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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal


  1. This Grandmother is an Obama Deportation Priority

    by , 04-11-2016 at 07:25 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via NPR News:

    Maria Sanchez is a 63-year-old widow, grandmother of three and a legal permanent resident who has lived and worked in Sonoma County, Calif., for more than 40 years.

    But she has also come close to being deported. Four years ago, Sanchez was almost separated from her family here in the U.S. for a crime she committed in the late 1990s. Hers is a story that brings up one of the most volatile issues in this election season — immigration, and by extension, deportation.

    President Obama has said he wants to prioritize the deportation of immigrants with criminal records. In 2014, he stressed that immigration agents would target "felons, not families." Sanchez's situation, however, reveals that some immigrant felons are not what they seem. And many may still have a strong case for remaining in the United States.

  2. Obama Already Implementing Trump Muslim Immigration Plan

    by , 04-08-2016 at 08:52 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    Anywhere between 70 and 100 immigrant detainees seeking asylum from political violence in the United States were deported back to India, Bangladesh, and Nepal on Sunday night, according to Fahd Ahmed, the executive director of the immigrant advocacy group Desis Rising Up & Moving (DRUM). Ahmed said that the majority of the Bangladeshi detainees are Muslim, and about half of the other deported detainees are Sikh.

    Because of their religious and political beliefs, being forced to return to their home countries could mean harsh treatment or even death for some these asylum seekers. Bangladeshis are especially at risk of danger if they’re affiliated with the opposition party. In India, Sikhs are vulnerable to the growing unrest and violence in the Punjab region.

    The article quotes Ahmed: “The reality is that the current administration has been implementing those policies already for keeping those immigrants out and setting higher standards for both South Asian immigrants and Muslim immigrants... From our perspective, it’s actually the practice of such policies which set the tone for anti-Muslim or anti-immigrant sentiments to rise. Because it provides a stamp of legitimacy to that sort of bigotry.”

    Maybe it is time Democrats stop worrying about what a hypothetical Trump Presidency would look like, and turn their attention to what the Obama administration continues to do to Muslims with impunity.

    Wishful thinking.
  3. ACLU Sues Obama Admin Over Unattainable Bonds For Poor Detainees

    by , 04-07-2016 at 06:58 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    The ACLU of Southern California has sued the Obama administration over setting excessively high bonds for detained immigrants who don't have the financial ability to afford release. The lawsuit argues that setting excessively high "full cash" bonds without consideration of an individual's ability to pay, or the adequacy of an alternative bond or alternative conditions of supervision, violates the right to due process, equal protection guarantee of the Fifth Amendment, and the Eighth Amendment’s Excessive Bail Clause.

    Click here to view the lawsuit.
    Tags: aclu, bond, lawsuit Add / Edit Tags
  4. 21 Charged with Fake Student Visa Scheme

    by , 04-06-2016 at 07:46 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested twenty-one brokers, recruiters, and employers accused of conspiring to fraudulently maintain student and foreign worker visas through a “pay-to-stay” New Jersey college. The individuals have been charged with conspiracy to commit visa fraud and making a false statement. A conviction for conspiracy to commit visa fraud and making a false statement has a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge of conspiracy to harbor aliens for profit and H1-B Visa fraud has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $250,000 fine.

    Via U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement:

    NEWARK, N.J. — Twenty-one brokers, recruiters, and employers were arrested Tuesday from across the United States, who allegedly conspired with more than a thousand foreign nationals to fraudulently maintain student and foreign worker visas through a “pay-to-stay” New Jersey college. The arrests resulted from an extensive probe led by U.S. Immigration and Custom's Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

    “While the United States fully supports international education, we will vigorously investigate those who seek to exploit the U.S. immigration system,” said ICE Director Sarah R. Saldaña. “As a result of this operation, HSI special agents have successfully identified and shut down multiple operations which have abused the student visa program.”

    “Individuals engaged in schemes that would undermine the remarkable educational opportunities afforded to international students represent an affront to those who play by the rules. These unscrupulous individuals undermine the integrity of the immigration system,” said Terence S. Opiola, special agent in charge of HSI Newark. “Our special agents are committed to identifying and addressing fraud in order to better protect the system as a whole.”

    “Pay-to-Stay schemes not only damage our perception of legitimate student and foreign worker visa programs, they also pose a very real threat to national security,” said Paul J. Fishman, New Jersey United States Attorney. “Today’s arrests, which were made possible by the great undercover work of our law enforcement partners, stopped 21 brokers, recruiters and employers across multiple states who recklessly exploited our immigration system for financial gain.”

    According to court documents, the defendants, many of whom operated recruiting companies for purported international students, were arrested for their involvement in an alleged scheme to enroll foreign nationals as students in the University of Northern New Jersey, a purported for-profit college located in Cranford, New Jersey (UNNJ). Unbeknownst to the defendants and the foreign nationals they conspired with, however, the UNNJ was created in September 2013 by HSI special agents.

    Through the UNNJ, undercover HSI agents investigated criminal activities associated with ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), including, but not limited to, student visa fraud and the harboring of aliens for profit. The UNNJ was not staffed with instructors or educators, had no curriculum, and conducted no actual classes or education activities. The UNNJ operated solely as a storefront location with small offices staffed by special agents posing as school administrators.

    UNNJ represented itself as a school that, among other things, was authorized to issue a document known as a “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status for Academic and Language Students,” commonly referred to as a Form I-20. This document, which certifies that a foreign national has been accepted to a school and would be a full-time student, typically enables legitimate foreign students to obtain an F-1 student visa. The F-1 student visa allows a foreign student to enter and/or remain in the United States while the student makes normal progress toward the completion of a full course of study in an SEVP accredited institution.

    During the investigation, HSI special agents identified hundreds of foreign nationals, primarily from China and India, who previously entered the U.S. on F-1 non-immigrant student visas to attend other SEVP-authorized schools. Through various recruiting companies and business entities located in New Jersey, California, Illinois, New York, and Virginia, the defendants then enabled approximately 1,076 of these foreign individuals – all of whom were willing participants in the scheme – to fraudulently maintain their nonimmigrant status in the U.S. on the false pretense that they continued to participate in full courses of study at the UNNJ.

    Acting as recruiters, the defendants solicited the involvement of UNNJ administrators to participate in the scheme. During the course of their dealings with undercover agents, the defendants fully acknowledged that none of their foreign national clients would attend any actual courses, earn actual credits, or make academic progress toward an actual degree in a particular field of study. Rather, the defendants facilitated the enrollment of their foreign national clients in UNNJ to fraudulently maintain student visa status, in exchange for kickbacks, or “commissions.” The defendants also facilitated the creation of hundreds of false student records, including transcripts, attendance records, and diplomas, which were purchased by their foreign national conspirators for the purpose of deceiving immigration authorities.

    In other instances, the defendants used UNNJ to fraudulently obtain work authorization and work visas for hundreds of their clients. By obtaining this authorization, a number of defendants were able to outsource their foreign national clients as full-time employees with numerous U.S.-based corporations, also in exchange for commission fees. Other defendants devised phony IT projects that were purportedly to occur at the school. These defendants then created and caused to be created false contracts, employment verification letters, transcripts, and other documents. The defendants then paid the undercover agents thousands of dollars to put the school’s letterhead on the sham documents, to sign the documents as school administrators, and to otherwise go along with the scheme.
    All of these bogus documents created the illusion that prospective foreign workers would be working at the school in some IT capacity or project. The defendants then used these fictitious documents fraudulently to obtain labor certifications issued by the U.S. Secretary of Labor and then ultimately to petition the U.S. government to obtain H1-B visas for nonimmigrants. These fictitious documents were then submitted to the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS). In the vast majority of circumstances, the foreign worker visas were not issued because USCIS was advised of the ongoing undercover operation.

    In addition, starting Tuesday, HSI Newark is coordinating with the ICE Counterterrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit (CTCEU) and the SEVP to terminate the nonimmigrant student status for the 1,076 foreign nationals associated with UNNJ, and if applicable, administratively arrest and place them into removal proceedings.
  5. Obama Has Spent $834 Million on Deportation Charter Flights Since 2009

    by , 03-31-2016 at 09:54 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Amoachi and Johnson:

    "From 2009 to 2016, you will see how much Immigration and Customs Enforcement paid private aviation companies on a year-by year basis.

    As you can see
    , from 2009 to 2014, the Obama administration’s payments for deportation flights increased with every year as follows: 2009: $49 million; 2010: $104 million; 2011: $106 million; 2012: $129 million; 2013: $130 million; 2014: $165 million.

    In Fiscal Year 2015, the first year after DHS Secretary Johnson’s November 20, 2014 'priorities' memo, spending precipitously dropped by $72 million from the previous year and the lowest since 2009, Obama’s first year office."

    Approximately half-way through Fiscal Year 2016 the Department of Homeland Security has spent $57,354,014.00 on contracts to private companies through Immigration and Customs Enforcement Enforcement and Removal Operations for deportation charter flights.

    Click here for the original blog post.

    Updated 03-31-2016 at 09:58 AM by MKolken

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