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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal


  1. Asylum Outcomes Continue to Depend on the Judge Assigned

    by , 11-21-2017 at 09:40 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Syracuse University's TRAC:

    The outcome for asylum seekers continues to depend on the identity of the immigration judge assigned to hear the case. If you, for example, were one of the 6,922 asylum seekers whose cases were decided in the San Francisco Immigration Court over the last six years, the odds of denial varied from only 9.4 percent all the way up to 97.1 percent depending upon the judge you had. For the 1,233 individuals whose cases were heard by the Newark Immigration Court, the odds of denial ranged between 10.9 percent all the way up to 98.7 percent depending upon the judge you appeared before. Stated another way, the odds of being granted asylum could be as high as 90 percent or as low as 3 percent in these two courts depending upon which immigration judge you were assigned.

    Click here to view a particular judge's report.
  2. Illegal Border Crossing Surging Again

    by , 11-21-2017 at 09:20 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    Via The Washington Times:

    The Trump administration reinstated a de facto catch-and-release policy for illegal immigrants nabbed crossing the border in Texas, with Border Patrol agents being told Wednesday not to even bother turning them over for speedy deportation because there was no bed space, a top agent said.

    The problem, said Brandon Judd, an agent and president of the National Border Patrol Council, is that illegal immigration has surged once again after dipping during the early months of President Trump’s tenure.

    Click here for the rest of the story.

    Updated 11-21-2017 at 09:22 AM by MKolken

  3. Termination of Temporary Protected Status For Haiti

    by , 11-21-2017 at 08:19 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Release Date:
    November 20, 2017

    For Immediate Release
    Office of the Press Secretary
    Contact: 202-282-8010

    WASHINGTON— Today, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke announced her decision to terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti with a delayed effective date of 18 months to allow for an orderly transition before the designation terminates on July 22, 2019. This decision follows then-Secretary Kelly’s announcement in May 2017 that Haiti had made considerable progress, and that the country’s designation will likely not be extended past six months.

    The decision to terminate TPS for Haiti was made after a review of the conditions upon which the country’s original designation were based and whether those extraordinary but temporary conditions prevented Haiti from adequately handling the return of their nationals, as required by statute. Based on all available information, including recommendations received as part of an inter-agency consultation process, Acting Secretary Duke determined that those extraordinary but temporary conditions caused by the 2010 earthquake no longer exist. Thus, under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be terminated.

    Acting Secretary Duke met with Haitian Foreign Minister Antonio Rodrigue and Haitian Ambassador to the United States Paul Altidor recently in Washington to discuss the issue.

    In 2017 alone, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services conducted extensive outreach to the Haitian communities throughout the country. These include but are not limited to community forums on TPS, panel discussions with Haitian community organizers, stakeholder teleconferences, regular meetings with TPS beneficiaries, news releases to the Haitian community, meetings with Haitian government officials, meetings at local churches, and listening sessions.

    Since the 2010 earthquake, the number of displaced people in Haiti has decreased by 97 percent. Significant steps have been taken to improve the stability and quality of life for Haitian citizens, and Haiti is able to safely receive traditional levels of returned citizens. Haiti has also demonstrated a commitment to adequately prepare for when the country’s TPS designation is terminated.

    In May 2017, then-Secretary Kelly announced a limited extension for Haiti’s TPS designation, stating that he believed there were indications that Haiti – if its recovery from the 2010 earthquake continued at pace – may not warrant further TPS extension past January 2018. At the time, then-Secretary Kelly stated that his six-month extension should give Haitian TPS recipients living in the United States time to attain travel documents and make other necessary arrangements for their ultimate departure from the United States, and should also provide the Haitian government with the time it needs to prepare for the future repatriation of all current TPS recipients.

    To allow for an orderly transition, the effective date of the termination of TPS for Haiti will be delayed 18 months. This will provide time for individuals with TPS to arrange for their departure or to seek an alternative lawful immigration status in the United States, if eligible. It will also provide time for Haiti to prepare for the return and reintegration of their citizens. During this timeframe, USCIS will work with the State Department, other DHS components and the Government of Haiti to help educate relevant stakeholders and facilitate an orderly transition.

    Haitians with TPS will be required to reapply for Employment Authorization Documents in order to legally work in the United States until the end of the respective termination or extension periods. Further details about this termination for TPS will appear in a Federal Register notice.

    # # #

    Tags: haiti, tps, uscis Add / Edit Tags

    by , 11-20-2017 at 10:55 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    November 20, 2017 – A federal court on Friday night ordered the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia, New York to stop detaining asylum-seekers without a fair opportunity for release on parole or bond while awaiting asylum hearings. The New York Civil Liberties Union and the International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center originally filed suit in July over the practice at the state’s largest immigration detention facility.

    People who arrive at the nation’s borders seeking asylum are entitled to be considered for release on parole while awaiting their asylum hearings. However, federal immigration officials at Batavia effectively stopped granting parole in late January after the election of President Trump, leaving dozens of people who fled violence and persecution to languish in jail. As one Batavia official told a detainee, asylum-seekers had a “one in a million” chance of getting parole after Trump became president.

    “People who came to the U.S. border seeking only refuge will no longer suffer indefinite confinement in New York's largest immigration detention facility,” said Christopher Dunn, associate legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. “Asylum-seekers deserve, and will now get, the chance to be with loved ones while awaiting their asylum hearings. This win is a strong rebuke to the Trump administration’s campaign against immigrants.”

    The district court ordered the government “immediately” to redo the parole process for asylum-seekers held at Batavia. Under the order, asylum-seekers will be notified of the availability of parole in a language they understand, be given a parole interview with an immigration officer, be provided an explanation for their parole decision and be informed they can seek reconsideration if parole is initially denied. Asylum-seekers who have already had their parole denied will have the opportunity for their parole requests to be readjudicated. The injunction also ordered bond hearings for those detained at Batavia for six months or more.

    "We are thrilled that the court recognized that the asylum-seekers detained at Batavia deserve a fair chance at freedom,” said Mariko Hirose, litigation director at IRAP. “These are people who have had to flee horrific conditions at home and this ruling allows them a chance at reuniting with family and friends here while their immigration cases continue."
    Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford granted Friday’s preliminary injunction in recognition of the severe physical and psychological harms of prolonged detention. In particular, incarceration prevents many asylum-seekers from adequately preparing for their asylum hearings ¬ proceedings that could determine whether they must return to their countries of origin, where they may face threats to their lives.

    "We applaud Judge Wolford's recognition that ICE must comply with its own policies and procedures,” said NYCLU Staff Attorney and lead counsel Aadhithi Padmanabhan. “What makes ICE's conduct at Batavia such a travesty is that the agency was not following its own internal guidelines, all while government lawyers in D.C. recently told the Supreme Court that these procedures are followed to a T."

    "I fled persecution in Somalia and came to America because people all around the world think of this country as a beacon of hope,” said named petitioner, Hanad Abdi. “But during the ten months I was imprisoned at Batavia, not knowing why I was jailed or how I could get out, I felt hopeless. Because of the judge's decision, others will not have to suffer like I did. The government will have to follow the law just like everyone else."

    “I fled Cuba where I was a political prisoner and came to America seeking freedom,” said named petitioner Johan Barrios Ramos. “I was shocked when I got here and asked for asylum but was instead put in jail. I am so happy that the court said there are limits on ICE’s authority to detain people like me."

    "My health got worse and worse in ICE custody while I waited for my hearing,” said class member Saikou Touray of Gambia. “I felt increasingly desperate because no one ever explained to me why I was denied parole or what I could do to get out of detention. Now I can be with my family and get the medical treatment I needed all along."

    In addition to Dunn, Hirose and Padmanabhan, counsel on the case include NYCLU staff attorneys Robert Hodgson and Paige Austin, NYCLU legal fellow Scout Katovich, paralegal Andrea Barrientos and Data & Policy Analyst Michelle Shames; IRAP staff on the case include Staff Attorney Deepa Alagesan, paralegal Casey Smith, and volunteer Sofia Calatrava.

    Updated 11-20-2017 at 11:23 AM by MKolken

  5. Statistics of Asylum Denial Rates by Immigration Judge Updated to 2017

    by , 11-20-2017 at 07:59 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC):

    The asylum denial rates are calculated, after further validity checking by TRAC, from the internal files TRAC obtains directly from the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). These files record the outcome of each case decided by the Immigration Court. The bibliographic information was collected from a variety of official sources including press releases, testimony, other biographical information released by the Department of Justice, and responses received to specific TRAC inquiries.

    Click here to view the records.
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