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News Curation And Commentary: Immigration Defense & Appeals


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 Deportation Defense and Immigration Appeals pages.

Shortage Of Ancient Mayan Language Translators At Immigration Courts

Many immigration clients, advocates, pundits, and commentators often overlook the little things that can make a big difference in court cases.

Like translators.

The role of interpreters seems a given to those who infrequently step into a courtroom. But those of us who live within those four walls day in and day out know the reality.

Good interpreters make a hugh difference.

Good interpreters ensure a modicum of due process.

For more, continue here: Shortage Of Ancient Mayan Language Translators At Immigration Courts

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.

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

California Takes Leadership Role Against Broken Immigrant Families

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.

Read here: California Takes Leadership Role Against Broken Immigrant Families

Department Of Justice Asserts Immigrant Children Do Not Deserve Legal Counsel

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.

Learn more here: Department Of Justice Asserts Immigrant Children Do Not Deserve Legal Counsel

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.

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

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.

Immigration News Curation By Carlos Batara