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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal


  1. Prosecutorial Discretion Guidelines Leave Same Sex Couples (and Pretty Much Everyone Else) Out in the Cold

    by , 11-21-2011 at 07:04 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    I apologize for the brief hiatus from the blog.  Unfortunately, my court schedule last week took up all of my time.  
    Last week was a busy news week. The most insignificant public relation move coming from the White House was the announcement that Thursday marked the beginning of the Obama administration's review of 300,000 pending deportation cases.  The administration has issued another set of guidelines for determining what individuals will been given preferential treatment, and receive a favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion. 
    The most notable omissions in the guidelines is the conspicuous absence of LGBT couples from consideration, which is one more indication that this administration is still fully enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act.
    Here are the guidelines for people who may get lucky enough to receive a favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion to avoid to avoid the ensuing public relations nightmare when their case garners national media attention:

    Individuals who in good standing in the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States, an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States, or the spouse or child of such a member or veteran;
    Children that have been in the United States for more than five years, and are either in school or have successfully completed high school (or its equivalent);
    Individuals that came to the United States under the age of sixteen, have been in the United States for more than five years, have completed high school (or its equivalent), and are now pursuing or have successfully completed higher education in the United States;
    Individuals over the age of sixty-five that have been present in the United States for more than ten years;
    Victims of domestic violence in the United States, human trafficking to the United States; or of any other serious crime in the United States;
    Lawful permanent resident for ten years or more and have a single, minor conviction for a non-violent offense;
    Individuals suffering from a serious mental or physical condition that would require significant medical or detention resources; or
    Individuals with a very long-term presence in the United States, has an immediate family member who is a United States citizen, and has established compelling ties and made compelling contributions to the United States.

    So that is the good news.  Here is the bad news.
    Your case will be considered an "enforcement priority" and will be pursued in an accelerated manner if you:

    Have a conviction who have a conviction involving:

    a felony or multiple misdemeanors, 
    illegal entry, 
    re-entry, or immigration fraud, 
    a misdemeanor violation involving: violence, threats, or assault, sexual abuse or exploitation, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, flight from the scene of an accident, drug distribution or trafficking, or other significant threat to public safety;

    Entered the country illegally or violated the terms of your admission within the last three years;
    Have previously been removed from the country;
    Have been found by an immigration officer or immigration judge to have committed an immigration fraud;
    Have an egregious record of immigration violations;
    Are a gang member, human rights violator, or other clear threat to public safety; or
    Are a suspected terrorist or national security risk.

    Or in basic terms, pretty much everyone subject to the institution of removal proceedings will have their case fast-tracked for deportation.
    Now of course there is a disclaimer:
    As there is no right to the favorable exercise of discretion by the agency, nothing in this guidance should be construed to prohibit the apprehension, detention, or removal of any alien unlawfully in the United States or to limit the legal authority of ICE, CBP, or USCIS or any of their respective personnel to enforce Federal immigration law. Similarly, this memorandum, which may be modified, superseded, or rescinded at any time without notice, is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any party in any administrative, civil, or criminal matter.
    In basic terms, this means that the memorandum is not binding, is not enforceable, and is subject to change or revocation at anytime.
    I'm as skeptical as I ever have been that this is nothing more than a public relations move and is being done to placate immigration reform activists that are threatening to stay home next November.  
    We shall see.
  2. More information on the Imminent Deportation of DREAMer Jose (JB) Librojo

    by , 11-10-2011 at 12:29 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The following was taken from the petition started on

    DREAMer Jose (JB) Librojo [A073 956 802] needs our help right now. He is a California resident and Dream Act-eligible candidate who came to the United States lawfully as a child and has lived in the country for 16 years. At this time, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials are trying to deport him back to the Philippines, despite his positive contributions to society. He has earned a high school diploma from Westmoor High School in Daly City, CA and a Bachelor's of Science degree in Biology from San Francisco State University where he also studied pre-med to become a dentist. Furthermore, he has never committed a crime and has filed his income tax return on a regular basis since finding legal and lawful employment in the U.S as a full-time Registered Dental Assistant and Dental Lab X-Ray Technician. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity.
    Jose has been approved for an I-140 immigrant visa, which will allow him to adjust his status and become a permanent resident/green card holder, however DHS refuses to reopen his case for this to occur. In addition, under ICE Policy Number: 10075.1 released June 17, 2011 by ICE Director John Morton, and in an announcement on August 18, 2011 from the White House, Jose does not meet the standards for priority deportation. We request that DHS defer Jose's deportation; and/or by requesting that DHS reconsider their decision to decline a joint motion to reopen Jose's case to permit him to adjust his status to permanent resident.
    A joint motion will allow Jose's case to be remanded from the Board of Immigration Appeals back to the immigration judge so that the case can be administratively closed. These are both forms of prosecutorial discretion identified in ICE Policy Number: 10075.1 and the August 18, 2011 announcement from the White House.
    Mr. Jose Librojo is a shining example of the President's & the Department of Homeland Security's motivation to prioritize cases so that prosecutorial discretion can be used. Jose is nearing completion of a ten-year process pending the re-opening of his case. Despite a number of positive achievements, his case was denied, forcing him into a difficult situation and timetable. Mr. Librojo should not be a priority for deportation under the new ICE/DHS guidelines. Instead, his case should be reopened to allow him to obtain legal permanent status to reside in the United States.

    Click here to sign the petition.
  3. Obama Administration set to Deport DREAMer Jose "JB" Librojo this Saturday

    by , 11-10-2011 at 05:18 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The Obama administration plans to deport DREAMer Philippine born Jose "JB" Librojo this Saturday (November 12, 2011).   JB came to the United States with his parents as a child.  The family came here legally, but their visas were not renewed in 2005.  
    JB has a degree in biology from San Francisco State University, has no criminal record, and has an employer who has filed an immigrant petition on his behalf.  I assume that he is ineligible to apply for his Green Card as a result of the accrual of unlawful presence in the United States and the unavailability of a waiver.  I don't have these facts, however, but will post an update if new information becomes available.
    Just one more example of this Administration's unwillingness to consider the very guidelines that they have established for the favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion.
    More lip-service from the Deporter in Chief.
    Click here for the original news story.

  4. Russell Pearce, Author of Arizona Immigration Law, Voted off the Island

    by , 11-09-2011 at 05:48 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The tribe has spoken. Russell Pearce, author of Arizona's controversial S.B. 1070, has been recalled by a fellow Republican Jerry Lewis, a school administrator, not the comedian.  
    According to the latest polls Pearce lost by about an 8% margin, despite outspending Lewis by a reported 3-1 ratio.  Pearce conceded the loss Tuesday night, which is being interpreted as a referendum on the State's hard-line immigration law.  Pearce was the leader of the Arizona State Senate, and is the first legislator to be recalled in the history of the State.
    It appears that sanity has finally returned to the State of Arizona.  It is a welcomed return.
    Click here for more information.
  5. 18-Month Extension of Honduras and Nicaragua for Temporary Protected Status

    by , 11-08-2011 at 04:51 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Secretary Napolitano has announced an 18 month extension of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for Honduras and Nicaragua.  The extension runs through July 5, 2013. Re-registration opened on November 4, 2011.
    Click here for information on TPS for Honduras.
    Click here for information on TPS for Nicaragua.
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