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President Obama Honors Thomas Homan For Jailing and Deporting Toddlers

Second update: 04/27/2016 3:00 pm. —————————————–

Shortly after this article was published to Latinorebels, the Washington Post advised that a second change to its article was made. Here are the changes:

And last year, the percentage of illegal immigrants with criminal records reached a record share of total deportations, ICE officials said. The number of those deported with criminal records has declined in recent years, however.

Homan managed these deportations with the help of an expanded fingerprinting system that local police departments share with immigration authorities.

Additionally, the article now includes this editor’s note:

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that in 2015, Homan’s team was responsible for a record percentage of total ICE deportations of undocumented immigrants with criminal histories. The story had incorrectly stated the team was responsible for a “record number” of deportations of these migrants when in fact the number of those deported with criminal histories declined.

End second update——————————————————

First Update 04/27/2016 9:00 am———————————————

Lisa Rein, the Washington Post reporter who authored the article on Thomas Homan, made an addition. (in bold)

Last year, Homan managed the deportation of a record number of illegal immigrants with criminal histories with the help of an expanded fingerprinting system that local police departments share with immigration authorities. Migrants with criminal convictions made up 59 percent of deportations last year, the largest percentage of the agency’s removals in recent years, ICE officials said. Migrants with criminal convictions made up 59 percent of deportations last year, the largest percentage of the agency’s removals in recent years, ICE officials said. who wrote 

I appreciate Ms. Rein’s prompt response to the concerns I raised with her and the Post’s executive editor, Martin Baron. However, the addition cited to above does little if anything to mitigate the false statements that remain in the article.

The Post now makes two factual claims that are irreconcilable 1. In 2015, Homan was responsible for the deportation of a “record number” of immigrants with criminal histories; and 2. In 2015, Homan was responsible for the deportation of a  “record percentage”  of immigrants deported had criminal histories.

A number is not a percentage, as the words’ respective definitions demonstrate:

The facts are clear: Mr. Homan never managed the deportation of a record number of immigrants with criminal histories. A percentage can only be understood in the context of a number within a greater number. It is a word of an entirely different species than that of the word number.

As described in our original article, the difference is crucial because in 2015 Mr. Homan managed the deportation of the second-lowest number of immigrants with criminal histories in the history of  Obama’s presidency

As such,  the Washington Post must withdraw its claim that Mr. Homan managed the deportation of a record number of immigrants with criminal histories.

There are numerous other problems with the article not mentioned previously, such as the blanket reference to all those who have been deported as  “illegal immigrants.” As we have pointed out numerous times in the past, the use of the word “illegal” to describe immigrants is often fundamentally inaccurate.

For example, many immigrants who were deported were legal residents of the United States until they were physically deported to their native countries. Immigrants can be have legal status or be lawfully present in the United States  and be removable or deportable at the same time.

Also, Ms. Rein clings to the “illegal immigrant” to describe hundreds of children, many of whom were infants and toddlers. Toddlers cannot knowingly come to the United States illegally. For example, an adult can be charged with a federal misdemeanor crime for unlawfully entering the United States. A toddler cannot.

End First Update————————————————————

The Washington Post wrote an extraordinarily inaccurate and unbalanced article today covering President Obama’s bestowal of the “Presidential Rank Award” to ICE’s top Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) branch.

Let’s start with the most obvious, where the author asserts the following statement of fact:

Last year, Homan managed the deportation of a record number of illegal immigrants with criminal histories with the help of an expanded fingerprinting system that local police departments share with immigration authorities.

This is false, as one can see from ICE’s own chart provided below and from analysis here. 

crim. convictions.

 

Homan was promoted to director of ERO in May of 2013, according to his own declaration in federal lawsuit against family detention. Coinciding with Homan’s promotion to boss, FY 2013 saw ICE removals of individuals with criminal convictions decrease for the first time in Obama’s presidency–from 225,416 in FY 2012 to 217,399 in FY 2013. In FY 2014, the number decreased again to 176,928 and again in FY 2015 to the second lowest on record during Obama’s presidency, 139,368.

To be fair, ICE’s press release on Homan’s award was written to intentionally create the false impression that ICE removed a record number of immigrants with criminal convictions: 

Several other agency records were established in FY 2015 under the direction of EAD Homan. Ninety-one percent of all interior arrests by ERO were aliens that had a criminal conviction― an agency record.  Fifty-nine percent of all aliens removed from the U.S. by ERO were convicted criminals ― another agency record. And finally, a record 98 percent of FY 2015 removals met one or more of the civil immigration enforcement priorities, which constitutes a near perfect execution of the stated mission.

With its army of public affairs staffers (at least 29 full time with salaries averaging well over 100k per year), ICE managed to create a record on removing individuals with criminal convictions while removing a near-record low number of individuals with criminal convictions.

Put differently if ICE only removed 10 individuals in FY 2015 and 9 0f those individuals had criminal convictions, ICE could still claim it removed a record percentage of individuals with criminal convictions. But who cares, right? It’s Obama, he can do no wrong.

The author’s failure to exercise due diligence on the facts then enabled the following to happen wild misrepresentations to follow:

By following the Obama administration’s directive to sharpen the focus of enforcement on criminals and foreigners who pose security threats, “we executed the mission perfectly,” Homan said.

And this:

Instead, “we arrest a lot of bad guys,” he said. “We prevent crimes.”

Why is Homan being awarded when the number of  individuals removed with criminal convictions declined every consecutive year that he has been in charge?

For the same reason that Homan feels he must say that “he is not ashamed of” what he does.

He is really being awarded for his loyal execution of Obama’s orders to detain (illegally) and deport (illegally and deprived of due process) refugee children and families fleeing war in Central America.

Indeed, in that same Senate hearing referred to in the Post’s article,  Homan stated that he had “129 fugitive operation teams out there every day” who are working on “thousands of leads on unaccompanied children who have final orders issued by the immigration courts.”

The total number of ICE fugitive operations teams is 129.

Therefore, Homan appears to have admitted under oath that his agency has assigned all of its 129 fugitive operations teams to exclusively seek out the arrest of unaccompanied children and families for deportation.

Perhaps so many of ICE’s rank and file are demoralized and “beaten down” because Mr. Homan has so willingly and gleefully forced them focus on hunting down, jailing, and deporting  children?

Keep the award to yourself, Mr. Homan.

 

 

Is DHS Fraudulently Deporting Children?

We believe so, according to the documentary evidence DHS submitted to attempt to deport several of our clients.

A short explanation:

In order for DHS to remove an immigrant alleged to be in the United States unlawfully, it must prove to an immigration judge through “clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence” that the immigrant is removable.

To establish removability, ICE must prove must establish alienage of the immigrant alleged to be removable with “clear, unequivocal, and convincing evidence.”  In short, “alienage” means a person who is a national and/or citizen of a country other than the United States.

DHS’s most common method of proving alienage of an immigrant is through the statements the immigrant made to ICE or CBP officers apprehension either at the border or in the interior. The document that contains the immigrant’s alleged statements is called Form I-213.

According to the highest immigration court in the United States “As a general rule, the Form I-213 is inherently reliable and, in the absence of indicia of unreliability, may be used to establish that an absent respondent is an alien subject to removal from the United States. See Matter of Ponce-Hernandez, 22 I&N Dec. 784 (BIA 1999); see also Bustos-Torres v. INS, 898 F.2d 1053 (5th Cir. 1990) (involving an in absentia order entered against an adult respondent). Generally, either CBP or ICE (both are under DHS umbrella)”

But in our experience, DHS created fraudulent I-213s for three of our clients who were only 4, 5, and 6 years old, respectively at the time that CBP apprehended them.

The documents are at this link and below:

 

Why Immigrant Rights Advocates Cannot Endorse Hillary Clinton

Below is an e-mail written to the New York State Immigration Action Fund (NYSIAF) urging them to reconsider their endorsement of Hillary Clinton given that she has promised to deport children to death in Central America:

“I hope all is well. I write to you to express my outrage on reading reports that the New York State Immigration Action Fund (NYSIAF) will endorse Hillary Clinton for the upcoming primary on April 19.

As attorneys who represent over 300 Central American children with pending deportation cases in the New York Immigration Court and who have won relief for more than 200 children in the past two years, we believe it is unconscionable that NYSIAF is endorsing Hillary Clinton.

Simply put, Mrs. Clinton’s has stated if she were to become President, she would deport children to harm in Central America. In contrast, her opponent Bernie Sanders recently requested that President Obama designate Honduras, EL Salvador, and Guatemala for Temporary Protected Status, which would ensure that no child is sent back to death or harm in Central America.

Mrs. Clinton has appeared to “evolve” on her hawkish statements to CNN in 2014

“We have to send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay,” she said. “So, we don’t want to send a message that is contrary to our laws or will encourage more children to make that dangerous journey.”

Clinton said the main reason minors are coming is to escape violence in their home countries, predominantly Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

Amanpour asked if that meant they should be able to remain in the United States, since it is safer.
“Well — it may be safer but that’s not the answer,” Clinton replied.

Yet as recently as February 12, 2016 in a nationally televised debate with Mr. Sanders “Hillary Clinton defended her past statements that Central American migrant children needed to be sent home from the border to “send a message” to other families: Don’t come.”

In a sharp about-face less than a month later, Mrs. Clinton appeared to have undergone a revolutionary change in policy when she said to Jorge Ramos “I will not deport children. I would not deport children,”…I do not want to deport family members either.”

However, Clinton’s statements are directly belied by her persistent (and current) refusal to promise temporary protected status for Central Americans fleeing the war zone of the Northern Triangle.

To wit: when pressed by NPR’s Julio Ricardo Varela on whether Mrs. Clinton agreed with Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders’ that Central Americans from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador should be granted Temporary Protected Status, she said, through a spokesperson, “NO.” Specifically,

She believes it is critical that everyone has a full and fair hearing, and that our country provides refuge to those that need it And we should be guided by a spirit of humanity and generosity as we approach these issues.

By clearly refusing to even consider TPS for Central Americans, Hillary Clinton’s position is unequivocal: she will deport children to death, rape, or serious harm in Central America.

NYSIAF should not endorse a Mrs. Clinton given that she has promised to deport children to death or harm in Central America, especially when her opponent Mr. Sanders has promised the categorically prevent the deportation of children to death or harm through the enactment of Temporary Protected Status. 

Thank you for taking the time to hear my concerns.”

 

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Bilingual Paralegal

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We have an open position for a bilingual (Spanish-English) paralegal.  Paralegals assist attorneys by performing the following duties:

  • Filling out immigration forms
  • Taking client affidavits and statements
  • Drafting simple motions for family and immigration court
  • Drafting family court petitions for custody and guardianship cases
  • Drafting letters and adjournment requests
  • Translation of documents, including complex legal documents
  • Appearances to the New York Asylum office as interpreters
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Requirements:

  • Two- or four-year college degree
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The Deporter-In-Chief’s $834 million binge on Charter Flight Deportations

The spending data below is derived from the U.S. Government.

From 2009 to 2016, you will see how much the Immigration and Customs Enforcement paid private aviation companies on a year-by year basis.

As you can see, from 2009 to 2014, the Obama administration’s payments for deportation flights increased with every year as follows: 2009: $49 million; 2010: $104 million; 2011: $106 million; 2012: $129 million; 2013: $130 million; 2014:  $165 million.

In Fiscal Year 2015, the first year after DHS Secretary Johnson’s November 20, 2014 “priorities” memo, spending precipitously dropped by $72 million from the previous year and the lowest since 2009,  Obama’s first year office.

What does this drop mean? That Obama has had significant difficulties in removing  children and families, who are in his eyes the highest priorities for removal.

The steady increase in spending up to 2014 also supports many critics’ contention that Obama has intentionally ratcheted up undocumented immigrants deportations for 6 out of his 8 years in office.

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Obama’s Push for Mass Deportation of Children In 2016

On February 3, 2016, a little noticed internal memorandum was released by the Chief Judge of the Immigration Courts. It’s innocuous title, “Revised Docketing Practices Related to Certain EOIR Priority Cases” really meant that the President ordered all children or family unit cases to be scheduled for an asylum hearing before the end of 2016.

To be clear, “Priority Cases” mean mothers with children and unaccompanied children who entered the United States after January 1, 2014.

We experienced the reality first hand. Below is a transcript of a recent hearing before an immigration judge assigned to the priority docket in the New York Immigration Court.

Additionally, all of our clients’ asylum trials previously scheduled in 2017 or 2018 were sua sponte advanced to the year 2016 and sua sponte reassigned to be heard by new immigration judges.

President Obama is making his last stand: to deport as many children as possible before his time is up. He wants this to be his legacy.

To explain the background, the effect of the new accelerated docket will be to strike a blow to availability of both pro bono and private counsel to represent both families and unaccompanied children.

With such a short turnaround in asylum hearings, an overburdened legal support system will be unable to take on new cases, thereby cutting off supply of lawyers for tens of thousands of children.

Here is the excerpt from a hearing on February 18, 2016.

————————————————————————–

Judge: Now are you ready to schedule this matter for an individual hearing date?

Me: I am but I did hear that there’s that recent change in scheduling from prior to February for merits hearings…

Judge: Right, we were kind of doing everyone a disservice by having these cases out for that long…

Me: I respectfully disagree given… (judge cuts off)

Judge… Well,  But, it doesn’t matter whether we are or we are not, this is where we are scheduling now that i can hear these cases, and I can schedule this for an individual hearing date as soon as possible.

Me: When are the dates available?

Judge: I have dates in March…do you still need time to get her documents from the home country?

Me: No, your honor, but that is not the issue with March or closer dates, it’s that I have already pre-existing merits hearings…

Judge: So, let’s work with what your schedule is, I mean counsel, you’ve been obviously aware that respondent has been seeking asylum since october, in october of 2014, so all of your actions up to this point should be getting her ready to have her hearing.

Me: “At that time, our schedule was significantly less compromised.

Me: To be frank, with the surge docket and all the individuals that have been scheduled lately, the closest time I would be available would be January of 2017 for a merits hearing.

Judge: “Well, counsel, I will take that into consideration, um, I have dates available as early as next month, in April, in May, I do take into consideration when attorneys need some time to get additional documents that they are waiting or documents from the home country…Um i can give you a date on June 8. I mean are you, counsel, if your hearing time is booked completely from now until January, here is a thought, co-counsel, or associates, your practice is expanding…

Me: I mean, that’s something we have been working on constantly.

Judge: I have a date, are you available on June 8, on June 15?

(pause)

Me: In 2016, no your honor.

Judge: In June 15, 2016?

Me: “I mean…(10 second pause) There’s no dates in 2017 your honor?

Judge: “I’m not going out to 2017, I don’t need to, I have enough hearing time to put this respondent on my docket to hear her case.

Me: “The immigration court has significantly more resources. they were able to create this hearing time out of…”

Judge: “Sir, If you have issues with the court opening up available hearing time, you need to follow up with my court administrator, or the assistant chief immigration judge in new york, i have no say or comment on that. I do know that I have available hearing time and i am trying to schedule folks hearings as readily as i can in accordance with the particular needs of the respondents, not so much for the particular needs of counsel, I am taking into account that you may have conflict with a number of dates that I give you, but I cannot go out to 2017 to fit in your scheduling sir because you have taken on a number of additional cases and you represent a larger swath of Respondents and i am glad that you do but then you also have to have adequate coverage in your firm so you can meet the needs of Respondents. now you may continue.”

Me: I understand that, first of all, a lot of our pre-existing cases were scheduled years before the priority docket was started and in my experience since 2014 with the priority docket is the whole purpose behind it has been to cut down on due process and I am not talking about scheduling, but about how it affects my clients and my ability to dedicate sufficient time adequately vindicate the due process rights of my clients, and right now with this case, and to be frank all of the cases on the rocket docket that are being scheduled for individual hearings, I feel like they are being pushed through at a really fast speed so that we have less time to dedicate to our clients and it really, really prejudices them….

Judge: “Mr Johnson, i appreciate your thoughts, but the purpose of my master calendar is not to have a forum for you to express whatever opinions you have and i respect and understand your frustration and in a perfect world, all respondents would have their hearings within 6 months to a year, that actually is reasonable, many folks have family members who are at home and are at risk and who wish to have their hearings expedited rather than have asylum hearings delayed to 2019 and i think our court is doing our utmost to ensure that. Now I am going to offer you a couple of dates sir, and I am telling you, I am not stretching this case out to January of 2017, and I think sir as a practitioner, that you are taking on a number of hearings and respondents that you are representing and you also need to meet their needs and goals, so either you represent them and take on their hearing dates or if you are booked then you should take on or expand your practice, that is your personal consideration.

Judge: Are you available July 27 at 1 o’clock?

Me: Yes, your honor.

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