President Obama’s $3.7B funding request is not on the calendar but other proposals are scheduled for hearings before summer break

Despite inaction on the President’s funding request, some other immigration proposals are on the schedule, courtesy of several House Republicans.

Despite inaction on the President’s funding request, some other immigration proposals are on the schedule, courtesy of several House Republicans.

As the final days and hours of the current legislative session wind down, it looks like there may not be any action on President Obama’s request for funding. The House will finish the current session on Friday, July 31, at which time members will be on summer break. The House of Representatives online schedule currently does not list any scheduled hearing next week on the President’s request for $3.7B border request. House Speaker, John Boehner, says he does not believe the funding request will go anywhere in the remaining time, “I would certainly hope so, but I don’t have as much optimism as I would like to have.” Boehner added, “There’s just been some comments made by our colleagues across the aisle that are going to make this much more difficult to deal with.[i]

Summary of President Obama’s $3.7B funding request:

The Washington Post published a graphic summary of President Obama’s request of $3.7 billion for “deterrence, enforcement, repatriation, public information campaigns and efforts to address the root causes of migration,” according to the article linked above.

Departments to receive funding under the current request for emergency relief:

  • Health and Human Services – $1.8B – care for unaccompanied children and refugee services;
  • Homeland Security – $1.536B – detention and removal, transportation, ICE enforcement, Customs and Border Patrol employee funding, border security task force programs and increased drone surveillance;
  • State Department – $300M – repair and strengthening of the borders and media campaigns in Mexico and Central America;
  • Justice Department – $64M – additional judges, expanded orientation program, legal representation of immigrants, immigration litigation lawyers for federal agencies.

Despite inaction on the President’s funding request, some other immigration proposals are on the schedule, courtesy of several House Republicans.

On Wednesday, July 29, the House Judiciary Committee, lead by Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) will host hearings on a proposed bill, (H.R. 5137), the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act, to end several of the current immigration policies enacted under President Obama’s administration, under the assumption that those policies are attracting undocumented immigrants to U.S. borders, according to a press release issued on July 17[ii].

A video on the House Judiciary Committee website claims President Obama has not taken sufficient action and that his plan to address the border crisis is nothing but smoke and mirrors: Watch Video. Whether there is enough bipartisan support for H.R. 5137 as a proposed solution to current and future immigration and border problems remains to be seen and it will likely be covered in the media next week.

Another currently scheduled hearing[iii] to take place on Friday, July 31, will be hosted by the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Subcommittee on Research and Technology. The hearing will focus on the technology that may be needed to secure U.S. borders.

Cable news shows love talking about all the legislative proposals, often regardless of the chances they will get enough votes to pass.

As members of Congress lend their support to the variety of proposed bills, you may wonder if they are making a good faith effort to pass legislation, or whether some of the bills simply provide an opportunity for debate and dialogue, which unfortunately turns into political gamesmanship and attack.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx), for example, would like to see the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program terminated, to send a message to people in Central America, “making it clear that we won’t give amnesty to those who are here illegally.[iv]

Beware of political chatter blaming current immigration problems on current policies.

Cruz may be errant in his statement however, in the sense that DACA does not apply to the people currently arriving on U.S. soil, fleeing grave danger in their home countries. To learn more about misconceptions about immigration law and policies and the current border surge, you may read our article, Immigration law and policy is complex and there are frequent misunderstandings on both sides of the fence. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley works diligently to follow the latest news on immigration reform and share valuable information.

Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the States 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] PBS.org, Recess looming, lawmakers appear stuck on Obama’s immigration funding request, By Rachel Wellford, Jul. 22, 2014.

[ii] U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, Chaffetz and Goodlatte Introduce Bill to Stop the Border Crisis, Jul. 17, 2014.

[iii] U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Subcommittee on Research and Technology.

[iv] See PBS.org article (FNi) above.

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Major U.S. cities, counties and states refuse to cooperate with ICE and the number is growing

Not everyone is happy about Philadelphia’s actions thwarting the feds, particularly ICE officials.

Not everyone is happy about Philadelphia’s actions thwarting the feds, particularly ICE officials.

Refusing to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) may be the step in the right direction to signal to Congress that we need to move forward and pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform (“CIR”). If ICE does not have the cooperation of local police to hold “immigration detainees,” Congress may have to wake up and fix the underlying problems with our terribly out of date and broken system. Residents of cities and states all over the U.S. are standing up and saying NO!

City officials in several cities like Philadelphia are telling ICE they will no longer cooperate.

In response to local pressure to respond to the increase in immigrant arrivals cities like Philadelphia, Newark, N.J., Cook County (Chicago, IL) and in California launched ICE non-cooperation policies. This spring, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed an executive order[i] ending the city’s cooperation with ICE and ending the practice of municipalities holding suspected immigration offenders for periods of time while they await transfer to federal facilities. Nutter explained that their police officers could not adequately conduct investigations of crimes, protect, and serve its communities when undocumented residents are scared to talk to the police.

In response to Mayor Nutter’s order, Philadelphia Council member, Maria Quinones-Sanchez, strongly praised the announcement and stated, “This victory is so huge, not only for the city of Philadelphia, but for the rest of the country…and for those of you who do immigrant work and know the faces behind the stories, the people who suffered that we couldn’t save before.[ii]

Not everyone is happy about Philadelphia’s actions thwarting the feds, particularly ICE officials.

The lack of municipal locations to keep immigrants does not seem to bother ICE whose representatives say they will continue detaining undocumented immigrants. “The release of serious criminal offenders to the streets in a community, rather than to ICE custody, undermines ICE’s ability to protect public safety and impedes us from enforcing the nation’s immigration laws,[iii]” according to a spokesperson Nicole Navas.

The trend is spreading among cities, counties and states from coast to coast.

More municipal jurisdictions have adopted similar orders and ICE non-cooperation plans alongside their neighbors as the public servants listen to constituents who are fed up with revenue and resources being spent acting on the request and behalf of the federal government and the ICE who lack the facilities to house all the suspects of immigration violations.

The conversation continues in several communities of people demanding that Congress take responsibility for the problem and pass CIR which remains stuck in the House of Representatives with a pack of GOP objectors who are now lead by a tea party house majority leader after he beat Eric Cantor, one Republican who many thought would be able to help pass a reform deal.

Chicago immigration attorney, KiKi M. Mosley closely follows news and policy in immigration that affects everyone affected by our failed system.

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] Newsworks.org, Philly police will no longer hold immigrants on behalf of ICE, by Emma Jacobs, Apr. 16, 2014.

[ii] NPR, More Municipalities Deny Federal Requests, Won’t Detain Immigrants, by Emma Jacobs, Jul. 5, 2014.

[iii] See Jacobs NPR article FNii

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.

Victims of crimes and their families can get legal immigration status with the U visa program

The U visa program creates the special exception and opportunity for legal status, encouraging undocumented immigrants to work with law enforcement to solve crimes and prosecute offenders.

The U visa program creates the special exception and opportunity for legal status, encouraging undocumented immigrants to work with law enforcement to solve crimes and prosecute offenders.

The victims of certain crimes face so many challenges in getting back to “normal,” which can be even more difficult for an undocumented immigrant living in the U.S. There may be hope, however, for some immigrants who offer their assistance to law enforcement officers in exchange for the opportunity to apply for legal immigration status through the U visa program. There are some limitations and the applicants for U visas must meet qualifying requirements. Under the U visa program, the qualifying family members of the applicant may in certain circumstances, also receive legal status.

Law enforcement investigating human trafficking, sex crimes and domestic violence frequently investigate crimes where victims, aggressors and witnesses may be undocumented immigrants. Knowing they are not lawfully present on U.S. soil, an immigrant is not likely to speak with or be anywhere near law enforcement personnel for fear they will be arrested and deported. The U visa program creates the special exception and opportunity for legal status, encouraging undocumented immigrants to work with law enforcement to solve crimes and prosecute offenders.

Attorney KiKi M. Mosley comments on the value of U Visas:

“I think that U visas offer an avenue for victims of certain crimes to have access to lawful status, where they would not otherwise under the current immigration law.  Specifically, individuals brought in as young children who have suffered abuse or are victims of one or more of the qualifying crimes who otherwise have no other options may have a path to permanent residency and eventually citizenship.  Sadly, perpetrators of some of the most violent crimes prey upon victims whom they know to be undocumented as they are terrified of encountering law enforcement and are therefore hesitant to file charges and/or pursue prosecution.” Attorney KiKi M. Mosley plays an active role in advocating for immigrants in need of legal relief for a variety of reasons. She also takes part in the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago (“LAF”)’s DACA/U-Visa pro bono program.

Only 10,000 U visas are available every year and since the U visa program began in 2008, almost 90,000 U visas have been issued to qualifying applicants and their family members according to a recent report.[1] The beneficiaries of the U visa program receive four years of legal status and an employment authorization. Legal status may be extended where necessary and permanent residency may be available for the beneficiary and their family members where appropriate.

U.S. Customs and Immigration Services lists U nonimmigrant visa eligibility[2] on their website:

  • You are the victim of qualifying criminal activity.
  • You have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of criminal activity.
  • You have information about the criminal activity. If you are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may possess the information about the crime on your behalf (see glossary for definition of ‘next friend’).
  • You were helpful, are helpful, or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime. If you are under the age of 16 or unable to provide information due to a disability, a parent, guardian, or next friend may assist law enforcement on your behalf.
  • The crime occurred in the United States or violated U.S. laws.
  • You are admissible to the United States. If you are not admissible, you may apply for a waiver on a Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Non-Immigrant.

The qualifications for U visas and the list of potential roadblocks can be challenging. Because the benefits are great, there is a concern for fraudulent applications, and a skilled immigration attorney is recommended to nonimmigrants seeking U visas in connection with their cooperation with law enforcement when they are victims of qualifying crimes. Attorneys advocate for applicants who are not otherwise able to navigate the complex system and processes required to obtain a U visa.

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 visitwww.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] Global Nation, Inquirer.net, U visas available for out-of-status immigrants in US who are victims of certain crimes. By Mary Carmen Madrid-Crost, Apr. 9, 2014.

[2] USCIS website: Victims of Criminal Activity: U Nonimmigrant Status.

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.