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Posts tagged ‘Barack Obama’

John Morton: “No comment on high ranking officer sexually preying on children while working for ICE.”

John Morton: “Public relations is more important than protecting the public from child sex predators.”

According to USA today: “A former top U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official in Florida has been sentenced to 70 months in prison on a federal child pornography charge.”

The official, Anthony Mangione,  ran ICE’s South Florida operations from 2007 to 2011, including numerous child pornography investigations.

Mangione was guilty of the same crimes he was investigating. The irony of this is apparent in a search of ICE’s news releases, where Antony Mangione is mentioned and quoted numerous times in the investigation of child sex cases:

Here are some examples:

Too many children are victimized by predators that target the most vulnerable among us – our children,” said Anthony V. Mangione.

“Wellington man sentenced to 15 years of prison for possession and production of child porn and sexually enticing minors.”

“Today’s sentencing sends a strong message that ICE agents will continue to police cyberspace to investigate and bring to justice those who sexually exploit the most vulnerable segment of our society, our children,” said Anthony V. Mangione, special agent in charge of ICE’s Office of Investigations in Miami. “ICE relentlessly pursues predators who sexually abuse children, whether that abuse is physical or whether it is accomplished by exploiting their images.”

“Pensacola man arrested for enticing a child to engage in sexual activity.” The announcement was made today by…Anthony V. Mangione…

The operation, which began last week and culminated yesterday, yielded the arrests of criminals with egregious backgrounds including lewd & lascivious molestation on a minor; aggravated child abuse…

ICE will continue utilizing its unique immigration authorities to identify and arrest those who present a threat to our community,” said Anthony V. Mangione, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Miami…

New DHS enforcement team leads to arrest of convicted sexual predator who returned to the U.S. after being deported.

“This week’s arrest of a sexual predator exemplifies the ICE-CBP Mobile Enforcement Team’s mission to have a DHS united front in protecting public safety here in Florda.” said Anthony V. Mangione.

ICE Special Agent in Charge in Miami Anthony V. Mangione said, “This case reveals the disturbing truth that some adults will go to great lengths to travel outside the United States to try to evade law enforcement and sexually exploit minors. ICE is committed to apprehending and presenting for prosecution cases that victimize our children. ICE will continue working with foreign law enforcement authorities to ensure that those who try to hurt children are identified, arrested and brought to justice.”

Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest school swim coach arrested and charged with child pornography.”

ICE will continue to use all law enforcement tools including advanced computer forensics to investigate these types of crimes,” said Anthony V. Mangione, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Miami. ICE will not tolerate the sexual exploitation of children and will identify and arrest child predators that are a threat to our communities.”

“Two child sex predators sentenced between 17 1/2 and 30 years in prison.”

We are committed to identifying, locating, and ultimately arresting these child predators that are a threat to our communities,” said Anthony Mangione, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations. “ICE will continue to join law enforcement agencies around the world to fight child exploitation crimes over the Internet.”

ICE’s news releases do not mention that their own high-ranking officer was sexually exploiting children. In fact, it was the FBI–not ICE–who arrested Mangione. How long would Mangione have gone undetected and potentially compromising major criminal investigations into child pornography and sexual abuse if it were not for the FBI?

Usually quick to brag about their own high profile arrests of egregious criminal aliens, ICE’s director John Morton had nothing to say about how his own employee was a danger to the public for almost two years under his watch, stating that: “his agency cooperated fully with the investigation, but he declined to comment further.”

There should be a congressional investigation into this, not a “no comment.”

Did Mangione have contacts with any child pornography rings? Was there a lack of oversight within ICE’s hierarchy? Given the great importance of protecting children from sexual exploitation, did ICE routinely screen its own employees to ensure that they were not the exploiters? Why not make computer searches a condition to employment in investigating child pornography? These are but a few questions of the many that should be asked given such a big scandal.

Yet all that we have is a “no comment.”

Over 100,000 DACA eligible individuals are also eligible for permanent residency

EDIT: The estimates below do not include immigrants from the age of 10-14 who will age into DACA eligibility over the next 4 years. Therefore,  the numbers below could be double of what I estimated below.

END EDIT

Below is a letter I wrote to another immigration attorney recently:

I hope you are doing well.

I am very concerned that practically no one in the immigration law community has emphasized the need to screen potential DACA applicants under the age of 21 for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.

A significant number of my consultations for DACA resulted in a determination of SIJS eligibility.  Given that many of the DACA recipients are from Mexico and Central America–places with high rates of abandonment by at least one parent and high levels of violent crime– it is reasonable to conclude that there are tens of thousands of DACA-eligible individuals also eligible for SIJS as well as asylum, U and T Visas.

Indeed, a report by the Vera Institute, cited in an August 25, 2012 NY Times article titled Young and Alone Facing Court and Deportation, found that 40 percent of unaccompanied minors in 2010 were eligible for some form of relief. Out of that 40 percent,  22.8 percent were eligible for SIJS.

If 22.8 percent of DACA applicants under the age of 21 are eligible for SIJS, my estimate of tens of thousands is conservative. In fact, 22.8 percent of the estimated individuals eligible for DACA under the age of 21 is 129,200. The total number of DACA eligible individuals who are under 21 and eligible for permanent forms of relief  is 226,666.

This is not an insignificant number and does not include what outreach would do for individuals not eligible for DACA but eligible for SIJS.

Without a significant outreach from a credible source, many of these overlapped individuals will apply for DACA and age out of their eligibility for SIJS or other forms of permanent relief.  To me, this is unconscionable; if these individuals are eligible for SIJS, they should at the very least be informed of the choice and the possibility that it could lead to permanent residency.

Thank you for your time.

Push Obama to Expand Deferred Action

Deferred Action: No Further Need For Arbitrary Restrictions

Barack Obama won re-election yesterday. His actions on immigration in his first four years were indefensible and extremely anti-immigrant.

Nonetheless, he did do one thing that concretely benefited immigrants: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Now that the election is over, immigration reform advocates must push the Obama Administration to depoliticize DACA and expand it to 1. eliminate any residency requirement; 2. include children who entered the United States before the age of 18; and 3. carve out exceptions to the education requirement for exceptional circumstances that made it difficult to attend school in the United States.

DACA IS ARBITRARILY RESTRICTIVE

 DACA in its current form is arbitrarily restrictive. Many support DACA and the Dream Act because the undocumented beneficiaries were brought to the United States as children and therefore cannot be held responsible for immigration law violations.

First.To qualify for DACA, an individual must have entered the United States prior to reaching the age of 16. Any child who entered after turning 16 is rendered ineligible for DACA. That means that thousands of 16 and 17-year-old undocumented children are left undocumented for no discernible reason.

The 15 and under requirement penalizes many 16 and 17-year-olds because their parents thought it more prudent to smuggle them into the United States at a more mature age.

Alternatively, many 16 and 17-year-olds came the United States to escape violence in their homelands yet are not eligible for political asylum. The only substantive argument to exclude 16 and 17-year-olds from DACA is that they are more responsible for their transgressions given their older age.

Given that so many of these children came to the United States out of necessity, the apportionment of responsibility for the violation of the immigration law becomes substantially undermined. Regardless of the reasoning behind a 16-17 year old violation of the immigration law, the rationale behind the argument to exclude them from DACA seems more political than substantive.

Second. An individual must have entered the United States on or before June 15, 2007. That means that any undocumented child who entered after the date of June 15, 2007 is destined to remain undocumented for no discernible reason.

This 5 year residency requirement is arbitrary when applied those who were brought to the United States as children. Other residency requirements in Immigration Law, such as the 10-year requirement for nonlpr cancellation of removal, are grounded in the fact that the more time one has resided in the United States, the more equities one has gained.

The law does not explicitly spell it out, but the rationale behind residency requirements is implicit: the more time one has been in the U.S., the more one’s violation of the immigration law is mitigated.

Given that one of DACA’s main rationales for being is that its beneficiaries cannot be held responsible for immigration law violations,  the 5 year residency requirement cannot be justified by stating it “mitigates the child’s immigration law violation.” Put differently, politics was the only reason for the 5 year residency requirement. Now that Obama does not have to worry about an election, it is even more inexcusable to retain the 5 year residency requirement.

The Obama administration cannot in good faith tell the tens of thousands individuals eligible for DACA but for the fact they entered the United States after June 15, 2007 that they are any less deserving of DACA.

Furthermore, those who entered after June 15, 2007 need DACA more than the current beneficiaries. Most of the minors who are  in deportation proceedings are not eligible for DACA. Many have recently arrived in the United States fleeing unthinkable traumas in their home country yet are being punished for their recent entrance into the U.S.

DACA EXCLUDES VICTIMS OF EXTREME CHILD ABUSE

Paula, a 14-year-old,  was living with her elderly grandmother because her parents–who have temporary protected status–were working and residing in the United States. Without adequate supervision, Paula was raped regularly by gang members over the course of several years. In 2011, when the gang members told Paula she would be killed, Paula cracked and told her parents what was happening.  Her parents arranged immediately for her to be brought to the United States illegally.

Paula was placed in removal proceedings when she arrived in the United States.  ICE is now trying to deport her. Paula’s parents registered her in school and she is doing okay.

Unfortunately, Paula is not eligible for DACA. The rape, by itself, means that she is not eligible for political asylum.  Paula is not eligible for Special Immigration Juvenile Status, either, because she lives with both her parents.

She may be eligible for prosecutorial discretion in the form of administrative closure, but this does not allow her to apply  for a work permit or the many other benefits that can come with DACA. Paula is left as she came: undocumented and with the daunting shadow of deportation looming over her every thought.

There is even more reason to expand DACA to children like Paula. Obama has said that DACA was the right thing to do. Exposing the most vulnerable immigrant youth to deportation and undocumented status for no substantive reason is not the right thing to do.

Third, there are many individuals who qualify for DACA except for the fact that they never attended school in the United States.

In many instances, these children did not go to school because they had to work to support themselves or their families. To many immigrant youth, school is a luxury.

Many came to the United States alone or were subsequently abandoned by their parents in the United States. Without an adult to provide basic necessities such as clothing, housing, and food, it is unreasonable to expect these children to attend school. 

As in the example of Paula, for many traumatized immigrant youth it is impossible to pass with satisfactory grades,  especially if they live without parents.

Some must work to support their family members who are unable to support themselves.  These individuals should not be penalized for helping their family before themselves. They still came to the United States as minors and the same rationale applies: don’t penalize individuals for actions they are not responsible for.

Helping Immigrants Requires Action

On the issue of immigration, Obama’s record consisted of empty rhetoric until he announced DACA. As despicable as the political motivations behind DACA were, it is impossible to deny the fact that it has and will profoundly and concretely benefit  tens of thousands of young immigrants.

Obama must expand DACA so that his actions conform with his lofty rhetoric that inspired so many immigrants 4 years ago.