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  1. Immigration Court Backlog Nears 600,000

    by , 06-23-2017 at 09:37 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Syracuse University's TRAC:

    (16 Jun 2017) The latest data from the Immigration Courts show that the number of cases waiting for a decision continues to climb. As of May 31, 2017, the Court's backlog had risen to 598,943, whereas one year ago, at the end of May 2016, the backlog stood at 492,978. This is an increase of more than 100,000 cases just in the past 12 months.

    Most new cases filed in Immigration Court this fiscal year involve noncitizens charged by DHS with committing an immigration violation rather than involved in any criminal activity. For example, in only 1.7 percent of all cases were individuals charged as having committed an aggravated felony, while an additional 4.1 percent were charged with engaging in less serious criminal activity that allegedly made them deportable. Not a single person so far this year has been charged as being deportable because the individual endorsed or espoused terrorist activity, or were alleged likely to engage in terrorist activities.

    So much for Trump's pledge to deport bad hombres.

    Updated 06-23-2017 at 09:42 AM by MKolken

  2. Warning Advisory to Border Patrol of Gunbattles and Grenades on Southern Border

    by , 06-23-2017 at 09:33 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via the National Border Patrol Council:

    Recent events in Tamaulipas, Mexico, specifically in and around the city of Reynosa, pose a special risk to U.S. Border Patrol agents working in the region.

    The Reynosa faction of the Mexican Gulf Cartel recently lost its leader and the group is engaging in open warfare with Mexican authorities and possibly with rival factions or other transnational criminal groups. Open source reports indicate gunbattles and use of grenades and other explosives in the fighting.


    Border Patrol agents working the line in any station's area of operations immediately across the largely open border from Reynosa, Mexico, are advised to employ extra caution in the performance of their duties. Stray rounds from firearms have previously injured U.S. law enforcement personnel on the border.
  3. Federal Court Blocks Deportation of Iraqi Nationals

    by , 06-23-2017 at 08:13 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via the ACLU:

    June 22, 2017


    DETROIT — A federal court has blocked the immediate deportation of Iraqi nationals arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement earlier this month.

    The American Civil Liberties Union successfully sought the temporary restraining order, arguing those individuals should have an opportunity to prove their lives would be in danger if they were returned to Iraq.

    “The court took a life-saving action by blocking our clients from being immediately sent back to Iraq,” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, who argued the case. “They should have a chance to show that their lives are in jeopardy if forced to return.”

    The ACLU challenged the government after ICE agents arrested more than 100 Iraqis —including many who’ve been in the U.S. for decades — in recent raids throughout metropolitan Detroit. Those arrested include Christians and Muslims, all at risk of persecution in Iraq.

    “We are thankful and relieved that our clients will not be immediately sent to Iraq, where they face grave danger of persecution, torture or death. It would be unconstitutional and unconscionable to deport these individuals without giving them an opportunity to demonstrate the harm that awaits them in Iraq,” said Michael Steinberg, legal director of the ACLU of Michigan.

    The case was argued in the U.S. District Court/Eastern Michigan District.

    Updated 06-23-2017 at 10:05 AM by MKolken

  4. Federal Judge Halts Trump's Attempt to Betray Over 100 Iraqi Christians by Deportation Back to Danger or Death. Roger Algase

    The Guardian reports on June 22 that a federal judge in Detroit, Mark Goldsmith, has put a 14-day temporary hold on attempts by ICE to deport over 100 Iraqi Christians, many of whom have minor criminal convictions for which they finished serving their sentences long ago, to Iraq, where they face danger of severe persecution or even death at the hands of ISIS.

    The Detroit area Iraqis are now being incarcerated far away from their homes and their attorneys at an ICE detention center in Youngstown, Ohio, in an evident betrayal of Trump's campaign promises to protect Christians and other Middle Eastern religious minorities from persecution.

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2...troit-ice-raid

    See also: POLITICO, June 13:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/0...istians-239511

    Also, see my June 14 ilw.com comment on Trump's raids against Iraqi Christians.

    What could have possibly caused Trump to turn against a group of people who are arguably the most vulnerable of any in America to the same religiously inspired terrorist persecution and murder that Trump is now using as an excuse to justify his Muslim entry ban orders?

    As the ACLU's complaint in the above lawsuit, Hamama v. Adduccci (E.D.Michigan) states:

    "5. U.S. law prohibits the removal of individuals to countries where they would face a likelihood of persecution or torture. Yet despite the clear danger that many of these individuals face in Iraq, ICE is attempting to deport them based on outstanding removal orders that do not take into account of intervening changed circumstances which should entitle them to protection."


    One answer would be that Trump's promises to protect Christianity and Middle Eastern Christians in particular were never meant seriously. See a February 11 article by Lebanese American University teacher Halim Shebaya entitled:

    Is Trump a saviour for Middle Eastern Christians?

    Or is he a false prophet?

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opi...101826245.html

    The immediate reason, as also reported in the media, was Iraq's decision to reverse its previous policy of refusing to accept deportees from the US, as part of an apparent deal to be taken off the original list of seven Muslim countries whose citizens were banned from entering the United States.

    But there is a strong argument to be made that the deeper reason is Trump's own glorification of his mass deportation policies and evident desire to create a legacy as the president who expelled more Middle Eastern, Latino, Asian and black immigrants from America than any other U.S. president in history.

    As the great Iraqi poet, Al-Mutanabbi, wrote over 1,000 years ago:

    Wa taazumu fi 'ayn assaghir assagharuha,

    Wa tasgharu fi 'ayn al azim al-azaimu.

    "Small people think that their small actions are great,

    And great people think that their great actions are small."


    (I apologize for any imperfections in transliteration or translation - I am not a classical Arabic scholar.)

    Few people (other than, no doubt, top Trump administration officials such as Stephen Bannon and Jeff Sessions, who have both advocated a return to the Europeans-only policies of the infamous Johnson-Reed "national origins" immigration act of 1924) would argue that the president's attempt to expel up to 11 million unauthorized immigrants from America, no matter what the cost might be in human suffering, puts him among the second group of people whom this famous medieval Iraqi poet described above.

    The only comfort one can take is that the "Donald Trump Era" of persecution against minority immigrants in America will not last forever; and one day this country will return to its ideals and values as a nation that welcomes immigrants without regard to ethnicity, color, or religion; as embodied in the Statue of Liberty, and in the 1965 immigration reform law which is now under such great attack from the president's above inner circle of immigration advisers, and from Trump's supporters in the white nationalist movement.

    As Hafez, a world-famous poet from what is now a Middle Eastern country which Trump still has on his banned list, Iran, wrote in Persian in the 14th century:

    Yusofe gomgashte baz ayad be kanon: qam machor.

    Kolbeye ahsan shavad roozi golestan: qam machor.

    "Joseph, who was lost, will return to Canaan: do not grieve.

    The house of sorrows will turn into a garden: do not grieve."

    Could there possibly be a better description of immigration policy in Donald Trump's America?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law


    Updated 06-25-2017 at 04:52 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Criminal Prosecutions Referred by DHS Continue to Fall under Trump

    by , 06-22-2017 at 11:22 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Syracuse University's TRAC:

    The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during April 2017 the government reported 4,434 new criminal prosecutions as a result of referrals by the immigration and customs components in the Department of Homeland Security. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is down 17.5 percent over the previous month and down 42.9 percent from a year ago in April 2016. See Table 1.



    Table 1. Criminal Prosecutions Referred by
    Immigration and Customs Components of DHS
    Number April 2017 4,434
    Percent Change from previous month -17.5
    Percent Change from April 2016 -42.9
    Number December 2012 (peak) 10,708
    Percent Change from Peak -58.6

    The number of prosecutions include those referred by Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and joint task forces of DHS with state and local authorities. The long term trends, along with the month-to-month variation driven largely by seasonality in apprehensions along the southwest border, is shown more clearly in Figure 1.

    Since the latest data track prosecutions through April 2017 they do not as yet reflect the impact of the new priorities Attorney General Jeff Sessions promulgated in his April 11, 2017 memorandum to federal prosecutors calling for stepped up use of criminal sanctions in the immigration area.


    Click here for more of the report.

    Updated 06-22-2017 at 11:27 AM by MKolken

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