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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal


  1. Racist roots of Arizona law exposed

    by , 04-27-2010 at 06:25 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Rachel Maddow exposed the origins of Arizona's new immigration law tracing it to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). For those who don't know, FAIR's mission includes advocating for a moratorium on ALL immigration except spouses
    and minor children of U.S. citizens and a limited number of refugees. Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
  2. The Response to the Arizona Immigration Law

    by , 04-26-2010 at 05:31 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    The public
    outcry against the new Arizona
    immigration law includes civilian immigrant right activists, Mayors,
    Congressmen, Senators, President Obama, and the head of the Department of
    Homeland Security. 

    Those that are coming out against the law include politicians in the State of Arizona. Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon (D) described the new law as "trampling civil rights."  On the federal level, U.S. Rep.
    Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona) called on President Barack
    Obama to fight the law, and has pledged to fight the law through civil disobedience. "We're going to overturn this unjust and racist law, and then we're
    going to overturn the power structure that created this unjust, racist
    Rep. Raul Grijalva.U.S. Representative Luis
    Gutierrez (D-Ill) has been at the center of the controversy stating: "I am going there to let the people of Arizona know that they are not
    alone in fighting against bigotry and hatred," calling the law a "serious civil rights
    catastrophe that Republicans in Arizona are unleashing on immigrants."

    New York Senator Chuck Schumer has also spoken out against the new law: "We do need comprehensive immigration law in this country but not like
    this," "This law is mean-spirited and I'm opposed to it."In Washington, President Obama has called the law
    "misguided" going so far as to say that it may result in civil rights violations.

    Director of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano agrees with the President's assessment: "That one is a misguided law. It's not a good law enforcement law. It's
    not a good law in any number of reasons. But beyond that, what it
    illustrates is that other states now will feel compelled to do things.
    And you will have this patchwork of laws where we need a federal
    immigration system that meets our security needs, that recognizes where
    we need to go in this 21st century and gives us a better framework on
    which to stand,"On the East Coast, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stated that the Arizona law will have a negative impact on the United States economy because: "Foreign investment and tourism are critical to our national economy,
    and this new law sends exactly the wrong message to international
    companies and travelers."Meanwhile the signing of the bill by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer into law has already made an immediate impact on the economy in the State of Arizona. The Board of Governors of the American Immigration Lawyers Association
    (AILA), has move the Association's fall 2010
    conference, previously scheduled for Arizona, to another, an immigrant rights advocacy group, is calling for Major League Baseball to move the 2011 All-Star game from Arizona.The talking heads have also weighed in:

    "Meet the Press" on Sunday April 26, 2010: Senators
    Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Richard Shelby (R-AL)

    ABC's "This Week" Sunday April 25, 2010:

    On the April 25,
    2010 edition of CNN's
    "State of the Union" Senators
    Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) weigh in:

    I'll continue to keep you updated on any developments that occur in Arizona, and across the United States regarding this law.
  3. Rachel Maddow on the Arizona "You don't look American" Bill

    by , 04-23-2010 at 06:50 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    On Rachel Maddow's show last night, in a way that only Rachel can, she addressed the anti-immigrant legislation that is awaiting signature from Governor Jan Brewer in the State of Arizona. 

  4. ACLU Sues Colorado Sheriff For Illegally Imprisoning Colorado Resident Suspected Of Immigration Violations

    by , 04-22-2010 at 06:22 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    CONTACT: (212) 549-2666;

    DENVER - The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Colorado
    filed a lawsuit in a Denver federal court today against the sheriff of
    Jefferson County in Colorado arguing that he unjustifiably and illegally
    imprisoned a Colorado resident for 47 days last year with no charges
    pending against him simply because federal immigration officers
    suspected that the man was in the U.S. in violation of federal
    immigration laws.

    "Without any legal authority whatsoever, Sheriff Ted Mink imprisoned our
    client and kept him in legal limbo for 47 days with no charges pending,
    no opportunity to see a judge and no opportunity to post bail," said
    Mark Silverstein, Legal Director of the ACLU of Colorado. "Our
    fundamental constitutional values prohibit depriving any person of
    liberty without due process of law."  


    Luis Quezada, the ACLU's client, was arrested and taken to the Jefferson
    County Jail where he was held for three days in May 2009 for failing to
    appear in court on a traffic charge. He promptly resolved the traffic
    charge, and the county court judge ordered him released.


    Quezada was not released, however, because Immigration and Customs
    Enforcement (ICE) sent the jail an immigration detainer advising that it
    was investigating whether Quezada was violating immigration laws. An
    immigration detainer instructs a jail or prison to hold a particular
    detainee an additional 48 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) after
    the detainee's release date. The detainer states that its purpose is to
    provide adequate time for ICE agents to determine whether to take the
    detainee into federal custody and begin formal deportation proceedings.
    Yet after the 48 hour detainer expired, the Jefferson County sheriff
    continued to unlawfully hold Quezada for an additional 47 days.

    When ICE finally took Quezada into custody in mid-July 2009, the agency
    immediately allowed him to be released on bond while he defended himself
    in immigration court.  

    "By allowing Mr. Quezada to post bond and be released, ICE determined
    that our client poses no danger to the community and is not a flight
    risk. Those same facts existed when our client was originally detained,"
    said Dan Williams, an attorney with the law firm of Faegre & Benson
    and cooperating attorney for the ACLU of Colorado. "No right is more
    firmly ingrained in our Constitution and our understanding of freedom
    than the right not to be left in jail indefinitely without charges filed
    or an opportunity to post bail, yet that is exactly what happened here.
    This lawsuit seeks to compensate Mr. Quezada, and we hope that it will
    serve as a wake-up call to law enforcement throughout Colorado to stop
    this lawless deprivation of liberty."

    The ACLU of Colorado has received multiple complaints of similar cases
    in which Colorado jails held suspected immigration violators without
    legal authority. To address the recurring issue, the ACLU of Colorado
    wrote to all Colorado sheriffs in the fall of 2008, advising that any
    legal authority of an immigration detainer expires after 48 hours. The
    ACLU also asked Colorado sheriffs for copies of any written policies
    instructing jail deputies on how to proceed when the jail receives
    immigration detainers. The Jefferson County attorney responded that the
    sheriff's office had no applicable written policies.

    ICE routinely issues immigration detainers to law enforcement agencies
    around the country as part of part of ICE enforcement initiatives
    involving state and local police such as the 287(g) program, Secure
    Communities and the Criminal Alien Program. In addition to causing
    racial profiling and harming public safety, those initiatives raise the
    risk that agencies and officers will face increased claims for damages
    as a result of cases like Quezada's.

    "ICE is issuing detainers by the thousands in an attempt to use state
    and local police and sheriffs as adjunct federal immigration officers,"
    said Omar Jadwat, a staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants' Rights
    Project. "However, police officers and jailers are always required to
    obey the Constitution and simply cannot imprison a person in this way,
    even if an immigration detainer exists. States and municipalities open
    themselves to liability when they treat ICE detainers as if they were
    sentences imposed by a court."

    Attorneys on the case, Quezada v. Mink, include Jadwat of the
    ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project; Silverstein and Taylor Pendergrass of
    the ACLU of Colorado; and Williams of the law firm of Faegre &

    A copy of the complaint can be found at:
  5. A letter to Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill)

    by , 04-21-2010 at 06:21 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Congressman, you need to admit that your vote on Health Care Reform with its xenophobic anti-immigrant provisions was a tremendous error of judgment that has damaged immigrants.Your exact words:"I would find it extremely difficult if not impossible to vote for any measure that denies undocumented workers health care purchased with their own dollars."

    By giving your vote away for an empty (and now broken) promise from
    President Obama that he would meaningfully address immigration reform
    you relinquished your one legitimate bargaining chip to force the
    President's hand to effectuate an end to the rampant deportations that
    have hallmarked the Obama Presidency.You are a good man Congressman, and even good men make mistakes.The time is now to admit yours.Please take a stand against this dangerous President, and his 1,000
    deportations per day record, by admitting that you were wrong to trust
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