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Carlos Batara - Immigration Attorney

A New ICE Age: 10 Points Of Prosecutorial Discretion Hope

– Posted in: Deportation And Detention


To prosecute, or not to prosecute – that is the question.

Soon after the Department of Homeland Security announced a new memorandum on prosecutorial discretion, the telephone calls started.

“Is it true,” the caller wanted to know, “the government is no longer going to try to deport immigrants without documents and I’ll be able to get a work permit?”

He heard this information from an immigration “expert” talking on the radio. He wanted to confirm the details.

As happens so, so often with immigration, potential applicants for benefits do not grasp the full details of “new” programs and policies.

This leaves them vulnerable not only to unsympathetic government officers they may encounter, but also to deceptive immigrant advocates hoping to take advantage of their naiveté.

The Wrongful Detention And Deportation Of U.S. Citizens

– Posted in: Deportation And Detention


Ever wonder how a U.S. citizen is mistaken as an immigrant and deported?

The error is not uncommon.

Sometimes the reason is innocent ignorance. Most immigrants do not understand how various provisions of citizenship law work.

They might be a citizen by operation of law but they do not realize it.

Or through a grandparent born in the U.S. who could have passed on such U.S. status to a son or daughter, but they did not claim citizenship for over an entire generation.

Often they know they are a citizen but they do not know how to prove it.

Deportation Review Panels: Legal Substance Or Political Stunt?

– Posted in: Deportation And Detention


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.

Are ICE Agents Above The Law?

– Posted in: Deportation And Detention


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.

The Morton Memorandum: More Empty Talk Or The Real Deal?

– Posted in: Deportation And Detention


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.

Nice gesture.

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.

First Immigration Pardon Panel Established For Minor Convictions

– Posted in: Deportation And Detention


When it comes to crimmigration issues, 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.

No End In Sight For The ICE – Escondido Police Department Secretive Partnership

– Posted in: Deportation And Detention


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.

ICE Modifies Immigration Removal Policy For Green Card Applicants

– Posted in: Deportation And Detention


Once in a while, common sense rules the day in immigration law.

As a Riverside immigration lawyer, it seems like these days are like a burst of sunlight in the middle of week-long thunderstorms.

But they happen.   And when they do, like the recent ICE policy change regarding needless deportation and removal hearings, the government deserves praise.