Deportation Statistics, Political Deceit And The 2012 Elections
In recent weeks, there has been a flurry of news about deportation statistics.
Clarity about the direction of immigration law has been conspicuously absent.
Whether due to careless inadvertence, cruel indifference, or calloused intentions, the inconsistency from press release to press release is baffling even for seasoned reporters. [continue reading…]
Deportation Review Panels: Legal Substance Or Political Stunt?
When the idea of a deportation review panel was initially floated, I was skeptical it would get off the ground.
Now, given recent information shared by Janet Napolitano, DHS Secretary, in testimony before Congress, I think something resembling review panels will be implemented.
Otherwise, Obama risks further alienating immigration reform advocates at a time when his need for their electoral support is growing.
However, as a Riverside immigration attorney, I still doubt the panel will live up to its advance billing. [continue reading…]
The Politics Of Deportation: Immigrants As Election Fodder
The immigration judge was not in a good mood.
Before my client’s removal hearing began, the judge scolded the government attorney.
As a deportation defense lawyer, it was clear the Immigration and Customs Enforcement war on immigrants was causing administrative problems for the immigration court.
“I am putting you on notice,” noted the judge, “that I am closing my courtroom down at 11:30 sharp.” [continue reading…]
The New Obama Plan: More Political Smoke On Immigration Reform
Very soon, on the issue of immigration reform, the Obama administration will have to fish or cut bait.
Back in October, before the smoke cleared from the 2010 mid-term elections, I wrote an article entitled “Beyond Lame Politics: Why The DREAM Act Will Pass.” I asserted, as soon as the president geared up his re-election campaign, he would realize the need to reinvigorate promises made to immigrant communities which supported his party two years ago.
Debate over immigration reform, I noted, would begin in early 2011 and continue into 2012, causing many Democratic Party representatives to squirm as they started to feel increased pressure to support some form of pro-immigrant legislation.
I cautioned against placing too heavy a bet on the extent of reform, if any, which might occur.
Unfortunately, if recent events are any indicator of what’s to come, political events are unfolding almost according to my script.
I’m not happy about being on point. [continue reading…]
Are ICE Agents Above The Law?
Immigrants need a Dirty Harry.
From coast to coast, ICE officials act as if they are above the law.
Although the goal of the “Secure Communities” program is to remove immigrants who have been convicted of certain serious criminal offenses, many immigrants with no convictions or only low level offenses, like traffic citations, have been targeted by less-than-compassionate ICE agents.
Stories of ICE’s callous approach to law enforcement, at times, resemble robotic seek and destroy immigrant family missions. [continue reading…]
A New ICE Age: 19 Points Of Hope
Earlier this week I expressed doubts that the June 17, 2011 prosecutorial discretion memo issued by John Morton, Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, would ever become reality.
My position as expressed in More Empty Talk Or The Real Deal This Time? remains unchanged.
Yet, to be clear, I believe Morton’s guidelines are a positive development in a system far too slanted to deportation and removal, regardless of an immigrant’s equities. As a deportation defense lawyer, I’ve seen too many instances where a little respect and dignity by immigration authorities would have prevented families from being needlessly separated.
My concern is that immigration-friendly discretion will not become reality due to a lack of true commitment by the president and ICE officers. Without the support from above and below, Morton’s plan has little, if any, chance of succeeding. [continue reading…]
The Morton Memorandum: More Empty Talk Or The Real Deal?
On June 17, 2011, John Morton, Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a new memorandum on prosecutorial discretion. The memo outlines a new direction for how ICE should handle prosecutions of detained immigrants.
I don’t recommend jumping the gun. It’s questionable whether any real changes will take place.
I’ll believe a new direction exists when I see it in action. Not just once, twice, or three times. Rather, I’ll believe a new direction exists when I see a widespread pattern of immigrant friendly discretion being exercised on a more-or-less regular basis. Not a second before. [continue reading…]
2010 Department of Justice Report: Deportation, Removal, And Immigration Appeals
As a San Diego immigration lawyer, I cringe when I see immigrants without attorneys at immigration court hearings.
Even if you have a “good case,” the difficulty of winning at immigration court should not underestimated.
A new report, released by the U.S. Department of Justice this week, provided support for my views. [continue reading…]
First Immigration Pardon Panel Established For Minor Convictions
When it comes to deportation defense, immigrants need as many allies as possible. Governor David Paterson of New York was one such ally.
In December, prior to leaving office, Person pardoned 33 immigrants. The immigrants pardoned were lawful permanent residents who had been convicted of minor crimes several years ago.
Without the pardons, most of them faced nearly automatic removal from the United States. [continue reading…]
No End In Sight For The ICE – Escondido Police Department Secretive Partnership
A few months ago, the Escondido Police Department and the U.S. Immigration and Enforcement (ICE) entered into a secretive agreement. Under this partnership, two ICE agents work out of the Escondido Police Department office and regularly travel on patrol with Escondido officers.
As I wrote in Escondido Police Teams With ICE: How Will It Affect Immigrant Detentions?, the partnership was hatched in the dark. Or more precisely, those who should have know about the program origins and goals claimed ignorance. [continue reading…]