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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

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  1. ICE arrests 82 Individuals During 5-day Operation Focused in VA, DC

    by , 04-06-2017 at 06:13 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    WASHINGTON – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers arrested 82 individuals from 26 different countries during a five-day operation focused in Virginia and the District of Columbia that ran from March 26 to 30.

    Of the 82 individuals arrested, 68 had previous criminal convictions for crimes like armed robbery, larceny and drug distribution. Of the remaining 14, two had ties to the MS-13 street gang; two had outstanding final orders of removal; three had overstayed their visas; one was wanted by a foreign law enforcement entity; one was a verified human rights violator and two had pending local charges.

    The remainder had unlawfully entered the United States in violation of U.S. immigration laws.


    Arrests included:


    • On March 26, ERO officers arrested a 50-year-old citizen and national of Somalia in Falls Church, Virginia. He was identified as a second lieutenant in command of the Somalian National Security Service, an organization known for human rights abuses, rape, torture and extrajudicial killings. He also has a felony drug conviction.
    • On March 26, ERO officers arrested a 40-year-old citizen and national of Trinidad and Tobago in Norfolk, Virginia. He has felony drug distribution and firearm possession convictions.
    • On March 28, ERO officers arrested a 45-year-old citizen and national of the Dominican Republic in Chesterfield, Virginia. He has felony convictions for sale of a cocaine and attempted robbery.
    • On March 29, ERO officers arrested a 22-year-old citizen and national of Honduras in Fairfax, Virginia. He has felony convictions for stolen goods and grand larceny.
    • On March 29, ERO officers arrested a 34-year-old citizen and national of El Salvador in Chesterfield for being a documented MS-13 gang member who was previously removed from the United States in 2006.
    • On March 30, ERO officers arrested a 57-year-old citizen and national of Honduras in Richmond, Virginia. She has felony convictions for grand larceny and inflicting corporal injury to spouse.


    “ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement operations focused on criminal aliens,” said ERO Washington Field Office Director Yvonne Evans. “This week’s operation successfully removed immigration violators with a variety of criminal convictions ranging from driving under the influence to grand larceny from our communities.”


    The arrestees were citizens and/or nationals of several different countries across the globe, including Algeria, Bolivia, China, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Iran, Jamaica, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines, Somalia, South Korea, Sudan, Trinidad, Vietnam and Sierra Leone.


    Arrests took place across Virginia, with two taking place in the District and one in Maryland.


    Arrested individuals who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country. The remaining individuals are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future.
  2. A Primer on ICE Immigration Raids

    by , 02-14-2017 at 09:37 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The good people at Syracuse University's TRAC Immigration have done it again. They just released a primer on ICE immigration raids.


    From the primer:

    According to ICE, 65,332 individuals apprehended by ICE officers were removed during FY 2016[1]. This works out to roughly 1,250 per week.

    However, only a small part of this weekly average of 1,250 apprehensions and removals last year represented ICE arrests of individuals who were picked up directly from the community in which they lived. For simplicity, we refer to this kind of arrest as "community arrests." They are arrests made through ICE raids, or when ICE agents knock on someone's door seeking to arrest the person that lives there.


    Most ICE apprehensions were not these kinds of community arrests. Instead, most of these estimated weekly 1,250 ICE apprehensions happened when ICE assumed custody of individuals held by another law enforcement agency. Many of these apprehensions occurred when ICE took individuals into custody from the prison or jail facility where they had been serving time for their criminal conviction. This was coordinated through ICE's Criminal Alien Program (CAP).


    Still others were transferred to ICE CAP custody after they were picked up and fingerprinted by local law enforcement agencies on a non-immigration matter. ICE became aware of these arrests since all fingerprints local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies submit to the FBI are now automatically passed along to ICE. ICE checks these against its records to see if the individual may be deportable.

    Click here to read the rest of the primer.

    Updated 02-14-2017 at 09:45 AM by MKolken

  3. 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
  4. Lawsuit Alleges ICE used Deceptive Tactics to Detain 120 Women and Children

    by , 08-10-2016 at 06:00 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    A lawsuit has been filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center alleging ICE employed deceptive practices on more than 120 immigrant mothers an children potentially resulting in constitutional violations.

    From the lawsuit:

    On January 2 and 3, 2016, ICE agents conducted a multistate enforcement operation, sweeping into homes across Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas. Upon information and belief, ICE agents targeted and detained 121 people during these immigration raids, all of whom were women and children. ICE agents removed these women and children from their homes, and transferred them to an immigration detention facility in Dilley, Texas.

    These raids have raised serious concerns about potential constitutional violations. Upon information and belief, in several instances, ICE agents entered homes without obtaining lawful and voluntary consent during these immigration raids. In these cases, ICE agents allegedly used deception to gain entry into the homes, stating that they were police officers looking for a criminal suspect and showing residents a photo of an African American man. In other instances, ICE agents allegedly stated that they were only taking the immigrants into custody for a short time to examine the women’s electronic ankle shackles.

    Upon information and belief, the ICE agents did not have warrants to conduct these raids. The agents did not show residents copies of warrants, which are required to enter a home without valid consent, regardless of a person’s immigration status. When asked for copies of warrants or orders to enter a home,ICE agents ignored the requests, threatened residents, or ordered them to “be quiet.”
  5. The Obama Admin Continues to Jail and Deport Mothers and Children

    by , 08-08-2016 at 06:15 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The following update is via immigration lawyer Carol Anne Mauer Donohoe:

    1. Three weeks ago, ICE tricked a Vermont mother and her 15 year old daughter to come to their office to "pick up their green cards." They have pending applications for permanent residence based on mother's marriage to a U.S. citizen.

    2. Upon arrival, instead of getting their green cards, they are arrested and placed in a car (mother and 15 year old daughter) with several male ICE officers.

    3. They are taken by the male officers on an 8 hour drive.

    4. They are deposited at Berks where they are detained.

    5. They speak English. They are white. They have lived here over 5 years.

    6. At Berks, the (female) deportation officer lies to the mother, saying her green card application was denied. Saying she had no choice but to sign their deportation papers.

    7. Yesterday mother and daughter got notice that their removal would take place that evening.

    8. Their private attorney had contacted Bridget. She drove to Philadelphia yesterday morning to file the application for stay of removal prior to their deportation.

    9. The stay should be a no-brainer. They are not an enforcement priority. They have pending green card applications.

    10. We/they/all wait. And wait.

    11. At first, this mother and the Central American mothers at Berks were at odds. They were different. They spoke different languages. It appeared that this mother was getting preferential treatment. Now the other mothers understand: they are all mothers. They are one and the same.

    12. Mother and daughter are told by county staff to start packing their bags. Daughter begins to cry inconsolably. She wants to go back to playing soccer. She wants to start her sophomore year.

    13. The large, gruff, male deportation officer tells them to get moving.

    14. Mother says "You have lied to me before, why should I believe you now?"

    15. The County Staff kicks the legal advocate out of the building, the only person on the mother's side. She is forced to wait in the car.

    16. Bridget is told there will be a decision on the stay application "before the plane takes off." This is not encouraging. The stay should take minutes to grant.

    17. Mother and daughter are placed in the van. They are driven to JFK.

    18. It is looking hopeless. Even though this mother and daughter have every reason to be granted a stay, there is no answer from ICE. They have been lied to, more than once. This is what injustice looks like. Smells like. Tastes like.

    19. We reach out to anyone and everyone who could help.

    20. The mother's U.S. citizen husband is livid. He tells his wife "they are playing psychological games." He is right.

    21. The daughter's biological father in the UK says do not deport my daughter. (What kind of country does that?)

    22. At night time, we get the news: stay denied. Denied. Denied. Denied. We are told, under all evidence we have supplied to the contrary, that this mother and daughter are somehow an "enforcement priority."

    23. We drink. Heavily. Nothing will ever make sense in this system.

    24. We come home late. We wake up early. We are devastated.

    25. In the morning, we get an email from a Berks mom. Miraculously, the mother and daughter have been returned!! We don't understand. We are elated but don't understand. The stay was denied.

    26. Mother reports that they were put on the plane. There were technical difficulties. The door wouldn't close properly. They sat on the plane for 2 hours. The flight was canceled.

    27. At 2:00 a.m. they were put back in the car with the male ICE officers and driven back to Berks. There aren't many flights taking off for their country in Central Asia. They nearly get in an accident on the way home because the driver is tired.

    28. At Berks, the mother immediately writes to the deportation officer. "I will not eat a bite of food until my daughter and I are released."

    29. She is told by the lying deportation officer that her actions will "depress" her daughter. That she is being selfish.

    30. The ICE psychologist asks to speak with her. Maybe he's going to counsel her? Maybe he's going to help her talk through her traumatic ordeal and provide some much needed support.

    31. The psychologist tells her she will traumatize her child by refusing to eat. The mother says "YOU traumatized my child by putting her here."

    32. The psychologist says "if you don't eat, we will put you in isolation." He shows her the isolation room. The mother says: "Okay." (She is unshaken.)

    33. The psychologist says "we will put an I.V. in you." The mother says: "Okay."

    34. The psychologist says "we will put your daughter in foster care." The mother says: "Foster care will be better than prison and you can't put her there anyway, you liar, because she has a father."

    35. The psychologist has run out of threats.

    36. The mother gets a call from the ICE Field Office Director, the very same one who denied her stay and said she and her daughter were enforcement priorities. He says due to the plane malfunction and their subsequent return to Berks he's taken some time to "reconsider" the denial of the stay.

    37. He says the stay will be granted. Granted. Granted. If not for the malfunction, they would have been on that plane, flying thousands of miles away from her husband, her daughter's stepfather, her daughter's school, their home. They were an enforcement priority until they weren't.

    38. Mother and daughter are on their way back to Vermont, in a car driven by her U.S. citizen husband, her daughter's U.S. citizen stepfather. They will not forget their 3 weeks of hell.

    38. Meanwhile, the remaining mothers look at the calendar. At the end of this month, several will have been detained a year. A 2 year old boy will have spent half his life in prison.


    Tell me why.

    Updated 08-08-2016 at 03:02 PM by MKolken

    Tags: children, ice, jails Add / Edit Tags
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