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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

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  1. Update from DREAM 30 Lawyer David Bennion

    by , 10-29-2013 at 01:42 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Unfortunately, DREAM 30 member Rocío Hernández Pérez was deported today despite desperate attempts by advocates to stop her deportation.

    DREAM 30 Lawyer David Bennion gives us the following update on the DREAM 30.

    From David Bennion:

    34 entered on Sept. 30, all were detained, one released that night on parole, 7 parents and minors paroled the next day for "significant public benefit." 1 UAC minor was later released for possible SIJS, the 25 others are the classic "dreamers" and all have gone or are going through the credible fear process. 12 were reinterviewed by the asylum office after the initial interview because, as the asylum office told me, these are high profile cases. 16 were approved by the asylum office, 9 denied. That is a 36% denial rate, far higher than the national average of 9% in FY2013, especially considering all are fluent in English and were represented by counsel, and none had negative credibility findings. 1 denial was overturned on review by the IJ, and Rocio was deported this morning after the IJ confirmed the asylum office's denial of credible fear. She's from Veracruz, where the Zetas already kidnapped her aunt and uncle.

    The other 7 denied cases are awaiting review by the IJ, but I am not optimistic. The 17 approved cases have been held nearly a week after approval, with no explanation why they haven't yet been paroled per ICE policy. Several went on hunger strike over the weekend. Yesterday, ICE took them to the hospital and requested a court order to force feed them. The doctors said there was no medical justification for that at this stage. The clear message from DHS is: don't try this again. We don't care if you were once a Dreamer, once you set foot outside the U.S., it's as though you were never here. Actually worse, b/c now you have ULP bar and presumed immigrant intent, so good luck coming back.

    I will keep you posted as new information becomes available.
  2. Senator Menendez Sits on His Hands while #Dream30 Member Set to be Deported

    by , 10-29-2013 at 09:34 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    From LatinoRebels.com:

    In a move that has left her mother “heartbroken,” Rocío Hernández Pérez, one of the members of the #Dream30, will be deported today to Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, after pleas from organizers and family members to Latino politicians asking for help with her case went unheeded. According to both Hernández’s mother and #Dream30 organizers, Hernández’s case has already been processed. Hernández has also been given her street clothes back, and is expected to be in Juárez within the next couple of hours.

    Last week two mothers of the #DREAM30 went to Senator Menendez's office to plea for help. The Senator issued the following response (after arresting them of course): “unfortunately, congressional offices are not able to single-handedly interfere with and influence deportation cases. Senate Ethics prohibits “demands” to the agencies about individual cases.”

    In addition to being cowardly, it appears that Senator Menendez isn't quite telling the truth. There are many examples where Senators have intervened on behalf of individuals facing deportation. See: Senators aid wife of missing soldier. Kerry Kennedy pressure officials, and Senator Durbin helps stop the Deportation of DREAMer Elier Lara.

    I represented the individuals in both of these cases, and I can assure you that if it weren't for the courageous acts of Senators Kerry, Kennedy, and Durbin my clients would have been deported. In fact, it wasn't until there was Congressional intervention that the administration was willing to consider a favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion.

    So Senator Menendez, what's your excuse?

    I think Julio Ricardo Varela summed it up perfectly is his article that appeared today on NBC Latino when explaining opposition in the immigration reform community to the #DREAM30 protest:

    How dare does anyone try to upset the immigration reform apple cart now? Obama is our friend, why are you making him look bad? We have private prisons to fund and border fences to build. Don’t you know that immigration reform will die?

    Senator Menendez, the deportation clock is ticking, so maybe it is time to start acting like a leader, and not just another follower.

    Update: Unfortunately, Rocio has been deported to Mexico.

    Updated 10-29-2013 at 01:35 PM by MKolken

  3. Obama Administration Playing Politics with the DREAM 30 Asylum Seekers

    by , 10-25-2013 at 01:19 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    It appears that the Obama administration is employing a double standard in the adjudication of the DREAM 30's credible fear interviews. 9 of 25 (36%) have been denied despite the fact that the individuals were all able to articulate a significant possibility of persecution on account of an enumerated ground for asylum. The national average for denials is 9.4%.

    From the information I have received none of the denials were based on adverse credibility, which is most telling as the "significant possibility" threshold is principally determined after an assessment of the statements made by the applicant during pre-screening.

    The only adverse credible fear determinations I've ever heard of involve non-English speakers, that are unrepresented by counsel, with obvious discrepancies in their border interviews. In sum, almost everyone passes their credible fear interview. It should also be noted that all 9 of the DREAM 9 passed their credible fear interviews. It should also be noted that I've never had a single client in the entirety of my career fail to establish credible fear at the border. It is almost unheard of.

    Looks like the administration is making an example out of the DREAM 30 in order to make a political point. Nothing like playing politics with the lives of immigrants.

    Par for the course.

    Updated 10-25-2013 at 01:27 PM by MKolken

  4. ICE Detainee Commits Suicide in Prison Cell After Deportation Order

    by , 10-25-2013 at 09:47 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    From ICE.gov:

    ICE detainee passes away at York County Prison


    YORK, Pa. – A female citizen of Antigua in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) passed away Wednesday at the York County Prison of an apparent suicide.

    Tiombe Carlos, 34, was found unresponsive in her cell Wednesday. York County prison officials immediately contacted emergency services who attempted to revive her while heading to York Hospital. York Hospital pronounced her deceased at 10:13 p.m.


    On June 21, 2012, an immigration judge ordered Carlos removed to Antigua.


    ICE has notified the Antigua and Barbuda consulate. Consistent with ICE protocol, the appropriate state health and local law enforcement agencies have also been informed.


    ICE takes incidents like this very seriously, and is undertaking a comprehensive agency-wide review of this detainee death. This review will be conducted by agency senior leadership to include Enforcement and Removal Operations, the Office of Detention Policy and Planning, the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor.

  5. Report: Only 14% of All FY2013 Deportation filings based on Criminal Activity

    by , 10-18-2013 at 10:09 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Syracuse University's TRAC Immigration reports that only one in seven FY2013 deportation filings were based on criminal grounds of removal.

    From their Oct 15, 2013 report:

    Of all filings in the Immigration Courts seeking to deport noncitizens during fiscal year 2013, only one in seven (14.4 percent) have been based on alleged criminal activity. This proportion is roughly half what it was twenty years ago, when 28.5 percent -- more than a quarter -- of removal filings were based on criminal activity.

    Since FY 2003, the proportion based on criminal charges has held mostly steady at about 16 percent, aside from a dip in 2005-2006. But this proportion has been inching lower for the past three years.

    Click here for the source.
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