ICE: Denying Legal Aid to Asylum-seeking Families
Approximately 2,400 asylum-seeking women and their children are being denied access to vital legal aid by U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), while being held in a detention center in Dilly, Texas.
On October 23, 2015, 19 U.S. senators led by Al Franken (D-MN), sent DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson correspondence urging him to re-examine ICE’s policies which have barred or limited these women and children access to legal representation.
According to the letter, U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, “on at least two occasions have banned attorneys from the South Texas Family Residential Center (STFRC).” Additionally, many other lawyers have had their access to clients restricted without adequate justification.
The document further alleges that ICE and its contractor have barred pro bono counsel from being present during meetings at which detainees were provided with inaccurate information regarding immigration bonds and alternatives to detention. AILA Doc No. 15102730
At the bottom, the senators have requested that Jeh Johnson provide answers to twelve questions, which evaluate the misconduct of ICE and its affiliates, and what steps ICE has taken to come into compliance with the recent federal court order by Judge Dolly Gee in Flores v. Lynch. For further information on the order by Judge Dolly Gee in Flores v. Lynch see my previous blog.
SCOTUS clarified that a legal permanent resident alien can be physically in the U.S., commit a criminal offense, and still be inadmissible.
Fifth Circuit: Former Informants Are Not Protected Group
On September 26th, 2015 U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee granted final approval of the settlement in Franco v. Holder, paving the way for previously deported immigrants with severe mental disabilities to request to reopen their cases in Immigration Court, and if approved return to the United States.
The defense attorney has an affirmative duty to properly advise. It is not enough to say it is a “possibility” under those circumstances.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch defended the U.S. screening process, but she conceded there can be “challenges” posed by the country’s chaotic civil war.
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