THE GIBSON REPORT – 11-20-17

THE GIBSON REPORT – 11

HERE ARE THE HEADLINES:

THE GIBSON REPORT – 11-20-17

 

TOP UPDATES

 

Latest Asylum Denial Rates for Each Immigration Court Judge

TRAC: “TRAC has just published the tenth in its long running series of reports covering each Immigration Judge’s decisions on asylum cases. The latest report series consists of 293 separate reports and includes each Immigration Judge who decided at least 100 asylum cases at their court between FY 2012 and FY 2017.”

 

In Reversal, Immigration Agency Will Consider Delayed DACA Requests

NYT: “After nearly 100 applications to renew permits that let immigrants stay and work in the United States legally were rejected because they had been delayed in the mail, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services agency last week said nothing could be done; the decisions were final. But on Wednesday, the agency reversed its position.”

 

NYC Council and Mayor pass ban on ICE on private city property

NYC: “Mayor Bill de Blasio [ ] signed into law Introductions 486-A and 487-A, dramatically limiting New York City’s cooperation with overbroad federal immigration enforcement practices, except in instances where there are public safety concerns. The two bills also end the presence of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at Rikers Island and all City facilities.”

 

IDP InfoGraphic on ICE Courthouse Arrests in 2017

IDP: “Since the beginning of 2017, IDP has been closely monitoring ICE activity in state courts, and has seen a significant escalation in ICE arrests and attempted arrests in and around criminal, family, and civil courts throughout New York State and nationwide.”

 

USCIS Is Receiving a Record Number of Citizenship Applications

AIC: “The average processing time for United States citizenship applications used to take five to seven months – already a lengthy timeline for immigrants waiting to get their citizenship vetted and approved. A spike in applications before and after the 2016 presidential election has caused that wait time to double.”

 

Canada fears a huge rush of asylum seekers if their U.S. protected status is lifted

WaPo: “In addition to the new signs on the border, the Canadian government said it is increasing its outreach in communities in the United States that are likely to be affected. It also plans to send Spanish- and Creole-speaking members of Parliament to Los Angeles and Miami to meet community leaders and explain Canadian asylum rules. Canada’s 12 consulates in the United States have also been recruited to spread the message that asylum is not automatic.”

 

New BXDA Supp B procedure Requires G-28

All FUTURE requests for certification of the U Nonimmigrant (U –Visa) I-918 Supplement B Form WILL ONLY BE PROCESSED WHEN RECEIVED directly via email to BxdaUVisa@Bronxda.nyc.gov OR via U.S. Mail to:

Office of the Bronx District Attorney

ATTN: U-Visa Coordinator

198 East 161st Street

Bronx, New York 10451

All requests must include the following: I-918 Supplement B Form, Authorization Form, G–28 Form (Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative). Please DO NOT send any request and or inquires to Bximmigrant@Bronxda.nyc.gov.

 

Illegal alien indicted for hampering with ankle monitor

ICE: “An illegally present Mexican national was indicted in federal court Wednesday on a charge that he connived or conspired or took any other action designed to prevent or hamper, and with the purpose of preventing and hampering, his departure pursuant to the final order of removal. He was also indicted for illegal reentry after removal.”

 

ACTIONS

 

Survey on Communities Targeted for alleged “gang activities”: NYIC and the CUNY INRC are partnering to create community education materials that are fully accessible to impacted communities, who are increasingly being targeted by immigration enforcement and police for alleged “gang-related” activities. To that end, they have created a survey for legal service providers and advocates working with directly impacted communities.

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PWS

11-21-17

 

REAL DUE PROCESS MAKES A STUNNING DIFFERENCE! – NY PROJECT FINDS THAT REPRESENTED IMMIGRANTS ARE 12X MORE LIKELY TO WIN CASES!

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/11/9/16623906/immigration-court-lawyer

Dara Lind reports for VOX

“Omar Siagha has been in the US for 52 years. He’s a legal permanent resident with three children. He’d never been to prison, he says, before he was taken into Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention — faced with the loss of his green card for a misdemeanor.

His brother tried to seek out lawyers who could help Siagha, but all they offered, in his words, were “high numbers and no hope” — no guarantee, in other words, that they’d be able to get him out of detention for all the money they were charging.

Then he met lawyers from Brooklyn Defender Services — part of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project, an effort to guarantee legal representation for detained immigrants. They demanded only one thing of him, he recalls: “Omar, you’ve got to tell us the truth.”

But Siagha’s access to a lawyer in immigration court is the exception.

There’s no right to counsel in immigration court, which is part of the executive branch rather than the judiciary. Often, an immigrant’s only shot at legal assistance before they’re marched in front of a judge is the pro bono or legal aid clinic that happens to have attorneys at that courthouse. Those clinics have such limited resources that they try to select only the cases they think have the best shot of winning — which can be extremely difficult to ascertain in a 15-minute interview.

But advocates and local governments are trying to make cases like Siagha’s the rule, not the exception. Soon, every eligible immigrant who gets detained in one of a dozen cities — including New York, Chicago, Oakland, California, and Atlanta — will have access to a lawyer to help fight their immigration court case.

The change started at Varick Street. The New York Immigrant Family Unity Project started in New York City in 2013, guaranteeing access to counsel for detained immigrants.

According to a study released Thursday by the Vera Institute for Justice (which is now helping fund the representation efforts in the other cities, under the auspices of the Safe Cities Network), the results were stunning. With guaranteed legal representation, up to 12 times as many immigrants have been able to win their cases: either able to get legal relief from deportation or at least able to persuade ICE to drop the attempt to deport them this time.

So far, cities have been trying to protect their immigrant populations through inaction — refusing to help with certain federal requests. Giving immigrants lawyers, on the other hand, seemingly makes the system work better. And if it works, it could leave the Trump administration — which is already upset with the amount of time it takes to resolve an immigration court case — very frustrated indeed. (The Department of Justice, which runs immigration courts, didn’t respond to a request for comment.)

Immigration court is supposed to give immigrants a chance for relief. In reality … it depends.

As federal immigration enforcement has ramped up over the past 15 years, nearly every component of it has gotten a sleek bureaucratic upgrade, a boatload of money, and heightened interest and oversight from Congress. But immigration court has been overlooked as everything else has been built up around it.

The reason is simple. Chronologically, most immigrants have to go through immigration court after being apprehended and before being deported. But bureaucratically, immigration courts are run by the Executive Office for Immigration Review, housed in the Justice Department instead of by the Department of Homeland Security. And when it comes to money and bureaucratic attention, that makes all the difference in the world.

From the outside, the striking thing about immigration court is how slow it is — lawyers already report that hearings for those apprehended today are scheduled in 2021. That’s also the Trump administration’s problem with it; the federal government is sweeping up more immigrants than it did in 2016 but deporting fewer of them.

But it doesn’t seem that way from the inside, to an immigrant who doesn’t have any idea what’s going on — especially one who’s being kept in detention.

This is the scene that Peter Markowitz accustomed himself to, as a young immigration lawyer at the Varick Street courtroom in New York: “People brought in, in shackles, with their feet and hands shackled to their waist, often not understanding the language of the proceedings, having no idea of the legal norms that were controlling their fate — being deported hand over fist.”

I know he’s not exaggerating; in my first morning watching immigration court proceedings in Minneapolis in 2008, I saw at least 10 detainees get issued deportation orders before lunch. Almost none had lawyers. Sometimes the judge would pause and explain to the detainee, in plain English, what was really going on — but she didn’t have to, and sometimes she wouldn’t bother.”

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Read Dara’s full article at the link.

No lawyer = no due process. Rather than trying to hustle folks out of the country without a full and effective chance for them to be heard — in other words, true Due Process — Jeff Sessions should be changing the Immigration Court system to put less reliance on detention and detention center “kangaroo courts” and more emphasis on insuring that each individual scheduled for a hearing has fair and  reasonable access to competent counsel.

I totally agree that due process can’t be put on a “timetable,” as Sessions and his crew at the DOJ seem to want. As observed by none other than Chief Justice John Roberts — certainly no “bleeding heart liberal” —“It takes time to decide a case on appeal. Sometimes a little; sometimes a lot.” Nken v. Holder, 556 U.s. 418 (2009). That’s even more true on the trial level.

I have a somewhat different take on whether representation and providing full due process will ultimately slow down the system. In the short run, represented cases might take longer than unrepresented ones (although I personally found that not invariably true). However, as noted by Chief Judge Katzmann, lack of representation both promotes wrong, and therefore unfair, results, but also inhibits the proper development of the law. (Perhaps not incidentally, I note that Chief Judge Katzmann actually took time to attend and participate in Annual Immigration Judge Training Conferences back in the day when the “powers that be” at DOJ and EOIR deemed such training to be a necessary ingredient of a fair judicial system — something that was eliminated by Sessions’s DOJ this year. Apparently, new, untrained Immigration Judges can be expected to “crank out” more final orders of removal than trained judges.)

When I was in Arlington, the vast majority of the non-detained respondents were represented, and the majority of those got some sort of relief — in other words, won their cases to some extent. As time went on, this development required the DHS to adjust its position and to stop “fully litigating” issues that experience and the law told them they were going to lose.

That, in turn, led to more efficient and focused hearings as well as decisions to drop certain types of cases as an exercise of prosecutorial discretion. Had that process been allowed to continue, rather than being artificially arrested by the Trump regime, it could well have eventually led to more efficient use of docket time and alternate means of disposing of cases that were “likely losers” or of no particular enforcement value to the DHS or the country at large.

By contrast, “haste makes waste” attempts to force cases through the system without representation or otherwise in violation of Due Process often led to appellate reversals, “do-overs,” and re-openings, all of which were less efficient for the system than “doing it right in the first place” would have been!

In my view (echoed at least to some extent by my colleague retired Judge Jeffrey Chase), more conscientious publication of BIA precedents granting asylum could and should have taken large blocks of asylum cases off the “full merits” dockets of Immigration Judges — either by allowing them to be “short docketed” with the use of stipulations or allowing them to be favorably disposed of by the DHS Asylum Offices.

No system that I’m aware of can fully litigate every single possible law violation. Indeed, our entire criminal justice system works overwhelmingly from “plea bargaining” that often bears little if any resemblance to “what actually happened.” Plea bargaining is a practical response that reflects the reality of our justice system and  the inherent limitations on judicial time. And effective plea bargaining requires lawyers on both sides as well as appropriate law development as guidance that can only happen when parties are represented. The absurd claim of Sessions and the DHS that the law allows them no discretion as to whether or not to bring certain categories of removal cases is just that — absurd and in direct contradiction of the rest of the U.S. justice system.

The current policies of the DHS and the DOJ, which work against Due Process, rather than seeking to take advantage of and actively promote it, are ultimately doomed to failure. The only question is how much of a mess, how many wasted resources, and how much pain and unfairness they will create in the process of failing.

Andrea Saenz, mentioned in the article is a former Judicial Law clerk at the New York Immigration Court. I have always admired her clear, concise, “accessible” legal writing — much like that of Judge Jeffrey Chase — and have told her so.

I am also proud that a number of attorneys involved in the “New York Project” and the Brooklyn Defenders are alums of the Arlington Immigration Court or my Georgetown Law RLP class — in other words, charter members of the “New Due Process Army!”  They are literally changing our system, one case and one individual life at a time. And, they and their successors will still be at it long after guys like Jeff Sessions and his restrictionist cronies and their legally and morally bankrupt philosophies have faded from the scene.

Thanks to my friend the amazing Professor Alberto Benítez from the GW Law Immigration Clinic for sending me this item!

PWS

11-10-17

THE GIBSON REPORT — 10-30-17

THE GIBSON REPORT – 10-30-17

TOP HEADLINES:

ICE Arrests Five Individuals with Pending Charges in New York After Detainers Were Not Honored

ICE arrested five individuals with pending charges in the New York City area after detainers filed by ICE were not honored. ICE states that since January 2017, 70 percent of the ICE arrests have been comprised of convicted criminals. AILA Doc. No. 17101900

 

Federal Judge In Hawaii Blocks Trump’s Third Attempt At Travel Ban

ImmProf: “In his ruling, Watson wrote that the third version of the ban, like those before it, “lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specified countries would be ‘detrimental to the interests of the United States,’ ” evidence that he says would be necessary for the ban to be enforceable.”

 

Trump plans massive increase in federal immigration jails

USA Today: “In recent weeks, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has put out requests to identify privately-run jail sites in Chicago, Detroit, St. Paul, Salt Lake City and southern Texas, according to notices published on a federal contracting website. It did not publicly announce its plans to house 4,000 more detainees at the facilities.”

 

Who Is Represented in Immigration Court? Mexican Immigrants Lowest, Chinese Highest Representation Rates

ImmProf: “Representation rates for detained individuals have ranged between roughly 10 and 30 percent…. Representation rates for those who were never detained in contrast have generally ranged between 60 and 80 percent.”

 

Judge denies Arpaio’s motion to erase his criminal contempt conviction

AZ Central: “In her ruling, Bolton said while Trump’s pardon “undoubtedly spared Defendant from any punishment that might otherwise have been imposed. It did not, however, ‘revise the historical facts’ of this case.””

 

NAIJ Expresses Concerns Regarding Implementation of Quotas on IJ’s

The National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ) submitted a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee Oversight Hearing on the DOJ urging Congress to exempt immigration judges from performance reviews, noting ALJs are already exempt because quotas are “antithetical to judicial independence.” AILA Doc. No. 17102062

 

ACTIONS

 

  • Survey on women and girls: Ford Foundation funded assessment of the challenges faced by immigrant women and girls in the United States
  • UNHCR feedback for materials for children: UNHCR intends to develop unbranded child-friendly materials on asylum for unaccompanied children in the United States. At this juncture, we would like to solicit input from practitioners who have represented unaccompanied children in the asylum process and also from unaccompanied children who are either currently or have been through the asylum process in the United States, whether it be before the Asylum Office or Immigration Court.” See attached.

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PWS

10-30-17

THE GIBSON REPORT — 10-02-17

Gibson Report 10-02-17

Here are this week’s “Top Headlines:”

ICE Arrests 45 New Yorkers In 4 Days As Part Of Nationwide Raid On Sanctuary Cities

Gothamist: “Of the total 498 detainees arrested nation-wide this week, 181 do not have a criminal record, according to ICE. This means roughly 36 percent of immigrants picked up in the sweep are being held for their undocumented status alone. This category of non-citizens was considered a low priority in the latter years of the Obama administration, but President Donald Trump has widened the dragnet. In addition to the New York arrests, there were 28 in Baltimore; 30 in Cook County, Illinois; 63 in Denver; 101 in Los Angeles; 107 in Philadelphia; 33 in Portland; 27 in Santa Clara County, California; 14 in Washington, D.C.; and 50 across Massachusetts.” See also: Immigrant Arrests in New Jersey Largely Include Those Without Criminal Records

 

Trump Sent Judges to the Border. Many Had Nothing to Do.

Politico: “Of the 101 arrests in Los Angeles, 85 of the individuals had criminal convictions—meaning 16% percent of the Angelenos arrested had no prior criminal convictions, per numbers given to LAist from an ICE spokesperson.

The sweep arrested immigrants in 10 locations across the country. Los Angeles had the second-most arrests, behind 107 arrests in Philadelphia (498 people were arrested in total). The list of locations—which also included New York, Washington D.C., and Baltimore.”

NBC: “[E]ven as the Trump administration expands its dragnet, the court is so backlogged that some hearings are being scheduled as far in the future as July 2022.”

 

Americans back DACA by a huge margin (POLL)

ABC/Washington Post Poll: “A vast 86 percent of Americans support a right to residency for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children, with support crossing the political spectrum. Two-thirds back a deal to enact such legislation in tandem with higher funding for border control.”

 

Lawsuit on ICE’s Detention and Treatment of Pregnant Women

AIC, ACLU, AILA, WRC, CGRS, NWIRP, and RAICES filed a complaint with the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties  and the Office of the Inspector General, urging a thorough investigation into the steps ICE has taken to implement and oversee its policies on the detention and treatment of pregnant women.

 

TRLA Sues U.S. Officials for Prolonged Detention of Asylum Seekers

Chron: “The practice of detaining asylum seekers who don’t present a danger violates not only their right to due process but international and U.S. law on refugees, according to the Texas RioGrande Legal Aid suit on behalf of five detained immigrants.”

 

DHS Goes After Social Media

The rule, published in the Federal Register on 9/18, mentions that DHS will include “social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results” as part of people’s A files. This takes effect on 10/18. This was actually initially reported by Buzzfeed.

 

Democrats signal willingness to make border security concessions for DACA

NYT: “Fearful of concessions to Mr. Trump that could increase immigration enforcement aimed at their families and friends, the activists are targeting Democratic congressional leaders with loud political protests.”

 

SCOTUS Hearings

 

CALLS TO ACTION

 

  • AILA: Take Action: Demand Transparency from Federal Agencies for “Extreme Vetting” Policies

 

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PWS

10-02-17

THE GIBSON REPORT — 09-25-17

Gibson Report 09-25-17

Here are the Headlines:

TOP UPDATES

 

Reminder for DACA Renewals: USCIS must RECEIVE your properly filed renewal request on or before Oct. 5, 2017.

 

New Travel Ban via Presidential Proclamation

  • Text of the Order:Presidential Proclamation Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats
  • NYT Article: “President Trump on Sunday issued a new order indefinitely banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.”

 

Trump team drafting plan to deport more young people — Central American teens

McClatchy: “Under the plan being discussed, teens in this group would be sent back to their countries when they turn 18 under a fast-track deportation, which means they would not see an immigration judge first.”

 

USCIS Posts “If… Then….” Chart on DACA Procedures

The chart includes: “IF: Your DACA expired on or before Sept. 4, 2017, and you did not properly file your renewal request on or before Sept. 5, 2017. THEN: The DACA process is no longer available to you.”

 

TPS Updates

 

CALLS TO ACTION

 

RAICES Network: Action Network is the tool RAICES will be using to communicate with volunteers and community about events and news. Please complete the sign up so they can also include you in all information!

 

NYIC: #TakeAStand Against the New Muslim Ban

  • TEXT “NYIC” to VOICES (864237). If we need you to show up to JFK Airport for a protest, you’ll be the first to know via our text service.
  • RSVP to join thousands in Washington, D.C. on 10/10 when the Supreme Court begins hearing arguments about the Muslim Ban. They also need to hear from New Yorkers loud and clear: Immigrants and refugees are welcome here.

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PWS

09-25-17

THE GIBSON REPORT FOR 09-18-17

GIBSON REPORT 09-18-17A

 

HEADLINES:

TOP UPDATES

SCOTUS Immigration Cases This Term
· Sessions v. Dimaya, Oral Argument October 2.
· Jennings v. Rodriguez, Oral Argument, October 3.
· Trump v. Int’l Refugee Assistance Project. Oral Argument October 10.
· Trump v. Hawaii. Oral Argument October 10.
· In travel-ban case, justices stay Ninth Circuit ruling

NY Governor Issues Executive Order Restricting Inquiry Into Immigration Status
ImmProf: “New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has issued Executive Order 170 that prohibits state agencies and officers from inquiring about or disclosing an individual’s immigration status unless required by law or necessary to determine eligibility for a benefit or service. Law enforcement officers will also be prohibited from inquiring about immigration status unless investigating illegal criminal activity.”

Trump Administration Loses Again in “Sanctuary City” Funding Case
ImmProf: “In a ruling with national impact, a federal judge in Chicago on Friday blocked the Trump administration’s rules requiring so-called sanctuary cities to cooperate with immigration agents in order to get a public safety grant.”

The Administration Is Late on Sudan/South Sudan TPS
CNN: “The Department of Homeland Security is overdue for a decision about Sudan and South Sudan; there are 1,039 temporarily protected immigrants from Sudan in the United States and 49 from South Sudan, according to data provided by US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Their status is set to expire November 2, and federal law requires a decision 60 days before the deadline and timely publication of that decision.”

ICE Wants to Destroy Its Records of In-Custody Deaths, Sexual Assault, and Other Detainee Files
The Nation: “In July, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)—the agency charged with maintaining records produced by the federal government—published a request made by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to begin destroying detainee records, including those related to in-custody deaths, sexual assault, and the use of solitary confinement. The request has been preliminarily approved.” The request predates the current administration.

Drastic drop in US admissions is bad news for Muslim refugees
Frelick: “This August, just 913 refugees were resettled into the U.S., the smallest monthly total in 15 years, according to the State Department’s refugee database.
The religious identity of refugees resettled to the United States also shifted dramatically.”

ICE Confirms Deportation Officers Arrested Four At Brooklyn Courthouse
Gothamist: “Three plainclothes agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement entered Brooklyn Criminal Court on Thursday morning, “lurked,” and made multiple arrests outside, according to attorneys with Brooklyn Defender Services [BDS], a public defender organization.”

CALLS TO ACTION

· Monday September 25th a DACA Day of Action: AILA and NYLS Pro Bono DACA Renewal Clinic Volunteer Sign-Up link.

· Four Easy Ways to Advocate for the Dream Act

· Tell Congress to Stand Up for Refugee Resettlement: Right now, the Trump administration is deciding how many refugees we welcome into the United States next fiscal year.

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PWS

09-18-17

THE GIBSON REPORT — 09-11-17

The Gibson Report, 09-11-17

TOP UPDATES

DACA
· Memorandum on Rescission Of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
· Overview of proposed legislation to replace DACA
· Litigation: AGs, Make the Road, University of California
· ILRC DACA Info Sheets
· DACA renewal loan fund
· Wellness: NYC WELL is a free and confidential resource that is available regardless of immigration status, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and in 200 languages – regardless of your immigration status. Dial 1-888-NYC-WELL, text WELL to 65173 or chat with a counselor online at nyc.gov/NYCWELL.
· Removal: DHS is already moving to recalendar DACA cases. Argue that this is premature and a waste of judicial resources.
· See Resources below for more.

DA Election for Kings County
Primaries tomorrow (Tuesday) include selecting a new DA. Medium has a breakdown of the candidates’ stances on immigration and broken windows policies.

Operation Mega
After word leaked that ICE was planning to target 6,000 to 10,000 immigrants in raids Sept. 17-22, ICE announced it was rescheduling the raids due to hurricanes. However, this does not mean there won’t necessarily be any raids. ICE Statement Regarding Questions on Enforcement Planning.

Bill bars transfer of PRM from State to DHS
FP: “In a stark repudiation of the Trump administration, lawmakers on Thursday passed a spending bill that overturned the president’s steep proposed cuts to foreign aid and diplomacy. Folded into the bill are management amendments that straitjacket some of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s efforts to redesign the State Department.”

US Justice Department Set to Appeal Ninth Circuit Travel Ban Ruling to Supreme Court
VOA: “According to a Justice Department official, the agency plans to ask the high court to weigh in on an appeals court ruling that says grandparents and cousins are close enough relatives to constitute an exemption from the Trump administration’s travel order. The court also said that refugees accepted by a resettlement agency should be allowed to travel to the United States.”

OIL filed a petition for panel rehearing in Harbin v. Sessions
IDP: I’m sad to report that OIL filed a petition for panel rehearing in Harbin v. Sessions. IDP and Legal Aid are working with Mr. Harbin’s lawyers on plans moving forward. Hopefully the panel will stick to its guns and deny the government’s request. And quickly.

CALLS TO ACTION

Call Congress to Pass the Dream Act (S. 1615/H.R. 3440)
Call your Congress members and urge them to pass the Dream Act, a bipartisan bill that would provide Dreamers a chance to adjust their immigration status, if they meet certain requirements. If Congress fails to act, 800,000 Dreamers who were protected by DACA will be at risk of being deported.
AILA Doc. No. 17090533

DACA Fee Donations Outside NYC
New York has several resources for assisting DACA recipients with renewal fees. Consider donating to organizations outside New York where the need may be greater. RAICES DACA fund.

Detention of UACs
NYLCU: Reaching out to the listserv to see if anyone has heard of any UACs that have been re-detained & placed in either secure facilities or at the non-secure Dobb’s Ferry facility in Westchester. NYCLU has heard reports that kids are being held with no good reason and we are doing some work around this issue. We’re hoping to speak to some kids or their parents, preferably at Dobb’s Ferry! Feel free to forward if you know folks who do a lot of UAC work or to other listservs! Please send any sensitive info to my work email, pgarciasalazar@nyclu.org.

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I see the DOJ just won’t quit on some of its positions that have been rejected by the Article IIIs on review. Hopefully, the Sessions’ DOJ will wear out its welcome and further tank its credibility with the Article IIIs.

PWS

09-11-17

FASCINATING “MUST READ:” “Dickie The P’s” Exit Interview With The NYT — See How Being A Judge Transformed A Conservative “Economic Analyst” Into A Pragmatic Humanist!

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/09/11/us/politics/judge-richard-posner-retirement.html?module=WatchingPortal®ion=c-column-middle-span-region&pgType=Homepage&action=click&mediaId=thumb_square&state=standard&contentPlacement=1&version=internal&contentCollection=www.nytimes.com&contentId=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2017%2F09%2F11%2Fus%2Fpolitics%2Fjudge-richard-posner-retirement.html&eventName=Watching-article-click&_r=0&referer

KEY QUOTE:

“The basic thing is that most judges regard these people [unrepresented litigants] as kind of trash not worth the time of a federal judge,” he said.”

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Read the full, very revealing interview at the above link.

I do hope that Judge P will turn his attention and boundless energy to the way that unrepresented litigants are routinely mistreated, denied due process, and abused in our U.S. immigration Court system. Children forced to present their own asylum claims? He could also shed some needed light on how the DOJ is intentionally attacking and wearing down the NGOs and pro bono attorneys, who are indigent migrants’ sole lifeline to due process, with Aimless Docket Reshuffling (“ADR”).

I was interested in how he described the staff attorney system in the 7th Circuit as placing the real adjuducation of appeals in the hands of staff, with Article III Judges all too often merely “signing off” or “rubber stamping” results. Most Circuit Court staff attorney systems were instituted to deal with the overwhelming flow of petitions to review BIA decisions following the so-called “Ashcroft Purge and Reforms” that largely eliminated critical thinking and dialogue at the BIA and turned it into the “Falls Church Service Center.”

The current BIA is largely a staff-driven organization. That the Article III Courts have replicated the same system resulting in the same problems is disturbing, and shows why due process for migrants is being given short shrift throughout our legal system.

The good news: The New Due Process Army knows what’s going on in the system and is positioned to carry the fight to the entrenched status quo, for decades if necessary, until our legal system delivers on the constitutional guarantee of due process for all.

Many thanks to my good friend and colleague Judge Dorothy Harbeck for sending this item my way!

PWS

09-11-17

OUR BETTER ANGELS: The Gibson Report For 09-05-17 & “A Message For Dreamers”

“We are here for you.

We are inspired by you.

We know you belong here.

We share your dream.

We will fight alongside you.”

—- From The Gibson Report

The Gibson Report 09-05-17

Here are this week’s headlines:

Memorandum on Rescission Of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

 

Effective immediately, the Department:

  • Will adjudicate—on an individual, case-by-case basis—properly filed pending DACA initial requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents that have been accepted by the Department as of the date of this memorandum.
  • Will reject all DACA initial requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents filed after the date of this memorandum.
  • Will adjudicate—on an individual, case by case basis—properly filed pending DACA renewal requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents from current beneficiaries that have been accepted by the Department as of the date of this memorandum, and from current beneficiaries whose benefits will expire between the date of this memorandum and March 5, 2018 that have been accepted by the Department as of October 5, 2017.
  • Will reject all DACA renewal requests and associated applications for Employment Authorization Documents filed outside of the parameters specified above.
  • Will not terminate the grants of previously issued deferred action or revoke Employment Authorization Documents solely based on the directives in this memorandum for the remaining duration of their validity periods.
  • Will not approve any new Form I-131 applications for advance parole under standards associated with the DACA program, although it will generally honor the stated validity period for previously approved applications for advance parole. Notwithstanding the continued validity of advance parole approvals previously granted, CBP will—of course—retain the authority it has always had and exercised in determining the admissibility of any person presenting at the border and the eligibility of such persons for parole. Further, USCIS will—of course—retain the authority to revoke or terminate an advance parole document at any time.
  • Will administratively close all pending Form I-131 applications for advance parole filed under standards associated with the DACA program, and will refund all associated fees.
  • Will continue to exercise its discretionary authority to terminate or deny deferred action at any time when immigration officials determine termination or denial of deferred action is appropriate.

 

Trump administration announces end of immigration protection program for ‘dreamers’

WaPo: “The Trump administration announced Tuesday it would begin to unwind an Obama-era program that allows younger undocumented immigrants to live in the country without fear of deportation, calling the program unconstitutional but offering a partial delay to give Congress a chance to address the issue…The Department of Homeland Security said it would no longer accept new applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which has provided renewable, two-year work permits to nearly 800,000 dreamers. The agency said those currently enrolled in DACA will be able to continue working until their permits expire; those whose permits expire by March 5, 2018, will be permitted to apply for two-year renewals as long as they do so by Oct. 5.”

 

From NYIC:

  • The Mayor will have some type of press conference at 5, after which there will be a rally/civil disobedience starting at City Hall. Text “NYIC” to 864-237 for updates. The NYIC will also email updates and put them on our social media.
  • Immigrant ARC is working with MOIA for a large scale event. More details coming soon.
  • If you are an Immigrant ARC member and develop materials etc. that can be shared, please send them my way and I will upload them into the databank.
  • We will be uploading flyers for events, etc onto the nyic calendar (link on our front page).

 

TOP UPDATES

 

Article: Immigration Agency May Be Expanding Anti-Fraud Program

Posted 8/31/2017

Bloomberg reports that immigration attorneys are seeing what could be an expansion of a USCIS effort to root out fraud in the immigration system. It’s “clear” the agency is looking for fraud across all visa categories, AILA Treasurer Allen Orr said.

AILA Doc. No. 17083138

 

Article: Federal Judge Blocks Texas Ban on Sanctuary Cities in Blow for Trump

Posted 8/31/2017

The Guardian reports that a federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction that blocks key parts of Texas’s ban on sanctuary cities, two days before the law was scheduled to go into effect. AILA moved its 2018 conference out of the Dallas area in protest at SB 4.

AILA Doc. No. 17083140

 

CALLS TO ACTION

 

DACA Rally – The Mayor will have some type of press conference at 5, after which there will be a rally/civil disobedience starting at City Hall. Text “NYIC” to 864-237 for updates.

 

NYIC SIJS Request: As a follow up to ongoing conversations that have come out of our liaison meetings and other conversations with the local USCIS office, they have asked me to put together a list of A numbers of over 18 year old SIJS cases that have been pending with no movement or decision so that they can get more information from the NBC. If you have cases like that could you let me know. I would love to get this to them in mid-September so that they have the information by our next liaison meeting.

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In times like these, all of us on the “right side of history” —  who have reflected on things like the causes of World War I and World War II, the horrors of Communism, Jim Crow Laws, the failure of the American Legal System to stand up to racism during most of the century following the Civil War, and the costs of “science deniers” —  need to stick together and work as a team to resist and ultimately defeat the forces of darkness and evil that have taken over our Government, our country, and are now threatening the future and safety of our world. They can’t be allowed to prevail with their ignorant, yet disturbingly arrogant, messages and actions of hate, disdain, racism, and selfishness.

Time for the “good hombres” to stand up and be counted in opposition to the “bad hombres!”

PWS

09-05-17

 

THE GIBSON REPORT — August 21, 2017

The Gibson Report, August 21, 2017

Here are the “Headlines:”

DACA on perilous footing on 5th anniversary

CNN: Ten state attorneys general, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, have issued an ultimatum to the Trump administration — sunset DACA by September 5, or we’ll challenge it in court.

 

ICE Has Arrested More Than 400 In Operation Targeting Parents Who Pay Smugglers

NPR: Immigration and Customs Enforcement has arrested more than 400 people in an operation targeting undocumented parents and guardians who allegedly paid smugglers to bring their children to the U.S., putting them in grave danger. An ICE spokesman tells NPR the domestic phase of its Human Smuggling Disruption Initiative concluded on Friday. He said the “surge initiative” will now shift its focus to the transnational smuggling organizations that bring the children to the U.S.-Mexico border.

 

Trump Administration Terminates Protection for At-Risk Central American Children

ImmProf: The Trump administration announced that it was ending the CAM (Central American Minors) Parole Program, which had allowed certain children in Central America to enter the United States and be reunited with their legally residing parents.

 

They Got Hurt At Work — Then They Got Deported

NPR: Florida’s lawmakers added a catch, making it a crime to file a workers’ comp claim using false identification. Since then, insurers have avoided paying for injured immigrant workers’ lost wages and medical care by repeatedly turning them in to the state…What’s quietly been happening to workers in Florida, unnoticed even by immigrant advocates, could be a harbinger of the future as immigration enforcement expands under President Trump.

 

Dilley Settlement

AILA: The parties in Dilley Pro Bono Project v. ICE have reached a settlement that ensures access to mental health evaluations for certain detained mothers and children seeking asylum. The case was filed after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) barred Caroline Perris, a full-time legal assistant with the Dilley Pro Bono Project (DPBP), from entering the South Texas Family Residential Center (STFRC) in Dilley, Texas. AILA Doc. No. 17081862.

 

CFI grants down

WRC: USCIS posted updated quarterly statistics on the CFI caseload and grant rate. The rate of positive credible fear has declined in FY 2017. While of course many factors can influence the rate, and overall the total number of CFIs declined as well, it’s worth noting the decline in positive credible fear in light of the new credible fear lesson plan issued in February and given that a decline in the fear found rate also occurred in 2014 when a revised lesson plan was issued.

 

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PWS

08-22-17

THE GIBSON REPORT — August 14, 2017

The Gibson Report 08-14-17

Here are the “Headliners:”

“TOP UPDATES

 

ICE eService for OCC

On Monday, August 21, 2017, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) eService will become available in the ICE Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) New York City Office of Chief Counsel (OCC) area of responsibility.  See attached brochure, which describes what can be served electronically. To request access to ICE eService, please visit eserviceregistration.ice.gov.

 

ACLU Class Action Suit Charges that Efforts to Detain and Deport Children are Based on Unfounded Gang Allegations

Attorneys representing immigrant children and their families sued Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) today for using unsubstantiated claims of gang affiliation to illegally detain teenagers in jail-like facilities in California.

 

National Conference of State Legislatures Issues Report on Increase in State Immigration Legislation

Enacted legislation related to immigration increased in the first half of 2017 by 90 percent to 133 laws compared with 70 laws in 2016. The number of resolutions increased by 22 percent to 195 from 159. Lawmakers in 47 states enacted 133 laws and 195 resolutions related to immigration, for a total of 328. An additional nine bills were vetoed by governors and 18 are pending signatures. Trends 2017: Sanctuary policies, Refugees, Education/civics, Education/in-state tuition.

 

For-Profit Private Prison Operator Tells Investors that ICE Will Improve Company Earnings

“While in the past, ICE processing centers have been primarily utilized for individuals detained for multiple illegally border crossings, increasingly, ICE intends to utilize contract bed capacity for interior enforcement.”

 

ICE Investigating Families

Catholic Charities: It seems that ICE and HSI are getting contact information for families from minors at the border and are going on a fishing expedition to get evidence of immigration and criminal violations.  The first wave is taking action against people with immigration violations–arresting and detaining household members with outstanding removal orders, issuing NTA (but also sometimes detaining) those who are undocumented. There will likely be a second wave of using smuggling inadmissibility charges to limit the relief that these immigrants can receive.  The third wave will be criminally prosecuting people on federal charges of alien smuggling (which is a crime and carries 5 years of jail time). CLINIC and NYIC  and others are tracking these encounters. You may want to report to them. This is what we are telling people contacted by HSI and ICE:

  1. Talking to them is completely voluntary.  They have not issued a subpoena and you are not obligated to go to a meeting or answer your door. They may show up at your house; you do not have to let them in.
  2. You have a right to consult with a lawyer before you talk to them. You have a right to have a lawyer present during any conversations with them.
  3. 5th Amendment.  If you talk to them, what you say can and will be used against you in a deportation case and a criminal case. They are looking for evidence to use against you.

4.      Smuggling is a crime. (We usually walk then through the statute). It includes paying for but also just arranging and planning for someone to enter the U.S.  It doesn’t matter why you did this or how sympathetic the story is. If you admit to this crime, you can be prosecuted and put in jail. It is also an immigration violation which can be used against you.”

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Interesting that even ICE is more advanced in electronic filing than the Immigration Courts!

PWS

08-14-17

THE “GIBSON REPORT” FOR AUGUST 7, 2017

GIBSON REPORT, 08-07-17

As usual, lots of “good stuff” in Elizabeth’s Report.  Here are the “Top Stories:”

“TOP UPDATES

 

NYIFUP Accepting New Cases Again

BDS: As most of you know, the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) has not been in intake recently. We are pleased to let you know that the NYIFUP providers will be back accepting new cases at the Varick Street Court as of August 14th for clients who are detained, unrepresented, and financially eligible. We will not be imposing a bar to our services based on criminal history. Because we intake unrepresented clients directly at the court, there is no need to refer us cases, although you are welcome to let the providers know about someone who will be coming through intake ahead of time. At this time, the providers are still determining our capacity to accept cases whose first appearance was during the time that we were out of intake. If you have specific questions about NYIFUP or an individual case, you can reach out to me, to Sarah Gillman at the Legal Aid Society (stgillman@legal-aid.org), or to Sarah Deri Oshiro at the Bronx Defenders (sarahdo@bronxdefenders.org). Thank all of you for your strong support of NYIFUP this year. NYT Coverage.

 

Increased number of RFEs for pending I-360 SIJS petitions and notices of intent to revoke approved I-360 SIJS petitions

USCIS has been issuing an increased number of RFEs for pending I-360 SIJS petitions and notices of intent to revoke approved I-360 SIJS petitions. USCIS is primarily issuing RFEs to SIJS applicants that were 18 years old or older at the time the guardianship order was issued. However, they are also issuing RFEs to SIJS applicants that obtained a custody order.

 

EOIR Memo on continuancesIssued July 31, 2017, it directs IJs to take a less liberal stance with regards to continuances, taking into account the complexity of the case, etc. Respondents will be granted at least one continuance to obtain counsel, but it may be harder to receive additional adjournments if they cannot show diligence in seeking counsel.

 

  1. 1720: RAISE Act

While it is unlikely that this bill will ever become a law, it has gained a lot of press since Trump announced his support for it. The law would have a significant impact on family-based immigration and also would affect employment-based and refugee programs. In short, it would, cut family-based immigration in half over the next decade (eliminating the categories of adult parents of U.S. citizens, adult siblings of U.S. citizens, unmarried or married adult children of U.S. citizens, and unmarried adult children of LPRs), end the diversity visa lottery, and cap refugee admissions at 50,000. For elderly parents there would be a renewable nonimmigrant visa granted on the condition that parents will not work, access public benefits, and must be guaranteed support and health insurance by their sponsoring children. MPI analysis.

 

DOJ Announces Anti-Sanctuary City Language Required for Participation in Public Safety Partnership Program

The Department of Justice announced that, in order to participate in the Public Safety Partnership (PSP) program, local jurisdictions must answer questions that “show a commitment to reducing crime stemming from illegal immigration.” Twelve locations were initially selected for the program. AILA Doc. No. 17080333

 

Data Shows Prosecutorial Discretion Grinds to a Halt in Immigration Courts

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last month that it now has hired 326 immigration judges, 53 more judges than July 2016, yet during that time the immigration court backlog has grown. According to new data released by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) the reason for this may be due to the fact that the Trump administration has nearly ended the use of prosecutorial discretion to close cases, forcing judges to place them all on their dockets.

 

Advocates File Amicus Brief with BIA on the Modified Categorical Approach and CIMTs

Responding to an amicus invitation, AILA, the Immigrant Defense Project, and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild filed a brief taking the position that the BIA should not depart from the categorical approach when analyzing reprehensibility element of the CIMT analysis. AILA Doc. No. 17080403

 

Civil Rights Groups Sue State Department – demand processing of Diversity Visa Winners

Civil rights groups filed a federal lawsuit challenging the State Department’s refusal to process visa applications for winners of the U.S. Diversity Visa Program lottery who hail from the six countries covered by President Trump’s Muslim ban.  P.K. v. Tillerson, was filed in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

 

Still No Action Taken: Complaints Against Border Patrol Agents Continue to Go Unanswered

According to more recent CBP data obtained by the American Immigration Council, the agency has made little progress in its efforts to improve accountability. This data, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, includes 2,178 cases of alleged misconduct by Border Patrol agents and supervisors that were filed between January 2012 and October 2015.”

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Go the the full report at the link for more.

PWS

08-07-17

 

The Gibson Report for July 31, 2017

The-Gibson-Report-July-31-2017

 

PWS

08-31-17

The “Gibson Report” For July 24, 2017 — Administration Seeks To Warehouse Asylum Seekers In Mexico

 Gibson Report, JUly 24, 2107

The first item in Elizabeth’s report for this week is certainly worthy of note:

Administration to Release Regulations Requiring Asylum Seekers to Remain in Mexico

HRF: “[T]he administration indicated that it plans to issue regulations to advance the provision in President Trump’s January 25 executive order that seeks to remove immigrants “to the territory from which they came” while they await immigration court hearings.”

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All sorts of potential issues with this one. If they are Mexicans, how can you send them back to the country from which they seek asylum while awaiting an asylum hearing? And, if they are not Mexicans, how can you force Mexico to accept non-Mexican nationals back into its territory?

PWS

07-25-17