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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal


  1. Update: #DREAM9 Protesting Obama Administration’s Deportation Record

    by , 07-24-2013 at 09:08 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The New York Times is now covering the story.

    From Julia Preston’s article:

    “The protest was a tactical escalation by some young immigrants, who call themselves Dreamers, to draw attention to what they said were inconsistencies by the administration, which has continued a fast pace of deportations even while President Obama is pressing Congress to pass legislation that would offer a path to citizenship to unauthorized immigrants.”

    Friend and immigration reform activist Prerna P. Lal summed it up nicely: "The activists are not protesting the KIDS Act or advocating for CIR. They are protesting the 1.7 million deportations under Obama and requesting that everyone should be brought back home. Because they deserve to be home."

    Mohammed Abdollahi, fighting at the tip of the spear as leader of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, astutely observed that there is no justifiable reason for the administration to detain these kids. He explained that “They’re not high priority, they’re not a flight risk, in fact they’re actually fighting to stay in the country.”

    ...and he is correct.

    I’ll keep you posted as more information becomes available.
  2. Update: The #DREAM9 are being Transferred to the Central Arizona Detention Center

    by , 07-23-2013 at 08:13 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    I have learned from Felipe Vargas that after presenting themselves for admission "The Dream 9" have been transferred to the Central Arizona Detention Center in Florence, Arizona. The National Immigrant Youth Alliance now intends to execute "phase 2" of "The Bring Them Home Project" by attempting to shut down the Florence detention center.

    It never ceases to amaze me what these undocumented youth are able to accomplish. It is unfortunate that it takes courageous acts of children to force the Administration's hand.


    Updated 07-23-2013 at 10:08 AM by MKolken

  3. 5 Deported DREAMers Will Attempt to Return to the United States Today

    by , 07-22-2013 at 08:00 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Here is the Press Release:
    Five Deported DREAMers Will Attempt to Cross Border Monday
    Calls to ‘Bring Them Home’ spreading nationwide

    NATIONAL— Five deported DREAMers will attempt to return home by presenting themselves at the Nogales Port of Entry on Monday, July 22nd. The DREAMers will be joined by Lizbeth Mateo, Marco Saavedra and Lulu Martinez, activist who left this week in order to test the Obama Administration’s policy on deported immigrants. Supporters are planning ‘Bring Them Home’ echo rallies across the country.

    July 22nd @ 9:00 AM

    Where: Corner of N. Sonoita Ave & Crawford Street (across McDonald’s), Nogales, Arizona

    All of the students will be asking the Obama Administration to grant discretion and to allow them to return home.

    “I was brought to Phoenix when I was four months old. My home is in Arizona, not here in Mexico,” said Adriana Diaz, one of the Dreamers set to take part in the action. “I am going to cross the border hoping that President Obama realizes there are lots of us dreamers stuck here in Mexico, even though we consider our home to be in the U.S.”

    All eight students will present themselves and ask that the Obama Administration use its discretion to parole them into the country.

    We have included bios of the five additional participants below. They will be available for interviews on Sunday evening. For interview requests, please email

    The participants:

    Claudia Amaro, 37, from Monterrey, Mexico moved to Colorado when she was thirteen years old. Her mother fled Mexico after her father was murdered and the family was threatened. In 2006, while living in Wichita, Kansas, Claudia’s next husband was detained while driving to work. ICE detained Claudia while interpreting for her husband.

    Living in Mexico has been hard for Claudia and her thirteen-year-old US citizen son. Finally, her mother gained legal status last year and was able to visit her grandson for the first time in seven years. Claudia is coming home to put the family back together that deportation tore apart.

    Adriana Diaz, 22, from Mexico City, first came to Phoenix, Arizona when she was just four months old. Adriana graduated from Crestview Preparatory high school in 2010 with many accolades, including the Citizenship Award. To this day, two of her murals decorate its walls. Adriana left Phoenix three months before DACA was announced. She left because she was tired of living in fear under Arpaio, not knowing each night if her mom was going to come home.

    Once in Nogales, Adriana tried to go to school. Because she lived so long in the US, Mexico recognized her as a foreign student and would not accept her US degree. Instead of going to school, Adriana has been working with migrants at the Juan Bosco shelter in Sonora. Adriana is coming home because she has no memories in Mexico. Her entire life was in Phoenix—she has memories of school, birthdays, going to prom—even her partner of four years lives in Phoenix. Everyone deserves to come home.

    Luis Gustavo, 20, from Michoacán, Mexico has lived in North Carolina since he was five years old. He graduated from McDowell High School. Luis left Marion, NC, in August 2011 with the hopes of being able to finally go to school in Mexico. Luis, not being able to stand being away from his family, tried to come home inJune 2012 when the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was announced.

    Luis never made it; he was caught by border patrol. The responding agent sympathized with him, and filed for DACA on his behalf, but saw it rejected. Luis was subsequently deported. Desperate to come home, Luis attempted to re-enter three more times, and failed on each attempt. Luis is coming home to be with his mother, sister, and four brothers.

    Maria Peniche, 22, from Mexico City first came to Boston when she was just ten years old. She graduated from Revere high school in 2010 and went on to attend Pine Manor College. By 2012, paying the high price of tuition became too difficult, and she dropped out. Three days before DACA was announced, Maria left for Mexico to continue her schooling. “Here in Mexico you can only do one thing, either work or go to school,” she said. Maria has had to put off her studies and work in order to provide for her family.
    Maria is coming home to provide for herself and her family, and pursue her education.

    Ceferino Santiago, 21, came to Lexington, Kentucky, at the age of thirteen in order to be with his older brother, Pedro. Ceferino is a permanent part of the Lexington community; he helped paint a mural at one of the local middle schools. During high-school, Ceferino ran for the school cross country team and was honored as one of the program’s top student-athletes in 2010. After graduating from high school, Ceferino was forced to return to Oaxaca, Mexico because of an ear infection which required surgery that cost $21,000. Ceferino is coming home so he can be with his brother, his community, and to continue with his studies.

    The National Immigrant Youth Alliance is an undocumented youth-led national network of activists fighting for the human rights of our communities. Our mission is to empower, educate, and escalate. We believe teaching our community how to fight for itself and nonviolent acts of civil disobedience are the most important tools for creating social change.

    Updated 07-22-2013 at 08:07 AM by MKolken

  4. Report: Immigration Judges Unduly Influenced by Administrative Priorities

    by , 07-19-2013 at 08:41 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The National Association of Immigration Judges, the certified representative and recognized collective bargaining representative of the more than 250 Immigration Judges who preside over our Nation’s 58 trial level Immigration Court tribunals, has issued a report entitled "The State of our Courts: A View From The Inside."

    The report outlines structural flaws in the current immigration court system finding that the Immigration Courts’ caseload "is spiraling out of control, dramatically outpacing the judicial resources available and making a complete gridlock of the current system a disturbing and foreseeable probability." This has destroyed morale of the immigration judge corps, which they say is "plummeting."

    Astonishingly, the report shows that the Immigration Courts have been crippled by surging backlogs and insufficient staffing, coupled with a lack of adequate resources to manage the caseload, which has expanded exponentially under the current administration.

    From the report:

    Immigration Judges struggle with an average caseload unmatched by any U.S. court system. Tasked with applying a body of law compared most often to tax law in its complexity, Immigration Judges carry an average docket of more than 1500 cases. For perspective, the average caseload of a U.S. district court judge is 440. Moreover, despite these crushing dockets, Immigration Judges lack staff support, conducting their proceedings with the assistance of only 1/4 a judicial law clerk’s time, without bailiffs or court reporters.
    What is most troubling is that Immigration Judges decision making authority is unduly influenced by administrative priorities, which if not met may subject the Judge to non-transparent performance review and disciplinary processes as DOJ employees. In short, supervisors that are not in Court are influencing how a judge manages their docket, and the judge is placed in the unenviable position of having to risk their livelihood should they exercise their independent decision-making authority when deciding continuances.

    In short, it appears that our immigration judges are being told how to rule by bureaucrats that have no knowledge of the facts of the particular case.

    How is that for justice?

    Click here to read the report.
  5. Bring them home!

    by , 07-18-2013 at 06:00 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    "The Obama administration has created a deportation machine resulting in the destruction of over 1.7 million lives, and the devastating separation of those families by the border. Those 1.7 million people are not lost and forgotten; rather, they are people who deserve to have the choice to return to their home in this country. While we fight to dismantle the system of continued deportations, we must also fight to bring our community home."


    With applications for legal admission in hand, and alongside other deported Dreamers, the undocumented youth activists will demand to be allowed to return home to the United States.

    Leaders currently in Mexico include Lizbeth Mateo of Los Angeles, CA and Lulu Martinez of Chicago, IL. Both have been living in the United States since before the age of 16, making them eligible for the DREAM Act and deferred action for childhood arrivals.

    The Obama Administration has created a deportation machine resulting in the destruction of over 1.7 million lives, and the devastating separation of those families by the border. Those 1.7 million people are not lost and forgotten; rather, they are people who deserve to have the choice to return to their home in this country.

    “Last year they went after my uncle and he was deported, said Mateo. “What our family went through is what millions have gone through and it needs to stop. This administration needs to know we won’t wait for congress to do the right thing.”

    The fight to keep families together does not end after deportation. The President has 1.7 million broken promises to deal with. He’s going to deal with them now.

    Bring them home now.
    Click here to help get the word out.

    Updated 07-18-2013 at 10:19 AM by MKolken

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