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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal


  1. Buffalo Sabres NHL Prospect Zack Kassian Skates into the "Culture of No"

    by , 06-07-2010 at 05:44 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Over the weekend I read an article about the Buffalo Sabres recent draft choice Zack Kassian, a citizen of Canada, who has managed to get himself into a bit of trouble up in Windsor, Ontario.  It has been reported that the 13th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft has been charged with "common assault," stemming from an alleged bar fight.What I found to be the most disturbing part about the article was not
    that another sports star found himself in the paper for something other
    than his athletic ability, but that the article contained another example of the
    "culture of no" that is symptomatic of the enforcement of our U.S.
    immigration law.Specifically, the crux of the article is that, because Kassain has a pending assault charge against him, he is inadmissible from the United States, and that he may not be permitted to enter the United States in the future because any assault conviction would render him inadmissible.  The article quotes Chief Ron Smith of U.S. Customs and Border Protection who stated that: "If an individual has an assault charge on their record, they'd be found
    inadmissible into the United States, . . . There are ways to mitigate
    that, primarily through the Department of State, which issues visas.
    But under normal circumstances, initially, the individual would be
    inadmissible in the United States for the assault charge."With all due respect to Chief Smith, he is wrong on both the law, and on the procedure.  All assault convictions do
    not render an individual inadmissible from the United States. To the
    contrary, in most instances, simple assault does not constitute a crime
    involving moral turpitude that would have any immigration consequences. See Matter of Perez-Contreras, 20 I&N Dec. 615, 618 (BIA 1992); Matter of Short, 20 I&N Dec. 136, 139 (BIA 1989).  The reason for this is that in most jurisdictions you may be convicted for simple assault without having any evil intent, depraved or vicious motive, or corrupt mind that is normally associated with crimes involving moral turpitude. See Matter of J-, 4 I&N Dec. 512, 514 (BIA1951); Matter of J-, 4 I&N Dec. 26, 27 (BIA 1950); Matter of O-, 3 I&N Dec. 193, 194-95 (BIA 1948).That being said, a conviction for a more serious assault may render an individual
    inadmissible if the underlying conviction includes an aggravating
    circumstance, such as, but not limited to, the intent to cause serious
    bodily harm, or if the assault included a dangerous weapon.  Matter of Solon, 24 I & N Dec. 239 (BIA 2007) [A conviction under New York Penal Code 120.00(1) is a crime involving moral turpitude because the assault must include both the specific intent to cause physical injury.]In order to
    determine if an assault conviction has immigration consequences you must
    look to the language contained in the underlying criminal statute which differs by jurisdiction.
    Parenthetically, it makes no difference what crime an individual has been charged
    with, but rather what an individual is ultimately convicted of. If Mr. Kassian is convicted for an offense that renders him inadmissible to the United States that does not mean that he will NEVER be allowed into the United States.  There is a waiver that is available that would enable him to be admitted, which requires a balancing of several factors as well as an exercise of discretion.The
    Sabres would be best served to get Kassain's Canadian criminal defense
    attorney in touch with a United States immigration attorney that has
    experience in inadmissibility issues prior to entering into any plea
    negotiations.As for the procedure for applying for the waiver, Chief Smith shoots the puck wide of the net again.  The United States Department of State would ONLY be involved with Mr. Kassian's waiver application if he were applying for it in conjunction with a visa application.  As a citizen of Canada, Kassian would not need a visa in most instances so long as he has advance approval from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services when applying for admission to the United States, and if the waiver was approved by the Attorney General.The moral of the story is this: don't get your immigration advice from employees of Customs and Border Protection.
  2. How should we reward our men in uniform? Deport them of course.

    by , 06-03-2010 at 01:02 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    It appears that our Government plans to deport two Bronze Star recipients who honorably served our country in the Vietnam War.  To add insult to injury, the veterans are brothers.
    Manuel Valenzuela served in the US Marine
    Corps, and his older brother Valente Valenzuela served
    with the US Army Airborne, each earning the Bronze Star.  Deportation hearings are respectively scheduled for September 2010 and January 2011.The brothers have attempted to contact President Obama, and Homeland Security
    Secretary Janet Napolitano to help them.  The response: silence.
    Simply disgusting.
    Click here to read the rest of this story.
  3. Dream Walkers Walk right into the Belly of the Beast

    by , 06-02-2010 at 06:14 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Fresh off their Miami-to-Washington trek, which ended on May 1, four Dream Walkers, Juan Rodriguez (U.S. via Columbia), Felipe Matos (Brazil), Gaby Pacheco (Ecuador), and Carlos
    A. Roa (Venezuela), yesterday stared into the eyes of the monster, and the monster blinked.  Three of the four are undocumented.

    The Dreamer Walkers paid a visit to Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office in Maricopa County on Tuesday in order to discuss Arizona's immigration law with the hope of humanizing the immigration debate.

    When confronted by the spirited youth Sheriff Joe stated that although he has compassion for the plight of undocumented immigrants that he must continue to enforce the immigration laws. Arpaio rationalized his stance stating "I was elected to do a job," "My job overrides my

    The Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act), is designed to help undocumented youth who meet certain requirements by providing them with an opportunity to enlist in the military or go to college, which inevitably will lead to a
    path to citizenship that would otherwise be unavailable.

    I urge you to contact your representatives in Congress and implore them to back the DREAM Act.

  4. Congressman Luis Gutierrez on Meet The Press: President Obama hasn't Demonstrated the Political Will and Courage to Tackle Comprehensive Immigration Reform

    by , 06-01-2010 at 06:11 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill) is at the forefront of the
    immigration debate.  He has been harshly critical of the
    President for his handling of the situation in Arizona, and for his
    failure to meaningfully address comprehensive immigration reform
    eighteen months into his presidency. He has also put his money where his
    mouth is, getting
    arrested in front of the White House while peacefully protesting the Arizona immigration law. 

    The Congressman appeared on NBC's Meet the Press last Sunday, and as always he provided clear insight into the immigration reform issue, rationally evaluating the problem.  In doing so he assessed President Obama's political will as it relates to immigration reform as follows: 

    "I don't think [President Obama] is there yet, and I think that the President has to understand that simple political soundbites is not what the American public want.  They want practical solutions.  He knows what the solution is to this issue.  He needs to demonstrate the political will and the political courage to take it on."

    Plain and simply we need more people in Washington like Congressman Gutierrez.  

  5. Obama's position on Arizona Boycott: I Don't Endorse - or Not Endorse

    by , 05-28-2010 at 05:31 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    "President Barack Obama says the decision to boycott Arizona over
    its tough new law cracking down on immigration is for private citizens,
    not the president of the United States, to decide." -Associated Press

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