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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal


  1. Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Barack Obama has delivered change for the worse.

    by , 03-17-2010 at 06:46 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Today one of Barack Obama's most ardent supporters, Congressman Luis Gutierrez, (D-Ill 4th Dist.), has written a scathing op-ed on The Huffington Post that is harshly critical of the President's handling of the immigration reform issue.

    Congressman Gutierrez reminds us that then Senator Obama was outspoken when campaigning, promising that if elected he would fix our broken immigration laws.

    "I will make it a top priority in my first year as President - not just because we need to secure our borders and get control of who comes into our country. And not just because we have to crack down on employers abusing undocumented immigrants. But because we have to finally bring those 12 million people out of the shadows." ~Then Senator Barack Obama

    One-year after his election Congressman Gutierrez has summed up President Obama's performance by stating that:

    "Now, for Latinos in this country --for anyone who cares about fair, comprehensive and humane immigration reform-- Barack Obama has delivered 'change.' It's been a change for the worse."

    The Congressman's opinion of the President's performance is not based on any personal dislike for Mr. Obama. Quite the contrary. Congressman Gutierrez was the very first Latino Member of Congress to support Senator Obama's candidacy for President. He is a Democrat and an Obama loyalist who has been churned out of the very same Chicago political machine that Obama emerged from. They have been team members, and have stood side-by-side at the same podium.

    So the question becomes, If the President's most loyal supporters are turning on him because of his detrimental actions and broken promises what does it say about the President himself.* The President needs to take a look at his record, and then take a very close look at himself in the mirror.

    As the Congressman has pointed out President Obama "has deported a record 387,790 immigrants, ordering ICE to remove 13 percent more undocumented immigrants than George Bush did during his last year in office."

    Plain and simply, this just doesn't cut it anymore. The President's strategy of photo-ops and blaming the GOP isn't good enough, and more importantly it isn't the 'change' we voted for.

    To anyone who has been reading this blog, or following me on Twitter it is no secret that I have been one of the first people in the immigration reform community to be critical of the President for his complete and utter reversal on the issue of immigration reform since being elected. Needless to say it is a tremendous relief to see that I am no longer alone in my criticisms, which brings a validation of my opinion that President Obama has been worse for immigrants than his predecessor.

    At this point I believe that there is no other alternative but to make the President accountable for his actions, and begin the campaign to remove anti-immigrant candidates from office this November. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) should be our first targets as they have been as much an impediment to comprehensive immigration reform as any Republican. Their unwillingness to meaningfully push for CIR because of their own self-interests to keep their office and control of the House and Senate must not be rewarded with our votes.

    Ultimately, we must vote President Obama out of office in 2012. Once the three-headed monster has been vanquished we can then start mobilizing for the 2014 mid-term elections. Hopefully by then the politicians who we entrust with our votes will understand that we will no longer stand patiently as they turn their backs to us and to the cause of fair and just immigration reform.

    Updated 04-12-2016 at 12:32 PM by MKolken

  2. The Broken Promises of President Obama - A Falling out of Love Story

    by , 03-16-2010 at 01:25 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Unfortunately, I'm with Senator Graham. President Obama's 'unwavering' commitment to immigration reform 'doesn't pass the smell test'. Obama has done nothing to stand for comprehensive immigration reform since taking office but break his campaign promises.

    Just as in 2008 when then Senator Obama killed the McCain-Kennedy immigration reform Bill, Obama is only talking about immigration reform for the photo-op, and to deflect some of the bad press from this Sunday's Immigration Reform March on Washington (3-21-10).

    When campaigning Obama promised meaningful action on comprehensive immigration reform in his first year in office. He was then elected, and IMMEDIATELY turned his back to the Hispanic electorate by pushing immigration reform to 2010, an election year where it has virtually no chance of passage.

    Broken promise.

    In the interim he promised to stop the immigration raids, and instead has deported more people (1,000 per day in office) than Bush did in his last year in office.

    Broken promise.

    He then promised to support the DREAM Act, and do everything in his power to get it passed.

    Broken promise.

    The cruel reality is that Obama has only given lip-service to the issue of CIR, appearing at photo-ops to placate immigration activists and
    blaming the GOP for his complete and total inaction on the issue, while trying to spin his record of mass deportations.

    I am sad to say that I am predicting that the President's first term will go down in history as a total failure to those of us in the immigration reform community, breaking our collective hearts in the process.

    Updated 04-12-2016 at 12:23 PM by MKolken

  3. ICE memo explains how officials should address detained U.S. citizens

    by , 03-11-2010 at 08:16 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    It appears that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has conveniently forgotten that they have no
    jurisdiction to detain individuals who are United States citizens, and
    that they maintain the burden to first prove that an individual is not a United States
    citizen, and not the other way around.
    "On the heels of several reports documenting U.S. citizens who have
    detained or even deported by federal immigration officers, a top
    Homeland Security Department official in November issued a memo that
    aims to guide his agency on what to do when a person suspected of being
    illegally in the country claims to be a citizen." Andrew Becker - Center for Investigative Reporting
    Click here to view the ICE memo.
  4. Deepak Bhargava, executive director of the Center for Community Change, talks with Chris Hayes about the divisions in the Tea Party movement over anti-immigration sentiment and the expectations pro-immigration activists have for President Obama.

    by , 03-10-2010 at 06:39 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
  5. DHS tries to spin Obama's Record on Mass Deportations

    by , 03-09-2010 at 06:08 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Facing harsh criticism from immigration advocates regarding the 387,790 people that the Obama Administration has deported from the United States since he took office, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is attempting to spin a report that contains deportation numbers for Fiscal Year 2009.The Washington Post has reported that a DHS spokesman is trying to minimize the number of individuals "deported" by President Obama by excluding individuals who have received "voluntary departure" and who have not actually been removed from the United States under an order of removal (deportation).This is nothing more than political spin.  Voluntary departure is a euphemism for voluntary deportation. Although an individual may avoid the stigma of an order of removal if they are granted voluntary deportation by attesting to their willingness to leave the United States within a set number of days (a maximum of 120 days) and by paying for their own way home to their native country, make no mistake about it, the individual MUST LEAVE the United States, and there is nothing voluntary about it.If a person fails to depart the United States under a grant of voluntary departure the order automatically converts into an order of removal, they are subject to being taken into custody, held without bond as a flight risk, and are then forcibly removed from the United States.  Moreover, if the person fails to depart the United States as required they are further barred from obtaining relief from removal should their circumstances change at some point in the future.In the vast majority of cases when an individual departs the United States under a grant of voluntary deportation they automatically trigger a ten-year bar.  The underlying order of removal also carries with it a ten year bar.  Either way the individual MUST LEAVE the United States, and may not return to the Country for ten years.  So in essence they must choose between a sharp stick in the eye, or a swift kick in the gut.Do not let the Obama administration spin their record of mass deportations.  Obama is deporting people in record numbers, and my inside sources have told me that a temporary unofficial moratorium on the apprehension of non-criminal aliens has been lifted by our President.  As the saying goes you ain't seen nuthin' yet.Is this the change you voted for?
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