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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal


  1. Next Steps for Jose Antonio Vargas' Deportation Case

    by , 08-19-2014 at 09:21 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    August 19, 2014

    (Washington, DC) - Define American in partnership with the National Immigration Law Center will host a press conference to announce next steps in the legal case of Define American founder, Jose Antonio Vargas after his detainment in McAllen, TX on July 15, 2014. Detailed media advisory to follow.

    WHO:Define American and the National Immigration Law Center
    WHAT: Announces legal next steps of Define American founder, Jose Antonio Vargas
    WHERE:National Press Club (529 14th St. NW, Washington, DC)
    WHEN:Wednesday, August, 20, 2014 | 10:00 am ET

    NOTE: If you would like to be added to the press distribution list or attend the press conference, please email Maria Cruz Lee (maria@defineamerican.com).

    Define American, founded by Jose Antonio Vargas in 2011, is a media and culture campaign using the power of story to transcend politics and shift conversation around immigration, identity, and citizenship in America. Learn more at www.defineamerican.com.

    National Immigration Law Center defends and advances the rights and opportunities of low income immigrants and their family members. Learn more at www.nilc.org.

    Coverage of Jose Antonio Vargas in McAllen, Texas
    July 11, 2014 Politico | “Trapped on the Border” by Jose Antonio Vargas
    July 15, 2014 Buzzfeed | “Prominent Undocumented Immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas is Released After Being Detained In Texas” by Allison Vingiano & Adrian Carrasquillo
    July 15, 2014 New York Times | “Immigration Advocate, Detained on Texas Border, Is Released in Visa Case” by Julia Preston and Laura Tillman

    Maria Cruz Lee / Director of Communications and Engagement, Define American
    (347) 882-3225 / maria@defineamerican.com

    Adela de la Torre / Communications Manager, National Immigration Law Center
    (213) 400-7822 / delatorre@nilc.org
  2. Child Refugees Enduring Poor Conditions and Lack of Due Process

    by , 08-18-2014 at 08:12 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    From Democracy Now!:

    The Obama administration has opened two new family detention centers to hold hundreds of women and children from Central America who fled to the United States reportedly to escape violence in their home countries. While most of the 63,000 unaccompanied minors detained at the border since January have now been placed with family members as their cases are processed, those caught with their mothers are being held without bond. A 600-bed detention center run by GEO Group in Karnes City, Texas, opened at the beginning of August and is reportedly already full. Democracy Now! producer Renée Feltz visits a second detention center in Artesia, New Mexico, to report on the poor conditions and lack of due process for migrants, and the lawyers mobilizing to assist them. "Children were not eating. Children were getting very sick," says attorney Megan Jordi. "Every child I saw looked incredibly emaciated and had a hollow look in their eyes."
  3. Iranian-American Immigration Judge Sues Obama Admin for Racial Discrimination

    by , 08-13-2014 at 08:29 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The following press release was posted on the Cooley LLP website regarding Immigration Judge A. Ashley Tabaddor's pending lawsuit against the Department of Justice alleging discrimination on account of her race, religion, and national origin.

    Department of Justice Challenged over Order Indefinitely Recusing Immigration Judge from Hearing Cases Involving Iranian Nationals

    San Diego – August 12, 2014 – Cooley LLP announced today that it filed suit against the Department of Justice ("DOJ") on behalf of sitting Immigration Judge A. Ashley Tabaddor. The lawsuit raises challenges under the First Amendment and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to an order recusing Judge Tabaddor indefinitely from all cases involving Iranian nationals.

    Tabaddor v. Holder et al., filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, asserts that the DOJ ordered the blanket disqualification in a racially discriminatory fashion, based on Judge Tabaddor's national heritage and association with the Iranian-American community, including her speaking, educational and volunteer activities within that community. The recusal order runs counter to federal laws and regulations and contradicts written DOJ policies applicable to immigration judges, including those encouraging civic engagement and providing that recusal determinations are to be made by the presiding immigration judge on an individualized case-by-case basis, not superimposed by DOJ officials based on generalized or arbitrary criteria.

    "Not only in this case, but more broadly, the actions of the DOJ will have a chilling effect on federal public servants' constitutional rights of free speech and association and will call into question both the independence of the judges sitting on the immigration courts and their ability to exercise their judicial decision-making consistent with constitutional dictates," said Cooley partner Ali Mojdehi. In addition to Mr. Mojdehi, the Cooley team includes associates Janet Gertz, Brian Byun and Allison Rego.

    View a copy of the complaint here.

    Updated 08-13-2014 at 08:33 AM by MKolken

  4. President Barack Obama on his Power to Stop Deportations

    by , 08-12-2014 at 11:00 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The following quotes are representative of President Obama's position on his ability to provide deportation relief to the undocumented community:

    "With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed…The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws.

    There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President." (March 28, 2011).

    "I swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books. ... Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the (immigration) laws on my own. ...
    That's not how our Constitution is written" (July 25, 2011).

    "This notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. ... There are laws on the books that I have to enforce" (Sept. 28, 2011).

    "If, in fact, I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so. But we're also a nation of laws" (Nov. 25, 2013).

    There is clear Constitutional authority for the President to favorably exercise prosecutorial discretion on a case-by-case basis. Moreover there are legal mechanisms available, i.e., parole in place, that afford the Executive an opportunity to provide permanent solutions to deserving groups of undocumented immigrants, i.e., undocumented relatives of the U.S. armed forces.

    So why is it that the President has spent the last three years misleading the public about his ability to provide deportation relief to the undocumented community?
    And more importantly, why is he waiting until the last possible moment before the 2014 mid-terms to assuage the carnage of his deportation grinder?

    I'll let you be the judge.

    Updated 08-13-2014 at 01:51 PM by MKolken

  5. Gut-Wrenching Letter from a Refugee Mother Held in Artesia, New Mexico

    by , 08-12-2014 at 09:29 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The following letter reveals what refugee mothers and their children are forced to endure at the hands of agents of the Obama administration.

    Updated 08-12-2014 at 09:32 AM by MKolken

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