Monday, October 31, 2011

DREAMer Shamir Ali Faces Deportation to Bangladesh

The following information was taken from about DREAMer Shamir Ali who is being held in immigration detention in Miami, and faces an imminent threat of deportation to Bangladesh.

Click here to sign the petition that asks the Obama administration to stop his deportation.
Shamir Amirali Ali was picked up during a workplace raid yesterday and was taken into custody by immigration. He is a kind and humble leader and his dream has always been to go to college. Shamir can be deported to Bangladesh as early as today because of a previous deportation order.
Since yesterday, he has been transferred to an immigrant jail and now awaits his deportation to Bangladesh, a place he left as a young child. His only hope is if enough people stand up against his unjust deportation. Please take a moment to sign this petition for the immediate release and cancelation of Shamir's deportation.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Waiver Approved for 5 Years

Ten years ago our Canadian citizen client misrepresented his reason for wanting to enter the United States.  This misrepresentation was discovered by immigration officials, and he was summarily removed at the border via an expedited removal order. A willful misrepresentation of a material fact is a lifetime bar from the United States, and as such our client is permanently inadmissible to the country. Thereafter, we were retained.

We applied for a nonimmigrant waiver of inadmissibility for him so that he could enter the United States for business and pleasure as a nonimmigrant. We showed that he accepted responsibility for his actions and that he was completely rehabilitated. We submitted a legal brief on his behalf. The waiver was approved for a period of two years for multiple entries.

This year we reapplied for him, and his waiver was approved for five years, which is the longest period of time a nonimmigrant waiver of inadmissibility may be approved for under the regulations.

Although our client has permission to come to the United States, he must still establish that he is coming for legal purposes, and he must continue to renew his waiver for the rest of his life.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Powerful new documentary that depicts the reality of post-9/11 racial profiling

"Early one morning, Maria—then nine months pregnant—and her family were stopped by the police for no discernible reason. A special breakfast outing became a nightmare—and at one of the most intimate moments of her life, Maria found a team of immigration agents—not her husband—by her side.

Maria's chilling story is the centerpiece of "Checkpoint Nation? Building Community Across Borders," a powerful new documentary that depicts the reality of post-9/11 racial profiling — as mandated by laws such as SB 1040 in Arizona, which are now being imitated and implemented nationwide — along with the new and strengthening alliances of diverse groups committed to racial justice.

Set in the U.S./Mexico border area near Tucson, Arizona, a region that sees more and more migrant deaths every year, the video explores the idea that the way to move forward is to find connections and build coalitions among between diverse groups of allies — including Muslim-, South Asian-, African-, and Latino-Americans; civil rights lawyers and media activists — that have identified with each other's histories and united in the common goals of justice, equality, and respect for all." - 

Deportation Terminated, I-601 Waiver Approved, and Green Card Issued despite Convictions and False Claim to United States Citizenship

Our client is a native and citizen of Nigeria. He entered the United States from Canada as a visitor/no class. After he was admitted, he was unfortunately convicted on two separate occasions of criminal charges. In addition, he applied for a United States passport, using documents showing that he was born in the United States, which was untrue.

The Department of Homeland Security issued a Notice to Appear in the Immigration Court charging him with removal for having been convicted of two crimes involving moral turpitude.  At that point, we were retained.
After the institution of removal proceedings, our client married his United States citizen girlfriend. We prepared and submitted a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on their behalf, along with a request for a bona fide marriage exemption (required because the marriage was entered into after the institution of removal proceedings).  We were able to obtained administrative closure of the Immigration Court proceedings while USCIS determined whether the I-130 Petition should be approved. USCIS ultimately determined that the marriage was real, and approved the Petition.

Upon the approval of the Petition for Alien Relative, we requested that the Immigration Court terminate the proceedings so that he would be able to file an application for adjustment of status (“green card” application).  We successfully argued that dispite the fact that our client made a false claim to United States citizenship, he remained eligible to apply for his Green Card because his application for a passport occurred prior to the enactment of the law making it a ground of inadmissibility.

The Immigration Judge granted our request, and the Immigration Court proceedings were terminated. We then prepared and filed a Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status, on our client’s behalf. However, because of his criminal convictions, our client is inadmissible to the United States and therefore ineligible to adjust his status without the granting of a waiver of his inadmissibility.

As a result, we prepared a Form I-601 waiver application on his behalf, showing that it would be an extreme hardship to our client’s United States citizen wife, and their two United States citizen children, if he were deported and they were forced to either remain in the United States without him, or to relocate to Nigeria to be with him.

We demonstrated that our client’s wife and children would experience extreme hardship because of their close ties to this country; their lack of family ties outside the United States; the conditions in Nigeria; their lack of ties to Nigeria; the financial impact of departure from this country, and our client’s wife’s psychological condition. We also argued that the negative factors in his case – his criminal convictions – were outweighed by the extreme hardship that his wife and children would suffer.  

While the applications were being considered our client was granted employment authorization so that he was able to work and support his family. After consideration of our legal brief and supporting documentation, USCIS granted the Form I-601 waiver, and issued our client a Green Card!

Holder Bashes Alabama Immigration Law

NPR Report: In The Rush To Deport, Obama Administration Expelling U.S. Citizens

What Deportation Policy Change? Obama Administration Continues to Deport "Low-Priority" Immigrants

Elise Foley of the Huffington Post reports that Shamir Ali, a 25-year-old native of Bangladesh, is currently in immigration detention facing deportation. advocate Felipe Matos comments on the Obama administration's alleged shift in deportation priorities:

"This is another broken promise by the Obama administration," "He promised us that he was not going to deport people that are deemed low-priority. This detention center could be full of people like Shamir."

Appeals have been made to the administration to favorably exercise discretion in Ali's case.  ICE's response was that they are "unable to exercise discretion at this time."

As I predicted, unless your case garners national media attention, if you are in the United States without authorization and you are encountered, this administration will seek to deport you.

Click here for more "Change you can believe in."

Hispanic voters are Disillusioned with Obama's Record Deportations

Monday, October 24, 2011

Deportation Overturned on Appeal: Client Eligible to Apply for his Green Card

I just won an appeal before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).  The Immigration Court in Buffalo ordered my client's removal after trial speculating that he was ineligible to apply for his Green Card because he made a false claim to United States citizenship that never happened.  
On appeal I argued that the Immigration Court erred in ruling that my client was not statutorily eligible to adjust his status to lawful permanent resident because he was inspected and admitted to the United States, is married to a United States citizen and has an immigrant visa number immediately available to him, is not removable on any criminal related grounds.  I further argued that the Court engaged in unlawful speculation that was not tethered to the evidentiary record by ruling that my client had made a false claim to United States citizenship.
I further argued that my client was deprived of a fundamentally fair hearing because the Court’s impartiality was reasonably questioned during the course of proceedings.   In my brief to the Board I established that the Court displayed a bias against our client, so much so that an objective, disinterested observer fully informed of the underlying facts would entertain significant doubt that justice would be done absent recusal.
Thankfully, the BIA agreed with my arguments, ruled that my client is statutorily eligible to apply for his Green Card, and remanded the case back to the Court for assignment to a different Immigration Judge to determine if my client should be given his Green Card in the exercise of discretion.
Click here to read the decision.

ACLU Lawsuit Claims Nearly 200 Reports of Sexual Abuse of Immigrant Detainees Since 2007

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas has filed a federal class-action damages lawsuit alleging that there have been more than 180 sexual abuse complaints in immigration detention centers since 2007.  Three cases are highlighted in the suit. All three women claim to be assaulted by detention guards and officers on the way to the airport after being released from immigration detention facilities.  The ACLU claims that these are not isolated incidents, and that sexual abuse of immigration detainees is a widespread national problem.

The ACLU claims that the Department of Justice is complicit in these attacks because they proposed a rule that explicitly excludes immigration detention facilities from protection under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). Congress enacted PREA to establish standards for preventing, detecting, and responding to sexual abuse.

The ACLU discovered through a Freedom of Information Act Request that since 2007 there have been nearly 200 allegations of abuse from detainees spanning detention facilities throughout the United States.  They predict that that the number of cases reported does not accurately reflect the scope of the problem, however, because sexual abuse is under-reported worldwide.

Mark Whitburn, Senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Texas, believes that the documented complaints may only be the tip of the iceberg:
“Immigrants in detention are uniquely vulnerable to abuse, and those holding them in custody know it. Many do not speak English, many – like our plaintiffs – have fled violence in their home countries and are terrified of being returned. They may not be aware of their rights or they may be afraid to exercise them.”
This news comes almost exactly two years to the day that the Obama administration announced their "ambitious plan to repair the immigration detention system."

Another day, another broken promise.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Latinos Deported at a Higher Rate than Any other Group

Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) has done it again! They conducted a case-by-case analysis statistics from the first ten months of FY 2011 finding that immigration judges ordered the deportation of 70.5% of all cases instituted. These deportation statistics include voluntary departures. As I've said before, voluntary departure is a euphemism for voluntary deportation, because people granted voluntary departure have to leave the Country, and there is nothing voluntary about it.

TRAC determined that only 29.5% of all cases did not result in deportation.  From January to July 2011, the proportion of individuals that obtained relief from removal declined below 30%, subsequently resulting in a higher proportion of deportations.

What I found most telling about TRAC's finding is the percentage of Hispanics/Latinos who were ordered deported.

  • Mexicans were ordered deported at a rate of 86.8 percent;
  • Hondurans were deported at a 84.4% deportation rate;
  • Guatemalans at 81.8%; 
  • El Salvadorans 69.5%; and 
  • Bolivians 67.7%.
Is this "Change" you can believe in?

Moreover, if you find yourself in deportation proceedings you better hope you are in New York City.  TRAC found that only 28.8% of all people before the New York immigration Court were ordered deported.  Miami was second with 40.3% of all cases ending in deportation, followed by Philadelphia with 42.7%. Rounding out the top five are Portland, Oregon 46.1% and Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, with 46.2%.

On the flip side, seven Immigration Courts ordered the deportation of 90% or more of all cases.

He are the worst five:
  • Lumpkin, Georgia Immigration Court (98.8%)  
  • Tucson Immigration Court (96.9%)
  • Oakdale Immigration Court (96.2%)
  • Houston-Detained Immigration Court (94.0%) 
  • Eloy Immigration Court (91.3%)
I wonder if the Judges in these Courts are complying with their affirmative obligation to inform individuals of any apparent forms of relief from removal that may be available. See 8 C.F.R. § 1240.11(a)(2) (providing that an Immigration Judge shall inform an alien of his or her apparent eligibility for specified forms of relief, including cancellation of removal, and provide an opportunity to make such an application).
Maybe it is about time to subject these Courts a review.

TRAC has compiled full details about how Immigration Judges handled deportation cases through the end of July 2011. The information compiled includes the type of charge, the nationality of the individual involved and the location of each action, by state, Immigration Court and hearing location. Check it out.

I know I have said this before, but I highly recommend that you consider donating to TRAC.  They are the first line of defense in keeping this administration honest. Thank you TRAC for all of your hard work!

So this is the bottom line, the statistics reveal that this President and his administration are waging war against the Hispanic/Latino community, and that Latino families are being disproportionately destroyed by this administration through the deportation of one or more family members.

Whatever happened to this guy:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"Lost in Detention": As Obama Deports Record 400,000, Film Explores Immigrant Life in Jail

Alabama Immigration Laws Threaten "Humanitarian Crisis," Prompt Latinos to Fight Back

Napolitano: Review of 300,000 Deportation Cases to "Begin Shortly"

CNN reports that the Obama administration will soon undertake a review of the 300,000 pending deportation cases separating "high priority" criminal cases from "low priority" non criminal cases.

In practice, I have seen very little if any favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion involving "low priority" noncriminal deportation cases.  The few cases that I have seen the Department moving to administratively close proceedings involve individuals whose cases have garnered media attention.  

You certainly don't want any bad press in an election year.

Needless to say, I predict that this most recent announcement will not add up to a hill of beans.

Click here for more propaganda from the Obama administration.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Frontline's 'Lost in Detention' Examines Immigration Enforcement

Latinos Disproportionately Targeted for Deportation by the Obama Administration

The Cal Berkeley Institute on Law and Social Policy has just released a report entitled: "Secure communities by the number: An AnAlysis of Demographics and Due Process."  The report was written by Aarti  Kohli, Peter l. Markowitz, and Lisa Chavez, who were motivated to action by the million plus people that have been deported since the beginning of the Obama administration, and the fact that almost 300,000 individuals are currently facing deportation.

These staggering numbers are in large part a result of the Secure Communities program, which partners local law enforcement with immigration officials.  The report analyzes the data that was generated by the Federal Government from the program. The findings show systemic deprivation of due process, that a significant percentage of apprehended individuals should never have been placed in immigration custody, and the existence of racial profiling.

Here are the key findings of the report:
  • Approximately 3,600 United States citizens have been arrested by ice through the Secure communities program;
  • More than one-third (39%) of individuals arrested through Secure Communities report that they have a U.S. citizen spouse or child, meaning that approximately 88,000 families with U.S. citizen members have been impacted by Secure communities;
  • Latinos comprise 93% of individuals arrested through Secure communities though they only comprise 77% of the undocumented population in the United States;
  • Only 52% of individuals arrested through Secure communities are slated to have a hearing before an immigration judge;
  • Only 24% of individuals arrested through Secure communities and who had immigration hearings had an attorney compared to 40% of all immigration court respondents who have counsel;
  • Only 2% of non-citizens arrested through Secure communities are granted relief from deportation by an immigration judge as compared to 14% of all immigration court respondents who are granted relief;
  • A large majority (83%) of people arrested through Secure communities are placed in ICE detention as compared with an overall DHS immigration detention rate of 62%, and ICE does not appear to be exercising discretion based on its own prioritization system when deciding whether or not to detain an individual.
What the authors found "most disturbing" is that 3 ,600 (1.6%) of the cases involved the apprehension and detention of United States citizens by ICE.

This President certainly can't change the law with a sweep of his pen, but he certainly has the power to end a program within his jurisdiction that is clearly not working.

Stop lying to us Mr. President.  You do have the power to change the way business is being done, and it is clear that you have no interest in doing so.

Shame on you, and shame on anyone who votes for you.

Click here to read the full report.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Please endorse the campaign to end mandatory immigration detention.

FY 2011: ICE announces year-end removal numbers, highlights focus on key priorities including threats to public safety and national security

ICE Press Release issued on 10/18/11:

WASHINGTON — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton today announced the agency's fiscal year 2011 year-end removal numbers, highlighting trends that underscore the administration's focus on removing individuals from the country that fall into priority areas for enforcement. These priorities include the identification and removal of those that have broken criminal laws, threats to national security, recent border crossers, repeat violators of immigration law and immigration court fugitives.

"Smart and effective immigration enforcement relies on setting priorities for removal and executing on those priorities," said Director Morton. "These year-end totals indicate that we are making progress, with more convicted criminals, recent border crossers, egregious immigration law violators and immigration fugitives being removed from the country than ever before. Though we still have work to do, this progress is a testament to the hard work and dedication of thousands of ICE agents, officers and attorneys around the country."

Overall, in FY 2011 ICE's Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations removed 396,906 individuals — the largest number in the agency's history. Of these, nearly 55 percent or 216,698 of the people removed were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors — an 89 percent increase in the removal of criminals since FY 2008. This includes 1,119 aliens convicted of homicide; 5,848 aliens convicted of sexual offenses; 44,653 aliens convicted of drug related crimes; and 35,927 aliens convicted of driving under the influence. ICE achieved similar results with regard to other categories prioritized for removal. Ninety percent of all ICE's removals fell into a priority category and more than two-thirds of the other removals in 2011 were either recent border crossers or repeat immigration violators.

Secretary Napolitano has directed ICE to focus its resources as effectively as possible on key priorities. This includes expanding the use and frequency of investigations and programs like Secure Communities and Operation Cross Check, that target criminal aliens; working closely with CBP to remove recent border crossers; and focusing on repeat violators of immigration laws and immigration fugitives.

As part of the effort to ensure that the immigration system can focus its resources on high priority cases, ICE has implemented policies and processes that ensure that those enforcing immigration laws make appropriate use of the discretion they already have in deciding the types of individuals prioritized for removal from the country.

ICE will continue to analyze its policies and the results of its programs, making improvements where necessary to meet our priorities.

Monday, October 17, 2011

BIA Decision: Third-Degree Attempted Arson in New York is an Aggravated Felony

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has ruled that attempted arson in the third degree in violation of NYPL §§ 110 and 150.10 is an aggravated felony under INA §101(a)(43)(E)(i), despite the fact that the statute lacks the jurisdictional element in the applicable Federal arson offense.  See Matter of Robert BAUTISTA, 25 I&N Dec. 616 (BIA 2011).

The BIA used the categorical approach set forth in Taylor v. United States, 495 U.S. 575, 600 (1990), to determine if the offense of attempted arson in New York is a crime “described in” the aggravated felony provision of INA §101(a)(43)(E)(i), comparing the New York crime with the Federal crimes that Congress has designated as aggravated felonies.

The BIA concluded that New York State arson is “described in”  INA §101(a)(43)(E)(i) because the omission of the Federal jurisdictional element in §844(i) from the State statute is not dispositive, finding that the offense in NYPL §150.10 contains all of the other substantive elements contained in §844(i), rendering it an aggravated felony.

The BIA saw no distinction between the Federal jurisdictional element in §844(i) and the Federal jurisdictional element in §922(g)(1) reasoning that interpreting NYPL §150.10 as not being “described in” §844(i) would render the "penultimate sentence" in INA §101(a)(43) meaningless, the exception clause in INA §241(a)(4)(B)(ii) "superfluous", and State (and foreign) arson crimes would therefore not be covered by section 101(a)(43)(E)(i).

Click here to read the BIA's decision.

FRONTLINE Lost in Detention Preview

Watch Lost in Detention Preview on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

11th Circuit Rejects Attorney General Guidelines for Determining whether a Conviction is a CIMT

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the Attorney General's analysis in Matter of Silva-Trevino, 24 I. &N. Dec. 687 (A.G. 2008), which permits an Immigration Judge to consider evidence beyond the  record of conviction to determine whether a conviction is a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT). See Fajardo v. U.S. Att'y Gen., 10/12/11.

Silva-Trevino sets forth new guidelines for analyzing whether specific crimes are CIMTs.  Pursuant to the decision immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals are required to:

(1) look first to the statute of conviction under the categorical inquiry;

(2) if the categorical inquiry does not resolve the question, look to the alien’s record of conviction; and

(3) if the record of conviction does not resolve the inquiry, consider any additional evidence the adjudicator determines is necessary or appropriate to resolve accurately the moral turpitude question.

24 I. & N. Dec. at 704

The 11th Circuit wisely reasoned that Congress "unambiguously intended adjudicators to use the categorical and modified categorical approach to determine whether a person was convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude."

As such, the Court ruled that it was a reversible error of law to consider evidence beyond the record of conviction to determine whether a specific conviction is a crime involving moral turpitude.

Score one for the little guys.

Click here to read the full decision.

Hispanics skip work to protest Alabama immigration law

"Businesses dependent on immigrant labor were shuttered Wednesday as workers took the day off to protest the state's strict new immigration law.

The work stoppage appeared largest in northeast Alabama, the hub of the state's $2.7 billion poultry industry, but metropolitan areas were also affected.

At least a half-dozen chicken processing plants closed or scaled back operations because employees, many of whom are Hispanic, didn't show up for work or told managers in advance they wanted to join the sick-out to show disapproval of the law upheld by a federal judge two weeks ago." -Jay Reeves, Associated Press

Click here for more of this US immigration news update.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Florida Marlins pitcher Leo Nunez Lied about his Identity - May be Removable

NPR has reported that Florida Marlins pitcher Leo Nunez has admitted that he is not Leo Nunez.  His real name is Juan Carlos Oviedo.  When he was 17, Mr. Oviedo assumed the identity of his then 16-year-old friend Leo Nunez for financial gain because in the Dominican Republic 16-year-old baseball players are more favorably compensated than 17-year-olds.

Nunez/Oviedo recently came clean about his true identity when applying for naturalization in order to be able to bring his family to the United States.

So the first question is: did the act of using the assumed name Leo Nunez when applying for a visa render Juan Carlos Oviedo inadmissible to the United States.  

I would argue no.  

If Juan Carlos Oviedo assumed the name Leo Nunez prior to applying for a visa to come to the United States, and if he was commonly known in the Dominican Republic as Leo Nunez, I would argue that he did not commit a fraud in his visa application that would have rendered him inadmissible.  Moreover, if Juan Carlos Ovideo was otherwise admissible to the United States had he used his birth name when applying for his visa  I would argue that his failure to disclose was not a material misrepresentation. 

So the next question we must ask is whether Juan Carlos Ovideo was otherwise admissible to the United States at the time of his initial visa application.  I would assume the answer to this question is yes.

The issue still remains whether Juan Carlos Oviedo's failure to disclose his true name when applying for adjustment of status once inside the United States constitutes a fraud that would subject him to removal.

I would make the same arguments above, but from past experience I can tell you that if Juan Carlos Ovideo was not a rich and famous baseball player he would be served with a Notice to Appear seeking to take away his Green Card.

Mr. Ovideo is a rich and famous baseball player, however, and as we all know the rules aren't always applied uniformly.

I am VERY curious to see how this one plays out.

Click here to listen to the NPR report.

Feds Ask Appeals Court to Stop Alabama Immigration Law

California Gov Signs Dream Act

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cancellation of Removal Granted, Green Card Saved

We just saved our client's Green Card after a trial before the Immigration Court at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia, New York.

Our client came to the United States approximately 15 years ago.  Within five years of his arrival he was convicted of simple assault (Assault 3rd) in New York State. Historically, a simple assault conviction was not considered a crime involving moral turpitude, and as such when our client pled guilty he was not deportable.

Then in 2007 the law changed. The Board of Immigration Appeals ruled in Mater of Solon, 24 I&N Dec. 239 (BIA 2007) that subsection (1) of New York Penal law §120.00 (3rd degree assault), which requires specific intent and physical injury is a crime involving moral turpitude. Unfortunately, our client pled guilty to violating subsection (1) of NYPL §120.00.

As a result, our client became deportable for having been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude within five years of his lawful entry. Immigration Court proceedings where instituted against him, and he was taken into custody.  

We were then retained.

We successfully argued that although our client was deportable, he remained eligible to apply for cancellation of removal as a lawful permanent resident.  To be eligible for cancellation of removal if you are a Green Card holder you must establish that you have held your Green Card for five years, and have been in the United States continuously for a total of seven years in any status. If you are convicted of an offense within that seven year period time is "stopped" even if you have actually been in the United States for longer than the seven year cumulative period.

We successfully argued that because our client's conviction was a petty offense the "stop-time" rule did not apply, and our client remained eligible for cancellation of removal. A conviction is considered a petty offense if the maximum penalty possible for the conviction does not exceed imprisonment for one year and, if convicted, you are not imprisoned for more than six months, regardless of what you are ultimately sentenced to.

After winning this argument we presented a strong cancellation application at trial, with proof that our client's entire family lives in the United States, including his 6 year old daughter who he has a loving and close relationship, that he has an extended history of employment, and that he has always paid his taxes.  We also introduced evidence of his charitable work in the community, and brought eight witnesses to testify on his behalf.

After trial the Immigration Judge weighed our client's conviction against the overwhelming weight of favorable evidence, and granted cancellation of removal. The government did not appeal.

Our client was released from custody within hours of the Court's decision, and he is now back with his family in time to celebrate his daughter's 7th birthday.

Happy Birthday!

US Asks Court to Halt Alabama Immigration Law

Monday, October 10, 2011

Abuses Continue in Immigration Detention Centers

The Houston Chronicle reports that the Obama administration has done little, if anything, to clean up immigration detention centers, and that the inspection and monitoring system that was put in place fails to sufficiently protect immigrants from inhumane prison-like conditions.

What I find most troubling about the report is that this administration continues to allow private contractors to house immigrants despite their knowledge of the existence of "flagrant violations of their own detention standards, including poor medical care and mistreatment of detainees, new internal records show."

Internal reports from ICE's office of Detention Oversight "paint an often bleak picture of the inside of the nation's immigration detention system, with detainees in some facilities lacking access to quality medical care or even clean underwear."

So much for creating a "truly civil" detention system.

Click here to read more of the article.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Keeping Children out of Schools was an "Intended consequence" of Alabama’s Immigration Law

"Many Hispanic students and workers have stayed home in response to Alabama’s tough new immigration law — and that’s the whole point of the measure, Rep. Mo Brooks said on Thursday.

The Alabama Republican told POLITICO in an interview that he does not consider the above-average number of absences “unintended consequences” of the law.

“Those are the intended consequences of Alabama’s legislation with respect to illegal aliens,” Brooks said. “We don’t have the money in America to keep paying for the education of everybody else’s children from around the world. We simply don’t have the financial resources to do that. Second, with respect to illegal aliens who are now leaving jobs in Alabama, that’s exactly what we want.”"

Click here for more of this US immigration news update.

Report: Immigration detention costs U.S. taxpayers over $2 billion each year

Human Rights First (HRF) has issued a report entitled Jails and Jumpsuits - Transforming the U.S. Immigration Detention System—A Two-Year Review.  The purpose of the investigation was to "review the progress of DHS and ICE in transforming the U.S. immigration detention system away from its reliance on jails and jail-like facilities to a system with conditions more appropriate for civil immigration law detainees."

HRF visited 17 ICE authorized detention facilities holding 10,000 of the 33,400 total ICE beds; interviewed government officials, legal service providers, and former immigration detainees; and reviewed existing government data on the U.S. immigration detention system. They also interviewed a range of former prison wardens, corrections officials, and other experts on correctional systems.  

The primary findings of the report are as follows:

  • Asylum seekers and other immigrants are still overwhelmingly held in jails and jail-like facilities;
  • Immigration detention costs U.S. taxpayers over $2 billion each year;
  • ICE continues to rely on detention standards modeled on correctional standards;
  • ICE has taken some steps toward less penal detention conditions, but only a small portion of detainees will see change;
  • ICE has not expanded cost-effective alternatives to detention nationwide, and asylum seekers and other immigration detainees continue to be detained unnecessarily, and at substantial cost, due to lack of effective release procedures; and
  • Detained asylum seekers and other immigrants do not have adequate access to legal assistance and fair procedures, particularly in isolated detention facilities.

Click here to read the full report.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ron Paul - ABC News Interview (Immigration - Legal and illegal)

Pennsylvania Jumping on the Immigration Enforcement Bandwagon

Looks like Pennsylvania is jumping on the immigration enforcement bandwagon.  A Bill entitled the Professional Licensees Illegal Employment Act, covering anyone in the State of Pennsylvania that is licensed by the Bureau of Occupational and Professional Affairs, proposes to revoke the professional license of anyone that hires undocumented workers, including first time violators.

A spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, has predicted that the proposed legislation will “set up a state-level immigration enforcement scheme. "

Move over Alabama and Arizona.  Here comes Pennsylvania.

Click here for more.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

CRS Report: Unauthorized Aliens Residing in the United States

Ruth Ellen Wasem of Congressional Research Services has released a report entitled: "Unauthorized Aliens Residing in the United States: Estimates Since 1986."

Here is the summary of the report:

Estimates derived from the March Supplement of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS) indicate that the unauthorized resident alien population (commonly referred to as illegal aliens) rose from 3.2 million in 1986 to 11.2 million in 2010. Jeffrey Passel, a demographer with the Pew Hispanic Research Center, has been involved in making these estimations since he worked at the U.S. Bureau of the Census in the 1980s. The estimated number of unauthorized aliens had dropped to 1.9 million in 1988 following passage of a 1986 law that legalized several million unauthorized aliens. The estimates of unauthorized aliens peaked at an estimated 12.4 million in 2007. About 39% of unauthorized alien residents in 2010 were estimated to have entered the United States in 2000 or later. 

Similarly, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS) reported an estimated 10.8 million unauthorized alien residents as of January 2010, up from 8.5 million in January 2000. The OIS estimated that 6.6 million of the unauthorized alien residents were from Mexico, an estimate comparable to Passel and D’Vera Cohn’s calculation of 6.5 million. The OIS based its estimates on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The OIS estimated that the unauthorized resident alien population in the United States increased by 37% over the period 2000 to 2008, then leveled off in 2009 and 2010.  

Research suggests that various factors have contributed to the ebb and flow of unauthorized resident aliens, and that the increase is often attributed to the “push-pull” of prosperity-fueled job opportunities in the United States in contrast to limited or nonexistent job opportunities in the sending countries. Accordingly, the economic recession that began in December 2007 may have curbed the migration of unauthorized aliens, particularly because sectors that traditionally rely on unauthorized aliens, such as construction, services, and hospitality, have been especially hard hit.  

Some researchers also suggest that the increased size of the unauthorized resident population during the late 1990s and early 2000s is an inadvertent consequence of border enforcement and immigration control policies. They posit that strengthened border security has curbed the fluid movement of seasonal workers. This interpretation, generally referred to as a caging effect, argues that these policies have raised the stakes in crossing the border illegally and created an incentive for those who succeed in entering the United States to stay. 

The current system of legal immigration is cited as another factor contributing to unauthorized alien residents. The statutory ceilings that limit the type and number of immigrant visas issued each year create long waits for visas. According to this interpretation, many foreign nationals who would prefer to come to the United States legally resort to illegal avenues in frustration over the delays. It is difficult, however, to demonstrate a causal link or to guarantee that increased levels of legal migration would absorb the current flow of unauthorized migrants. Furthermore, some researchers speculate that the doubling in deportations since 2001 might also have had a chilling effect on family members weighing unauthorized residence in recent years. 

Some observers point to more elusive factors when assessing the ebb and flow of unauthorized resident aliens—such as shifts in immigration enforcement priorities away from illegal entry to removing suspected terrorists and criminal aliens, or discussions of possible “amnesty” legislation. This report does not track legislation and will be updated as needed.

Click here to read the full report.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Immigration Cases Await New Supreme Court Term


Taken from

Holder v. Gutierrez (Granted ) Docket: 10-1542 Issue(s): (1) Whether a parents year's of lawful permanent resident status can be imputed to an alien who resided with that parent as an unemancipated minor, for the purpose of satisfying the requirement that the alien seeking cancellation of removal have been an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence for not less than 5 years; and (2) whether a parent's years of residence after lawful admission to the United States can be imputed to an alien who resided with that parent as an unemancipated minor, for the purpose of satisfying the requirement that the alien seeking cancellation of removal have resided in the United States continuously for 7 years after having been admitted in any status.

Certiorari stage documents:

Vartelas v. Holder(No. 1211): The question presented is: Whether 8 U.S.C.A. 1101(a)(13)(C)(v), which removes a legal permanent resident of his right, under Rosenberg v. Fleuti, 374 U.S. 449(1963), to make an innocent, casual, and brief trips abroad without fear that he will be denied reentry, applies retroactively to a guilty plea taken prior to the effective date of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act.

Fighting for DREAMer Nadia Habib

Former Head of South Florida ICE Anthony V. Mangione Pleads "Not Guilty" to Child Porn Charges

The Impact of Alabama's Harsh New Immigration Law

Local food supply shut off:


Kids go to school in fear:

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Kids 'Vanishing' From Schools: