Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, makes the economic case for comprehensive immigration reform

ICE Officials Covering Up Immigrant Deaths in Detention

"ICE Officials Accused of Covering Up Immigrant Deaths in Detention

The New York Times reports federal officials have used their role as overseers to prevent the media from reporting deaths inside the nations immigration jails.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement now admit 107 immigrants died in ICE custody since October 2003, but for years the deaths went uncounted and unnamed in the public record. The Times revealed jail officials and federal workers strategized about how to keep information about the deaths and mistreatment from the news media.

In at least one case, jail medical personnel falsified a medication log in an effort to cover up the death of a twenty-two-year-old man from El Salvador.

In another case, ICE officials considered paying to send the body of a Guinean man back to his home country to deflect news coverage of the mans death in ICE custody. Some Bush administration era officials who played a role in the cover-ups remain in top posts in the Obama administration." -Democracy Now!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Death of Boubacar Bah in U.S. Immigration Detention

"The Obama administration has vowed to overhaul immigration detention, a haphazard network of privately run jails, federal centers and county cells where the government holds noncitizens while it tries to deport them.

But as the administration moves to increase oversight within the agency, the documents show how officials — some still in key positions — used their role as overseers to cover up evidence of mistreatment, deflect scrutiny by the news media or prepare exculpatory public statements after gathering facts that pointed to substandard care or abuse." ~Nina Berstein, New York Times published 1-9-10

My Client has been held in at the Elizabeth, N.J. Detention Facility for approximately six months. The moment he was taken into ICE custody he advised the detaining officers that he has a medical condition that requires ongoing treatment.

The Detention Facility in Elizabeth has ignored his repeated requests for treatment, and continues to hold him despite an urgent medical need. As a result of the deprivation of medical care my client has been unable to assist in his own defense, thereby depriving him of his right to a fundamentally fair hearing. We filed a motion to terminate his case which was denied by the Immigration Judge.

We are scheduled for another hearing this week on the issue of political asylum. My client has no criminal convictions, and has established a preliminary fear of persecution, and yet he languishes in immigration custody without his medicine.

It is both shocking and disgusting that this type of barbarism is allowed to continue and is covered up by the very animals that hold the keys to the cages.

What has our country come to?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Immigration Reform Can Bring $1.5 Trillion Economic Growth

"The current weak economy makes it all the more vital for the United States to enact comprehensive immigration reform that legalizes undocumented workers." ~Center for American Progress

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Immigration Advocates Cheer End of So-called 'Widow Penalty'

"U.S. lawmakers have approved a measure that would end what has become known as the -widow penalty- the government's practice of annulling foreigners' applications for permanent residency when their American spouses die within the first two years of the marriage. Immigrants' rights advocates are cheering the vote. Paige Kollock reports on one woman's struggle to gain legal status in the U.S." -VOAvideo