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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

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  1. Prosecutors Protect Immigrants From Deportation For Minor Crimes

    by , 06-01-2017 at 11:01 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    Via NPR:

    Prosecutors have wide latitude when negotiating plea deals. It typically depends on the facts of each case. In several U.S. cities now, prosecutors are using their discretion to protect defendants who are immigrants. They want to ensure that immigrants, whether here illegally or seeking citizenship, don't get deported for minor crimes. NPR's Richard Gonzales reports.
  2. Obama Admin SCOTUS Argument Would Make it Easier for Trump to Deport Immigrants

    by , 01-19-2017 at 09:47 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Obama's parting shot at immigrants, via the Washington Post:

    "The Obama administration tried to persuade the Supreme Court Tuesday to retain a federal law that makes it easier to deport immigrants who have been convicted of crimes.

    If the justices agree, the outcome could help the incoming Trump administration fulfill its pledge to step up the deportation of immigrants who are convicted of crimes.

    The justices heard argument in the administration’s appeal of a lower court ruling that struck down the law as unconstitutional. The case concerns a provision of immigration law that defines a “crime of violence.” Conviction for a crime of violence subjects an immigrant to deportation and usually speeds up the process.

    It was unclear from the argument how the court would rule."

    Click here for the full article.
  3. Immigration Lawyer Slams Obama over Human Rights Record

    by , 09-26-2016 at 09:54 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    I saw the following post written by immigration lawyer Amy Maldonado and received permission to republish it:

    Three days ago, at the UN Refugee Summit, President Obama said, "To slam the door in the face of these families would betray our deepest values. It would deny our own heritage as nations, including the United States of America, that have been built by immigrants and refugees. And it would be to ignore a teaching at the heart of so many faiths that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us; that we welcome the stranger in our midst.”

    At the same summit, the United States successfully pushed to delete language in a nonbinding declaration on the treatment of refugees that said children should never be detained. Apparently, our President’s words don’t apply at home, where in the Berks Family Prison, there are children as young as 15 months, and children that have been detained with their mothers for more than a year, and families continue to be detained at the Karnes and Dilley private prisons in Texas.

    It has been more than a year since "family detention" was declared unlawful by a federal judge Dolly Gee, and more than a year since the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights issued its scathing report calling for an end to family detention. And the Obama Administration continues to flout the law and violate the human rights of asylum seekers in this country.

    I voted for this President. I know how important it has been to have the first black president take office. I wanted to enthusiastically support him, even when I disagreed with his policies. But what we got with President Obama was the worst President for immigrants IN MY LIFETIME. The draconian immigration laws that I have practiced under for my entire career were signed into law by President Clinton in 1996, and even his DOJ entered into the Flores Settlement Agreement (based on a case originally filed in 1986) to end the abusive detention of immigrant children, which remains in effect to this day (President Obama's Administration began violating it in 2014).

    I am no longer a Democrat.
  4. ACLU Sues Obama Admin for Denying Due Process to Immigrants

    by , 05-23-2016 at 10:08 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via the ACLU:

    The ACLU filed habeas petitions on behalf of more than two dozen families who fled horrific violence and persecution in Central America and whose applications for asylum in the United States were denied after a cursory expedited review.

    The government is arguing that these families have no recourse to U.S. courts even if, as in their cases, the process that led the government to try to deport them was flawed and the decision is incorrect. As stated in the petitioners’ brief, “[t]here has never been a time in this country when noncitizens on U.S. soil have not been able to challenge the legality of their removal.”

    The petitioners in this case include:


    • A mother and her 2-year-old daughter from El Salvador who fled to escape severe physical abuse at the hands of the mother’s ex-partner (her daughter’s father), who raped the mother and threatened to kill her.
    • A mother and her 7-year-old son who fled Honduras to escape from a gang leader who threatened to kill the mother and abduct her son if she continued to resist his sexual advances.
    • A mother and her 7-year-old son who fled El Salvador to escape from death threats from a deadly gang against whom the mother’s partner (and son’s father) cooperated with local police.

    These families were ordered deported after a brief interview with a government officer that was seriously flawed. These mothers and children never even had a full opportunity to present their claim to an immigration judge, yet the government seeks to return them to the persecution from which they fled.

    The government’s position — that families cannot challenge their deportation in U.S. courts — would upend centuries of law recognizing that individuals on U.S. soil may challenge the validity of their deportation orders. It would also give the government unfettered authority to ignore Congress’ goal of ensuring that bona fide asylum-seekers are provided a full hearing on their asylum claims and ultimately receive protection in the U.S. if they prevail at the hearing. Absent judicial review in cases like these, the government could deport hundreds of families who are entitled to asylum to abuse, rape, and death in their home counties.

    The petitions filed on behalf of each family charge the government with violating their rights under the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution, the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998, the United Nations Convention Against Torture, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the implementing regulations of these statutes.

    These families were detained at a detention center in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Nineteen of these families remain detained, some of whom have been held in detention for more than eight months.

    Their petitions were filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and were consolidated to allow for consideration of the threshold question of whether federal courts have jurisdiction to review the petitioners’ claims.

    The district court concluded that it lacked jurisdiction and that decision was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which is currently considering these claims on expedited basis. The government refused to stay its removal during the pendency of proceedings before the Third Circuit, but the Third Circuit rejected the government’s arguments in opposition to a stay and ordered that their removal be stayed pending resolution of the appeal.

    TIMELINE: First habeas cases filed in November 2015. District court ruling in February 2015. Federal appeals court arguments on May 19, 2016.

    Updated 05-23-2016 at 10:18 AM by MKolken

  5. Obama Admin to Isolate Transgender Immigrants in Remote Rural For-Profit Prison

    by , 05-23-2016 at 09:31 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The Prairieland Detention Center, a 700 bed facility, will be run by the for-profit private prison company Emerald Correctional Management, and is set to be open for operation this November in Alvarado, Texas. I wonder if Emerald Correctional has donated to the Clinton campaign?

    Via Fusion.net:

    The new detention center in Alvarado is located in a relatively small town of 4,000 residents about 40 miles southeast of Dallas. State officials say the estimated $42 million detention center project will generate more than 100 new jobs in Johnson County, according to the local paper Cleburne Times-Review.

    Lawyers and advocates for transgender women say they’re concerned immigration attorneys may hesitate to take cases with clients in such a rural area.

    “It’s trickier and more complicated for lawyers and advocates to gain access and get notices of folks being released,” said Noyola, of the Transgender Law Center.

    Click here for the rest of the story.

    Updated 06-06-2016 at 04:26 PM by MKolken

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