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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

Federal Judge Asked to Compel Disclosures About Deportation Interment Camps

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For Immediate Release
August 15, 2016,

Contacts: Armando Carmona, armando@ndlon.org, 951.966.6500; Angela Chan,angelac@advancingjustice-alc.org, 503.358.2795 (press only)

Immigrant Rights Groups Ask Federal Judge to Compel DHS Disclosures About Embattled Jail-Based Deportation Program
Pressure Grows on Obama Administration to Reconcile Conflicting Messages About Immigrant Rights, Criminal Justice Reform, and Transparency

New York City – In response to the refusal of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide information about promised reforms to its controversial jail-based deportation program, immigrant rights groups asked a federal judge Monday to compel urgent disclosures required under the Freedom of Information Act. The move comes as President Obama’s history of broken promises on immigration and transparency is coming into sharper focus in his final months in office, and he seeks to turn attention to criminal justice reform.

In November 2014, DHS formally ended the disgraced Secure Communities (S-Comm) deportation program, relying on entanglement with local law enforcement, and announced a new program, the Priority Enforcement Program, or PEP. Many of the details that led to the revolt against S-Comm were initially kept secret by the government and only uncovered as the result of prior FOIA litigation. Now DHS and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) again seek to keep from public disclosure—for years—critical information about its modified jail deportation program even as evidence increasingly suggests that the new program suffers from the same fatal flaws that led to the termination of S-Comm, and as there are increased calls for police to cease actions undermining police-community relations.

Tom Fritzsche, clinical teaching fellow at the Immigration Justice Clinic of the Cardozo School of Law, stated: “The Obama Administration has refused to provide basic information about a program that has radically altered not only immigrants’ relationship with local police, but also local law enforcement’s relationship with ICE.”

In support of the motion to urgently release information, the organizations provided more than a dozen declarations from lawmakers, organizations, and victims of the divisive program. These statements detail the devastating impact of the program on individuals, families and communities. In one declaration provided to the court, Xochitl Hernandez, currently imprisoned and facing deportation in Adelanto, California, described being taken into custody by ICE after an arrest by the LAPD, even though she does not fit any of DHS’ stated deportation priorities.

Policymakers explained the pressure imposed by DHS on lawmakers to toe the line regardless of legitimate concerns, the utter lack of oversight, and DHS’ blatant violations of its own rules. Cook County Commissioner Jesús “Chuy” García affirmed to the court that DHS “imposed public pressure” to urge his county to abandon a local policy intended to preserve family unity and protect against violations of the rights of immigrants.

New York City Council Member Carlos Menchaca added, “It is very important that we as New Yorkers have accurate information about how immigration enforcement is operating in our city. As chair of the immigration committee, I have serious concerns that PEP is continuing to harm communities.”

“DHS’ refusal to provide even basic information regarding its jail deportation program brings to light two of President Obama’s biggest broken promises—his promise to pass immigration reform and his pledge to be the most transparent administration in history,” said Emi MacLean, staff attorney at the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. She continued: “In reality, DHS under Obama has used coercion, misinformation, and deception to enlist local police as frontline immigration enforcers.”

“The President continues to boast that he is deporting ‘felons not families.’ This disregards the reality that felons have families,” said Angela Chan, policy director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus. “PEP further serves to doubly burden immigrant families by fusing together the worst elements of our mass deportation and mass incarceration systems.”

“The Obama Administration needs to be held accountable for the transparency of its policies,” said Anthony Diana, Partner at Reed Smith LLP who is co-counsel in the case. “Policymakers should have the information they need to effectively establish policies regarding immigration and the criminal justice system. Local communities should be able to access information to protect their residents from the impact of such policies, particularly when there is a fear of potential constitutional violations.”

The filing Monday comes the week after the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse reported that DHS has failed to live up to its promises in the rocky implementation of PEP—heavily targeting people with no or minimal criminal history and relying disproportionately on requests that local police hold people in custody beyond their release dates, a practice which federal courts have found to violate the constitution under S-Comm. Additionally, California lawmakers are considering a bill, the Truth Act, designed in part to provide greater information to immigrants and communities impacted by the deportation program.

NDLON, et al. v. ICE, et al. was filed in January 2016 by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus and the Immigration Justice Clinic of Cardozo School of Law. Reed Smith LLP is co-counsel. The complaint is available here.
###

Individual declarations that accompanied the motion are available in the following links:

http://ndlon.org/images/docs/Angelica Salceda ACLU Fresno Declaration - NDLON v. ICE.pdf
http://ndlon.org/images/docs/Angelica Salceda ACLU Fresno Declaration - NDLON v. ICE.pdf
http://ndlon.org/images/docs/Chris Newman Declaration - NDLON v. ICE.pdf
http://ndlon.org/images/docs/Chris Rickerd Declaration NDLON et al v ICE et al.pdf
http://ndlon.org/images/docs/Commissioner Chuy Garcia declaration - NDLON v. ICE.pdf
http://ndlon.org/images/docs/Councilmember Menchaca Declaration Declaration NDLON et al v ICE et al.pdf
http://ndlon.org/images/docs/David Grosso Declaration_NDLON-v-ICE_DC City Council.pdf
http://ndlon.org/images/docs/Felicia Arriaga Declaration - NDLON v. ICE.pdf
http://ndlon.org/images/docs/Fernando Lopez NOWCRJ New Orleans NDLON vs ICE_Declaration.pdf
http://ndlon.org/images/docs/Jamie Eldridge Letter - NDLON v ICE.pdf
http://ndlon.org/images/docs/Laura Polstein Declaration - FOIA litigation_8_11_16.pdf
http://ndlon.org/images/docs/Mia-lia Kiernan - Declaration NDLON et al v ICE et al.pdf
http://ndlon.org/images/docs/Saira Hussain Declaration NDLON et al v ICE et al.pdf
http://ndlon.org/images/docs/Xochitl Hernandez Declaration - NDLON v. ICE - FINAL.pdf

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Comments

  1. Nolan Rappaport's Avatar
    I am afraid that the present internment situation will get much worse if we have a series of terrorist attacks like the ones that have occurred in Europe. See The refugee crisis is being blamed for the terrorist attacks in Europe (August 2, 2016), http://www.ilw.com/articles/2016,0802-Rappaport.pdf

    Don't think such things happen in the US? Guess again. Why did the United States put more than 70,000 Japanese American citizens into internment camps during World War II? (July 21, 2016), http://discuss.ilw.com/content.php?6774-Article-Why-did-the-United-States-put-more- than-70-000-Japanese-American-citizens-into-internment-camps-during-W

    I know many people reading ILW.com hate Donald Trump, but keep this in mind -- He wants to implement effective immigration enforcement on the interior as well as on the border. Hillary Clinton would let compassion and a welcoming attitude towards immigrants restrict her enforcement program to serious criminals. If the terror attacks do occur and Trump is the president, people will be frightened and upset but they are likely to think that their president is doing everything that can be done to keep terrorists out of the control. If Hillary is the president, I predict that people will be extremely angry and feel betrayed by Hillary's liberal policies and demand extreme action, such as the Japanese American internment camps.

    Remember the Cuban Boat Lift? 124,000 Cubans were brought here illegally by American fishermen and other Americans who could get their hands on a boat and go to Cuba in it. And what did President Jimmy Carter do about it? During a televised interview, when he was asked what he was going to do about the boat lift, he said, "Continue to welcome them with an open heart and open arms!" Not hardly. My friend Way and I wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals on appeals from the boat fines that were imposed for bringing the Cubans here. The boats were seized when the fines couldn't be paid. It was a disaster for everyone except the Cubans who were able to stay in the US.
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    In answer to Nolan Rappaport's comment, my question would be: Is America going to become a nation of fear, prejudice and repression, one which throws away our democracy in exchange for an illusory security, or will we remain a constitutional republic governed by the rule of law and respect for the basic civil and human rights of everyone? America has been under many threats before, but, except for some major stains on our history such as a) the Chinese exclusion laws b) turning away Jewish refugees trying to escape from Hitler and c) Japanese WW2 relocation, we have mostly emerged with our values and freedoms intact.

    As Americans, let us not betray our values and trade in our freedoms in return for empty promises of safety from a would-be strongman.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  3. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Further to Nolan Rappaport's comment, I have read Matt Kolken's post and I don't anything indicating that the families being held in concentration camp like conditions about which the Obama administration refuses to release any information have been charged with terrorism. Nolan's attempt to change the subject of Matt's comment is totally off point.

    Answering every attempt to point out a violation o basic human rights in our immigration enforcement, deportation and incarceration systems with "terrorism!" "terrorism!" is not the way to have a better immigration system. Nor is it the way to preserve America's democracy.

    It may be a good way, however, to elect Donald Trump as America's Incarcerator-in-Chief - and not just for immigrants, as millions of American who refuse to dance to Trump's tune may find out.

    This is not to deny that America is facing a terrorist threat. It is only to say that this threat has nothing to do with the mistreatment and egregious large large scale violations of basic human rights that Matt is describing and which Trump threatens to carry out on a much larger scale that dictators such as Vladimir Putin, whom Trump has expressed some kind words for, might recognize and support, but which would mean the end of America's 240 year history of freedom.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law


    Updated 08-16-2016 at 09:06 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  4. Nolan Rappaport's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    In answer to Nolan Rappaport's comment, my question would be: Is America going to become a nation of fear, prejudice and repression, one which throws away our democracy in exchange for an illusory security, or will we remain a constitutional republic governed by the rule of law and respect for the basic civil and human rights of everyone? Roger Algase Attorney at Law
    You are raising a straw man argument again. The choice isn't between becoming a nation of fear, etc., and remaining a constitutional republic governed by the rule of law, etc. That choice has nothing to do with anything I said.
  5. Nolan Rappaport's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    Further to Nolan Rappaport's comment, I have read Matt Kolken's post and I don't anything indicating that the families being held in concentration camp like conditions about which the Obama administration refuses to release any information have been charged with terrorism. Nolan's attempt to change the subject of Matt's comment is totally off point.

    Answering every attempt to point out a violation o basic human rights in our immigration enforcement, deportation and incarceration systems with "terrorism!" "terrorism!" is not the way to have a better immigration system. Nor is it the way to preserve America's democracy.

    It may be a good way, however, to elect Donald Trump as America's Incarcerator-in-Chief - and not just for immigrants, as millions of American who refuse to dance to Trump's tune may find out.

    This is not to deny that America is facing a terrorist threat. It is only to say that this threat has nothing to do with the mistreatment and egregious large large scale violations of basic human rights that Matt is describing and which Trump threatens to carry out on a much larger scale that dictators such as Vladimir Putin, whom Trump has expressed some kind words for, might recognize and support, but which would mean the end of America's 240 year history of freedom.
    I wasn't responding to Mathew's complaint about the conditions under which Obama is detaining children. I don't like that situation either. In fact, I just wrote an article bringing to light the way Australia abuses child asylum seekers. s Australia abusing child asylum seekers? (August 15, 2016),
    http://discuss.ilw.com/content.php?6907-Article-Is-Australia-abusing-child-asylum- seekers-By-Nolan-Rappaport I don't think Roger read it.

    My point is that we should be careful not to abandon immigration law enforcement and border security. The terrorist threat could make that very costly. Apparently Roger didn't read my article on terrorism in Europe either. The refugee crisis is being blamed for the terrorist attacks in Europe (August 2, 2016), http://www.ilw.com/articles/2016,0802-Rappaport.pdf

    Europeans are blaming the flood of refugees for the terrorism that is striking randomly in every quarter of Europe. Trucks are running down crowds of people walking on a busy sidewalk. Teenage terrorists go into a church and cut the throat of an 85-year-old priest. The UK has pulled away from the rest of Europe and imposed border control to stop the flood of refugees into its territory. If the terrorism continues and gets worse, which are likely prospects, what do you think is going to happen to the refugees? Roger can talk about our constitution or apple pie and the American way, or anything else he wants to bring up, but he can't change the reality that the terrorism in Europe is headed our way unless Trump or someone else does something to make it difficult for them to come here. Right now, a terrorist who has never gone to Syria and anywhere else outside of Europe that is verbatim under the Visa Waiver Improvement Act can register online for the Visa Waiver Program and be on a plane to the US the next day where he will only receive a perfunctory inspection when he is admitted.
  6. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I commend and support Nolan for drawing attention to the abuse of children at an Australian detention center, which, according to a headline that I saw on August 17, is now about to be closed. I will look for the link.

    Nor is anyone arguing with Nolan's point that America needs to be vigilant about the threat of terrorism.

    But we also need to be vigilant about protecting our democracy against any politician who threatens to take away our freedom under the pretext of making this country safer.

    The famous Russian ballet dancer, Mikhail Bayshnikov, who defected to America in 1974 and became a naturalized US citizen 12 years later, has just announced in a video that even though he has never publicly supported any candidate before, he is backing Hillary Clinton for president, because, in Baryshnikov's words, Donald Trump is a "totalitarian opportunist" who "reminds me of the Soviet Union."

    Baryshnikov also said, talking of Trump:

    "Don't let that happen to our beautiful United States of America."

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/0...t-union-227093

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 08-17-2016 at 07:25 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  7. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Nolan Rappaport's argument seems to be that as Americans, we should not mind some restrictions on our freedom because Donald Trump will make America safer. 50 Republican former national security officials beg to differ, because they think that Trump himself would put our nation's security at risk.

    See:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/09/us...rump.html?_r=0

    No one will argue with the fact that Nolan Rappaport is a distinguished legal scholar with impressive Congressional staffer experience. But can he claim to have more experience or expertise on national security than these 50 former GOP national security officials put together?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  8. Marble India's Avatar
    Thank you, I've been seeking for info about this subject matter for ages and yours is the best I have discovered so far.Marble India
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