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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

No Compensation for US Citizen Improperly Detained by Immigration for Over 3 Years

Immigration and Customs Enforcement kept Davino Watson imprisoned as a deportable alien for nearly 3 1/2 years. ICE then released Watson, a resident of New York, in rural Alabama with no money and no assistance to return home.

A district judge in New York had awarded Watson $82,500 in damages, citing "regrettable failures of the government." However, an appeals court has reversed that judgment (Watson v. United States, 7/31/17). The appeals court ruled that Watson is not eligible for any of that money — because while his case is "disturbing," the statute of limitations expired while he was still in ICE custody without a lawyer.

This case is indeed disturbing. Davino Watson told immigration officers repeatedly that he was a U.S. citizen. However, with no guaranteed access to a court-appointed attorney for immigration
proceedings, he was left to languish in detention. A US citizen was improperly detained for over 3 years with no compensation, no apology and no explanation. Where is the justice in that?

Read the Complete Article from NPR

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Temporary Protected Status for Venezuela?

Immigration expert Elizabeth Blandon, who represents many Venezuelan clients -- including hero Marco Coello -- explains why Venezuelans may get Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and how the benefits  differ from asylum benefits. TPS is based on extraordinary temporary conditions in an individual's country of origin, and the current crisis in Venezuela could prompt a TPS designation for that country.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Senator Seeks Answers on Asylum Process at the Border

In a letter dated 7/24/17, Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has requested that the Department of Homeland Security detail the agency’s efforts to follow federal law requiring that those seeking asylum be given the opportunity to appear before an immigration judge.

Amid numerous reports that asylum seekers are being turned away at the US-Mexico border, the Senator has asked for clarification of US Customs and Border Protection policy regarding this issue.

With former DHS Secretary John Kelly accepting a new position as White House Chief of Staff, it remains to be seen how the agency will respond to Senator Feinstein’s request. One thing is certain: there IS a problem at the border, and the United States must give asylum seekers the protections that they deserve rather than turning them away at the border.

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