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Posts tagged ‘ICE’

Our detained client at GEO center in Texas: “Maggots in the food caused us to start on a hunger strike.”

Our detained client, Angel Guillen, who is only 18 years old and eligible for a green card as a special immigrant juvenile, was a participant in the ongoing hunger strike at the Joe Corley Detention Facility, owned and operated by the GEO Group. (P.S. Please sign his petition for release from detention)

In a phone call today, Angel informed us that he and others decided to start a hunger strike because there were maggots in the food served at the facility.

When the detainees complained to someone at the facility about the maggots, they were told that nothing would be done because no one cares about them.

Today I spoke to the warden at Joe Corley, who told me that there were never any maggots in the food. The warden further stated that the hunger strike was only in response to detainees’ immigration concerns.

We believe our client, who gave up on the hunger strike when he saw many others who were unable to continue. According to the Warden, 12 detainees remain on hunger strike as of today.

 

NY Daily News Covers ICE’s Aggressive Attempts to Deport Our Client, an Abandoned Child Eligible For a Green Card

Erica Pearson of the New York Daily News wrote an article in today’s paper on ICE’s aggressive attempts to deport our client, a minor abandoned by both her parents who is eligible for a green card.

Here is the article below:

Long Islander Antonio Rodas is fighting to get his 19-year-old niece, Salvadoran Maria Isabel Peña Rodas, out of immigration detention and seeks to become her legal guardian

Federal authorities say Peña Rodas is an adult and deportation priority, but uncle’s lawyers say she is eligible for a special green card for abused or abandoned youth

BY / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

MONDAY, JANUARY 13, 2014, 10:20 PM

CHRISTIE M FARRIELLA FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

A Long Island man fighting to get his niece out of immigration detention wants to become her legal guardian — and his lawyers say she is eligible for a special green card for abused or abandoned youth.

But federal authorities say 19-year-old Maria Isabel Peña Rodas, who left El Salvador last fall, is an adult. And because she’s a recent border crosser, she is a deportation priority.

Border officials caught Peña Rodas in Texas, and she has been in a California detention center for more than four months.

“I am just asking God and immigration to give her a chance to be with us,” said Peña Rodas’ uncle and godfather, Antonio Rodas, 43, of St. James, who has permission to live and work in the U.S. and does prep work at an Italian restaurant.

Rodas’ lawyer Ala Amoachi said Peña Rodas, who was abandoned by her parents and living with her grandmother in El Salvador, should qualify for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, available to abandoned or abused people younger than 21.

“She would be clearly eligible,” Amoachi said. “We said, ‘Why don’t you release her on an order of supervision? Give us some time to get the process started.’ ”

But Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say that isn’t a reason to let Peña Rodas into the U.S. — because she would first need a family court judge to either declare her a court dependent or legally commit her to the care of a guardian.

She would also need a court order saying she can’t be reunited with one or more parents, and for the court to find that it’s in her best interest to stay in the U.S.

“An undocumented individual is only eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status if they are already a ward or dependent of the state court in the state where they reside,” ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said.

Amoachi expects a New York family court would grant Peña Rodas what she needs, but that can’t happen unless she’s in the state. If Peña Rodas were 17, officials would have already released her.

It is ICE’s policy not to detain unaccompanied kids younger than age 18 for more than 48 hours.

She would have instead been turned over to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, within the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, and then either housed in a federal care center or placed with family.

As a growing number of young Central Americans travel alone to the Mexican border — many fleeing abusive homes or gang recruitment — Amoachi said those ages 18 to 20 face a paradox. They are too old to fit ICE’s requirements for release, but still young enough to qualify for a Juvenile Status green card.

Antonio Rodas said his niece told him she feared for her safety in her hometown — that two men had tried to assault her as she walked home from a store. “It would be a better life for her here,” he said.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/latino/uncle-battles-deportation-niece-article-1.1578604#ixzz2qOLQxRCm

Telemundo Exposes ICE’s Aggressive Deportation of Abused & Abandoned Children

Two of our clients, who are 18 and 19 years old, are currently detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement despite being eligible for green cards as children abused and abandoned by their biological parents. In legal terms, they are special immigrant juveniles (SIJ).

We have written extensively on this issue here and here.

Note that ICE is flat out wrong when it claims SIJ is only available to children abused or abandoned in their native countries. The actual law states that a person only has to show that reunification with one or both parents is not viable due to abuse, neglect, abandonment, or a similar basis found under State law.  8 U.S.C. § 1107(a)(27)(J)(i).