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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal


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

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

    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.

  2. 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.
  3. Paper Examines the Failure of the Prosecutorial Discretion Initiative

    by , 10-18-2013 at 08:18 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Nina Rabin, Co-Director of the Immigration Law Clinic at the University of Arizona's James E. Roberts College of Law, has written a paper entitled "Victims or Criminals? Discretion, Sorting, and Bureaucratic Culture in the U.S. Immigration System."

    From the abstract:

    This article examines the Obama Administration’s effort to encourage the use of prosecutorial discretion by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the executive agency in charge of the enforcement of immigration laws. Since 2010, the Obama Administration has repeatedly stated that agency officials are to focus enforcement efforts on those who pose a threat or danger, rather than pursuing deportation of all undocumented immigrants with equal fervor. Yet despite repeated directives by the administration, the implementation of prosecutorial discretion is widely considered a failure. Data and anecdotes from the field suggest that ICE has yet to embrace this more nuanced approach to the enforcement of immigration laws.

    In this article, I argue that one key reason that prosecutorial discretion has not taken hold within ICE is the failure of the President and his administration to adequately account for agency culture. In particular, the prosecutorial discretion initiative directly conflicts with the central role that criminal convictions play in ICE culture. To support my argument, I present an in-depth case study of the agency’s refusal to exercise discretion in a highly compelling case. For over two years, ICE aggressively prosecuted a client of University of Arizona’s immigration clinic who appeared to be the quintessential recipient of prosecutorial discretion, as the victim of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and the primary caregiver for three young U.S citizen children. Despite these equities, ICE’s decision to prosecute was based wholly on the single conviction on her record, which was directly related to her victimization and for which she received a sentence of probation only.

    I situate this case study in a theoretical framework regarding bureaucratic culture. Applying this analysis to ICE brings into focus key elements of the agency’s culture, particularly its tendency to view all immigrants as criminal threats. This culture makes the sole fact of a conviction – without regard to its seriousness or context – a nearly irreversible determinant of the agency’s approach to any given case. My analysis of the nature and intensity of ICE’s bureaucratic culture has troubling implications for the capacity of the President and his administration to implement reforms that counter the lack of nuance in the immigration system’s current legal framework. It suggests that locating discretion primarily in the enforcement arm of the immigration bureaucracy has inherent limitations that lead to a system poorly designed to address humanitarian concerns raised in individual cases.

    Click here to download the paper.

    Updated 10-18-2013 at 08:21 AM by MKolken

  4. Open Letter to President Obama from DREAMers: No More Empty Promises on Immigration

    by , 10-17-2013 at 09:46 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The DREAM Action Coalition has penned the following open letter to President Obama:


    Dear President Obama,

    We are is excited to know that the Senate and House have reached a deal to finally re-open the government. It gives us hope that Republicans and Democrats can work together to fix pressing issues facing our country. At the same time, Dreamers and Congress are ready to get back to work to complete immigration reform and finally end record-breaking deportation numbers. Just yesterday, Barack Obama echoed the same sentiment to work on immigration the “day after” Congress re-opens the government.

    Dreamers and the American people, however, specially Latino voters, have heard the same empty words and broken promises before from candidate Barack Obama and President Obama. The President is thinking about immigration in the middle of this fiscal crisis, because the reality is that the government might be shut down, but his administration has ICE open and running, bringing his Administration closer to the 2 million deportations milestone.

    We will not be fooled by your rhetoric again. The Latino and immigrant community is working so hard to halt deportations. President Obama may just be reacting to the pressure that activists have built in the past few weeks to expand DACA beyond DREAMers.

    We are urging the President to deliver on his promise and establish a real legacy of leadership. Thus, Dreamers and the American people demand that the


    • NOT follow Leader Pelosi’s and Rep. Becerra’s strategy to just make immigration a partisan issue to win more seats the next election;
    • Make a determined and honest effort to reach across the isle to moderate Republicans and make something happen;
    • Make phone calls to the Speaker and Republican leadership on immigration;
    • Organize meetings in the White House with the Republican rank-and-file;
    • Organize meeting with DREAMers and families to discuss halting deportations in the event Congress does not act

    Your term as President of the United States will one day be over. What will remain and be embedded in history as your legacy, however, is still unsure. The record number of deportations is not only about numbers but also about broken families being separated everyday. The opportunity to take leadership is presenting itself on the issue of immigration. The American people, and Latino voters in particular, no longer want to hear words but we want to see the actions of a dignified American leader.

    Thank you,

    DREAM Action Coalition & Latino Voters
  5. Article: The Burden of Deportation on Children in Mexican Immigrant Families

    by , 10-17-2013 at 09:36 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The following article was just brought to my attention. It was written by Joanna Dreby, of the University at Albany, State University of New York, and is entitled: The Burden of Deportation on Children in Mexican Immigrant Families. It was published in the Journal of Marriage and Family last year.

    From the forward:
    In 2011, a record number of foreign-born individuals were detained and removed from the United States. This article looks at the impact enforcement policies have had on Mexican families more broadly and children specifically. Drawing on interviews with 91 parents and 110 children in 80 households, the author suggests that, similar to the injury pyramid used by public health professionals, a deportation pyramid best depicts the burden of deportation on children. At the top of the pyramid are instances that have had the most severe consequences on children’s daily lives: families in which a deportation has led to permanent family dissolution. But enforcement policies have had the greatest impact on children at the bottom of the pyramid. Regardless of legal status or their family members’ involvement with immigration authorities, children in Mexican immigrant households describe fear about their family stability and confusion over the impact legality has on their lives.

    I intend to use this article as evidence in my next cancellation of removal case so I thought I'd share.

    Click here
    to read it in its entirety.
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