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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

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  1. Polis, Grijalva, Cicilline, Lofgren Call On Obama to Protect LGBT Immigrants

    by , 09-30-2014 at 02:30 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Media Release: September 30, 2014

    Contact: Scott Overland (Polis), (202) 225-2161
    Dan Linder (Grijalva), (202) 225-2435
    Andrew Gernt (Cicilline), (202) 225-4911
    Peter Whippy (Lofgren), (202) 225-3072

    WASHINGTON, DC — On Monday, Representatives Jared Polis (CO-02), Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), David Cicilline (RI-01), and Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) sent a letter signed by forty-four Members of Congress to President Barack Obama urging him to include protections for LGBT immigrants as he develops and implements new executive actions on immigration.

    The Representatives recognized that the President alone cannot fix our nation’s broken immigration system, but called on him to use the executive powers he does have to address the unique challenges faced by LGBT immigrants who currently face additional complications, including familial separation and gender-based violence in detention.

    “By exercising your power to implement administrative policies that take into account the uniquely dangerous and difficult circumstances facing LGBT immigrants, you have the ability to protect thousands of individuals immediately,” the Representatives wrote. “[I]t is imperative that you use the tools at your disposal to ensure that families stay together, that immigrants are not put in harm’s way, and that LGBT people are not subjected, at the hands of the American government, to the dangers from which they have fled.”

    There are currently 267,000 LGBT immigrants living in the United States, many of whom came to this country to escape threats and extreme violence. Existing Department of Homeland Security prosecutorial discretion policies have failed to implement a meaningful balancing test that properly weighs strong equities against negative factors, making at-risk LGBT immigrants much less likely to qualify for protection. In addition, LGBT immigrants are routinely deported back to nations in which their sexual orientation or gender identity places their lives at risk.
  2. AILA: Expansion of Family Detention Means the US Will Jail More Victims

    by , 09-23-2014 at 05:32 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14092345 (posted Sep. 23, 2014)

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Tuesday, September 23, 2014
    CONTACTS:
    George Tzamaras or Belle Woods
    202-507-7649 - 202-507-7675
    gtzamaras@aila.org - bwoods@aila.org

    Washington, DC
    - Leslie A. Holman, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) responded to the confirmation today that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has contracted with a private prison corporation to open a massive new detention facility for families in Dilley, Texas:

    "This is the latest example of the Obama Administration compounding its mistakes and treating asylum-seeking mothers and children as criminals rather than families seeking safety. I'm disappointed that the Administration is again turning away from our country's values. Jailing refugees is no way to honor our nation's tradition of welcoming and protecting those fleeing danger and violence.

    "You can call it a 'Family Residential Center' but it is a prison. Dilley will be the largest immigration detention facility nationwide-all for the purpose of jailing families. That's not what these women and children deserve. These families deserve to be released to relatives here in the U.S., to be offered a chance to post bond, and to be allowed the time required to make their asylum claims. There is also a range of alternatives that could be used, such as ankle monitors or intensive supervision. But the federal government is objecting to everything but jail detention across the board for these families. Mass imprisonment of mothers, infants, and toddlers is something I've never seen before. That's just wrong.

    "Additionally, while ICE states that it ensures that facilities offer access to counsel, that has simply not been the case at the facilities at which AILA members are volunteering. The very nature of these prisons results in attorneys being blocked from meaningful communication with their pro bono clients and a shortage of lawyers nearby, along with a host of other issues. Our members' pro bono efforts were implemented without the assistance of the federal government and required continued and constant push by our volunteers to offer the women and children their lawful chance to seek asylum.

    "What we really need, instead of millions spent on another detention facility, is to address the factors pushing children and families to make the incredibly dangerous journey northward. The current humanitarian crisis will not be solved until we focus on the root causes, which coincidentally, is also the moral thing to do."

    ###
    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 09-23-2014 at 07:59 PM by MKolken

  3. Only 1 of 5 Deportations Target Criminals

    by , 09-18-2014 at 09:11 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    From Syracuse University's TRAC Immigration:

    (12 Sep 2014) Immigration Court judges have ordered 82,878 individuals deported so far this fiscal year, according to the latest data as of the end of August. But in only 16,375 of these cases, about one out of every five, had the government sought the removal order because of criminal or other activity that posed a threat to public safety; the remainder involved various immigration charges.

    These new filings contribute to a workload that already outstrips the capacity of the limited number of Immigration Court judges. As a result, the court's backlog of cases awaiting hearing has increased to 408,037 as of the end of August.

    So far this fiscal year, deportation was ordered in just over half (50.2 percent) of Immigration Court dispositions. The highest percentage of deportation orders were issued by immigration courts in Georgia (77.4 percent) and Louisiana (75.4 percent). The lowest proportion of deportation orders this year were issued by the courts in Oregon (25.8 percent) and New York (30.0 percent).

    So much for the claim that Obama is deporting serious criminals and threats to public safety.

    Updated 09-18-2014 at 01:29 PM by MKolken

  4. The Audacity of Nope

    by , 09-15-2014 at 08:02 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    My latest op-ed published on Fox News Latino asks the question: Are immigration reform advocates really left with no choice this November?

    The short answer: No.

    I contend that the most powerful way to send a message to Washington is not for the Hispanic electorate to sit this one out, but rather to vote en masse for third-party candidates acting as a destructive force in as many elections as possible. Let the pollsters sift through the data to show that, absent Latino support, candidates of all party affiliation can not win office. This is the only way for the lesson to be learned that if you betray the largest growing electorate in this country there will be a price to be paid come Election Day.

    Click here to read the entire article.
  5. The Young Turks: "Obama Plays Pathetic Political Games"

    by , 09-10-2014 at 03:23 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    This is spot on commentary:

    Updated 09-16-2014 at 09:54 AM by MKolken

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