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  1. #1
    Senior Member swatchick's Avatar
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    Detentions Lead Some Immigrants To Fear Day In Court.

    Some attorneys say detentions at immigration court in downtown Miami are causing panic in the immigrant community.

    When Miami attorney Neil D. Kolner showed up at an immigration court hearing last month, his client - a Venezuelan asylum -seeker - was detained before a judge even ruled on the case.
    Shannon La Guerre, an attorney at the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, said one of her clients - a Haitian applying for a green card - was detained after her initial hearing on Sept. 13 even though the judge had yet to rule on her case.
    Wilfredo Allen, another Miami immigration attorney, said as many as a dozen of his clients have been detained at the start of proceedings.
    Those experiences in Miami's immigration court were not random, but in fact part of a controversial program the federal government put into force nationwide to crack down on foreign nationals who skip immigration court orders and flee.
    However, advocates complain that immigrants seeking their day in court are being routinely detained, then monitored with an ankle bracelet - only encouraging them all the more so to skip court and go into hiding.
    Under the program, which began late last year, federal immigration agents initially were only detaining those immigrants who were ordered deported at their last court appearance, had a criminal record, were fugitives or turned up on a watch list.
    But now many immigrants with or without criminal records are being detained at the beginning of proceedings - even before a removal order is issued by an immigration judge.
    Cheryl Little, executive director of Miami-based Florida Immigration Advocacy Center, said these detentions are occurring at first appearance hearings when a foreign national is advised of immigration agency allegations.
    Detentions usually occur in the hallways once the person leaves the courtroom, lawyers said. Immigration oficers wait outside the courtroom for the foreign nationals to finish their hearings and then approach them in hallways, attorneys said.
    Those detained at the Miami court are not held for long - unless they have a criminal record or have been ordered deported. Those with criminal records or ordered deported are taken to detention centers like Krome in West Miami-Dade County.
    The others are transported to another facility on Biscayne Boulevard where they are put under supervised release - usually wearing an ankle bracelet or ordered to report periodically to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, sometimes as much as three days a week, some attorneys said. It usually takes several hours, but then the immigrant can go home.
    Agents sometimes later show up unannounced at people's homes to check on compliance, attorneys said.
    The new tactic marks yet another toughening of immigration enforcemment for immigrants facing proceedings.


    THE STRATEGY
    Immigration officials draw a distinction between breif detentions to put foreign nationals in supervised release and actual arrests in which the person is confined until deported. The people detained in court and then released under supervision are freed from bracelets and all reporting requirements if they win their case in immigration court - receiving asylum or residence. If they lose, they may be confined in a detention facility and then deported once the removal order becomes final.
    The strategy is to prevent immigrants in court proceedings from fleeing to avoid deportation.
    "Arrests at immigration courts have been augmented in an effort to prevent the further growth in the alien absconder population," said Barbara Gonzalez, a Miami spoeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "Reducing our nation's absconder rate is among one of ICE's highest priorities."
    In recent years, immigration officials have said that about 85 percent of foreign nationals ordered deported in immigration court proceedings don't show up with their bags packed to be expelled when time comes to comply with deportation notices.
    "Historically," Gonzalez said, "many individuals ordered removed failed to comply with their orders and instead opted to go into hiding."
    The program may be having the opposite effect.
    Candace Jean, a Miami immigration attorney, said at least three of her clients recently went into hiding rather than risk detention at court.
    "The program is actually counterproductive because people become afraid of going to their hearings," said Jean.
    "The program in theory, is better than indefinite detention, but there appear to be problems in implementation," said Steven Forester, senoir policy advocate at Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami/Haitian Women of Miami Inc.
    An immigration judge said the number of no-shows in court increase when talk spreads through the community about court detentions.
    "What happens is that when the community hears that's going on, they don't come into the hearings, which is the worst possible thing to do," said Denise Slavin, an immigration judge at Krome who is also president of the National Association of Immigration Judges.

    NO-SHOW PENALTIES

    Not showing up in court generally results in a deportation order "in absentia" and a 10 year prohibition on the immigrant's qualification to apply for any immigration benefit. The immigrant is then deemed a fugitive and his or her name eventually is added to a federal criminal database.
    Detentions at immigration court began in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as the immigration agency's functions were folded into the Department of Homeland Security. A court detention pilot project was launched in Hartford, Conn., three years ago and later implemented in large U.S. cities.
    Clarel Cyriaque, a Miami immigration attorney, said between 300and 500 immigrants may have been detained since the program began - including three of his clients.
    Gonzalea said that since February, "approximately 52 individuals have been arrested upon the completion of their proceedings in Miami courtrooms."
    She said that at least 90% were "criminal aliens who had been ordered removed by an immigration judge and/or were subject to mandatory detentions."
    Dozens of other foreign nationals in immigration court proceedings also have been detained and then released under conditions of supervision, including ankle bracelets.
    Gonzalez did not have an overall figure for the brief detentions, but said they varied from week to week - ranging from 20 to 25 one week to 10 to 15 the next.


    http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/ne ... 672615.htm



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  2. #2
    Administrator ALIPAC's Avatar
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    I'd rather have these illegal aliens in a state of panic compared to the panic felt by the Americans that are aware of the non enforcement on this issue.

    W
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    MW
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    The strategy is to prevent immigrants in court proceedings from fleeing to avoid deportation.
    "Arrests at immigration courts have been augmented in an effort to prevent the further growth in the alien absconder population," said Barbara Gonzalez, a Miami spoeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "Reducing our nation's absconder rate is among one of ICE's highest priorities."
    Excellent, like William, I view fear in the community as a good thing. Many of the illegal immigrants have become so bold, it's not even funny. Things are completely out of hand, it has even gotten to a point where some seem to think they are untouchable. These folks are law breakers and need to be treated as such.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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    Senior Member dman1200's Avatar
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    You mean they are scared that they actually have to obey the laws now. BOOHOO!!!!
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Cliffdid's Avatar
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    This is good. Don't show up, and you automatically forfeit all your chances of staying. And like was already said, it stops the "I'm here and you can't do a thing about it" situaltion!!!!

  6. #6
    Senior Member swatchick's Avatar
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    I am really glad that they are doing this and we are being made aware of it. Other papers should follow in the Miami Herald's foot steps and inform their cities of what is happening.
    The other nice thing down here is ICE cracking down on illegals at work as well. In fact some of the workers have been frightened to go to work after numerous crack downs occurred after their marches in Miami. The farmers are still complaining about how some of them didn't show up for days if at all. I hope ICE keeps up that good work down here.
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    Senior Member Rockfish's Avatar
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    Maybe there's hope for Miami!
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  8. #8
    Senior Member swatchick's Avatar
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    Rockfish: you lived in south Florida and must have come across the discrimination among the different Hispanic groups. For example the Cubans dislike the Mexicans as they are viewed as illiterates. Then the Columbians dislike another group and so on. There was an actual article in the Miami Herald business section about it. In the end this may be working in our favor.
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    Senior Member Rockfish's Avatar
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    When I was in construction in SFLA, I met people from probably 90% of alll spanish speaking countries...they ALL dislike the Cubans. When it comes to discrimination, Cubans are the worst. The Mexicans in SFLA in the early 90s didn't have near the attitude about being entitled to this country and its social benefits as they do now. So, something has happened since then and that is that Vincente has been telling his people things like they are entitled to everything about this country and that this country is theirs. They didn't hate Americans as they do now. I used to think that the Cubans were our threat, not anymore. We have a neighboring President inciting hatred among his people against us. Those people are extremely uneducated and they will believe anything their leaders tell them (our leaders would love it if we believed everything they were telling us). Its the only way he knows how to deal with his poverty. I truely believe that Vincente has been corrupted in this sense by Castro. Castro is a hellbound pig.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member swatchick's Avatar
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    Very true. What is interesting is that there are not as many Mexicans here as in other states besides the obvious Texas, Arizona and California. At least not around my area in Northern Dade County. We have more Central and South Americans.
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