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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

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  1. DOJ Temporarily Transferring Immigration Judges to Detention Centers Near Border

    by , 03-20-2017 at 08:45 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via the Associate Press:

    The Justice Department said Friday that it will temporarily transfer immigration judges to six detention centers mostly near the border with Mexico in an effort to put President Donald Trump's immigration directives into effect.

    The department's Executive Office for Immigration Review said the transfers to four locations in Texas and one each in Louisiana and New Mexico will occur Monday. Judges were previously moved to two immigration detention centers in California.


    Trump's executive order on border and immigration enforcement in January says judges should immediately be assigned to immigration detention centers. Many courts are for immigrants who are freed before their cases are heard.


    The clogged immigration courts have gotten less attention than other aspects of Trump's orders, such as construction of a wall on the 2,000-mile border with Mexico and the addition of 5,000 Border Patrol agents and 10,000 Immigration and Customs and Enforcement officers and agents. There was a backlog of 542,646 cases at the end of January, including 20,856 people who were being held in custody.

    Click here for the full story.
  2. Obama Admin Interrogating Muslim Americans about their Religious Beliefs

    by , 06-01-2015 at 09:25 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Four United States citizens sued the Obama administration after having been taken into custody while crossing the U.S. Canada border, one of which after having his car surrounded by Customs and Border Protection agents with guns drawn. Once in custody they were all subjected to prolonged detention, with at least one individual claiming he was handcuffed to a stool. While detained they were forced to endure invasive body searches, and an extensive and "strikingly similar, if not identical, line of questioning" about their religious beliefs practices. All four are Muslim Americans. No reasons have been provided for their being subjected to such treatment, and none were charged with any crime or violation.

    The lawsuit was filed in April 2012, and remains pending before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division. In a recent response to a motion to compel discovery, the Obama administration attached a copy of a "Sample Questionnaire" that they claim is "designed to provide guidance to special agents who are called upon to conduct a certain type of investigatory interview of persons." Or in plain language, a guide on how to interrogate Muslims.

    Interrogation questions include:

    • Do you have any relatives or friends who have been martyred fighting in the defense of your beliefs?
    • Do you know or have you heard of anyone in your town/village who has been martyred in defense of your beliefs?
    • What is/are the name(s) of the martyr(s)?
    • When did they become martyrs?
    • Where did they become martyrs?

    The "Sample Questionnaire" is 5 pages. A mostly redacted copy was attached as Exhibit A to the Obama administration's response to the motion to compel discovery along with a cross-motion for, and get this, a protective order, because you know, the Department of Homeland Security needs to be protected when they are subjecting American citizens to prolonged detention, interrogation, and invasive body searches solely because of their religious beliefs.

    This isn't the first time I've heard about Muslim Americans having their Constitutional rights violated while crossing the border, and unfortunately it probably won't be the last.

    Updated 06-08-2015 at 02:37 PM by MKolken

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