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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal


  1. New York Times: [Undocumented] Workers Swept From Jobs in ‘Silent Raids’

    by , 07-10-2010 at 04:04 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The New York times has reported that since President Obama has been elected, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has audited more than 2,900 companies, and has levied $3 million in civil fines in 2010 alone on businesses
    that have hired unauthorized immigrants.  It has been estimated that these "silent raids" have resulted in the firing of thousands of United States workers. The inevitable result is that in this time of severe economic recession our President's immigration policy is to take food off the table of families, rather than seriously address reform.So much for looking out for the little guy.
  2. ICE launches Secure Communities strategy in 24 additional north Texas counties

    by , 07-09-2010 at 03:05 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The following press release was posted on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website yesterday (July 8, 2010).  In summary, ICE intends to use biometric data to prioritize immigration enforcement actions against convicted criminal aliens.Here is the release in its entirety: DALLAS - On Wednesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
    began using a new biometric information sharing capability in 24
    additional northeast Texas counties that helps federal immigration
    officials identify aliens, both lawfully and unlawfully present in the
    United States, who are booked into local law enforcement's custody for a
    crime. This capability is part of Secure Communities - ICE's
    comprehensive strategy to improve and modernize the identification and
    removal of criminal aliens from the United States.

    Previously, fingerprint-based biometric records were taken of
    individuals charged with a crime and booked into custody and checked for
    criminal history information against the Department of Justice's (DOJ)
    Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS). Now,
    through enhanced information sharing between DOJ and the Department of
    Homeland Security (DHS), fingerprint information submitted through the
    state to the FBI will be simultaneously checked against both the FBI
    criminal history records in IAFIS and the biometrics-based immigration
    records in DHS's Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT).

    If fingerprints match those of someone in DHS's biometric system, the
    new automated process notifies ICE, enabling federal authorities to
    prioritize immigration enforcement action against those who are or
    become subject to removal based on their criminal convictions. Top
    priority is given to criminal aliens who pose the greatest threat to
    public safety, such as those convicted of major drug offenses, murder,
    rape, robbery and kidnapping.

    "The Secure Communities strategy provides ICE with an effective tool
    to identify criminal aliens in local custody," said Secure Communities
    Executive Director David Venturella. "Enhancing public safety is at the
    core of ICE's mission. Our goal is to use biometric information sharing
    to remove criminal aliens, preventing them from being released back into
    the community, with little or no additional burden on our law
    enforcement partners."

    "North Texas now has 41 jurisdictions participating in the Secure
    Communities program," said Nuria T. Prendes, field office director for
    the Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations in Dallas. "This
    program will soon be incorporated throughout Texas and throughout the
    country so that we can best identify and target criminal aliens who are a
    threat to public safety." Prendes oversees 128 counties in north Texas
    and the State of Oklahoma.

    "The ICE Secure Communities program brings 21st Century law
    enforcement technology to all agencies so we can share information,"
    said Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith. "This improved communication will
    better help us identify criminal aliens so we can make our communities

    Today's announcement adds the following 24 northeast Texas counties
    to the ICE Secure Communities program:

    Anderson, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Delta, Fannin, Franklin, Gregg,
    Harrison, Henderson, Hopkins, Lamar, Marion, Morris, Panola, Rains, Red
    River, Rusk, Smith, Titus, Upshur, Van Zandt and Wood.

    With the expansion of the biometric information sharing capability to
    these counties, ICE is now using it in 135 Texas jurisdictions. Across
    the country, ICE is using this capability in 437 jurisdictions in 24
    states. ICE expects to make it available in jurisdictions nationwide by

    Since ICE began using this enhanced information sharing capability in
    October 2008, immigration officers have removed from the United States
    more than 8,500 criminal aliens convicted of Level 1 crimes, such as
    murder, rape and kidnapping. Additionally, ICE has removed more than
    22,200 criminal aliens convicted of Level 2 and 3 crimes, including
    burglary and serious property crimes, which account for the majority of
    crimes committed by aliens. In accordance with the Immigration and
    Nationality Act, ICE continues to take action on aliens subject to
    removal as resources permit.

    The IDENT system is maintained by DHS's US-VISIT program and IAFIS is
    maintained by the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS).

    "US-VISIT is proud to support ICE, helping provide decision makers
    with comprehensive, reliable information when and where they need it,"
    said US-VISIT Director Robert Mocny. "By enhancing the interoperability
    of DHS's and the FBI's biometric systems, we are able to give federal,
    state and local decision makers information that helps them better
    protect our communities and our nation."

    "Under this plan, ICE will be utilizing FBI system enhancements that
    allow improved information sharing at the state and local law
    enforcement level based on positive identification of incarcerated
    criminal aliens," said Daniel D. Roberts, assistant director of the
    FBI's CJIS Division. "Additionally, ICE and the FBI are working together
    to take advantage of the strong relationships already forged between
    the FBI and state and local law enforcement necessary to assist ICE in
    achieving its goals."

    For more information, visit

    -- ICE --
  3. Delivery of a simulated controlled substance in violation of Texas law is not an aggravated felony

    by , 07-08-2010 at 05:06 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has just overturned a May 6,
    2008, order of an immigration judge that found an alien deportable under
    former sections 241(a)(2)(A)(iii), and (B)(i) of the Immigration and
    Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1251(a)(2)(A)(iii) and(B)(i) (1994), as an
    alien convicted of an aggravated felony and a controlled substance

    In this specific case the alien is a native and citizen of El Salvador.
    He entered the United States without inspection on March 28, 1984, and
    was subsequently convicted on September 4, 1996, in the 185th District
    Court of Harris County, Texas for delivery by actual transfer of a
    simulated controlled substance (cocaine).

    The BIA ruled that the offense of delivery of a simulated controlled
    substance in violation of Texas law is not an aggravated felony, as
    defined by section 101(a)(43)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act,
    8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(B) (2006), but it is a violation of a law
    relating to a controlled substance under former section 241(a)(2)(B)(i)
    of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(2)(B)(i) (1994). See Matter of Fidel
    Antonio SANCHEZ-CORNEJO, 25 I&N Dec. 273 (BIA 2010)

    The BIA reasoned that a State drug offense may only
    constitute an aggravated felony under the "illicit trafficking" clause
    if it is (1) a felony under the law of the convicting sovereign that (2)
    involved "unlawful trading or dealing" in (3) a Federally controlled
    substance. Therefore, because simulated cocaine is not a Federally controlled
    substance, a conviction for delivery of a "simulated" controlled substance does not constitute an "illicit
    trafficking" offense, and therefore is not an aggravated felony.
  4. Showdown over Immigration

    by , 07-07-2010 at 11:43 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    "The legal showdown over Arizona's immigration law puts the spotlight on
    the emotional debate over issue. It has sharply divided people along
    political, ideological and ethnic lines. State senator and author of the
    Arizona law Russell Pearce and Isabel Garcia, deputy public defender in
    Pima County, Arizona have a heated discussion with CNN's Tony Harris" ~Sydney McIntosh: Associate Producer CNN
  5. Somali detained in Montreal no-fly list case released from immigration custody

    by , 07-07-2010 at 06:02 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    My client, Abdirahman Ali Gaal, has been released from immigration custody and has been reunited with his family in Seattle, Washington.  Mr. Gaal is a citizen of Somalia, and is a lawful permanent resident of the United States.  This past spring Mr. Gaal spent approximately two months abroad on vacation.  When attempting to return home Mr. Gaal's May 30, 2010 Aeromexico flight that was en route to Mexico was diverted to Montreal, Canada by United States officials because of his placement on a "no-fly" list.  Once in Canada, Mr. Gaal was returned to the United States by Canadian authorities, and was taken into custody by U.S. immigration officials who instituted removal proceedings against him.  My client has been charged with abandoning his Green Card because he went to Canada in 2008 for ten months to console his grieving spouse whose mother had a stroke that ultimately took her life.  The Government has also alleged that Mr. Gaal is inadmissible to the United States for having committed a crime in Canada that he has
    never been charged with, and that he is not guilty of.  The alleged criminal violation relates to him using a name on a Canadian convention refugee application that was not currently his legal name.  The name Mr. Gaal put on his application is a name that
    he has legally used in the past, and is a family name culturally.  Parenthetically, Mr. Gaal withdrew his application prior to ever being scheduled for an interview with Canadian immigration authorities. Mr. Gaal returned to the United States in 2008 after he burried his mother-in-law, resuming his lawful
    status as a Green Card holder.  At that time he was inspected and admitted to the United States by U.S. immigration officials after having disclosed the length of time he was in Canada, and that he had applied for status in Canada that was ultimately withdrawn.  Mr. Gaal then remained in the U.S. until this
    last trip abroad in 2010. When Mr. Gaal was last in Canada after having his flight diverted, the Canadian authorities did not elect to charge Mr. Gaal with a crime, presumably because he hasn't committed one. Mr. Gaal is not currently facing any criminal charges in the United States.  The Department of Homeland Security instead elected to institute immigration proceedings against him rather than hold him under suspicion. Immigration Court proceedings are currently scheduled this Thursday in Batavia, New York but it is anticipated that venue will be changed to Seattle, Washington as a result of Mr. Gaal's release from immigration custody.We intend to vigorously defend the charges against Mr. Gaal as they are entirely frivolous.
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