Telephone: (702) 384-8600

English • Español • Française • Tagalog • עברית

114 Illegal Aliens Arrested at Workplace Raid

Cleveland.com has an AP report that on June 5, 2018, federal agents supported by local law enforcement made a total of one hundred and fourteen arrests at two workplaces in Ohio.

The most interesting aspects are buried at the bottom of the story.

The investigation into Corso’s began in October 2017 when the U.S. Border Patrol arrested a woman who gave stolen identity documents to job applicants in the country illegally, said Steve Francis, head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit in Detroit.

The document vendor led investigators to the landscaping company, where they examined documents in its files for irregularities, Francis said. Some Social Security numbers belonged to dead people.

Of the 313 employees whose records were examined, 123 were found suspicious and targeted for arrest and criminal charges of identity theft and, in nearly all cases, tax evasion.

Lawyers must always advise their clients to obey the law. “Undocumented alien,” or “undocumented American” don’t mean anything. When someone is arrested and brought to court, the judge will look at the law, and the law says that entering the United States without permission is a crime, that using another person’s social security number is a crime, that working in the United States without permission is a crime.

If you need immigration help, or have concerns about your status, we recommend that you discuss your concerns with a lawyer.

Illegal Border Crossings Back Up

The Mercury News reports that illegal border crossings have gone back up.

Large groups of Central American migrants have been taken into custody in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas in recent weeks, according to Border Patrol agents, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss operations. During one 24-hour span in May, 434 migrants were processed at the Border Patrol station in McAllen, agents said.

“The numbers have been very high,” said one agent assigned to the Rio Grande Valley, the nation’s busiest corridor for illegal migration. “It’s to the point that we have had to bring in buses to come out and load these folks up, or send four of five vans at a time.”

Another agent said so many migrants were apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley in May that many were diverted to other sections of the border for processing. The Justice Department has reassigned additional prosecutors to the border region to increase the number of migrants it charges with federal crimes, but one veteran border agent said it was “too early to tell” if the tougher enforcement measures were giving pause to migrants thinking of making the journey from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

This has prompted tough talk from DHS Secretary Nielsen.

During a visit Thursday to the Nogales border crossing in southern Arizona, Nielsen called the increase in illegal migration a crisis and said Homeland Security officials were working to “end this lawlessness.”

The country’s borders are being violated “by criminals, by smugglers and by thousands of people who have absolutely no respect for our laws,” she said.

“This is changing, it will change, and we will do all that we can to change this,” Nielsen added, emphasizing that the “zero-tolerance” approach announced in April will be applied as aggressively as possible.

“If you come here illegally, whether you’re single, whether you have a family, whether you’re a smuggler or whether you’re a trafficker, you’ve broken the law, so we’re prosecuting,” she said.

Statistics like the ones reported in this story make it more likely that a wall will be built on the border. We’ve seen that government is now trying a zero tolerance policy, and the Border Patrol has received additional aid from other agencies such as the National Guard and the Park Police. Still, the federal government has not been able to control the border. Therefore the push for some sort of physical barrier will get stronger.

Is ICE Arresting More “Non-Criminal” Illegal Aliens?

Over the past year ICE raids and announcements have made the news. The Des Moines Register reports that the ratio of illegal aliens arrested by ice that have not been convicted of additional crimes has dramatically increased under President Trump.

Immigration agents allowed to go after any undocumented immigrant are arresting more people throughout the U.S., an increase fueled by rounding up people without criminal records, according to federal data released Thursday.

Over the first full 14 months of the Trump administration, 69% of undocumented immigrants arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents had a criminal record. Over the final two years of the Obama administration, that number was 86%.

The shift reflects a policy of applying the law equally. The Register interviewed Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies:

In order to have a lawful immigration system, Krikorian said, ICE agents must go after all immigration violators, not just those who committed additional crimes once they entered the country.

In news reports and in political speeches, we often here about “undocumented immigrants.” This is political talk, not legal talk. Please do not be confused by people who talk about “undocumented” and “non-criminal undocumented.” Violating US immigration law is a crime. Buried deep in the article we find:

Corey Price, assistant director of enforcement for ICE, said it’s wrong to call any undocumented immigrant a “non-criminal” since they either entered the country illegally or stayed in the country after the expiration of their visa. He said that shift in approach has allowed his agents to drive up their arrest numbers, nabbing both convicted criminals and those who have violated immigration laws, “all of which are federal crimes.”

If you are someone you know is in the United States illegally, that person is committing a crime. It is best to seek legal help in situations.

Point-of-entry Lie-detecting Kiosks in Testing

CNBC reports DHS has been testing kiosks that interview persons arriving to the United States. The kiosks have sensors and software to detect lying.

The AVATAR combines artificial intelligence with various sensors and biometrics that seeks to flag individuals who are untruthful or a potential risk based on eye movements or changes in voice, posture and facial gestures.

“We’re always consistently above human accuracy,” said Elkins, who worked on the technology with a team of researchers that included the University of Arizona.

According to Elkins, the AVATAR as a deception-detection judge has a success rate of 60 to 75 percent and sometimes up to 80 percent.

“Generally, the accuracy of humans as judges is about 54 to 60 percent at the most,” he said. “And that’s at our best days. We’re not consistent.”

The developers of the AVATAR hope that one day the system will speed up processing at points of entry.

Families Split Up as “Zero Tolerance” Illegal Border Prosecutions Are Underway

NBC News reports that the recently announced “zero-tolerance” policy has been implemented.

The new policy is a marked departure from the way parents and children were treated previously. In 2014, the Obama administration saw a surge of families and unaccompanied minors at the border and generally kept children with at least one parent at emergency shelters and family facilities. The Obama administration also initiated a program designed to allow families more freedom while awaiting deportation hearings. The Trump administration ended the program last summer.

Children are removed from parents.

“They are saying either you take your kid back and live in danger and don’t try to save your kid’s life by claiming your right to asylum, or insist on applying for asylum where we are going to separate you from your child and endanger your child,” said Michelle Brané, director of immigration policy at the Women’s Refugee Commission, a research and advocacy organization.

The report has interviews with several parents who were separated from their children.

Hernandez, the mother of two, said that back in Honduras, she and her husband had it all — a home, a business and family. But after her husband refused to help drug traffickers, they were threatened and an employee of their car wash business was killed, she said. They tried moving and starting another business but were tracked down. They pulled the children out of school and came to the U.S.

Still, she doesn’t think she would have crossed into the U.S. if she’d known about the new zero-tolerance policy.

Another CA City Votes to Oppose CA “Sanctuary State”

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Carlsbad’s City Counsel voted 4 to 1 to support the federal lawsuit against California’s law which prohibits local law enforcement from investigating or reporting the immigration status of arrestees to the federal government.

The report gives the following tally of municipal and county actions to date:

So far three cities — National City, Chula Vista and San Diego — have stepped up to support the state law, while two jurisdictions — Escondido and San Diego County — have voted to oppose it.

New “Zero Tolerance” Policy Announced for Illegal Entry

On May 7, the LA Times reports that Attorney General Sessions announced a new “zero tolerance policy for persons entering the United States illegally. Under this policy, all persons entering the United States illegally will be charged with a crime. The story also warns that as part of the prosecutions, families could be separated.

Sessions also said that families who illegally cross the border may be separated after their arrest, with children sent to juvenile shelters while their parents are sent to adult detention facilities. Until now, border agents tried to keep parents and their children at the same detention site.

Read moreNew “Zero Tolerance” Policy Announced for Illegal Entry

Immigration Consequences of Crimes

An immigrant can be removed (deported) and excluded from coming into the United States if he is convicted of a “crime involving moral turpitude” (CIMT), certain drug offenses, or “aggravated felony.” CIMT are not specifically defined. However, the general idea conveyed in the immigration law is that these crimes include fraud, larceny and harm to persons or property. Whether driving under the influence will be considered as a CIMT depends on the circumstances.

Crimes against the person involve moral turpitude when criminal intent is an element of the offense. Such criminal intent may be inferred from the presence of unjustified violence or the use of a dangerous weapon. Often, lesser related offenses or lesser degrees of the same offenses might not involve moral turpitude absent criminal intent, unjustified violence, or the use of a dangerous weapon as elements of the offense.

Examples of crimes against the person found to involve moral turpitude (CIMT):

Read moreImmigration Consequences of Crimes

Mandatory Detention of Immigration Violators

Not all noncitizens who come into the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can be released on bond (bail). An immigration detainee cannot be released on bond while awaiting his hearing in immigration court if he has been convicted of certain crimes and has been taken into immigration custody,

Under Immigration and Nationality Act section 236 (c), crimes requiring mandatory detentions are:

Read moreMandatory Detention of Immigration Violators

Criminal Convictions in Immigration Law

Criminal defendants seek to minimize possible time in prison and often desire to avoid a risky trial. However, a plea bargain or a plea of no contest may make the defendant deportable or excludable from the United States. For years defendants who had been advised by their criminal attorney to plead guilty or nolo to a crime in order to get the best deal from the criminal law point of view, were shocked to learn that their plea resulted in them being deportable or excludable. In 2010, the US Supreme Court ruled in Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473 (2010) that a criminal attorney failure to advise a non citizen client the immigration consequence of entering a plea is ineffective assistance of counsel.  This ineffective assistance of counsel could be a constitutional basis to set aside guilty plea and conviction.

Not all convictions will make a defendant excludable. The following convictions are not a basis for exclusion:

Read moreCriminal Convictions in Immigration Law