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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal


  1. Reps. Roybal-Allard, Gutiérrez, Lofgren: Family Detention Must End

    by , 07-15-2015 at 09:03 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    July 14, 2015
    Benjamin Soskin (Rep. Roybal-Allard) 202-225-1766
    Peter Whippy (Rep. Lofgren) 202-225-3072
    Douglas Rivlin (Rep. Gutiérrez) 202-225-8203

    Reps. Roybal-Allard, Gutiérrez, Lofgren Statement on ICE Release of Some Detained Families

    Washington, DC – Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez (IL-04), and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) today issued the following statement regarding an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announcement that some mothers and children seeking refuge at our borders will be released from detention facilities:

    “ICE recently announced that it was releasing families from detention on bond, ankle bracelets, or orders of supervision if they have passed credible and reasonable fear interviews. This is a very important step in the right direction. However, we remain strongly convinced that no family – regardless of status – should be housed in jail-like facilities for any length of time.

    “During our visit to Texas detention facilities, we met with mothers and children who described the trauma of being held in jail-like conditions, even for short periods of time. Luis Zayas, Dean of Social Work at the University of Texas, has said that the trauma of detention can be observed in children who have been detained for as little as two or three weeks.

    “We greatly appreciate the steps DHS is taking to limit detention for families, but we believe that family detention in its current form must end completely and unequivocally.”

    Reps. Roybal-Allard, Gutiérrez, and Lofgren are leading critics of policies that detain women and children seeking refugee protection in the United States in jail-like facilities, and they have been joined by a majority of House Democrats in calling for an end to family detention. There have been many recent reports of lengthy detention, serious medical concerns, and significant developmental delays in children.

  2. Immigration Hanging Judge Allegedly Deports 99.9% of Detained Immigrants

    by , 07-14-2015 at 10:21 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    It has been alleged that an immigration judge assigned to the detained immigration court in the Rolling Plains Regional Detention Center in Haskell, Texas denies 99.9 percent of all applications for relief from deportation. It has been further alleged that the judge has not granted a single individual relief from removal in the first five months of 2015, and only 8 persons were granted relief in almost 5 years.

    Immigration lawyer Bryan Johnson of the firm of Amoachi & Johnson has filed a motion for the judge to recuse himself from presiding over his client's case. In the motion he argues that the judge is a political appointee, with no immigration law experience prior to his appointment to the immigration bench, and that his decisions are a product of his Republican ideology.

    Here is a redacted copy of the motion:

    Redacted recusal from Bryan Johnson
  3. Rep. Roybal-Allard Fighting to End Family Detention

    by , 07-09-2015 at 12:24 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    July 9, 2015
    Ben Soskin
    (202) 225-1766

    Rep. Roybal-Allard Statement at Subcommittee Markup of FY 2016 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill

    Washington, DC – Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), the Ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, today delivered the following statement at the Subcommittee’s markup of the Fiscal Year 2016 Homeland Security Appropriations bill. The bill passed the Subcommittee on a voice vote.

    “Mr. Chairman, let me begin by thanking you for the extent to which you and your staff have included me and my staff in the development of your mark. You fully considered our comments, suggestions, and proposals, and accommodated us when you could. We also worked together to reach compromises wherever possible. While we did reach consensus on many issues, there are things on which we still disagree, and I hope as the legislative process moves forward, we can continue to work on these differences and hopefully craft a bill the President will sign.

    “One of my concerns is that with the end of the fiscal year fast approaching and few legislative days remaining, if a new budget agreement isn’t reached soon, we will face a very predictable crisis in September. We all know that now, rather than later, we should be working towards a new budget agreement.

    “Having said that, considering the budget he was given, I want to reiterate my compliments to the Chairman on most of the choices he made in developing this bill. The allocation he started with is $2 billion below the President’s request, and $337 million below the current year. This means certain high-priority activities are not adequately funded. For example, with a higher allocation, the bill could provide the full request for Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grants, which help reduce the impact of future disasters, and it could provide the full request for flood mapping, which is critical for ensuring communities can plan development in ways that minimize flood risks. These are common-sense programs that merit additional federal investment.

    “Another example of the impact of an inadequate allocation is the failure of the bill to provide the requested funding level for the new DHS headquarters, already under construction on the St. Elizabeth’s campus in Southeast DC. Earlier this year, the Department revised its plan for St. Elizabeth’s to consolidate the footprint and reduce costs. It makes no sense to build half the headquarters. Further delays will only cost us more in the long run.

    “Another issue is the continuation of a provision setting an arbitrary minimum of 34,000 available ICE detention beds. This limits ICE’s flexibility in managing its enforcement and removal resources in response to changing circumstances. It also limits ICE’s flexibility to use cheaper, alternative forms of supervision when appropriate.

    “ICE detention is not intended to be punitive. It is civil detention, for the purpose of ensuring attendance at immigration court hearings — and potentially removal — for those determined to be flight risks or a danger to public safety.

    “Perhaps the most significant area of disagreement in the bill is the funding for the continued use of family detention. I have personally seen ICE’s two largest family detention facilities, and have talked to the women and children incarcerated there.

    “Facilities like those at Karnes and Dilley are simply not appropriate places for families. These women and children are not flight risks or dangers to our communities. Most have come here intentionally to submit an application for asylum in accordance with our immigration laws. Instead of detention, we should be using less costly, non-detention forms of supervision, such as the ATD program or release on bond or parole.

    “I am pleased the report prioritizes ICE’s planned family ATD initiative. This will help families navigate the immigration court process and link them to support services. To ensure the success of this program, it is critical for ICE to select qualified service providers who have the proper training and disposition to support these families.

    “The bill also includes new general provisions that I believe to be unnecessary. One would prohibit Citizenship and Immigration Services from implementing the DAPA and expanded DACA programs while the federal court injunction remains in place. Since CIS has no intention of violating the injunction, the need for this provision is unclear.

    “Another provision in the bill is one we have seen added to other bills this year. It would have the effect of reversing the President’s modest loosening of the trade embargo with Cuba. This means travelers returning to the United States from Cuba could no longer bring back up to $400 worth of merchandise for personal use. This is an issue for the authorizing committee, and has no place in our bill.

    “More importantly, these provisions make our job harder by unnecessarily complicating the already difficult path facing our appropriations process this year.

    “These areas of disagreement are very important, but notably, they are relatively few. On most aspects of the bill and report, there is bipartisan agreement. The mark before us maintains the current funding levels for the first responder and anti-terrorism grants, emergency management grants, firefighter grants, and grants for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program – all of which are vitally important, and share broad bipartisan support.

    “The bill also increases funding for critical Coast Guard acquisitions to recapitalize aging assets; maintains funding for the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties; fully funds the proposed increase for the Secret Service to begin addressing the Protective Mission Panel recommendations; provides additional funding for ICE investigations into child exploitation, human trafficking, financial crimes, and drug smuggling; and restores funding to maintain the current number of University Centers of Excellence.

    “I particularly commend the Chairman on his continued efforts in the bill and report to push the Department to develop and institutionalize more rigorous, consistent, and comprehensive processes for planning, budgeting, acquisition, evaluation, joint requirements, and operational coordination. Secretary Johnson has been our partner in pushing the Department to mature, and he needs the support and direction contained in the chairman’s mark to do it.

    “It is my hope we can reach a point in the process where bipartisan agreement extends to the whole bill, based on an allocation that is sufficient to address all of the Department’s requirements. In the meantime, I want to again underscore my appreciation for the efforts of the Chairman and his excellent staff to work with the Minority throughout the bill-drafting process.”

  4. Report: The Criminalization of Immigration in the United States

    by , 07-08-2015 at 03:18 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    For Immediate Release

    The Criminalization of Immigration in the United States
    Immigrants are (still) less likely to commit serious crimes or be behind bars than the native-born

    July 8, 2015

    Washington D.C. - Today, the American Immigration Council releases the report, The Criminalization of Immigration in the United States by Walter A. Ewing, Ph.D., Daniel E. Martínez, Ph.D., and Rubén G. Rumbaut, Ph.D. The report is a sequel to our 2007 report and confirms that anecdotes are simply no substitute for hard data. For years, the quantitative data has established two key facts with respect to the relationship between immigrants and crime: immigration is associated with lower crime rates and immigrants are less likely than the native-born to be serious criminals.

    The new report also describes the ways in which U.S. immigration laws and policies are driven by misconceptions and have re-defined the notion of “criminal” as it applies to immigrants. As a result, our immigration enforcement programs are designed to round up even long term residents whose only infraction is being undocumented.

    To view the report in its entirety, see:

    To view a blog post on the report, see:


    For press inquiries, contact Wendy Feliz at or 202-507-7524
  5. Memorandum Regarding Care of Transgender Immigrant Detainees

    by , 06-30-2015 at 08:37 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    A June 19, 2015, memorandum providing guidance regarding the care of transgender immigrant detainees has been released.

    Here is the propaganda:

    “The Transgender Care Memorandum reaffirms ICE’s commitment to provide a safe, secure, and respectful environment for all those in our custody, including those individuals who identify as transgender,” said ICE ERO Executive Assistant Director Thomas Homan. “We want to make sure our employees have the tools and resources available to learn more about how to interact with transgender individuals and ensure effective standards exist to house and care for them throughout the custody cycle.”

    The memorandum includes the following:

    • Data Systems: appropriate data systems will be updated to record an individual’s gender identity, assisting the agency in data collection and informed decision-making.
    • Identification and Processing: comprehensive officer training and tools will be provided to ensure an individual’s gender identity can be identified early in the custodial life cycle to ensure care in accordance with the new guidance.
    • Housing Placements: the memorandum includes a voluntary ICE detention facility Contract Modification that calls for the formation of a facility-based multidisciplinary Transgender Care Classification Committee that will be responsible for making decisions related to searches, clothing options, housing assignments, medical care, and housing reassessments for transgender individuals.

    It should be noted that the transgender and undocumented protester spoke out of turn on June 24, 2015, five days after the memorandum was allegedly signed by Executive Associate Director Thomas Homan. Wouldn't it have been a better choice for the President to have announced the signing of the memorandum that addressed her concerns, rather than attacking her shamelessly?

    And Mr. President, that's the taxpayers' booze you've been drinking at the "People's House" while the rest of your supporters drink the cool aide.

    Click here to read the full memorandum.

    Updated 06-30-2015 at 08:40 AM by MKolken

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