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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

Congressman Gutierrez Responds to my Open Letter

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I just received the following response to my open letter to Congressman Gutierrez, and have been asked to post it here.

This is very helpful.  I was pushing back on the critics of President Obama and the GOP critics of the DREAM Act in Miami on the day of the Florida primary and I went too far.  I think we have made great strides with prosecutorial discretion and getting deportation cases of DREAMers closed, but to say categorically that they have stopped is overstating the reality, which he accurately points out.

I did say that if people know of cases, they should call us and I mean that. We are already working on a ton of cases for people facing deportation and are having much more success now than we ever did.  Take a look at the HuffPo piece I wrote on Martha's story in January (

People with a long time here or who came as children or who have significant equities in the U.S. and no serious criminal background are getting relief more often, but many are falling through the cracks, so I apologize for overstating it and will watch out for that in the future.

- LVG 

In addition to this response, Congressman Gutierrez has encouraged people to contact his office if you receive an unfavorable response to a request for exercise of prosecutorial discretion. 

Thank you Congressman for your response, and for championing fair and just immigration reform.  Your hard work is noticed, and is very much appreciated.

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  1. Lamo's Avatar
    In the beginning of luctere 13 Sam once again brought up an eye opening view that most of us would have never even thought about. The fact that, our ancestors and the first people to colonize America were in fact immigrants themselves. Instead of assimilating into the Native Americans culture, we killed them and took the land for ourselves. The more I thought about this, the more I realized that if I could go back in history, and change this, I wouldn t. America would not be even close to the way it is today if we had not taken this land for our own. The question for me is, if we had gone about it in a more civilized way, what would our country be like today. The Native Americans may have not been willing to share either. So I guess it was survival of the fittest. Even though it was not right. The one point that Sam made about Immigration and business was very educational for me as well. I have honestly never thought about immigration too much, or was never that educated on the subject. The story about the crops made me feel that immigration is needed because if people are paid under the table, then they can be paid salaries that are below minimum wage. Although I feel the need to do this to support our countries economy, I also see that exploiting any person is wrong. So its one of those double edge sword things for me. I know its not right, but it works. But going back to the slavery thing, freeing slaves caused us to pay for the services that they gave us for free. I guess it s different because immigrants choose to come to our country. But do they choose to be exploited? The other point that was discussed about immigration happening in waves made me laugh, because it kind of touched home for me. I moved to FL to help a company, but the guys who started the company used to live in Ocean City Maryland, and worked for the same company that I worked for there. When they wanted to hire people, they hired people who they knew, and trusted. So now there is a group of 12 of us all living in Fl, and we all are from Pa. or Md. Its funny because everyone knows us as the group that s all from Pa. or Md. So its kind of like we all immigrated to the same place because of opportunities, and the people that we knew. Its different than moving to another country, but as an analogy to what Sam was saying, we all moved in a wave to the same place. And we did it because of the networks that we had in this location.
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