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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal


  1. American Immigration Council: Drop in Court-Ordered Deportations Means Little

    by , 04-28-2014 at 10:32 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The American Immigration Council's Beth Werlin just wrote an amazing blog that explains why the recent media spin surrounding the drop in Court-ordered deportations is just that: spin. She explains that only 30 percent of the people the administration deported last year ever saw an immigration judge, which explains the drop. Most significantly, the Obama administration's practice of bypassing immigration courts raises serious due process concerns.

    From the blog:

    Through summary removal processes, such as expedited removal and reinstatement of removal, DHS immigration officers make quick decisions to deport a person without affording the person any further hearing or opportunity to apply for some form of relief from deportation, unless the person expresses a fear of persecution. The entire process—from apprehension to deportation—can take less than 24 hours. Such summary processes raise serious due process concerns given the inherent risk of arbitrary, mistaken, or discriminatory conduct that can occur in the absence of adequate deliberation and oversight mechanisms.

    To make matters worse she notes that the Obama administration almost never exercises prosecutorial discretion to individuals that are not considered deportation priorities:

    ...there were 235,093 deportations from within the border region. These individuals, many of whom have resided in the United States for decades and who may have left the United States only for a brief period of time, were deported without any consideration of priorities or equities.

    Click here to read the entire post.

    Updated 04-28-2014 at 12:21 PM by MKolken

  2. Report: Obama Admin Rarely Uses Prosecutorial Discretion to Close Deportation Cases

    by , 04-25-2014 at 05:43 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    From Syracuse University's TRAC immigration:

    (24 Apr 2014) The use of prosecutorial discretion (PD) by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to close cases in the Immigration Courts continues to be relatively rare -- only 6.7 percent of cases were closed on this basis between October 2012 and March 2014. Overall PD usage has hovered in the six to eight percent range for months, though its use varies widely by location.

    As of March 31, 2014, Immigration Courts with ICE PD closures in the three to four percent range included those in San Antonio, New York City, Las Vegas and Newark. The Houston, Buffalo and El Paso courts saw even lower levels: less than three percent.

    So much for "smart" immigration enforcement.
  3. Obama Administration Ceases Violation of Rights at Denver Immigration Court

    by , 04-24-2014 at 08:37 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    April 23, 2014

    Contact: Bryon M. Large, Chapter Chair Jeff Joseph, Lead Counsel
    (303) 883-6686 (720) 273-4647

    Government Ceases Abusive and Intimidating Violation of Rights by Security at the Denver Immigration Court Following Lawsuit Filed by AILA Colorado

    DENVER, CO – Attorneys with the Colorado Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association filed a federal lawsuit on April 16 requesting a temporary restraining order to stop abusive and intimidating practices against immigrants attempting to access the Denver Immigration Court to attend their court-mandated hearings. Late yesterday, the government stipulated to ending these practices and creating a much more reasonable procedure. The Court is housed in an otherwise public federal building.

    Citing Operation Shield, a federal law enforcement program designed to demonstrate the federal government’s visibility and ability to react to a national security crisis, Department of Homeland Security officials restricted access to the Byron G. Rogers Federal Building, allowing people to enter the public areas of the federal building only after demonstrating a valid U.S. identification or being detained while processing a background investigation. As immigrants in deportation proceedings, many do not have U.S. identification and were unlawfully detained pending investigations. The lawsuit requested that a federal judge intervene and issue an injunction to immediately stop these abusive practices. As a result of the suit, the government has agreed to cease this behavior.

    “This is a victory for everyone’s civil liberties! It was a shameful practice for federal officers to intimidate anyone, including immigrants, trying to attend court hearings or conduct business in a publicly accessible building. Access to the government and court system is a fundamental right in this country,” said Bryon M. Large, Chapter Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association Colorado Chapter.

    # # #

    AILA Colorado is the local chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, an association of over 12,000 private attorneys and law professors,
    working to advance the practice of immigration law. The AILA Colorado Chapter meets regularly and is comprised of over 250 attorneys and law professors in the State of Colorado.
  4. Immigration Courts Impacted by Server Crash

    by , 04-23-2014 at 12:03 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    As of April 12, 2014, five servers crashed crippling the entire network of computers used by the Nation's immigration courts. This has cut off access to electronic records, and has shut down the toll-free number that enables immigrants to check the status of their case.

    I received a report today that some detained cases have already had to be rescheduled due to the hardware failure. The concern is that individuals will be forced to languish in custody depriving them of their right to due process. EOIR spokeswoman Lauren Alder Reid addressed this concern stating that "EOIR is not making any decisions regarding the release of detainees outside of normal court processes.”

    I was in Court this morning at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia, New York. The immigration judge I appeared before was able to conduct my hearing, and offered me a trial date within one week.

    I'll let you know more as information becomes available.

    Click here for the original source of this story.

    Updated 04-23-2014 at 12:10 PM by MKolken

  5. Immigration Lawyers Sue Obama Admin for Blocking Access to Court

    by , 04-17-2014 at 08:39 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Yesterday, April 16, 2014, the Obama administration's Federal Protective Service blocked immigration lawyers and their clients from entering the Denver Immigration Court unless they presented government-issued ID and were willing to submit to a National Crime Information Center background check.

    Immigration lawyer David Kolko, his client Luis Alberto Rojas Gomez, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Colorado Chapter filed suit seeking an emergency temporary restraining order arguing that the detention pending the background check violated the 4th Amendment, and the 14th and 5th Amendment against unwarranted intrusions on privacy.

    Click here to read the entire Petition.

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