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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

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  1. Immigration Court Priority Family Case Backlog Surpasses 100,000

    by , 01-24-2017 at 08:15 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Syracuse University's TRAC Immigration:

    (17 Jan 2017) The number of judges is still insufficient to handle the growing backlog in the Immigration Court. The court's crushing workload reached a record-breaking 533,909 pending cases as the court closed out calendar year 2016, up 4.2 percent in just the last four months.

    The problem is particularly acute for priority cases involving women with children according to the latest court data updated through the end of December 2016 and analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. Pending priority cases for these families jumped by more than 20 percent (21.9%) in just the last four months. The backlog of these family cases alone totaled 102,342 last month, surpassing 100,000 cases for the first time.

    The number of pending priority cases involving unaccompanied children also has continued to climb, reaching 75,582 at the December 2016. Together with family cases, this priority workload now accounts for fully one third (33%) of the court's overall record backlog.

    For more details, including the top ten states with the largest overall Immigration Court backlog, see this month's snapshot report at: http://trac.syr.edu/imm/snap_backlog/

    For cumulative details through December 2016 of priority cases since July 2014 involving women with children see: http://trac.syr.edu/imm/mwc/
  2. EOIR Responds to Release of Judge Misconduct Identities and Lawyer Responds Back

    by , 01-24-2017 at 07:53 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    EOIR has issued a response to immigration lawyer Bryan Johnson's release of the identities of immigration judges subject to complaints of misconduct.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Monday, January 23, 2017

    EOIR Statement on Erroneous Public Release of Immigration Judge Information

    FALLS CHURCH, Va. – The Executive Office for Immigration Review is a party to litigation related to the release of information regarding its immigration judge conduct and professionalism program. EOIR is committed to ensuring that any allegation of an immigration judge’s misconduct is investigated and resolved in a fair and expeditious manner, consistent with federal personnel and privacy laws and regulations that apply to non-supervisory, career civil servants.

    During this still-active litigation, the plaintiff, the American Immigration Lawyers' Association, posted to the Internet the 16,000 documents that EOIR provided. These documents were released pursuant to a court order. A private attorney then took the time to manipulate some of the documents in order to uncover data not accessible on the face of the documents themselves, and post his personal assessment of the metadata contained therein.

    EOIR believes the attorney, upon finding information was inadvertently provided, should have promptly notified the sender (EOIR) rather than taking steps to publish guesses. This unfortunate incident resulted in the attorney publishing a "key" to the documents. EOIR has determined that the “key” is inaccurate and does not correctly present the actual details associated with the documents. It is instead a representation of one person’s assumptions based on his own manipulations of the text, which resulted in the errors.

    Individuals who file complaints about immigration judges are not bound to keep private the details of their complaint. EOIR will continue to defend its case in the referenced FOIA litigation, and remains committed to protecting the identities of the immigration judges against whom complaints, some substantiated and some unsubstantiated, have been filed.

    It is unfortunate that some members of the agency’s highly talented and professional immigration judge corps have been negatively and falsely named in the private attorney’s action, and that he chose to publish his erroneous findings without any way of verifying his information.

    Here is Bryan Johnson's response to EOIR's response:

    My “key” was not based on “assumptions based on his own manipulations of the text.” It was based on using EOIR’s own index to match to the un-redacted documents. In the interests of transparency, I am releasing caches of the documents as I used them in identifying particular immigration judges in my “key”.

    This is not “guesswork.” Any errors in identifying judges are attributable to the inaccuracy of EOIR’s own inability to accurately identify what documents correspond with which particular complaint and particular immigration judge.
  3. Trump Pledges to Work with Congress to Help DREAMers

    by , 01-23-2017 at 02:59 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via NPR:

    "Earlier today, the new White House Chief of Staff offered a hint of what the Trump administration has planned for thousands of immigrants who now have temporary legal status. Reince Priebus told Fox News this morning that the Trump administration would work with House and Senate leaders to find a long-term solution for immigrants who now have temporary legal status under the so-called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals known as DACA."

    Tags: congress, daca, trump Add / Edit Tags
  4. Obama Admin SCOTUS Argument Would Make it Easier for Trump to Deport Immigrants

    by , 01-19-2017 at 08:47 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Obama's parting shot at immigrants, via the Washington Post:

    "The Obama administration tried to persuade the Supreme Court Tuesday to retain a federal law that makes it easier to deport immigrants who have been convicted of crimes.

    If the justices agree, the outcome could help the incoming Trump administration fulfill its pledge to step up the deportation of immigrants who are convicted of crimes.

    The justices heard argument in the administration’s appeal of a lower court ruling that struck down the law as unconstitutional. The case concerns a provision of immigration law that defines a “crime of violence.” Conviction for a crime of violence subjects an immigrant to deportation and usually speeds up the process.

    It was unclear from the argument how the court would rule."

    Click here for the full article.
  5. Identity of Immigration Judges Subject to Complaints of Misconduct Revealed

    by , 01-17-2017 at 08:57 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The following was originally published by immigration lawyer Bryan Johnson on January 16, 2017:

    The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has aggressively concealed the identities of Immigration Judges in connection with complaints of misconduct made against them for several years.

    Until today.

    In response to a FOIA from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the DOJ released over 14,000 pages of documents in connection to 770 complaints made against immigration judges between 2008 and 2013. The lawsuit is still pending, and DOJ has yet to reveal any of the identities of the Immigration Judges.

    This past weekend, I discovered that a significant portion of the documents released by the DOJ were not, in fact, redacted.

    Using the information gleaned from the un-redacted documents, I identified 58 immigration judges with 443 complaints. In other words, over half of the complaints are now matched with the immigration judge whom the complaint was made against.

    Here is a modified key, which you can use to identify complaints in AILA’s database linked to above with the corresponding Immigration Judge.

    Here are additional documents I have already combined for the general public’s use:

    IJ Vomacka Complaints

    IJ Hom Complaints
    IJ Cassidy Complaints
    IJ Wilson Complaints
    IJ Nugent Complaints
    IJ Ford Complaints
    IJ Pelletier Complaints
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