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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

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  1. Second Circuit Albanian Asylum decision: what constitutes a "political act"

    by , 07-06-2010 at 05:59 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has issued a nonbinding summary order that reverses a denial of an application for asylum, remanding the case back to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) for further proceedings.  See Volaj v. Holder, July 1, 2010, unpub. The case involves two Albanians: a mother and her son.  In her appeal Volaj argues that the BIA misapplied the holding in Yeuqing Zhang v. Gonzales, 426 F.3d 540, 547-48 (2d Cir. 2005) in finding that her husband's whistle-blowing activities did not constitute an expression of political opinion for purposes of qualifying as a refugee under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(42).

    Although this case doesn't constitute binding precedent it is worth noting because the 2nd revisited its previous ruling in Zhang that "[w]here the dispute is such that the asylum seeker did not merely seek economic advantage but mounted a challenge to the legitimacy and authority of the ruling regime itself, and where the applicant can show that this 'political threat' is the motive for the persecution perpetrated or feared, the applicant can meet the definition of a 'refugee.'" Yeuqing Zhang 436 F.2d at 547.Keep this case in your toolbox.
  2. In the wake of President Obama's "Immigration Reform" Speech ICE Launches Deportation Sting in Philadelphia

    by , 07-03-2010 at 03:41 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    In the wake of Obama's "immigration reform"
    speech he once again illustrates how he is the most enforcement-centric
    President in the history of our country. It has been reported that 23 cab drivers in Philadelphia have been caught in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement sting operation, and are now facing deportation from the United States. How many times do we have to
    be lied to by this President before we say enough is enough.
  3. Utah Next in line for Arizona-like Immigration Law

    by , 07-02-2010 at 07:20 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    "President Obama's immigration speech sparked a strong reaction in Utah,
    but it didn't change the minds of those who want to further crack down
    on illegal immigrants -- including Utah Gov. Gary Herbert."
  4. Obama's Immigration Speech at American University

    by , 07-01-2010 at 10:59 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    If this wasn't a complete waste of 34 minutes I don't know what was.  President Obama parroted the same tired talking points that he has been giving lip-service to since he was campaigning. He didn't set a time-table for comprehensive immigration reform, he blamed the Republicans, and he reasserted his desire to strengthen U.S. immigration enforcement efforts. This President has been a complete failure on the issue of immigration reform, and his continued inaction does not bode well for immigrants in this country.  I've posted the speech, but I don't recommend you waste your time watching it.The following is the response of Frank Sherry, founder and Executive Director of America's Voice.  He sums up the speech perfectly.


  5. Son of Hamas leader granted asylum in San Diego immigration court

    by , 07-01-2010 at 04:11 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    It has been reported that Mosab Hassan Yousef, the eldest son of Hamas founder Sheikh Hassan Yousef, was granted asylum in San Diego immigration court yesterday, by Immigration Judge Richard Bartolomei.

    Yousef, a Palestinian, first entered the United States on a tourist visa. The basis for his asylum application was that he had spent a decade spying on the Hamas for
    Israel, and he feared fatal repercussions should he be returned home. Mr. Yousef's application was supported by 22 members of Congress and two members of Israel's parliament, the
    Knesset.

    Homeland Security initially took the position that Yousef had engaged in terrorist activities and constituted a danger to the United States, and was therefore in opposition to his application for asylum.  Yesterday the Department reversed their position and did not oppose the granting of asylum after a brief 15 minute hearing. Undoubtedly, the Congressional support Yousef received influenced their decision.

    Congratulations Mr. Yousef!






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