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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

Immigration Lawyer Reminds us of the Brutality of the Obama Administration

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Via immigration lawyer Bryan Johnson:

For those with short memories, here is a glimpse through my eyes when Obama brutally tortured thousands of immigrant children, including many of my clients.

Through my eyes in the height of Obama's policy of torturing immigrant babies:

11. In July 2014, I worked for the release of a one-year old detained in the Artesia Detention Center. The child had become seriously ill on two separate occasions. The child had previously been rushed to children’s hospital in Roswell, New Mexico with suspected tuberculosis. He was finally diagnosed with viral pneumonia and discharged with medical instructions to be kept away from others with any symptoms of illness of any kind. The baby was not kept isolated as required and soon developed a high fever and serious cough. I immediately sought release for the baby and his mother because of his medical condition. DHS denied my request. It took me another six weeks of work before DHS agreed to release the baby and his mother on a $10,000 bond.

12. In September 2014, I began representing another family in detention. The mother and her daughter had been the victim of serious abuse by the girl’s father. The abuse which including burning, rape, and beatings, was nothing short of torture. Even with the clear evidence of this abuse, DHS resisted any bond for the girl and her mother. After nearly a month, the immigration court granted the family release on bond. The hearing on the family’s claim for asylum is set for August 26, 2015. I represent this family pro bono.

13. Later in October 2014, I began representing another family which had been detained in the Artesia center. The child, a 7-year old boy, had been raped by an older boy at the facility. Despite reporting the abuse, no investigation was conducted for nearly three months while the family remained in the same detention facility with the perpetrator of the abuse. And during this time, DHS continued to resist any provision for release of the victim and his family. Former counsel was finally able to secure their release by a court ordered bond in the amount of $10,000.

14. I began representing another client after her family was released from detention. The 4-year old had suffered shocking medical neglect while detained. The girl had become very ill. She had high fever and extensive tooth decay. She and her mother were placed in solitary confinement for nine days. Finally, the girl had to be rushed to an emergency room at San Antonio Methodist Children’s hospital where she was diagnosed with pneumonia. She required extensive emergency oral surgery as well.

15. Upon her return to the detention center, she was placed in isolation with her mother again for several days. The family was finally released from the detention center on bond secured by former counsel.

19. My client had been detained at KCRC with her 4-year old son since October, 2014. I learned that many pregnant women were also being detained at KCRC. L.B. had attempted to kill herself by slitting her wrist. In response, she was stripped of her clothing; separated from her young son; restrained in a straitjacket; and placed in isolation for two days. She received no meaningful medical attention and other than a brief video interview, she received no psychological assessment or treatment. Her son remained detained in the KCRC under the supervision of prison guards and was detained in the evenings in medical isolation rooms. He was only given one-hour visitation with his mother on three days following her isolation. On June 7 at 4:00 p.m., all phone and internet communication at the KCRC were cut off. Phone and internet communications did not return until 10:00 a.m. on June 8. It was early in the morning that day, June 8, that L.B Thereafter, my client and her son were taken to a motel in a remote, undisclosed location. They were detained there until early the following day, June 9. Early that morning, they were taken on a bus with approximately ten other Honduran mothers and children to a government airport. Later that morning, my client and her son, along with the other Honduran families were removed to Honduras by plane.

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  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    These are indeed horrific stories of inexcusable abuse of children in immigration detention under President Obama's administration - while being held together with their parents, unless I am missing something in these histories.

    The fact that Donald Trump is now taking the abuses of President Obama's administration even one step further by forcibly and systematically tearing crying, screaming, terrified children who in some cases are barely old enough to talk away from their mothers as officially announced immigration policy - something which is very arguably a form of torture for both parent and child - is even more horrific and alarming evidence that America is trampling on the most basic and elementary of human rights - the parent child relationship - in the "Trump Era."

    To watch a horrifying video of US Border Patrol agents ripping an unauthorized immigrant mother away from her screaming and crying children as part of Donald Trump's campaign of terror against Latino and other non-white immigrants, see:

    For more on the differences between President Obama and Donald Trump regarding family separation at the US border, see: Kristie de Pena of the Niskanen Center, May 31:

    What everyone has gotten wrong about family separation

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 06-02-2018 at 12:01 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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