Immigration Newsletter

Monday, August 31, 2009

ICE Deports another US Citizen

Here is a link to a story in the Charlotte Observer (you can also see it on the BIBDaily). Sometimes you see only what you want to see. Mr. Lyttle (the "victim" in this sordid matter) did not cover himself in glory either...but it seems like doing the job correctly in this case was just a "Lyttle" too much for ICE.

Friday, August 28, 2009

USCIS Lawrence MA

I made my first visit to USCIS Lawrence yesterday. It is a large one story building at 2 Mill Street. It has many windows, high ceilings and is clean and newly refurbished. It is in the mill district near the river (as you might gather from the address).

The facility is nice enough for a government building. Some of the neighboring buildings could use a facelift and there is a dearth of on street parking. If you are not familiar with Lawrence/Methuen MA (as I am not...being from NH) you might want to mapquest the destination or make sure your GPS is working because I found the directions on the USCIS website to be a bit vague.

All in all it seems like a nice enough facility -- in the winter however, I suspect you will want to wear your boots when you go because you will likely have to park a couple blocks away.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On the Passing of Senator Edward "Teddy" Kennedy

So the time has finally come and Senator Edward "Teddy" Kennedy has left this world. His life's work made this country and this world a better place than it would have been without him. Kennedy was a liberal champion in many areas of public policy -- not least of which was immigration. As is so often the case, those persons who strive to great accomplishments also struggle with great flaws and Senator Kennedy was no exception. But today is a day to remember the victories Senator Kennedy achieved for civil rights, for the disabled, the poor, women, racial minorities, immigrants and so many others who's voice was not often heard in the great debates of the second half of the 2oth century.

To whom now will the torch be passed? Who now will ensure that the work will go on, that the cause will endure and that the dream will never die? In truth there is no single person that can carry forward the progressive agenda with the same level of strength, conviction and courage that Kennedy possessed. Still, as one American political era comes to an end with the Senator's death -- it makes clear that a new generation must rise to the challenge and decide how to lead this country forward in this newly begun century.

Perhaps it has started with Barack Obama -- only time will tell. My hope is that the death of "Teddy" Kennedy and the national conversation over his legacy and that of the Kennedy family will inspire some younger people to take up an interest in the political life of this country and of public service in all of its forms. That would be a fitting tribute to the man known as the Lion of the Senate.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The ICE Death Roster

The fact that the Dept. Of Homeland Security couldn't account for 10 percent of the detainees that died in their custody is troubling. What is going to be more difficult is if and when we discover that a majority of the persons who died in US custody were denied or delayed medical treatment for chronic or emergent medical conditions and that their deaths were likely preventable.

from the NY Times:

What Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials call “the death roster” stands at 104 since October 2003, up from the 90 that were on the list the agency gave to Congress this spring.

The latest search for records began late last month, officials said, when Freedom of Information litigation by the American Civil Liberties Union uncovered one of the 10 deaths that had gone unreported — that of Felix Franklin Rodriguez-Torres, 36, an Ecuadorean who settled in New York and died of testicular cancer on Jan. 18, 2007, after being detained two months at an immigration jail run for profit by the Corrections Corporation of America in Eloy, Ariz.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cultural Festivals in Manchester this Month

It is Agricultural Fair season again here in New Hampshire. But after you've ridden the Ferris wheel, eaten the fried dough and watched the tractor pulling competition -- you might want to check out something a little different.

Saturday August 15 will be the 10th Annual Latino Festival and Parade in Manchester.

On the following Saturday August 22 it's time for the 9th Annual African/Caribbean Celebration.

both events will be held at Veterans Park in Downtown Manchester starting around 11:00 am.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Hampshire Obama Protesters Don't Dissappoint

Here's a link to the BlueHampshire blog and a you tube video of another glorious NH moment of racial tolerance outside the Obama Health Care Town Hall.

Check out the guy who might have been third runner up in last year's Ernest Hemingway look alike contest shouting through a bullhorn that we don't need illegals and that we should send them home with a bullet in the head. The next thing out of his mouth is a reference to the quote of Jefferson to the effect that the Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. "It's comin' baby!"

Nice job Papa! Way to set a good example for the kids coming up!

This is apparently what passes for political discourse these days. I wonder who he would be left to hate if all the illegal aliens either went home or became legal? Well, I suppose he'd have to be content with just -- Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, Keith Olbermann, Democrats in general, Liberals, Gays, Blacks, Jews, Muslims, imagined Socialists, the World Bank, the IRS and anyone else who has a "reality based" view of the world and politics.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Want another way to check the status of your immigration case?

This entry links to a USCIS communication to help improve customer service. The link is actually to because the communication is easier to find there than on

At any rate you can see the steps that are required to make an inquiry on your case -- if it has gone beyond normal processing times.,0812-casestatus.pdf

Change we can believe in! Would you believe change eventually?

It seems that Barack Obama's ambitious agenda for change may have been a little too ambitious for some in Washington and in the country at large to take so quickly. It is not surprising though. Most people are fearful of change; except those who truly can't do without it.

You know what though, I think all the complaining about the stimulus plan and cash for clunkers and Obama isn't a Natural born citizen and the health reform "Death Panels" is about to "jump the shark". I can't wait to see the what the Town Hall Criers do today as my home state of New Hampshire gets a visit from the President. It is amazing the kind of frenzy a little misinformation and a lot of paranoia can whip up.

So immigration reform looks to be set back about six months as the health care debate takes a swerve into the ditch. I think things will actually improve as the stimulus kicks in and the economy heats up again. As the Right-wing continues its descent into whack job parody status, it is important that reform minded Legislators don't fracture and lose sight of their goals (right, that never happens).

In fact, I think there may be nothing better for the cause of progressives than to let the ultraconservatives lock their foaming jaws onto comprehensive immigration reform again right now. One more issue that can keep up their red faced, vein bulging, apoplectic tantrum in a teapot. As painful as it may be to endure -- it is usually a good long-term strategy to be viewed as the "sane and adult" party in an argument.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What is -- but what should never be.

Detained and Abused --

The NY Times editorial highlights a new report from the National Immigration Law Center. The report presents a none too flattering potrait of the immigration detention system run by the Department of Homeland Security's ICE bureau. To see the report itself click:

on another musical note (see Public Enemy reference in previous post) is the NYT editorial staff making an allusion to the 1969 Led Zeppelin song "Dazed and Confused" by titling the editorial Detained and Abused? If not it is an odd title.

New BIA Green Initiative -- Recycle Board Members

A.G. Eric Holder has appointed John H. Guendelsberger as a "new" member of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). The same Mr. Guendelsberger that John Ashcroft removed (along with many others) from the BIA during the purge of 2003. Since that time he has been Senior Counsel to the BIA Chairman (ever notice that people in the government seem to never really get fired?). At any rate, that the Bush administration generally and John Ashcroft wanted him gone speaks well of him -- so welcome back. Sorry to those other applicants who might have actually thought they had a shot at landing that job, however. You apparently didn't. There is one more opening left though -- (maybe Lori Rosenberg will apply).