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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal


  1. An Arrest by ICE Does Not Result in an Automatic Deportation

    by , 02-14-2017 at 09:25 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    Syracuse University's TRAC Immigration explains "Just because a person was taken into ICE custody also didn't automatically mean the individual was ordered deported and removed from the country." The moral of the story is hire a good deportation defense lawyer, and remember, you get what you pay for.

    From their latest report:

    Large-scale use of ICE detainers is a relatively recent phenomenon. Detainers were infrequently used during the first five and half years of former President George W. Bush's Administration. However, during the last two years under Bush, detainer usage increased rapidly and continued to grow when President Barack Obama assumed office.

    Examining what detainers actually achieved and did not achieve during the Obama and Bush years is important because under the Trump Administration's recent flurry of immigration executive orders it appears that the use of detainers is likely to surge[2]. It also should be observed that very recent changes in the agency's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) policies indicate that transparency about this and other ICE activities has been sharply reduced.

    The data indicate that the growth in the use of detainers under Bush and Obama was surprisingly short lived. The preparation of ICE detainers peaked in August 2011 when 27,755 were recorded. And the number of these detainers that were followed by ICE taking the individual into custody peaked even earlier, during

    March 2010. In that month 16,713 of the detainers, according to ICE records, were followed by the individual being taken into custody. This peak in March of 2010 was barely a year after President Obama assumed office. Detainer usage fell off after this.

    Click here to view the entire report.
    Tags: bush, detainers, ice, obama Add / Edit Tags
  2. Farewell to The Deporter-In-Chief

    by , 01-25-2017 at 08:33 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    And so it ends.

    President Obama’s presidency will be remembered as a historic time for our country, but not for the reasons you may be thinking. To the contrary, his legacy is pockmarked by sweeping anti-immigrant enforcement policies that will be remembered as an unwashable stain on the history of the United States. The only thing remotely close is when Roosevelt rounded up Japanese Americans in internment camps. And I’m not exaggerating.

    In Obama’s last year in office his deportation force apprehended 530,250 immigrants nationwide, conducting 450,954 removals and returns. In total, he deported more immigrants in his tenure than all Presidents of the 20th century combined. Refugee mothers and children spent their second Christmas together in one of Obama’s deportation internment camps for immigrant families. Their pleas for a pardon fell on deaf ears as criminals with gun crimes were set free.

    According to Syracuse University’s Transactional Access Clearing House (TRAC) Obama’s prioritization of the deportation of refugee mothers with children created a backlog of 102,342 deportation court cases, surpassing the 100,000 case mark for the first time. TRAC determined that pending priority cases involving unaccompanied children reached 75,582 in December 2016. Combined with family cases, deportations involving women and children now account for one third (33%) of the immigration court's overall backlog.

    As for the backlog, on day 1 of Trump’s Presidency there are currently a record breaking 533,909 pending Obama deportation cases. The first person to be deported as a result of a Trump interior enforcement action will likely not take place until after the midway mark of his first term in office.

    To add salt, the Obama administration’s parting gift to immigrant communities was a Supreme Court argument seeking to overturn a lower Court ruling that provided certain immigrants a defense to removal, and which if accepted, will make it even easier for subsequent administrations to effectuate deportations with no relief available.

    But that’s not all.

    Immigration was Obama’s major focus of federal criminal law enforcement efforts, comprising 52 percent of all federal prosecutions in FY 2016. In the last 12 month cycle ending in September 2016, federal prosecutions of immigration related crimes were tallied at 69,636. Conversely, federal criminal prosecutions for gun related offenses were only 5.8% of all charged federal crimes. In plain language, Obama talked the talk on guns, while mostly doing nothing, and walked the walk on immigration, focusing the majority of Department of Justice resources prosecuting and convicting immigrants for the crime of trying to get back to their families.

    Make no mistake about it, this was Barack Obama’s anti-immigrant America. Only there were no Million Mom Marches for jailed refugee mothers, and Democrats stood mostly silent as Obama conducted deportation raids against toddlers.

    Civil rights activist César Vargas, founder of UPLIFTT (United People for Latinos in Film TV and Theater), was less diplomatic in his insightful analysis of the Obama years. He astutely observed that “if a Republican had done what Obama did to Latinos you would've been calling for a civil war. But now you're out here protesting inaugurations and calling legitimate wins illegitimate.” He cautioned people not to fall for “party line” politics.

    And that’s exactly the problem.

    Democrats spent the past eight years ignoring Obama’s horrendous human rights violations because he had a ‘D’ at the end of his name. Some on the Left did far worse than sticking their head in the sand by actively undermining those brave enough to voice the truth.

    As for turning the page, the same people that sat on the sidelines cheerleading for Obama as his policies devastated immigrant communities are now up in arms because Trump has indicated that he wants to focus immigration enforcement resources on deporting serious criminals. I wonder where we heard that before? Mind you, when Obama said it hypocritical Democrats in the immigration law community called it “smart” immigration enforcement.

    So what does the future hold?

    I predict that Trump’s election may end up being the very best thing that could have happened for certain immigrants. Specifically, DREAMers. So far no executive action has been taken to reverse Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and it has already been reported that President Trump has expressed a willingness to work with Congress to craft legislation that will provide legalization for immigrants benefiting from it. Work WITH Congress? What a novel concept, and likely more effective than demagoguing Republicans for 8 years, which parenthetically was the central component of Obama’s failed immigration reform strategy.

    But let’s be honest. Achieving immigration reform was never Obama’s goal. His goal was to win elections by casting Republicans as anti-immigrant, which is probably his only lasting achievement on the immigration front.

    So, let us raise a glass and bid farewell to the Deporter-in-Chief. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    Updated 01-25-2017 at 09:44 AM by MKolken

  3. Obama Admin SCOTUS Argument Would Make it Easier for Trump to Deport Immigrants

    by , 01-19-2017 at 08:47 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.
  4. Immigration Lawyer Slams Obama over Human Rights Record

    by , 09-26-2016 at 08:54 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.
  5. Obama Admin Doubling Down to Prevent Muslim Refugees From Reaching US

    by , 09-12-2016 at 03:08 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    Via Immigration Lawyer Bryan Johnson:

    In an interview with Fox News, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson admitted that the Obama administration views refugees seeking asylum from the Middle East and Africa as more of a threat to the U.S. homeland than other (i.e. non-muslims) refugees seeking asylum:

    "In terms of the Southwest border, I just recently asked for them to focus on immigrants coming illegally from other hemispheres, from the Middle East and so forth, to detect them and block them before they even get to the homeland, working with governments in South America, Central America to prevent that from happening,"

    He went on:

    "You're correct that we're seeing illegal migrants coming from Africa, coming from the Middle East," Johnson told host Chris Wallace. "And we're doubling down on preventing that happening before they even reach the Southwest border."

    The Obama administration's actions are a carbon copy of what Donald Trump has stated in the past on refugee from Syria:

    "We have no idea who these people are, we are the worst when it comes to paperwork," Trump said Monday on CNBC. "This could be one of the great Trojan horses."
    "We cannot let them into this country, period," Trump said Monday. "Our country has tremendous problems. We can't have another problem."
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