldanado:
    Hi, Amy.

    I hope you are well! Nicole Cortes of St Louis' nonprofit MICA project gave me your information because I have a case where my DAPA eligible, non-enforcement priority client is scheduled to be deported today by St Louis ERO because he has an outstanding voluntary departure order from June of 2012. He has four USC kids under the age of five, including seven-month old twins. I filed a stay of removal yesterday and got the NILC involved in helping me contact DHS Headquarters about this.

    When I asked my client's ICE officer whether he knew my client was DAPA eligible and not an enforcement priority, he told me they're not following that right now. When I saw him in person as I filed the stay, I asked him if he heard about the President's town hall speech on Wed night, about how this scenario isn't & shouldn't be happening. The ICE officer told me again that they aren't following that right now. I asked why they're not following it or who they are following, and he said "the federal judge." I said that even if DAPA is halted, the enforcement priorities memo is still in place, and my client is not an enforcement priority. He said they're following some other guidelines. When I pressed him on why he's not following the guidelines set out by his Department's secretary, he told me he's not the one who will decide my stay & they will get back to me.

    I'm still waiting on a stay decision (last time a denial came at 7am and they put my client on a plane that day). If we get a denial, the NILC has suggested we start getting media involved to call & let the local ICE office know that they're watching.

    Thank you so much for your time and this connection!

    Meggie

    Updated 02-27-2015 at 12:15 PM by MKolken

  2. ICE No Longer Honoring New Prosecutorial Discretion Memo

    by , 02-26-2015 at 07:39 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Immigration lawyer Bryan Johnson has shared that a Deportation Officer at the Varick Street Detention Center in New York advised that Immigration and Customs Enforcement is no longer honoring the November 20, 2014 prosecutorial discretion memorandum due to Judge Hanen's injunction. The officer went so far to say that, and I quote, the memo has been "ripped off the wall." Newark Enforcement and Removal has confirmed this change in policy.

    I have also been told that individuals that are considered a level 3 priority (the lowest priority) are being taken into custody for removal when they report for supervision. This includes parents of United States citizens that are DAPA eligible. Immigration lawyer Matthew Archambeault has indicated that this has been confirmed by ICE in Charlotte. There have been reports from immigration lawyers all over the country of their clients being taken into custody.

    From the Carolinas Chapter of the American immigration Lawyers Association:

    "ICE is now implementing it’s new policy of enforcement in accordance with the November Executive Action. But for those who have not yet received that desperate call from the client who has been taken into custody at his ICE check in, this is it: If the foreign national has a significant misdemeanor (most often arising in the form of a DUI/DWI) conviction or 3 misdemeanors or a final order after 1/1/14, he will be taken into custody when he checks in with ICE. If he is not checking in with ICE, he stands a chance of getting the knock on the door at 5:00 am. Individuals are being taken into custody even if they are currently in removal proceedings in Charlotte. They are being transferred to Stewart with no holds. ICE has been given the instructions NOT to take into consideration DACA or DAPA eligibility in such detention decisions."

    Immigration lawyer Marty Rosenbluth responds: "It is happening all over. And of course if you don't show up for your appointment you are a fugitive and they knock on your door at 5:00 in the morning."

    These directives have apparently come directly from HQ in Washington and are not the acts of rogue agents. It is absolutely imperative that you advise your clients accordingly.

    UPDATE: Immigration lawyer Mo Goldman reports that Tucson/Phoenix ICE ERO has indicated they are no longer honoring the Nov. 20, 2014 memo as it relates to Expanded DACA/DAPA applicants (except they are making an emphasis on Deportation Priorities).

    UPDATE: New Orleans ICE office is ignoring prosecutorial discretion memo and is taking DAPA eligible parents into custody to effectuate removal. Assistant Field Office Director Brian Acuna stated that ICE NOLA no longer needed to consider eligibility for DAPA since the court had enjoined the DAPA and expanded DACA programs.

    UPDATE: Immigration lawyer Amy Maldanado has advised that a St. Louis Enforcement and Removal Officer has indicated that
    ICE isn't following the prosecutorial discretion memorandum even for non-priority cases due to the Federal Court injunction. He further advised that they are following "some other guidelines." The Officer did not elaborate further.

    UPDATE:
    ICE has confirmed that it was instructed to remove expanded DACA and DAPA flyers from detention areas. AILA Doc. No. 15022762

    UPDATE:
    The ICE ERO Detention Reporting and Information Line confirms the following: "Until further guidance is given, ICE will not consider the new DAPA and expanded DACA guidelines in cases for exercising prosecutorial discretion.”

    Updated 02-27-2015 at 03:24 PM by MKolken

  3. Growing "Horde" of Deportees Living in a Sewage Canal Near Border

    by , 02-24-2015 at 11:05 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    From The Telegraph:

    "On the outskirts of Tijuana, Mexico, a few yards from the US border, a growing horde of deportees live in a sewage canal amid the stench of rotting detritus. Across a fence they can see America, the country that until recently they called home."

    Updated 02-24-2015 at 11:33 AM by MKolken

  4. AILA: Judicial Victory for Detained Asylum Seekers

    by , 02-21-2015 at 08:59 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    AILA Doc No. 15022068 | Dated February 20, 2015

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Friday, February 20, 2015

    CONTACTS:

    George Tzamaras
    202-507-7649
    gtzamaras@aila.org

    Belle Woods
    202-507-7675
    bwoods@aila.org

    WASHINGTON, DC -The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) issued the following statement from its President Leslie A. Holman regarding the decision by U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg in relation to detained mothers and children seeking asylum."Today, Judge Boasberg took a huge step in protecting Central American mothers and children who have made out strong claims for asylum in preliminary hearings with federal asylum officers. By enjoining the federal government from detaining these families for the purpose of deterring future immigration or even considering deterrence of immigration as a factor in its detention decisions, the Court struck a powerful blow against government abuse of power against vulnerable families. For months, in dozens of cases representing individual families, AILA has argued against the government's absurd assertion that these vulnerable mothers and their children are some kind of threat to national security. Today we and these families are vindicated."

    "Moreover, the judge has said that such moms and kids are in fact a class that has been harmed by the government's actions and their class action lawsuit can proceed. These families were held in inhumane conditions, the children were retraumatized and the mothers were forced to share their horrific experiences over and over, often in front of their kids. We told the federal government it was wrong, and today, the champions of these women and children, led by the ACLU, University of Texas and the law firm of Covington and Burling have won a huge victory.


    "AILA and its members will continue to fight to end family detention because we know that incarcerating moms and kids who have sought safety in the only way they know how, is wrong. This decision is right, it is just, and it means the world to these families," concluded Ms. Holman.


    ###


    The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.


    Cite as AILA Doc. No. 15022068.

    Updated 02-21-2015 at 09:18 AM by MKolken

  5. ACLU Sues Obama Admin for Records Describing Abuse of Children

    by , 02-13-2015 at 07:40 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Feb. 11, 2015


    CONTACT:
    Steve Kilar, ACLU of Arizona, 602-773-6007, skilar@acluaz.org
    Anna Castro, ACLU of San Diego, 619-206-6940, acastro@aclusandiego.org
    Taylor Massa, Cooley LLP, 212-479-6546, tmassa@cooley.com


    PHOENIX—American Civil Liberties Union affiliates in Arizona and San Diego, along with the law firm Cooley LLP, filed a lawsuit in federal court today against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for its failure to produce records related to the abuse and mistreatment of children in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and its sub-agency, the U.S. Border Patrol.


    DHS oversight bodies have ignored scores of administrative complaints documenting CBP’s mistreatment of children. For years, media accounts, human rights reports, and child advocates have described the same abuse and neglect of children in Border Patrol custody. On June 11, 2014, the ACLU and partner organizations submitted a complaint to DHS oversight agencies on behalf of 116 unaccompanied children alleging abuse and mistreatment in Border Patrol custody—including harsh temperatures, severe overcrowding, and denial of adequate hygiene supplies, bedding, food, water, and medical care.


    In response, CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske acknowledged the children’s complaints of brutal detention conditions were “spot-on.” But on Oct. 6, 2014—less than four months after the DHS Inspector General’s Office first stated its intent to launch a full investigation—the office announced it would be “curtailing routine inspections.”


    “There’s no better demonstration of the lack of DHS oversight than the agency’s failure to investigate the mistreatment of vulnerable children,” said ACLU of San Diego Staff Attorney Mitra Ebadolahi. “As we’ve seen before, Border Patrol agents generally do not face disciplinary action for civil rights violations, and the agency refuses to reform its notorious detention system, where children—even infants—can still be held for days on end in horrific conditions.”


    On Dec. 3, 2014, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, the ACLU filed a request for DHS records pertaining to alleged or actual mistreatment of children in DHS custody, as well as DHS oversight agencies’ handling of those cases. DHS did not produce the requested documents.


    Not only does the failure of DHS to produce the requested documents violate the Freedom of Information Act, it also impedes the ACLU’s efforts to educate the public on matters of pressing concern—namely, the mistreatment of children in Border Patrol custody.


    The ACLU is also concerned that Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) officials and contractors have not consistently reported allegations involving Border Patrol, as required by federal child abuse reporting laws. ORR incident reports made public last year show that while shelter workers in Arizona and Texas generally reported abuse allegations to DHS, they did not always report those allegations to state child protection agencies.


    Along with its lawsuit, the ACLU today filed accompanying state records requests with child protection agencies in Arizona and Texas, seeking records related to allegations of Border Patrol abuse.


    “This case is about the systemic failure of multiple institutions to protect some of the most vulnerable among us,” said ACLU of Arizona Staff Attorney James Lyall. “Under any reasonable definition, the neglect and mistreatment that these children experience in Border Patrol custody qualifies as child abuse, and federal officials and contractors are required to report that abuse under applicable child protection laws.”


    Attorneys on the case include Victoria Lopez, Dan Pochoda and James Lyall of the ACLU of Arizona; David Loy and Mitra Ebadolahi of the ACLU of San Diego; and Whitty Somvichian and Aarti Reddy of Cooley LLP.


    Click here for a copy of the lawsuit, American Civil Liberties Foundation of Arizona, et al. v. Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, et al.


    Click here for a copy of the records requests filed with child protection agencies in Arizona and Texas.

    Updated 02-23-2015 at 09:36 AM by MKolken

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