Mamadu Balde fled the civil war in Sierra Leone in 1999 seeking asylum in the US. Both the Bush and Obama administrations opposed his application for asylum. When his appeals ran out in 2012, Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained him and held him for more than nine months. But Sierra Leone could not provide proof of his citizenship and refused to accept him. So he was allowed to stay in America, so long as he checked in with ICE agents every six months. But now, Balde is being held in custody again because of “changed circumstances in policy.” Read more about his plight in this story at the ACLU website.
Insurance companies are using a Florida law to deport undocumented immigrants who are injured on the job, according to a report by ProPublica and National Public Radio. The law, passed in 2003, made it a crime to file a workers compensation claim using false identification such as a Social Security number. In fact, the Florida law allows undocumented immigrants to be charged with workers comp fraud even if they’ve never filed a claim. Read more about how the Florida law is being used to deport undocumented workers in this report at ProPublica.
As the controversy over increased ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) raids continues, where are local law enforcement agencies working closely with ICE agents? The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) has created a national map to show where local law enforcement is teaming up with ICE agents to find unregistered immigrants. See if your local agencies are helping ICE here.
The nonprofit Center of Popular Democracy reports in a new study that detained immigrants who hire attorneys on their behalf are far more likely to win their cases to stay in the US. However, the report shows that 86 percent of those facing deportation don’t have an attorney representing them. Details are in this story from Newsworks.
Jae Lee, a South Korean native who moved to the US at the age of 13, received lawful permanent resident status but never became an American citizen. Police arrested him in 2009 on felony charges of possession of ecstasy with intent to distribute. The criminal defense attorney he hired didn’t have much experience with immigration laws and advised Lee to plead guilty, which would lead to his automatic deportation. The case is now before the Supreme Court. The Los Angeles Times editorial board examines the issue in this story.