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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal


  1. Class Action Suit Challenges Practice of Denying TPS Holders Green Cards

    by , 02-22-2018 at 12:52 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    For Immediate Release:
    Class Action Suit Challenges Government’s Denial of TPS Holders’ Green Cards

    Feb. 22, 2018
    Washington, D.C.– Today, the American Immigration Council, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and several Temporary Protected Status holders filed a class action lawsuit against officials at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and U.S. Department of Homeland Security in a federal district court in New York. They are challenging the government’s unlawful practice of denying TPS holders lawful permanent resident status (green cards) based on a misinterpretation of the law.

    The plaintiffs allege that Congress intended a grant of TPS to be an “inspection and admission”—one of the requirements for gaining lawful permanent resident status. In violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act, USCIS denies the green card applications of TPS holders who first entered the United States without going through an inspection process at a port of entry, ignoring the fact that they subsequently were inspected and admitted when they were granted TPS.

    “The Trump administration’s recent decisions to end TPS for citizens of several countries leaves tens of thousands of longstanding members of their communities at risk of deportation when their status expires in the coming months,” said Mary Kenney, senior staff attorney at the American Immigration Council. “Many individuals about to lose their TPS would be able to become lawful permanent residents in the United States were it not for DHS’s ongoing misinterpretation of the law. If this lawsuit is successful, it would provide a way for some of those individuals to continue their lives in the United States.”

    The lawsuit documents the cases of individuals who have maintained TPS for years—many for close to two decades—who now seek to become lawful permanent residents through their U.S. citizen spouses, adult children, parents, or employers, but whose adjustment applications for permanent residence have been denied because USCIS does not recognize that they have been “inspected and admitted.”

    “Two federal courts—the Sixth and the Ninth Circuits—have ordered USCIS to correctly apply the law. TPS holders living within the dozen states under the jurisdiction of these two courts are able to gain permanent status. TPS holders living anywhere else in the country are victims of USCIS’s unlawful policy and suffer great hardships. It is especially egregious that Secretary Nielson has ordered the termination of TPS status for hundreds of thousands of longtime lawful residents, while at the same time refusing to follow the law in allowing them to apply for permanent residence,” said Matt Adams, legal director of NWIRP.

    Today’s lawsuit seeks to expand the decisions of the Ninth and Sixth Circuits—which found that TPS holders are “inspected and admitted” for purposes of applying for permanent residence while remaining in the United States—to TPS holders nationwide. The lawsuit seeks to represent, “[a]ll individuals with TPS who reside within the geographic boundaries of the Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Eighth, and Tenth Circuits; whose initial entries into the United States were without inspection; who have applied or will apply for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence with USCIS; and whose adjustment applications have been or will be denied on the basis of USCIS’s policy that TPS does not constitute an admission for purposes of adjusting status.”

    The lawsuit is asking that the court declare USCIS’s policy unlawful and order it to stop applying the policy; to find that TPS holders have been “inspected and admitted” for the purposes of their permanent residence applications; and to order USCIS to reopen class members’ applications that were denied and allow those TPS holders the opportunity to have their applications reconsidered with the law properly applied.


    For more information, contact:
    Maria Frausto at the American Immigration Council, at or 202-507-7526.

    The American Immigration Council is a powerful voice in promoting laws, policies, and attitudes that honor America’s proud history as a nation of immigrants. Through research and policy analysis, litigation and international exchange, the Council seeks to shape a twenty-first century vision of the American immigrant experience. Follow the latest Council news and information on and Twitter @immcouncil.
  2. CBP is Creating Facial Recognition Technology to Turn Your face into Your Papers

    by , 02-22-2018 at 09:31 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Welcome to the Constitution Free Zone... I miss America.

    Via The Week Magazine:

    "Meanwhile, CBP is in the process of creating facial recognition technology that will essentially turn people's faces into their papers. This will mean enhanced tracking of foreigners and citizens any time they go in and out of the country. But border patrol also has near carte blanche to set up interior checkpoints and stop buses and vehicles within 100 miles of the border. This is a huge swathe of land: Two-thirds of Americans live there. So every time anyone—American or not—passes through these checkpoints, their movements will be potentially scanned and recorded.

    If ICE and CBP gain access to the NSA's surveillance and combine it with their own spying capacities, they will literally obtain Big Brother-style powers to track and monitor almost anyone on U.S. soil. And they will be able to use this information to detain, arrest, and go after people in other ways. This should be terrifying to all of us."

    Click here for the full article.
  3. ICE Wants Warrantless Mass Surveillance Info Amassed by the NSA

    by , 02-21-2018 at 09:01 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    What could possibly go wrong?

    Via The Daily Beast's Betsy Woodruff:

    Officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement are actively exploring joining the U.S. Intelligence Community, The Daily Beast has learned.

    The effort is helmed by a small cohort of career Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, and has been underway since the Obama administration, according to an ICE official familiar with the matter.

    Internal advocates for joining the America’s spy agencies—known as the Intelligence Community or the IC—focus on the potential benefits to the agency’s work on counterproliferation, money laundering, counterterror, and cybercrime. The official added that joining the IC could also be useful for the agency’s immigration enforcement work––in particular, their efforts to find and arrest undocumented immigrants with criminal arrest warrants (known in ICE as fugitive aliens).

    Click here to find out why this is a tremendously bad idea.

    Updated 02-22-2018 at 10:15 AM by MKolken

  4. ICE Operation in LA Results in 212 Arrests

    by , 02-16-2018 at 09:51 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    For Immediate Release

    For media inquiries about ICE activities, operations, or policies, contact the ICE Office of Public Affairs at

    ICE operation in LA results in 212 arrests, 122 notices of inspection

    * Photos and b-roll available here and here

    LOS ANGELES – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation officers and special agents arrested 212 individuals for violating federal immigration laws and served 122 notices of inspection (NOIs) to businesses in the Los Angeles area of responsibility (AOR) during a five-day targeted operation that ended Thursday. Eighty-eight percent of those arrested were convicted criminals.

    “Because sanctuary jurisdictions like Los Angeles prevent ICE from arresting criminal aliens in the secure confines of a jail, our officers are forced to conduct at-large arrests in the community, putting officers, the general public and the aliens at greater risk and increasing the incidents of collateral arrests,” said ICE Deputy Director Thomas D. Homan. “Fewer jail arrests mean more arrests on the street, and that also requires more resources, which is why we are forced to send additional resources to those areas to meet operational needs and officer safety. Consistent with our public safety mission, 88 percent of those arrested during this operation were convicted criminals.”

    During the operation, ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 212 individuals for violating U.S. immigration laws. Of those arrested, 195 were either convicted criminals, had been issued a final order of removal and failed to depart the United States, or had been previously removed from the United States and returned illegally. More than 55 percent had prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as child sex crimes, weapons charges, and assault, or had past convictions for significant or multiple misdemeanors.

    These arrests were driven by leads developed by the local field office in conjunction with the Pacific Enforcement Response Center (PERC). ICE focuses its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. However, ICE no longer exempts classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.

    Some of the individuals arrested during this operation will face federal criminal prosecutions for illegal entry and illegal re-entry after deportation. The arrestees who are not being federally prosecuted will be processed administratively for removal from the United States. Those who have outstanding orders of deportation, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country. The remaining individuals are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future.

    Also as part of this operation, ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) served 122 notices of inspection to a variety of businesses in the Los Angeles area. A notice of inspection alerts business owners that ICE is going to audit their hiring records to determine whether or not they are in compliance with the law. If the businesses are found to not be in compliance with the law, they will face civil fines and potential criminal prosecution. Any potential criminal charges or other penalties will be coordinated with the U.S. Department of Justice. Similar notices of inspection were served several weeks ago to 77 businesses in northern California.

    Under federal law, employers are required to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all individuals they hire, and to document that information using the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. A notice of inspection alerts business owners that ICE is going to audit their hiring records to determine whether or not they are in compliance with the law. Employers are required to produce their company’s I-9s within three business days, after which ICE will conduct an inspection for compliance. If employers are not in compliance with the law, an I-9 inspection of their business will likely result in civil fines and could lay the groundwork for criminal prosecution, if they are knowingly violating the law.

    In FY17, ICE conducted 1,360 I-9 audits and made 139 criminal arrests and 172 administrative arrests. Businesses were ordered to pay $97.6 million in judicial forfeiture, fines and restitution and $7.8 million in civil fines, including one company whose financial penalties represented the largest payment ever levied in an immigration case.

    HSI uses a three-prong approach to conduct worksite enforcement: compliance through I-9 inspections and civil fines; enforcement through the criminal arrest of employers and administrative arrest of unauthorized workers; and outreach through the ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers, or IMAGE program, to instill a culture of compliance and accountability.

    By volunteering to participate in the IMAGE program, companies can reduce unauthorized employment and the use of fraudulent identity documents. As part of IMAGE, ICE and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will provide education and training on proper hiring procedures, fraudulent document detection and use of the E-Verify employment eligibility verification program. Businesses can request more information about participating here.

    Despite state laws like AB450 that intend to interfere with federal immigration enforcement authorities, ICE expects employers and state officials to comply with federal law. Federal law established by the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 requires employers to verify the identity and work eligibility of all individuals they hire. ICE is the federal agency responsible for enforcing these laws, which were set up to protect jobs for U.S. citizens and others who are lawfully employed, and to eliminate unfair competitive advantages for companies that hire an illegal workforce. ICE’s worksite enforcement investigators help combat worker exploitation, illegal wages, child labor, and other illegal practices.
  5. Immigrant Accused Of Guatemalan War Crimes May Be Deported

    by , 02-15-2018 at 05:47 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The following is report about Juan Samayoa, who is facing deportation, and has been alleged to be a paramilitary leader from Guatemala's civil war

    Via NPR:

    [Juan] Samayoa, 67, has been living in the country illegally since the 1990s. He's been in and out of immigration proceedings since he fled Guatemala, but managed to stay in Providence, working as a landscaper.

    Last fall, Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested him for immigration violations after investigating his activity during the war.

    Authorities in Guatemala say they're waiting for Samayoa with an arrest warrant — for crimes including rape and murder.

    "I think he is a very bloodthirsty person with a great level of cruelty — given the way he killed his victims. They were subjected to torture," says Hilda Pineda, Guatemala's top human rights prosecutor.

    Court documents supplied by Pineda accuse Samayoa of involvement in 38 murders, dozens of kidnappings, and 14 rapes carried out in the early 1980s.

    The accusations include burying people alive and torching their homes.

    Click here for the rest of the story.

    Updated 02-15-2018 at 05:53 AM by MKolken

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