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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

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  1. Asylum Seekers File Class Action Suit to be Reunited with their Children

    by , 06-26-2018 at 08:35 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    For Immediate Release

    June 25th, 2018
    Contact:
    Matt Adams, Legal Director, NWIRP
    206-957-8611, matt@nwirp.org

    Jorge L. Barón, Executive Director, NWIRP
    206-957-8609, jorge@nwirp.org





    Seattle, WA – Three women who were forcibly separated from their children by immigration officials when they entered the United States to seek asylum filed a lawsuit today in Seattle, Washington, on behalf of themselves and dozens of other separated families. The lawsuit seeks an order requiring immigration officials to immediately reunite the separated children with their parents and also challenges the government’s failure to move forward with their asylum claims. Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) filed the suit in federal district court on behalf of the separated families.

    The three women are part of a group of over two hundred asylum-seekers who were transferred from immigration detention centers in Texas to a prison in Washington State while waiting for immigration officials to begin processing their claims. Around fifty of the group originally arrived with children who were taken away from them by immigration officials without any explanation. They have not seen their children in over a month and some have not even been able to talk to their children by phone.

    The three women have also yet to have a “credible fear interview,” the first stage of review for their asylum claims, despite the fact that each of them has already been detained by immigration officials for over a month.

    The President issued an Executive Order on June 20, purporting to end his family separation policy, but this Executive Order does not address the families that have already been separated and instead directs immigration officials to detain any families that now enter the United States seeking asylum.

    The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include:

    Ibis Guzman, who fled Honduras with her five-year-old son after receiving death threats. She was separated from her child in Texas after asking to apply for asylum. Ms. Guzman’s son was sent to a facility in San Antonio, Texas, and she has not been able to see or talk to him for more than a month.

    Blanca Orantes, who escaped El Salvador after threats to her eight-year-old son, only to have Border Patrol take her boy away from her when she approached them asking to apply for asylum. Ms. Orantes’s son was sent to a facility in Kingston, New York, and she has not seen him for over a month, and has only recently been provided a phone number to reach him.

    Yolany Padilla, who left Honduras with her six-year-old son to seek protection in the United States. She was separated from him by immigration officials in Texas, despite informing them they were afraid to return to their home country. The immigration officials sent the boy to a facility in New York, and Ms. Padilla has not seen him since. She has only been able to talk to him once, about a month after their separation.

    The suit was filed on behalf of these three women but they will be asking the court for permission to represent all parents separated from their children who are detained in Washington State.

    “My son is all that I have,” said Blanca Orantes. “Every day I am not with him, I feel that I am dying inside. I need to be reunited with him immediately.”

    “The executive order falsely claims that Congress is required to change the law to avoid tearing children apart from their parents, but it is indisputable that this abomination was created by the President,” said Matt Adams, legal director for NWIRP. “The Trump administration’s policy on family separation blatantly violates fundamental constitutional rights as well as the most basic principles of human dignity.”

    The three plaintiffs are currently being detained either at the Federal Detention Center (FDC) in SeaTac, Washington, or the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma, Washington.

    To see a copy of the complaint filed in federal court, click here.
  2. Victims of Immigration Crime Enforcement (VOICE) Quarterly Report

    by , 06-22-2018 at 09:57 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Take this for what it's worth:

    Overview

    U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) protects America from the cross-border crime and illegal immigration that threaten national security and public safety. To carry out that mission, Ice focuses on smart immigration enforcement, preventing terrorism, and combating transnational criminal threats. The agency has an annual budget of approximately $6 billion, primarily devoted to three operational directorates—Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA). A fourth directorate—Management and Administration (M&A)—supports the three operational branches to advance the Ice mission.

    • ERO upholds U.S. immigration law at, within, and beyond our borders. ERO’s work is critical to the enforcement of immigration law against those who present a danger to our national security,are a threat to public safety, or who otherwise undermine the integrity of our immigration system.
    • HSI is the principal investigative component within the Department of Homeland Security(DHS), which conducts transnational criminal investigations that protect the United States against threats to national security and brings to justice those seeking to exploit U.S. customs and immigration laws worldwide.
    • OPLA is the largest legal program in DHS and serves as the exclusive representative of DHS inimmigration removal proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review, litigatingall removal cases including those against criminal aliens, terrorists, and human rights abusers.

    The Executive Order titled Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States directed Ice's Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office (VOICE) to create quarterly reports studying the effects of the victimization by criminal aliens present in the United States.

    This report provides anonymized case studies to depict the types of victims assisted by the VOICE Office since it launched on April 26, 2017, through September 30, 2017.The VOICE Office has several key objectives that include:

    • Using a victim-centered approach to acknowledge and support victims and their families;
    • Promoting awareness of available services to crime victims; and
    • Building collaborative partnerships with community stakeholders assisting victims.

    ICE established a toll-free hotline staffed with operators who triage calls to ensure victims receive the support they need. The number is 1-855-48-VOICE or 1-855-488-6423.

    The type of assistance the VOICE Office offers includes:

    • Establishing local contacts to help with unique victim requests;
    • Linking victims with ICE Community Relations Officers (CROs) who serve as local representatives to help victims understand the immigration enforcement and removal process;
    • Providing access to social service professionals who are able to refer victims to local resources and direct service providers;
    • Assisting individuals in signing up to receive automated custody status information through the DHS-Victim Information and Notification Exchange (DHS-VINE); and
    • To the extent permitted by law or policy, providing information about the offender, including the offender's immigration status and custody status, and answering questions and concerns regarding immigration enforcement.

    Click here
    for the report.

    Updated 06-22-2018 at 10:22 AM by MKolken

  3. Supreme Court Rules For Immigrants in Statutory Eligibility Case

    by , 06-21-2018 at 10:28 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    PEREIRA v. SESSIONS, 585 U. S. ____ (2018): 8-1 Decision.

    Held: A putative notice to appear that fails to designate the specifictime or place of the noncitizen’s removal proceedings is not a “noticeto appear under §1229(a),” and so does not trigger the stop-time rule.Pp. 7–20.

    (a) The Court need not resort to Chevron deference, for the unambiguous statutory text alone is enough to resolve this case. Under the stop-time rule, “any period of . . . continuous physical presence” is“deemed to end . . . when the alien is served a notice to appear under section 1229(a).” 8 U. S. C. §1229b(d)(1). By expressly referencing§1229(a), the statute specifies where to look to find out what “notice to appear” means. Section 1229(a), in turn, clarifies that the type of notice “referred to as a ‘notice to appear’ ” throughout the statutory section is a “written notice . . . specifying,” as relevant here, “[t]he time and place at which the [removal] proceedings will be held.”§1229(a)(1)(G)(i). Thus, to trigger the stop-time rule, the Government must serve a notice to appear that, at the very least,“specif[ies]” the “time and place” of the removal hearing.

    The Government and dissent point out that the stop-time rule refers broadly to a notice to appear under “§1229(a)”—which includes paragraph (1), as well as paragraphs (2) and (3). But that does not matter, because only paragraph (1) bears on the meaning of a “notice to appear.” If anything, paragraph (2), which allows for a “change or postponement” of the proceedings to a “new time and place,”§1229(a)(2)(A)(i), bolsters the Court’s interpretation of the statute because the provision presumes that the Government has already served a “notice to appear” that specified a time and place as required by §1229(a)(1)(G)(i). Another neighboring provision, §1229(b)(1),lends further support for the view that a “notice to appear” must specify the time and place of removal proceedings to trigger the stop time rule. Section 1229(b)(1) gives a noncitizen “the opportunity to secure counsel before the first [removal] hearing date” by mandating that such “hearing date shall not be scheduled earlier than 10 days after the service of the notice to appear.” For that provision to have any meaning, the “notice to appear” must specify the time and place that the noncitizen, and his counsel, must appear at the removal proceedings.Finally, common sense reinforces the conclusion that a notice that does not specify when and where to appear for a removal proceeding is not a “notice to appear” that triggers the stop-time rule.After all, an essential function of a “notice to appear” is to provide noncitizens “notice” of the information (i.e., the “time” and “place”)that would enable them “to appear” at the removal hearing in the first place. Without conveying such information, the Government cannot reasonably expect noncitizens to appear for their removal proceedings.Pp. 7–13.

    (b) The Government and the dissent advance a litany of counterarguments,all of which are unpersuasive. To begin, the Government mistakenly argues that §1229(a) is not definitional. That is wrong.Section 1229(a) speaks in definitional terms, requiring that a notice to appear specify, among other things, the “time and place at which the proceedings will be held.” As such, the dissent is misguided in arguing that a defective notice to appear, which fails to specify time and-place information, is still a notice to appear for purposes of the stop-time rule. Equally unavailing is the Government’s (and the dissent’s)attempt to generate ambiguity in the statute based on the word “under.” In light of the plain language and statutory context,the word “under,” as used in the stop-time rule, clearly means “in accordance with” or “according to” because it connects the stop-time trigger in §1229b(d)(1) to a “notice to appear” that specifies the enumerated time-and-place information. The Government fares no better in arguing that surrounding statutory provisions reinforce its preferred reading of the stop-time rule, as none of those provisions supports its a textual interpretation. Unable to root its reading in the statutory text, the Government and dissent raise a number of practical concerns, but those concerns are meritless and do not justify de-parting from the statute’s clear text. In a final attempt to salvage itsa textual interpretation, the Government turns to the alleged statutory purpose and legislative history of the stop-time rule. Even for those who consider statutory purpose and legislative history, however,neither supports the Government’s position. Requiring the Government to furnish time-and-place information in a notice to appear is entirely consistent with Congress’ stated objective of preventing noncitizens from exploiting administrative delays to accumulate lengthier periods of continuous precedent. Pp. 13–20.

    866 F. 3d 1, reversed and remanded.

    SOTOMAYOR, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS,C. J., and KENNEDY, THOMAS, GINSBURG, BREYER, KAGAN, and GORSUCH,JJ., joined. KENNEDY, J., filed a concurring opinion. ALITO, J., filed a dissenting opinion.

    Updated 06-21-2018 at 10:36 AM by MKolken

  4. Expanding Family Detention Is Not the Answer to Cruel Family Separation Policy

    by , 06-21-2018 at 08:55 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    AILA Doc. No. 18062036 | Dated June 20, 2018

    CONTACTS:
    George Tzamaras
    202-507-7649
    gtzamaras@aila.org
    Belle Woods
    202-507-7675
    bwoods@aila.org

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
    Wednesday, June 20, 2018


    Washington, DC
    - Today, President Trump signed an Executive Order, which purports to end the separation of asylum-seeking families by expanding the use of family detention, while reaffirming his commitment to a "zero tolerance" policy of border prosecutions, even for those who lawfully claim a fear of persecution and are entitled to seek asylum in the United States. Anastasia Tonello, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) responded:


    "For years, AILA and our partners, joined by champions in Congress, have spoken out against the inhumane practice of detaining families seeking asylum, first under the Obama administration and now under the Trump administration. The detention of families - parents and children - who pose no flight risk or danger to the community is simply unacceptable, abrogates our international responsibilities to refugees, and goes against our country's most fundamental values. Hundreds of AILA attorneys have fought for the children and parents who have been detained after tumultuous escapes from violence and certain death in their home countries. They've seen the worry in a mother's eyes as her child's weight dwindles due to stress, fear, and inadequate medical care, the concern of a father trapped behind a fence, under 24-hour surveillance. We need to embrace our legacy as a safe haven for the persecuted and stop subjecting bona fide refugees to further trauma by locking them up while they pursue their lawful claims to relief.


    "Now, as the president attempts to sidestep the family separation crisis of his own making, our country faces another choice: whether to stand idly by as billions of taxpayer dollars are spent to establish new facilities to detain children and parents, inflicting further damage on already fragile human beings, or to stand firm against this appalling practice and the unnecessary 'zero tolerance' policy, which is a wasteful misdirection of prosecutorial resources and was the catalyst for the family separation crisis to begin with. The choice is not to either separate children from their families or jail them all.


    "Incarceration of families for prolonged periods of time is senseless, particularly when humane and cost-effective alternatives to detention have been proven to be effective. The barriers to due process that AILA attorneys have encountered at every detention facility only underscore what needs to happen: both family separation and family detention must end."


    ###
    The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

    Cite as AILA Doc. No. 18062036.
  5. Trump Signs Executive Order on Family Separation

    by , 06-20-2018 at 03:13 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation

    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., it is hereby ordered as follows:

    Section
    1. Policy. It is the policy of this Administration to rigorously enforce our immigration laws. Under our laws, the only legal way for an alien to enter this country is at a designated port of entry at an appropriate time. When an alien enters or attempts to enter the country anywhere else, that alien has committed at least the crime of improper entry and is subject to a fine or imprisonment under section 1325(a) of title 8, United States Code. This Administration will initiate proceedings to enforce this and other criminal provisions of the INA until and unless Congress directs otherwise. It is also the policy of this Administration to maintain family unity, including by detaining alien families together where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources. It is unfortunate that Congress’s failure to act and court orders have put the Administration in the position of separating alien families to effectively enforce the law.


    Sec
    . 2. Definitions. For purposes of this order, the following definitions apply:


    (a) “Alien family” means

    (i) any person not a citizen or national of the United States who has not been admitted into, or is not authorized to enter or remain in, the United States, who entered this country with an alien child or alien children at or between designated ports of entry and who was detained; and
    (ii) that person’s alien child or alien children.
    (b) “Alien child” means any person not a citizen or national of the United States who
    (i) has not been admitted into, or is not authorized to enter or remain in, the United States;
    (ii) is under the age of 18; and
    (iii) has a legal parent-child relationship to an alien who entered the United States with the alien child at or between designated ports of entry and who was detained.

    Sec
    . 3. Temporary Detention Policy for Families Entering this Country Illegally.

    (a) The Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary), shall, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, maintain custody of alien families during the pendency of any criminal improper entry or immigration proceedings involving their members.

    (b) The Secretary shall not, however, detain an alien family together when there is a concern that detention of an alien child with the child’s alien parent would pose a risk to the child’s welfare.
    (c) The Secretary of Defense shall take all legally available measures to provide to the Secretary, upon request, any existing facilities available for the housing and care of alien families, and shall construct such facilities if necessary and consistent with law. The Secretary, to the extent permitted by law, shall be responsible for reimbursement for the use of these facilities.
    (d) Heads of executive departments and agencies shall, to the extent consistent with law, make available to the Secretary, for the housing and care of alien families pending court proceedings for improper entry, any facilities that are appropriate for such purposes. The Secretary, to the extent permitted by law, shall be responsible for reimbursement for the use of these facilities.
    (e) The Attorney General shall promptly file a request with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to modify the Settlement Agreement in Flores v. Sessions, CV 85-4544 (“Flores settlement”), in a manner that would permit the Secretary, under present resource constraints, to detain alien families together throughout the pendency of criminal proceedings for improper entry or any removal or other immigration proceedings.

    Sec
    . 4. Prioritization of Immigration Proceedings Involving Alien Families. The Attorney General shall, to the extent practicable, prioritize the adjudication of cases involving detained families.


    Sec
    . 5. General Provisions.

    (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

    (i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
    (ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
    (b) This order shall be implemented in a manner consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
    (c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.


    DONALD J. TRUMP
    THE WHITE HOUSE,
    June 20, 2018.
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