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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal


  1. Dangerous and Substandard Medical Care in US Immigration Detention

    by , 05-09-2017 at 05:54 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    Via Human Rights Watch:

    Annual reports by the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Department of Homeland Security make clear that recommendations stemming from allegations of abusive conditions in detention facilities are regularly sent to ICE, but ICE often does not respond for years or responds in ways that are deemed completely inadequate to CRCL. In its 2015 report to Congress, CRCL states it sent ICE 49 recommendations regarding an unnamed facility in Arizona that mentions the number of suicides in recent years, making clear it is Eloy Detention Center. It took ICE two years to respond to these recommendations, concurring in 19, but CRCL stated it “[d]oes not believe that ICE responded appropriately to the other 30 recommendations.”

    Over two-thirds of individuals in immigration detention are held in facilities operated by private prison companies, and these facilities in recent years have come under particular scrutiny by advocates, investigative journalists, and government bodies. The Bureau of Prisons (BOP), the federal prison system, also has private prisons run by the same companies.

    Click here to download the full report.

    Updated 05-09-2017 at 07:36 AM by MKolken

  2. Health Care Professionals Urge Pennsylvania Court to Reject License for Family Detention Facility

    by , 01-10-2017 at 09:02 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Human Rights First:

    New York City—A group of twenty-two doctors, psychologists, nurses, and social workers last week urged the Pennsylvania Bureau of Hearings and Appeals to reject the Berks County's appeal for the Berks County Residential Center, a family detention facility, to be relicensed as a childcare facility. The call came in an amicus brief filed in support of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, which refused to renew the license for the facility last year.

    “This filing is a reflection of what we have long known—that detention, even for short amount of time—is harmful to children’s mental and physical health,” said Human Rights First’s Robyn Barnard. “The health professionals who signed this brief have witnessed the catastrophic impacts that detention can have on children’s long-term well-being.”

    Last month a Texas judge blocked the issuance of licenses for family immigration detention facilities in Karnes and Dilley, Texas.

    Human Rights First has long-documented the negative mental and physical health impacts of detention on children and their parents. Leading pediatricians, physicians, and social workers have found that detention, even for short periods of time, can lead to depression, anxiety, behavioral regressions, and suicidality in children. At present, the families detained at Berks have experienced an average of over 200 days of detention.

    The amicus brief stated that "many of the children held at the detention center experience significant mental, physical, and emotional health problems, which may permanently impact their social and psychological development. These children, the vast majority of whom are seeking asylum based on persecution in their home countries, have experienced significant trauma, which is exacerbated by their detention." Human Rights First notes that none of the three family detention centers in the United States has an operating license consistent with the requirements under the Flores Settlement Agreement.

    “After just a few weeks in detention some children at the Berks family detention center exhibit ‘symptoms of behavioral regression,’ including ‘oppositional-defiant disorder, depression, anxiety, and increased aggression,’” wrote the signatories of the amicus brief. “These negative feelings and mental health problems only intensify as the length of time in detention increases. Some children have spent over 450 days in detention at the center, and others have been held in detention for almost half of their lives.”

    Human Rights First reiterates its call for the Obama Administration end the harmful practices of detaining families, a practice which also violates U.S. human rights commitments. Late last year the DHS Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers recommended that the administration end its policy of detaining children and their families.

    A broad array of voices have called on the administration to end the practice of detaining families, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Bar Association, Catholic and Lutheran Bishops, and 178 members of Congress and 35 senators.

    In 2015 the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson calling for an end to the administration's detention of families. They emphasized that detention, which is associated with poorer health outcomes, makes the situation worse for already vulnerable mothers and children. The AAP also questioned whether family detention facilities were capable of providing generally recognized standards of care for children.
    “If… the detention center remains licensed, substantial harm will result to children within the Commonwealth,” wrote signatories of the brief.

    For more information or to speak with Barnard contact Corinne Duffy at or 202-370-3319.
  3. Transgender Women Abused in Immigration Detention Face Sexual Assault and Torture

    by , 03-24-2016 at 08:34 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Human Rights Watch has issued a report entitled ‘Do You See How Much I’m Suffering Here?’: Abuse against Transgender Women in US Immigration Detention.” The report documents 28 cases of transgender women held by the Obama administration in deportation jails between 2011 and 2015. More than half of the transgender women were detained in all men facilities where they were isolated in solitary confinement, allegedly for their own protection, resulting in additional trauma and psychological torture.

    Follow Matthew Kolken on Twitter @mkolken.

    Updated 03-24-2016 at 09:17 AM by MKolken

  4. ABA Report: Obama Admin's Family Detention Violates Human Rights

    by , 08-20-2015 at 10:46 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The American Bar Association has released a report entitled “Family Immigration Detention: Why the Past Cannot Be Prologue” that concludes that the Obama administration's use of family deportation internment camps "violates applicable laws and human rights norms."

    The report includes the following recommendations:

    • releasing families held in detention facilities;
    • adopting a policy of dealing with families seeking asylum within the community instead of through detention;
    • employing the least restrictive means of ensuring appearance at hearings and protection of the community;
    • developing standards for families and children that do not follow a penal model; and
    • ensuring access to legal information and representation for all families subjected to detention at every stage of their immigration proceedings

    Click here to read the report.
  5. Obama is Locking Up and Deporting Mostly Non-Criminals

    by , 06-03-2015 at 07:22 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The video below was produced by AJ+ (And Justice For All) and spells out most of what you need to know about immigration detention. It gets the deportation bed mandate wrong, however. Click here for the correct information on the bed mandate.

    From the video description: "ICE is locking up and deporting mostly non-criminals and costing taxpayers millions of dollars a day in doing so. Here's a look at how our immigrant detention and deportation system really works."

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