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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal


  1. Obama Admin Terminates 430K Health Care Plans Citing Unresolved Immigration Status

    by , 09-09-2015 at 10:09 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 9, 2015

    Andrea Alford;; 703-477-1075
    Nery Espinosa;; 214-263-1294

    Obama Administration Terminates 430K Health Care Plans, Citing Unresolved Immigration Status and Citizenship Inconsistencies

    National Immigration Law Center demands HHS fix immigration status and citizenship verification process

    WASHINGTON —The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced yesterday that, this year alone, 430,000 individuals who shopped for health insurance in the federal Obamacare Marketplace were stripped of their health care plans due to unresolved immigration status or citizenship inconsistencies. Last year, HHS terminated approximately 212,000 Marketplace plans for the same reason. Since then, immigrants’ rights and health care groups have been asking HHS for more detailed information and data related to these types of data-matching problems but have yet to receive a satisfactory response from the Obama administration.

    Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

    “With the third year of open enrollment for Obamacare around the corner, there is absolutely no excuse for any eligible American family to be denied or lose their health care coverage as a result of HHS’s ongoing systemic failings. The majority of these immigrants attempted, often repeatedly, to submit the appropriate documentation needed to resolve the inconsistencies but faced barriers such as not being notified about what they needed to submit in a language they could understand. As a result, thousands of immigrants who depend on these plans for their health and wellbeing have lost their plans for avoidable reasons that have not been adequately addressed by HHS.

    “For more than a year we have been working tirelessly to secure information about the agency’s verification process, and have yet to receive a satisfactory response from either HHS or the Obama administration. It is unacceptable that HHS has failed to address a flawed system that keeps too many eligible immigrants and their families from accessing the care they deserve and rely on. The problem must be addressed and rectified immediately so that immigrant mothers, fathers, and workers can get the health care they need.”
  2. Obama Admin Still Not Targeting Serious Criminals

    by , 09-01-2015 at 05:56 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    From Syracuse University's TRAC Immigration:

    "According to ICE detainer-by-detainer records released to TRAC, during April 2015 only about one third (32%) of individuals on whom detainers were placed had been convicted of a crime. And only 19 percent had a felony conviction. Fully two-thirds had no criminal conviction of any type (see Figure 2). This contrasts sharply with the announced goal that, unless an individual "poses a demonstrable risk to national security," "ICE should only seek transfer of an alien in the custody of state or local laws enforcement" when that person had been "convicted of specifically enumerated [serious] crimes." [Emphasis supplied.]

    Data for April 2015 thus provide little evidence that ICE has begun to limit detainer requests to individuals with serious convictions, let alone to persons convicted of at least some minor offense. If anything, the trend has since moved opposite what might have been expected based on the new directive. Individuals with criminal convictions have become significantly less common among detainers issued during April 2015 than they were during the FY 2012 — FY 2013 period. As TRAC has reported, during that period half of detainers issued were for individuals with a criminal record, not just one third. An even smaller percentage — roughly one in five — had a felony conviction in either period. This seems to stand at odds to what is called for in Secretary Johnson's directives."

    TRAC also found that "fewer than one out of every five detainers seem to have met the 'special circumstances' set out under Secretary Johnson's directive; this is virtually unchanged from what was observed for the period from FY 2012 through the first four months of FY 2013."

    In sum, and as I predicted, the Obama administration's "deportation priorities" aren't worth the paper they are written on.
  3. Is this the Origin of Donald Trump's Position on Birthright Citizenship?

    by , 08-28-2015 at 09:31 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    "If making it easy to be an illegal alien isn't enough, how about offering a reward for being an illegal immigrant. No sane country would do that. Right? Guess again. If you break our laws by entering this country without permission and give birth to a child we reward that child with U.S. citizenship and guarantee a full access to our public and social services this society provides, and that's a lot of services. Is it any wonder that two-thirds of babies born at taxpayer expense at county run hospitals in Los Angeles are born to illegal alien mothers?" ~Senator Harry Reid

    Updated 08-28-2015 at 09:34 AM by MKolken

  4. Decision Ordering Release of Immigrant Children from Deportation Jails

  5. Court Orders Prompt Release of Immigrant Children from Family Detention

    by , 08-24-2015 at 10:43 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    For Immediate Release

    August 24, 2015

    Washington, D.C.

    The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Immigration Council (Council) welcome a decision released Friday evening by U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee in Flores v. Lynch, No. 85-04544 (C.D.Ca.), which ruled that children should generally be released from detention within five days—preferably to a parent, including a parent with whom they were apprehended. The government must implement the Court’s ruling byOctober 23, 2015.

    “There is no denying that the government has breached the Flores settlement agreement. The status quo is unacceptable, and the government must take immediate and dramatic steps to end family detention,” said Victor Nieblas Pradis, AILA President. “Our CARA Project* staff and volunteers submitted numerous declarations to the Court showing how the government is still detaining accompanied minors in secure, unlicensed facilities. It can no longer hide from the American people the ugly truth of how it treats children fleeing persecution,” said Nieblas. “Just as striking is how the Court condemned the ‘deplorable’ conditions in temporary border jails. They do not meet even minimal standards for safe and sanitary conditions,” said Nieblas.

    “This decision will bolster our efforts to end the inhumane practice of detaining children and their mothers,” according to Melissa Crow, Legal Director of the American Immigration Council. “The Court chastised the government for ‘unnecessarily dragging their feet’ in releasing children from family detention facilities and for repeating the same arguments they had raised in earlier briefing, which she had already rejected. Judge Gee also scoffed at government warnings that the swift release of children and mothers could spur another mass migration of Central American families, characterizing them as ‘speculative at best, and, at worse, fear mongering.’” Crow added, “Although the Court gives the government some latitude to exceed the five-day limit ‘in the event of an emergency or influx of minors into the United States,’ the decision emphasizes that this should be the exception, not the rule. It’s time for the government to stop making excuses and harming innocent children and their mothers.”

    “AILA and the Council will be watching every step the government takes. We expect it to follow this federal court’s order with no less zeal than it did obeying the Texas district court’s DAPA decision,” said Nieblas, referring to the extraordinary efforts the government made to comply with the injunction against the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents process and the planned expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process.

    The recent ruling in Flores follows from a July 24, 2015, decision, in which the Court concluded that the government was in violation of the terms of the original Flores settlement, which was intended to ensure the proper care of children in immigration custody. In July, the Court had ordered the government to release children subject to the settlement agreement, but gave the government an opportunity to respond to the Court’s ordered remedy. The government’s response fell far short.


    Press inquiries, please contact:
    George Tzamaras, American Immigration Lawyers Association, 202-507-7649,
    Wendy Feliz, American Immigration Council, 202-507-7524,
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