Tuesday, July 31, 2012

NIYA Infiltrates Florida Detention Center to Prove Fraud of Obama Immigration Policy

Taken from TheNIYA.org
For immediate release:
NIYA Infiltrates Florida Detention Center to Prove Fraud of Obama Immigration Policy
Now demands full review of facility, jail organizing inside to continue 
MIAMI—The National Immigrant Youth Alliance will hold a press conference today outside the office of Senator Marco Rubio to discuss our internal review of Broward Detention Center in Broward, Florida. Over the course of the last month, 7 undocumented NIYA organizers have intentionally placed themselves into deportation proceedings in an effort to enter the Broward Detention Center to organize with detainees who, according to the Obama administration, should no longer be facing deportation.

WHEN:                 12:00 pm NOON EST
WHERE:              Office of Sen. Marco Rubio (8669 NW 36th Street, Doral, FL 33166)
WHO:                    National Immigrant Youth Alliance, undocumented youth and families with loved ones inside the Detention Center.
Since June 17, 2011, the Obama Administration has insisted that it has been using discretion in deportation cases which can be considered “low-priority,” or cause undue hardship for citizen family members. In June of this year, Obama announced extending deferred action to undocumented youth after we occupied his campaign offices for two weeks, costing his campaign thousands of hours of staff time. To date only 1.9% of such cases have actually been dropped. Our internal review is in line with these national averages.
In order to challenge Immigration and Customs Enforcement and GEO Group, Inc. which owns the facility, we have placed multiple NIYA members inside Broward Transitional Center to find people who are eligible for deferred action, are low-priority cases. In this one facility alone, we have found over 100 cases of people who, according to the Obama policies of the past year, should be released back to their families.
According to the information given to us by the organizers inside, there are:
  • people inside Broward who have pending application for a U Visa;
  • More than a dozen DREAM Act eligible youth;
  • Over 60 individuals with no criminal record or prior deportations, some detained as passengers in vehicles;
  • More than 3-dozen cases in which individuals are still eligible for discretion despite previous contacts with the system;
  • Several cases of immigrants in need of immediate medical care, including one individual with a blood clot in his leg and another with a bullet in the spine;
Organizers within the center include Viridiana Martinez, a NIYA member from North Carolina and well-known activist in the state. Viridiana was detained a little over a week ago. Claudio Rojas, father of two, was detained in 2010 after his son was stopped at a port checkpoint, the same checkpoint Viridiana Martinez allowed herself to be detained. Claudio has been fighting his own deportation to Argentina for over three years and has recently launched into a religious fast until he and others are released. Claudio, just like Viridiana and the other organizers within this facility are low-priority deportations and, according to President Obama, they should be dropped.
In accordance with the June 17th, 2011, memorandum issued by the Obama Administration, we now demand a full and complete review of each detainee at the Broward Detention center and ask that all low-priority detainees immediately be released and their cases administratively closed.
NIYA will no longer allow GEO Group or other private prison corporations to profit off of shattered families and broken lives. We will continue to organize inside their jails until the president lives up to his promises. Case summaries along with the national petition can be found online at http://action.dreamactivist.org/btc


The National Immigrant Youth Alliance is an undocumented led network of 27 organizations in 24 states. As NIYA we believe the only way to safeguard our communities is to empower, educate and most importantly, escalate.

Matthew Kolken in the News

I was quoted in the following Forbes Magazine article: "President Obama: Deporter-In-Chief"

“Everyone eligible for a deferral under Obama’s June announcement was already eligible under the Morton Memo,” said immigration attorney Matthew Kolken of BuffaloNew York.  “But since the Morton memo only favorably exercised prosecutorial discretion for 1.9 percent of all reviewed deportation cases, it’s hard to be optimistic about Obama’s most recent attempt to stem deportations for DREAMers.”  The bureaucratic inertia of DHS could delay the processing of deferrals for years.

District Court Judge Stays Removal of Five Bi-National Couples Pending Constitutional Challenge of the Defense of Marriage Act

Chief U.S. District Judge Carol Bagley Amon, of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York has done what the Obama administration to date has been unwilling to do: issue a stay of removal of the immigrant spouses of five separate United States citizens in same-sex marriages.  Judge Amon was nominated to the federal bench by President George H.W. Bush in 1990.

The following background information about the five couples named in the suit was taken directly from the Immigration Equality website:
  • Edwin Blesch and his South African spouse, Tim Smulian. Edwin and Tim, who have been together for more than 13 years, were married in South Africa in August 2007.  While their marriage is honored by Edwin’s home state of New York, their green card petition was denied on March 14, 2012. They reside in Orient, New York.
  • Frances Herbert and her spouse, Takako Ueda, who is originally from Japan.  Frances and Takako, who have known each other for 22 years, were married in April 2011. Their petition for a green card was denied on December 1, 2011.  They reside in Dummerston, Vermont.
  • Heather Morgan and her spouse, Maria del Mar Verdugo, a native of Spain.  Heather and Mar have known each other for 14 years.  They were married, in New York, in August 2011 and have a pending green card petition, which is expected to be denied. They reside in New York City.
  • Santiago Ortiz and his spouse, Pablo Garcia, a native of Venezuela. Santiago, a Puerto Rican American, met Pablo in 1991 and registered as domestic partners in 1993. In May 2011, they were married in Connecticut. The couple have filed a green card petition, which is expected to be denied.  They reside in Elmhurst, New York
  • Kelli Ryan and her spouse, Lucy Truman, a native of the United Kingdom.  Kelli and Lucy have been a couple for more than 11 years and entered into a civil union in July 2006.  They were married in March 2010 in Connecticut. Their petition for a green card was denied on March 27, 2012. They reside in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
The lawsuit filed on April 2, 2012, argues that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) signed into law by President Clinton is violative of the equal protection clause under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and that "[s]olely because of DOMA and its unconstitutional discrimination against same-sex couples, these Plaintiffs are being denied the immigration rights afforded to other similarly situated binational couples." The unfortunate fact remains that the Obama administration continues to enforce DOMA in the immigration context denying immigrant petitions filed by United States citizens on behalf of their same-sex spouses.  

President Obama's recent announcement that he has "evolved" on the issue of marriage equality is little more than political pandering in an election year. Obama’s official position on gay marriage is that he will permit each individual State to decide the issue. If a State elects to abridge the constitutional rights of gay couples by enacting legislation that prohibits same sex marriage, President Obama doesn’t intend to take any affirmative action to counter their decision. Would the President’s position be any different if a State enacted laws prohibiting interracial marriage?

The analogy is not so misplaced, as same sex couples find themselves facing the same legal obstacles that were once applied in this country to interracial couples through the enactment of miscegenation laws that criminalized interracial marriage.

Point being, President Obama’s position of inaction is little more than acquiescence, and willful acceptance of legalized discrimination. It is both shameful and cowardly, is simply not good enough, and certainly is not “evolved” enough.

Here is the reality about this President. He is more concerned about losing the battleground States of Colorado, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia this November than taking bold affirmative steps to protect the millions of Americans in this country that continue to be denied true marriage equality.

Nowhere is this more evident than in his enforcement of the United States immigration law.

Friday, July 27, 2012

ICE and Border Patrol officials State their Position on the DREAMer Deferred Action Initiative

Shocking Video Shows More than a Dozen Border Patrol Agents Beating a Helpless Mexican Immigrant to Death

The video above documents a barbaric incident that occurred in May 2010. It reveals the vicious beating of a man that was encountered while attempting to reenter the United States without authorization so that he could be reunited with his five United States citizen children. 

The man, Anastasio Hernández Rojas, was 32-years-old at the time and did not survive the attack by Border Patrol officers. You can see him being repeatedly beaten by batons, kicks, by punches, as well as being tasered for what eyewitnesses claim to be almost thirty-minutes.  Hernández Rojas can be heard pleading for his life while he was handcuffed on the ground.  

The San Diego police department investigation resulted in the determination that the Border Patrol's actions were justified because of claims that Hernández Rojas was resisting arrest. An eyewitness to the attack, Humberto Navarrete, has come forward stating unequivocally that Hernández Rojas was not resisting, and was pleading for his life while the officers employed excessive force against a helpless man. 

The video further contradicts these claims as it shows that Hernández Rojas was both handcuffed and hogtied during the attack. The agents confiscated phones of witnesses in the area in an attempt to cover their tracks, but three separate videos of the attack have been uncovered. 

So you may ask what has the Obama Administration done in the last two years to correct this human rights violation committed by their own agents? 

The answer predictably is NOTHING.

The Obama administration has not even gone so far as to ask for copies of the videos of the incident, or to speak to the three eyewitnesses, as the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security have closed and sealed their investigation, entirely accepting the San Diego police department's report. Case closed. 

More "Change" you can believe in.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Report: In New York 87% of cases of individuals with U.S. citizen children have resulted in deportation

The New York University School of Law Immigrant Rights Clinic and Families for Freedom have released a report entitled: “Insecure Communities, Devastated Families: New Data on Immigrant Detention and Deportation Practices in New York City.”  

From the summary:
In the wake of growing deportation programs such as the recently-activated “Secure Communities” initiative, this new report sheds light on the precise ways in which current detention and deportation practices are wreaking havoc on New York City immigrants and their communities. The deportation system is devastating families by not only threatening to exile their loved ones, but also often forcing immigrants to fight their cases for years while locked up in far-away immigration jails.
The Obama administration attempted to block the release of information relating to its deportation programs, demanding payment of over $1.3 million in fees to turn over data that was requested in a Freedom of Information Act request.  A lawsuit had to be filed in federal district court against the administration.  The lawsuit was settled in May of 2011, which resulted in the release of the information that formed the basis for the report.

From the released data it was discovered that ICE detains and deports thousands of immigrant New Yorkers every year.  Specifically:
  • From October 2005 through December 2010, ICE apprehended over 34,000 New Yorkers.
  • Since 2008, ICE has detained well over 7,000 New Yorkers each year.
  • From 2008 to 2010, ICE averaged 7,417 apprehensions per year, nearly a 60% increase since 2006, the first full year covered by the data.
  • 91% of New Yorkers detained by ICE are deported.
The report also found that:
  • The parents of at least 7,111 U.S. citizen children were deported during this same period.
  • The parents of at least 10,208 U.S. citizen children were detained without bond.
  • At least 7,186 New Yorkers detained by ICE had U.S. citizen children.
  • 87% of cases of individuals with U.S. citizen children have resulted in deportation.
  • New Yorkers are transferred to far-away detention facilities, outside of New York and New Jersey, at alarming rates. Those who are transferred almost never obtain relief from deportation.
The report describes the New York City criminal justice as "a pipeline" to detention and deportation.  When encountered, 4 out of 5 New Yorkers are held in immigration custody without bond being set.  When bond is set, it is in an amount that is unreasonably high as only 45% of individuals who have bond set are able to pay it (75% of all bonds are $5,000 or more and 35% of all bonds are $10,000 or more).    Less than 1% are released on their own recognizance without having to pay a bond.

Here is the kicker, statistics show that ICE had the ability to favorably exercise discretion and set bond in 91% of all reported cases, but despite having that ability over 31,000 New Yorkers were held without bond.
And this is the very reason I do not hold out much hope for the most recent DREAMer prosecutorial discretion initiative.  It all hinges on a favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion, which statistics repeatedly reveal is not being exercised to the benefit of immigrants.

Click here to read the full report.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Latest Prosecutorial Discretion Statistics: Only 1.9% Received Favorable Exercise

TRAC has come out with the latest statistics from the Obama administration's prosecutorial discretion intiative from last June.  

Here is what they found:

As of June 28, 2012 a total of 5,684 cases were closed under a special Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program announced in August 2011. The stated goal of the program is to reduce the massive backlog of pending matters in the Immigration Courts by identifying those that could be dismissed or put on hold through the exercise of prosecutorial discretion (PD). The number of PD closures was up from 4,585 cases closed as of the end of May; however, it still amounted to only 1.9 percent of the 298,173 cases that had been pending before the Immigration Courts as of the end of last September.

Unsurprisingly, of the 5,684 total administrative closures only 294 (5%) were for individuals that did not have legal representation.  So the bottom line is that if you want the Obama administration to help you with your deportation case, you better have an attorney.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Does the Obama Administration impose "illegal, cruel, and unusual punishments" on immigrants in effort to win the war on illegal immigration?

John Larson of PBS' "Need to Know" conducted a five month investigation of an alleged pattern of abuse of immigrants committed on the Southern Border by Border Patrol agents and officers.  Such alleged atrocities include physical abuse, sexual assault, torture, and the denial of food, water, and medical attention.

A former Border Patrol whistle-blower summarizes the problem: "Here we have an entire federal agency that's permitted to mistreat foreign nationals."  

You really need to watch this.

Watch Crossing the Line on PBS. See more from Need To Know.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Number of Pending Deportations Reaches All-Time High

Looks like the Obama administration is already well on their way to reach their 400,000 deportations quota for Fiscal Year 2013, which incidentally doesn't even begin until this October.

TRAC reports that by the end of June 2012 the number of pending deportation cases before the Immigration Courts has reached a new all-time high of 314,147.  The Obama administration's aggressive deportation campaign has resulted in a 5.6% increase of backlogged deportations since September 2011, which is an astounding 20% increase from what was seen at the end of FY 2010.

Obama apologists would have you believe that most pending deportations are criminals that have been caught due to the President's "smart immigration enforcement" directive that allegedly prioritizes the deportation of criminal aliens.

And they would be wrong.

To this end, TRAC has determined that through the end of June 2012 only 7.9% of the 314,147 pending deportation cases involve individuals charged with criminal grounds of removal, actions adverse to national security, or aiding terrorism. This is a decrease from the number of pending criminal deportations in fiscal year 2011 (8.3%), and fiscal year 2010 (9.1%).

In fact, according TRAC's nonpartisan and unbiased evaluation of the statistics, the vast majority of pending deportation cases DO NOT involve criminals.  To the contrary, most people facing deportation are only charged with immigration violations, which are civil and not criminal in nature.  Examples include entering the country illegally, entering legally but overstaying a visa, or violating other procedural requirements of the immigration law, i.e., failing to maintain a full course of study at a University.

Instead, statistics reveal that under Barack Obama pending noncriminal deportations have risen sharply over the last three years: 236,415 in FY 2010; 270,159 at the end of September 2011; to 286,159 during 2012.

So when you hear President Obama saying that his administration is engaging in "smart immigration enforcement by targeting criminal aliens" the statistics clearly prove that he is lying to you.

And by the way, what do you think is going to happen to all the DREAMers that apply for deferred action when their application is denied in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.  Needless to say, there are potentially another 800,000 soon to be instituted deportation cases created by individuals that voluntarily get in queue for the Obama deportation grinder.

Here is the bottom line, if President Obama is really serious about wanting to put an end to the deportation of DREAMers a good start would be to 1. actually stop deporting DREAMers, and 2. to sign an executive order that has the full force of law and removes discretion from the prosecutors.

And parenthetically, maybe it is about time that Obama includes "immigration" as an important issue on his campaign website.  His opponent has.

Just a thought.

Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio Goes to Trial Over Immigration Crackdown

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Report: Children Bear Greatest Burden of Obama's Deportation Policy

University of Albany researcher Joanna Dreby has issued a report entitled: "The Burden of Deportation on Children in Mexican Immigrant Families" that has been published in the most recent edition of The Journal of Marriage and Family.

This is what she had to say about the effect on children of President Obama's 400,000 deportations per year mandate: 
“Children are aware of social status differences at very young ages, they may not understand immigration, but they understand that U.S. policies today target immigrants, people who are their friends, neighbors and members of their families.  U.S. citizen children today are growing up afraid of the authorities, who can potentially tear their families apart.  They are associating a stigma with immigration, even though they are the children of immigrants.  This is a very sad direction for a country that prides itself on being a nation of immigrants." 
Here is the abstract from the article:
In 2011, a record number of foreign-born individuals were detained and removed from the United States. This article looks at the impact enforcement policies have had on Mexican families more broadly and children specifically. Drawing on interviews with 91 parents and 110 children in 80 households, the author suggests that, similar to the injury pyramid used by public health professionals, a deportation pyramid best depicts the burden of deportation on children. At the top of the pyramid are instances that have had the most severe consequences on children's daily lives: families in which a deportation has led to permanent family dissolution. But enforcement policies have had the greatest impact on children at the bottom of the pyramid. Regardless of legal status or their family members' involvement with immigration authorities, children in Mexican immigrant households describe fear about their family stability and confusion over the impact legality has on their lives.
I suggest that you supplement any cancellation of removal application that you may file with a copy of this report.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Obama Administration Being Sued for Continued Enforcement of Defense of Marriage Act in the Immigration Context

Jane DeLeon has been in a relationship with Irma Rodriguez for 20 years.  In 2008 the couple was married. Their relationship is as real as anyone's, but not to the Obama administration who is moving to deport Deleon for the single reason that she is not married to a man.

The Obama administration denied DeLeon’s Form I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility solely because DeLeon has entered into a same-sex marriage and § 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, 1 U.S.C. § 7, defines “marriage” under federal law as “only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.”

DeLeon has taken action, filing suit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division.  The suit argues that the Obama administration violated the substantive due process and equal protection guarantees of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and 8 U.S.C. § 1152(a)(2), which prohibits discrimination in the issuance of visas based upon a petitioner’s or an immigrant visa beneficiary’s “sex.” 

The suit requests class-action designation to include all members of lawful marriages whom the Department of Homeland Security, pursuant to § 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, 1 U.S.C. § 7, refuses to recognize as spouses for purposes of conferring lawful status and related benefits under the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.

Click here to read the full text of the suit.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Obama Administration's next target may be Sanctuary Cities

It has been reported that ICE Director John Morton has asked Attorney General Holder to take legal action against Cook County, Illinois for their failure to deliver undocumented immigrants to ICE for deportation.  Cook County currently is not utilizing the Secure Communities fingerprint sharing (a.k.a. racial profiling) program.

Director Morton has stated that: “Right now, it’s not a question of Cook County releasing some individuals to us,” “They are releasing no individuals to us, including very violent offenders, and I just don’t think that’s good policy.”

It has been further reported that DHS Secretary Napolitano is also "fed up" with Cook County, and is pushing for legal action that would require the County to comply.

One option also being considered is to withhold federal aid allocated to counties that hold criminal aliens in State jails.  Cook county is one of the top ten recipients nationwide receiving $13 million since 2008.

Ranking Democrat Rep. Henry Cuellar is on board:  “They cannot say, you know, we don’t want you to do Secure Communities, but then at the same time they’re requesting federal dollars for holding those prisoners.”

In related news, Morton prepared written testimony for a House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security hearing titled “Building a Secure Community: How Can DHS Better Leverage State and Local Partnerships?” 

Morton indicated that ICE has caused confusion by failing to properly explain how the Secure Communities program works.  
Apparently, it wasn't properly conveyed that the Obama administration is using Secure Communities as a tool to deport people of color that have never been charged with any crime and to detain U.S. citizens in maximum security prisons using bogus immigration detainers.

Morton's remarks include statements that ICE takes seriously complaints raised about civil rights violations related to Secure Communities.

Director Morton, if you are reading, you can officially consider this blog as an ongoing complaint.  

Please check back often.

And incidentally, it was nice seeing you in Buffalo yesterday.  I hope you enjoyed your visit.

Mortonbuffalo (1)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Most Recent Statistics Show that 62% of All Federal Criminal Convictions are for Immigration Related Crimes

TRAC Reports has issued the following regarding the breakdown of federal criminal convictions for April 2012.  

Here is what they found:
The largest number of convictions of these matters in April 2012 was for "Immigration", accounting for 62.4 percent of convictions. Convictions were also filed for "Drugs-Drug Trafficking" (10.2%), "Drugs-Organized Crime Task Force" ( 4.2%), "Weapons-Operation Triggerlock Major" (3.9%), "Withheld by Govt from TRAC" (3.4%), "Other Criminal Prosecutions" (2.1%). See Figure 2. 
The lead investigative agency for convictions in April 2012 was DHS accounting for 69 percent of convictions. Other agencies with substantial numbers of convictions were: FBI (7% ), DEA (7%), ATF (4%), Interior (2%).
TRAC also determined that in April 2012, the two most heavily prosecuted charges are for alleged violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1325, "Entry of alien at improper time or place; etc." (66.8%), and 8 U.S.C. § 1326, "Reentry of deported alien" (22.8%).

At least for me it is comforting to know that the administration has prioritized the criminal prosecution of immigrants over stopping drugs and weapons crimes. <- Sarcasm.

In other deportation news, the Obama administration's first move on deferred action unsurprisingly was to postpone the stakeholders meeting.  They issued the following announcement:
Dear Stakeholder,
We regret to inform you that we must postpone the engagement on prosecutorial discretion with respect to certain individuals who came to the United States as children scheduled for July 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm Eastern.
We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause and will notify you when we have identified a new date for the engagement... 
Kind Regards, 
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Also, it has come to my attention that "immigration" is an issue that is conspicuously absent from Obama's campaign website.

Maybe he is hoping that his 400,000 deportations per year mandate will also disappear from the minds of the immigration reform electorate.

Wishful thinking.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Obama Administration Being Sued for using Secure Communities to Detain U.S. Citizen in Maximum Security Prison for Two Months

The Obama administration has been sued by former U.S. Marine James Makowski for unlawfully detaining him in a maximum-security federal prison in Potomac, Illinois for two months for a suspected immigration violation.  Mr. Makowski is a United States citizen.


Mr. Makowski, a computer network specialist, was adopted and became a naturalized United States citizen when he was one.  The problem is that he was born in India, and presumably doesn't look "American," whatever that is supposed to look like.  

His attorney, Geoffrey A. Vance, stated that the Obama administration detained Makowski after relying on faulty computer information they obtained through the Secure Communities program, and "never bothered to check."  

Another fine example of "smart immigration enforcement" at work.

When I heard about this "computer malfunction" I couldn't help but think of the infamous words of computer HAL 9000 from the movie 2001: a Space Odyssey: "I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you."

Sure you do.

Makowski's justifiable response to this major league F-up: "I've been here my whole life, I was raised like an upper-middle-class American. But I didn't feel American when I had that detainer put on me."

For those not aware, the Secure Communities program, which was greatly expanded by President Obama after his election, authorizes the cross checking of fingerprints of individuals booked into local jails with FBI and DHS databases for suspected immigration violations.  In basic terms, it authorizes a fishing expedition against people of color.  

The end result is that if the computer says there is a suspected immigration violation federal agents issue an immigration detainer authorizing local authorities to hold an individual for up to 48 hours, or two months as the case may be.

It has been recently discovered that the FBI and ICE are using traffic stops to cross check the fingerprints of individuals that have never been charged with any criminal violation, let alone booked into a local jail.

The administration's public relations spin is that Secure Communities is being used to deport dangerous criminals. 

Add a growing number of United States citizens to that list.

It has been reported that this is the first legal challenge to Secure Communities.  The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois, and charges violation of the Privacy Act of 1974, which specifically restricts the release of information between government agencies where an individual is not suspected of an immigration violation.

Incidentally, I wonder what is the color of the skin of the people that are typically suspected of immigration violations.

As Congressman Luis Gutierrez has astutely observed, I'm guessing they don't look like Justin Bieber.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Emails from ICE and FBI Reveal that the Obama Administration is using Secure Communities to Deport People of Color that have never been Criminally Arrested

Turns out I was right about what I have been saying publicly for the better part of the last year: the Obama administration is using the Secure Communities program as a tool to racially profile and deport people of color that have never been charged with any criminal violation.  

Who'da thunk it?

A series of emails between the FBI and ICE establish that Secure Communities is not being limited to individuals that are being booked into jail for a charged violation of a criminal law.

The Obama administration had been stonewalling the release of information verifying this fact. The National Day Laborer Organizing Network, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Cardozo Immigration Justice Clinic were forced to file suit against the administration in order to obtain information under a previously submitted Freedom of Information Act request.  

So much for being the most transparent administration in history.

What was found is that the Obama administration is using drivers’ license checkpoints as a tool to institute removal proceedings.

I hate to say I told you so, but...

According to the emails, in May 2011, California attempted to obtain assurance from ICE and the FBI that “the [Secure Communities] Program will only affect persons who are arrested for a crime, and not those who may simply be stopped at a drivers’ license checkpoint.” Instead of providing the requested assurance, the FBI apparently informed California that even prints for individuals who had been arrested for identification purposes only would have their immigration status checked through Secure Communities. Moreover, the FBI informed California that, although it was technically possible to change this process, it would not do so.
The administration's response to the release of information is that it is "going to create an issue."


It's comforting to know that the administration is so concerned about bad press in an election year.

Chris Newman, Legal Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, sums it up perfectly:  “This is the latest proof that Secure Communities is not a targeted immigration enforcement program, but a deportation dragnet."

How is all that hopey-change stuff working out for you?