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  1. Highlights from the Alien Incarceration Report for the Fourth Quarter of FY2017. By Nolan Rappaport

    I am only presenting highlights. You need to read the entire report to fully understand the significance of this data.

    Section 16 of President Trumpís Executive Order on Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States requires the DHS Secretary and the Attorney General to provide quarterly reports on the immigration status of aliens incarcerated under the supervision of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP); aliens incarcerated as federal pretrial detainees under the supervision of the United States Marshals Service (USMS); and of all convicted aliens in state prisons and local detention centers.

    A total of 58,766 known or suspected aliens were in in DOJ custody at the end of FY 2017, including 39,455 persons in BOP custody and 19,311 in the USMS custody. Of this total, 37,557 had been confirmed by ICE to be aliens (i.e., non-citizens and non-nationals), while 21,209 foreign-born people were still under investigation by ICE to determine alienage and/or removability.

    Among the 37,557 confirmed aliens, 35,334 (94 percent) were unlawfully present. This includes a 92 percent unlawful rate among 24,476 confirmed aliens in BOP custody and a 97 percent unlawful rate among 13,081 confirmed aliens in USMS custody.

    Information Regarding Immigration Status of Aliens Incarcerated Under the Supervision of the Federal Bureau of Prisons

    Out of the 185,507 inmates in BOP custody, 39,455 (21 percent) were reported by BOP as foreign-born. Further details regarding these 39,455 foreign-born inmates are as follows:


    • 20,240 (51 percent) were unauthorized aliens who are subject to a final order of removal;



    • 14,979 (38 percent) remain under ICE investigation;



    • 2,374 (6 percent) were unlawfully present and now in removal proceedings;



    • 1,852 (less than 5 percent) were lawfully present aliens but are now in removal proceedings; and



    • 10 were aliens who have been granted relief or protection from removal.


    Information Regarding the Immigration Status of Aliens Incarcerated as Federal Pretrial Detainees

    USMS identified 19,311 aliens and foreign-born inmates under ICE investigation detained at USMS facilities. Further details regarding these 19,311 foreign-born inmates are as follows:


    • 11,459 (59 percent) were aliens who are subject to a final order of removal;



    • 6,230 (32 percent) remain under ICE investigation;



    • 1,261 (6.5 percent) were unlawfully present and now in removal proceedings;



    • 358 (less than 2 percent) were lawfully present but are now in removal proceedings; and



    • 3 were aliens who have been granted relief or protection from removal.


    About the author. Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years; he subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years

    Updated 01-06-2018 at 09:00 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  2. ICE to Increase Worksite Immigration Enforcement Actions in Tennessee

    By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

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    Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), through Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), plans to increase worksite immigration enforcement actions across Tennessee in 2018, according to Robert Hammer, an assistant special agent in charge of HSI in Nashville, Tennessee. As previously reported, Thomas D. Homan, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has stated there will be 4 to 5 times increase in worksite enforcement actions, usually referred to as inspections, in 2018. See http://blogs.ilw.com/entry.php?10186...-Current-Level.

    Hammer made this statement after the indictment of 20 undocumented workers for using fake IDs to work in a sensitive air cargo area at Memphis International Airport.

    http://blogs.ilw.com/entry.php?10292...mented-Workers. Hammer also stated worksite immigration investigations will likely focus on "critical infrastructure," such as airports, defense contractors, food distribution and other businesses that have an impact on the general safety and welfare of the community. The emphasis on critical infrastructure is because the agency is making it one of its priorities.

    Although the Obama Administration greatly increased worksite immigration enforcement actions from 2009 through 2014, it curtailed these operations in the last two years of its administration. The Trump Administrationís increase will more than double the highest number of worksite immigration enforcement actions under the Obama Administration. Increased enforcement could have a big impact on companies and industries that use immigrant labor, especially in those states which do not require the use of E-Verify.

    If an employer receives a Notice of Inspection from ICE, its I-9 forms may show the employment of undocumented workers and the employer may have knowingly hired unauthorized workers, which is against the law. Alternatively, an employer may not have knowingly hired unauthorized workers but still those undocumented workers must be discharged (unless they quit) or the employer will be fined.

    If you want a full discussion of the possible criminal and civil sanctions against employers for violating immigration laws, I recommend you read my book, The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, which is available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0997083379. There are chapters dedicated to civil penalties and criminal sanctions for violating immigration laws.
  3. Arrested and Charged with Lying in an Asylum Case

    Last month, my client was arrested by the FBI and charged with visa fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. He stands accused of lying on his I-589 asylum application and at his asylum interview. The client was held for a day or two and then released with instructions to appear in federal court.

    If rich white guys can (theoretically) get into trouble for lying, you can too. So tell the truth!

    My client's case is both a cautionary tale and a sign of the times, so I wanted to discuss it here. But I am somewhat limited in what I can say, given that he has an active criminal case (not to mention a pending asylum case).

    The charging documents in the criminal case allege that my client traveled from his home country, Country A, to a third country, Country B, and registered with the United Nations using a UNHCR Refugee Resettlement Form ("RRF") in 2010. The RRF allegedly includes a photo of my client and contact information for him in Country B. The United Nations tried several times to reach the client in 2014 and 2015, but when he could not be reached, the UN closed his refugee resettlement case.

    The documents also allege that my client applied for a non-immigrant visa to the United States, and then came to this country in 2013. After arriving in the U.S., my client applied for asylum using form I-589.

    The asylum form, Part C, Question 2.B., asks whether "you, your spouse, your children, your parents, or your siblings ever applied for or received any lawful status in any country other than the one from which you are now claiming asylum?" If the answer is "yes," the applicant must provide "the name of each country and the length of stay, the person's status while there, the reason for leaving, whether or not the person is entitled to return for lawful residence purposes, and whether the person applied for refugee status or for asylum while there, and if not, why he or she did not do so." According to the charging document, my client did not inform USCIS that he applied for refugee status while in Country B. The FBI charges that he deliberately omitted this information in order to conceal his past travels or possible legal status in Country B.

    The charging documents also refer to my client's interview at the asylum office. According to the documents, the Asylum Officer asked whether my client had been in Country B, and he denied having ever been there.

    Based on the information on the form and his testimony at the interview, the charging documents allege that my client lied under oath, and that his lies constitute visa fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. ß 1546(a).

    Whether or not the government has a strong case against my client, and my own opinion of his case (and his veracity) are not issues I can discuss here. Instead, I want to talk about two other points. First, what this charge means for asylum seekers in general, and second, whether my client's criminal case represents a new trend from the Trump Administration or is simply business as usual.

    First, what does it mean that an asylum seeker can be charged with a crime for allegedly lying on his application? In fact, this is nothing new. The signature page of the asylum form clearly indicates (in language that no one ever bothers to read) that lying on the form carries criminal and immigration consequences, including possible imprisonment of up to 25 years.

    Frankly, I am not all that sympathetic to people who lie to obtain immigration status in the United States. Our asylum system was created to help people fleeing persecution. Asylum seekers who lie damage the integrity of that system and erode public confidence in the asylum process. Worst of all, they harm legitimate asylum applicants by causing their cases to move more slowly and by making asylum more difficult to win. Coming to a new country and requesting asylum comes with certain obligations, such as learning the rules of the new country and following those rules, and that is what asylum seekers must do.

    On the other hand, I do understand why some people lie. Many asylum seekers come from countries where the government is little more than a criminal institution. They have no faith in government because their life experience teaches them otherwise. To survive in such places, people must regularly lie to their governments or pay bribes to get things done. It's not surprising that when such people reach the U.S., they have little compunction about lying on their immigration forms.

    Further, many people coming to the United States are at the mercy of the community members they know who are already here. If such people are honest, informed, and willing to help, asylum seekers will get good advice. But if the community members happen to be dishonest or ill-informed, or if they are trying to take advantage of their countrymen (as happens all too often), the asylum seekers may be convinced to lie, even when it is against their own best interests. In many cases, the "lies" are grounded in naivete rather than mendacity. They are more a product of bad luck than moral turpitude. But the rules is the rules, and people who do not follow the rules may have to face the consequences.

    My second question is whether the criminal case against my client is a sign that the Trump Administration is ramping up prosecutions against asylum seekers?

    One anecdote does not a trend make. And as usual, the best source of statistical information is TRAC Immigration. TRAC's most recent report about prosecutions for immigration violations (current as of October 2017) reveals something of a mixed bag.

    Prosecutions for all immigration violations are up 3.4% from 2016, and such prosecutions have been on an upward trajectory since about April 2017, but they are still significantly below the peak period of immigration prosecutions in 2012. The vast majority of these prosecutions relate to Re-entry of a Deported Alien (8 U.S.C. ß 1326 - 1,551 cases filed in October 2017) and Bringing In and Harboring Certain Aliens (8 U.S.C. ß 1324 - 295 cases filed in October 2017). A minority of prosecutions (54 cases) were filed under 8 U.S.C. ß 1546 (the statute my client was charged under), and another dozen or so cases were filed based on other fraud-related charges (we do not know how many of these cases involved asylum seekers, and how many involved other types of immigration fraud).

    For comparison's sake, the most recent data shows that non-citizens are applying for asylum at the rate of about 12,000 per month (this only counts affirmative cases, not court cases), so only a very small percentage (about 0.6% at most--and probably much less) of asylum seekers are being criminally charged with fraud. Further, according to the TRAC data, the number of aliens charged under 8 U.S.C. ß 1546 has actually declined over the past year.

    So the short answer is probably that, while prosecutions for immigration fraud in general are on the increase, in absolute numbers, very few people are being charged, and there is (so far) no real evidence pointing to an increase in prosecutions for asylum fraud. Of course, the best way to ensure that you don't defy the odds and end up in criminal court is to tell the truth.

    Originally posted on the Asylumist: www.Asylumist.com.

    Updated 01-03-2018 at 08:38 AM by JDzubow

    Tags: asylum, fbi, fraud Add / Edit Tags
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