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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal


  1. Obama’s legacy as the Deporter In Chief won’t be wiped away with a modest measure

    by , 11-14-2014 at 09:38 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The following statement was issued by the DRM Action Coalition:


    Amidst new rumors of the Obama Administration’s upcoming executive order on immigration, the Dream Action Coalition has issued the following statement:

    While we are cautiously optimistic to see that the Administration seems to be moving forward with it’s executive order, we need to remember that this could be an accidental leak, a test balloon from an official leak, or even just a high-level rumor; considering how it’s from an anonymous source, we should keep our skepticism until we see action.

    “Although we are happy to see some common-sense measures like granting status to the parents of citizens and at least some DREAMers, what will happen to the rest of the members of mixed-status families? What of those DREAMers that aged out waiting for DACA?” Said Dream Action Coalition Co-Director Cesar Vargas. “Estimates of those affected from the modest information in the leaks indicate around 3 or 4 million people could attain status through their children, but that would still leave around 7 to 9 million undocumented immigrants out, many of whom would have received status under the bipartisan Gang of 8 bill.”

    “It seems there are a lot of families that will be left out of this, and this doesn’t take into account the people deported that Obama recently said should not have been. What will be the value given towards family reunification for those who have deep roots in the country, a clean record and family waiting to greet them upon their return? While we know that Obama can only do patchwork immigration relief, we know that he has broad authority, and could go big and offer deportation relief and working papers to many more than just a few million,” said Erika Andiola, Co-Director of Dream Action Coalition.

    “Obama’s legacy as the ‘Deporter In Chief’ won’t be wiped away with a modest measure that doesn't change the record-setting deportation rate of his Administration,” continued Erika.
  2. NDLON Reaction to Rumors of Pending Executive Action to Suspend Deportations

    by , 11-13-2014 at 02:44 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    For immediate release

    Contact: B. Loewe, NDLON, 773.791.4668, bloewe@ndlon.org

    NDLON: Less Leaks, More Action from White House
    Senate Bill Framework will be yardstick to measure Progress

    (Washington DC) In reaction to rumors reported by Fox News and the New York Times and comments during the White House Press Briefing, Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network issued statement from Washington DC:

    "We need less leaks and more action from within the White House. As far as we're concerned, the rumors reported in the Times and by Fox change nothing. They are rumors. For well over a decade, immigrants have been harmed by trial balloons, false promises, and a poisonous political environment in Washington DC that reduces migrant lives to pawns in partisan games.

    We call upon the President to provide work authorization minimally to those who would qualify for the Senate bill. Today, Josh Earnest said President Obama would sign it were the House to pass it. The same standard that the President is using to judge the House is the standard that immigrants will use to judge executive action. Will the President build upon, or undermine, the bipartisan Senate bill framework?

    We call upon President Obama to fully end the Secure Communities program which has been a catastrophic failure that caused the Arizonification of the country.

    And we call upon the President to meet immediately with undocumented immigrants and those who are most impacted by, and therefore most expert on, the status quo.

    Immigrant rights have been held hostage by failed political maneuvers for too long. Those who have forced this debate to the forefront of the national agenda have done so through struggle and sacrifice, through courageous civil disobedience, protest, and lawsuits that seek refuge in federal courts. In addition to doing necessary work for the US economy, immigrants have taken on the work of defending cherished national values. And we will keep fighting until immigrants achieve full equality. The President can see to it that we wait not one more day. Until then, we keep fighting."

    MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Pablo Alvarado is available in Washington, DC.

    dditionally today, NDLON filed suit against the Department of Homeland Security to halt deportations and expand relief to the fullest extent under the law. More Details on the suit can be found athttp://notonemoredeportation.com/resources/rulemaking
  3. Allegations of Improper Hiring Practices in Immigration Court System

    by , 11-10-2014 at 09:58 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    From the Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General:

    The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (OIG) today released a report examining allegations of improper hiring practices by senior officials in the DOJ Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). The OIG’s investigation focused on possible violations of the federal nepotism prohibition and other personnel rules arising from the hiring of four students who were relatives of the three most senior officials in the organization – EOIR Director Juan Osuna, Chairman of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) David Neal, and Chief Immigration Judge Brian O’Leary. We also found that the practice of hiring relatives of employees into Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) positions in EOIR generally was widespread, constituting 16% of hires into the program from 2007 through 2012.

    The OIG’s specific findings included:

    • In April 2008, Juan Osuna, then Acting Chairman of the BIA, conveyed his niece’s interest in a paid student position at EOIR to a direct subordinate, passed along his niece’s resume to that subordinate, and then more likely than not participated in the decision to place his niece in a position at EOIR that put her below him in the chain of command. In January 2009, Osuna took steps to secure his niece’s return to EOIR. We concluded that this involvement violated several statutes and regulations, including the federal nepotism statute and the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch.
    • In 2010, David Neal, then Acting Chairman of the BIA, violated the nepotism statute in connection with conveying his son’s qualifications for a summer internship to an EOIR employee. In 2007, Neal, then Chief Immigration Judge, approached other EOIR employees about his daughter’s interest in internship positions at EOIR, and conveyed his daughter’s resume to an EOIR employee, though there was insufficient evidence as to what he said to determine if he advocated for his daughter’s appointment in violation of the federal nepotism statute or the Standards of Ethical Conduct. However, we found Neal exercised poor judgment with regard to his daughter’s appointment because he should have known, given his status as a senior official in EOIR, that arranging to send her resume to subordinates would inevitably create pressure on them to take action on her behalf.
    • In 2009, Brian O’Leary, then an Immigration Judge, intervened in the hiring process in an effort to ensure his daughter would be selected for an internship in one unit of EOIR rather than another. We found that O’Leary’s involvement violated the Standards of Ethical Conduct, which prohibit an employee from using his public office for the private gain of relatives.

    Although the OIG’s investigation was focused on the conduct of Osuna, Neal, and O’Leary, we learned that the practice of hiring relatives of employees into STEP positions in EOIR was widespread. We found that, from 2007 to 2012, 32 of the 200 students hired into STEP positions had relatives working at EOIR. Multiple EOIR officials confirmed that hiring relatives for paid student positions was a standard practice or commonplace.

    The OIG’s review was initiated as a result of information voluntarily disclosed to the OIG by EOIR. In July 2012, the OIG issued a public report on improper hiring practices in the Justice Management Division. Shortly thereafter, EOIR Director Osuna ordered an internal review of the hiring practices at EOIR. Senior Officials in EOIR also put in place a new anti-nepotism policy consistent with the OIG’s recommendations in the JMD report. EOIR subsequently informed the OIG that its internal review revealed that numerous students hired into EOIR through the STEP had relatives at EOIR when they were hired.

    The OIG’s report notes that EOIR and Department leadership have begun taking steps to eradicate improper hiring practices, including adopting policies requiring an applicant’s relative to certify that he or she has not participated in any manner related to the component’s consideration of the application, and requiring the hiring official to give a certification aimed at avoiding the granting of unauthorized preferences. EOIR has also informed the OIG that it intends to provide agency-wide training regarding nepotism. While these steps are commendable, the OIG’s report recommends that EOIR take additional action to modify its training to focus not only on the need to avoid improper advocacy, but also to emphasize the broader provisions of the Merit Systems Principles and Prohibited Personnel Practices that prohibit the granting of unauthorized preferences to relatives.

    The report can be found on the OIG’s website at: http://www.justice.gov/oig/reports/2014/s1502.pdf.
  4. Congresswoman Calls for Investigation of Sexual Abuse of Mothers in Detention

    by , 10-30-2014 at 07:52 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.

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

    by , 10-29-2014 at 02:59 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.

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