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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

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  1. Detained Immigrants Sue For Profit Detention Center Over Forced Labor

    by , 04-18-2018 at 09:18 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Immigrants detained at the Stewart Detention Center located in Lumpkin,Georgia have filed a class action lawsuit against a private for profit prison corporation that has contracted with the U.S. government to operate the facility. The lawsuit alleged that immigrants detained for civil immigration law violations are subject to compulsory labor. The corporation is called, CoreCivic Inc., and is a billion-dollar private prison corporation.

    The complaint alleges that CoreCivic:

    ...maintains a deprivation scheme intended to force detained immigrants to work for nearly free. CoreCivic deprives detained immigrants of basic necessities like food, toothpaste, toilet paper,and soap, and contact with loved ones, so that they have to work in order to purchase those items and costly phone cards at CoreCivic’s commissary. CoreCivic then threatens detained immigrants who refuse to work with serious harm, including the deprivation of privacy and safety in open living quarters, referral for criminal prosecution, and, ultimately, the sensory and psychological deprivation of their humanity resulting from solitary confinement. Under these circumstances, no labor is voluntary – it is forced.

    CoreCivic operates a so-called Voluntary Work Program (“Work Program”) at Stewart. Through this program, CoreCivic uses detained immigrants to perform work that directly contributes to institutional operations. CoreCivic pays detained immigrants who participate in the Work Program generally between $1 and $4 per day. CoreCivic occasionally increases the wage rate it pays to kitchen workers to up to $8 per day when it needs workers to work twelve hours or more per day.Under no circumstances does CoreCivic pay the detained immigrants the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, or the Service Contract Act wages governing the jobs they perform.

    In fact, the detained immigrants’ wages generally are well under $1 per hour.32. The Work Program allows CoreCivic to avoid recruiting from the local labor market, paying minimum wages, providing detained immigrants in the Work Program with any benefits, paying the costs of potential unionization, and paying federal and state payroll taxes, like Medicare, thereby reducing operational costs and increasing its own profits. Further, it reduces the likelihood of former employees acting as whistleblowers regarding the deplorable and unsafe conditions inside Stewart.


    Click here
    to read the complaint.

    Also see this article that reveals the private prison industry's connection to Democratic lawmakers.

    Updated 04-18-2018 at 09:25 AM by MKolken

  2. SCOTUS Decision on Aggravated Felony Crime of Violence

    by , 04-17-2018 at 09:50 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    In Sessions v. Dimaya, No. 15–1498, the Supreme Court addressed the issue of whether the statutory definition of "Crime of Violence" under 18 USC § 16(b) is unconstitutionally vague.

    From the decision:

    Respondent James Dimaya is a lawful permanent resident of the United States with two convictions for first-degree burglary under California law. After his second offense, the Government sought to deport him as an aggravated felon. An Immigration Judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals held that California first-degree burglary is a “crime of violence” under §16(b). While Dimaya’s appeal was pending in the Ninth Circuit, this Court held that a similar residual clause in the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA)—defining“violent felony” as any felony that “otherwise involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another,” 18 U. S. C. §924(e)(2)(B)—was unconstitutionally “void for vagueness” under the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. Johnson v. United States, 576 U. S. ___, ___. Relying on Johnson, the Ninth Circuit held that §16(b), as incorporated into the INA, was also unconstitutionally vague.

    Held: The judgment is affirmed.

    Justice Kagan delivered the 5-4 opinion of the Court. It should be noted that Justice Gorsuch, Trump's appointee, was the swing vote, and filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.

    Updated 04-17-2018 at 11:20 AM by MKolken

  3. Immigration Courts Temporarily Halting Legal Assistance Program for Immigrants Facing Deportation

    by , 04-11-2018 at 10:16 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via the Washington Post:

    The U.S. immigration courts will temporarily halt a program that offers legal assistance to detained foreign nationals facing deportation while it audits the program’s cost-effectiveness, a federal official said Tuesday.

    Officials informed the Vera Institute of Justice that starting this month it will pause the nonprofit’s Legal Orientation Program, which last year held information sessions for 53,000 immigrants in more than a dozen states, including California and Texas.


    The federal government will also evaluate Vera’s “help desk,” which offers tips to non-detained immigrants facing deportation proceedings in the Chicago, Miami, New York, Los Angeles and San Antonio courts.


    Click here for more.
  4. Trump Ends Catch and Release

    by , 04-09-2018 at 06:28 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Reuters:

    U.S. President Donald Trump signed a memorandum on Friday ordering the end of a policy, known as “catch and release,” in which illegal immigrants are released from detention while awaiting a court hearing on their status.

    I haven't seen the full memo yet, but I'll post it once I get my hands on it.

    Click here for the source.
  5. Attorney General Announces Zero Tolerance Policy for Criminal Illegal Entry

    by , 04-06-2018 at 12:53 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Department of Justice
    Office of Public Affairs

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Friday, April 6, 2018



    Attorney General Announces Zero-Tolerance Policy for Criminal Illegal Entry

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions today notified all U.S. Attorney’s Offices along the Southwest Border of a new “zero-tolerance policy” for offenses under 8 U.S.C. § 1325(a), which prohibits both attempted illegal entry and illegal entry into the United States by an alien. The implementation of the Attorney General’s zero-tolerance policy comes as the Department of Homeland Security reported a 203 percent increase in illegal border crossings from March 2017 to March 2018, and a 37 percent increase from February 2018 to March 2018—the largest month-to-month increase since 2011.

    “The situation at our Southwest Border is unacceptable. Congress has failed to pass effective legislation that serves the national interest—that closes dangerous loopholes and fully funds a wall along our southern border. As a result, a crisis has erupted at our Southwest Border that necessitates an escalated effort to prosecute those who choose to illegally cross our border,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “To those who wish to challenge the Trump Administration’s commitment to public safety, national security, and the rule of law, I warn you: illegally entering this country will not be rewarded, but will instead be met with the full prosecutorial powers of the Department of Justice. To the Department’s prosecutors, I urge you: promoting and enforcing the rule of law is vital to protecting a nation, its borders, and its citizens. You play a critical part in fulfilling these goals, and I thank you for your continued efforts in seeing to it that our laws—and as a result, our nation—are respected.”

    On April 11, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a renewed commitment to criminal immigration enforcement. As part of that announcement, the Attorney General issued a memorandum to all federal prosecutors and directed them to prioritize the prosecution of certain criminal immigration offenses.

    Today’s zero-tolerance policy further directs each U.S. Attorney’s Office along the Southwest Border (i.e., Southern District of California, District of Arizona, District of New Mexico, Western District of Texas, and the Southern District of Texas) to adopt a policy to prosecute all Department of Homeland Security referrals of section 1325(a) violations, to the extent practicable.


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