Sorry for the lack of posts over the last week. I've been completely swamped with Court appearances, which has kept me away from the blog. In my absence there has been no shortage of deportation related stories, and I'll endeavor to get you up to speed.
First, Syracuse's TRAC Immigration has determined that there has been a sharp decline (33%) in the number of deportations (39,331) being instituted between October to December 2011. This has resulted in about 10,000 fewer deportations in the last three months of 2011. However, there is little evidence that serious criminals are actually being targeted by the Obama administration for deportation. In fact, the statistics show the opposite.
Here is what TRAC has determined:
A total of 24,073 individuals were sought to be deported because they were alleged to have entered illegally, while 8,884 were charged with other immigration violations. In contrast, only 1,300 — just 3.3 percent — were sought to be deported as alleged "aggravated felons". Even this small share was down from previous quarters. During July through September of 2011, 3.8 percent were charged as alleged "aggravated felons," while six months ago the share was 4.0 percent.
Click here to see the full breakdown of the statistics. TRAC has put together some great charts that are easy to follow.
Next up we find that the Obama administration is still deporting DREAMers. Class valedictorian Daniela Pelaez, and her sister have been ordered removed by an Immigration Judge in Miami. Her brother Johan is a U.S. citizen that is serving honorably in the U.S. Army. He fought in Afghanistan last year. I guess his service wasn't enough for the administration to consider exercising prosecutorial discretion. Now that the case is headline news, I'm sure the administration will have a change of heart. Nothing like bad press to frustrate the deportation of a child.
Finally, we learn that another immigrant, Fernando Dominguez-Valivia, 58, has died in immigration detention. ICE was aware that he had a history of heart trouble, but kept him in custody from November 23, 2011, until February 16, 2012, when he was transferred to Victor Valley Community Hospital after developing pneumonia. He passed away on March 4, 2012.
A total of 6 immigrant detainees have died in ICE custody in the 2012 fiscal year.
Business as usual.
Matthew Kolken is a trial lawyer with experience in all aspects of United States Immigration Law including Immigration Courts throughout the United States, and appellate practice before the Board of Immigration Appeals, the U.S. District Courts, and U.S. Courts of Appeals. He is admitted to practice in the courts of the State of New York , the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).