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Showing posts from 2013

Obama--Still The Deportation President

Much has been written in the last two days about the Obama Administration's release of its FY 2013 official "removal statistics."  Some have noted that the number of removals (this means displacement of people to foreign countries that they may have had no contact with for decades) went down by 10% from FY2012's record level. Yet, Obama's ICE still deported 369,000 men, women and children (yes children) in the 12 months of 2013. That is 30,750 people a month, 1,111 people a day, 42 people every hour, or almost one person, every 90 seconds, of every day, all year long.  This "lower" number of deportations is a higher number of people deported in one year than President Bush ever deported in one year in his entire presidency.  Let's not kid ourselves. Obama's ICE is a people deportation machine. Every part of that machine is well-oiled to either convince people to accept deportation by deceptive means (e.g. you have no relief), force them to accep…

Due Process is Overdue for Detainees

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. – Preamble of the U.S. Constitution
The United States Constitution, as we all know, is the foundation of our great nation. It defines who we are as a collective people as well as articulates the rights and responsibilities that we all share. Our Constitution was and remains a masterpiece.Drafted by our forward-thinking forefathers, it has helped our Nation advance in ways no one could have imagined then, and has influenced the creation of constitutions of many other nations since.While we take for granted these freedoms generally, immigration lawyers have the unique privilege of being constantly reminded. Every client we help enter or remain in the United States h…

Why Is My DACA Case Pending So Long?

The American Immigration Lawyers Association ("AILA"), is conducting a survey of long pending DACA cases, some pending over one year, and many thousands pending longer that 8 months. The survey has discovered some common elements in long pending cases:
The requestor had a criminal history -- numerous cases involved drinking and driving related incidents, juvenile adjudications, gang issues, and drug and theft offenses;The requestor attended an online school or was homeschooled;The requestor had previously been in removal proceedings or was in removal proceedings at the time of the DACA request;The requestor had another petition or an application for other relief pending;The requestor departed the United States for a considerable period of time either during or prior to the continuous residence period; orThe requestor provided a small amount of evidence to support either continuous residence during the relevant period or physical presence on June 15, 2012. As AILA notes, if …

Believing and Being an Immigration Lawyer

Belief is a powerful, motivating force.  A force that can literally compel action, both for good or evil.  For me, knowledge of and belief in a power greater than myself motivates virtually all that I do.   I believe that we have a responsibility as human beings to be kind to others, to assist when able, to lift when necessary, and to reach out when required.  As lawyers, and particularly as immigration lawyers, I believe that the need for the actions of assisting, lifting and reaching out are even more acute.
            We live in a time of great political turmoil.  Regardless of which of the major political parties with which you affiliate, we can all acknowledge that not enough is being done, not only by the government, but by society in general, to lift the lives of our fellow citizens. Part of the reason we see this failing by government and by ourselves is that many people demonize “the others,” seeking to blame “the others” for the problems with which they themselv…

Detained by Immigration? What You Need to Know

While talks of immigration reform continue there is little spoken of the marked increased number of detained foreign nationals by ICE- the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) enforcement arm.   Congress’ expansion of the immigration detention system has created a profitable market for both private prison corporations and local governments.
In fiscal year 2013 almost 244 state and county jails were contracted to house immigrant detainees on behalf of ICE (nearly 70 percent of the detained immigrant population). Private correctional corporations have gotten in on this boom as well.  These corporations have built facilities strictly to house immigration detainees. Currently, ICE utilizes seven Contract Detention Facilities (CDF). 
Considering this reality below is a summary provided by ICE regarding ICE detainers.
Q: What is an immigration detainer?
A: An immigration detainer is a notice that DHS issues to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to inform the LEA that ICE…