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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

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  1. U.S. Citizen Taken into Immigration Custody For Protesting Trump

    by , 03-21-2016 at 10:03 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)


    From the video's description courtesy of Puente Arizona:

    "Jacinta Gonzalez was released from ICE headquarters this morning after being held overnight at 4th avenue jail and transferred over to ICE. She was one of three protesters that were arrested during the shutdown trump action. Though the other two protesters Ben and Mike were released at approximately 1 AM this morning Ms. Gonzalez, a woman of Latino surname was put on an ICE “hold” instead of released on her own accord after judge insisted that should happen at her arraignment.

    “Because my last name is Gonzales I was questioned by ICE and placed on a detainer, I was transferred to immigration custody, it just proves we have to continue to fight for our communities and fight for the families like the ones that I saw inside” said Ms. Gonzales."
  2. EOIR Swears in Eight Immigration Judges

    by , 03-18-2016 at 09:46 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Monday, March 14, 2016

    FALLS CHURCH, VA – The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) today announced the investiture of eight immigration judges. Acting Chief Immigration Judge Print Maggard presided over the investiture during a ceremony held March 11, 2016, at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C.

    After a thorough application process, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Raisa Cohen, Evalyn P. Douchy, D’Anna H. Freeman, Rebecca B. Jamil, Elise M. Manuel, R. Reid McKee, Vernon B. Miles, and Morris I. Onyewuchi to their new positions.
    “We are pleased to welcome these appointees to the immigration judge corps,” said Maggard. “We look forward to continuing to hire more qualified people to fill these important positions in public service.”

    Biographical information follows.

    Raisa Cohen, Immigration Judge, New York City Immigration Court

    Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Judge Raisa Cohen to begin hearing cases in March 2016. Judge Cohen earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2002 from Baruch College, City University of New York Zicklin School of Business, and a Juris Doctor in 2007 from St. John’s University School of Law. From September 2015 to February 2016, and previously from April 2009 to September 2014, Judge Cohen served as assistant chief counsel for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in New York. From October 2014 to September 2015, Judge Cohen was an attorney at Cohen & Cohen Law Group PC, in New York. From 2007 through 2009, Judge Cohen was an immigration attorney at the Law Firm of Ted Sofer, in New York. Judge Cohen is a member of the New York State Bar.

    Evalyn P. Douchy, Immigration Judge, New York City Immigration Court

    Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Judge Evalyn P. Douchy to begin hearing cases in March 2016. Judge Douchy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1992 from Binghamton University and a Juris Doctor in 1995 from New York Law School. From 1997 to February 2016, she served as assistant chief counsel for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in New York. From 1996 through 1997, she was an associate at the Law Offices of Anil Jethmalani & Timothy Herrick, in New York. From 1995 through 1996, she was a lawyer at the Law Office of Mark S. Drucker in Jackson Heights, N.Y. Judge Douchy is a member of the New York State Bar.

    D’Anna H. Freeman, Immigration Judge, Pearsall Immigration Court

    Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Judge D’Anna H. Freeman to begin hearing cases in March 2016. Judge Freeman earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1988 from Baylor University, a Master of Public Health in 1995 from the University of Texas Health Science Center, and Juris Doctor in 2004 from the University of Houston Law Center. From 2007 to February 2016, Judge Freeman served in various capacities for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, including: as assistant chief counsel from 2013 to 2016, in Dallas; as senior attorney from 2010 through 2013, in Livingston, Texas; and as assistant chief counsel from 2007 through 2010, in Eloy, Ariz. From 2006 through 2007, she was a partner at Forrest & Harrison LLC, in Houston. From 2005 through 2006, she served as an attorney at Dunbar, Harden & Benson LLP, in Houston. From 2004 through 2005, she operated the Law Office of D’Anna Harrison, in Houston. Judge Freeman is a member of the State Bar of Texas.

    Rebecca B. Jamil, Immigration Judge, San Francisco Immigration Court

    Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Judge Rebecca B. Jamil to begin hearing cases in March 2016. Judge Jamil earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1998 from Stanford University and a Juris Doctor in 2006 from the University of Washington Law School. From 2011 to February 2016, Judge Jamil served as assistant chief counsel for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in San Francisco. From 2006 to 2011, she served as staff attorney in the Research Unit, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in San Francisco. Judge Jamil is a member of the Washington State Bar.

    Elise M. Manuel, Immigration Judge, Newark Immigration Court

    Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Judge Elise M. Manuel to begin hearing cases in March 2016. Judge Manuel earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1983 from Northwestern University and a Juris Doctor in 1987 from Georgetown University Law Center. From 1991 to February 2016, Judge Manuel served in various capacities on the Board of Immigration Appeals, Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Department of Justice, including: as a temporary board member from 2012 to 2016; as an attorney-advisor from 2008 through 2012, from 1998 through 2005, and 1991 through 1995; as a team leader from 2005 through 2008; and as a senior panel attorney from 1995 through 1998. From 1987 through 1991, she was a staff attorney for the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago. Judge Manuel is a member of the Illinois State Bar.

    R. Reid McKee, Immigration Judge, Pearsall Immigration Court

    Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Judge R. Reid McKee to begin hearing cases in March 2016. Judge McKee earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1997 from the University of Alabama, a Master of Arts in Social Sciences in 1998 from the University of Chicago, and a Juris Doctor in 2003 from the University of Mississippi School of Law. From 2010 to February 2016, Judge McKee served as assistant chief counsel for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. From 2009 through 2010, he was the manager of R. Reid McKee PLLC, in Madison, Miss. From 2003 through 2009, he was an associate at Watkins and Eager PLLC, in Jackson, Miss. Judge McKee is a member of the Mississippi and Tennessee Bars.

    Vernon B. Miles, Immigration Judge, San Antonio Immigration Court

    Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Judge Vernon B. Miles to begin hearing cases in March 2016. Judge Miles earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1980 from the University of Mississippi, a Juris Doctor in 1983 from Howard University School of Law, and a Master of Laws degree in 1992 from the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s School. From 1995 to February 2016, Judge Miles served in various capacities for the U.S. Department of Justice, including: as a trial attorney in the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section, Criminal Division, from 2014 to February 2016, in Washington, D.C.; as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Office of the U.S. Attorney from 2003 through 2014, in San Juan, Puerto Rico; as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Office of the U.S. Attorney from 1998 through 2003, in Oxford, Miss.; and as a civil appellate trial attorney in the Office of Immigration Litigation from 1995 through 1998, in Washington, D.C. From 1985 through 1994, he served in various capacities in the U.S. Marine Corps, including: as assistant officer-in-charge, defense attorney and prosecuting attorney in the Naval Legal Service Office Detachment from 1992 through 1994, in Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico; as deputy staff judge advocate, chief defense counsel and chief legal assistance officer in the 3d Force Service Support Group from 1989 through 1991, in Okinawa, Japan; and as prosecuting attorney, defense attorney and chief legal assistance attorney in the 2d Force Service Support Group from 1985 through 1989, in Cherry Point, N.C. From 1983 to 1985, he served in various capacities for the North Mississippi Rural Legal Services, including as managing attorney and staff attorney. Judge Miles is a member of the Mississippi Bar.

    Morris I. Onyewuchi, Immigration Judge, Port Isabel Immigration Court

    Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch appointed Judge Morris I. Onyewuchi to begin hearing cases in March 2016. Judge Onyewuchi earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1990 from Georgia State University, a Juris Doctor in 2002 from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University, and a Master of Studies in International Human Rights Law in 2010 from the University of Oxford in Oxford, U.K. From 2002 to February 2016, Judge Onyewuchi served as assistant chief counsel and trial attorney for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Judge Onyewuchi is a member of the State Bar of Texas.

    - EOIR -
    The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is an agency within the Department of Justice. Under delegated authority from the Attorney General, immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals interpret and adjudicate immigration cases according to United States immigration laws. EOIR's immigration judges conduct administrative court proceedings in immigration courts located throughout the nation. They determine whether foreign-born individuals—whom the Department of Homeland Security charges with violating immigration law—should be ordered removed from the United States or should be granted relief from removal and be permitted to remain in this country. The Board of Immigration Appeals primarily reviews appeals of decisions by immigration judges. EOIR's Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer adjudicates immigration-related employment cases. EOIR is committed to ensuring fairness in all of the cases it adjudicates.
  3. Attorney General Has No Explanation on Statement That Kids Can Represent Themselves

    by , 03-11-2016 at 10:34 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Senator Patrick Leahy on an immigration judge's statement that a 3-year-old child can represent themselves in immigration court: "I've never heard such a stupid, stupid, stupid thing from a judge or anybody else."

  4. This is What a Toddler Looks Like When They Are Forced to Play Lawyer

    by , 03-09-2016 at 04:28 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    In response to Judge Jack. H. Weil's claim that toddlers are capable of learning how to represent themselves in a deportation proceeding, immigration lawyer Amy Maldonado created a YouTube page with a collection of videos showing exactly what it looks like when a three-year-old plays lawyer, and hilarity ensues.

    From the Description:

    Immigration Judge Jack Weil stated in sworn testimony that three and four-year-old immigrant children (who don't speak English) can learn immigration law well enough to represent themselves against trained ICE trial attorneys/prosecutors, as reported by the Washington Post.

    In response, immigration lawyer moms, dads, uncles and grandparents around the country have done mock immigration court hearings with their three and four year old kids. Here are the adorable video results, to emphasize the truly terrible plight of unrepresented toddlers in immigration court who are expected to proceed without a lawyer or advocate.















    Updated 03-11-2016 at 09:00 AM by MKolken

  5. The Democrats and For-Profit Prisons Make Strange Bedfellows

    by , 03-09-2016 at 09:20 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The following was originally published on Latino Rebels:

    In 1996, President William Jefferson Clinton signed sweeping immigration reform legislation into law: the “Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act” (IIRAIRA). Two of the law’s central components were the creation of mandatory detention of certain immigrants charged with criminal grounds of removal, and the establishment of a program that permits state and local law enforcement to arrest, detain and interrogate noncitizens believed to be in violation Federal immigration laws.


    These two components paved the way for the expansion of the cottage industry of jailing immigrants in for-profit private prisons.


    Once the 1996 law was in place, President Clinton took the advice of then senior advisor Rahm Emanuel, who devised a strategy for the President to “achieve record deportations of criminal aliens.” In just two years after signing the law, the Clinton administration nearly doubled the number of immigrants held in immigration detention, and by 1998 the average number of immigrants held in deportation jails increased from 6,785 to 15,447.


    Flash forward to 2009. Hillary Clinton’s “friend and mentor” former Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) added language to the Department of Homeland Security’s annual spending bill that required the Federal government to “maintain a level of not less than 34,000 detention beds” at all times. This is commonly referred to as the “detention bed quota,” and needless to say the Obama administration endeavored to fill every single bed.


    As the number of detained immigrants increased, a corresponding increase in the length of time it takes to process an individual through the deportation process also occurred. In many instances, it takes months for a detained immigrant to get their day in court to assert defenses to removal. Furthermore, because of mandatory detention, no immigration judge has the jurisdiction to release a detained immigrant while they are fighting their case. This has led to an annual cost of $2 billion to taxpayers, or approximately $5.5 million per day.


    Not to be outdone, and rather than making good on his campaign promise to make immigration reform a top priority of his first term, President Obama appointed Emanuel as his Chief of Staff and proceeded to establish an artificial 400,000 per year deportation quota that resulted in the detention of noncitizens on a scale that has never been seen before, with the President now being labeled “the Deporter-in-Chief.”


    By 2012, the private prison industry, one of the main beneficiaries of this detention strategy, had fully wrapped its tentacles around the Democratic Party—blanketing them in a mutually beneficial quid pro quo for Democratic support of policies that increased profitability. For example, Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz notoriously sided with the Corrections Corporation of America over her constituents concerning the construction of a for-profit prison to jail immigrants.


    But it doesn’t end there. In 2013, Senate Democrats spearheaded new immigration reform legislation called the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.” It was sold to the American public as commonsense immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented. In reality, it was designed as a windfall for the private prison industry. Moreover, the pathway to citizenship was little more than a Lucy-held football due to a series of barriers to legalization that would result in a large percentage of the undocumented population failing to achieve lawful permanent resident (green card) status, let alone citizenship, and ultimately once again facing the prospect of incarceration and deportation.



    The Congressional Budget Office scored the 2013 law, estimating that it would cost $3.1 billion to detain, prosecute and incarcerate offenders from 2014 to 2023. The federal prison population was also expected to increase by 14,000 inmates annually by 2018 at a cost to taxpayers of $1.6 billion over a decade.

    In 2014, the Democrats lost the Senate, and there were whispers that Republicans intended to introduce immigration reform legislation that would cure the onerous 3- and 10-year bars created in President Clinton’s law that trapped the undocumented population inside the United States, preventing legalization and subjecting them to the possibility of detention and removal. If successful, Republicans would have greatly reduced the number of individuals inside the United States unlawfully, sharply cutting into the profitability of the private prison industry, while also being cast as champions of the undocumented community in advance of the 2016 Presidential election.


    When the Democrats lost the Senate, despite Republicans pleading with President Obama to wait for Congress to act, he enacted a series of executive actions that had the end result of killing any prospect of immigration reform, and further cementing the public’s perception of Republicans as obstructionists.


    Now we are on the eve of the 2016 Presidential election, and the private prison industry has become a central focus of the Democratic primary, with Bernie Sanders vowing to put an end to the “private, for-profit prison racket.” Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, countered Sanders, returning the money her campaign received from the private prison industry and also making a $8,600 donation to a women’s prison charity, or roughly the equivalent of two minutes of a single speech to Wall Street bankers. What she neglected to mention is that despite the token donation, the Clinton campaign still benefits from lobbyists from the for-profit prison industry, and her policy of refusing donations only includes direct donations to her campaign, but not donations to her super PACs or State and Federal Democratic committees.


    For example, before the Clinton campaign said it would no longer take money from the private prison lobby, an October 2015 VICE article reported that the campaign had received as much campaign money as Marco Rubio’s campaign from groups affiliated with private prison companies:


    It is hard to predict where we will be once we have a new occupant in the White House. But what has become abundantly clear is that until we do, Democrats will continue to keep the focus on Republicans using sleight-of-hand misdirection to prevent us from discovering that when you pull back the covers, you will find a strange bedfellow cozied up next to them in the Lincoln Bedroom, and a private prison industry checkbook on the nightstand.

    ***
    Matthew Kolken is an immigration lawyer and the managing partner of Kolken & Kolken, located in Buffalo, New York. His legal opinions and analysis are regularly solicited by various news sources, including MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, The Washington Post, Forbes Magazine, and The Los Angeles Times, among others. You can follow him @mkolken.

    Updated 03-09-2016 at 09:38 AM by MKolken

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