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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

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  1. Obama Administration Turns Its Back on American Values with Mammoth New Family Prison

    by , 12-18-2014 at 06:39 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14121745 (posted Dec. 17, 2014)

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    December 17, 2014


    CONTACTS:

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

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

    Washington, DC
    - Leslie A. Holman, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) responded to the opening of a massive new private jail by the Department of Homeland Security in Dilley, Texas with the following statement:


    “By opening this huge permanent private jail in Dilley, Texas, the Administration willfully ignores the clear evidence that the children and mothers that they are detaining are refugees fleeing from extreme violence, and thumbs its nose at the idea that the United States will live by its values and uphold the rights of asylum seekers.


    “I’m appalled. While the Administration is leaving behind its bleak, remote temporary prison for children and their mothers in Artesia, New Mexico, it is embracing a bleak, remote permanent corporate-run prison in Dilley, Texas. Moving from a make-shift prison to one run by the private prison industry brings no more humanity to an inhumane situation.

    “What does this mean for the remaining detainees in Artesia? Will they be able to overcome the Administration’s fallacy that they are undeserving of a fair chance at safe refuge? Will their removal from the place where stalwart AILA members have volunteered their time to assist them in proving their cases mean the end of their chances for due process? No. Even as they are being taken from one prison to another, the pro bono team is following, determined not to give up on justice for them.

    “But what of the thousands of others that DHS Secretary Johnson proclaims he will imprison? How will justice find its way to them in a small Texas town? This is now reaching a scale that challenges the unfunded world of pro bono representation beyond what is realistic.


    “Isn’t it enough that nearly every mother and child in Artesia who has had a full hearing before an immigration judge so far has been granted asylum? Doesn’t that tell the Administration that these most vulnerable of human beings deserve protection rather than warehousing as prisoners? This is unjust and a repudiation of our nation’s values and historic commitment to justice for all.”

    ###
    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.

    Updated 12-18-2014 at 06:44 AM by MKolken

  2. Menendez, Clinton State Dept. Helped Secure Visa for Fugitive Banker's Daughter

    by , 12-17-2014 at 11:52 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Report from NBC New York:

    New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez interceded on behalf of an Ecuadorian woman who was banned from traveling to the U.S. because of allegations she had engaged in visa fraud.

    The woman, Estafania Isaias, is the daughter of a fugitive from Ecuador convicted in absentia for bank fraud and whose relatives in Florida made significant campaign donations to the New Jersey Democrat's 2012 campaign and the Democratic Party.

  3. ACLU Lawsuit Challenges Obama Admin's Policy of Intimidating Immigrant Mothers

    by , 12-17-2014 at 08:54 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    From the ACLU:

    December 16, 2014

    The ACLU filed a nationwide class-action lawsuit challenging the Obama administration's policy of locking up asylum-seeking mothers and children to intimidate others from coming to the United States.

    The case was brought on behalf of mothers and children who have fled extreme violence, death threats, rape, and persecution in Central America and come to the United States for safety. Each has been found by an immigration officer or judge to have a "credible fear" of persecution, meaning there is a "significant possibility" they will be granted asylum.

    Yet, instead of releasing these families as they await their asylum hearings, which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has typically done, the agency now categorically detains and denies their release on bond or other conditions. The Obama administration adopted this policy — "an aggressive deterrence strategy" — following this summer's increase in mothers and children coming to the United States.

    The Obama administration's blanket no-release policy is a violation of federal immigration law and regulations, as well as the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibit the blanket detention of asylum seekers for purposes of general deterrence, the complaint charges.

    The lawsuit aims to invalidate that policy and ensure that the families’ cases receive individualized reviews. Asylum-seeking mothers and children are being detained at facilities across the country, in places such as Karnes, Texas, and Berks County, Penn. The nation's largest family detention facility just opened in Dilley, Texas.

    Plaintiffs in this case — all of whom have cleared credible-fear screenings — include:

    • A mother who, along with her son, fled from Honduras after years of physical abuse at the hands of her son’s father. After he raped her, she escaped with the help of members of her church. However, DHS has refused to release the mother and son to live with their family in the U.S. while their asylum case proceeds.
    • A mother who fled El Salvador with her 5-year-old and 8-month-old daughters to escape brutal and unrelenting abuse by the children's father. She and her daughters are being further traumatized because they are locked up in detention as they await their asylum hearing, even though they have a U.S.-citizen relative who has offered to support them and provide the care the family needs.
    • A Salvadoran woman who, with her young son and daughter, escaped to the United States after her common-law husband physically abused her and threatened to kill her children. They are now languishing in detention awaiting an asylum hearing, even though they could stay with her mother who lives and works in Texas.


    The case, RILR v. Johnson, was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. Co-counsel are the ACLU's Immigrants’ Rights Project, the ACLU of the Nation’s Capital, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, the ACLU of Texas, the Immigration Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law at Austin, and Covington & Burling LLP.

    Click here to download the complaint.

    Updated 12-17-2014 at 09:09 AM by MKolken

  4. District Court Declares Obama's Executive Action on Immigration Unconstitutional

    by , 12-16-2014 at 06:12 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    From the Washington Post:

    According to the opinion by Judge Arthur Schwab, the president’s policy goes “beyond prosecutorial discretion” in that it provides a relatively rigid framework for considering applications for deferred action, thus obviating any meaningful case-by-case determination as prosecutorial discretion requires, and provides substantive rights to applicable individuals. As a consequence, Schwab concluded, the action exceeds the scope of executive authority.

    Judge Schwab is a George W. Bush appointee.

    Juarez Escobar


  5. Shakedown: How Deportation Robs Immigrants of their Possessions and Money

    by , 12-10-2014 at 03:42 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    No More Deaths has just released a report entitled Shakedown: How Deportation Robs Immigrants of their Possessions and Money.

    "Shakedown uses four years of data accumulated from No More Deaths’s Property Recovery Assistance Project to expose the widespread practices of the US Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement wherein they deport people with nothing more than the clothes on their backs—and then destroy or appropriate their property left behind.

    In the 165 money-specific cases highlighted in the report, a total of $37,025 US dollars would have been lost if no help were available. Of this total, $12,850 (35%) was recovered with assistance.Shakedown exposes exactly how and why deportation strips people of their belongings and reports on the terrible consequences for immigrants deported without their money, IDs, cell phones, and other belongings."

    Click here to read the full report.

    Click here for the executive summary.

    Click here for the fact sheet.
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