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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal


  1. Rep. Gutierrez: Obama Has 'Responsibility' to Reduce Deportations

    by , 01-10-2014 at 12:00 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    In an interview with Fusion’s Jorge Ramos, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D - Ill.) has stated that President Obama has a “responsibility” to reduce the number of deportations.

    He stated that “Democrats think all they need to do is to simply blame Republicans. You know what? We control the White House and we control the deportation apparatus, we have a responsibility to act.” Congressman Gutierrez also stated that the President can do more to put an end to the destruction of thousand of families in this country.

    Thank you Congressman Gutierrez for your continued fight on behalf of United States citizens that are in danger of losing their relatives to a draconian and outdated immigration law.

    Updated 01-10-2014 at 02:27 PM by MKolken

  2. An Immigration Reform Compromise that Makes Sense

    by , 01-09-2014 at 11:06 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    It has just been reported that House Speaker John Boehner is drafting GOP principles on immigration reform legislation, and that he will soon release them in an effort to push his members to vote for it. Nearly everyone sees this as a positive sign that reform may actually happen in 2014.

    So the question becomes, what will immigration reform look like in the hands of the GOP? The major sticking point has been whether reform should include a separate and distinct pathway to citizenship for individuals that are undocumented. The people most effected by this issue see through the politics. Some now acknowledge that the GOP isn't solely to blame realizing many Democrats are using a "pathway to citizenship" as a wedge issue to win elections. In sum, politicians playing politics rather than solving problems.

    A recent poll reveals that Hispanics and Asian Americans see deportation relief as more important than a pathway to citizenship. Congressman Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., agrees stating that: "...citizenship is important, but I don't think it is a big deal breaker either," "Right now we have to stop the deportations that are breaking up families. And if we do not get citizenship this year, we will be back next year and the year after that." Given these revelations, it is clear that there is room for compromise.

    Moreover, from what I have seen a reboot on immigration reform isn't necessarily a bad thing as the pathway to citizenship in the Senate Bill is illusory at best. It has been estimated that under the Senate Bill many/most of the undocumented population will never achieve "Green Card" status let alone full citizenship. Most importantly, a large percentage would face deportation again should they fail to meet the strict requirements of registered provisional immigrant status.

    As I have previously written, there is a much more practical way to achieve both an end to deportations for the deserving, as well as provide a pathway to citizenship for immediate relatives of United States citizens and other immigrants that have visas available to them through family members and offers of employment. A way that won't require undocumented immigrants to endure the Bataan Death March of immigration reform as set forth in S.744.

    The solution would immediately provide legal status to the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country. A solution that creates a temporary renewable status that brings people out of the shadows, protects them from deportation, and also provides employment and travel authorization so that people can lead normal lives. The new status could be renewed indefinitely in the absence of disqualifying criminal grounds of removal, and would require a one-time payment of a penalty fee, and a substantially lower filing fee for renewals, which would be required every ten years.

    Although there would be no independent pathway to citizenship baked in, you would not be precluded from obtaining a Green Card and ultimately citizenship through the normal channels. This solution would allow undocumented immediate relatives of United States citizens to apply for a Green Card the moment they receive their new status. Spouses of United States citizens would be eligible to apply for citizenship three years after they get their Green Card.

    It is a real path to citizenship.

    For this solution to work properly we need more immigrant visa numbers as well as a robust skilled and guest worker program to afford future immigrants an opportunity to come to this country legally. I have already articulated this solution to several GOP members of Congress.

    Let's just hope they were listening.
  3. ICE Admits to Detaining 13 Pregnant Women

    by , 01-07-2014 at 08:55 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The National Immigrant Youth Alliance's (NIYA) infiltration of the El Paso detention center has resulted in both the discovery, and the Obama administration's confession that ICE has locked up 13 pregnant women in immigration detention between August and November of 2013. Because of a lack of transparency there is no way of knowing how many pregnant women are currently being held in ICE custody nationwide despite the administration's policy against it.

    Click here for more information.

    Updated 01-08-2014 at 02:18 PM by MKolken

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  4. Erika Andiola: "Why I'm Fighting to Stop Deportations Outside of Congress"

    by , 12-28-2013 at 08:53 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Erika Andiola, Co-Director of the DRM Action Coalition, recently left her job in Congress to help stop her mother's deportation. She has now penned an article explaining her motivations. From the article: "After seeing my mother in handcuffs, I realized that I was perhaps wrong about the President I encouraged my community to support. I realized that the words President Obama said as a keynote speaker at my Arizona State University graduation in 2009 were empty words."

    She has since moved on to her "Clean Obama's Mess" stage.

    We wish you luck Erika!

    Click here to read the full article.

    Updated 12-28-2013 at 11:19 AM by MKolken

  5. How many citizens will spend Christmas without their deported relative this year?

    by , 12-24-2013 at 11:24 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    I saw the following anonymous comment posted in response to a blog about deportations and immigration enforcement and was compelled to republish it here. It perfectly crystallizes the human toll that the last 5 years have had on United States citizens with relatives that have been deported by the Obama administration.

    "You are so worried they are doing nothing! They do enforce and they do deport no matter what the family member wants. The police even laughed when they arrested my husband and told me he would be released after i paid a fine, they said to wait and I did for 4 1/2 hours while they kept looking at me knowing darn well they weren't going to release him.

    Its a game to them. They make them criminals for doing what any family man would do get back to his family. I contacted everyone from the President to the Judge , Senators Congressman, Pro immigrant groups and lots more.

    Whats so weird they all told me they had no power to do anything, most just ignored me. My husband crime was coming back here to take care of me and he would have come back this time but the President gave many of us false hope all the talk about personal discretion yada yada yada and I asked him to wait to see if we could do this the right way-he asked me several times said it was getting worse over there-If i would have brought him back illegally he would still be alive!

    I begged since 2010- well they deported him again in Dec 2012 to one of the most violent countries of the world and Saturday Dec 15, 2013 he was murdered and I am left trying to go on without him I am 55 years old and disabled.

    To you people he is just one more to me he was my life, my hope, my future. I cant close my eyes without seeing him, I cry all the time. But I don't matter either after all he was just a immigrant to you. He was the kindest, caring- the finest man I have ever know. He is not replaceable.

    I should have had more say in his deportation, he should have been allowed to stay here while processing his paperwork, to this day there has been no action on his paperwork. I had to barrow to get the money to pay the lawyer and forms. I have lost respect for our system when you make laws knowing they are not going to work to criminalize a otherwise normal person just lacking authorization setting them up to fail and making them felons is so wrong! So I well pay for it the rest of my life.

    The pain I feel is real it is devastating he should have been offered amnesty but they just wanted to deport. All his life he lived in fear And violence he lived in the streets from the time he was 9 his stepfather came close to killing him twice, his uncle electrocuted his legs for punishment and burned his skin to the bone, he saw a man decapitated right in front of him and so much more . He didn't deserve to be sent back to die I wrote ICE , John Morton and it seems no one has authority to do anything he was robbed his 1st or second month back in his country and I wrote them all again.

    Well none of this is important to anyone but me but if it did affect them they would have done something. I have nothing left but memories at least they can not destroy those but I hope they make a change so more like me don't have their lives taken away and spend the rest of their days suffering for the loss of their partner or child."

    To the anonymous author of this comment, rest assured your story is important to me.

    To those in our community that provide cover for the administration that has destroyed more families through deportation than at any time in history, you need to take a long hard look in the mirror. This isn't about politics. It is about children losing parents, and husbands losing wives.

    Well here is the reality check: it was President Obama's administration that deported this woman's husband to a death sentence, and no seldom used prosecutorial discretion memo will ever bring him back to her. If I sound outraged, you would be correct. I've grown weary of the endless stories of loved ones being shackled in the middle of the night as children cry helplessly, unable to comprehend that daddy is never coming home again.

    Hopefully, in 2014 things will finally "Change" so I can use this forum to do something other than on a near daily basis expose the President's lies about his deportation record. I know it has grown tiresome to some, but to me speaking the truth is more important than receiving an invite to the White House Holiday party.

    Just sayin'

    Updated 12-24-2013 at 11:26 AM by MKolken

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