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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

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  1. ICE arrests 33 with history of human rights violation across the US during Operation No Safe Haven IV

    by , 04-19-2018 at 05:50 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    For Immediate Release
    For media inquiries about ICE activities, operations, or policies, contact the ICE Office of Public Affairs at (202) 732-4242.

    ICE arrests 33 with history of human rights violation across the US during Operation No Safe Haven IV


    • Photos and b-roll available here


    WASHINGTON — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations arrested 33 fugitives sought for their roles in known or suspected human rights violations during a nationwide operation this week.

    During the three-day operation that concluded Wednesday, the ICE National Fugitive Operations Program in coordination with the ICE Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center and the ICE National Criminal Analysis and Targeting Center (NCATC), arrested these fugitives via the ICE field offices of Atlanta; Baltimore; Boston; Chicago; Denver; Detroit; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami; New Orleans; New York City; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Seattle; San Francisco; and St. Paul, Minnesota.

    The foreign nationals arrested during this operation all have outstanding removal orders and are subject to repatriation to their countries of origin. Of the 33 known or suspected human rights violators arrested during Operation No Safe Haven IV, eight individuals are also criminal aliens with convictions for crimes including, but not limited to battery, weapons offenses, driving while intoxicated, and resisting arrest. This operation surpassed the number of known or suspected human rights violators arrested during the first nationwide No Safe Haven operation, which took place in September 2014.

    “This operation continues ICE’s work to ensure that the United States does not serve as a safe haven for those who commit human rights violations in their countries of origin,” said Thomas D. Homan, Deputy Director of ICE. “We will continue to pursue these individuals as priorities for enforcement— using our agency’s unique authorities to investigate criminal activity and to enforce immigration laws.”

    Those arrested across the country included:


    • Four Chinese individuals—some of whom were hospital employees—who assisted in or directly conducted forced abortions and sterilizations upon victims in China;
    • A former intelligence officer who surveilled and arrested dozens of targets subsequently tortured in Central America;
    • A soldier in Central America who guided the military to a specific village for the purpose of killing its residents;
    • A ranking intelligence officer from the Middle East whose surveillance information led to the arrest, torture, and murder of those his unit targeted;
    • A group leader in East Africa who used violence to force victims into Female Genital Mutilation.


    ICE is committed to rooting out known or suspected human rights violators who seek a safe haven in the United States. ICE's Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center investigates human rights violators who try to evade justice by seeking shelter in the United States, including those who are known or suspected to have participated in persecution, war crimes, genocide, torture, extrajudicial killings, and the use or recruitment of child soldiers. These individuals may use fraudulent identities or falsified records to enter the country and attempt to blend into communities in the United States.
    Members of the public who have information about foreign nationals suspected of engaging in human rights abuses or war crimes are urged to contact ICE by calling the toll-free ICE tip line at 1-866-347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199. They can also email HRV.ICE@ice.dhs.gov or complete ICE’s online tip form.

    The HRVWCC was established in 2009 to further ICE’s efforts to identify, locate and prosecute human rights abusers in the United States, including those who are known or suspected to have participated in persecution, war crimes, genocide, torture, extrajudicial killings, female genital mutilation and the use or recruitment of child soldiers. The HRVWCC leverages the expertise of a select group of agents, lawyers, intelligence and research specialists, historians and analysts who direct the agency’s broader enforcement efforts against these offenders.

    Since 2003, ICE has arrested more than 395 individuals for human rights-related violations of the law under various criminal and/or immigration statutes. During that same period, ICE obtained deportation orders against and physically removed 835 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States. Additionally, ICE has facilitated the departure of an additional 112 such individuals from the United States.

    Currently, HSI has more than 130 active investigations into suspected human rights violators and is pursuing more than 1,750 leads and removals cases involving suspected human rights violators from 95 different countries. Since 2003, the HRVWCC has issued more than 74,000 lookouts for individuals from more than 110 countries and stopped over 234 human rights violators and war crimes suspects from entering the U.S.

    The NCATC provided critical investigative support for this operation, including criminal and intelligence analysis from a variety of sources. The NCATC provides comprehensive analytical support to aid the at-large enforcement efforts of all ICE components.

    ICE credits the success of this operation to the combined efforts of the U.S. National Central Bureau-Interpol Washington, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

    Updated 04-19-2018 at 05:55 PM by MKolken

  2. ABA President Calls for Restructuring of Immigration Courts to Increase Independence

    by , 04-19-2018 at 09:07 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)


    Via The ABA Journal:

    ABA President Hilarie Bass called for an overhaul of the immigration court system in testimony Wednesday afternoon before a Senate subcommittee.

    ‘”We believe fundamental change is needed,” Bass said in her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Border Security and Immigration.

    Bass outlined the ABA proposal in a prepared statement submitted to the subcommittee. In the statement, Bass said immigration courts should be restructured as independent Article I courts, and immigrants should be given increased access to counsel and legal information. An ABA press release has a summary.


    Click here for more.
  3. Detained Immigrants Sue For Profit Detention Center Over Forced Labor

    by , 04-18-2018 at 09:18 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Immigrants detained at the Stewart Detention Center located in Lumpkin,Georgia have filed a class action lawsuit against a private for profit prison corporation that has contracted with the U.S. government to operate the facility. The lawsuit alleged that immigrants detained for civil immigration law violations are subject to compulsory labor. The corporation is called, CoreCivic Inc., and is a billion-dollar private prison corporation.

    The complaint alleges that CoreCivic:

    ...maintains a deprivation scheme intended to force detained immigrants to work for nearly free. CoreCivic deprives detained immigrants of basic necessities like food, toothpaste, toilet paper,and soap, and contact with loved ones, so that they have to work in order to purchase those items and costly phone cards at CoreCivic’s commissary. CoreCivic then threatens detained immigrants who refuse to work with serious harm, including the deprivation of privacy and safety in open living quarters, referral for criminal prosecution, and, ultimately, the sensory and psychological deprivation of their humanity resulting from solitary confinement. Under these circumstances, no labor is voluntary – it is forced.

    CoreCivic operates a so-called Voluntary Work Program (“Work Program”) at Stewart. Through this program, CoreCivic uses detained immigrants to perform work that directly contributes to institutional operations. CoreCivic pays detained immigrants who participate in the Work Program generally between $1 and $4 per day. CoreCivic occasionally increases the wage rate it pays to kitchen workers to up to $8 per day when it needs workers to work twelve hours or more per day.Under no circumstances does CoreCivic pay the detained immigrants the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, or the Service Contract Act wages governing the jobs they perform.

    In fact, the detained immigrants’ wages generally are well under $1 per hour.32. The Work Program allows CoreCivic to avoid recruiting from the local labor market, paying minimum wages, providing detained immigrants in the Work Program with any benefits, paying the costs of potential unionization, and paying federal and state payroll taxes, like Medicare, thereby reducing operational costs and increasing its own profits. Further, it reduces the likelihood of former employees acting as whistleblowers regarding the deplorable and unsafe conditions inside Stewart.


    Click here
    to read the complaint.

    Also see this article that reveals the private prison industry's connection to Democratic lawmakers.

    Updated 04-18-2018 at 09:25 AM by MKolken

  4. SCOTUS Decision on Aggravated Felony Crime of Violence

    by , 04-17-2018 at 09:50 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    In Sessions v. Dimaya, No. 15–1498, the Supreme Court addressed the issue of whether the statutory definition of "Crime of Violence" under 18 USC § 16(b) is unconstitutionally vague.

    From the decision:

    Respondent James Dimaya is a lawful permanent resident of the United States with two convictions for first-degree burglary under California law. After his second offense, the Government sought to deport him as an aggravated felon. An Immigration Judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals held that California first-degree burglary is a “crime of violence” under §16(b). While Dimaya’s appeal was pending in the Ninth Circuit, this Court held that a similar residual clause in the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA)—defining“violent felony” as any felony that “otherwise involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another,” 18 U. S. C. §924(e)(2)(B)—was unconstitutionally “void for vagueness” under the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. Johnson v. United States, 576 U. S. ___, ___. Relying on Johnson, the Ninth Circuit held that §16(b), as incorporated into the INA, was also unconstitutionally vague.

    Held: The judgment is affirmed.

    Justice Kagan delivered the 5-4 opinion of the Court. It should be noted that Justice Gorsuch, Trump's appointee, was the swing vote, and filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.

    Updated 04-17-2018 at 11:20 AM by MKolken

  5. Immigration Courts Temporarily Halting Legal Assistance Program for Immigrants Facing Deportation

    by , 04-11-2018 at 10:16 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via the Washington Post:

    The U.S. immigration courts will temporarily halt a program that offers legal assistance to detained foreign nationals facing deportation while it audits the program’s cost-effectiveness, a federal official said Tuesday.

    Officials informed the Vera Institute of Justice that starting this month it will pause the nonprofit’s Legal Orientation Program, which last year held information sessions for 53,000 immigrants in more than a dozen states, including California and Texas.


    The federal government will also evaluate Vera’s “help desk,” which offers tips to non-detained immigrants facing deportation proceedings in the Chicago, Miami, New York, Los Angeles and San Antonio courts.


    Click here for more.
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