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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal


  1. More bad reports from the Varick Street Detention Center

    by , 02-24-2010 at 06:42 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    What would we do without Nina Bernstein?  She has published another fantastic article on the announced closing of the Varick Federal Detention Facility in Greenwich Village.  Not surprisingly, there are more problems being reported relating to the medical neglect of immigrants being held in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).The article points out that many of the detainees in Varick will be moved to New Jersey, presumably to the Elizabeth Immigration Gulag.  Not exactly a viable solution to an already out of control problem.The Times has compiled a list of jails and detention centers
    where ICE detains individuals who
    may be subject to removal from the United States. The interactive list includes
    the results of annual inspections of facilities where ICE: "holds, or has held, noncitizens the government wants to deport,
    including asylum-seekers, people suspected of being in the country
    illegally and legal immigrants convicted of a wide range of crimes or
    The list rates both the Varick facility and the Elizabeth, N.J. facility as being "Good", which is very telling as to the reliability of the inspections, because as repeatedly illustrated by the New York Times, and my reports on this Blog, both facilities are substandard at best.Bravo Nina for your tireless efforts to expose the injustices that are a hallmark of the immigration detention system! *EDIT*See the NYCLU report entitled: Voices from Varick: Detainee Grievances at New York City's Only
    Federal Immigration Detention Facility (2010)The NYCLU summarizes the report to include the following key findings:

    There were 210 grievances filed by 176 different detainees,
    representing 186 unique complaints regarding the conditions of
    confinement at Varick.
    Of the 210 grievances, 21 percent appear to have resulted in no
    Thirteen grievances went before the Detainee Grievance Committee
    In seven of the 13 grievances (54 percent) that went before the DGC,
    the aggrieved detainee rejected the proposed resolution of the
    complaint. In three cases, the aggrieved detainee concurred with the
    outcome. And in three others, there is no indication of whether
    resolution was accepted or rejected.
    In four of the seven DGC grievances (57 percent) where the detainee
    objected to the committee's findings, the detainee who filed the
    grievance was transferred out of the facility. Once a detainee is
    transferred or deported, Varick ceases to investigate his grievances.
    Seventy-one of the grievances complained of inadequate medical care
    (34 percent). Grievances involving a complaint of abusive treatment by
    staff were the second most common, consisting of 52 total grievances (25
    percent). The third most common type of grievance concerned diet and
    consisted of 27 grievances (13 percent).

  2. A Family's Story: The Case for LGBT Immigration Reform

    by , 02-17-2010 at 08:00 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Sometimes I just don't have words to express my frustration with the lack of movement on comprehensive immigration reform.  When that happens I just shut up and let the stories do the talking for me.The following is a clip from an original Immigration Equality documentary that highlights the
    impact of discriminatory immigration laws on the lives of lesbian and
    gay bi-national families.
    Heartbreaking doesn't begin to describe it.

  3. Don't Drink The Immigration Enforcement Kool-Aide

    by , 02-16-2010 at 05:49 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    The Arizona Republic recently published an article on the burden the Obama Administration's stepped-up
    immigration enforcement agenda has placed on our nation's immigration
    courts.  It only stands to reason that if the President's desire is
    to deport more people than any President in the history of our country that he
    must have contemplated the need for an increase of funding for additional immigration
    judges to preside over the increase of deportation cases.  Unfortunately, the obvious solution to hire more
    immigration judges does not appear to have been considered by our President. 
    The White House's Fiscal Year 2011 budget allocation for the Department of
    Homeland Security includes $4.6 billion funding for Border Patrol agents. 
    Fair enough.  The budget also includes requests of more than $1.6 billion
    to continue the identification and deportation programs for undocumented
    foreigners with criminal records, a $200 million increase over what was
    provided during Fiscal Year 2010.   Certainly looks good on paper.

    One would be hard-pressed to find many Americans who would be willing to
    argue against the President's allocation for increased security at our borders,
    and stepped-up enforcement relating to the removal of criminal aliens found
    within our borders.  I'm not making that
    argument now.  These are central concerns to us all.   That
    being said, where is the President's allocation for additional immigration
    judges?  Surely, he set aside money to bolster our immigration courts with
    additional judges?  Nope.

    Maybe, just maybe, that extra $200 million could have been utilized to staff
    our immigration courts with competent judges to preside over the bottleneck of
    cases that have been created by the new administration's enforcement first
    agenda. Wishful thinking. 

    In fact, the President's budget has actually allocated less money towards
    the streamlining of the legal immigration system to support people who are
    trying to do the right thing by actually FOLLOWING THE LAW.  By failing to
    live up to his campaign promise to meaningfully address comprehensive
    immigration reform, the President's enforcement-centric budget from a LEGAL
    immigrant's perspective is one more gaping knife wound in the back.  Not
    the Change we were hoping for Mr. President.

    So we heard you Mr. President, when you said this year's budget was designed
    to "strengthen border security and immigration enforcement."  Your message
    is loud and clear.

    Mr. President, why don't your policies follow your promises?  Every
    action that you have taken since your election has been to bite the hand of the
    Hispanic electorate that fed you.  Take Notice: those who voted for your Hope
    and Change aren't drinking the Kool-aide.
  4. Study: Congress has dramatically Increased funding for the apprehension and detention of criminal aliens.

    by , 02-12-2010 at 11:23 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    "This isn't a question of whether or not we will detain people. We will detain people, and we will detain them on a grand scale" Head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement John Morton

    A new TRAC immigration study reveals that over the last five years Congress has been funneling billions of dollars into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) specifically for the funding over immigration enforcement operations. The study reveals that there has been a 67 percent increase of overall funding, and that $24 billion dollars in total has been allocated.

    Here is the study: Detention of Criminal Aliens: What Has Congress Bought?

    Updated 04-12-2016 at 12:19 PM by MKolken

  5. Immigrant Detainees Launch Hunger Strike at Texas Immigration Jail

    by , 02-12-2010 at 09:41 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    What is it going to take for President Obama to clean up his administration's oversight of the immigration detention system.  How many immigrants need to die?His silence on the issue speaks volumes."In Texas, dozens of prisoners have gone on a hunger strike at a
    Los Fresnos immigration jail in protest of inhumane conditions. Its at
    least the third hunger strike at the Port Isabel Detention Center in
    less than a year. On Tuesday, independent journalist Renee Feltz spoke
    to immigrant-rights activist Anayanse Garza of the Southwest Workers
    Union. Garza recounted an interaction with Immigration and Customs
    Enforcements Acting Director of the Office of Detention Policy and
    Planning, Phyllis Coven." -Democracy Now

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