Civil Rights Complaint: Asylum seekers deported in expedited removal, border patrol officers ignoring policy

There are nine individuals identified in the complaint, who were deported from the U.S. to countries where they faced persecution.

There are nine individuals identified in the complaint, who were deported from the U.S. to countries where they faced persecution.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), in a civil rights complaint, is alleged to overlook, ignore or block refugees from claiming asylum in the U.S. Often without a hearing or proper screening people are deported through the expedited removal process, even when they express fear of persecution and seek asylum in the U.S.

Authentic asylum seekers are blacklisted when they are improperly removed.

When an immigrant arrives in the U.S., they may seek asylum and, if eligible, they may be allowed to remain in the U.S. pending the outcome of their application. One of the eligibility requirements is that the individual has not previously been subject of a removal order. If CBP is deporting immigrants with authentic asylum pleas, they will later be blocked from admission to the U.S. because they will not be eligible because of their removal order, even if it is not warranted and was issued in mistake or neglect.

There are nine individuals identified in the complaint, who were deported from the U.S. to countries where they faced persecution. All nine of them were deported without hearings, were subject to renewed persecution in their country of origin and when they returned to the U.S. they were determined ineligible because of their prior removal. These individuals now are in the status of withholding of removal, and are subject to removal orders which the government agrees to withhold indefinitely.

The civil rights complaint calls for increased officer training and oversight.

In the civil rights complaint filed on November 13th with the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, identifies CBP officers regularly thwarting the current systems and processes are the southern border officers where many Central Americans arrive in the U.S. after fleeing gangs, violence and persecution. In a statement by Keren Zwick, managing attorney for Heartland Alliance National Immigrant Justice Center reported, “CBP officers have tremendous power over the fate of people who come to our borders seeking refuge, and what comes a corresponding obligation to ensure our government does not deport anyone back to countries where they may be persecuted or tortured…Unfortunately many officers abuse that power.”

People who come to the U.S. to seek asylum often leave countries where they face persecution for their race, political, religious, sexual and other beliefs and associations. In cases, the asylum seekers fear torture and death. The single act of fleeing to the U.S. can cause serious problems for deported immigrants not able to seek asylum.

The complaint, prepared with the input from a significant collection of human rights groups and lawyers, requests that the DHS civil rights office make the following recommendations to CBP:

  1. Train CBP officers to ensure they understand the agency’s asylum screening requirements and are sensitive to the circumstances of recently arrived asylum seekers.
  2. Improve oversight to ensure officers comply with proper asylum screening procedures during the expedited removal process.
  3. Reinforce to CBP officers that they are not responsible for adjudicating individuals’ asylum claims, but must refer individuals who express a fear of persecution to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Asylum Office.

While this complaint is reviewed for consideration, many look to Capitol Hill awaiting action on immigration reform by President Obama’s executive order or an act by Congress that would fix the current outdated and broken system of immigration law and policy.

Immigration attorney, KiKi M. Mosley frequently represents asylum applicants at Asylum offices and immigration courts and can help asylum applicants at any part of the immigration process. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues including and related options for undocumented immigrants seeking immigration relief. For more information about the law firm, please visit www.KiKisLaw.com, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter. You can also review Attorney Mosley’s endorsements on her Avvo profile.

Immigration judges in Denver to take on asylum cases while reports of due process violations against women and children detainees

The conditions and reports of the court process in Artesia are reported as appalling.

The conditions and reports of the court process in Artesia are reported as appalling.

More than 600 women with their children and unaccompanied children are detained in an ICE facility in southeast New Mexico in the desert town of Artesia. The detention center was opened to help house newly arriving Central American refugees. One ICE official spoke out confidentially and said, “The goal is to process the immigrants and have them deported within 10 to 15 days to send a message back to their home countries that there are consequences for illegal immigration.[i]

The conditions and reports of the court process in Artesia are reported as appalling.

Volunteer attorneys representing asylum seekers frequently speak out about the conditions in which they find immigrant women and children. Several professionals involved report that mothers are directed to testify before an immigration judge, right in front of their children, and detail the physical, emotional and other abuses committed against them to prove the credibility of their pleas for asylum.

Only 38 percent of asylum seekers are granted relief in Artesia, significantly less than other facilities. Laura Lichter, a lawyer from Colorado who has been making volunteer trips to represent women and children in Artesia recently told reporters that, the living conditions there are like a “hellhole” and the way court cases are being handled is “appalling.[ii]” Many agree with the criticisms of what has been happening in Artesia, which led to a lawsuit filed against the U.S. by several human rights advocacy groups.

New Denver Immigration Judges are taking over some of the asylum docket for video hearings.

Video hearings for asylum seekers are being transferred from Immigration Judges in Arlington, VA to their colleagues in Denver. In the same time zone, as one proponent noted, the immigration judges in Denver are expected to more fairly uphold due process of law while engaged in the expedited review of immigrant asylum cases. Of course, the spokesperson from the U.S. Department of Justice, Kathryn Mattingly states the decision to reassign cases to the Denver judges had nothing to do with complaints about the Artesia facility or the pending lawsuit.[iii]

Two of the Denver immigration judges will be taken off the current Denver immigration court docket, leaving the third judge to manage a staggering 8,000 plus cases with hearing dates set out as far as 2018. Local attorneys practicing before the Denver Immigration Judges have mixed feelings about the transfer. “The general feeling is that we are really happy to have these [asylum] cases in Denver,” said Denver immigration attorney Byron Large, who also lamented the increased backlog of other immigration cases.

To learn more about volunteer attorneys and the need for their services, please read our article, “More than 60,000 unaccompanied minors need immigration lawyers and volunteer organizations need pro bono help.”

Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues including and related options for undocumented immigrants seeking immigration relief. For more information about the law firm, please visit www.KiKisLaw.com, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter. You can also review Attorney Mosley’s endorsements on her Avvo profile.

[i] Denver Post, Feds: Immigrant center to expedite deportations, by Juan Carlos Llorea, Associated Press, Jun. 26, 2014.

[ii] Denver Post, Backlogged Denver immigration courts will take on glut of asylum cases, by Nancy Lofholm, Sept. 22, 2014.

[iii] Denver Post article at HNii above.

Failed immigration reform and leaves immigrant children in great peril and DACA is not a final answer

Undocumented immigrant children face uncertain futures and DACA is not enough enough!

Undocumented immigrant children face uncertain futures and DACA is not enough enough!

Waiting for comprehensive immigration reform has been at the very least, frustrating. More concerning is the danger that young children may face when arriving in the U.S. by themselves, hoping to be allowed to stay in the U.S. and be reunited with relatives in the states. Meanwhile the political games in Congress have more and more Americans absolutely fed up with empty promises that immigration reform is a priority and relief is forthcoming. Children who are brought into the U.S. at young ages have no control over what may happen to them. Furthermore, Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) is unable to manage the large number of child arrivals and the conditions in which undocumented children are being kept is a human rights atrocity.

Here is a general breakdown of the stalled progress of comprehensive immigration reform:

The Senate passed the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill last July[i]. The bill failed in the House of Representatives and one of the main reasons was GOP concerns for southern border security. Meanwhile, President Obama was urged to take executive action and he ordered a DHS report with recommendations. Last month, the President told DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson to hold off with the findings so House Republicans could pass an immigration reform bill. Recently, House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor was voted out and replaced by a TEA party candidate many believe will not cooperate with existing reform efforts.

White House responded to concerns that immigration reform is now a dead issue: “Our strategy has not changed,” says White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri. “The impetus for action remains on the House.[ii]” While the world watches and waits for House action, young children are at risk.

Young children have no control over the fact they are “illegal.”

Children need many things including safety, shelter, food, clothing and a loving environment. For some, shelter and food are a daily struggle, and safety concerns make daily life extremely challenging for young children in parts of the world. Young children do not understand the idea of “illegal immigration.” In many cases, family members hear reports that the U.S. is a safe haven and if families make it through their treacherous journeys to U.S. soil, their children are allowed to stay. This is not the law and this is not true. Children arriving in the U.S. may, however, be allowed to postpone deportation through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) policy temporarily protecting qualifying children from removal to their native country. DACA only functions to delay deportation.

DACA does not provide actual legal status.

DACA is only a deferment and delay of deportation for the children who qualify for relief under the policy. People need to understand that this program DOES NOT PROVIDE LEGAL STATUS. Even though a child may be able to renew their DACA participant status does not mean they may continue to stay in the U.S. without proper immigration status[iii].

DACA does not go far enough to protect children.  

While young immigrants temporarily may be able to delay being deported, there is not enough protection for innocent children. Recently many children have arrived on U.S. soil alone and unaccompanied by a parent or family member who may not be eligible for DACA relief. Often, neither the children nor family members helping them come to the U.S. understand that DACA participation is contingent upon meeting eligibility criteria and that renewals are NOT AUTOMATICALLY GRANTED.

Attorney KiKi M. Mosley works to help innocent child immigrants avoid being victims of a failed system.

Until the currently out of date immigration system of laws and policies is reformed, we can expect a continuous influx of children who are victims of injustice in their native countries and in the U.S. If you or someone you know needs immigration help, they may contact the Law Offices of KiKi M. Mosley in Chicago, Illinois.

Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues including DACA and related options for children arriving in the U.S. For more information about the law firm, please visit www.KiKisLaw.com, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter. You can also review Attorney Mosley’s endorsements on her Avvo profile.

[i] POLITICO: Immigration reform bill 2013: Senate passes legislation 68-32. By Min Kim Seng, June 27, 2013.

[ii] ABC News: Obama Waiting for House GOP to Act on Immigration. By Josh Lederman, June 13, 2014.

[iii] United States Immigration and Immigration Services. Consideration for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

A recent increase in immigrant children causes frustration on both sides of U.S. borders

There is an assumption among many Latino communities that children showing up alone at U.S. border will be allowed to go free.

There is an assumption among many Latino communities that children showing up alone at U.S. border will be allowed to go free.

Unaccompanied minors from Central America have been arriving at the United States/Mexico border in unprecedented numbers.   President Obama’s administration has taken measures to manage the influx of children who need shelter, sponsors, legal representation and administrative staff to document the incoming children fleeing gang violence in primarily in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

These children arriving in the U.S. need help, especially legal assistance, as explained in our blog article, Thousands of unaccompanied minor immigrant children need comprehensive immigration reform. If they appear at their court dates, many might not understand the process and can easily become removable to the countries from which they came despite their misunderstanding of the U.S. immigration system and its complex policies.

There is an assumption among many Latino communities that children showing up alone at U.S. border will be allowed to go free.

Violence in Central America is a common reason many families are sending their children north to seek shelter and a safer life in the U.S., often with relatives. The trip through dangerous territory is expensive and many do not make it safely to the other side. Many believe that the U.S. is lenient on children and foreign parents believe their children will be safer after crossing the border.

Lucy Cabrera was terrified during her son and daughter’s journey to the U.S. Cabrera borrowed money to pay guides in Guatemala and Mexico help get her kids safely on U.S. soil. Along the way, her children called from Honduras after gangs threatened them. Finally, they made it to their destination and called their mother from a U.S. detention facility in Arizona. “Thank God they are safe now. It all happened so fast,” said Cabrera[i].

This video that shows the reality of the situation: CNN Video – Border detention of children shames America.

Immigrants arriving in the U.S. to find overcrowding in detention centers. Many children are being dropped off at bus stations with a court date on their Notice to Appear in immigration court. If the immigrants have family in the U.S. they are released and sent on their way with pending court dates at which many will not appear as noted in a recent news report[ii]. The children who remain in detention centers face poor conditions. These border facilities lack “enough food, beds, or sanitary facilities to provide for the children,” CNN has reported.

KiKi M. Mosley is an immigration attorney who can help families with children coming to the U.S. who are given a “Notice to Appear” at immigration court. She helps them apply for relief allowed by immigration law and policy written to give undocumented immigrants options while comprehensive immigration reform is not yet passed in the U.S.

Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues including applications for temporary immigration relief and adjustments of immigration status. For more information about the law firm, please visit www.KiKisLaw.com, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter. You can also review Attorney Mosley’s endorsements on her Avvo profile.

[i] Washington Post: Immigrant parents urge U.S. officials to help their children flee Central American violence. By Pamela Contable, Jun. 12, 2014.

[ii] CNN, Border detention of children shames America. By Ruben Navarrette, Jun. 12, 2014.

President Obama delays deportation review so House Republicans can seek votes to pass a reform bill

Right now, many say there is bipartisan support and we are in a window of time for action if House Republican leaders can get collect enough votes to pass a bill.

Right now, many say there is bipartisan support and we are in a window of time for action if House Republican leaders can get collect enough votes to pass a bill.

President Obama recently asked Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) Secretary, Jeh Johnson to hold off on producing his DHS report on deportation and policy options. This March, President Obama, under pressure to take executive action to ease deportations, ordered a formal review of how we deport immigrants. DHS was scheduled to report to the president by early June. Meanwhile, in Washington, there is a window of opportunity to pass an immigration reform bill during the summer months and before the general elections coming up this fall. It is suggested that if President Obama took executive action on the report from DHS and eased up on deportations then House Republicans may take a critical position and not vote for reform. Right now, many say there is bipartisan support and we are in a window of time for action if House Republican leaders can get collect enough votes to pass a bill.

The Secure Communities policy is on the list for review.

The formal review by Secretary Johnson would include recommendations on how DHS could, as a matter of policy, limit deportations to violent criminals and give relief to non-offending immigrants. One of the current policies to be reviewed is the controversial “Secure Communities” concept that positions repeat immigration law offenders alongside violent criminals for purposes of deportation. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) works directly with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) and the Secure Communities policy provides DHS fingerprints automatically sent from the FBI to check for criminal records in immigration databases. If an individual is arrested for a criminal violation, a DHS officer may get involved to make an immigration enforcement decision. Secretary Johnson told lawmakers this week that Secured Communities should stay but should be revamped with a fresh look[i].

If President Obama does not want House Republicans paying attention to his review of how we deport people, then why does it make sense for Secretary Johnson to promote his ideas for improving the Secure Communities policy? Some critics think the president is acting in response to pressure from labor unions and conservatives who want him to wait.

Immigration advocates are upset by President Obama’s suspension of the formal review.

Dream Action Coalition advocates, critical of President Obama’s direction to hold off on the report said, “We are appalled that after so much sacrifice and hard work from the undocumented community to pressure the President to use his power to stop deportations, some organizations… [would] rather protect the administration instead of millions of families separated by deportations.[ii]

When President Obama ordered the review of our deportation systems this spring, the goal was to find a way to use the most humane methods to enforce immigration laws and policies without breaking up families unnecessarily. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley represents immigration clients who desperately want comprehensive immigration reform and no longer want to fear law enforcement as they do in the current climate of Secure Communities.

Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues including hearings before immigration courts and applications and procedures to correct clients’ records when things do not go as planned. For more information about the law firm, please visit www.KiKisLaw.com, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter. You can also review Attorney Mosley’s endorsements on her Avvo profile.

[i] Politico: DHS head says controversial program should stay. By Seung Min Kim, May 29, 2014.

[ii] La Times: Obama delays deportation review to give immigration bill a chance. By Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey. May 28, 2014.

About expedited removal and the increase in its use in the U.S.

An immigration attorney can review your specific circumstances and advise you if there is anything they can do to help to prevent being subject to expedited removal, especially if you are charged with a Felony offense. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is experienced in the complex immigration legal system and can help undocumented immigrants with removal problems.

An immigration attorney can review your specific circumstances and advise you if there is anything they can do to help to prevent being subject to expedited removal, especially if you are charged with a Felony offense. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is experienced in the complex immigration legal system and can help undocumented immigrants with removal problems.

Imagine receiving a knock at the door one day and being served with a Notice to Appear[1] at an immigration court to answer allegations that you may not be lawfully present and may be removed from the United States, even after living in your current residence for many years. The Notice to Appear will contain a list of allegations against you, the respondent, who must appear before an immigration judge to answer or plead for an alternative lawful status to remain in the U.S., such as asylum or if you have a reason to seek cancellation of your removal. You are going to want to hire an immigration lawyer to represent you because the court does not appoint attorneys to represent you. The Notice will not mention, however, that you are one of the lucky ones, and fewer than a quarter of undocumented immigrants never get to see a judge and are virtually whisked away through what is called expedited removal. Expedited removal is an immigration enforcement option created to be used at the U.S. borders and ports of entry. In 1996 the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) was amended to include expedited removal[2]. Today, a non-citizen anywhere in the U.S. can be subject to expedited removal anywhere in the U.S., not only at a border or point of entry. Most often, expedited removal orders are triggered by charges of alleged fraud or misrepresentation regarding their immigration status. The U.S. Department of Justice publishes information about expedited removal. Not only do persons subject to expedited removal not get the opportunity to see a judge, the order of expedited removal is not appealable and there is no process for such. It is possible; however, that Customs and Border Patrol (“CPB”) officials may use their discretion to vacate an improperly issued order for removal, but this is not a common occurrence. If the person subject to expedited removal pleads  asserts that they fear return to their home country, the basis for an application for asylum, they may be allowed access to the immigration system to petition for lawful status to be lawfully present in the U.S. Expedited removal is a very bad outcome for anyone who wants to immigrate to the U.S. because there is a minimum five-year bar from re-entry to the U.S. In some cases, there can be a lifetime bar to entry. Although there it is possible to apply for permission to re-enter, this only occurs in rare cases and it is very important to hire a licensed immigration attorney to assist in such special situations. Many proponents of immigration reform argue that not being allowed to see a judge in an expedited removal case is unfair because the majority of removed persons do not know their rights and do not get the benefit of due process of law. A recent article critical of the expedited removal notes the increase in its use, “At least three-quarters of people deported in 2012 didn’t get a hearing from an immigration judge, according to statistics from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).[3]” An immigration attorney can review your specific circumstances and advise you if there is anything they can do to help to prevent being subject to expedited removal, especially if you are charged with a Felony offense. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is experienced in the complex immigration legal system and can help undocumented immigrants with removal problems. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues. For more information about the law firm, please visit www.KiKisLaw.com, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter. You can also review Attorney Mosley’s endorsements on her Avvo profile. [1] 8 C.F.R. §§ 1003.13, 1003.14. [2] 8 C.F.R. § 1228. [3]New Republic, Deported Without Seeing A Judge: One of the Worst Parts of the Immigration System, By Nora Caplan-Bricker.

Predator Drones: Four years of use in US border security in review

To learn more about coming to the U.S. without worrying about predator drones overhead, call a licensed immigration attorney who can help answer questions about the legal immigration processes.

To learn more about coming to the U.S. without worrying about predator drones overhead, call a licensed immigration attorney who can help answer questions about the legal immigration processes.

The use of predator drones in the war on drugs and to secure the US borders is hardly new. In 2010 many news reports covered the use of unmanned predator drones to patrol 2,000 miles of the U.S. border with Mexico, from Texas to California. As time has passed, the war on drugs and immigrants crossing the border continues and more drones are being used. Much to the chagrin of Americans complaining about the price of the drone program and the loss of privacy, Customs and Border Patrol (“CBP”) has been able to increase the use of drones by supporting culture of fear in the U.S. to garner support the program.

The blogging world loves to talk about the drone program from both positive and negative viewpoints, often reporting shocking ideas. Putting the “extreme” aside, the following is a collection of news quotes and clips about predator drones and their use in border security from 2010 to 2014. Enjoy the articles and form your own independent opinion. The more you read from various sources the more you can piece together what is really happening out there.

2010 – CBS News – Predator Drones Shift From Battlefield to Border

“Most people coming across the border are either migrants or drug smugglers,” said Gasho. “We don’t know who they are. They could be terrorists. They could be people who have intentions of harm against the United States.”

“Policing the 2,000-mile-long border with Mexico is more than a full-time job for some 17,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents, but the predators help shrink that challenge. They’re able to peer miles into Mexico.”

“In the last five years, predators have helped net 40,000 pounds of drugs and nab 7,000 illegal immigrants, according to Homeland Security.”

2011 – Washington Post – More Predator Drones Fly US-Mexico Border

“Fans of the Predators say the $20 million aircraft are a perfect platform to keep a watchful eye on America’s rugged borders, but critics say the drones are expensive, invasive and finicky toys that have done little — compared with what Border Patrol agents do on the ground — to stem the flow of illegal immigrants, drug smugglers or terrorists.”

“Eight Predators fly for the Customs and Border Protection agency — five, and soon to be six, along the southwestern border. After a slow rollout that began in 2005, drones now patrol most of the southern boundary, from Yuma, Ariz., to Brownsville, Tex.”

“Planning documents for the CBP envision as many as 24 Predators and their maritime variants in the air by 2016, giving the agency the ability to deploy a drone anywhere over the continental United States within three hours.”

“Privacy watchdogs are concerned about the use of drones over domestic airspace. “The loss of privacy is real. You want to sunbathe in the nude on your own property? Now you can’t be sure nobody is watching you,” said Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst for the American Civil Liberties Union. “Americans will have to wonder if our enthusiasm for catching illegal immigrants is worth sacrificing our freedoms.””

“With an hour of flight time costing $3,600, it costs about $7,054 for each illegal immigrant or smuggler caught, based on numbers calculated from a recent Government Accountability Office report to Congress. The government has spent $240 million buying and maintaining its domestic drones, not including their operation.”

2012 – Huffington Post – U.S. Border Patrol Increases Use Of Unmanned Drones For Surveillance

“The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency is ramping up its use of fancy technology to monitor the nation’s borders again — this time by opening up Washington’s airspace to two unmanned Predator drones.”

“The ACLU called drones “a large step closer to a surveillance society in which our every move is monitored, tracked, recorded, and scrutinized by the authorities.” This week, the AP also reported that “the government worries they could collide with passenger planes or come crashing down to the ground.” Such concerns have reportedly subsided as the technology becomes more widely adopted.”

2013 – New York Times – U.S. Border Agency Allows Others to Use Its Drones

“As Congress considers a new immigration law that would expand the fleet of unmanned drones along the border, the agency in charge of border protection is increasingly offering the military-grade drones it already owns to domestic law enforcement agencies and has considered equipping them with “nonlethal weapons,” according to documents recently made public.”

Regarding CBP, “Additionally, the agency, in a 2010 report to Congress included in the documents, raised the possibility of eventually equipping its drones with “nonlethal weapons” to “immobilize” people and vehicles trying to cross the border illegally. In a statement on Wednesday, the agency said it had “no plans to arm its unmanned aircraft systems with nonlethal weapons or weapons of any kind.””

2014 – Wall Street Journal – (1) U.S. Border Protection Agency Grounds Drone Fleet (January);

“The U.S. Customs and Border Protection grounded its fleet of drones after one lost power while flying Monday night and crashed in the Pacific Ocean.”

2014 – Immigration Prof Blog (2) Drones Back Patrolling U.S./Mexico Border (February)

“It continues to amaze me that the U.S. government uses drones to patrol the U.S./Mexico border, a tactic that strikes me as something out of a science fiction movie like “Escape from New York.””

To learn more about coming to the U.S. without worrying about predator drones overhead, call a licensed immigration attorney who can help answer questions about the legal immigration processes. Being intercepted and detained by CBP is not a fun way to start a new life in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues including applications for temporary immigration relief and adjustments of immigration status. For more information about the law firm, please visit www.KiKisLaw.com, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter. You can also review Attorney Mosley’s endorsements on her Avvo profile.

More immigration lawyers are serving undocumented immigrants than ever before according to recent reports

Over the past five years, the number of undocumented immigrants in the court system who hire lawyers increased by 20 percent.

Over the past five years, the number of undocumented immigrants in the court system who hire lawyers increased by 20 percent.

Undocumented immigrants are hiring lawyers much more frequently now than just as recent as five years ago.   Many immigration attorneys serve clients who might fall through the cracks in the system.  What may seem like a simple application or petition can easily turn into a nightmare if it is not perfectly prepared and timely submitted, to keep it from being rejected, denied, or causing the initiation of removal proceedings.

Additional funding allows more attorneys to help undocumented immigrants.

In the process of deportation/removal, attorneys may be available for those who cannot afford them through pro bono programs which are also increasing in number. Third party groups are funded in some cases by government money. For example, Health and Human services funds organizations that help juveniles in need legal representation in immigration court. Here is a link to a catalog published several years ago, but demonstrating the number of options for funding: Federal Funds for Organizations That Help Those In Need.

Over the past five years, the number of undocumented immigrants in the court system who hire lawyers increased by 20 percent. According to recent figures from the 2013 statistical yearbook,[1] “In 2013, 59 percent of those in immigration proceedings had legal representation…in 2009, just 39 percent had lawyers.[2]” As the debates in Washington continue over comprehensive immigration reform, more undocumented immigrants being held in detention centers, and in removal proceedings, are speaking up and capturing the attention of the media and lawmakers. The harsh realities of the outdated system are becoming more widely known and this additional exposure helps more lawyers get involved in representing undocumented immigrants in courts.

Getting it wrong can be tragic and immigrants facing removal benefit from having an immigration attorney.

The system is so complex and it is nearly impossible for anyone not trained in immigration law to navigate immigration courts without an attorney. Over the past few years, many of the options for immigration relief come from executive actions and administrative policy decisions. So, where the general rule of law may state one position, an executive order may indicate certain situations where the rule of law will not be enforced or there could be a deferral to enforcement.

More immigrants have lawyers and more are winning their cases according to analysis by Syracuse University, “The US government has been losing more deportation cases each year since 2009, according to the Transaction Records Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, which collects and studies federal prosecution records.[3]” The same study also notes that the overall number of removal proceedings has decreased which is good news giving hope to more undocumented immigrants living and working in the U.S. To learn more about how Attorney KiKi M. Mosley helps undocumented immigrants facing removal, please contact the law firm using the links below.

Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues including applications for temporary immigration relief, deportation defense, and adjustments of status. For more information about the law firm, please visitwww.KiKisLaw.com, and do not forget to “Like” the firm onFacebook and “Follow” onTwitter. You can also review Attorney Mosley’s endorsements on her Avvo profile.

[1] Executive Office for Immigration Reform, 2013 statistical yearbook.

[2] National Law Journal: Undocumented Immigrants Are Lawyering Up. By Elahe Izadi, Apr.21, 2014.

[3] The Christian Science Monitor: Immigration reform: More and more deportations are defeated in court. By Alicia Caldwell (AP), Feb. 13, 2014.

Federal Court rules in suit involving mandatory detention without bond hearings.

All of the Plaintiffs were detained without bond hearings at the Northwest Detention Center (“NWDC”) located next to the Port of Tacoma, Washington. The mega facility with a capacity of 1,000 detainees opened in 2004 under DHS management until 2005 when the GEO Group received the contract to operate the facility for ICE. Several critics suggest contract prisons are profit centers.

All of the Plaintiffs were detained without bond hearings at the Northwest Detention Center (“NWDC”) located next to the Port of Tacoma, Washington. 

Three  Plaintiffs detained without bond in an ICE detention center in Tacoma, Washington recently prevailed in their lawsuit over the Department of Homeland Security’s (“DHS”) interpretation and enforcement of the mandatory detention statute that denies bond hearings for individual in pending removal proceedings.  The Court granted relief to the Plaintiffs, enjoined DHS from detaining the plaintiffs and clarified the meaning of the law, stating, “Here, there is no question that all class members will benefit equally from the court’s declaration that the government may not subject an alien to mandatory detention via Section 1226(c) unless the government took the alien into custody immediately upon his release from custody for an offense described in subparagraphs (1)(A) through (1)(D).[i]

The Plaintiffs were released from criminal sentences many years before being arrested and detained without bond hearings by ICE.

The Plaintiffs in this case are: Bassam Yusuf Khoury, a Palestinian and lawful permanent resident since 1976; Alvin Rodriguez Moya, a national of the Dominican Republic and U.S. lawful permanent resident since 1995; and Mr. Carrera, a Mexican national who has been in the U.S. since 1998.[ii]

The issue before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington concerned the way DHS interpreted the mandatory detention of criminal aliens. The law concerning the apprehension and detention of aliens, 8 U.S.C. 1226(c)(2), gives the federal government authority to “lock away certain aliens who are in removal proceedings, denying them bond hearings via the so-called “mandatory detention authority.[iii]

Many years after they were released by criminal courts to their families and communities, two of the Plaintiffs in this lawsuit, Mr. Khoury and Mr. Rodriguez, were arrested by ICE and held in mandatory detention, without bond hearings, for six months, from April 2013 through October 2013. The third Plaintiff, Mr. Carrera, was held for four months, from April 2013 through August 2013. The Supreme Court has commented in past cases that it may have Due Process concerns about detentions for six months when six weeks would be a more correct period of detention. [p3. Line 10] Without the availability of a bond hearing, the Plaintiffs did not have the opportunity to appear before the immigration court to plea for release back to their families and community pending removal proceedings.

The NWDC, the detention center in Tacoma, operates on a government contract, by GEO Group, who has been the subject of criticism.

All of the Plaintiffs were detained without bond hearings at the Northwest Detention Center (“NWDC”) located next to the Port of Tacoma, Washington. The mega facility with a capacity of 1,000 detainees opened in 2004 under DHS management until 2005 when the GEO Group received the contract to operate the facility for ICE. Several critics suggest contract prisons are profit centers. In an article published in the Huffington Post, the GEO Group was mentioned. “Their business model rests on incarceration, and their profits soared throughout the 1990s and 2000s as harsh sentencing laws, the War on Drugs, and tough immigration enforcement led to a dramatic rise in detention and incarceration.[iv]

When the Court interpreted the law, it clarified that mandatory detention is only allowed immediately upon release from custody for the underlying offense.

The length of time between release from jail sentences and the ICE arrest was upsetting to the court. Mr. Khoury was released in June 2011 from 30 days in jail on a drug charge; ICE arrested him in April 2013. Mr. Rodriguez served part of a three-year sentence and was released in August 2010; ICE arrested him in April 2013. More than two or three years, Mr. Carrera, who served a 60-day sentence, was released in February 2003, and more than ten years later ICE arrested him in April 2013.[v]

The Court clearly stated in its March 11, 2014, Order: “The government violates the law to the extent it continues to subject to mandatory detention aliens who it did not take into custody at the proper time. The court has no reason to expect that the government will not take appropriate action to end its violation of the law.[vi]

To learn more about mandatory detentions and removal proceedings, or if someone you know may be improperly held, you can call the Law Offices of KiKi M. Mosley for assistance. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law and litigation. For more information about the law firm, please tap/click here to visit the rest of the website, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter.

 

False Claims to United States Citizenship: What May Seem Like a Simple Mistake Can Lead to a Lifetime of Problems.

False claims to U.S. citizenship can cause a permanent bar to legalizing your immigration status.

False claims to U.S. citizenship can cause a permanent bar to legalizing your immigration status.

Making a false claim to United States citizenship is a violation of U.S. federal law.[i] The consequence of false claims to citizenship can include fines, deportation and a permanent bar to legal immigration status. There are cases where undocumented immigrants and non-immigrant visa holders accidentally claim they are U.S. citizens, but there are also times people knowingly lie about citizenship and face harsh penalties. In recent news, a civil trial was declared a mistrial because a juror lied about his citizenship – the juror was a legal resident of Atlanta but was not a U.S. citizen[ii]. The juror was held in contempt and ordered to jail.

Frequent false claims of citizenship occur when non-citizens:

1)      Register to vote – even if they were registered through their local DMV;

2)      Claiming “U.S. citizen” when completing an I-9 Employee Eligibility Verification form;

3)      Claiming U.S. citizenship on student loan applications;

4)      Applying for a U.S. passport and otherwise;

5)      Stating you are a U.S. citizen in order to obtain any benefit only available to U.S. citizens.

Be careful not to accidentally make a false claim of citizenship. Several states offer drivers licenses to non-citizens. The National Voter Registration Act of 1993[iii], also known as the “Motor Voter Act,” requires states to offer an opportunity to register to vote when obtaining or renewing a driver’s license. The department of motor vehicles agent may not know your citizenship status, so if they offer to register you to vote, do not register if you are not a U.S. citizen. Be sure you clearly read any forms you may be asked to sign if you are eligible for a driver’s license. The fine print may state that by signing the application, you swear that you are a U.S. citizen. Likewise, election campaign volunteers might be around town registering people to vote, and they might not ask if you are a citizen. When in doubt, do not sign anything or somehow allow yourself to become registered to vote unless you are a U.S. citizen.

False claims to U.S. citizenship can cause a permanent bar to legalizing your immigration status

Applicants for U.S. permanent residency and citizenship through the naturalization process must demonstrate good moral character (“GMC”).[iv] The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“U.S.C.I.S.”) policy manual addresses acts that could prevent an applicant from establishing GMC.  One example in the USCIS policy manual states, “An applicant may fail to show GMC if he or she engaged in unlawful voting or falsely claimed U.S. citizenship for purposes of registering to vote or voting.[v]” Under the current immigration laws, false claims to citizenship causes a permanent bar to admission to the U.S. since they cannot establish GMC. In addition, removal and imprisonment are possible.

Children may qualify for narrow exceptions to false claims to U.S. citizenship.

The Child Citizenship Act of 2000[vi] amended the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), permitting citizenship in certain circumstances. While many children acquired U.S. citizenship from their parents under the new law, there can be confusion among families who thought their children were citizens when in fact, they were not. Under certain circumstances, a false claim to citizenship may not be a deportable offense. The following are some examples of excusable false claims: the child’s parents were U.S. citizens by birth or naturalization; the child’s false claim was made prior to reaching age 18; the child was a U.S. permanent resident prior reaching age 16; or where the child reasonably believed he or she was a U.S. citizen when the claim was made. Because the penalties for false claims are severe, questions about false claims and exceptions should be brought to a licensed and experienced immigration attorney. Indications of false claims can cause many problems for anyone involved in the naturalization process.

An experienced licensed immigration attorney can help noncitizens who are concerned they might have accidentally taken some action that could lead to a finding of a false claim of U.S. citizenship, or where a limited exception may apply to the false claims rules. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues including false claims to U.S. citizenship. For more information about the law firm, please tap/click here to visit the rest of the website, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter or Google Plus.