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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

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  1. Amal Alamuddin Clooney's Hypocritical Attack on Donald Trump

    by , 04-29-2016 at 02:30 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    I just saw a blog post by my colleague Roger Algase that praises "human rights lawyer" Amal Alamuddin Clooney for her attacks on Donald Trump. Yes, that Clooney. The wife of $353,000.0 per plate "Gorgeous George" Clooney.

    Roger references an April 25, 2016 BBC interview where Mrs. Clooney stated the following:

    "When you listen to what the leading candidate on the Republican side has been saying about building walls, about excluding Mexicans and saying there has to be a complete shutdown on all Muslims entering the country...

    People I think should have been saying, 'Do you mean the 1.5 billion people around the world who fit that description, do you mean the people who are US citizens, who are members of your military, the vast majority of whom are not extremist or violent in any way?'"


    Oddly enough, I don't recall hearing Amal Clooney's opinion about her and her husband's chosen candidate Hillary Clinton. I wonder what Mrs. Clooney's thoughts are on Hillary's xenophobically racist statements dehumanizing undocumented immigrants? Or about Hillary boasting that she voted multiple times when in the Senate to build a wall? Since Clooney is a "human rights lawyer," it would be interesting to know what her opinion is on Secretary Clinton's insistence that we immediately deport immigrants without due process, "No questions asked." Or about Hillary's repeated calls to send refugee children back to unspeakable violence? Did Mrs. Clooney happen to opine on Hillary Clinton's dubious ties to the private for-profit prison industry, that in addition to Clooney, is funding Clinton's campaign? Or that 20 years of mass detention and abuse of immigrants have been directly attributed to policies Bill Clinton created and Hillary supported?

    I'm willing to hazard a guess that there are 353,000 per plate reasons why we haven't heard Mrs. Clooney's opinion on those subjects.

    Remember boys and girls, it is perfectly acceptable to bundle for a politician that has a history as a human rights violator so long as that person is a Democrat.

    Repeat after me: "A Republican would be worse."

    Here is what an actual in-the-trenches "human rights" lawyer has to say on the subject, one that isn't bundling for Clinton:

    As attorneys who represent over 300 Central American children with pending deportation cases in the New York Immigration Court and who have won relief for more than 200 children in the past two years, we believe it is unconscionable [to endorse] Hillary Clinton. ~Immigration lawyer Bryan Johnson

    I'm guessing Mr. Johnson won't be invited to the inauguration, which is too bad because as a fellow "human rights" lawyers I'm sure he and Mrs. Clooney would have much to talk about.

    Parenthetically, it is worth noting that our current President is already implementing Trump-like immigration policies towards Muslims and Mexicans, in addition to jailing refugee children in WWII style deportation internment camps, and deporting nearly 3 million people.

    I wonder what Mrs. Clooney's opinion is about that?

    I forgot... another Democrat.

    Updated 04-30-2016 at 05:14 AM by MKolken

  2. Human Rights Watch Reports on Damaging Impact of Clinton's Immigration Law

    by , 04-28-2016 at 10:09 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Human Rights Watch reports on the last 20 years of abuses that have stemmed from Bill Clinton's 1996 immigration law. I have written about this on multiple occasions (See: The Clinton's connection to for profit deportation jails, and The Refugee Hypocrisy of Hillary Clinton).

    From Human Rights Watch:

    President Bill Clinton signed the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, known as AEDPA, on April 24, 1996. The legislation, passed in the aftermath of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, greatly expanded the grounds for detaining and deporting immigrants, including long-term legal residents. It was the first US law to authorize certain now-widely-used fast-track deportation procedures.

    The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), signed in September 1996, made further sweeping changes to immigration laws. It eliminated key defenses against deportation and subjected many more immigrants, including legal permanent residents, to detention and deportation. IIRIRA defined a greatly expanded range of criminal convictions – including relatively minor, nonviolent ones – for which legal permanent residents could be automatically deported. IIRIRA also made it much more difficult for people fleeing persecution to apply for asylum.


    Over the last two decades, Human Rights Watch has documented how these laws rip apart the families of even long-term legal residents via the broad swath of criminal convictions considered triggers for automatic deportation or detention.

    The following Human Rights Watch reports document harm caused by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act.

    Locked Away: Immigration Detainees in Jails in the United States, September 1, 1998. Found that the then-new mandatory detention obligations of the 1996 laws drastically increased the use of immigration detention and that the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) was holding more than half of its detainees in jails, where they are subjected to punitive treatment.

    Family, Unvalued
    : Discrimination, Denial, and the Fate of Binational Same-Sex Couples under U.S. Law, May 1, 2006. Documented how AEDPA’s bar on asylum applications filed more than one year after an asylum seeker’s arrival harms people making claims based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

    Forced Apart
    : Families Separated and Immigrants Harmed by United States Deportation Policy, July 16, 2007. Documented how the substantial expansion of the criminal grounds for deportation in 1996 devastates communities across the nation, targeting not only undocumented immigrants but also long-term lawful permanent residents – green card holders – as well.

    Forced Apart (By the Numbers)
    : Non-Citizens Deported Mostly for Nonviolent Offenses, April 15, 2009. Found that three quarters of non-citizens deported, mostly due to the 1996 laws, after serving criminal sentences were convicted of nonviolent offenses, and that one in five had been in the country legally, some for decades.

    Locked Up Far Away
    : The Transfer of Immigrants to Remote Detention Centers in the United States, December 2, 2009. Found that the 1996 laws made many more non-citizens subject to deportation and made it much more difficult for them to defend themselves.

    Deportation by Default
    : Mental Disability, Unfair Hearings, and Indefinite Detention in the US Immigration System, July 25, 2010. Documented how the mandatory detention provisions of the 1996 laws cause unnecessary detention of people with mental disabilities, leading to abuses.

    Tough, Fair, and Practical
    : A Human Rights Framework for Immigration Reform in the United States, July 8, 2010. Called for immigration reform that repeals the 1996 provisions authorizing fast-track deportations, limitations on the use of reasonable discretion for immigration judges, and arbitrary detention.

    Costly and Unfair
    : Flaws in US Immigration Detention Policy, May 6, 2010. Described the “relatively unchecked” powers given to immigration enforcement authorities under the 1996 laws to detain many immigrants for prolonged periods.

    Within Reach
    : A Roadmap for US Immigration Reform, May 1, 2013. Called for a US immigration system that respects and protects families and ensures due process.

    At Least Let Them Work
    : The Denial of Work Authorization and Assistance for Asylum Seekers in the United States, November 12, 2013. Showed how IIRIRA prevents asylum seekers from working for at least six months, and often for years, while their claims are pending.

    Torn Apart
    : Families and US Immigration Reform, July 24, 2014. Highlighted dramatic photographs of some of the millions of families affected by the 1996 laws.

    You Don’t Have Rights Here
    : US Border Screenings and Returns of Central Americans to Risk of Serious Harm, October 16, 2014. Documented how fast-track border deportation procedures authorized by the 1996 laws deny migrants a genuine opportunity to claim asylum and place them at serious risk of harm.

    A Price Too High
    : US Families Torn Apart by Deportations for Drug Offense, June 16, 2015. Documented how the 1996 laws prompt the US to routinely open deportation proceedings against legal residents and other immigrants with strong ties to US families.

    Do You See How Much I’m Suffering Here?
    : Abuse against Transgender Women in US Immigration Detention, March 23, 2016. Documented how the 1996 provisions on mandatory detention and fast-track deportations contribute to unnecessary detention and harm to transgender women.

    Updated 04-28-2016 at 12:57 PM by MKolken

  3. Washington Post Corrects Mischaracterization of Obama's Deportation Record

    by , 04-28-2016 at 09:19 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Bryan Johnson and LatinoRebels.com have diligently worked to persuade the Washington Post to correct factual inaccuracies contained in an article about the Obama administration honoring the man responsible for deporting toddlers.

    From Bryan Johnson:

    The Washington Post advised that a second change to its article was made. Here are the changes:

    And last year, the percentage of illegal immigrants with criminal records reached a record share of total deportations, ICE officials said. The number of those deported with criminal records has declined in recent years, however.

    Homan managed these deportations with the help of an expanded fingerprinting system that local police departments share with immigration authorities.

    Additionally, the article now includes this editor’s note:

    Editor’s note:
    This story has been updated to clarify that in 2015, Homan’s team was responsible for a record percentage of total ICE deportations of undocumented immigrants with criminal histories. The story had incorrectly stated the team was responsible for a “record number” of deportations of these migrants when in fact the number of those deported with criminal histories declined.

    FIRST UPDATE, April 27, 2015 11am ET: Lisa Rein, the Washington Post reporter who authored the article on Thomas Homan, made an addition. (in bold)

    Last year, Homan managed the deportation of a record number of illegal immigrants with criminal histories with the help of an expanded fingerprinting system that local police departments share with immigration authorities. Migrants with criminal convictions made up 59 percent of deportations last year, the largest percentage of the agency’s removals in recent years, ICE officials said. Migrants with criminal convictions made up 59 percent of deportations last year, the largest percentage of the agency’s removals in recent years, ICE officials said.

    I appreciate Ms. Rein’s prompt response to the concerns I raised with her and the Post’s executive editor, Martin Baron. However, the addition cited to above does little if anything to mitigate the false statements that remain in the article.


    The Post now makes two factual claims that are irreconcilable 1. In 2015, Homan was responsible for the deportation of a “record number” of immigrants with criminal histories; and 2. In 2015, Homan was responsible for the deportation of a “record percentage” of immigrants deported had criminal histories.

    A number is not a percentage, as the words’ respective definitions demonstrate:





    The facts are clear: Mr. Homan never managed the deportation of a record number of immigrants with criminal histories. A percentage can only be understood in the context of a number within a greater number. It is a word of an entirely different species than that of the word number.

    As described in the original article below, the difference is crucial because in 2015 Mr. Homan managed the deportation of the second-lowest number of immigrants with criminal histories in the history of Obama’s presidency.


    As such, the Washington Post must withdraw its claim that Mr. Homan managed the deportation of a record number of immigrants with criminal histories.


    There are numerous other problems with the article not mentioned previously, such as the blanket reference to all those who have been deported as “illegal immigrants.” As we have pointed out numerous times in the past, the use of the word “illegal” to describe immigrants is often fundamentally inaccurate.


    For example, many immigrants who were deported were legal residents of the United States until they were physically deported to their native countries. Immigrants can be have legal status or be lawfully present in the United States and be removable or deportable at the same time.


    Also, Ms. Rein clings to the “illegal immigrant” to describe hundreds of children, many of whom were infants and toddlers. Toddlers cannot knowingly come to the United States illegally. For example, an adult can be charged with a federal misdemeanor crime for unlawfully entering the United States. A toddler cannot.
  4. Moving Plea to Shut Down Obama's Family Detention Centers

    by , 04-27-2016 at 02:27 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The following was posted on Facebook by immigration lawyer Carol Anne Donohoe:

    So imagine this: A mother and her 2 year old son, or a mother and her 17 year old son, or a mother and her 5 year old daughter who has been sick for months with untreated diarrhea and vomiting, or a mother and her son who just turned 12 today. Can you picture it? Now imagine that all of these mothers and children are sitting on death row.

    They have committed no crime.

    They have appealed their cases time and time again in order to get a fair hearing because the first hearing was rigged against them. While they wait, their children are getting sick, they are all becoming hopeless. Over and over their appeals are denied with no explanation.

    The government not only denies their appeals but actively makes death row more and more miserable. Every 15 minutes at night flashlights are shined in their eyes so they can't sleep, guards bang on the doors at 6:30 a.m. and they're ordered to get up whether they've rested or not, the food is inedible, and their children are sick. When they complain about their children being sick, they are told they are lying.

    The objective is to make these mothers so desperate that they will just give in and accept the injection, the electric chair, the firing squad. Better to just get on with it than to wait months and months wondering if you and your two year old will end up being executed anyway.


    Now that you've imagined it, are you horrified? Do you find it difficult to believe?

    This is exactly what is happening to families in immigration detention. It's not Donald Trump who's in charge of this macabre scenario, it is Obama.

    If you are local, it is your county commissioners who are keeping this nightmare real. For everyone who took the time today to send Gary a birthday message, now take the time on Monday to call your acting president and ask why he is keeping two year olds on death row.

    Ask why desperate mothers and children are given jail sentences instead of shelter. Ask him how he can look himself in the mirror. Then call the Berks County Commissioners and ask them how they sleep at night. Ask them why they say the mothers are lying when all they want is medical treatment for their children. Ask them why it's so important to them to keep jailing children when they supposedly do not profit from it. Make those calls for Gary. And for Briany. And for Steven. And for Alex. And for Yeslin and Cleydi. And for Anderson and Allison and Victor and Diego and all the other children.

    Don't stop calling until we‪ #‎shutdownberks‬ and ‪#‎endfamilydetention‬

    ***
    Carol Anne Donohoe is an immigration attorney with a private practice in Reading, PA. For nearly the past two years she has represented and advocated for detained mothers, fathers, and children in the Berks Family detention center, largely pro bono. She is a graduate of Temple Beasley School of Law and the President of the Greater Reading Immigration Project (GRIP.)

    Updated 04-27-2016 at 02:45 PM by MKolken

  5. New Data on 637 Detention Facilities Used by ICE in FY 2015

    by , 04-26-2016 at 02:50 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University has issued a new report regarding Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) custody system. TRAC created a database from each detention facility that at least one individual entered, left or stayed at during the past year based on Freedom of Information Act requests.

    From the summary:

    A total of 325,209 individuals left ICE custody last year, while 39,082 were still detained at the end of FY 2015[1]. The reasons for which individuals were released from ICE custody varied markedly by detention facility. Nationally, the most common reason for leaving ICE custody was because a detainee was being deported; this reason was listed in 55 percent of recorded departures last year. The next largest group were detainees released on bond or on their personal recognizance while their cases were pending. Others were released because their cases had concluded and they had been found to have a lawful right to remain in the country.

    According to detailed government records on each individual who entered, left, or remained in ICE custody during fiscal year 2015, the agency used a total of 637 different facilities last year. While many of these 637 detention facilities were concentrated along the southwest border with Mexico, one or more facilities existed in every one of the fifty states, as well as Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands. Some of these were temporary holding rooms, others were designed for long term stays. Some held only a single person on one occasion during the entire year, others had tens of thousands pass through their doors during this same period. For facilities on which daily costs were available in the records released by ICE, per diem rates ranged from as low as $30 per bed for a short-stay (under 72 hours) facility to a high of $168.84 per day, with lower rates for high volume usage.

    Figure 1. Number of Times ICE Detainees Booked Out of a Detention Facility in FY 2015



    Click here to see the full report.
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