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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

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  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.
  4. 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

  5. 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:

    **OPEN LETTER**

    DREAMERS to PRESIDENT OBAMA: NO MORE EMPTY PROMISES ON IMMIGRATION
    DEMANDS FOR 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

    President:


    • 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
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