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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

#1of11Million Campaign: Eleven Undocumented Adults to Request Deferred Action

Rating: 8 votes, 5.00 average.
IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 2014

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

DEFINE AMERICAN IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE NATIONAL IMMIGRATION LAW CENTER TO ANNOUNCE LEGAL NEXT STEPS OF DEFINE AMERICAN FOUNDER, JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS


(Washington, DC) - Define American in partnership with the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) will host a press conference to announce the launch of the
#1of11Million Campaign at 10:00am this morning. In an unprecedented move, eleven undocumented individuals will submit applications for deferred action while putting a spotlight on the complexities of immigration in America. These eleven individuals represent the stories of the 11.5 million undocumented Americans that reside in the United States. Stories can be submitted at http://bit.ly/1of11M



#1of11Million Coverage in New York Times, August 19, 2014 | “Advocates Seek to Delay Deportations for Millions” by Julia Preston


WHO: Eleven undocumented individuals from across America supported by Define American and the National Immigration Law Center.

WHAT: The eleven individuals submitted applications for deferred action to Secretary Jeh Johnson’s office at Homeland Security, which launches the national #1of11Million campaign.

WHEN: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 | 10:00am ET

WHERE: National Press Club (529 14th St. NW, Washington, DC)

WHY: Each of the 11 cases is one of eleven million undocumented individuals in America who could potentially be overlooked by any Executive Action issued by President Barack Obama. By highlighting their narratives, Define American and NILC intend to start a conversation and humanize the complexities of immigration in America.

NOTE: If you would like to be added to the press distribution list or attend the press conference, please email Maria Cruz Lee (maria@defineamerican.com).

Spokespeople Available for Comment:
Jose Antonio Vargas, Define American, Founder
Ryan Eller, Define American, Campaign Director
Shiu-Ming Cheer, National Immigration Law Center, Campaign Legal Advisor
Mony Ruiz-Vasquez, Campaign Legal Advisor

PARTICIPANTS:
Erika Aldape, Age 24 (Attorney: Rocio Alcantar)
Arrived in 1997 from Guadalajara, Mexico (17 yrs. in US, arrived at the age of 7)
Currently lives in Griffith, Indiana
Erika came to the United States at age 7 with a visitor’s visa. She does not qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals due to attending college in Mexico for three years from 2008 to 2011. She is not in any deportation proceedings and is affirmatively filing for deferred action as part of this campaign.

Maria Guadalupe Arreola, Age 55 (Attorney: Jose Peñalosa)
Arrived in 1998 from Durango Mexico (16 yrs. in US)
Currently lives in Mesa, Arizona
Guadalupe is the mother of prominent DREAMer activist, Erika Andiola. She fled to the United States after being physically abused by her husband. She came in search of of a better life for herself and her children. Earlier this year, Guadalupe was stopped and arrested by ICE agents. They put her on a bus to be deported to Mexico. Erika organized a national outcry which stopped Guadalupe’s deportation. She was given one year of deferred action but faces deportation orders this year.

Felipe Jesus Diosdado, Age 35 (Attorney: Mony Ruiz Velasco)
Arrived in 1997 from Morelia, Mexico (17 yrs. in US)
Currently lives in Chicago, Illinois
Felipe is a hard working family man and father to two United States citizens. He presented himself to the Illinois Secretary of State to apply for a Temporary Visitors Driver’s License (TVDL, which is legal in that state) and was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement due to an error by the Secretary of State Office. He has been in removal proceedings since May 2014. His union, SEIU Local 1 as well as Secretary of State Jesse White have written to ICE to advocate for a stay of deportation and deferred action for Felipe.

Maria del Rosario Duarte Villanueva, 54 (Attorney: Jonathan Eoloff)
Arrived in 2000 from Durango, Mexico (14 yrs. in US)
Currently lives in Albertville, Alabama
Maria del Rosario supports her three grandchildren, one of which needs constant medical support. Their parents were deported five years ago and she has been trying to legally adopt them. Maria originally fled to the United States to escape her abusive husband who followed her around the country and continued to assault her. She is affirmatively filing for deferred action as part of this campaign.

Michaela Graham, 52 (Attorney: Brigit Alvarez)
Arrived in 1986 from Hamburg, Germany (28 yrs. in US)
Currently lives in San Pedro, California
Michaela is the founder of Atlanta Underground Market and prides herself on supporting budding entrepreneurs. She first came on a work visa in January 1982. After going through a divorce, she returned to Germany in 1985, but then returned to the US when her company sent her to live in Houston in 1986. She is affirmatively filing for deferred action as part of this campaign.

Noemi Romero, 23 (Attorney: Shiu-Ming Cheer)
Arrived in 1995 from Villahermosa, Mexico (19 yrs. in US, arrived at the age of 4)
Currently lives in Glendale, Arizona
Noemi was arrested during a raid by Sheriff Joe Arpaio at her workplace and was charged with identity theft (under Arizona’s new laws those falsifying their own documentation for any purpose are charged with identity theft). This prevents her from qualifying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Since Noemi is undocumented, she used her mother’s work permit to get a job to help support their family. She was also working to save money for a lawyer to review her DACA application.

Eduardo Samaniego, 22 (Attorney: Charles Kuck)
Arrived in 2009 from Zacatecas, Mexico (5 years. in U.S., arrived at the age of 16)
Currently lives in Kennesaw, Georgia
Eduardo Samaniego is the Executive Director of Freedom House Georgia, an organization focused on advocacy for education and youth civic engagement (not affiliated with Freedom House International). He has been awarded a scholarship for this fall to attend Hampshire College and is currently being filmed as part of a documentary project. Eduardo is affirmatively filing for Deferred Action because he doesn’t qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Jose Antonio Vargas, Age 33 (Attorney: Mony Ruiz Velasco)
Arrived in 1993 from Antipolo, Philippines (21 yrs. in the US, arrived at the age of 12)
Currently lives in San Francisco
Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, filmmaker, founder of the nonprofit media and culture campaign Define American and a member of the LGBT community. Jose discovered he was undocumented at the age of 16 and is the only undocumented member of his family. He was apprehended at the airport in McAllen, Texas and issued a “Notice to Appear” in immigration court and is filing for deferred action. He has been in the United States since he was twelve and missed the age cut-off for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals by just months.

Yestel Velasquez, 38 (Attorney: Jennifer Rosenbaum, Julie Mao, Daniela Conde)
Arrived in 2005 from Honduras (9 yrs. in US)
Currently lives in New Orleans, Louisiana
Yestel Velasquez is a reconstruction worker from New Orleans, Louisiana who helped rebuild the city after Hurricane Katrina and a member of the Congress of Day Laborers and the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice. Yestel was arrested in May 2014 at an auto-body shop while getting his car repaired as part of a pattern of racial profiling based community raids coordinated with local law enforcement and relying on mobile biometrics devices. From detention, Yestel filed a civil rights complaint urging an investigation of the unconstitutional raid. In response, ICE granted him a 3 month stay of removal in detention. When Yestel spoke from detention at a civil rights briefing urging an end to these raids, ICE retaliated by revoking his stay and expediting his deportation. After public outcry, Yestel was finally released from ICE detention and granted a new one year stay of removal. He is affirmatively filing for deferred action as part of this campaign.

Aly Wane, Age 37 (Attorney: Mony Ruiz Velasco)
Arrived in 1985 from Dakar, Senegal (25 yrs. in the US, arrived at the age of 8)
Currently lives in Syracuse, New York
Aly Wane is an established community organizer in Syracuse, New York. He originally came to the US as the son of a diplomat that worked at the United Nations. He eventually traded his diplomat visa for a student visa and completed his studies with a BA in Political Science from Le Monye College in Syracuse. He missed the age cut-off for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and is filing affirmatively for Deferred Action consideration as part of this campaign.

Jong-Min You, 34 (Attorneys: Michael Ross, Jared Manes and Andrew Banks)
Arrived in 1981 from Seoul, South Korea (approximately 33 yrs. in the US, arrived at the age of 1)
Currently lives in Bensonhurst (Brooklyn), New York
Jong-Min You came to the United States as a child, under his parents’ student visas in 1981. Though he has a university degree, with honors, in sociology, with a concentration in criminal justice, and a minor in psychology, his undocumented status has prevented him from working in his desired fields. He currently manages the family grocery store, as well as, the two apartments that his parents rent out above his family’s property. Jong-Min has actively worked to raise awareness on immigration issues and appeared on the cover of Time Magazine as part of a group of undocumented immigrants featured in the cover article. Jong-Min narrowly missed the age cut-off for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and is filing affirmatively for Deferred Action.

Define American, founded by Jose Antonio Vargas in 2011, is a media and culture campaign using the power of story to transcend politics and shift conversation around immigration, identity, and citizenship in America. Learn more at www.defineamerican.com.

National Immigration Law Center defends and advances the rights and opportunities of low income immigrants and their family members. Learn more at www.nilc.org.

#1of11Million Campaign Coverage
August 19, 2014 | “Advocates Seek to Delay Deportations for Millions” by Julia Preston


###
Contact:
Maria Cruz Lee / Director of Communications and Engagement, Define American
(347) 882-3225 / maria@defineamerican.com

Adela de la Torre / Communications Manager, National Immigration Law Center
(213) 400-7822 / delatorre@nilc.org

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Comments

  1. Nolan Rappaport's Avatar
    I get the impression that no one is paying any attention to the warnings in my recent article, "Immigration activists are pressing President Obama to halt deportations for as many undocumented immigrants as possible. This is a 'be-careful-what-you-wish-for' situation."

    http://discuss.ilw.com/showthread.php?37303-Article-Immigration-activists-are-pressing-President-Obama-to-halt-deportations-for-as-many-undocumented-immigrants-as-possible-This-is-a-%93be-careful-what-you-wish-for%94-situation-By-Nolan-Rappaport
  2. Retired INS's Avatar
    This is ridiculous. In 2010 I received an advance copy of the policy memo that eventually became Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). I opposed it because it was against the purpose of deferred action, which is to address unusual and very extreme hardship. I was in management long enough to see the truly unusual humanitarian cases. DACA had few standards for hardship and certainly did not address unusual cases. Deferred Action has been around since the 1950s, but it was known as "Non-Priority" until the late 1970s. As an immigration manager, I recommended several cases for deferred action. However, there was no application process. This was discretionary on my part as an immigration manager. I still needed approval from my District Director and the Regional Director. Not all of my recommendations were approved.

    DACA may have an application process, but I don't think the adults should be able to apply. This should not even be with USCIS, since ICE and CBP enforce departure, not USCIS. Before DACA, an agreement had been reached that USCIS would not submit new deferred action cases. If I were in charge, I would refuse to accept the applications, not because I lack sympathy, but because it takes away the discretion of Homeland Security to decide this issue.
  3. MKolken's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Retired INS
    This is ridiculous. In 2010 I received an advance copy of the policy memo that eventually became Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). I opposed it because it was against the purpose of deferred action, which is to address unusual and very extreme hardship. I was in management long enough to see the truly unusual humanitarian cases. DACA had few standards for hardship and certainly did not address unusual cases. Deferred Action has been around since the 1950s, but it was known as "Non-Priority" until the late 1970s. As an immigration manager, I recommended several cases for deferred action. However, there was no application process. This was discretionary on my part as an immigration manager. I still needed approval from my District Director and the Regional Director. Not all of my recommendations were approved.

    DACA may have an application process, but I don't think the adults should be able to apply. This should not even be with USCIS, since ICE and CBP enforce departure, not USCIS. Before DACA, an agreement had been reached that USCIS would not submit new deferred action cases. If I were in charge, I would refuse to accept the applications, not because I lack sympathy, but because it takes away the discretion of Homeland Security to decide this issue.
    I tend to agree... in part.

    DACA does not go far enough. President Obama should extend parole in place to undocumented beneficiaries of immigrant visa petitions, regardless of whether there is a visa number immediately available. Why should we be deporting people that have either employment of family ties to this country? There is precedent for it as the law previously excused minor immigration law violations for individuals that were otherwise eligible to adjust but for an overstay or entry without inspection. See INA §245(i).

    Parole in place will allow the Department to determine on a case-by-case basis who should be permitted to remain in the United States. So long as clear standards are established I believe discretion will be exercised appropriately. Moreover, this will aid in proper enforcement as individuals with serious convictions and that are a threat to the United States will become discoverable through background checks that attach to the application process.
    Updated 08-22-2014 at 08:38 AM by MKolken
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