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Curation Archives: Deportation Law

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Deportation law is a fast-changing area of law. From challenges to legal standards for deportation and removal relief to procedural changes for administrative rules and regulations, it is difficult to stay up with the latest deportation news.

But you’re in good hands. This curation page is designed to help you learn breaking news about deportation case decisions and removal procedures as it happens.

This collection of news stories is intended to supplement and amplify the information provided on our pages for Deportation Hearings and Deportation Appeals services.

Deportation Raids Against Central American Refugees: Four Political Questions

Surfing the net late Wednesday, I learned that a new series of immigration raids have been announced. It caught me, like most reform advocates, off guard.

My first reaction was related to timing.

Why was this policy made public one day prior to Christmas Eve?

This was not exactly the type of stocking stuffer present immigration activists were expecting.

. . . And my concerns go beyond just the timing aspect.

Immigration Officials To Launch Large-Scale Deportation Raids
Huffington Post (Reuters), December 23, 2015

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has begun preparing for a series of raids that would target for deportation hundreds of families who have flocked to the United States since the start of last year, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

Citing people familiar with the operation, the Post said the nationwide campaign to deport the illegal immigrants by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement could start as soon as early January.

For more, continue here: Deportation Raids Against Central American Refugees: Four Political Questions

 

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Law Students File Motion In Defense Of Family Unity

Paula Milardo, a legal U.S. resident for nearly 50 years, lived with her husband, three children, and grandchildren. Her husband, a Vietnam veteran, suffered from PTSD resulting from his military service.

Because they did not have enough money to pay for his ongoing treatment, they began going to a nearby casino to try to win money. Over time, she began to steal from a friend. At court, she pleaded guilty to larceny and spent five months in prison. She paid all of the money back.

However, this was not the end of her story. Since she was a lawful permanent resident, not a citizen, she was placed in immigration proceedings. The crime she accepted as part of her plea bargain was an aggravated felony – a point her criminal defense lawyer did not understand.

In immigration law, an aggravated felony means automatic deportation.

Vietnam Vet Fights Wife’s Deportation
Louisa Moller, Fox Connecticut, May 21, 2015

Yale law students have filed a petition on behalf of a Middletown Vietnam veteran whose wife was deported to Italy.

Milardo and his family argue that Paula was given inadequate legal advice, which caused her to plead guilty, triggering her deportation. They say her defense attorney did not explain to her that a guilty plea could lead to automatic deportation.

With help from the Yale students, Paula and her family have filed for writ of habeas corpus to vacate her guilty plea.

They cited a Supreme Court case, Padilla v. Kentucky, where the Supreme Court held that attorneys must warn their clients of immigration consequences.

This is one type of immigration case which makes me furious.

Did the woman deserve punishment? Sure.

But did she deserve deportation? 50 years as a law-abiding resident ought to count for something under immigration law, especially for long time green card holders.

Nor does the family deserve such a fate. The husband suffers from a serious medical condition, while serving his country. His relationship with his wife should also be a factor in the decision whether to deport her.

Automatic deportations, based on mere guilty pleas, have no place in a constitutional democracy.

Moreover, most judges are reluctant to open the door for Padilla motions to vacate based on ineffective defense counsel claims. A better approach is to revamp the criminal conviction rules for immigration purposes.

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California Takes Leadership Role Against Broken Immigrant Families

Legislators Unveil 10 Bills To Help Protect Undocumented Immigrants
Chris Jennewein, Times Of San Diego, April 7, 2015

Since the advent of IIRAIRA, the distinction between minor and major convictions has seemed non-existent, especially in the area of drug convictions.

Despite many failures to defeat such unfair provisions via the immigration court process, change has been slow. As a result, recent news about legislative actions to California to offset the impact of minor offenses on immigrant families points to new day dawning for immigration reform supporters – and more importantly, for immigrants.

For more, continue here: California Takes Leadership Role Against Broken Immigrant Families

 

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Department Of Justice Asserts Immigrant Children Do Not Deserve Legal Counsel

Migrants’ Right To Counsel Argued
David Rogers, Politico, September 3, 2014

The Central American refugee has caused a serious overload in our immigration system.

At a recent hearing, on the issue of representation, Department of Justice attorneys asserted minor migrant children should not be granted the right to counsel.

I disagree. As a nation which prides itself as a beacon of liberty, we cannot place expediency above justice. The rule of law demands more than a simple cost-benefit analysis.

Contrary to immigration reform critics, there is no such thing as too much due process.

Especially for young children, from whatever country.

For more, continue here: Department Of Justice Asserts Immigrant Children Do Not Deserve Legal Counsel

 

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Finally . . . Due Process For Some Immigrants

The San Francisco Board Of Supervisors, in a good piece of news, have said “no” to immigration officials. They will not allow their law enforcement officers to become surrogate ICE agents.

As a deportation defense lawyer, this raises a significant question unaddressed by the Supervisors.

If a local government has to pass a due process ordinance for immigrants, does this mean, when they were arrested, had they been previously denied their constitutional protections?

“Due Process For All” Ordinance On Immigration Holds Passed Unanimously
David Mariuz, The Ingleside Journal, Oct. 15, 2013

Under a new “Due Process” ordinance, unless an individual has a prior conviction, San Francisco law authorities will no longer be able to keep the person in custody solely on immigration status.

The number of immigrants without citizen status living in San Francisco is roughly 107,423 or 13.6 percent of the city, according to the 2006-2010 American Community Survey.

The ordinance, sponsored by Supervisor John Avalos, was not passed without political intrigue. Half of the residents in his district were born outside of the United States.

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Taking Immigrants Home: A Square Peg Policy?

Most people understand that to shut off a circular leaking pipe, you cannot force a square peg into a round hole and expect to achieve success.

Yet, immigration officials seem to think by dropping off Mexican immigrants in remote parts, they will slow down the number of individuals trying to enter the U.S.

Simplistic thinking rarely finds the cure for complex problems.

U.S. Flies Deportees Deep Into Mexico To Discourage Returns
Fox News Latino, July 12, 2013

In an effort to discourage them from trying to return, U.S. immigration authorities began flying deportees deep into Mexico Thursday, U.S. and Mexican officials said.

According to Fox News, the U.S government recently began flights twice per week from El Paso, Texas, to Mexico City.

ICE spokeswoman Nicole Navas said the flights will accommodate up to 136 men and women but no children. Special accommodations are being made for minors traveling alone..

Deportees fly from throughout the United States to Chaparral, New Mexico, for a short bus ride to El Paso. A total of 6,800 people are expected to be returned under the program.

To begin, the 6,800 figure is a mere drop in the bucket. How does leaving such a small number, percentage-wise, help stem the flow of deported immigrants trying to return to the U.S.

The Obama administration is deporting 400,000 immigrants per year. A conservative estimate is 25 %, or 100,000 are citizens of Mexico. So where are the other 93.2% of Mexican nationals being returned to?

There are also practical questions. How much does each flight cost the government? What is the selection policy for those taken to remote locations?

Last but not least, the government’s action misses its mark. The flights imply the flow of immigrants from other countries to the U.S. is not a valve which can just be shut off with a square peg.

Rather, the round pipe needs to be replaced with a new approach.

In other words, the U.S. needs to work with the governments of those countries, which immigrants are leaving behind, to develop their economies.

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Playing Fair With Immigrant Witnesses Facing Deportation

For years, deportation defense attorneys have known DHS government counsel have an unspoken advantage at immigration court removal proceedings.

The advantage is not just one of slanted deportation laws.

It extends to keeping a close lid on information in their possession.

But DHS lawyers are not the only government attorneys with an advantage. Criminal defense prosecutors have also held a distinct advantage.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has seen enough.

Court To Feds: Stop Deporting Defense Witnesses
Los Angeles Times, Sandra Hernandez, September 17, 2012

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/sep/17/news/la-ol-immigration-deport-witnesses-20120917

Common sense and fairness, writes Sanda Hernandez, would seem to dictate that the federal government ought not deport an exonerating witness before the witness has been allowed to testify. But good sense is apparently in short supply, at least that’s what the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeal said Friday in a sharply worded ruling.

“May the government deport an illegal alien who can provide exculpatory evidence for a criminal defendant before counsel for that defendant has even been appointed? We believe the answer is self-evident, as the government recognized in an earlier case where it moved to vacate a conviction after it deported witnesses whose testimony would have exculpated defendant,” Judge Alex Kozinski wrote for the three judge panel.

In cases like the one noted above, it is also possible that the immigrant’s testimony may also open up doors to fight deportation.

For instance, if the immigrant’s role includes cooperation with the government to help prosecute the truly guilty party, he may be eligible to seek a U or T visa.

Moreover, while the immigrant is waiting to testify, which might take several months, is he still mandated to remain at a DHS detention facility? It seems prosecutorial discretion would allow the immigrant’s release from custody, without bond having to be posted.

In summary, unless the immigrant has also been charged with a serious offense in the criminal manner, he should temporarily free not only from deportation, but also from detention.

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