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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal


  1. Where Was Tom Perez When Obama Deported Kids?

    by , 04-20-2017 at 06:27 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Well... Mr. Perez was Obama’s Secretary of Labor.

    Via The Daily Beast:

    attorneys are criticizing the newly minted head of the Democratic National Committee for recent attacks on the Trump administration over a deportation, arguing he was silent on the issue during Obama’s presidency.

    Tom Perez, the new DNC chair who was Obama’s labor secretary from 2013 to 2017, ripped into Trump on April 20 over a USA Today report about the deportation of a man who reportedly should have been shielded from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. But immigration lawyers who spoke to The Daily Beast said the deportation at issue probably would have played out the same way if Barack Obama were president—and that Democratic political operatives, including Perez, were silent when DACA recipients were deported under his administration.

    What exactly was going on during the Obama Administration? And let's not engage in revisionist history:

    [Obama] acknowledged that his Administration was, in fact, arresting and deporting these young people and shockingly told a high school honors student facing deportation that if she had a problem with it, she could call her Congressman. This was an opportunity for leadership, not a time to play hot potato.

    Obama was also deporting actual United States citizens. Over 4,000 of them in 2010 alone. And don't forget about jailing children in deportation internment camps. I wonder what Mr. Perez though of that?

    But it is comforting to know that Mr. Perez is suddenly outraged by deportations now that a Republican is in control of the deportation apparatus.
  2. President Trump Continues to Protect Undocumented Immigrants with DACA

    by , 02-22-2017 at 08:02 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Lost in all of the Trump deportation hysteria is the fact that on February 20, 2017, a memorandum was issued by Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly that specifically reinforces protections previously issued in favor of individuals benefiting from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), as well as parents of United States citizens or lawful permanent residents (DAPA) by protecting them from deportation.

    From the memorandum:

    With the exception of the June 15, 2012, memorandum entitled "Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children," and the November 20, 2014 memorandum entitled "Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children and with Respect to Certain Individuals Who Are the Parents of U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents," all existing conflicting directives, memoranda, or field guidance regarding the enforcement of our immigration laws and priorities for removal are hereby immediately rescinded- to the extent of the conflict-including, but not limited to, the November 20, 2014, memoranda entitled "Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants," and "Secure Communities."

    It should be noted that the November 20, 2014 memorandum was enjoined by a U.S. District Court Judge.

    What this means is that Trump has not revoked DACA, those who have it may continue to benefit from work authorization, and President Trump has extended protections from deportations to people with citizen or green card holding children and they should also not be at risk of being deported.

    I can also attest to the fact that government lawyers have acknowledged in open court that their new directive from Headquarters relating to individuals with DACA, or that are DACA eligible is to agree to continuances as the individuals are not a priority for deportation.

    There is always a silver lining.

    Updated 02-22-2017 at 08:17 AM by MKolken

  3. Trump Pledges to Work with Congress to Help DREAMers

    by , 01-23-2017 at 02:59 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via NPR:

    "Earlier today, the new White House Chief of Staff offered a hint of what the Trump administration has planned for thousands of immigrants who now have temporary legal status. Reince Priebus told Fox News this morning that the Trump administration would work with House and Senate leaders to find a long-term solution for immigrants who now have temporary legal status under the so-called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals known as DACA."

    Tags: congress, daca, trump Add / Edit Tags
  4. Trump Considering Legal Status for Undocumented Wishing to Serve in the Military

    by , 09-08-2016 at 09:16 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Last night Donald Trump softened his stance on deporting undocumented DREAMers befitting from DACA in an answer to a question by West Point graduate Captain Sue Fulton. She asked Trump his opinion on whether an undocumented person who wishes to serve in the armed forces deserves to stay in this country legally.

    Trump responded that he would “absolutely hold those people,” remarking that “The military is a very special thing,” and that “If they plan on serving, if they get in, I would absolutely hold those people. We have to be very careful. We have to vet very carefully. Everybody would agree with that. But the answer is it would be a very special circumstance, yes.”

    Click here to view the entire exchange.

    And remember...

    Service guarantees citizenship.

    Updated 09-08-2016 at 09:39 AM by MKolken

  5. Obama Admin Going Door-to-Door Collecting DACA Work Permits

    by , 07-16-2015 at 10:18 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    July 15, 2015

    Contacts: Mario Carrillo | UWD | | 915.449.6463
    Elizabeth Beresford | NILC | | 917.648.0189

    USCIS Ramps Up Effort to Collect Three-Year DACA and Work Permits Issued in Error Post-Injunction
    Administration to begin home visits on Thursday

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that they will begin visiting the homes of some beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) who were issued work permits with the wrong expiration date and have yet to return them.

    In November, 2014, the Obama Administration began issuing DACA work permits which were valid for three years - an extension of one year over previous program rules. On February 16, 2015 a federal judge placed a temporary injunction on the change, effectively ordering USCIS to go back to issuing work permits valid for the original two-years from that date forward. However USCIS continued issuing extended work permits for a short period of time as their systems were updated. It is only these, mistakenly issued three-year work permits which the agency is asking be returned in exchange for a valid, two-year work permit.

    The DACA program benefits nearly 700,000 individuals and this issue only impacted just about 2,500 people. Further, most individuals who were issued work permits with the wrong expiration date have already returned their mistakenly issued work permits and just over 1,000 remain.

    USCIS has threatened to invalidate DACA status entirely for individuals who do not return their mistakenly issued work permits by July 30, 2015. The agency will only visit homes of those who have not responded to agency letters and calls so far.

    Home visits are expected to begin as early as Thursday, July 15 in Chicago, Los Angeles and possibly Dallas and Houston, only to some homes of the just over 1,000 individuals for whom this applies. Advocates fear confusion and panic by the visits and have begun an aggressive public education effort to help deal with the situation.

    Cristina Jimenez,
    managing director of United We Dream, issued the following statement,

    “It’s alarming that a mistake by USCIS could cost hundreds of immigrant youth their DACA and their work permits. The administration’s mistake could cost immigrant youth jobs, opportunities for school, and driver’s licenses.

    “These are people who paid the fees, applied on time, were approved for DACA, and now, because of an error, are at risk of losing their protection from deportation.

    “But our message to those who received their three-year work authorizations is, Return them as soon as possible to avoid losing your DACA and falling out of immigration status.”

    Marielena Hincapié,
    executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

    “The actions taken to retrieve the three-year work authorization documents by USCIS are in direct response to Judge Hanen's order in the case challenging DAPA and expanded DACA. While we do not agree with the extreme measures USCIS is taking to ensure the return of these documents, we encourage the small number of DACA recipients who received the three-year work permits after February 16, 2015, to answer any letters, calls, or visit by USCIS officials so as not to lose their DACA and work authorization.

    “While immigrant communities might be confused and fearful of this, USCIS's goal is only to retrieve the three-year work permit and replace it with a two-year permit in order fully to comply with Judge Hanen’s order.”

    For more information, you can listen to today’s Spanish language media call with Cristina Jimenez, Marielena Hincapié and Oscar Chacon here.

    United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, a powerful nonpartisan network made up of 55 affiliate organizations in 26 states. UWD organizes and advocates for the dignity and fair treatment of immigrant youth and families, regardless of immigration status. We seek to address the inequities and obstacles faced by immigrant youth and believe that by empowering immigrant youth, we can advance the cause of the entire community—justice for all immigrants.

    You can find more about UWD online at

    NILC is the primary legal advocacy organization in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights and opportunities of low-income immigrants and their families. NILC focuses on key issues that affect low-income immigrants’ lives, including access to health care, economic support programs, and education; workers’ rights; and immigration reform and enforcement policies. To advance its mission, NILC uses multiple, integrated strategies: litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. And through trainings, publications, and providing legal counsel and advice, NILC also educates a wide range of audiences about legal and policy matters that affect immigrants.

    You can find out more about NILC online at

    Updated 07-16-2015 at 10:32 AM by MKolken

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