Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Colorlines Report: 205K Deportations of Parents of U.S. Citizens since 2010

Seth Freed Wessler of Colorlines News for Action reports that there have been nearly 205,000 parents of United States citizen children deported since 2010. The data was obtain through a Freedom of Information Act request. The full statistics compiled regarding final orders sought, obtained, and actual removals of individuals claiming to be parents of United States citizen children may be viewed here.

Maybe it is time for the Obama administration to consider expanding deferred action to parents of United States citizen children as a stop gap measure until immigration reform is implemented.  I'd also add spouses of United States citizens to the list as well.  

Just a thought.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

ICE arrests Senator Bob Menendez's undocumented intern alleging he is a registered sex offender

It has been reported that Luis Abrahan Sanchez Zavaleta, an unpaid intern working in Senator Bob Menendez's (D - NJ) office was arrested by ICE on December 6, 2012, in New Jersey.  It is alleged that the intern is both an undocumented immigrant and a registered sex offender. Hudson County, N.J., prosecutor's office alleges that Zavaleta was required to register as a sex offender after an offense allegedly committed in 2010.  Details are unavailable due to the fact that apparently Zavaleta was a minor at the time of the alleged prosecution.  It has been reported that Zavaleta entered the United States with a visitor's visa, which he overstayed, and is a native and citizen of Peru.

Menendez' response via MSNBC:

"I didn't know anything about the young man's status until this Monday so — actually, before I came onto this program. My staff knew about it on Monday, I didn't know it until right before I came onto your program."

Mendez is a leading voice in the Senate on the issue of immigration reform. We can only hope that this incident will have no impact on the Senator's ability to participate in immigration reform negotiations, as his voice is desperately needed in the debate.

Monday, December 10, 2012

BIA to Hear Appeal of former Nazi Concentration Camp Guard

The AP/Washington Post reports that the Board of Immigration Appeals is reviewing an appeal of a 2010 deportation order issued to 88-year-old Anton Geiser of Sharon, Pennsylvania.  Mr. Geiser was charged with removal as a result of his service in the Nazi SS where he was a guard in the Sachsenhausen and Buchenwald concentration camps.

Geiser does not dispute that he was a member of the Nazi's Schutzstaffel (SS), nor that he served as a guard in both the Sachsenhausen and Buchenwald concentration camps:  “I was not proud where I served and I didn’t like it then and I didn’t like it now.” 

Geiser is represented by Adrien Roe who argues that a then 17-year-old Geiser did not voluntarily serve, and was therefore not really a Nazi.  The Department, represented by Susan Siegal, counters that Geiser's service was not involuntary because he could have refused to serve in the camps, and moreover, the "just following orders" defense already failed at Nuremberg. 

When I read this story I couldn't help but think of the following quotation attributed to Martin Niemöller regarding the failure of the people of Germany to take a stand against the Nazis.
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.
Fortunately for Mr. Geiser he lives in one of the only countries in the entire world where even individuals guilty of unspeakable crimes against humanity are guaranteed the right to have someone speak for you. 

Enjoy your right to due process Mr. Geiser, and be glad that this isn't Nazi Germany.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Luis De La Cruz, Husband and Father of Two Citizen Children, is Facing Deportation and Needs your Help.

From DREAMActivist.org:
Luis, originally from the Dominican Republic came to the United States in 2002 in search of a better life. He settled in Florida where he lives with his wife and his 2 U.S. citizen children. In 2007, Luis was issued an order of deportation however never left so that he could provide for his family.

On April 5th, while on his way to purchase products for his business, Luis was pulled over by the police. He was then arrested for driving with an expired license and for a bench warrant he had been issued for traffic tickets but had no knowledge of. Luis was immediately transferred to ICE and has been at the Broward Detention Center since.

Since his arrest his family has been suffering economic setbacks and emotional hardships. His wife has been unable to make ends meet, she is unable to pay for rent and other bills. Luis’ 2 U.S. citizen children are set to start school soon and their mother has not been able to buy them school supplies and uniforms. His children know that his father is detained and beg for his father to be back. Luis is the main provider of his family and they need him at home. He is a loving and caring husband and father who deserves to be reunited with his family.

While in detention, Luis has developed pain in his testicles and has repeatedly asked for medical assistance for 40 days but all he has received are painkillers and a urine test. Luis needs medical attention not deportation. He has a pending U-Visa and needs to be home with his family. 

According to the memo issued by John Morton, Luis is a low-priority case and should be granted favorable use of prosecutorial discretion. Luis has no criminal record and is the main provider for his family. He deserves to be with them.
Click here to sign the petition that calls for the Administration to exercise prosecutorial discretion by releasing Luis de la Cruz (A# 200-139-118) from Broward Transitional Center so that he can obtain proper medical care, as well as putting a stop to his deportation on humanitarian grounds.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Nearly One-Third of all Immigrants Targeted for Deportation in California by Secure Communities are Not Criminals

The LA Times reports the following:
California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris told local law enforcement agencies Tuesday that they were not obligated to comply with a federal program whose stated goal is to deport illegal immigrants convicted of serious crimes.
The statistics show that 28% of the immigrants targeted by Secure Communities in the State of California were not criminals. After seeing the statistics, Harris commented that SCOMM "has not held up to what it aspired to be" advising each California State law enforcement agency to "make its own decision" about whether to follow the immigration enforcement directive.  

The Obama administration characterizes SCOMM as "a simple and common sense way to carry out ICE's priorities." Harris sees it differently: "I want that rape victim to be absolutely secure that if she waves down an officer in a car that she will be protected … and not fear that she's waving down an immigration officer."  

Click here for the original source of this story.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

BIA Reopens Deportation Case for President Obama's Uncle Omar

The Boston Globe reports the following:
Last week, the Board of ­Immigration Appeals granted Onyango Obama’s request to ­reopen his immigration case based in part on his contention that his prior lawyer was ­ineffective, according to a government official with direct knowledge of the case. Obama’s new lawyers have also argued that the 68-year-old Obama has lived in the United States for nearly half a century and ­deserves a chance to make his case.
The Executive Director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association Crystal Williams commented that: “With an outstanding order and a legally fuzzy plea, it’s pretty unusual for the board to reopen.”

This is the second instance where one of President Obama's relatives has had a deportation case reopened. The President's aunt, Zeituni Onyango, also had her case reopened, and won political asylum in 2010.

Click here to read the original source of the story.

Former President Bush Leads Immigration Forum