Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Talking Points: "Beware!!! Hidden Deportation Provisions in ALL Senate and House Bill

Collapse
X
  •  
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Talking Points: "Beware!!! Hidden Deportation Provisions in ALL Senate and House Bill

    Immigration Reform: Problematic Provisions in the Senate's Reform Bills*
    by Stanley Mailman and Stephen Yale-Loehr**
    In Congress' march toward immigration reform, two major themes have emerged. Should a bill focus only on tightening up our borders? Or should it also include a way to regularize some or all of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country? The House of Representatives passed a bill (H.R. 4437) last December that focused on the former. The Senate is leaning toward a combined enforcement and legalization bill, but has failed to reach consensus so far. It may take up the issue again, but it remains unclear whether a final bill can be enacted this year.
    In the meantime, several other provisions that threaten the rights of immigrants already in the county lurk in all the major Senate immigration reform bills. They have not received wide media attention, and deserve more scrutiny.
    This article focuses on the latest Senate bill (S. 2611), which is 614 pages long and reflects the various compromises made in the Senate so far. The provisions below have been in all the major Senate bills under consideration this year, and are likely to remain in a final bill unless public pressure forces a change.
    Easier Deportation on Criminal Grounds
    S. 2611 would expand the concept of "aggravated felonies" for immigration purposes. "Aggravated felony" is a term of art in immigration law. The term was first used in 1988, and at the time referred only to serious crimes such as murder and rape. Over the years Congress has expanded it to include a multitude of crimes, including a crime of violence for which the jail term is at least a year, theft offenses, and certain crimes involving fraud or deceit. See INA § 101(a)(43), 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43). It can even include convictions for crimes that are only considered misdemeanors under state law. See, e.g., Gattem v. Gonzales, 412 F.3d 758 (7th Cir. 2005) (conviction for solicitation of sexual act by minor under Illinois state law, although a misdemeanor, constituted an aggravated felony for immigration purposes). Noncitizens convicted of aggravated felonies are subject to mandatory detention and are ineligible for most types of immigration relief, including asylum, cancellation of removal, and voluntary departure. They are also generally precluded from judicial review. See generally Charles Gordon, Stanley Mailman & Stephen Yale-Loehr, Immigration Law and Procedure § 71.05[2] (2006).
    The House bill would expand the list of aggravated felonies. See generally Stanley Mailman & Stephen Yale-Loehr, Immigration Reform: Restrictionists Win in the House, New York Law Journal, December 28, 2005, at 3. The Senate bill would do more of the same. For example, section 225 of S. 2611 would make conviction of a third drunk-driving offense an aggravated felony for immigration purposes, even if the offense is only a misdemeanor under state law. This provision would apply retroactively. For example, a 60-year-old green card holder who has three DWI offenses from the 1970s would overnight become an "aggravated felon" and therefore mandatorily deportable. This would be so even though DWI was not a deportable offense when he pled guilty and he had not touched a single drink since his 20s.
    Section 203 of S. 2611 would expand the list of people who are considered aggravated felons not because they committed a crime themselves but because they assisted, conspired or solicited others. INA § 101(a)(43(U), 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(U). For example, a person who helps another person fill out an immigration application that later turns out to be fraudulent could be treated as an aggravated felon.
    The Senate bill fails to provide any safety valve provision allowing for waiver of deportation in aggravated felony cases when deportation doesn't serve the net interests of the United States. Take someone who supports a U.S. family, employs U.S. citizen workers, or is serving or has served in the U.S. military.
    Easier Deportation for Immigration Fraud
    S. 2611 imposes new criminal and immigration penalties for document fraud. This would make people caught by these new penalties deportable and therefore ineligible for the bill's legalization and temporary worker provisions. Thus, for many, what the bill gives with one hand, it takes away with the other.
    Specifically, section 208 of S. 2611 would redefine the definition of "false statement" in U.S. criminal law to include an omission. The section would also expand the definition of "immigration document" to include any document submitted in support of an immigration application.
    Section 208 would also amend 18 U.S.C. § 1546 to: (1) create a new crime for knowing use of any immigration document issued or designed for use by another; (2) expand the crime of knowing use of a forged or counterfeit immigration document so that it covers any immigration document; and (3) expand the crime for false statements in an application for immigration documents by striking the requirement that such statements be made under oath.
    People who violate 18 U.S.C. § 1546 concerning document fraud are already considered aggravated felons. INA § 101(a)(43)(P), 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(P). Section 208's expansion of the crimes included in section 1546 and the expanded definitions of the terms applied to section 1546 would mean that many more noncitizens would become deportable and would be mandatorily detained as aggravated felons. For example, assume that Jorge, a Mexican restaurant dishwasher, applies for the new temporary worker program that Congress may enact. He includes a false social security number on his application. That makes him a criminal under 18 U.S.C. § 1546 for committing immigration fraud and in turn makes him deportable and subject to mandatory detention. As with the aggravated felony provisions discussed above, the Senate bill deprives the government of discretion to waive deportation in sympathetic cases.
    Adding Civil Immigration Law Violations to NCIC Criminal Database
    Under section 231of S. 2611 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would have to provide the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC) with information on noncitizens who have: (1) been ordered deported; (2) have an expired voluntary departure agreement or who have violated a condition of their voluntary departure order; (3) been found to be unlawfully present in the United States; or (4) had their visas revoked. Police who use the NCIC would then be charged with picking up civil immigration law violators in the course of their regular duties.
    This provision would turn the NCIC, which has been used only to track criminals, into a database that includes information about millions of civil immigration law violators. What's wrong with that? For one thing, police worry that immigrants will be less likely to cooperate with them if this provision becomes law. As Ray Samuels, Chief of the Newark California Police Department, wrote Congress, "By turning police into immigration agents, all of our agency's efforts to gain the trust of immigrants"”both legal and illegal"”would be undermined as immigrants would be discouraged from coming forward to report crimes and suspicious activity."
    Others worry about dumping inaccurate immigration data into a critical police database, with no guarantee that status changes will be updated immediately. According to a report by the Migration Policy Institute, "[f]orty-two percent of all NCIC immigration hits in response to a police query were ˜false positives,' where DHS was unable to confirm that the individual was an actual immigration violator." Migration Policy Institute, Blurring the Lines: A Profile of State and Local Police Enforcement of Immigration Law Using the National Crime Information Center Database, 2002-2004, at 3 (Dec. 2005), available at http://www.migrationpolicy.org/pubs/...nes_120805.pdf. This number could skyrocket as new categories of individuals are loaded in. It could be a huge waste of time for law enforcement, and also lead to false arrests.
    Expanded Detention of Immigrants
    In Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678 (2001), the Supreme Court held that indefinite detention of an immigrant violates the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The Court established a rebuttable presumption that immigrants should be released 90 days after their removal order if their home country refuses to accept them.
    Section 202 of S. 2611 would erode that 90-day limit. The bill would grant the DHS discretion to detain someone beyond the 90-day limit by: (1) modifying the starting point for calculating the 90-day removal period; (2) permitting the DHS to detain individuals beyond the 90-day removal period if they have committed certain crimes; and (3) authorizing the DHS to detain people indefinitely if the agency certifies that an individual is a threat to public health or safety, the determination of which may be based on secret evidence. The section would also limit judicial review of such certifications to habeas corpus actions brought in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. So, someone
    detained in California would have to find a lawyer in Washington DC to file a habeas corpus petition on his behalf, or file it himself.
    Long detentions are already a problem under current law. For example, in Nadarajah v. Gonzales, No. 05-56759, 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 6615 (9th Cir. Mar. 17, 2006), a Sri Lankan was twice granted asylum by an immigration judge, but the DHS branded him a national security threat. He spent over four years in a U.S. jail while the government tried to deport him. He was released only after the Ninth Circuit held his detention illegal under Zadvydas. Such lengthy detentions could occur more often if section 202 becomes law.
    Section 202 is not the only provision dealing with detention. Section 223 of S. 2611 states that noncitizens who fail to notify the DHS when they move can be considered flight risks and therefore subject to detention. This could subject millions of noncitizens to detention. It also ignores the DHS's problems with its address systems, language issues, and confusion about where to file address changes.
    Conclusion
    This article has summarized just a few of the many problematic provisions in the Senate immigration reform bill. Other provisions would restrict voluntary departure, limit judicial review of many immigration decisions, and impose more restrictions on asylum seekers. Senators will have to weigh these concerns against the bill's legalization provisions to determine whether the good outweighs the bad.
    It remains unclear whether the Senate will actually pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill this spring. If it does, a conference committee would have to reconcile the very different House and Senate bills. Whether Congress could then agree on a final compromise measure, especially in an election year, are still big questions.
    In our view, Congress should consider immigration reform more slowly. The last major immigration bill that tried to balance legalization and enforcement was enacted in 1986. It occurred only after careful study, hearings throughout the country, consideration of demographic and economic data on migration, and public consultations with businesses, unions, religious groups, immigrant communities, and law enforcement. No such deliberative process has taken place concerning the present immigration reform proposals. Moreover, congressional leaders have set absurdly tight deadlines simply to say that they have voted on immigration reform. Congress and the country would be better off holding comprehensive hearings on all the ramifications of immigration reform before trying to enact anything.
    _________________
    * Reprinted with permission from the April 19, 2006 edition of the New York Law Journal. Copyright © 2006 ALM Properties Inc. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. The authors thank the Journal for permission to reprint this article.
    ** Stanley Mailman and Stephen Yale-Loehr are co-authors of Immigration Law and Procedure, published by LexisNexis Matthew Bender. Mr. Mailman is of counsel to Satterlee Stephens Burke & Burke in New York City. Mr. Yale-Loehr is of counsel at Miller Mayer in Ithaca, N.Y., and teaches immigration and asylum law at Cornell Law School.

  • #2
    Immigration Reform: Problematic Provisions in the Senate's Reform Bills*
    by Stanley Mailman and Stephen Yale-Loehr**
    In Congress' march toward immigration reform, two major themes have emerged. Should a bill focus only on tightening up our borders? Or should it also include a way to regularize some or all of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country? The House of Representatives passed a bill (H.R. 4437) last December that focused on the former. The Senate is leaning toward a combined enforcement and legalization bill, but has failed to reach consensus so far. It may take up the issue again, but it remains unclear whether a final bill can be enacted this year.
    In the meantime, several other provisions that threaten the rights of immigrants already in the county lurk in all the major Senate immigration reform bills. They have not received wide media attention, and deserve more scrutiny.
    This article focuses on the latest Senate bill (S. 2611), which is 614 pages long and reflects the various compromises made in the Senate so far. The provisions below have been in all the major Senate bills under consideration this year, and are likely to remain in a final bill unless public pressure forces a change.
    Easier Deportation on Criminal Grounds
    S. 2611 would expand the concept of "aggravated felonies" for immigration purposes. "Aggravated felony" is a term of art in immigration law. The term was first used in 1988, and at the time referred only to serious crimes such as murder and rape. Over the years Congress has expanded it to include a multitude of crimes, including a crime of violence for which the jail term is at least a year, theft offenses, and certain crimes involving fraud or deceit. See INA § 101(a)(43), 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43). It can even include convictions for crimes that are only considered misdemeanors under state law. See, e.g., Gattem v. Gonzales, 412 F.3d 758 (7th Cir. 2005) (conviction for solicitation of sexual act by minor under Illinois state law, although a misdemeanor, constituted an aggravated felony for immigration purposes). Noncitizens convicted of aggravated felonies are subject to mandatory detention and are ineligible for most types of immigration relief, including asylum, cancellation of removal, and voluntary departure. They are also generally precluded from judicial review. See generally Charles Gordon, Stanley Mailman & Stephen Yale-Loehr, Immigration Law and Procedure § 71.05[2] (2006).
    The House bill would expand the list of aggravated felonies. See generally Stanley Mailman & Stephen Yale-Loehr, Immigration Reform: Restrictionists Win in the House, New York Law Journal, December 28, 2005, at 3. The Senate bill would do more of the same. For example, section 225 of S. 2611 would make conviction of a third drunk-driving offense an aggravated felony for immigration purposes, even if the offense is only a misdemeanor under state law. This provision would apply retroactively. For example, a 60-year-old green card holder who has three DWI offenses from the 1970s would overnight become an "aggravated felon" and therefore mandatorily deportable. This would be so even though DWI was not a deportable offense when he pled guilty and he had not touched a single drink since his 20s.
    Section 203 of S. 2611 would expand the list of people who are considered aggravated felons not because they committed a crime themselves but because they assisted, conspired or solicited others. INA § 101(a)(43(U), 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(U). For example, a person who helps another person fill out an immigration application that later turns out to be fraudulent could be treated as an aggravated felon.
    The Senate bill fails to provide any safety valve provision allowing for waiver of deportation in aggravated felony cases when deportation doesn't serve the net interests of the United States. Take someone who supports a U.S. family, employs U.S. citizen workers, or is serving or has served in the U.S. military.
    Easier Deportation for Immigration Fraud
    S. 2611 imposes new criminal and immigration penalties for document fraud. This would make people caught by these new penalties deportable and therefore ineligible for the bill's legalization and temporary worker provisions. Thus, for many, what the bill gives with one hand, it takes away with the other.
    Specifically, section 208 of S. 2611 would redefine the definition of "false statement" in U.S. criminal law to include an omission. The section would also expand the definition of "immigration document" to include any document submitted in support of an immigration application.
    Section 208 would also amend 18 U.S.C. § 1546 to: (1) create a new crime for knowing use of any immigration document issued or designed for use by another; (2) expand the crime of knowing use of a forged or counterfeit immigration document so that it covers any immigration document; and (3) expand the crime for false statements in an application for immigration documents by striking the requirement that such statements be made under oath.
    People who violate 18 U.S.C. § 1546 concerning document fraud are already considered aggravated felons. INA § 101(a)(43)(P), 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(P). Section 208's expansion of the crimes included in section 1546 and the expanded definitions of the terms applied to section 1546 would mean that many more noncitizens would become deportable and would be mandatorily detained as aggravated felons. For example, assume that Jorge, a Mexican restaurant dishwasher, applies for the new temporary worker program that Congress may enact. He includes a false social security number on his application. That makes him a criminal under 18 U.S.C. § 1546 for committing immigration fraud and in turn makes him deportable and subject to mandatory detention. As with the aggravated felony provisions discussed above, the Senate bill deprives the government of discretion to waive deportation in sympathetic cases.
    Adding Civil Immigration Law Violations to NCIC Criminal Database
    Under section 231of S. 2611 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would have to provide the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC) with information on noncitizens who have: (1) been ordered deported; (2) have an expired voluntary departure agreement or who have violated a condition of their voluntary departure order; (3) been found to be unlawfully present in the United States; or (4) had their visas revoked. Police who use the NCIC would then be charged with picking up civil immigration law violators in the course of their regular duties.
    This provision would turn the NCIC, which has been used only to track criminals, into a database that includes information about millions of civil immigration law violators. What's wrong with that? For one thing, police worry that immigrants will be less likely to cooperate with them if this provision becomes law. As Ray Samuels, Chief of the Newark California Police Department, wrote Congress, "By turning police into immigration agents, all of our agency's efforts to gain the trust of immigrants"”both legal and illegal"”would be undermined as immigrants would be discouraged from coming forward to report crimes and suspicious activity."
    Others worry about dumping inaccurate immigration data into a critical police database, with no guarantee that status changes will be updated immediately. According to a report by the Migration Policy Institute, "[f]orty-two percent of all NCIC immigration hits in response to a police query were ˜false positives,' where DHS was unable to confirm that the individual was an actual immigration violator." Migration Policy Institute, Blurring the Lines: A Profile of State and Local Police Enforcement of Immigration Law Using the National Crime Information Center Database, 2002-2004, at 3 (Dec. 2005), available at http://www.migrationpolicy.org/pubs/...nes_120805.pdf. This number could skyrocket as new categories of individuals are loaded in. It could be a huge waste of time for law enforcement, and also lead to false arrests.
    Expanded Detention of Immigrants
    In Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678 (2001), the Supreme Court held that indefinite detention of an immigrant violates the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The Court established a rebuttable presumption that immigrants should be released 90 days after their removal order if their home country refuses to accept them.
    Section 202 of S. 2611 would erode that 90-day limit. The bill would grant the DHS discretion to detain someone beyond the 90-day limit by: (1) modifying the starting point for calculating the 90-day removal period; (2) permitting the DHS to detain individuals beyond the 90-day removal period if they have committed certain crimes; and (3) authorizing the DHS to detain people indefinitely if the agency certifies that an individual is a threat to public health or safety, the determination of which may be based on secret evidence. The section would also limit judicial review of such certifications to habeas corpus actions brought in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. So, someone
    detained in California would have to find a lawyer in Washington DC to file a habeas corpus petition on his behalf, or file it himself.
    Long detentions are already a problem under current law. For example, in Nadarajah v. Gonzales, No. 05-56759, 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 6615 (9th Cir. Mar. 17, 2006), a Sri Lankan was twice granted asylum by an immigration judge, but the DHS branded him a national security threat. He spent over four years in a U.S. jail while the government tried to deport him. He was released only after the Ninth Circuit held his detention illegal under Zadvydas. Such lengthy detentions could occur more often if section 202 becomes law.
    Section 202 is not the only provision dealing with detention. Section 223 of S. 2611 states that noncitizens who fail to notify the DHS when they move can be considered flight risks and therefore subject to detention. This could subject millions of noncitizens to detention. It also ignores the DHS's problems with its address systems, language issues, and confusion about where to file address changes.
    Conclusion
    This article has summarized just a few of the many problematic provisions in the Senate immigration reform bill. Other provisions would restrict voluntary departure, limit judicial review of many immigration decisions, and impose more restrictions on asylum seekers. Senators will have to weigh these concerns against the bill's legalization provisions to determine whether the good outweighs the bad.
    It remains unclear whether the Senate will actually pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill this spring. If it does, a conference committee would have to reconcile the very different House and Senate bills. Whether Congress could then agree on a final compromise measure, especially in an election year, are still big questions.
    In our view, Congress should consider immigration reform more slowly. The last major immigration bill that tried to balance legalization and enforcement was enacted in 1986. It occurred only after careful study, hearings throughout the country, consideration of demographic and economic data on migration, and public consultations with businesses, unions, religious groups, immigrant communities, and law enforcement. No such deliberative process has taken place concerning the present immigration reform proposals. Moreover, congressional leaders have set absurdly tight deadlines simply to say that they have voted on immigration reform. Congress and the country would be better off holding comprehensive hearings on all the ramifications of immigration reform before trying to enact anything.
    _________________
    * Reprinted with permission from the April 19, 2006 edition of the New York Law Journal. Copyright © 2006 ALM Properties Inc. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. The authors thank the Journal for permission to reprint this article.
    ** Stanley Mailman and Stephen Yale-Loehr are co-authors of Immigration Law and Procedure, published by LexisNexis Matthew Bender. Mr. Mailman is of counsel to Satterlee Stephens Burke & Burke in New York City. Mr. Yale-Loehr is of counsel at Miller Mayer in Ithaca, N.Y., and teaches immigration and asylum law at Cornell Law School.

    Comment


    • #3
      Produced by NYSDA Immigrant Defense Project 􀁺 25 Chapel St. Brooklyn, NY 11201 􀁺 (718) 858-9658 ext. 231. (March 31, 2006)
      For more materials on the immigration legislation, also see website of Detention Watch Network at www.detentionwatchnetwork.org.
      Hidden Traps in the Immigration Bill Passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee
      (the Chairman's Mark/Specter Bill)
      The Specter bill, as passed by the Judiciary Committee, undermines the goals of legalization by blocking many people from ever getting "lawful status" – through its new programs or though current routes.
      A person who simply admits that she put false information or omitted information on documents – for example on I-9 documents required for employment or an adjustment application – would be unable to take advantage of legalization provisions or to ever get a green card through a family member petition. There are no exceptions or waivers to this bar. People whose applications are rejected could be more easily targeted by local cops, detained, or placed into expedited removal proceedings (details below).
      Example: the mother of a U.S. citizen child needs a job to support her family. She uses her sister's social security card to fill out her I-9 form. If she later applies to adjust her status – through her citizen husband or through a new program – she will likely be asked about her past employment. Revealing this information means she risks rejection of her application and deportation.
      In addition, the Judiciary Committee/Specter Bill expands de-legalization – leading to detention and deportation for both, undocumented and greencard holding immigrants. For example:
      1. Expansion of Term "Aggravated Felony" – leading to mandatory deportation
      The Specter bill expands this term to include minor accessory roles in the conduct of others; drunk driving offenses (even misdemeanors); document-related offenses; and convictions for providing assistance to undocumented employees, family, and neighbors (with very limited humanitarian exception).
      Why this is bad: This would result in the mandatory detention and permanent deportation of greencard holders and others who are in the U.S. on visas, and ineligibility for asylum for those fleeing persecution. A judge has no discretion to take into account whether a person with an "aggravated felony" has longtime ties to the U.S., kids or a spouse who is a U.S. citizen, has changed her life around, or other equities.
      Example: a greencard holding supervisor at a construction company drives his crew, some of whom are undocumented, to their jobs. He could be prosecuted criminally – and then face mandatory deportation as an aggravated felon, and his citizen family and coworkers would not be allowed to speak on his behalf.
      2. Expanded Expedited Removal – a speedy and rubber-stamped deportation
      The Specter bill allows the government to expel more immigrants without any court hearing. DHS could remove an immigrant without a court hearing simply by claiming that he is not a lawful permanent resident and has an aggravated felony or firearm offense. He could not apply for relief (like adjustment) and would have limited ability to challenge the charges. A separate provision subjects any immigrant who has not been admitted/paroled and is found within 14 days of arrival and within 100 miles of the Mexican or Canadian borders – like El Paso, San Diego, Detroit – to this "drive-by deportation" (except for Mexicans and Canadians). ICE could grab people from the streets and quickly decide they are subject to such proceedings.
      Why this is bad: People who may have a basis to fight their deportation will be deported without being able to present their cases and be denied fair hearings. US citizens and others not subject to deportation could be mistakenly deported. Giving such broad authority to DHS invites racial profiling and selective enforcement.
      Example: A cabdriver has lived in the U.S. for 20 years with his U.S. citizen kids and wife. Years ago, he was convicted of gun possession, when police stopped him under the pretext of a traffic violation and discovered the gun he kept for his own safety. DHS arrests and detains him far from home. Although he is eligible for a green card through his wife, DHS could quickly deport him without allowing him to apply.
      3. Expansion of Mandatory Detention and Increase in Detention Beds
      Congress recently authorized a massive expansion of detention beds, and the Specter bill increases this even more by adding 10,000 more beds and allowing closed military bases to be used to imprison immigrants.
      Why this is bad: This expands a system that is already rife with abuse, substandard conditions and exponentially ballooning costs. It creates armed camps around the country while misleadingly seducing local communities with the lure of jobs and breaks in their property taxes.
      The Specter bill requires mandatory detention for all immigrants, except nationals of Cuba or Mexico, who attempt to enter the US unlawfully and are apprehended at a port of entry. There is no individual hearing and very limited exception to parole people. A separate provision effectively leads to mandatory detention of many immigrants who didn't file a change of address form with DHS within 10 days. This ignores DHS's problems with its address systems, languages issues, and confusion about where to file address changes.
      Why this is bad: Mandatory detention separates families – children from parents, partners from each other - for long periods of time, and forces people to languish in detention centers far from their homes. The threat of this protracted period of detention also encourages people to give up on fighting their deportation cases and impinges on access to counsel.
      Example: A greencard holder escapes her abusive husband with her kids and goes to a homeless shelter, and then to a safehouse run by a domestic violence group. She does not notify DHS of these two address changes. She would be arrested by DHS, presumed to be a flight risk, and stay jailed and separated from her kids through her deportation case – and like many others, may even decide to give up.
      4. Authorizing Indefinite Detention
      The Specter bill overturns U.S. Supreme Court decisions and allows the government to indefinitely detain thousands of immigrants with final orders of removal. Because they are unable to be returned to their home countries, they can languish in detention for years despite the availability of cost effective and more humane alternatives. This would be applied retroactively to individuals that are now out on orders of supervision.
      Why this is bad: Indefinite detention also separates families and forces people to languish in abuse-ridden detention centers far from their homes. Allowing the federal government to indefinitely detain such large numbers of people will also increase the already exorbitant costs of incarceration.
      Example: A Cuban woman who has been in the U.S. since the early 1980s was ordered removed several years ago. The U.S. was unable to deport her to Cuba, and held her detained for several years. Last year, she was released under an order of supervision and returned to her minor children. Under this law, she could be redetained and once again held indefinitely.
      5. Local Law Enforcement Cooperation with Immigration Authorities
      The Specter bill effectively turns local law enforcement into immigration agents. It gives local governments "inherent authority" to enforce immigration laws, encourages agreements between DHS and local police in every state, and allows immigration information to be entered into NCIC, the federal criminal database.
      Why this is bad: This would be a public safety disaster. Immigrants would be afraid to turn to social service agencies, local police and even emergency services. Local cops could arrest people based on immigration information from a database known for mistakes and that they cannot interpret.
      It also authorizes local governments to hold immigrants after they finish a sentence and to detain any undocumented immigrant for 14 days after a sentence – with no criminal or immigration charges filed.
      Produced by NYSDA Immigrant Defense Project March 31, 2006
      Why this is bad: It allows local governments to determine whether a person is a non-citizen, lawfully present or removable, which they are not qualified or competent to do. Giving such free reign to detain immigrants for long periods of time for no cause invites widespread abuse, racial profiling, and retaliation against specific persons or groups.
      6. Increased Border Militarization
      This bill expands the current $30 billion border enforcement strategy which has failed to deter illegal entry and has directly resulted in the deaths of nearly 4,000 migrants over the last 10 years. Border militarization has disastrous consequences for U.S. citizen Latinos/as, all people of color and immigrants in border communities because it imposes mass racial profiling, harassment, incarceration, brutality, and death.
      Why this is bad: These repressive provisions place even more border patrol agents, policing, surveillance, detention centers and walls in border communities already saturated with law enforcement presence. Border militarization has created a human rights crisis and jeopardizes safety in border communities.
      7. Right to Remain in the U.S. While Appealing Deportation Case (Standard for Stay of Deportation)
      A provision snuck into this bill at the last minute, and behind closed doors, makes it almost impossible to win a stay of deportation. It requires an immigrant to prove her case in federal court (even if court has limited info at that time), instead of permitting courts to grant stays if one is likely to win, as most do today.
      Actual Case: Maribel had been ordered deported by an immigration judge who didn't believe she was a U.S. citizen and had to go to federal court to stop her deportation. The government has since acknowledged its mistake. However, if this bill had been law during Maribel's fight, she would have been unable to obtain a stay of deportation, deported, and forced to fight her case from Colombia, away from her young daughter.
      8. Guilt by Association
      The bill gives the federal government the power to deny immigration benefits and deport someone simply by claiming they have a "reason to believe" that the person is associated with a street gang. The government would not have to disclose any real evidence or charge the person with any crime at all in order to do so.
      9. Limiting the Ability to Become a Naturalized Citizen
      This bill allows the government to deny citizenship for acts that happened decades ago and limits an immigrant's ability to have a federal court review denials of their citizenship application.
      Remember that Senator Frist's bill is also on the Senate floor. If either bill passes the Senate, it will have to be reconciled with HR 4437, which the House passed in December. Frist's bill and HR 4437 both contain most deportation/detention provisions above and more provisions that do the following:
      - Eviscerate judicial review. Deportation appeals from around the country would be taken away from their local federal Courts of Appeals and all be funneled to one court, which currently hears a handful of patent cases. Many cases would be dismissed with no review. Senator Specter plans to hold hearings on this issue next Monday to decide whether to reinsert this outrageous provision in his bill as well.
      - Further expand the grounds under which people can be denied green cards or be subject to deportation. For example, both bills expand the "aggravated felony" definition to include accidental conduct.
      - Retroactively apply changes in immigration laws to past conduct. This means that suddenly, decades-old acts and offenses will trigger mandatory detention and deportation.
      - Make presence in the U.S. in technical violation of immigration laws a federal crime and subject to jail time. The sentence could increase to up to 20 years for people with prior offenses.
      - The House bill also reverses the burden of proof in removal proceedings so that immigrants convicted under a statute that punishes deportable aggravated felonies and non-deportable conduct would automatically be deemed to be aggravated felons, unless they can produce public documents to prove that they are not. Often, these documents don't exist or are impossible to procure.
      Produced by NYSDA Immigrant Defense Project March 31, 2006

      Comment


      • #4
        #8

        real scary
        "WE are going to deport you "Just Because"

        Now this bill is a real reason for activists to protest about and stop focusing on the EWI stuff. Anyone who has not yet obtained naturalization yet would be in danger. Beware

        Thanks Chris for keeping us posted and informed.

        Comment


        • #5
          I have a feeling that this spread of PARALYZING FEAR of Senate Immigration Reform Bills is serving only the interests of anti-immigrants and those strongly opposed to passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform:

          After all what would be a better sight for FAIR and Co. to watch than to see immigrant rights advocates attack and destroy the very Bills aimed at regularizing the current Immigration mess?

          Anyone who thinks that there is a possibility these days to pass through both chambers of Congress exactly what Sen. Kennedy wants is an idiot who must have been hibernated for the past 40 years.


          For above reasons there is NO WAY I WILL BE THE ONE to oppose Senate Immigration Reform Bills, be it Specter, Martinez or Cornyn Bills.


          Regards,

          IE

          Comment

          Sorry, you are not authorized to view this page

          Home Page

          Immigration Daily

          Archives

          Processing times

          Immigration forms

          Discussion board

          Resources

          Blogs

          Twitter feed

          Immigrant Nation

          Attorney2Attorney

          CLE Workshops

          Immigration books

          Advertise on ILW

          EB-5

          移民日报

          About ILW.COM

          Connect to us

          Questions/Comments

          SUBSCRIBE

          Immigration Daily



          Working...
          X