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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal


  1. Congresswoman Calls for Investigation of Sexual Abuse of Mothers in Detention

    by , 10-30-2014 at 06:52 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    October 29, 2014
    Ben Soskin
    (202) 225-1766

    PRESS ADVISORY: Rep. Roybal-Allard Joins Immigrant Rights Groups in Calling for Investigation of Sexual Abuse of Mothers in Detention
    Questions the Continued Incarceration of Migrant Families

    Washington, DC – On Thursday, October 30th, at 11:30am EST/8:30am PST, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) will speak on a press call to discuss the need for a thorough, independent investigation of sexual abuse allegations at a detention center in Karnes, Texas, used to detain migrant mothers and their young children. Joined by the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) and the Women's Refugee Commission (WRC), the Congresswoman will explain why the incarceration of migrant families is costly, unnecessary, and inappropriate for vulnerable women and children fleeing violence in their home countries. Many of the women held at Karnes are victims of sexual or domestic violence from Central America, and came to the U.S. seeking refuge from their abusers.

    The press call is timed to coincide with the release of a new report by LIRS and WRC, Locking Up Family Values, Again, which documents allegations of abuse, violations of due process, and poor conditions at family detention centers.

    WHEN: 11:30am EST/8:30am PST on Thursday, October 30th, 2014

    WHERE: Please use the following number to dial in: 877-888-4314
    Conference ID: Values

    WHO: Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40)
    Michelle Brané, Director for Migrant Rights and Justice Program, Women’s Refugee Commission
    Liz Sweet, Director for Access to Justice, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
    Christina Brown, Lead Attorney, AILA Artesia Pro Bono Project
    Rebecca van Uitert, Attorney - Fragomen Worldwide
    *Additional Participants TBC


    About The Women’s Refugee Commission
    The Women’s Refugee Commission works to improve the lives and protect the rights of women, children and youth displaced by conflict and crisis. For more information, visit http://womensrefugeecommission.org.

    About Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
    Founded in 1939, LIRS is nationally recognized for advocating for and with refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied children, immigrants in detention, families fractured by migration and other vulnerable populations, and for serving migrants through 60 grassroots legal and social service partners across the United States. Celebrating 75 years of service and advocacy this year, LIRS has helped more than 500,000 migrants and refugees rebuild their lives in America. http://www.lirs.org

    About the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
    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. For more information visit http://www.aila.org.

  2. Gay activist with medical issues needs your help to pressure ICE to grant his release

    by , 10-29-2014 at 01:59 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Miguel, a gay activist, artist, and migrant farmworker who has lived in the U.S. for 22 years, is currently living with HIV, Hepatitis C, and has fought cancer currently being monitored by doctors. He is detained in the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma, WA, where it took about three months before he was able to see outside specialists regarding his various medical conditions despite his frequent requests to see a doctor. Due to his desperation, he was driven to attempt suicide in the first few weeks of his detention. Even though Miguel’s condition is unique and requires special medical care, NWDC has refused to release him on humanitarian grounds, asserting that they are equipped to handle someone with his medical problems. Miguel is asking for our help to pressure the ICE officers who have the authority to grant his release.

    Please call the Tacoma ICE office and ask them to grant the immediate humanitarian release of Miguel Angel Armenta Olabarria! (A# 076-343-950).

    Call ICE Officers Bryan Wilcox at 253-779-6080 and
    Nathalie Asher at 206-835-0058.


    Miguel Angel Armenta Olabarria! (A# 076-343-950) is currently living with HIV, Hepatitis C, and has fought cancer currently being monitored by doctors. and attempted suicide. It took NWDC about three months to begin giving Miguel the proper medical care he requires, which was only possible by reaching out to specialists outside of NWDC. Miguel is in no way a threat to community safety. Since his return to the United States in 2004, he has dedicated himself to LGBT and HIV issues and who has volunteer countless times to helping less fortunate children. As a member of __[your group/organization]_ I am asking you to immediately grant him humanitarian release while he awaits the decision on his asylum. Thank you.

    Can you come to Miguel’s asylum hearing on October 30th at 1 PM in Tacoma? Please RSVP to Alex at axwest@gmail.com.

  3. Latino Support for Democrats Falls, but Democratic Advantage Remains

    by , 10-29-2014 at 01:28 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Media Contact: Molly Rohal, 202-419-4318, mrohal@pewresearch.org

    Latino Support for Democrats Falls, but Democratic Advantage Remains
    Immigration Not a Deal-Breaker Issue for Half of Latino Voters

    After more than a year of inaction by Congress and President Obama on immigration reform, Democrats maintain a wide, but diminished, advantage among Hispanic registered voters, according to a new nationwide Pew Research Center survey of 1,520 Hispanic adults, including 733 registered voters.

    In this year’s congressional elections, 57% of Latino registered voters support the Democratic candidate in their congressional district or lean Democratic, while 28% favor the Republican candidate or lean Republican, a greater than two-to-one advantage for Democrats. But support for congressional Democrats is down from 2010, when 65% of Latino registered voters backed the Democrat in their congressional district and 22% favored the Republican candidate.

    On political party identification, 63% of Hispanic voters today say they identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, down from 70% who said the same in 2012. And when asked which political party has more concern for Hispanics, 50% say the Democrats, down from 61% who said the same in 2012.

    Meanwhile, Republicans have made some progress among Hispanic voters. About one-quarter (27%) today say they identify with or lean toward the Republican Party. In 2012, 22% said the same.

    But Republican Party gains among Hispanic registered voters in terms of party identification do not extend to Hispanic voters’ views of the party. Just 10% say the Republican Party has more concern than the Democratic Party for Hispanics, unchanged since 2012. Instead, the share of Hispanic registered voters who say there is no difference between the two parties is up, to 35% today from 23% in 2012.

    Hispanics and Immigration Reform
    The new survey also shows that two-thirds (66%) of Hispanic registered voters say it is extremely important (30%) or very important (36%) that the president and Congress pass significant new immigration legislation soon. Among all Hispanics, three-quarters (74%) say the same.

    When asked who is responsible for the lack of immigration reform this year, Latino registered voters place more blame on Republicans in Congress (45%) than congressional Democrats (14%) or President Obama (20%). By contrast, among all Latinos, just as many blame Republicans (40%) as blame either congressional Democrats (15%) or President Obama (24%).

    Yet the survey also shows that immigration is not a deal breaker issue for many Latino voters. Some 54% say they would vote for a candidate who disagrees with them on immigration policy if that candidate agrees with them on most other issues. Nonetheless, about one-third (36%) say they would not vote for a candidate if they disagreed with the candidate on immigration policy.

    Overall, the issue of immigration does not rate as high as some other issues among Hispanic voters. Instead, when asked about issues that might be discussed in this year’s congressional campaign, more say education (92%), jobs and the economy (91%) and health care (86%) are extremely important or very important to them. By comparison, 73% say the same about immigration.

    The report, based on a survey conducted between Sept. 11 through Oct. 9 in English and Spanish on cellular as well as landline phones, is available at http://www.pewhispanic.org/2014/10/2...ntage-remains/. For more information or to arrange an interview with Mark Hugo Lopez, director of Hispanic research, please contact Molly Rohal at mrohal@pewresearch.org or 202-419-4318.

    Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It does not take policy positions.
  4. Senator Hagan Interrupted on Stage for Her Anti-Immigrant Record

    by , 10-27-2014 at 05:49 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    OCT. 26, 2014


    Viridiana Martinez


    Cesar Vargas

    (347) 415-0723

    Raleigh, NC- Immigrant youth, parents and allies jumped on stage as Senator Hagan was addressing supporters at the Chavis Park Baseball Field. The Dreamers and voters carried posters saying, "Hagan Lost My Vote" and "Friends Don't Deport Friends". Indeed, 64% of Latino voters in North Carolina have a family member or friend who is undocumented.

    In a recent article by the Washington Times about our Spanish billboard campaign unveiled by the North Carolina latino community and North Carolina Dream Team, Senator Hagan is said to “refute the attack and calls on “all my friends in the community to understand the difference” between herself and Thom Tillis.”

    Viridiana Martinez, a Dreamer of the North Carolina Dream Team says, "I’m having a hard time understanding how we’re friends. You see, friends trust each other. Friends have each other’s back. There is mutual respect in a friendship. Senator Hagan has proven she has none of those things for the latino community."

    1. Where was our friend Kay Hagan in 2006 when she voted to take away driver licenses from our community?
    2. Where was our friend Kay Hagan in 2010 when she voted against the Dream Act?
    3. Where was our friend Kay Hagan in Christimas of 2012 when Maria Juana Perez, a single mother of two US citizen girls, knocked on her door to ask for her to intervene in her deportation? Senator Hagan opened the door right before calling the police on Maria Juana and her family and friends. Our friend Kay Hagan didn’t care that Maria Juana’s two young daughters had missed school to plead that she help keep their mother home.
    4. Where was our friend Kay Hagan this year when she voted against DACA?


    Dream Action Coalition serves as a voice for undocumented youth and lobbying arm of the dream movement. Our work ensures that undocumented youth are represented in the halls of power and are correctly and directly informed of the actions of Congress, Executive Agencies, and the Courts.-- Erika Andiola DRM Capitol Group -Co-Founder
    (480) 278-6843
    FB: https://www.facebook.com/drmcapitolgroup
    TW: @drmcapitolgroup

    Updated 10-27-2014 at 05:52 AM by MKolken

  5. A Spouse's Plea For Her Soon to be Deported Husband

    by , 10-14-2014 at 12:43 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Buffalo Field Office Director Michael T. Phillips has just denied a request for prosecutorial discretion, which if granted would have allowed Ben Sangari, a citizen of the United Kingdom, to apply for a Green Card pursuant to his marriage to his United States citizen spouse Arlita McNamee Sangari. Mr. Sangari entered the U.S. on May 30, 2014, under the visa waiver program that allows nationals of certain countries to come to the U.S. without having to apply for a visa through the Department of State. His visitor status expired on August 27, 2014.

    Mr. Sangari overstayed his visitor status by a couple of weeks after he asked for his wife's hand in marriage. The couple was in the process of collecting all the necessary documentation needed to apply for his Green Card when Mr. Sangari was encountered during a routine traffic stop in the suburban Buffalo, New York area. He was taken into custody by Customs and Border Protections, and then turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement where he has remained since September 22, 2014. Because he faces an imminent threat of removal, the couple were forced to marry from inside the Buffalo Federal Detention Center in Batavia, New York.

    By coming under the visa waiver program Mr. Sangari is not entitled to a hearing before an immigration judge, and his fate is decided by the local district director who maintains sole discretionary authority to decide if he wants to deport him, or allow him to apply for a green card as a result of his marriage to a United States citizen.

    Despite the overstay of his visitor status, Mr. Sangari remains eligible to apply for his Green Card inside the country pursuant to a policy memorandum that specifically provides for this scenario. This memorandum has been ignored by Field Office Director Phillips, who instead based his denial of our request for relief entirely on the fact that he deemed Mr. Sangari a deportation priority due to the recency of his immigration violation, despite the fact that the Obama administration has specifically identified individuals such as him as a low priority for removal.

    It should be noted that Mr. Sangari is a respected business man and philanthropist holding a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in physics from the University of London. He sits on the Board of a trustees of the Eisenhower Fellowships, formerly chaired by Henry Kissinger, and now by General Colin Powell. The Eisenhower Fellowships’ primary mission is to inspire leaders around the world to challenge themselves, to think beyond their current scope, to engage others, including outside of their current networks, and to leverage their own talents to better the world around them.

    Mr. Sangari has also been an invited participant in President Bill Clinton’s Global Initiative, which convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. In a letter dated October 22, 2009, President Clinton wrote “Your presence symbolizes an unwavering dedication to empowering our communities and building a stronger future for our world. I was inspired by your ideas, your initiative, and most importantly, your hope.” High praise indeed.

    The following letter is a plea written by Mr. Sangari's wife Arlita. The couple have asked me to share it here in the hopes that it will bring attention to their case, as well as serving as a warning that the memorandums of the Obama administration are not being implemented on a local level, and that families are being destroyed in the process.

    We can only hope that someone is listening:

    As a US Citizen you are taught to believe that you belong to this country, that you are protected, that you are free. When I think about what my experience has brought me in the United States it feels very far from free.

    Together with my mother, my father and my brother, this week a family of US citizens was just torn apart. As we cried what felt like a river of tears together, we all had to mourn what could have been and then face the reality that my parents would say goodbye to their daughter and son in law and what would have soon been their role as the grandparent-down-the-street. Ben’s ability to immigrate to the United States from the United Kingdom was denied.

    If Ben had a criminal record or any such blemish on his past that made him unsuitable to be welcomed into this country, perhaps we could have understood it. We still are not sure where we will go, but we know we will not leave one another’s side. The fact is that the family that we were to begin will now has to wait until we have stabilized somewhere.

    My US citizenship is supposed to make me feel free in this country and I have never felt more betrayed. When we arrived here some months ago, we brought so much hope with us. Not just for reuniting a family after 10 years us working in developing countries, but in finally having the opportunity to build a nest and raise our children in the safety of home. Now this hope has been shattered.

    From the moment we decided to pursue residency here we weighed our decisions carefully, we were careful to follow protocol. No one has asked us about the unfortunate circumstances that forced us to delay our wedding until days after the expiration of Ben`s visa, but the story is compelling.

    We were not naïve as to focus on family without also planning our careers and finances here. Our time here gave birth to an idea of a project for Buffalo that would create jobs, employ both of our skill sets, and bring economic growth to our region. We had already raised $150,000 for this Buffalo-based green technology venture, with plans to raise an additional $1.5 million in the next three years. Ben has 30 years of entrepreneurial experience, and just five years ago established a business in the US, investing more than $5 million in the US. He had ample right to a residency visas then, as an investor or for outstanding work – O Visa, but hadn’t need to pursue it.

    Turning us away for the smallest of mistakes, for which we are so overwhelmingly regretful, means closing this chapter of hope, of excitement, and of fulfilling our life goals here in this community. Now, by expelling Ben, I too have been expelled from my own country, and now I am the immigrant, with no status, at the mercy of England`s gates.

    We never tried to take more than what was ours, nor skip anyone else in line to come to America. We do not believe we are entitled to anything beyond fair and reasonable judgment.

    Please reunite our family and let this nightmare end. We have been waiting years and years for this moment and the power is yours not to take it away.

    Arlita McNamee Sangari

    Updated 10-14-2014 at 05:36 PM by MKolken

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