DEPORTATION TO DEATH — HOW AMERICA FAILS TO LIVE UP TO ITS HUMANITARIAN OBLIGATIONS!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/theworldpost/wp/2018/01/15/lgbt-el-salvador/

Josefina Salomon reports from Mexico fro the Washington Post:

“MEXICO CITY — Cristel woke up on the freezing floor of a tiny room in a detention center in San Diego. She was alone, dirty, hungry and exhausted. It was April. Eight days earlier, she had been arrested on the American side of the border crossing at Tijuana, where she planned to claim asylum. She had been in solitary confinement since then. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers had given her no reason for her detention.

Five years on the run had left her drained. From the floor of that San Diego cell, it seemed like she was out of options. She could not bear the thought of being forced by ICE to return to El Salvador. That would be a death sentence.

Death threats from violent gangs had chased Cristel from her native El Salvador, through Guatemala and Mexico, up to the U.S. border. They kept her awake at night, echoing in the back of her head. In El Salvador and on her journey north, she had been bullied, threatened, robbed, beaten and raped. At one point, she had turned to sex work. She had been kidnapped and abused. She had escaped, but she still didn’t feel safe.

Cristel is not her real name. She is 25 and grew up in San Salvador. As a transgender woman, she has faced discrimination and violence nearly her entire life. My colleagues and I met Cristel half a dozen times over the last 18 months, first in San Salvador, and later at different points along her journey, as she moved toward what she hoped was salvation in the U.S.

Over time, Cristel lost weight and dark circles appeared under her eyes as fear, exhaustion and frustration took hold. Sometimes while we were talking, there would be seemingly unstoppable bursts of tears. Weeks might go by before we heard from her. Had she been hurt, or worse? The question, “What is going to happen to me?”, which she asked at every one of our meetings, became more and more urgent.\

. . . .

Starting in the 1990s, the U.S. was one of the first countries to begin admitting asylum seekers and refugees who were persecuted on the basis of their sexual orientation. While the Trump administration has not sought to change U.S. asylum law, it has made it clear that it aims to decrease the overall number of refugees admitted into the country and to raise the threshold for asylum seekers’ “credible fear” of persecution as a basis for their asylum.

According to figures from the U.S. Department of Justice, the number of asylum claims by people from El Salvador has been increasing dramatically in the past few years. There were nearly 18,000 claims in 2016 alone. While the number of people who have secured asylum in the U.S. increased in that period, so did the number of claims that were denied, abandoned or withdrawn. Many prospective asylum seekers and analysts have said this is because of the arduous process and the harsh detention conditions asylum seekers are forced to endure. The most vulnerable, like Cristel, often have few options but return to the danger they were desperately trying to escape in the first place.

In San Diego, after first being confined to solitary, Cristel was transferred to a cell that she shared with eight men. She was kept there for a month and a half. At her hearing, when it eventually came, she was appointed a pro bono lawyer, but her claim for asylum was denied. She was transferred to another detention center in Arizona, where she was handcuffed, put on a plane and sent back to a nightmare.

. . . .

She had gone back to live at her mother’s house, but the gang found her anyway. The extortion had resumed. Every time she is late with her payments, even by a day or two, gang members beat her. “I’m exhausted of being forced to pay to live. I want to leave but there’s nowhere to go.”

Sobbing, she said, “They are going to kill me.”

******************************************

Read the complete story at the link.

This is what “Trumpism” and “GOP restrictionism” are really about — turning our backs on those in the most need of protection.

One of the most disturbing things about this story is that, as noted by Solomon, the U.S. actually has been fairly routinely granting gender-based cases like this since at least the mid-1990s. See, e.g., Matter of Tobaso-Alfonso,20 I&N Dec. 819 (BIA 1990). In many U.S. Immigration Courts cases like this would routinely be granted, often with the DHS’s concurrence.

So, “Cristel” was unlucky.  She got the got the wrong Court, the wrong Judge, the wrong time, and perhaps the wrong pro bono attorney — and it’s likely to cost her life! That’s not justice, and that’s not a properly functioning U.S. Immigration Court that “guarantees fairness and due process to all.” Instead, the “captive” U.S. Immigration Court is turning into a “whistle-stop on the Trump/Sessions Deportation Railroad!” That’s something of which every true American should be ashamed. We need an independent, Due Process focused U.S. Immigration Court now!

PWS

01-16-18

THE GIBSON REPORT — 01-16-18

THE GIBSON REPORT—01

HEADLINES:

“TOP UPDATES

 

DACA Renewals Open Again after Judge Enjoins Recession

USCIS: Due to a federal court order, USCIS has resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under DACA.  Until further notice, and unless otherwise provided in this guidance, the DACA policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded on Sept. 5, 2017. (Here’s a good rundown on social media.)

 

TPS

  • El Salvador – The Secretary of Homeland Security announced her determination that termination of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for El Salvador was required pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act. To allow for an orderly transition, she has determined to delay the termination for 18 months. The designation will terminate on Sept. 9, 2019.
  • Haiti – Current TPS is valid through January 22, 2018 next week. On November 20, 2017, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke announced her decision to terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti with a delayed effective date of 18 months to allow for an orderly transition before the designation terminates on July 22, 2019. However, USCIS has not yet published additional information on re-registration or EAD renewal.

o   REMINDER: termination of TPS is explicitly listed in regs as an exception to the one-year asylum filing deadline. 8 CFR 1208.4(a)(5)(iv)

  • Syria – TPS is set to expire for Syria on March 31, 2018. Find updates on advocacy efforts here.

 

SCOTUS Grants Cert on Stop-Time Rule Case

SCOTUSblog: Whether, to trigger the stop-time rule by serving a “notice to appear,” the government must “specify” the items listed in the definition of a “notice to appear,” including “[t]he time and place at which the proceedings will be held.”

 

New York Immigrant Activist [Ravi Ragbir] Detained by ICE [and held] in Miami Might Be Deported Today

 

Justice Department Announces Court Order Revoking Naturalized Citizenship, Citing Fingerprint Issue

Rewire: Baljinder Singh, also known as Davinder Singh, is the first casualty of “Operation Janus,” a joint operation by the DOJ and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It appears that because USCIS failed to use fingerprint records effectively, those who have been granted citizenship without proper fingerprint records, meaning before fingerprints were digitized, may now be subject to having their citizenship revoked.

 

Immigration Court Backlog Tops 650,000

ImmProf: According to the latest case-by-case court records, the backlog at the end of November 2017 had reached 658,728, up from 629,051 at the end of September 2017. California leads the country with the largest Immigration Court backlog of 123,217 cases. Texas is second with 103,384 pending cases as of the end of November 2017, followed by New York with 89,489 cases.

 

World Migration Report 2018

IOM: Current estimates are that there are 244 million international migrants globally (or 3.3% of the world’s population).

 

Every immigration proposal in one chart

ImmProf: This chart looks at what is and isn’t in various legislative proposals.

 

Trump is Quietly Swamping Visa Applicants in Extra Paperwork

Quartz: From last January to November, the office issued around 40% more RFEs than in all of 2016, and 65% more than in all of 2015, USCIS data shows.

 

Unpublished BIA Decisions

·         BIA Finds Aggravated Child Abuse Not Sexual Abuse of a Minor

·         BIA Finds Altering Vehicle Document Is Not a CIMT

·         BIA Upholds Bond for Respondent with Two DUI Convictions

·         BIA Holds Iowa Theft Not an Aggravated Felony

·         IJ finds Haitian not firmly resettled in Brazil on remand (attached)

 

ACTIONS

o   ACTION ALERT: #SaveTPS for Syria!

o   Take Action: Protect TPS Holders

 

RESOURCES

 

 

EVENTS

 

 

ImmProf

 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Friday, January 12, 2018

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Monday, January 8, 2018

 

AILA NEWS UPDATE

 

http://www.aila.org/advo-media/news/clips

 

Daily Immigration News Clips – January 12, 2018

Aggregated local and national media coverage of major immigration law news stories being discussed throughout the U.S. on January 12, 2018

National

Quartz Trump is quietly swamping visa applicants in extra paperwork
By Ana Campoy

New York Times These Claims About ‘Chain Migration’ Are Not Accurate
By Linda Qiu

HuffPost U.S. Warns Tourists Against Mexico Travel While Feds Threaten To Send Immigrants Back
By Willa Frej

CBS News Trump says visa lottery rewards the “worst” immigrants. That’s inaccurate
By Jacqueline Alemany

Reuters U.N. rights office decries Trump’s reported remarks as ‘racist’
By Stephanie Nebehay

Reuters Trump questions taking immigrants from ‘shithole countries’: sources

New York Times From Norway to Haiti, Trump’s Comments Stir Fresh Outrage
By Henrik Pryser Libell and Catherine Porter

New York Times Trump Alarms Lawmakers With Disparaging Words for Haiti and Africa
By Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, and Thomas Kaplan

The Washington Post Trump attacks protections for immigrants from ‘shithole’ countries in Oval Office meeting
By Josh Dawsey

The Hill Vicente Fox: Trump’s ‘mouth is the foulest s—hole in the world’
By John Bowden

The Hill Blumenthal: Trump’s ‘s—hole’ comment is ‘racism masquerading poorly as immigration policy’
By John Bowden

Roll Call White House Won’t Deny Trump’s Slur About Haiti, African Nations
By John T. Bennett

AP Congress Is Looking For an Elusive Compromise on Immigration after President Trump’s Meeting
By Andrew Taylor and Alan Fram

Reuters Six senators say they have reached immigration deal

Reuters Bipartisan Senate immigration plan draws quick opposition

Reuters White House says immigration deal has not been reached

The Washington Post The president gives another gift to lawyers challenging his immigration orders
By Derek Hawkins

The Washington Post Trump to fight federal injunction protecting ‘dreamers’ from deportation
By Maria Sacchetti, Patricia Sullivan, and Ed O’Keefe

The Washington Post Immigration talks flounder after White House rejects deal and Trump insults foreign countries
By Ed O’Keefe, Erica Werner, and Josh Dawsey

Politico Trump rebuffs Dreamers deal reached by senators
By Seung Min Kim

CNN Trump rejects bipartisan immigration proposal at White House meeting
By Tal Kopan and Lauren Fox

The Hill Pelosi, Dems accuse GOP of moving goal posts on DACA deal
By Mike Lillis

The Hill WH: No deal yet on DACA
By Jordan Fabian

The Hill Trump hits the brakes on Senate immigration deal
By Jordain Carney

NPR ‘Deport Them’: Arpaio Departs From Trump On DACA Recipients
By Anita Kelly and Domenico Montanaro

ABC News The Note: Trump and GOP fenced in by wall, immigration
By Rick Klein

KAZU Website Puts A Face On DACA’s DREAMers
By Krista Alamanzan

AP Honduras next in line for US decision on protected migrants

Reuters Forcing Salvadorans out of U.S. carries twin risks: Red Cross
By Sophie Hares

Vox Thousands of Salvadoran TPS workers clean federal offices. Now their livelihoods are on the line.
By Alexia Fernandez

AP US Resisting Feb. 2 Deadline For Bond Hearings For Iraqis

AP Immigrant stripped of citizenship under federal initiative

AP News of activist’s detention leads to NYC supporter arrests

Wall Street Journal Immigrants Connected to Sanctuary Movement Arrested
By Ian Lovett and Alicia A. Caldwell

Wall Street Journal Immigration Officials Swarm 7-Elevens, Issue Warning to U.S. Businesses
By Alicia A. Caldwell

The Washington Post Another pregnant immigrant teen asks judge to allow access to abortion
By Ann E. Marimow

The Intercept Private Prison Continues to Send ICE Detainees to Solitary Confinement for Refusing Voluntary Labor
By Spencer Woodman

All Africa Somalia: ICE Abused Somalis for 2 Days On a Plane and Now Wants to Send Them Into Harm’s Way
By Amrit Cheng

Reuters Mexico will never pay for Trump wall: Mexican economy minister

Reuters New York charges 17 with numerous crimes, ties to Salvadoran drug gang
By Peter Szekely

New York Daily News Disgraced ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio shares anti-immigration stance: ‘Deport them’
By Denis Slattery

The Week Trevor Noah peeks behind the curtains of Trump’s immigration show
By Peter Weber

MSNBC Rachel Maddow Quoting Frank Sharry (Part 1)

MSNBC Rachel Maddow Quoting Frank Sharry (Part 2)

Bustle What The New DACA Ruling Means For Dreamers & Other Undocumented People
By Madhuri Sathish

Politico Magazine (Opinion) Buy Off Trump With the Wall
By Rich Lowry

New York Times (Op-Ed) John Kasich and Jeb Bush Jr.: A Bad Idea on Immigration
By Governors John Kasich and Jeb Bush Jr.

The Washington Post (Op-Ed) It’s on Republicans to stop a shutdown
By Senator Bernie Sanders

The Hill (Op-Ed) We must take back DACA debate from political predators
By Derek Monson

Local

Seattle Times Washington state regularly gives drivers’ info to immigration authorities; Inslee orders temporary halt
By Nina Shapiro

The National 6,900 Syrians in US face risk of deportation if Trump ends protection
By Joyce Karam

Southampton Patch Advocacy Groups Blast Proposed End Of Protection For Salvadorans
By Lisa Finn

Charlotte Observer Man gets prison, then deportation for stealing data to make IDs for the undocumented
By Joe Marusak

Wall Street Journal N.Y. City Councilmen Arrested as Immigrant Rights Leader Is Detained
By Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Mara Gay

New York Times Council Speaker Calls Police Response ‘Out of Control’
By Wiliam Neuman and Liz Robbins

Cleveland.com Immigration forum to give context to national, regional sanctuary city discussions
By Emily Bamforth

Texas Tribune (Texas) Texas Lt. Gov. Patrick wants AG Paxton to look into San Antonio immigrant smuggling case
By Julian Aguilar

Longview News-Journal (Texas) Petitions urge Gohmert to back DREAM Act
By Glenn Evans

KING5 (Washington) DACA ruling ‘shouldn’t let Congress off hook,’ WA Dreamer says
By Natalie Brand

Miami Herald (Editorial) Stop punishing TPS recipients

San Antonio Express-News (Editorial) Let these Salvadorans stay

Modesto Bee (Editorial) Denham can help Dreamers, if he wants to

Baltimore Sun (Op-Ed) It’s not too late for Congress to pass a DREAM act
By Karen Gonzalez

 

Daily Immigration News Clips – January 11, 2018

Aggregated local and national media coverage of major immigration law news stories being discussed throughout the U.S. on January 11, 2018

National

New York Times Head-Spinning Days for Young Immigrants as Lawmakers and Judges Debate Their Fate
By Vivian Lee, Caitlyn Dickerson, Sheryl Gay Stolberg

CNN DACA negotiations full steam ahead despite ruling, sources say
By Tal Kopan

The Hill Left fears Democrats will give too much on immigration
By Alexander Bolton and Mike Lillis

The Atlantic What Will the Dreamers Do Now?
By Priscilla Alvarez

The Republic What to know about a federal judge’s order blocking Trump’s decision to end DACA
By Daniel Gonzalez

Reuters U.S. immigration operation targets 7-Eleven stores in 17 states
By Bernie Woodall

The Washington Post Immigration agents target 7-Eleven stores in nationwide sweep
By Nick Miroff

CNN Money ICE immigration officers swoop in on 7-Elevens nationwide
By Julia Horowitz

The Hill Feds raid 7-Eleven stores in immigration bust
By Brett Samuels

Fortune 7-Eleven Stores Targeted In Nationwide Immigration Sweep
By Natasha Bash

AP Trump criticizes federal judge blocking him on immigration
By Alan Fram and Ken Thomas

Reuters How an obscure SCOTUS employment ruling put the brakes on DACA rollback
By Allison Frankel

Reuters Trump blasts DACA ruling, calls U.S. court system ‘broken and unfair’
By Richard Cowan and Mica Rosenberg

New York Times Donald Trump Is Optimistic a Deal Can Be Reached on ‘Dreamers’
By Laura Meckler and Kristina Peterson

New York Times House Republicans’ Hard-Line Immigration Stand Clashes With Trump Overture
By Thomas Kaplan and Sheryl Gay Stolberg

Wall Street Journal Trump Attacks ‘Broken’ Court After Ruling Blocking End to ‘Dreamers’ Program
By Louise Radnofsky and Alicia A. Caldwell

Wall Street Journal Trump’s DACA Overture Worries Immigration Hawks
By Laura Meckler

Wall Street Journal Top Senators Say Judge’s Ruling Won’t Stall Talks on ‘Dreamers’
By Louise Radnofsky and Alicia A. Caldwell

The Washington Post DACA injunction: What a federal judge’s ruling means for ‘dreamers’
By Maria Sacchetti

Politico DACA reinstatement throws lawmakers for a loop
By Seung Min Kim

Politico Democratic leaders face internal mutiny over Dreamers deal
By Heather Caygle and Seung Min Kim

CNN Here are the key players in Congress on immigration
By Ashley Killough and Tal Kopan

CNN Shutdown/DACA state of play: a ‘mess’ with a major twist
By Phil Mattingly

CNN Trump, Republicans face immigration reckoning
By Stephen Collinson and Lauren Fox

CNN What kind of border wall does Trump want? It depends on who’s asking.
By Gergory Kreig

The Hill Ann Coulter torches Trump for immigration meeting
By Max Greenwood

The Hill Bipartisan Senate group ‘close’ on DACA deal
By Jordain Carney

The Hill Trump says DACA ruling reflects ‘broken’ court system
By Jordan Fabian

The Hill Warren: Glad we ‘are moving forward on getting a clean DREAM Act’
By Julia Manchester

The Hill House GOP presses harder-line Goodlatte immigration bill
By Scott Wong and Melanie Zanona

Roll Call Spending, Immigration Talks Entangled
By Lindsey McPherson

McClatchy DC Bureau GOP negotiators say Trump aide Stephen Miller is standing in the way of an immigration deal
By Anita Kumar

Buzzfeed News The Fate Of DACA Recipients May Come Down To Finding A Definition Of “Wall” That Both Parties Can Live With
By Paul McLeod

Fox News Insider Malkin: There Will Be ‘Hell to Pay’ for Trump, GOP If They Cave on Amnesty

NPR Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar On Immigration Policy

CNBC More than 100 CEOs pressure Congress to pass immigration bill by Jan. 19
By Ylan Mui

CNBC Trump DACA compromise would crush Trump’s chances in 2020
By Jake Novak

Bloomberg Politics Trump’s Willingness to Deal on Immigration Adds Urgency to Talks
By Laura Litvan

Vox How the 9th Circuit became conservatives’ least favorite court
By Dylan Matthews

Politifact Julián Castro says nearly all DACA recipients employed, in school or serving in military
By Jasper Scherer

Bustle What The New DACA Ruling Means For Dreamers & Other Undocumented People
By Madhuri Sathish

CBN News As Judge Blocks Trump’s DACA Move, Pressures Mount for Lawmakers to Reach a Deal
By Abigail Robertson

Morning Consult Republicans Want DACA Fix Tied to Border Wall, Bucking Broader Voter Trend
By Eli Yokley

The Intercept DREAMERS WIN IN COURT, BUT UNTIL CONGRESS ACTS, THEIR FUTURES ARE AS UNCERTAIN AS EVER
By Aida Chavez

Reuters Canada telling Salvadorans facing U.S. exit that haven isn’t guaranteed
By Anna Mehler Paperny

Reuters Salvadorans say going home not an option after U.S. axes protection
By Joseph Ax and Mica Rosenberg

The Washington Post Trump wants to remove these immigrants. An ugly bit of history tells us what it could do to the economy
By Andrew Van Dam

The Washington Post Canada to Salvadorans leaving US: Don’t come here
By Alan Freeman

Khaleej Times Stripped of citizenship, Indian faces deportation from US

The Guardian UCSD Student Detained After Accidentally Crossing Border
By Amalia Huerta Cornejo

The Washington Post From Apple to Koch, big businesses say Trump is wrong on immigration
By Heather Long

CNN Trump admin grapples with rise in border crossing numbers it once touted
By Tal Kopan

CNN San Antonio top cop under fire after releasing immigrants to charity
By Eliott C. McLaughlin and AnneClaire Stapleton

Vox The complicated calculus as Democrats debate whether to shut down the government
By Ella Nilsen

Pacific Standard PERCEIVED THREAT DRIVES ANTI-IMMIGRANT BIAS
By Tom Jacobs

New York Times (Editorial) Don’t Deport the Salvadorans

The Washington Post (Editorial) Take a deal for the dreamers. Build the wall.

HuffPost (Opinion) A Blueprint For A National Legal Defense Fund
By Tahmina Watson

New York Magazine (Opinion) Trump Ending DACA Was Never About the Law. A Federal Judge Noticed.
By Cristian Farias

New York Magazine (Opinion) Guess Which Line Was Missing From the Transcript of Trump’s Immigration Meeting
By Margaret Hartmann

Yahoo News (Opinion) How Obama left immigrants vulnerable to Trump
By Rick Newman

New York Times (Op-Ed) President Trump Is Breaking Up My Family
By Rodman Serrano

The Washington Post (Op-Ed) Dana Milbank: ‘Dreamers’ need to get out of their own way
By Dana Milbank

The Hill (Op-Ed) Amnesty will be a poisonous prospect for politicians who support it
By Matt O’Brien

Bloomberg View (Opinion) Democrats, Give Trump a Wall!
By Francis Wilkinson

Irish Central (Opinion) President Donald Trump would have turned away the Famine Irish just like the Salvadorans
By Cahir O’Doherty

WHYY (Opinion) The camera doesn’t lie: On immigration, Trump is rudderless
By Dick Polman

Local

CBS Chicago Five Chicago Area 7-Eleven Stores Part Of National Immigration Investigation

Chicago Tribune Chicago ‘Dreamers’ study, save and plan for the worst while Congress debates immigration relief
By Nereida Moreno

Inland Empire Community News Recent DACA decision gives immigrant groups ‘greater momentum’ for Dream Act
By Anthony Victoria

Sacramento Bee California wins major victory for Dreamers, but is it temporary?
By Anita Chabria

Tyler Morning Telegraph DREAM Act petition with 6,000 signatures delivered to Louie Gohmert’s office
By Erin Mansfield

NorthJersey.com NJ ‘Dreamers’ cautiously optimistic after judge blocks Trump’s decision on DACA
By Monsy Alvarado

AP (New York) NY state offers help to Salvadorans facing deportation

AP (Washington) Spokane decides to outlaw immigrant detention by police

PennLive (Pennsylvania) Man faces deportation after secretly filming women, girls in Pa. pizza shop bathroom
By John Luciew

NY1 (New York) STATE RAMPS UP EFFORTS TO HELP SALVADORAN IMMIGRANTS AT RISK OF DEPORTATION

 

Daily Immigration News Clips – January 10, 2018

Aggregated local and national media coverage of major immigration law news stories being discussed throughout the U.S. on January 10, 2018

National

AP ICE conducts sweeps of 100 7-Eleven stores, targeting employers in immigration probe

CNN Democrats seek to avoid DACA’s isolation in budget negotiations
By Tal Kopan

Time Congress May Be Moving Closer to a Compromise on Dreamers
By Maya Rhodan

Los Angeles Times Federal judge in San Francisco temporarily blocks Trump’s decision to end DACA program
By Joel Rubin, Jazmine Ulloa, and Lisa Mascaro

Reuters U.S. judge blocks Trump move to end DACA program for immigrants
By Dan Levine and Yeganeh Torbati

Wall Street Journal Judge Blocks Trump Plan to End ‘Dreamers’ Program
By Alicia A. Caldwell

The Washington Post Federal judge says DACA can’t end while lawsuit is pending
By Maria Sacchetti

Politico Judge blocks Trump wind-down of Dreamers program
By Josh Gerstein

AP Trump suggests 2-phase immigration deal for ‘Dreamers’
By Ken Thomas and Alan Fram

Reuters White House: Lawmakers agreed immigration bill to focus on four areas

New York Times A Brief Anatomy of Trump’s Immigration Meeting With Lawmakers
By Michael D. Shear

New York Times Trump Appears to Endorse Path to Citizenship for Millions of Immigrants
By Julie Hirschfeld Davis

New York Times Trump’s Negotiation on Immigration, Unfolding on Camera
By Peter Baker

Wall Street Journal Donald Trump Is Optimistic a Deal Can Be Reached on ‘Dreamers’
By Laura Meckler and Kristina Peterson

The Washington Post Trump offers to ‘take all the heat’ on immigration, but also appears to contradict himself
By Ed O’Keefe and David Nakamura

Politico Trump puts immigration meeting on display amid questions about his mental state
By Louis Nelson

Politico Dreamer talks still jumbled after Trump’s freewheeling summit
By Seung Min Kim, Heather Caygle, Ted Hesson, and Rachel Bade

Roll Call Goodlatte to Roll Out Immigration Bill Soon, Trump Says
By John T. Bennett

Roll Call Ample Confusion After White House Immigration Meeting
By John T. Bennett

CNN House conservatives prep own DACA bill
By Tal Kopan

CNN Trump holds meeting with bipartisan lawmakers over immigration
By Dana Bash, Daniella Diaz, and Tal Kopan

CNN Trump contradicts self repeatedly in immigration meeting
By Tal Kopan

CNN After White House meeting, negotiations on DACA continue on the Hill
By Lauren Fox, Deirdre Walsh, and Jim Acosta

The Hill Graham: Meeting with Trump ‘most fascinating’ in 20 years of politics
By Max Greenwood

The Hill Trump, lawmakers agree to parameters of potential immigration deal
By Alexander Bolton and Jordain Carney

The Hill McConnell: No DACA fix in spending bill
By Jordain Carney

USA Today In extraordinary public negotiation with Congress, Trump promises to sign DACA bill
By Gregory Korte, Deidre Shesgreen, and Eliza Collins

Vox Republicans are misleading everyone – including themselves – about how long they have to fix DACA
By Dara Lind

Newsweek THIS IS HOW DEMOCRATS CAN STILL SAVE IMMIGRANTS FROM TRUMP
By Nicole Rodriguez

Raw Story Colbert blasts Trump’s immigration ‘bill of love’: ‘If you love someone, kick them out of the country’
By Noo Al-Sibai

New York Times ‘Trump Effect’ Wears Off as Migrants Resume Their Northward Push
By Caitlyn Dickerson

Reuters Salvadorans say going home not an option after U.S. axes protection
By Joseph Ax and Mica Rosenberg

New York Times El Salvador Again Feels the Hand of Washington Shaping Its Fate
By Gene Palumbo and Azam Ahmed

New York Times Listen to ‘The Daily’: U.S. Ends Protections for Salvadorans
By Michael Barbaro

Reuters Ex-Arizona sheriff Arpaio says he will run for Senate

Wall Street Journal Joe Arpaio Will Run for Arizona U.S. Senate Seat
By Janet Hook

Politico Arpaio running for Senate in Arizona
By Kevin Robillard

CNN Joe Arpaio, controversial sheriff pardoned by Trump, enters Arizona Senate race
By Eric Bradner

CNN Immigration, Trump and you: 5 things happening now, and why they matter
By Catherine E. Shoichet

Rewire Justice Department Revokes Naturalized Citizenship, Citing Fingerprint Issue
By Tina Vasquez

New York Times (Editorial) Joe Arpaio’s Latest Offense – Running for Senate

Wall Street Journal (Editorial) Progress on Immigration

HuffPost (Opinion) Make the Workforce American Again
By Michael Wildes

New York Times (Opinion) Save the Salvadorans
By David Leonhardt

The Washington Post (Opinion) Will Democrats stop Trump’s cruel use of immigrants as pawns?
By Jennifer Rubin

HuffPost (Opinion) The Heartless End of TPS for Salvadorans
By Julio Lainez

Wall Street Journal (Op-Ed) The House Chairmen’s Plan for Immigration Reform
By Representatives Bob Goodlatte, Michael McCaul, Raul Labrador, and Martha McSally

CNN (Op-Ed) Trump administration’s new immigration decision is shortsighted and cruel
By Raul A. Reyes

The Hill (Op-Ed) Congress dithers on DACA, but why?
By Gordon Peterson

Local

The Monitor Democrats face tough challenge in selling Trump’s promised wall

Tampa Bay Times Immigration is a big deal in Florida, so why is the state MIA in meeting with Trump?
By Alex Leary

Cincinnati.com (Ohio) Despite social media outcry, caretaker of paraplegic boy to be deported
By Mark Curnutte

 

Daily Immigration News Clips – January 9, 2018

Aggregated local and national media coverage of major immigration law news stories being discussed throughout the U.S. on January 9, 2018

National

McClatchy Under pressure, Trump team backs off proposal to cull foreign tech workforce
By Franco Ordonez

The Atlantic The Battle Over DACA Reaches a Fever Pitch
By Russell Berman

The Republic How Trump’s wall pledge is complicating a DACA bill for ‘dreamers’
By Dan Nowicki and Deniel Gonzalez

Star-Telegram Immigration advocates: DACA deal likely to give Trump his wall
By Andrea Drusch

Reuters Top Democrats send mixed signals on Dreamers, budget deal
By Susan Cornwell

CNN ‘It’s a mess’: DACA negotiations hit a snag ahead of White House meeting
By Lauren Fox, Phil Mattingly, and Tal Kopan

CNN John Kelly leading White House’s immigration effort in congressional negotiations
By Keving Liptak, Jeff Zeleny, Phil Mattingly, and Dana Bash

CNN Exclusive: Pair of lawmakers unveil bipartisan DACA plan
By Tal Kopan

CNN Republicans can’t avoid Trump’s wall promises in DACA talks
By Lauren Fox

The Hill Texas rep: Most Dems will vote against DACA fix that includes wall funding
By Brett Samuels

USA Today In reversal, anti-immigration groups are open to deal to let 800,000 DREAMers stay
By Alan Gomez

AP Pelosi is optimistic about agreement on budget, immigration
By Andrew Taylor

Center for Public Integrity Trump administration to end temporary protected status for immigrants from El Salvador
By Susan Ferriss

The Guardian US says 200,000 people from El Salvador must leave within 18 months
By Amanda Holpuch

CBS News DHS to end protections for some 260K Salvadoran immigrants
By Geneva Sands

AP US ends protections for Salvadoran immigrants, sparking fear
By Luis Alonso Lugo and Elliot Spagat

Reuters U.S. moves toward expelling 200,000 Salvadorans
By Yeganeh Torbati

New York Times Trump Administration Says That Nearly 200,000 Salvadorans Must Leave
By Miriam Jordan

Wall Street Journal U.S. to End Protections for Some Salvadoran Immigrants
By Alicia A. Caldwell and Laura Meckler

Politico Trump to end protected status for Salvadorans
By Ted Hesson, Seung Min Kim, and Heather Caygle

Roll Call Protected Immigration Status for Salvadorans to End in 2019
By Camila Dechaus

Washington Post ‘We will lose practically everything’: Salvadorans devastated by TPS decision
By Maria Sacchetti

AP Advocates want #MeToo debate to include immigrant detention
By Nomaan Merchant

New York Times To Pay for Wall, Trump Would Cut Proven Border Security Measures
By Ron Nixon

New York Times From Offices to Disney World, Employers Brace for the Loss of an Immigrant Work Force
By Vivian Yee, Liz Robbins, and Caitlyn Dickerson

CNN The political stakes of the immigration fight
By Stephen Collinson

The Hill Refugee admissions down for first part of fiscal 2018: report
By Rebecca Savransky

Fox News (Opinion) Trump’s crackdown on legal immigration is hurting America
By Anastasia Tonello

The Washington Post (Opinion) Trump heaps more misery on vulnerable immigrants
By Ishann Tharoor

The Hill (Opinion) Immigration reform: An Army recruitment opportunity
By Eric Fanning

New Yorker (Opinion) When Deportation Is a Death Sentence
By Sarah Stillman

CNN (Op-Ed) Trump’s Mexico wall would be a gift to the drug cartels
By Alice Driver

New York Times (Op-Ed) A Counterproductive Approach to a Broken Immigration System
By Ben Shifter and Michael Raderstorf

Splinter (Op-Ed) I’m Everything This Administration Hates
By Jorge Rivas

The Hill (Op-Ed) An apology to my sons’ Salvadorian caretaker
By Ezra Rosser

Local

Times-Picayune After El Salvador loses special protections from deportation, local Hondurans fear they’re next
By Maria Clark

Trib Live (Pennsylvania) Trump’s decision that would deport Salvadorans makes little sense, Pittsburgh-area immigration experts say
By Bob Bauder

Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) Fearful of deportation, unauthorized immigrants in Salt Lake City are not reporting crime, police chief says
By Christopher Smart

Texas Tribune (Texas) How a South Texas bureaucrat became a multimillionaire amid the rush to build a border fence
By Kiah Collier and Julian Aguilar

Sacramento Bee (Editorial) Trump targets Salvadoran immigrants. Here’s what Congress must do

 

Daily Immigration News Clips – January 8, 2018

Aggregated local and national media coverage of major immigration law news stories being discussed throughout the U.S. on January 8, 2018

National

New York Times Trump Administration Says That Nearly 200,000 Salvadorans Must Leave
By Miriam Jordan

Washington Post 200,000 Salvadorans may be forced to leave the U.S. as Trump ends immigration protection
By Nick Miroff

New York Times At Least 1,900 Immigrants Were Rejected Because of Mail Problems
By Liz Robbins

New York Times Judge Faults U.S. for Holding Immigrant Defendants Freed on Bail
By Alan Feuer

Wall Street Journal SEC Looks Into Kushner Cos. Over Use of EB-5 Program for Immigrant Investors
By Erica Orden

Wall Street Journal Border Agents’ Searches of Travelers’ Phones Skyrocketed, Agency Says
By Alicia A. Caldwell and Laura Meckler

AP The Latest: Trump sees possible deal on young immigrants

Reuters Senator Durbin blasts Trump for ‘anti-immigrant’ moves in ‘Dreamer’ talks

Reuters Democrats, Republicans trade barbs in tense immigration talks
By Richard Cowan

New York Times White House Immigration Demands Imperil Bipartisan Talks
By Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Michael Tackett

Politico Playbook Democrats squeezed on DACA

The Washington Post In next round of budget talks, ‘dreamers’ are set to dominate
By Ed O’Keefe, Mike DeBonis, and Erica Werner

HuffPost Dreamers To California Republicans: Help Us, Please
By Susan Ferriss

ABC News ‘This Week’ Transcript 1-7-18: Nikki Haley, Sen. Tom Cotton and Sen. Bernie Sanders

KPCC DACA job permits will begin expiring soon for young immigrants
By Leslie Berestein Rojas

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Nuestra Comunidad: Blind karate teacher faces possible deportment
By Carlos Moreno

AP Court date for immigrant restaurant manager not until 2021

Reuters Illegal immigrant acquitted in California death gets prison on gun charge
By Alex Dobuzinskis

Reuters Trump meets Republican leaders to set strategy for 2018
By Jeff Mason and Richard Cowan

Reuters Trump, meeting with Republican leaders, says welfare reform may have to wait
By James Oliphant

Wall Street Journal Trump Administration Seeks $18 Billion Over Decade to Expand Border Wall
By Laura Meckler

Wall Street Journal Refugee Admissions to U.S. Off to Slow Start in Fiscal Year 2018
By Laura Meckler

The Washington Post Immigrant sentenced in Kate Steinle shooting as Steinle family prepares for next fight
By Abigail Hauslohner and Maria Sacchetti

The Hill Sessions challenges administrative loophole in immigration court cases
By John Bowden

The Hill 5 Dem senators ask administration not to include citizenship question on census
By Julia Manchester

Newsweek Trump’s Anti-Immigration Rhetoric, Policies Killing Tourism to the U.S. Industry Analysts Say
By Nicole Rodriguez

Times Now H-1B rules: US lawmakers oppose Trump’s proposed changes, raise concern over deportation of 7.5 lakh Indians

New York Times (Letters to the Editor) The Immigrants Who Deliver Healthcare

The Hill (Opinion) Democrats Out of Order on DREAM Act
By Nolan Rappaport

New York Times (Opinion) Let’s Try to Get Past Trump
By Gail Collins

National Review (Opinion) DACA, DACA, Bo-Baca . . .
By Mark Krikorian

Local

Public News Service FL House Speaker “Using Trump’s Playbook” to Ban Sanctuary Cities
By Trimmel Gomes

New York Times (California) In Clash Between California and Trump, It’s One America Versus Another
By Tim Arango

Miami Herald (Florida) A year after obeying Trump on immigration, Miami-Dade still waiting for a windfall
By Douglas Hinks

The Intercept (Texas) Texas Police Chief Hands Over Undocumented Smuggling Victims to Local Organizations, Shunning ICE
By Ryan Devereaux

NBC San Diego Lawyer Fights for Student Facing Deportation After Being Detained in San Diego
By Mackenzie Maynard

CBS Sacramento (California) Immigration Attorneys Warn Against Using Marijuana As Feds Change Stance
By Carlos Correa

Vindy Community helps earn deportation delay for Adi
By Graig Graziosi

Cincinnati.com (Ohio) Appeal denied: ICE to move forward with deportation of paraplegic boy’s caregiver
By Mark Curnutte

Vindicator (Editorial) Area businessman a victim of US immigration system

The Monitor (Op-Ed) COMMENTARY: Far-right sentiment hurting businesses in RGV
By Samuel David Garcia

Lowell Sun (Op-Ed) Safe Communities Act sets clear line on immigration enforcement 
By Dina Samfield

Lancaster Online (LTE) Looking for more from Smucker
By Agustina Drot de Gourville

Boston Herald Atkins: Clock ticking on DACA deal
By Kimberly Atkins”

**************************************

PWS

01-16-18

SPLIT 9TH SHRUGS OFF DUE PROCESS VIOLATIONS IN EXPEDITED REMOVAL – BUT DISSENTING OPINION GIVES DUE PROCESS HOPE FOR THE FUTURE — GOMEZ-VELAZCO V. SESSIONS

http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2018/01/10/14-71747.pdf

Gomez-Velazco v. Sessions, 9th Cir., 01-10-18, published

STAFF HEADNOTE:

“The panel denied Eladio Gomez-Velazco’s petitions for review from the Department of Homeland Security’s final administrative order of removal under 8 U.S.C. § 1228(b), concluding that Gomez-Velazco’s due process claim, based on his contention that he was denied the right to counsel, failed because he made no showing of prejudice.

Gomez-Velazco argued that DHS officers violated his right to counsel by pressuring him to concede removability without advice of counsel in his proceedings under 8 U.S.C. § 1228(b), a form of summary removal proceedings in which he did not have a hearing before an immigration judge. The panel concluded that it had jurisdiction to review Gomez- Velazco’s constitutional claim and assumed, without deciding, that the officers’ conduct violated his right to counsel.

The panel held that Gomez-Velazco was required to show prejudice in order to prevail on his claim, rejecting his contention that, in the context of a due process violation based on the denial of the right to counsel, prejudice should be conclusively presumed and automatic reversal should follow. The panel concluded that, at least in cases like that of Gomez-Velazco, where an individual is in administrative removal proceedings under 8 U.S.C. § 1228(b), does not waive the 14-day waiting period for judicial review, and is allowed to consult with counsel before the removal order is executed, a showing of prejudice is required. The panel further concluded that Gomez-Velazco failed to establish prejudice.

Dissenting, Chief District Judge Navarro wrote that she would grant the petition for review and vacate the final administrative order of removal. Judge Navarro would first make the distinct finding that Gomez-Velazco’s right to counsel was violated, and would hold that no prejudice is required to vacate the order, and that even if prejudice were required, Gomez-Velazco demonstrated sufficient prejudice.

** This summary constitutes no part of the opinion of the court. It has been prepared by court staff for the convenience of the reader.”

PANEL: Paul J. Watford and John B. Owens, Circuit Judges, and Gloria M. Navarro,* Chief District Judge.

* The Honorable Gloria M. Navarro, Chief United States District Judge for the District of Nevada, sitting by designation.

OPINION BY: Judge Watford

DISSENT BY: Chief USDC Judge Navarro

KEY QUOTE FROM MAJORITY:

“Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can seek to remove non-citizens from the United States through several different means. The most formal process involves a hearing in immigration court before an immigration judge, at which the individual to be removed can contest the charges against him and request various forms of relief from removal. See 8 U.S.C. § 1229a. Today, however, most non-citizens are ordered removed through streamlined proceedings— expedited removal, administrative removal, and reinstatement of removal—that do not involve a hearing before an immigration judge. See Jennifer Lee Koh, Removal in the Shadows of Immigration Court, 90 S. Cal. L. Rev. 181, 183–84 (2017); Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, The Rise of Speed Deportation and the Role of Discretion, 5 Colum. J. Race & L. 1, 2–3 (2014). The proceedings are summary in nature and conducted by front-line immigration enforcement officers employed by DHS.

This case involves administrative removal under 8 U.S.C. § 1228(b). A DHS officer ordered Eladio Gomez-Velazco, a native and citizen of Mexico, removed from the United States. Gomez-Velazco contends that his due process rights were violated because he did not have counsel present at the outset of the removal process. We will assume that a violation occurred. The question we address is whether Gomez-Velazco must show that he was prejudiced by the violation. We conclude that he must and that he has not done so. We therefore deny his petitions for review.”

TEXT OF CHIEF USDC JUDGE NAVARRO’S DISSENT:

“NAVARRO, Chief District Judge, dissenting:

I would grant the Petition for Review and vacate the Final Administrative Removal Order (“FARO”) issued on June 12, 2014.

I would first make the distinct finding—as opposed to the majority’s assumption—that Gomez-Velazco’s right to counsel was violated. “Although there is no Sixth Amendment right to counsel in an immigration hearing, Congress has recognized it among the rights stemming from the Fifth Amendment guarantee of due process that adhere to individuals that are the subject of removal proceedings.” Tawadrus v. Ashcroft, 364 F.3d 1099, 1103 (9th Cir. 2004) (citing Rios-Berrios v. I.N.S., 776 F.2d 859, 862 (9th Cir. 1985)). While “[t]he right to counsel in immigration proceedings is rooted in the Due Process Clause,” Biwot v. Gonzales, 403 F.3d 1094, 1098 (9th Cir. 2005), the right to counsel in expedited removal proceedings is also secured by statute. 8 U.S.C. § 1228(b)(4)(B) (“[T]he alien shall have the privilege of being represented (at no expense to the government) by such counsel, authorized to practice in such proceedings, as the alien shall choose.”); 8 C.F.R. § 238.1(b)(2)(i) (“[The Notice of Intent] shall advise that the alien: has the privilege of being represented, at no expense to the government, by counsel of the alien’s choosing, as long as counsel is authorized to practice in removal proceedings”);

16 GOMEZ-VELAZCO V. SESSIONS

see also 8 C.F.R. § 238.1(b)(2)(iv) (requiring ICE to provide aliens facing expedited removal “with a list of available free legal services programs”).

Moreover, expedited removal proceedings under § 1228 require “conformity with section 1229a” and the “privilege of being represented” is further codified in that section as well. See 8 U.S.C. § 1229a(b)(4)(A). This right to be represented at no cost to the government is also listed on the “Notice of Intent to Issue a FARO” under “Your Rights and Responsibilities.” If the right to counsel under § 1228 is only for the noncitizen to be advised of the right to have counsel, with no practical effect, then it would be no right to counsel at all. See Rios-Berrios, 776 F.2d at 863 (explaining that the right to counsel must be respected in substance as well as in name).

Indeed, this Circuit has consistently emphasized the critical role of counsel in deportation proceedings. See, e.g., Reyes-Palacios v. I.N.S., 836 F.2d 1154, 1155 (9th Cir. 1988) (“The importance of counsel . . . can neither be overemphasized nor ignored.”); United States v. Cerda-Pena, 799 F.2d 1374, 1377 n.3 (9th Cir. 1986) (referring to “an outright refusal to allow an alien the opportunity to obtain representation” as “an egregious violation of due process”). We have characterized the alien’s right to counsel of choice as “fundamental” and have warned the agency not to treat it casually. Rios-Berrios, 776 F.2d at 863–64.

Here, the record clearly demonstrates that Gomez- Velazco asserted that he had counsel and wanted his counsel present. First, in Form I-213, ICE Officer Stewart explains that during the FARO proceedings, Gomez-Velazco “was unwilling to provide a sworn statement without an attorney

GOMEZ-VELAZCO V. SESSIONS 17

present.” Second, on the “Record of Sworn Statement” dated June 12, 2014, the first question states, “Are you willing to answer my questions?” to which Gomez-Velazco answered: “I prefer not to until I talk to my attorney.” DHS nevertheless proceeded with the expedited removal proceedings without first affording Gomez-Velazco the opportunity to notify and speak with his counsel as he requested. In doing so, DHS directly disregarded Gomez-Velazco’s ability to exercise this fundamental right.

Having found that Gomez-Velazco’s right to counsel was violated, I would then find that under Montes-Lopez v. Holder, 694 F.3d 1085 (9th Cir. 2012), no prejudice is required to vacate the FARO. The Montes-Lopez court held “an alien who shows that he has been denied the statutory right to be represented by counsel in an immigration proceeding need not also show that he was prejudiced by the absence of the attorney.” 694 F.3d at 1093–94. In support, the court stated that “the absence of counsel can change an alien’s strategic decisions, prevent him or her from making potentially-meritorious legal arguments, and limit the evidence the alien is able to include in the record.” Id. at 1092.

The majority here distinguishes Montes-Lopez by a distinction without a difference. First, the majority regards Montes-Lopez as “an exception to the general rule requiring a showing of prejudice;” however, prior to Montes-Lopez, there was no general rule that required a showing of prejudice—a fact that Montes-Lopez, Hernandez-Gil, and Biwot, the cases the majority relies so heavily on, all specifically identify. Id. at 1090 (“We have never decided, however, whether prejudice is an element of a claim that counsel has been denied in an immigration proceeding.”);

18 GOMEZ-VELAZCO V. SESSIONS

Hernandez-Gil v. Gonzales, 476 F.3d 803, 808 (9th Cir. 2007) (“Because we determine that Hernandez-Gil has shown that he was prejudiced by the denial of his statutory right to counsel ‘we again leave unanswered the question whether a petitioner must show prejudice when he has been denied the right to counsel in removal proceedings.’”) (citing Biwot, 403 F.3d at 1100).

Second, the right to counsel is substantively the same under both the § 1228 expedited removal proceeding before a DHS deciding officer, as used here, and the § 1229 proceeding before the immigration judge, as in Montes- Lopez.1 Compare § 1228(b)(4)(B) with § 1229(b)(1); see also United States v. Peralta-Sanchez, 847 F.3d 1124, 1130 (9th Cir. 2017) (emphasizing the similarity of §§ 1228 and 1229 in the right to counsel context). Montes-Lopez’s holding refers to “an immigration proceeding” without differentiating between a proceeding before an immigration judge and a DHS deciding officer. Montes-Lopez, 694 F.3d at 1093–94.

Notably, the Montes-Lopez court purposefully distinguished pure immigration proceedings from collateral attacks on a removal order in a § 1326 illegal reentry criminal case, the latter of which requires prejudice specifically because of “the limitations on criminal defendants’ right to collaterally attack the result of a prior proceeding.” Montes- Lopez, 694 F.3d at 1093; see also Villa-Anguiano v. Holder, 727 F.3d 873, 876 n.1 (9th Cir. 2013) (contrasting the § 1326 illegal reentry collateral attack standard under Reyes-Bonilla with the immigration proceedings petition for review standard

1 The Government decides under which process to pursue deportation by issuing either a Notice of Intent to Issue a FARO under § 1228 or Notice to Appear under § 1229.

GOMEZ-VELAZCO V. SESSIONS 19

under Montes-Lopez). The Montes-Lopez court compared the collateral attack versus petition for review in the immigration context to the difference between a criminal collateral attack and a direct appeal: “A criminal defendant who alleges ineffective assistance of counsel must generally show prejudice, Smith v. Mahoney, 611 F.3d 978, 1001 (9th Cir. 2010), but a defendant who has been denied counsel need not. Campbell v. Rice, 408 F.3d 1166, 1176 (9th Cir. 2005).” 694 F.3d at 1092.

Deprivation of counsel is per se prejudicial. See Cerda- Pena, 799 F.2d at 1377 n.3 (“[A]n outright refusal to allow an alien the opportunity to obtain representation may be such an egregious violation of due process so as not to require any further showing of prejudice”); Garcia-Guzman v. Reno, 65 F. Supp. 2d 1077, 1087 (N.D. Cal. 1999) (explaining that “Cerda-Pena therefore suggests that if the violation of the right to counsel is sufficiently egregious—i.e., a clear denial of representation or outright refusal to permit an alien to obtain representation—prejudice needn’t be shown.”).

The majority attempts to downplay the inherent prejudice of this situation by comparing it to discrete stages of a criminal proceeding, such as a preliminary hearing, a court- ordered psychiatric examination, post-indictment interactions with undercover police officers, and pre-trial line-ups. However, none of these situations are comparable to the instant case. Here, Gomez-Velazco was in custody by DHS when he asked for an attorney—a situation that, in a non- immigration case, would normally mandate an attorney as soon as a defendant requests one.

Furthermore, in drawing comparisons to these Sixth Amendment situations, the majority attempts to illustrate how

20 GOMEZ-VELAZCO V. SESSIONS

the standard in those cases are only “subject to harmless error review rather than an automatic reversal rule,” and the majority concludes that because this is a similar discrete stage, prejudice is required rather than presumed. However, in arguing this, the majority once again completely disregards Montes-Lopez. There, the court held that “[w]hen this court concludes that an agency has not correctly applied controlling law, it must typically remand, even if we think the error was likely harmless.” Montes-Lopez, 694 F.3d at 1092 (citing INS v. Orlando Ventura, 537 U.S. 12, 16–17 (2002)). Importantly, Montes-Lopez adopts the reasoning of the Second Circuit, which “declined to add a prejudice requirement to this rule because [the court] reasoned that automatic reversal upon violation of such a regulation would encourage agency compliance with its own rules and serve the interests of judicial economy.” Id. at 1091 (citing Montilla v. INS, 926 F.2d 162, 169 (2d Cir. 1991)). We must recognize that in mandating automatic reversal, not only will we continue to protect this right to counsel, but also we will better hold these agencies accountable in their actions and conduct by enforcing their own regulations more strictly upon them. In holding that this situation is akin to a harmless error review, the majority disregards Montes-Lopez’s holding and downplays the right to counsel.

The majority attempts to distinguish Montes-Lopez by stating that it is different than the instant case because it is “based in part on the practical difficulties one would face in trying to prove that the outcome of the merits hearing would have been different had counsel been able to assist.” The majority reasons that Montes-Lopez differs because “Gomez- Velazco was not denied the assistance of counsel throughout the entirety of the administrative removal process” but that he “lacked counsel at one discrete stage of the process.”

GOMEZ-VELAZCO V. SESSIONS 21

To carve out such a nuanced distinction undermines the fundamental nature of the right to counsel. See, e.g., Hernandez-Gil, 476 F.3d at 806 (“The high stakes of a removal proceeding and the maze of immigration rules and regulations make evident the necessity of the right to counsel.”); Montes-Lopez, 694 F.3d at 1091 (“No showing of prejudice is required, however, when a rule is ‘intended primarily to confer important procedural benefits upon indiv[i]duals’’ or ‘when alleged regulatory violations implicate fundamental statutory or constitutional rights.’”) (quoting Leslie v. Attorney Gen., 611 F.3d 171 (3d Cir.2010)). Likewise, to permit an agency to continue to ignore its own regulations undermines the fundamental nature of the right to counsel. Finally, to ignore established precedent in favor of the majority’s new exception undermines the fundamental nature of the right to counsel. Accordingly, I would vacate the FARO because Gomez- Velazco established a right to counsel due process violation and therefore need not show prejudice.

Even if prejudice were required, however, it should be assessed under the “plausibility” standard set forth by United States v. Cisneros-Rodriguez, 813 F.3d 748, 760 (9th Cir. 2015): “[W]hether the defendant had identified a form of relief it was plausible he would have obtained absent the due process violation.” In Cisneros-Rodriguez, the defendant argued that “had she obtained counsel [during her predicate § 1228 proceeding], it is plausible that she would have applied for and obtained a U-visa.” Id. at 753. The court agreed that because she demonstrated prima facie U-Visa eligibility, it was plausible that she would have obtained a U- Visa had she applied for one at the time of her original § 1228 proceeding. Id. at 761. This finding was made despite the

22 GOMEZ-VELAZCO V. SESSIONS
fact that the defendant later applied for a U-Visa and was

rejected. Id. at 762.

Here, the record demonstrates that Officer Stewart—the arresting ICE officer who provided the evidence to Deciding Officer Elizabeth C. Godfrey for the issuance of the FARO—knew that Gomez-Velazco was represented by counsel and that Gomez-Velazco had a pending U-Visa application. When Officer Stewart nevertheless chose to arrest Gomez-Velazco and continue with the § 1228 proceeding without allowing him to consult with his attorney, Gomez-Velazco was prejudiced more than the defendant in Cisneros-Rodriguez because he had a plausible and pending U-Visa application. As such, I cannot agree with the majority that Gomez-Velazco failed to demonstrate sufficient prejudice under Cisneros-Rodriguez.

Ultimately, even without a finding of prejudice, the majority’s decision to deny Gomez-Velazco’s petition for review dilutes the fundamental right to counsel and completely ignores indistinguishable precedent. See Hernandez v. Holder, 545 Fed. Appx. 710, 713 (9th Cir. 2013) (Ikuta, J., concurring) (unpublished opinion) (stating disagreement with Montes-Lopez while still acknowledging that the Ninth Circuit is bound by its decision). Accordingly, I must respectfully dissent.”

************************************

Sure seems to me that Chief Judge Navarro is right that the majority fails to follow the Ninth Circuit’s long-stnding precedent in Rios-Berrios v. I.N.S., 776 F.2d 859, 862 (9th Cir. 1985). Indeed, if anything the due process need for counsel in so-called “Expedited Removal” before an Immigration Officer appears even greater than that before an Immigration Judge which was found to be per se prejudicial in Rios-Berrios. Also, it’s quite ironic that a District Judge sitting by designation has a better understanding of 9th Circuit precedent than her 9th Circuit colleagues in the majority!

In any event, there is some “good stuff” in this dissent for anyone challenging the lack of counsel in Expedited Removal on due process grounds. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Chief Judge Navarro’s views prevail in some other Circuits as the Trump Administration and DHS “push the envelope” on Expedited Removal.

PWS

01-13-18

SUCCESS: GW ASYLUM CLINIC SAVES A LIFE AT ARLINGTON IMMIGRATION COURT!

“Friends,

Please join me in congratulating Immigration Clinic student-attorney Gisela Camba, and her clients M-A and K-C, from Honduras.  This afternoon, after a three-hour hearing, Immigration Judge Robert P. Owens granted the clients’ asylum application.

K-C, then fourteen years of age, was accosted and threatened three times by a gang member while walking to school.  The gang member threatened to kidnap her, if she didn’t go with him voluntarily, and then kill her and her family.  After the third threat, her Mom, M-A, fled with her to the USA.  K-C, now sixteen, testified that around that time a girl in her neighborhood had been kidnapped by gang members and never heard from again.

Congratulations also to Sameen Ahmadnia, Dalia Varela, Sarah DeLong, Jonathan Bialosky, and Rachael Petterson, who previously worked on this case.

**************************************************
Alberto Manuel Benitez
Professor of Clinical Law
Director, Immigration Clinic
The George Washington University Law School
650 20th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052
(202) 994-7463
(202) 994-4946 fax
abenitez@law.gwu.edu
THE WORLD IS YOURS…”
************************************************
Congrats, Professor, to you and your students! You are true members of the New Due Process Army!
PWS😎😎😎
01-11-18

NEWS FROM THE NEW DUE PROCESS ARMY (“NDPA”) – MICHELLE MENDEZ AT CLINIC REPORTS HIRING OF THREE NEW LITIGATORS!

My friend and NDPA stalwart Michelle Mendez over at CLINIC reports thei hiring of three new immigration litigators to assist in the battle to keep the Trump Administration from trampling the Due Process rights of immigrants (and others):

“We are thrilled to announce the addition of three outstanding advocates to our Defending Vulnerable Populations team within CLINIC’s Training and Legal Support Program:

 

Georges Francis, Senior Attorney

Rachel Naggar, Remote Legal Teams Project Attorney

Vickie Neilson, Senior Attorney

 

Georges Francis obtained his J.D. from Florida International University where he previously obtained a B.A. in business administration. He was compelled to attend law school after volunteering at the Krome Detention Center where he witnessed the disparate treatment of Haitians in removal proceedings and the hardships all ICE detainees and their families endured while trying to navigate the complicated immigration court process. Since graduating from law school and prior to CLINIC, Georges served as managing attorney for Catholic Charities Legal Services of the Archdiocese of Miami from 2006 to 2017. There, he gained over 11 years of experience litigating and managing detained and non-detained removal cases. Georges is fluent in Creole, proficient in French, and speaks basic Spanish. He is a member of the New Jersey bar and will be working remotely initially from Coral Gables, Florida and then from Charlotte, North Carolina where he will represent CLINIC in the Center of Excellence collaboration.  

 

Rachel Naggar holds a B.S. in Family Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park and a J.D. from Boston College Law School. During law school, Rachel was a summer clinical fellow at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. Rachel then worked as a staff attorney at the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Arizona from September 2009 to May 2011 before transitioning to the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem in the Immigration Defense Practice from June 2011 to June 2015. Thereafter, Rachel was an associate attorney Glickman Turley LLP handling immigration and criminal matters, including federal criminal appeals, and then a staff attorney at Project Citizenship. She is a member of the Maryland and Massachusetts bars. Rachel will represent CLINIC in a new pilot project in collaboration with AILA and American Immigration Council’s Immigration Justice Campaign. She works remotely from Brookline, Massachusetts.

Vickie Neilson has worked as the Legal Director of Immigrant Justice Corps, an immigration legal fellowship program that seeks to expand the quality and quantity of immigration legal services, since 2014.  Vickie has also worked in the Office of Chief Counsel of USCIS Refugee and Asylum Division, as the legal director of Immigration Equality, and as the legal director of the HIV Law Project.  She has taught as an adjunct professor at CUNY School of Law and New York University School of Law.  Vickie is the Chair of the Immigration Committee of the New York City Bar Association and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association where she is co-chair of the AILA New York Ethics Committee and a member of the National Asylum Committee.  She is the editor and co-author of Immigration Law and the Transgender Client, and is a contributing author to AILA’s Guide to U.S. Citizenship & Naturalization Law.  She is a graduate of CUNY School of Law and Harvard University.  She is admitted to the New York Bar. Starting February 26th, she will work remotely from Pleasantville, New York.

 

And, if you know anyone who may be interested in joining our team as the E-Learning Program Developer, send that person our way! Thank you!

 

Gratefully,

 

Michelle N. Mendez

Training and Legal Support Senior Attorney

Defending Vulnerable Populations Project Manager

Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)

Mailing Address: 8757 Georgia Avenue, Suite 850, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Physical Address: OPD, 217 E. Redwood Street, Suite 1020, Baltimore, MD 21202

Cellular Phone: 540.907.1761

Fax Number: 301.565.4824

Email: mmendez@cliniclegal.org

Website: www.cliniclegal.org

 

Embracing the Gospel value of welcoming the stranger, CLINIC promotes the dignity and protects the rights of immigrants in partnership with a dedicated network of Catholic and community legal immigration programs.”

*************************************************

Congrats to all! And thanks for joining the (unfortunately) never ending battle to force the U.S. Government and this Administration to live up to the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution! What if we had a Government that actually believed in and followed the Constitution for vulnerable migrants and everyone else in the United States? Now, THAT would be a “Great America!”

PWS

01-11-17

 

CHRISTIE THOMPSON @ THE MARSHALL PROJECT: SESSIONS’S APPARENT ATTACK ON “ADMINISTRATIVE CLOSING” IN U.S. IMMIGRATION COURT COULD FURTHER SCREW UP ALREADY FAILING SYSTEM — It Wasn’t A Problem, But Is Likely To Become One By The Time He’s Finished By Stripping Judges Of Last Vestiges Of Independent Authority Over Their Mushrooming Dockets! – I’m Quoted In This Article!

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2018/01/09/the-doj-decision-that-could-mean-thousands-more-deportations

Christie writes

“Sessions considers tying the hands of immigration judges.

Administrative closure sounds like one of the driest bureaucratic terms imaginable, but it has huge implications for immigrants and their families. Now, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who oversees immigration judges, is considering limiting that power.

Sessions wrote in a recent brief that he would review judges’ authority to administratively close immigration cases, the latest in a series of Department of Justice memos and policies that could reshape immigration courts and make it even harder for people to remain in the U.S.

Administrative closure has been used frequently by judges to drop cases against people who aren’t a priority for deportation or who have other pending legal issues. Judges under the Obama administration used this option far more than previous judges, administratively closing 180,000 cases in four years. Critics say it operates as a kind of backdoor amnesty, particularly for people who don’t qualify for other kinds of relief under immigration law.

Closed cases are in a sort of limbo: the immigrant isn’t legally in the U. S., but the government isn’t pursuing deportation. Authorities can change their mind at any time. Under Obama, this usually happened only if the immigrant went on to commit a crime or if there was a development in his or her legal status. But the Trump Administration has already begun re-openingthousands of administratively closed cases. Immigration judges under Trump have also stopped closing cases for people who didn’t used to be an enforcement priority — such as parents of U.S. citizen children who had been in the country for a long time and had no criminal record.

Judges, attorneys and advocates say that ending administrative closure entirely could have a significant impact on individual cases and the immigration court system overall. Sessions could decide to reopen as many as 350,000 closed cases, which could flood a backlogged system that has 650,000 pending cases.

“If he brings them all back into court at once, that’s going to cripple the courts even further,” said Paul Wickham Schmidt, a former immigration judge and former head of the Board of Immigration Appeals. “They can’t do the cases they have now — why is he out there looking for more?”

There are groups of immigrants for whom administrative closure is particularly important. Someone being deported for a crime but still fighting the conviction may have his or her case closed while an appeal is pending. Judges may also stop removal proceedings for immigrants with serious mental health issues or intellectual disabilities if they are found to be incompetent to go through court hearings.

Many undocumented children also ask for administrative closure while they’re applying for juvenile protected status, a legal status that can take years to wind its way through state family court and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Without administrative closure, “those children could be deported while their application for a green card is pending with another immigration agency,” said Nicholas Phillips, an immigration attorney with Prisoners Legal Services of New York.

If administrative closure isn’t an option, judges have another option of issuing a continuance, which postpones the decision. However, that practice also recently came under fire from the attorney general. Sessions’ office recently criticized the increased use of continuances by immigration judges, saying they delayed the courts.

The Justice Department has made several decisions and proposals recently that would change how immigration judges do their job.

This fall, the department proposed setting case completion quotas for judges to try to speed up decision-making. It released a memo in December that reminding judges to act “impartially” when looking at cases involving children, despite their commonly sympathetic stories. DOJ also said judges should give asylum applications more careful scrutiny and be more reluctant to postpone a case.

Sessions’ announcement of the review came when he intervened in the immigration case of a minor who arrived from Guatemala in 2014. He has asked the Department of Homeland Security and other interested groups to submit briefs on the issue of administrative closure by a February deadline.”

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There are an estimated 350,000 pending cases currently in “administratively closed” (“AC”) status! In my extensive experience at all levels of our immigration system, there are sound reasons supporting almost all of these ACs.

If Sessions, as expected by most advocates, reaches the rather absurd conclusion that notwithstanding over three decades of use by Administrations and Attorneys General of both parties, AC is somehow “illegal” or should be “withdrawn,” these cases likely would mindlessly be thrown back into the already overwhelmed U.S. Immigration Courts on top of the 660,000 already pending cases. Over a million pending cases! That has the potential to “implode” or “explode” or “sink” (choose your favorite verb) the Immigration Court system on the spot.

In reality, AC has been nothing but a godsend for overworked, over-stressed U.S. Immigration Judges and the immigration Court system. Rather than being forced to “docket babysit” cases that can better be resolved elsewhere in the system than in Immigration Court, or that under a proper use of resources and prosecutorial discretion by the DHS never should have been placed in Immigration Court in the first place, the Immigration Judges can “clear some of the deadwood” from their dockets and concentrate on the cases that actually need their limited time and attention. No, AC by itself can’t solve the chronic backlog and due process problems currently festering in the U.S. Immigration Courts. But, reducing the active docket by a whopping one-third without treading on anyone’s due process rights was certainly a step in the right direction! 

The current backlog has been aggravated, if not actually largely created, by the practice of “Aimless Docket Reshuffling” (“ADR”) by politicos in the DOJ and the White House going back decades. As Administrations and AG’s change, and DHS Enforcement priorities change with them, cases that were once “priorities” are shuffled off to the end of the docket to make way for the new “enforcement priority of the moment.” Other times, Immigration Judges are shuffled or detailed to the new “priority dockets” and their now “non-priority regular cases” are arbitrarily reassigned to other judges (who already are carrying full dockets themselves). Many times, this means taking cases that are “ready for trial” and replacing them with cases that aren’t ready for trial because the respondent needs to find a lawyer, file applications, and prepare the case. Other times, when dockets are shifted around largely without meaningful participation by the Immigration Judges, the DHS files or EOIR “record files” are not available, thus causing further delays.

In that manner, cases are not completed on any regular, predictable schedule, “Individual Hearing” dates become “jokes,” and U.S. Immigration Judges lose both credibility and the last vestiges of independent control over their court dockets as politicos and bureaucrats who neither fully understand nor are properly part of the Immigration Court System screw things up time after time.

Sessions appears anxious to add to and further aggravate these problems, rather than addressing them ion a reasonable and systematic manner with participation of all parties who use and rely on the U.S. Immigration Courts for due process and justice. Shame on him and on our Congress for allowing this to happen!

As I’ve said over and over: It’s past time for Congress to create an independent U.S. Immigration Court system that would be free of these types of highly politicized and totally wasteful shenanigans!

Only an independent U.S. Immigration Court will provide the “level playing field” and truly impartial administration and adjudication necessary to bring these potentially “life or death” cases to conclusion in a manner that is both efficient and in full compliance with fundamental fairness and due process (and, consequently, will find a high degree of acceptance in the U.S. Courts of Appeals, rather than generating too many “returns for redos” as happens in the current “haste makes waste” environment at EOIR.)

PWS

01-10-18

THE GIBSON REPORT — 01-08-18

THE GIBSON REPORT 01-08-18

HEADLINES:

“TOP UPDATES

 

Sessions takes aim at administrative closure

o   ABC: Sessions posed detailed questions challenging the use of “administrative closures,” an increasingly common outcome that allows people to stay in the country without legal status. The attorney general invited feedback from advocates and others, after which time he may issue new instructions for immigration judges nationwide.

o   Matter of CASTRO-TUM, 27 I&N Dec. 187 (A.G. 2018): The Attorney General referred the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals to himself for review of issues relating to the authority to administratively close immigration proceedings, ordering that the case be stayed during the pendency of his review.

 

Acting ICE Director Wants to Arrest Politicians Running Sanctuary Cities

NYMag: In an interview Tuesday with Fox News Channel’s Neil Cavuto, Homan said political leaders in sanctuary cities, which don’t cooperate with ICE officials looking to make immigration arrests, are breaking the law when they “knowingly shield and harbor an illegal alien.” “That is a violation of 8 USC 1324. That’s an alien-smuggling statute. I’ve asked the Department of Justice to look at this,” he said.

 

OCC Trying to De-designate UACs?

Catholic Charities: Before IJ Kolbe: It was business as usual until a case that involved a UAC, 13 years old, present with step-father, after counsel stated they were pursuing Asylum, DHS handed her a letter stating that they’re giving her a letter de-designating her client. It all happened very fast, and it was unexpected. Kolbe did look surprise and stated that counsel could still send her application to USCIS and keep her up-to-date with the outcome. My question is, has anyone else had  this letter handed out to them? If so, can you share the letter so we can see what exact language DHS is using and prepare rebuttals?

 

ICE sending G-56 call-in letter after attempted raid

IDP: We just got a call from an individual who was deported (to the wrong country) in 2007, he then reentered in 2008.  He was recently arrested on a criminal case in Rockland County, NY.  About 3 weeks ago — shortly after one of his criminal court dates –, 9 agents, a mix of ICE and the local gang unit of the sheriff’s department, raided his home early in the morning.  He was at work and after waking up his sleeping children and speaking everyone in the home, the agents left without arresting anyone. A few days later, this individual received [a] G-56 letter from ICE in the mail, telling him to report to ERO at 201 Varick Street this Tuesday for “Case Review”, with his immigration documents and valid passport, which seems like a less resource-intensive tactic of ICE to take him into custody to re-deport him.

 

Trump Justice Department Pushes for Citizenship Question on Census, Alarming Experts

ProPublica: The Justice Department is pushing for a question on citizenship to be added to the 2020 census, a move that observers say could depress participation by immigrants who fear that the government could use the information against them. That, in turn, could have potentially large ripple effects for everything the once-a-decade census determines — from how congressional seats are distributed around the country to where hundreds of billions of federal dollars are spent.

 

Fewer family visas approved as Trump toughens vetting of immigrants: Reuters review

Reuters: The number of approvals dropped by nearly a quarter in the first nine months of 2017 to around 406,000 compared to the same period a year earlier when approvals were more than 530,000, despite a similar number of applications during both periods, USCIS data showed.

 

Immigration Clinic Represents Somali nationals in Class Action Lawsuit

ImmProf: The hearing will address whether the court has jurisdiction to consider the petitioners’ claim that they are entitled to a stay of removal while they seek reopening of their removal orders.

 

Motel 6 Gave Guest Information To ICE Agents, Lawsuit Says

NPR: Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued Motel 6 on Wednesday, alleging motel employees gave private information about thousands of guests to U.S. immigration authorities.

 

More workers say their bosses are threatening to have them deported

LA Times: Complaints over immigration-related retaliation threats surged last year in California, according to the Labor Commissioner’s Office. Through Dec. 22, workers had filed 94 immigration-related retaliation claims with the office, up from 20 in all of 2016 and only seven a year earlier.

 

US Commission on Civil Rights Concerned with Alleged Abusive Labor Practices at Immigration Detention Centers

AILA: The Commission calls for heightened oversight and transparency of the Voluntary Work Program within both government and privately-run detention centers.

 

Trump, lawmakers step up talks on immigrant ‘Dreamers’

Reuters: Urgent negotiations aimed at shielding young, undocumented immigrants from deportation intensified on Thursday as Republican U.S. senators emerged from a meeting with President Donald Trump expressing confidence a deal could be struck this month.

 

IJ Lamb’s Retirement

Empire Justice Center: Update 1/8/18: I spoke with IJ Lamb’s legal assistant this morning and she informed me that my individual scheduled for tomorrow was adjourned and all her hearings will be reassigned to a new judge.

 

ACTIONS

 

o   AILA: Call for Examples: Compelling Family Immigration Stories”

 

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PWS

01-08-18

 

ROBIN UREVICH @ CAPITAL & MAIN: “ICEY DEATH” — How The “New American Gulag” Is Killing Civil Immigration Detainees!

Investigative Reporter Robin Urevich of Capital & Main is writing a continuing series on immigration detainee deaths in ICE detention. Here are excerpts from her first two articles.

“Since 2016, 23 men and women have died inside Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers. They came from 15 countries in Latin America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean, and ranged in age from 23 to 65. The detainees included Osmar Gonzalez Gadba, a Nicaraguan national who hanged himself in his cell at the Adelanto Detention Facility near San Bernardino; a Panamanian named Jean Jimenez Joseph, who also committed suicide, in Georgia’s Stewart Detention Center; and Moises Tino Lopez, a young Guatemalan who died of “cardiac arrest” in a Nebraska jail. They were not prisoners serving criminal sentences, but immigrants who existed in a legal twilight without the freedom to leave their places of incarceration — in at least one case, because the detainee couldn’t afford the cost of bail.

Read “The Lonely Death of Moises Tino Lopez”
Capital & Main has launched a new project, Deadly Detention, to give names and faces to these 23 dead, and to explain how they met such sad fates in the country most had come to in search of better lives. It is a counterweight to ICE’s secrecy and comes as the Trump administration expands an already sprawling detention system to accommodate the growing number of immigrants caught up in its deportation surge. (In September and October of this year, the Department of Homeland Security issued notices to potential bidders that it was interested in establishing new detention centers near Chicago, Detroit, St. Paul, Salt Lake City and one in South Texas that would hold some 1,000 detainees.)

We have petitioned for detailed information about each detainee death since 2016 under the federal Freedom of Information Act. ICE publicly released 13 of these detainee death reviews this month. Although far from conclusive, the reviews aim a rare spotlight on poor and often delayed care at the nation’s nearly 250 detention centers and county jails that house immigration detainees, many of which are in remote locations and largely hidden from public view.

Capital & Main has dug deeply into how and why these and other deaths occurred, whether or how they could be prevented, who is responsible and how the system can function more humanely.

This project begins as ICE signals a move toward even less openness than it has previously displayed. The agency has received preliminary approval from the National Archive and Record Administration to destroy records of detainee deaths and in-custody sexual assaults after 20 years, and solitary confinement documents after just three years.”

Read the rest of Robin’s First article here:

Deadly Detention: Why Are Immigrants Dying in ICE Custody?

Here’s Part Il:

“It’s an open question whether Tino Lopez would be alive if he hadn’t landed in the Hall County Jail. But it was clearly bad luck that got him locked up in the first place.

According to Rose Godinez, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney, Tino Lopez would have had a chance to fight his case with a competent immigration attorney. He hadn’t committed a crime in the United States; he was ordered deported simply because he had entered here illegally, was caught and later failed to check in with immigration authorities, possibly because he didn’t understand the requirement.

He probably had a case for asylum, according to Godinez. Tino Lopez and his wife claimed they had been threatened by gun-wielding supporters of a mayoral candidate they had opposed in Guatemala, and said they feared for their lives. Juarez has since been granted a work permit in her asylum case on the same grounds, and has been told by her attorney that she’ll likely prevail.

Tino Lopez’s death triggered a criminal investigation by the Nebraska State Patrol and a grand jury proceeding, both required by Nebraska law following inmate deaths. The grand jury determined no crime was committed in his death. But an ICE review concluded that the Hall County Jail, which currently houses some 80 immigrant detainees, violated a number of ICE federal detention standards on medical care, and took other questionable actions that concern the agency.

All told, the documents raise questions about the jail’s ability to properly care for medically vulnerable detainees.

“The first [seizure] should have prompted a high level of concern and attention,” said Dr. Marc Stern, a correctional health-care expert. “And if the first one didn’t, the second one should have.”
In recent years ICE has come under fire for alleged substandard medical care in detention centers and in county jails. In a Human Rights Watch report released earlier this year, two physicians who reviewed 18 ICE detainee deaths found that poor care probably contributed to seven of them.

At the Hall County Jail, as in many ICE detention facilities, health care is provided by a for-profit contractor. Advanced Correctional Healthcare, based in Peoria, Illinois, serves over 250 jails and prisons in 17 Midwestern and Southern states and, on its website, states the company is saving thousands of dollars for local governments. But in the past 12 years, more than 150 inmates or their families have filed suit against the company and the local jails it serves, alleging they were hurt or their loved one killed as a result of poor care from ACH. Three wrongful death suits have been lodged in federal court against the company in the past six months alone.”

Here’s the link to the complete article:

Deadly Detention: The Lonely Death of Moises Tino Lopez

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Congress is legally and morally responsible for funding, and in many cases actively encouraging, the New American Gulag. But, “We the People” are also responsible for those supposedly elected to govern in accordance with our Constitution and values. Tell your Senators and Representatives that it’s time to drastically reduce and carefully regulate civil immigration detention!

PWS

01-06-18

 

WRONG AGAIN: BIA ERRED IN FINDING THAT NV “CONSPIRACY TO POSSESS DRUGS” IS A BASIS FOR REMOVAL — VILLAVICENCIO V. SESSIONS

Julio Villavicienco Decision Published_

Villavicienco v. Sessions, 9th Cir., 01-05-18, published

STAFF HEADNOTE:

“The panel granted Julio Cesar Villavicencio’s petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals decision, concluding that Villavicencio was not removable for a controlled substance offense under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(B)(i) because the statutes under which he was convicted of conspiracy to possess drugs, Nevada Revised Statutes §§ 199.480 and 454.351, are overbroad and indivisible.

The panel held that the Nevada conspiracy statute, NRS § 199.480, is overbroad when compared to the generic definition of conspiracy because the Nevada statute lacks the requisite “overt act” element. Therefore, the panel concluded that the categorical approach may not be used to determine removability. The panel also concluded that application of the modified categorical approach is foreclosed because this court has already determined that NRS § 199.480 is indivisible.

The panel further held that NRS § 454.351, which covers any drug which may not be lawfully introduced into interstate commerce under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, is categorically overbroad relative to the substances controlled under 21 U.S.C. § 802. The panel also concluded that, although the Nevada statute lists multiple means of violation, i.e., possessing, procuring, or manufacturing,

because jurors need not agree on the means of the violation, the statute must still be regarded as indivisible. Accordingly, the panel held that the statute cannot be used as a predicate offense to support removal

** This summary constitutes no part of the opinion of the court. It has been prepared by court staff for the convenience of the reader.”

PANEL: Mary M. Schroeder and Johnnie B. Rawlinson, Circuit Judges, and William H. Stafford, Jr.,* District Judge.

* The Honorable William H. Stafford, Jr., United States District Judge for the Northern District of Florida, sitting by designation.

OPINION BY: Judge Rawlinson

KEY QUOTE:

“Villavicencio was not removable under 8 USC § 1227(a)(2)(B)(i). N.R.S. §§ 199.480 and 454.351 are both overbroad. N.R.S. § 199.480 criminalizes a broader range of conduct than is described in the generic definition of conspiracy, and N.R.S. § 454.351 encompasses a wider range of substances than those set forth in the federal Controlled Substances Act. Because neither statute is divisible, the modified categorical approach was unavailable to determine if Villavicencio was convicted of a removable offense. As a result, Villavicencio is entitled to his requested relief reversing the determination of removability.”

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Admittedly, this is complicated stuff. But, the BIA is supposed to have “special expertise.”

Given the complexity of these determinations, how could an unrepresented immigrant ever hope to present a defense like this? (Look at the list of pro bono counsel who appeared for the respondent in this case!) How can Removal Hearings conducted where only the DHS is represented by counsel possibly comply with Due Process? (Particularly in light of the recent memo from the Chief Immigration Judge “reminding” Immigration Judges not to “act as counsel” for unrepresented respondents.) How can intentionally detaining immigrants and establishing so-called “courts” in detention centers in out-of-the-way locations where pro bono counsel are known to be generally unavailable possibly comply with Due Process? Why aren’t Immigration Judges and the BIA taking the time and doing the research to get cases like this right in the first place? How does Sessions’s exclusive emphasis on “peddling faster” and “churning out” more final removal orders effectively address the glaring systemic “quality control” problems exposed by cases like this?

PWS

01-06-17

 

 

LAW360: BIA REMOVES IMMIGRATION JUDGE FOR ABUSIVE CONDUCT DURING HEARING!

https://www.law360.com/articles/999284/judge-s-hostile-and-bullying-acts-prompt-new-hearing

Kevin Penton reports for Law360:

“Law360, New York (January 5, 2018, 9:27 PM EST) — The Board of Immigration Appeals has vacated an immigration judge’s denials of a Salvadoran native’s bids to secure asylum and to duck deportation, after finding that the judge used “hostile and bullying behavior” toward the individual’s attorney.

The BIA wants a different judge to review the case, essentially from scratch, after finding that the Immigration Judge Quynh V. Bain “screamed” at the lawyer for more than five minutes, mimicked her voice, called her “several disrespectful names,” said she was “unprofessional” and refused to allow a recess…”

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Those with complete Law360 access can read Penton’s full story at the link. Kudos to the BIA for “stepping up” to stop such abuses and protect due process!

Surprisingly, and sadly, Judge Quynh V. Bain is one of my former colleagues at the U.S. Immigration Court in Arlington, Virginia. The Arlington Immigration Court generally has had a well-deserved reputation for fairness, professionalism, respect, teamwork, and unfailing courtesy. In other words, it’s always been a court where lawyers on both sides enjoy practicing. Indeed, it often serves as a “training court” for student attorneys, interns, new Assistant Chief Counsel, and newly appointed U.S. Immigration Judges. So, I’d have to assume that this was an aberration in the context of Arlington.

Nevertheless, given the high stress levels that U.S. Immigration Judges are already working under, the plans of Attorney General Jeff “Gonzo Apocalypto” Sessions to “torque up” the pressure on Immigration Judges to turn our final orders of removal without much, if any regard, for due process, the counter-pressure from the U.S. Courts of Appeals for Immigration Courts to function like “real” courts, the many newly appointed inexperienced Immigration Judges, and the lack of meaningful training for Immigration Judges, I would expect such incidents to increase in the future. Just another reason why it’s past time for an independent Article I U.S. immigration Court!

Changing to the topic of Law360, one of my favorite “immigration beat” reporters, Allissa Wickham (a/k/a the fabulous “AWick”) tells me that she has left Law360 for a “new gig” with HBO, working on a show featuring Wyatt Cenac (formerly of the “Daily Show”). The show is scheduled to air this spring. Allissa says that she will continue to do original reporting, so hopefully at least some immigration topics will find their way into her “portfolio.” Good luck Allissa, and thanks for all of your great immigration reporting, clear writing, and many contributions while at Law360!

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PWS

01-06-18

 

 

 

 

GO SEE “DUE PROCESS IN ACTION” (FEATUIRING THE FABULOUS GW LAW IMMIGRATION CLINIC STUDENT ATTORNEYS) AT THE U.S. IMMIGRATION COURT IN ARLINGTON, VA IN 2018!

HERE’S “THE SCHEDULE:”

Spring 2018 ICHs – Immigration Clinic

 

# DATE/TIME Client Name Student-Attorney Immigration Judge Type of Case Country of Origin
1 01/11/2018 at 1pm M-A-A- Gisela Camba IJ Owens Asylum (PSG-Family ) Honduras
2 01/18/2018 at 1pm N-R- Solangel Gonzalez IJ Bain Asylum (PSG- Family) El Salvador
3 02/07/2018 at 1pm M-C-C- Caroline Hodge IJ Soper Cancellation of Removal (Non-LPR) Mexico
4 02/14/2018 at 1pm F-R- Julia Navarro IJ Soper Asylum (PSG –Family) El Salvador
5 03/07/2018 at 9am S-M-B- Dana Florkowski IJ Bain Asylum (PSG-DV) El Salvador
6 03/07/2018 at 9am S-N-, Y-N-, C-N- TBD IJ Bryant Asylum/U Visa Honduras
7 03/15/2018 at 9am B-R-S- Phuong Tran IJ Owens Asylum (PSG – former police officer) El Salvador
8 04/02/2018 at 1pm R-I- Ami Patel IJ – Unassigned Asylum (Religion) Egypt
9 04/24/18 at 1pm M-M-P- Fatimah Hameed IJ Burman Asylum (PSG – Family) Honduras
Friends,
Happy New Year.
The link to the Arlington Immigration Court follows, and the list of the Immigration Clinic Individual Calendar Hearings (ICHs) in the spring is attached.  You are welcome to attend any and all of the ICHs.  Your students, colleagues, etc., are welcome too.  No RSVP is required but I do suggest you check with Paulina Vera (pnvera@law.gwu.edu) and/or me a day or two before to confirm (or not) that the hearings will go forward.

https://www.justice.gov/eoir/arlington-immigration-court

**************************************************
Alberto Manuel Benitez
Professor of Clinical Law
Director, Immigration Clinic
The George Washington University Law School
650 20th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052
(202) 994-7463
(202) 994-4946 fax
abenitez@law.gwu.edu
THE WORLD IS YOURS…
***********************************************
I can personally testify that having a chance to observe the GW Immigration Clinic in person is a treat and a lesson in “how to prepare an Immigration Court case the right way!”
Thanks to my good friend and neighbor Professor Alberto Benitez and his distinguished colleague Paulina Vera (also a former Arlington Intern and “Charter Member” of the “new Due Process Army”) for passing this along and for what they are doing for future generations of lawyers and Due Process in America!
PWS
01-05-18

MENTAL COMPETENCY HEARING: 9th CIR. CALLS OUT BIA FOR ERRONEOUS FACTFINDING AND FAILURE TO FOLLOW OWN PRECEDENT – CALDERON-RODRIGUEZ V. SESSIONS

16-70225-9th Competenc – y

Calderon-Rodriguez v. Sessions, 9th Cir., 01-03-18, published

COURT’S HEADNOTE:

The panel granted Henri Calderon-Rodriguez’s petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ decision, concluding that the Board in two related ways abused its discretion in affirming the IJ’s competence evaluation and determination.

First, the Board affirmed the IJ’s inaccurate factual findings, failing to recognize that the medical record upon which the IJ and Board heavily relied was nearly a year old, and that it may have no longer reflected Calderon’s mental state.

Second, the Board affirmed the IJ’s departure from the standards set out by the Board for competency determinations in Matter of M-A-M-, 25 I. & N. Dec. 474 (BIA 2011). Specifically, the panel concluded that the IJ did not adequately ensure that the Department of Homeland Security complied with its obligation to provide the court with relevant materials in its possession that would inform the court about Calderon’s mental competency. In this respect, the panel noted that, importantly, neither the IJ nor the Board recognized that, as DHS was providing ongoing medical care to Calderon as a detainee, it necessarily possessed additional relevant, but not introduced, medical records.

The panel remanded to the Board with instructions to remand Calderon’s case to the IJ for a competence evaluation based on current mental health reviews and medical records, as well as any other relevant evidence.

** This summary constitutes no part of the opinion of the court. It has been prepared by court staff for the convenience of the reader.

PANEL:  A. Wallace Tashima and Marsha S. Berzon,Circuit Judges, and Matthew F. Kennelly,* District Judge.* The Honorable Matthew F. Kennelly, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois, sitting by designation.

OPINION BY: Judge Berzon

KEY QUOTE:

“First, the BIA affirmed the IJ’s inaccurate factual finding about the mental health evidence in the record. Neither the IJ nor the BIA recognized that the medical record upon which they heavily relied was nearly a year old, and that it may have no longer reflected Calderon’s mental state. Instead, the IJ referred to the medical record as an “updated” reflection of Calderon’s present mental health condition, and stated that the record showed that Calderon “[p]resently . . . is not exhibiting any active PTSD symptoms, suicide ideation, hallucinations, or psychosis” (emphasis added). Those findings as to Calderon’s condition at the time of the hearing were not supported by the year-old date on the mental health record. As these critical factual findings were made “without ‘support in inferences that may be drawn from the facts in the record,’” Rodriguez v. Holder, 683 F.3d 1164, 1170 (9th Cir. 2012) (quoting Anderson v. Bessemer City, 470 U.S. 564, 577 (1985) and citing United States v. Hinkson, 585 F.3d 1247,M1262 (9th Cir. 2009) (en banc)), they constituted an abuse of discretion.

Second, the BIA abused its discretion by affirming the IJ’s departure from the standards set forth in Matter of M-A-M-, 25 I&N Dec. at 480–81. See Mejia, 868 F.3d at 1121. While the IJ did “take” at least some “measures” to determine whether Calderon was competent, Matter of M-A- M-, 25 I&N Dec. at 480, she did not adequately ensure that DHS complied with its “obligation to provide the court with relevant materials in its possession that would inform the court about the respondent’s mental competency,” as required by Matter of M-A-M-. Id.

Importantly, neither the IJ nor the BIA recognized that, as DHS was providing ongoing medical care to Calderon as a detainee, it necessarily possessed additional relevant, but not introduced, medical records. There were, indeed, specific indications that there were later medical records not provided to the IJ or the BIA that could have reflected a deterioration in Calderon’s condition.”

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This unrepresented Respondent has been in DHS custody for going on six years! This case previously reached the Court of Appeals and was remanded at the DOJ’s request for the holding of a competency hearing. Yet, the BIA still did not take the time and care necessary to properly apply their own precedent on how to conduct mental competency hearings consistent with due process!

PWS

01-04-18

THE GIBSON REPORT — 01-02-18

THE GIBSON REPORT, 01-02-18

HEADLINES:

TOP UPDATES

 

NY Governor pardons 18 immigrants in face of Trump immigration crackdown

ImmProf: Following the lead of California Governor Jerry Brown, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pardoned more than a dozen immigrants who faced deportation over prior convictions who now have a chance of staying in the United States.

 

California becomes a sanctuary state and legalizes marijuana, but advocates remind noncitizens that there are still immigration consequences for marijuana use

Press-Enterprise: Undocumented immigrants can be deported for marijuana consumption in certain circumstances and may risk not being admitted back into the United States if they leave.

 

NJ immigration under Murphy: Expanding in-state financial aid

App: The governor-elect  supports expanding in-state financial aid to young unauthorized immigrants living in New Jersey.

 

USCIS Provides Updated Guidance and FAQs on Rejected DACA Requests

AILA: USCIS provided guidance and FAQs on DACA requests delivered by the filing deadline but not officially “ received” by USCIS. USCIS contacted individuals and they have 33 days from the date of the letter to resubmit the request. USCIS included information on other types of mail issues as well.

 

The ‘Double Punishment’ For Black Undocumented Immigrants

Atlantic: Although only 7 percent of non-citizens in the U.S. are black, they make up 20 percent of those facing deportation on criminal grounds.

 

Trump to Dems: No DACA deal without the border wall

Politico: Democrats seeking a deal to protect so-called Dreamers from deportation must be prepared to agree to a package that includes several White House priorities, including a border wall and reforms to the U.S. immigration system, President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter Friday morning…House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her Senate counterpart, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), are set to meet [] Wednesday with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) at the White House, where the congressional leaders are expected to work on a DACA deal as part of negotiations to avert a government shutdown.

 

More immigration actions planned in 2018 at job sites, high-ranking enforcement official says

The Commercial Appeal (note: this article is focused on Tennessee but generally relevant): Workplace immigration investigations will likely focus on “critical infrastructure,” such as airports, defense contractors, food distribution and other businesses that have an impact on the general safety and welfare of the community

 

Beginning on January 15, 2018, OCC-NYC will only accept joint motion to reopen (JMTR) requests electronically through eService portal. 

OCC: Effective January 15, 2018, the OCC-NYC will move to the next phase of electronic service.  Please note that on January 15, 2018, we will be disabling our JMTR email boxes in favor of service to our eService online portal.  JMTR requests sent to the following email boxes on or after that date will be deemed improperly served:  NONDETAINED.NYC_JMTR@ice.dhs.gov,DETAINED.NYC_JMTR@ice.dhs.gov.

 

RESOURCES

 

 

EVENTS

 

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PWS

01-04-18

HON. JEFFREY CHASE COMMENTS ON THE DISINGENUOUS ABSURDITY OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S LATEST ATTACK ON CHILDREN IN U.S. IMMIGRATION COURT!

https://www.jeffreyschase.com/blog/2017/12/28/lawyer-files-disciplinary-complaint-against-chief-immigration-judge

 

Dec 28 Lawyer Files Disciplinary Complaint Against Chief Immigration Judge
On December 22, New York attorney Bryan S. Johnson filed a complaint with the Assistant Chief Immigration Judge for Conduct and Professionalism against Chief Immigration Judge MaryBeth Keller. The basis for the complaint was the Chief Judge’s issuance of guidelines to immigration judges on the handling of cases involving juveniles, including unaccompanied children (OPPM 17-03, Dec. 20, 2017). In that directive, Judge Keller instructed immigration judges that in spite of the sympathetic factors involved in children’s cases, “judges must remain neutral and impartial when adjudicating juvenile cases and shall not display any appearance of impropriety when presiding over such cases.” The complaint argues that such directive instructs immigration judges to violate federal statute, specifically the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (“TVPRA”), which requires the Attorney General to train immigration judges to “work with unaccompanied alien children, including identifying children who are victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons, and children for whom asylum or special immigrant relief may be appropriate.” 8 U.S.C. § 1232(e).

Instructing judges to “remain neutral and impartial,” while open to interpretation, will be perceived by many as requiring passivity. As one senior judge explained to me when I was new to the bench, judges should consider themselves blank slates and only consider what the parties have chosen to write on that slate. However, exceptions exist. In a precedent decision issued 20 years ago, the BIA held that in asylum cases in which the parties have not presented enough evidence to provide an adequate record, immigration judges should themselves present country condition evidence into the record. The Board cited favorably to the UNHCR Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status which defines the role of the adjudicator as to “ensure that the applicant presents his case as fully as possible and with all available evidence.” Matter of S-M-J-, 21 I&N Dec. 722, 729 (BIA 1997). Decided by a BIA that possessed some brilliant minds and courage, the Board in S-M-J- established that there are times that an immigration judge must not remain neutral when doing so will deny an asylum seeker justice.

Ten years later, the Chief Immigration Judge issued guidance to immigration judges handling juvenile cases to take a proactive approach, due to the vulnerability of the child respondents. It bears noting that the 2007 guidelines were issued under a Republican administration. Obviously, a neutral, passive approach by the judge will not ensure a fair hearing where the two parties involved are the Department of Homeland Security, represented in court by one of its attorneys, and a young (and possibly unrepresented) child. In such circumstances, the judge must to some degree advocate for the child to “ensure that the applicant presents his case as fully as possible and with all available evidence,” to use the language of S-M-J-. In response to this need, EOIR created special juvenile dockets, and provided specialized training to the immigration judges chosen to preside over them. In 2008, Congress passed the TVPRA, the statute relied upon by attorney Johnson in his complaint. In 2013, EOIR created an Assistant Chief Immigration Judge position specifically dedicated to “vulnerable populations.”

EOIR has the additional opportunity to create a more level playing field by assigning counsel to all unrepresented juveniles appearing in immigration court. Yet the agency strongly opposed this solution in a class-action lawsuit filed by advocacy groups (including the ACLU and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project), J.E.F.M. v. Lynch. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed the case last year, finding that the court lacked jurisdiction to decide the issue. However, the court’s majority opinion emphasized that it was not ruling on the merits of the claim, and in a concurring opinion, two of the three judges on the case’s panel acknowledged that “thousands of children are left to thread their way alone through the labarynthine maze of immigration laws, which, without hyperbole, ‘have been termed second only to the Internal Revenue Code in complexity.’” The judges continued that “given the onslaught of cases involving unaccompanied minors, there is only so much the most dedicated and judicious immigration judges…can do.” The court called on Congress and the Executive branch to take action to provide government-funded counsel to all children appearing in immigration court. The judges concluded that “to give meaning to “Equal Justice Under Law,” the tag line engraved in the U.S. Supreme Court building, to ensure the fair and effective administration of our immigration justice system, and to protect the interests of children who must struggle through that system, the problem demands action now.”

Democratic lawmakers have introduced draft legislation, entitled the Fair Day in Court for Kids Act, that would remedy this situation. Versions of the bill went nowhere in 2016; a 2017 version sponsored by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Cal.) and 31 co-sponsors was introduced on April 6, 2017 and has made no progress since. The website GovTrack.us states that the bill has a 3 percent chance of being enacted. In the meantime, the Chief Immigration Judge’s latest memo signals a move in the opposite direction under the present administration. Last week, the Trump administration confirmed that it is considering a policy of separating children from their parents upon arrival at the U.S. border. While the administration claims that the policy is designed to discourage Central Americans from making the dangerous journey north, it ignores the fact that those making such journey are refugees fleeing the threat of death in what has become one of the most violent and dangerous regions in the world.

The administration has not explained what alternatives exist to parents seeking to save their children from being murdered and raped by violent gangs, including MS-13, whose members Trump himself has referred to as “animals.” As reported by the New York Post, Trump stated during a speech last July in Long Island, NY of MS-13 members: “They kidnap. They extort. They rape and they rob. They prey on children. They stomp on their victims. They beat them with clubs. They slash them with machete. They stab them with knives.” It would therefore seem that the current administration should be seeking to do everything in its power to provide children fleeing the above-described treatment to have their claims for asylum considered as fully and fairly as possible. Restoring the 2007 guidelines, respecting the TVPRA requirements, refusing to separate children from their parents, and providing counsel at government expense to unrepresented children would all be welcome steps towards that goal.

Copyright 2017 Jeffrey S. Chase. All rights reserved.
JEFF CHASE
Dec 8 The Impact of Returning Children on Well-Founded Fear
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Jeffrey S. Chase is an immigration lawyer in New York City. Jeffrey is a former Immigration Judge, senior legal advisor at the Board of Immigration Appeals, and volunteer staff attorney at Human Rights First. He is a past recipient of AILA’s annual Pro Bono Award, and previously chaired AILA’s Asylum Reform Task Force.

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I appreciate Judge Chase’s kind reference to Matter of S-M-J-, 21 I&N Dec. 722 (BIA 1997). I was on the en banc BIA that decided S-M-J-. (Yes, unlike now, most precedents were issued en banc, so that each Appellate Judge was required to take a public vote on the outcome. Something known as “transparency and accountability” that has disappeared from today’s BIA.)

Forget all the legal gobbledygook in the “Keller Memorandum.” Here’s what a straightforward policy from an Attorney General actually committed to upholding the Constitution and the “Rule of Law” might look like:

  • The first duty of a Judge is to insure Constitutional Due Process for each individual coming before the court.
  • A Judge should not conduct a merits hearing for any unrepresented child, including any individual the Judge reasonably believes to be a child.
  • The Judge and all court personnel should work cooperatively with nongovernmental organizations, bar associations, legal services groups, and community officials to insure that cases involving children are placed on the docket and scheduled in a manner that insures representation in each case
  • When in doubt, a Judge should always act in a manner that maximizes Due Process protections for each individual coming before the court.

PWS

12-29-17

THE GIBSON REPORT — 12-26-17

The Gibson Report — 12-26-17

 

HEADLINES:

Concerning Fall Regulatory Agenda

CAP:

Fall regulatory agenda just dropped and there are some VERY concerning new rules around immigration coming out this spring.

At DOJ:

  • Rule to change DOJ’s regs regarding motions to reopen and motions to reconsider post-deportation
  • And what appear to be big changes to cancellation of removal

 

Justice Department weakens guidelines for protecting children in immigration court

ImmProf: The new memo removes suggestions contained in the 2007 memo for how to conduct “child-sensitive questioning” and adds reminders to judges to maintain “impartiality” even though “juvenile cases may present sympathetic allegations.” The new document also changes the word “child” to “unmarried individual under the age of 18” in many instances. Read the memo here. See New EOIR Memo Encourages Immigration Judges To Dump On Unaccompanied Children from retired IJ Schmidt for a breakdown of concerns.

 

Salvadoran Law Creates Deportation-to-Prison Pipeline

Susan Cruz: Decree 717 was created in response to Trump’s statements about deporting alleged gang members en masse. In a knee-jerk reaction the Salvadoran Assembly passed, and President Sanchez Céren ratified Decree 717 which creates a deportation-to-prison pipeline. It went into effect July 14, 2017. (Click here to read Decree 717).

 

To curb illegal border crossings, Trump administration weighs new measures targeting families

WaPo: The Trump administration is considering measures to halt a surge of Central American families and unaccompanied minors coming across the Mexican border, including a proposal to separate parents from their children, according to officials with knowledge of the plans. These measures, described on the condition of anonymity because they have not been publicly disclosed, would also crack down on migrants living in the United States illegally who send for their children. That aspect of the effort would use data collected by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to target parents for deportation after they attempt to regain custody of their children from government shelters.

 

Without New Laws or Walls, Trump Presses the Brake on Legal Immigration

NYT: [The Trump administration] has also quietly, and with much less resistance, slowed many forms of legal immigration without the need for Congress to rescind a single visa program enshrined in the law. Immigration and State Department officials are more closely scrutinizing, and have started more frequently denying, visas for people seeking to visit the United States on business, as well as for those recruited by American companies, according to lawyers representing visa seekers. Foreigners already in the United States whose employers wish to extend their stays are also facing new hurdles.

 

EOIR Releases Memo on Applications for Cancellation of Removal or Suspension of Deportation

EOIR released an Operating Policies and Procedures Memorandum (OPPM) with guidelines for adjudicating applications for cancellation of removal or suspension of deportation that are subject to the annual limitation (“cap”). Guidance is effective as to hearings that are concluded on or after 1/4/18.

AILA Doc. No. 17122033

 

USCIS Announces Re-Registration Period Now Open for Nicaraguans with TPS

USCIS announced that current beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under Nicaragua’s designation who want to maintain that status through the program’s termination date of January 5, 2019, must re-register between December 15, 2017, and February 13, 2018.

AILA Doc. No. 17121833

 

USCIS Announces Re-Registration Period Now Open for Honduras with TPS

USCIS announced that current beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under Honduras’ designation who want to maintain that status through the current expiration date of July 5, 2018, must re-register between December 15, 2017, and February 13, 2018.

AILA Doc. No. 17121830

 

Fearing Deportation From U.S., Migrants Walk To Canada

NPR: More than 9,000 people seeking refugee status in Canada entered the province of Québec from August through October. By comparison, just over 2,400 crossed by foot along the entire U.S. border with Canada last year.

 

RESOURCES

 

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In particular, the “regulatory agenda” appears to contemplate further attacks on Due Process and migrants rights by the Trump Administration. Be prepared!

PWS

12-26-16