Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Trump Admin Says Schools Should Decide Whether to Report Undocumented Kids to ICE

Simply appalling.

Via Politico:

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Tuesday that it’s up to individual schools to decide whether to call U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement if they suspect their students are undocumented.

“That’s a school decision. It’s a local community decision,” DeVos said during testimony before the House Education and the Workforce Committee, adding that “we have laws and we also are compassionate.” Her comments came in her first-ever appearance before the education panel, lasting close to three and a half hours.


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Friday, May 18, 2018

End of Administrative Closure Undermines Due Process and Will Add to Court Backlogs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, May 17, 2018
AG's Latest Move Further Erodes the Independence of Immigration Judges
End of Administrative Closure Undermines Due Process and Will Add to Court Backlogs
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, in a precedent decision, the Attorney General of the United States announced that immigration judges and members of the Board of Immigration Appeals no longer have the authority to "administratively close" court cases before them, with the exception of cases that meet very narrow criteria. With this move, the Attorney General has eliminated a critical docket management tool, effectively ensuring that the immigration court system will remain encumbered with massive case backlogs well into the future.
AILA President Annaluisa Padilla responded, "In today's decision the Attorney General grossly misinterprets the law and disregards existing federal regulation and decades of immigration court practice. The Attorney General cherry-picked a case that is not reflective of the universe of cases that have been administratively closed and with the stroke of a pen, dismissed the inherent authority of judges to manage immigration court proceedings, an authority that has been recognized for more than 30 years and that the National Association of Immigration Judges strongly supports as a matter of court efficiency. Unfortunately, today's decision represents the first in a series of efforts by the Attorney General to singlehandedly rewrite immigration law."
AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson stated, "This decision is yet another effort by this administration to undermine due process in immigration proceedings. Due process demands that we maintain an immigration court system with independent judges who have the authority and flexibility to make decisions that are not only legally correct but are also grounded in fundamental fairness. Immigration judges use administrative closure for many legitimate reasons, including court efficiency. But it is also often employed when an immigrant is eligible for some type of legal status that can be pursued outside of court with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Forcing these cases through the court system while another agency is determining the person's eligibility for an immigration benefit wastes finite court resources that can and should be used on more pressing cases. Today's decision erodes judicial independence and strips due process from immigrants, turning the court into a machine for deportations rather than an arbiter of justice."
For more information about the immigration court system, AILA's page on the issue can be accessed at http://www.aila.org/immigrationcourts.
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The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 18051753.

Attorney General Rules on Administrative Closure of Deportation Cases

For the reasons set forth in the accompanying opinion, I affirm the Board’s order and remand for further proceedings. I hold that immigration judges and the Board do not have the general authority to suspend indefinitely immigration proceedings by administrative closure.
Accordingly, immigration judges and the Board may only administratively close a case where a previous regulation or a previous judicially approved settlement expressly authorizes such an action. Where a case has been administratively closed without such authority, the immigration judge or the Board, as appropriate, shall recalendar the case on the motion of either party.
I overrule Matter of Avetisyan, 25 I&N Dec. 688 (BIA 2012), Matter of WY-U-, 27 I&N Dec. 17 (BIA 2017), and any other Board precedent, to the extent those decisions are inconsistent with this opinion.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

District Judge Blocks Revocation of DACA Based on Misstatements of Fact

Via Slate:

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez shot down the federal government’s efforts to strip Daniel Ramirez Medina of his DACA status. Immigrations [Sic] and Customs Enforcement had arrested and detained Ramirez last year, then falsely claimed that he was affiliated with a gang and attempted to deport him. He filed suit, alleging that ICE had violated his due process rights. Martinez agreed. His order barred the federal government from voiding Ramirez’s DACA status, safeguarding his ability to live and work in the United States legally for the foreseeable future. What may be most remarkable about Martinez’s decision, though, is its blunt repudiation of ICE’s main claim—that Ramirez is “gang-affiliated.” The judge did not simply rule against ICE. He accused the agency of lying to a court of law.From the decision:

Most troubling to the Court, is the continued assertion that Mr. Ramirez is gang-affiliated, despite providing no evidence specific to Mr. Ramirez to the Immigration Court in connection with his administrative proceedings, and offering no evidence to this Court to support its assertions four months later. Dkts. #122-1, Ex. D and #129 at 20:20-21:7. Indeed, the Immigration Judge, after reviewing all evidence submitted by respondent, that Mr. Ramirez was credible, and that he was not in a gang or associated with one.

Click here
 to read the decision.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Trump wants an Immigration Oompa Loompa Now

Via The Hill:

President Trump on Tuesday demanded that Congress make progress on building his signature wall along the Mexican border, underlining his frustration with the lack of legislative progress on immigration.

During a visit to Capitol Hill, Trump called on Congress to beef up border security, crack down on so-called sanctuary cities and end the practice of “catch and release” immigration laws — a slate of ideas that have run into a buzz saw of opposition from Democrats.



“We are calling on Congress to secure our borders, support our border agents, stop sanctuary cities and shut down policies that release violent criminals back into our communities,” Trump said at an event outside the Capitol honoring fallen law enforcement officers. “We don’t want it any longer. We’ve had it. Enough is enough.”
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Rally Calling on New York Legislature to Support the One Day To Protect New Yorkers Act

On May 22nd, the Immigrant Defense Project, Fortune Society, and over 100 advocates and elected officials, are heading to Albany to hold a rally calling on the legislature to support the One Day To Protect New Yorkers Act – a bill that would reduce the maximum sentence for a Class A Misdemeanor by just one day, from 365 to 364.
This small change would give federal immigration judges the authority to exercise discretion in more deportation cases and would protect thousands of New Yorkers facing harsh immigration consequences stemming from a misdemeanor offense.
Please help us spread the word about the rally, and raise awareness of the bill, which could save many vulnerable individuals from being permanently separated from their families and communities. Here's the social media toolkit with sample messaging and graphics to share with your networks. 

Trump Administration Preparing to Take Refugee Children from their Mothers

Reminiscent of the Obama administration's strategy of jailing refugee mothers with children fleeing violence in deportation internment camps to "send a message," the Trump administration has decided to up the ante. The Washington Post reports that the Trump administration intends to rip immigrant children from the arms of their mothers when they arrive at our borders and detain them on military bases.

From The Washington Post:

According to an email notification sent to Pentagon staffers, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will make site visits at four military installations in Texas and Arkansas during the next two weeks to evaluate their suitability to shelter children.

The bases would be used for minors under 18 who arrive at the border without an adult relative or after the government has separated them from their parents. HHS is the government agency responsible for providing minors with foster care until another adult relative can assume custody.


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