Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Illegal Immigrants in U.S. Look to U.S. for Health Care

Undocumented patients wary of offers to return to home countries
By Madison Park

"Going back to Mexico is not an option, said the 43-year-old man, kneeling next to his wife's wheelchair.  His wife, 45, lost her eyesight to diabetes. She also has high blood pressure. And her kidneys are failing.

For years, he has taken her to a dialysis clinic attached to a public hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. The facility that gave her free care plans to close Saturday.
They are illegal immigrants with no health insurance and, they say they have nowhere to go for his wife's vast medical needs. The closing clinic offered to help return them to Mexico.
The Atlanta clinic is the latest known case of a medical institution that's offering to send illegal immigrants who can't afford treatment back to their native countries -- a practice that critics liken to patient dumping."
Immigration Crackdown With Firings, Not Raids
Published: September 29, 2009

"A clothing maker with a vast garment factory in downtown Los Angeles is firing about 1,800 immigrant employees in the coming days — more than a quarter of its work force — after a federal investigation turned up irregularities in the identity documents the workers presented when they were hired.

The firings at the company, American Apparel, have become a showcase for the Obama administration’s effort to reduce illegal immigration by forcing employers to dismiss unauthorized workers rather than by using workplace raids. The firings, however, have divided opinion in California over the effects of the new approach, especially at a time of high joblessness in the state and with a major, well-regarded employer as a target."

I.C.E. News

ICE and international partners seize more than $41 million in Colombia and Mexico

Largest container bulk cash seizure made in Colombia and the United States
"U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents along with Colombian and Mexican law enforcement officers between Sept. 9 and 18 made the largest bulk cash container seizure in Colombia and the United States - more than $41 million in U.S. currency that was secreted in shipping containers found in ports in Colombia and Mexico. The seizures are part of an ongoing ICE investigation by ICE's Attaché Office in Bogota, Colombia."

Former city councilman convicted on child pornography charges
"A federal jury convicted a former city councilman and firefighter from Eastern Washington last Thursday on charges of possession and receipt of child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)."

BEST team arrests convicted child predator for illegally returning to the U.S.
Mexican citizen was deported in 2004 after child sex crime conviction
"Members of the local U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)-led Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) on Friday arrested a convicted aggravated felon who illegally re-entered the United States after he was deported in 2004 for raping a minor.

Cesar Gonzalez-Gomez, 43, from Mexico, was arrested Sept. 25 outside a residence in Anthony, N.M. He was convicted of aggravated burglary, criminal sexual contact with a minor, and other related sex crimes. He was sentenced to nine years in prison. After his release from prison, ICE deported him in October 2004.

Recently BEST members received information that Gonzalez-Gomez was back in the United States. He is believed to have returned to the country illegally in January. As a deported aggravated felon, he is charged with re-entry after deportation, which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison."

ICE seizes 22,728 counterfeit CDs and DVDs valued at $85,390
"More than 22,000 counterfeit CDs and DVDs being sold in flea markets in Ponce, Salinas, Santa Isabel and Coamo were seized Sunday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents as part of a targeted enforcement operation.

Operation Captain Morgan is part of an ongoing ICE initiative in Puerto Rico that began in October 2008 to target vendors involved in intellectual property rights (IPR) violations. The 22,728 items seized have an estimated street value of $85,390. ICE special agents also seized $664 of illicit proceeds derived from the sale of counterfeit products."

U.S. Army private and 3 other men indicted on sex trafficking and drug charges

Allegedly recruited 16 year old girl to travel from Ohio to Maryland for prostitution
"A federal grand jury has indicted a Millersville, Md., man and three conspirators from Ohio on charges of running a sex trafficking business from an apartment in Millersville, announced U. S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. The indictment was returned on Sept. 24, 2009, and unsealed today upon the arrest of the defendants. The indictment calls for the forfeiture of all property used in the commission of the crimes, including financial proceeds and a 2006 Chrysler 300 registered in Ohio.
'This case demonstrates the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force's policy of zero tolerance for child prostitution," said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. "Anyone who profits from sex with children should be on notice that law enforcement agents and prosecutors are standing by to send them to federal prison. Our goal is to prosecute the perpetrators and seize all profits generated by the criminal activity.'"

76 arrested statewide in ICE-led multi-agency gang enforcement effort
Operation Community Shield enforcement actions target gang members in 4 Utah counties
"A total of 76 gang members and gang associates across the state, including many with serious criminal histories, are facing criminal charges or deportation today following a two-month, multi-agency gang enforcement surge spearheaded by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in close coordination with the offices of the Utah U.S. Attorney and the Utah Attorney General.

The arrests were made as part of an ongoing initiative by ICE's National Gang Unit called 'Operation Community Shield.'  As part of the initiative, ICE partners with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies across the country to target the significant public safety threat posed by transnational street gangs."

Polanski in Extradition Battle

Swiss legal battle awaits Polanski
By Imogen Foulkes
Roman Polanski's arrest in Zurich at the weekend has caused headlines around the world and anger among many.
But legally, Switzerland's extradition agreement with the United States is clear.
The US had issued an international arrest warrant for Mr Polanski. US officials apparently pointed out that the film director would be on Swiss soil on Saturday, and asked the Swiss authorities to detain him.
Switzerland's Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf did not hesitate.
"We have an agreement with the US to apprehend those wanted for offences," she said.

Custody Battle Case in Japan

Father, kids in custody case Japanese citizens, officials say
CNN's Kyung Lah contributed to this report.

The case of a Tennessee man jailed in Japan for trying to snatch back his children from his estranged wife is not as clear-cut as it's been made out to be, authorities here said Wednesday.

The father, Christopher Savoie, apparently became a naturalized Japanese citizen four years ago, listing a permanent address in Tokyo, they said.

And while he and Noriko Savoie, a Japanese native, divorced in Tennessee, the two never annulled their marriage in Japan, Japanese officials said.

Also, the two children at the center of the case hold Japanese passports, they said.

"His chances of getting his children back home to the States, I think, are pretty slim right now," Jeremy Morley, Savoie's lawyer in the United States, told CNN's "AC 360" on Tuesday night.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I.C.E. News

9 men tied to LA-area gang arrested in ICE drug, weapons trafficking probe
One defendant claims to be Mexican drug cartel hit man
"The enforcement action caps a nine-month ICE investigation into allegations that members of the 'Barrio Evil 13' street gang were involved in narcotics and weapons trafficking. The affidavit filed in support of the arrest and search warrants details more than a dozen occasions where the defendants sold an ICE undercover operative illegal drugs, including heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, as well as ammunition and firearms. Among the weapons purchased by ICE undercover operatives were assault rifles, sawed-off shotguns, a sub-machine gun and a hand grenade, which turned out to be inert."

3 men indicted for harboring and holding aliens hostage

Held 11 aliens hostage, some sexually abused
"Three men were indicted by a federal grand jury for harboring and holding aliens hostage in a southwest Houston residence and demanding thousands of dollars from families for their release announced United States Attorney Tim Johnson on Thursday. The investigation is being conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)... According to the complaint, the men being held were aliens who had been illegally smuggled into the country. The smuggled aliens claimed, according to the complaint, that while the guards fed them, the guards were armed, beating and threatening the men. Upon arriving at the stash house, the complaint alleges the smuggled men were stripped of their clothing to prevent escape and their mouths were often taped shut. Some men were allegedly sexually abused. The men were often held for several days until their families sent the additional money demanded for their release."

Dutch firm and two officers plead guilty to conspiracy to export aircraft components to Iran
Defendants tried to conceal the fact that the parts and goods were bound for Iran
"A Dutch aviation services company, its director and sales manager pleaded guilty today in the District of Columbia to federal charges related to a conspiracy to illegally export aircraft components and other items from the United States to entities in Iran via the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates and Cyprus."

Illegal alien sentenced for illegal re-entry into the U.S.
Deported in 1998 following a kidnapping conviction in Cobb County
"Armando Galardo-Navarrete, 28, of Marietta, Georgia, was sentenced today to 41 months in prison for illegally re-entering the United States after having been deported. Today's sentence follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE's) Office of Detention and Removal in Atlanta.
Galardo-Navarrete was also sentenced by United States District Judge J. Owen Forrester to three years of supervised release. He will be deported to Mexico upon the completion of his prison sentence."

ICE agents return more than $286,000 to elderly couple in N.Y.
"An elderly New York couple received $286,000 following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) into a money-laundering ring operated in the Dominican Republic.

In May of 2008, ICE agents in Mobile received information regarding the money-laundering ring that had acquired a large sum of stolen U.S. Treasury Bonds from the 1950s and 1960s. The illicit organization wanted ICE undercover agents to create a fake identity and a survivor will in order to cash the bonds. The original family members who had purchased the bonds were two siblings who had passed away.

ICE agents in Mobile, with the assistance of ICE agents in New York and the Alabama National Guard Counter Drug Program, spent several months searching leads in an attempt to locate surviving heirs. The locations of the burial sites of the original bond purchasers were discovered and agents were able to find two surviving heirs. In July of 2009, the U. S. Treasury was able to verify $286,000 of the original bonds as valid and that amount was turned over to the New York couple."

72-year-old Fort Worth woman sentenced to nearly 4 years in federal prison for her role as leader of visa fraud scheme
She arranged fraudulent marriages between foreign nationals and U.S. citizens for a fee
"A 72-year-old grandmother who operated a marriage fraud ring for decades was sentenced Sept. 23 to serve 44 months in federal prison. The sentence was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. The case was investigated by the following agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Social Security Administration's Office of Inspector General, the Health and Human Services Commission's Office of Inspector General, and the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General."

Fraudulent telemarketer sentenced to 50 years, co-conspirators also sentenced for roles in fake sweepstakes scheme"Four owners of Costa Rica-based telemarketing call centers, an employee and a Texas-based list broker were sentenced yesterday for their roles in defrauding thousands of U.S. victims of more than $20 million through a phony sweepstakes scheme following a joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of the Inspector General."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Scottish Study Identifies Problems with Assimilation of Migrant Children

Schools 'hamper' migrant children
Many migrant children are taking a long time to settle in at school because staff are not given enough resources to deal with them, a study has said.

The HM Inspectorate of Education report said many migrant children were underachieving in Scotland as a result.
Inspectors said staff had not been given enough guidance on dealing with migrant children.
The report also said many education authorities had yet to adjust to record high migration levels.

Trial of Blank Passport and Visa Thieves

Couriers in 'fake passport raid'
Two van couriers staged a "sham" raid in Greater Manchester in which more than 10,000 blank passports and visas were stolen, a court has heard.

"Stephen Shaw and Alan Burke claimed they were robbed by a gang soon after picking up the delivery in Chadderton.
Manchester Crown Court heard the pair were in fact part of the plot to steal 3,650 passports and 8,100 visas."

Illegal Adoptions in Vietnam

Vietnam baby fraud trial begins
Sixteen people have gone on trial in Vietnam accused of committing fraud over the foreign adoption of more than 250 babies, a court official says.

"Those charged are alleged to have solicited the babies from poor families or single mothers.
They then faked documents to say the infants were abandoned, making them eligible for adoption by foreign parents, prosecutors allege.
Doctors, nurses and the heads of social welfare centres were among the accused.

If found guilty of 'abuse of power and authority', they could face between five and 10 years in prison."

French Officials Dismantle Calais Migrant Camp

Police clear French migrant camp
French police have moved in to dismantle a makeshift camp set up by migrants near the port of Calais.

"The chief of Calais police, Pierre de Bousquet de Florian, told reporters the operation had been a success.
He said 146 adults and 132 self-declared minors had been detained. None of those held were female, he said.
The adults were taken into police custody and the minors taken to special centres.
France says all will be offered the chance to apply for asylum or voluntary assisted repatriation.
However, many of the camp's inhabitants left before the operation and correspondents say it is feared they will simply set up camp somewhere else.

On their last night in the camp, some of those who remained said they feared for the future.

The chief of Calais police, Pierre de Bousquet de Florian, told reporters the operation had been a success.
He said 146 adults and 132 self-declared minors had been detained. None of those held were female, he said.
The adults were taken into police custody and the minors taken to special centres.

France says all will be offered the chance to apply for asylum or voluntary assisted repatriation.
However, many of the camp's inhabitants left before the operation and correspondents say it is feared they will simply set up camp somewhere else.
On their last night in the camp, some of those who remained said they feared for the future.

One resident, Bashir, a 24-year-old English teacher from northern Afghanistan, told the AFP news agency he had paid $15,000 (10,000 euros; £9,000) to travel to Europe through Pakistan and Istanbul.
He said: 'We have no idea what the police will do, if they will take us or let us go free.'
'But here we already made our place. We have our homes, our showers and our mosque,' he added. "
USCIS Naturalizes 98 New Citizens in Japan; Ceremony Includes 40 Spouses and Two Children of Members of U.S. Armed Forces

"U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Bangkok Deputy Director Stacy Strong today joined Rear Adm. Richard Wren, Commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Japan, at the Yokosuka Naval Station for a special naturalization ceremony for 98 new citizens of the United States.

Deputy Director Strong administered the Oath of Allegiance to the 56 Soldiers, Sailors, Marines; 40 military spouses; and two children of Sailors. This was the largest number of spouses to naturalize in one ceremony outside the United States."

I.C.E. News

Texas man sentenced to 76 months for travel with intent to sexually exploit minors
"Patrick Cochran, 47, of Lake Jackson, Texas, was sentenced on Sept. 21 in Phoenix to 76 months in prison for travel with intent to engage in sex with minors and possession of child pornography. This case was investigated by U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE).

In addition to the prison term, Cochran was sentenced to lifetime supervised release by U.S. District Judge Stephen M. McNamee of the District of Arizona.

Cochran was indicted on Dec. 5, 2007, in Phoenix on two counts of travel with intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor. According to allegations contained in the indictment, Cochran paid a deposit and traveled to a pre-arranged meeting spot in Arizona in order to go on what he believed would be a tour of Mexico that would offer him the opportunity to have sexual contact with two boys, aged 8 and 13. In reality, the tour was an undercover operation run by the Department of Homeland Security's ICE as part of Operation Predator."

Alien smuggler sentenced to 25 years for sexual assault during hostage taking
"A Mexican national who helped hold more than 20 smuggled aliens hostage in a Phoenix residence where they were beaten and sexually assaulted has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Evaristo Ortiz-Jimenez, 37, of Nayarit, Mexico, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell. Ortiz-Jimenez pleaded guilty to using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, hostage taking. The charges resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Phoenix Police Department.
Ortiz-Jimenez was part of a violent group of alien smugglers who held at least 23 illegal aliens hostage in May 2008 at a house in Phoenix. Ortiz-Jimenez led the day-to-day activities at the house. While being held in the home at gunpoint, the victims were subjected to beatings and death threats. Ortiz-Jimenez was also accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl who was held hostage even after her family paid for her release. When sentencing the defendant, Judge Campbell called Ortiz-Jimenez's conduct 'extraordinarily violent and cruel' and stated 'I can think of nothing worse - short of killing someone.'"

Miami group sentenced for conspiracy to defraud illegal aliens in Florida and New York
"Three Miami residents who defrauded illegal aliens in Florida and New York out of $426,700 by offering to assist them with immigration matters were sentenced Friday following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG).

The announcement was made by Jeffrey H. Sloman, acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Steven J. Mocsary, ICE special agent in charge OPR eastern region, and Donald Balberchak, DHS special agent in charge, OIG, Miami."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Direct Mail Maybe, But No Lifting Embargo for Now

U.S., Cuba talk about restarting direct mail
State Department officials travel to Havana for first time since 2002

"Cuba and the United States sat down for rare talks aimed at re-establishing direct mail service Thursday, a modest but positive step that caps a bitter week of recriminations over the extension of Washington's trade embargo against the communist-run island."
Read the full story:

Donate While You Book Your Ticket

New Airline-Ticket Tax to Aid the Developing World
By Peter Gumbel / Paris Friday, Sep. 18, 2009
"Starting next January, whenever you buy an airline ticket at a travel agency or online, there'll be a new question to answer before you hand over your credit card: Would you be willing to donate $2 to help fight HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in Africa? ...It will be formally announced in New York City on Sept. 23 on the fringes of the U.N. General Assembly, and accompanied by a marketing blitz.",8599,1924470,00.html?cnn=yes

I.C.E. News

ICE's Miami field office removes 423 criminal aliens in August
"Four hundred twenty-three criminal aliens from 36 different countries were removed last month by deportation officers from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Miami Field Office of Detention and Removal.

The Miami Field Office oversees operations in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The individuals who were removed had a variety of criminal convictions including assault, burglary, drugs, fraudulent activities, larceny, robbery, sexual assault and weapons offenses.
'These recent removals are an example of ICE's commitment to remove those who pose a public safety threat,' said Michael Rozos, field office director for the Miami Field Office of Detention and Removal. 'These removals will continue taking place as we enforce our nation's immigration laws.'"

Former teacher charged with distribution of child pornography
"The investigation and arrest was part of an ICE initiative known as Operation Predator. Operation Predator protects children from sexual predators, including those who travel across continents to have sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child traffickers. Since the initiative was launched in July 2003, there have been more than 11,600 individuals arrested nationwide."

Leader of international counterfeit immigration document ring sentenced
"The leader of a prolific and nationwide fraudulent document ring was sentenced Friday to serve 57 months in federal prison. The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney David Gaouette. The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the IRS' Criminal Investigation Denver Field Office, Social Security Administration's Denver Office of the Inspector General and the Postal Inspection Service."

Former Connecticut resident charged with child sex tourism

Individual travelled to Haiti to sexually abuse young children
"Douglas Perlitz, 39, a former Connecticut resident, faces seven counts of traveling outside of the United States to have sex with children, following an investigation by special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Perlitz, who now resides in Colorado, was also charged with three counts of engaging in sexual conduct with children in Haiti...Perlitz was the founder and director of Project Pierre Toussaint (PPT), a boy's school in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. He was a Connecticut resident when he allegedly travelled to Haiti to sexually abuse boys. According to the indictment, over the course of several years, Perlitz had illicit sexual contact with nine boys who attended school at PPT. In order to entice and persuade the children to comply with the sex acts, Perlitz provided the promise of food and shelter and also provided monetary and other benefits, including cash, cell phones, electronics, shoes, clothes and other items. If minors refused to engage in sex acts, it is alleged that Perlitz would at times withhold benefits or threaten to expel them from the program. "

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Money for Citizenship Programs

USCIS Awards $1.2 Million for Citizenship Grant Program
"WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas today announced a total of $1.2 million in grants for 13 organizations to support citizenship preparation programs for legal permanent residents (LPRs). This announcement falls on Constitution Day and Citizenship Day—established by Congress in 2004 to mark the anniversary of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution."

I.C.E. News

Missouri poultry processing plant pays $450,000 fine for hiring illegal aliens
"SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - A southwest Missouri poultry-processing plant where 136 illegal alien workers were arrested in 2007 paid a $450,000 administrative fine Friday as a result of a worksite enforcement investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
George's Processing Inc. (George's) paid the fine on September 11 as part of a settlement agreement. George's was ordered to pay the fine within 30 days in federal court on Aug. 14, 2009. ICE will use the funds to promote future law enforcement programs and activities in worksite enforcement.
The settlement further directs George's to train its human resource managers and employees on how to avoid hiring illegal aliens, and to establish a compliance program to ensure that it's hiring and employment practices are in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. The fine paid by George's does not constitute any admission of wrongdoing by the company
"Significant fines help hold businesses accountable to ensure a legal workforce," said Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for ICE John Morton. 'ICE works diligently to oversee corporate responsibility and to protect jobs for this country's lawful workers.'"

Owner of Missouri roofing company pleads guilty to hiring illegal aliens
"SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The owner of a southwest Missouri roofing company pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to hiring illegal aliens as a result of a worksite enforcement investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Russell D. Taylor, 31, of Bolivar, Mo., waived his right to a grand jury. He pleaded guilty Sept. 14 before U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. England, Western District of Missouri. Taylor operated a business as Taylor-Made Roofing, aka Taylor-Made Contractors.
Taylor admitted that from August 2006 through April 2008, he hired, contracted and sub-contracted for hire to obtain illegal aliens to work for him."

3 West Coast men indicted for traveling to Cambodia to have sex with children
Charges stem from ongoing federal enforcement initiative - Operation Twisted Traveler
"LOS ANGELES - The first three defendants charged under an international law enforcement initiative targeting Americans who travel to Cambodia to sexually exploit children were formally indicted by a federal grand jury today.
The men are accused of international travel and engaging in illicit sexual conduct with minors, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison for each count. The defendants, who have been in custody here since their removal from Cambodia two weeks ago, are scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 21.
'As these indictments make clear, U. S. citizens who travel abroad to molest children will find no haven from prosecution,' said the acting U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California George S. Cardona. 'It is a violation of federal law for U. S. citizens to go to another country and molest children, and violators of this law will be prosecuted.'"

Miami man convicted of trafficking in counterfeit Cuban cigars
"According to evidence presented at trial, Perez manufactured more than 50 boxes of counterfeit cigars and sold them to an undercover MDPD detective. Perez manufactured and sold the counterfeit cigars from his Miami home. The cigar boxes were meticulously detailed replicas of well-known cigar brands including Montecristo, Cohiba, Romeo y Julieta, Trinidad, and others, all of which brands are trademark protected in the United States. The cigar boxes falsely represented that the enclosed cigars were Cuban. The defendant sold each counterfeit box of cigars for $45."

Calais Refugee Camp Set to Close Before End of Next Week

France to close migrant 'jungle'
By Emma-Jane Kirby BBC News, Paris

"France has said it intends to close the camp in Calais known as "the jungle", where migrants gather to try to reach the UK...
Some 1,500 migrants are now living in insanitary settlements in Calais and neighbouring areas, hoping to cross to Britain.
The [Immigration Minister Eric Besson] promised that the operation would be carried out humanely and that each illegal immigrant would be offered the chance to apply for asylum or to return voluntarily to their country of origin.
Many of the migrants come from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The minister insisted they would not be forcibly returned."
Read the full story:

Scottish Attorney General Under Investigation for Employing Illegal Immigrant

Minister faces immigration probe
Immigration officials are investigating reports that an illegal worker was employed by the attorney general.

"Gordon Brown said people should wait for the outcome of the probe, but Baroness Scotland wished to apologise for "any inadvertent mistake".
Under laws passed when Baroness Scotland was a Home Office minister, even employers who unknowingly take on illegal workers face a £10,000 fine. "
Read the full story:

Illegal Adoption Cases in Egypt

Egypt court jails U.S. couples over illegal adoptions
By Cynthia Johnston
Edited by Jon Hemming

"[One] couple had agreed with an orphanage worker 'to buy two newborn infants, a girl and a boy, in exchange for 26,000 pounds.' The family's lawyer said the couple wanted to adopt the children and did not knowingly break the law.

The second couple was accused of obtaining a forged birth certificate for a baby boy to take him to the United States but was not accused of buying the child, the indictment said.

The couple tried in absentia was accused of forgery and paying 10,000 pounds for a baby girl. All the children involved have been returned to Egyptian orphanages.

In addition to the couples, three other defendants including an orphanage worker and a doctor were sentenced to five years in jail while two other Egyptians received jail terms of two years.

Rights activists say trafficking in infants and young children takes place in the most populous Arab country, and infants in orphanages and babies of street girls are at highest risk of being trafficked, often to infertile couples. "
Read the full story:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Amnesty International: Spain Detention Laws Too Restrictive

Spain urged to end detention law

"Spain must end the practice of holding suspects incommunicado, without access to lawyers of their choice and without telling their families, activists say.
Spain's criminal law allows suspects to be held incommunicado for five days.
Amnesty International says it is among the strictest systems in Europe, facilitates torture and breaches international human rights standards.
The Spanish government says its system is no more restrictive than in other countries, and is overseen by judges.
It has previously defended its programme is a necessary counter-terrorism measure. "

Hague News

Hague official guilty of contempt

"A former official at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague has been convicted of contempt of court.
French journalist Florence Hartmann - the court's spokeswoman for six years - was fined 7,000 euros (£6,100).
She was found guilty of disclosing the existence of confidential documents on Serbian government involvement in the Bosnian war of the 1990s.
The documents were discussed in a book and article published by Ms Hartmann.
The confidential documents in question were only released by Belgrade for the trial of the former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. "

U.N.: Somali Migrants Feared Dead

Migrants 'drown' off Somali coast

"Some 65 migrants are feared to have died this week, trying to cross from Somalia to Yemen, the UN says.
Sixteen deaths have been confirmed, while 49 people are missing feared drowned in three separate incidents, says the UN refugee agency.
Eleven people suffocated, while three were beaten to death by people smugglers, it says.
Hundreds of Africans drown each year, trying to reach Yemen in crowded and often unseaworthy boats.
The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, says people smugglers are now using larger vessels 'which puts more lives at risk'. "

Proposed Rule to Recognize a New Nonimmigrant Visa Classification

USCIS Proposes Investor Program for the CNMI

"WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will publish a proposed rule in the Sept. 14, 2009 Federal Register that would recognize a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) specific nonimmigrant investor visa classification. This 'E-2 CNMI Investor' status is one of several CNMI specific provisions contained in the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 (CNRA), which extends most provisions of federal U.S. immigration law to the CNMI.
These temporary provisions are proposed to provide for an orderly transition from the current CNMI permit system to the immigration laws of the U.S., to lessen potential effects on the CNMI economy, and to give foreign long-term investors time to identify and obtain appropriate U.S. immigrant or nonimmigrant status. The transition period will begin Nov. 28, 2009 and end on Dec. 31, 2014."

I.C.E. News

Drug dealer sentenced to 150 months in prison for trafficking cocaine

"NEW YORK - A Dominican national who previously pleaded guilty to cocaine trafficking charges, was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison and five years supervised release following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Luis Oscar Reyes-Dilone, 29, of Queens, N.Y., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. Court documents also revealed he used his basement apartment as a stash house for heroin, cocaine and drug proceeds.
At the time of his arrest, ICE agents conducted a search of his vehicle and seized approximately $44,500 in bundled U.S. currency. ICE agents also searched his home and seized approximately six kilograms of cocaine, two kilograms of heroin, drug paraphernalia and approximately $57,000 in U.S. currency.
'This sentencing serves as an example of the serious consequences drug traffickers pay for trying to inject drugs into our communities.' said James T. Hayes Jr. special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in New York. 'Drug trafficking is a serious crime and ICE will use all of its investigative resources to keep illegal drugs off our streets.'"

Immigration and Health Care

Immigration, Health Debates Cross Paths
Activists on Both Sides Step Up Efforts
By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 15, 2009

As Congress's debate over health-care legislation lumbers toward a defining test for the Obama presidency, partisans on both sides of another issue -- immigration -- escalated their own proxy war this week, concluding that the fates of the two issues have become politically linked.

U.N. Report: War Crimes, Possibly Crimes Against Humanity by Both Sides in Gaza

U.N. Finds Signs of War Crimes on Both Sides in Gaza
Published: September 15, 2009

A United Nations fact-finding mission investigating the three-week war in Gaza issued a lengthy, scathing report on Tuesday that concluded that both the Israeli military and Palestinian armed groups committed actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Applications for Temporary Visa Scheme in Ireland October 1st

New 'bridging visa' for immigrants
RUADHÁN Mac CORMAIC, Migration Correspondent
September 14, 2009

"A temporary visa scheme is to be introduced for immigrants who have become undocumented for reasons beyond their control.
Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern today confirmed that immigrants from outside the European Economic Area who have become undocumented through no fault of their own will soon be eligible to apply for a temporary residence permit or 'bridging visa' of four months.
The permit will give holders the chance to find a job or, if they are already employed, to obtain a work permit from the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment. It is expected the scheme will open for applications from October 1st up to the end of the year."

Honduran Ambassador to UN Rights Council: We Will Be Back! Volveremos!

Honduras Envoy Says "Ordered Out" Of U.N. Rights Body
Published: September 14, 2009

GENEVA (Reuters) - The Honduran ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva said Monday he had been ordered out of the U.N. Human Rights Council after other Latin American countries accused him of representing an "illegal" regime.
After a day of confusion which stalled the start of the three-week session of the 47-nation council, envoy J. Delmer Urbizo left the hall declaring loudly in English and Spanish: "We will be back! Volveremos!"
The dramatic scenes came after Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Cuba insisted that Delmer Urbizo, who has served as ambassador in Geneva for three years, could not stay unless he was approved by ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya.

Report: No Evidence Ohio Girl Abused by Family

FDLE report finds no evidence family abused runaway teen
By Michael Kruse, Times Staff Writer Posted: Sep 14, 2009

"There are 'no credible reports of threats' against Christian convert runaway Rifqa Bary, according to the investigative summary of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's still-sealed report, a copy of which was obtained by the St. Petersburg Times.
Bary, 17, ran away in July from her home near Columbus, Ohio, fleeing to Orlando because she believes her Muslim family has to murder because of her religious conversion. She spent her first two and a half weeks in Florida living in the home of Christian evangelical pastors Blake and Beverly Lorenz of Global Revolution Church.
She's been in foster care supervised by the state Department of Children and Families for more than a month as courts try to settle custody issues."

Bagram Inmates Get Due Process

Bagram inmates win right to challenge detention
by Lucile Malandain and Daphne Benoit Lucile Malandain And Daphne Benoit – September 14, 2009

"WASHINGTON (AFP) – For the first time, the United States is granting some 600 prisoners held in the US air base in Bagram the right to challenge their detention in the jail dubbed the Afghan Guantanamo, officials said Monday.
Some of the men, many of whom have languished for years in the Bagram prison, will now be aided by a US military official to gather witnesses and evidence in their cases, the Pentagon said.
They will then be allowed to defend themselves, and even call witnesses before a military body entrusted with reviewing the cases against them."

Read the full story:

I.C.E. News

ICE, CBP return prehistoric fossils to ChinaCultural artifacts millions of years old were found by CBP officers and investigated by ICE

"WASHINGTON, D.C. - At a ceremony at the Embassy of the People's Republic of China, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) returned prehistoric fossils to the Chinese. The fossils were seized by the U.S. government during routine inspections of goods coming into the United States and some are the subject of an ongoing investigation into violations of export and import laws."

Can You Prove You're a Citizen?...

Cracks in citizenship process result in man's deportation to a country he's never known
September 12, 2009

"Lora Whiteley adopted the child she would eventually name Robin on Jan. 14, 1974, from an El Paso-based midwife who had delivered him a day before.
While state adoption records listed his birthplace as Ciudad Juarez — across the Rio Grande from the West Texas city — Lora claims the government based that determination on her own statements rather than any outside knowledge.
'If a midwife delivered the baby, I had just assumed that meant it was born in Mexico,' she said. 'I could have assumed wrong.'
To this date, she has no idea exactly where or to whom her adopted son was born.
The family — then living in Fort Worth — first attempted to file for Robin Whiteley’s citizenship in 1987 but found the system complicated and cumbersome. Immigration authorities would advise them to file one form, only to turn around and tell them that it was the wrong one and they needed to fill out another.
Because of their modest means, hiring an attorney to guide them through the process was out of the question.
'We tried to do what we could,' Robin Whiteley said. 'But every time my mom would do something, they would turn around and tell her to do something else.' So when President Ronald Reagan’s administration implemented an amnesty program for illegal immigrants in the late ‘80s, they decided that route might provide an easier path.
'I got my green card and legal residency,' Robin Whiteley said. 'After that, nothing was ever said about it. I went through life and grew up just like anybody else.'
It wasn’t until his arrest for marijuana possession in 2000 outside of Lufkin that the issue reared its head again. Two months into his prison stint, the government told him his visa had been revoked and he would be deported upon his release.
Less than two years later, he was on a bus to the border — headed back to a birthplace he had only known on paper.
'I had always thought of myself as a U.S. citizen,' he said. 'I just didn’t realize they could just take away your stuff like that.'

Sad Ending to Life of 12 Year-Old Yemeni Child Bride

Yemeni girl, 12, dies in painful childbirth
"A 12-year-old Yemeni girl, who was forced into marriage, died during a painful childbirth that also killed her baby, a children's rights group said Monday.
Fawziya Ammodi struggled for three days in labor, before dying of severe bleeding at a hospital on Friday, said the Seyaj Organization for the Protection of Children.
'Although the cause of her death was lack of medical care, the real case was the lack of education in Yemen and the fact that child marriages keep happening,' said Seyaj President Ahmed al-Qureshi.
Born into an impoverished family in Hodeidah, Fawziya was forced to drop out of school and married off to a 24-year-old man last year, al-Qureshi said.
Child brides are commonplace in Yemen, especially in the Red Sea Coast where tribal customs hold sway. Hodeidah is the fourth largest city in Yemen and an important port.
More than half of all young Yemeni girls are married off before the age of 18 -- many times to older men, some with more than one wife, a study by Sanaa University found."

Report Claims Hundreds of Illegal Adoptions During Guatemala's 36-Year Civil War

Guatemalan army stole children for adoption, report says
"The Guatemalan army stole at least 333 children and sold them for adoption in other countries during the Central American nation's 36-year civil war, a government report has concluded.

Around 45,000 people are believed to have disappeared during Guatemala's civil war, 5,000 of them children.

Many of those children ended up in the United States, as well as Sweden, Italy and France, said the report's author and lead investigator, Marco Tulio Alvarez."
Read the full story:

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Canadian Decision Still a Troublesome Hot Topic to South Africa

Memo From Johannesburg
A Stir Over a Faraway View of Black and White
Published: September 9, 2009

"JOHANNESBURG — These days, South Africa’s most talked-about citizen is a man who would prefer to be a citizen somewhere else, a 31-year-old former sprinkler system salesman named Brandon Huntley.
However adept Mr. Huntley may have been at selling sprinklers, it is generally agreed here that he deftly sold a bill of goods to the Canadian immigration board that granted him refugee status on Aug. 27."

The Mentally Ill and the Immigration Process

"For a year and a half Ms. Jiang, a waitress with no criminal record and a history of attempted suicide, was locked away in an immigration jail in Florida. Often in solitary confinement, she sank ever deeper into mental illness, relatives say, not eating for days, or vomiting after meals for fear of being poisoned.
With no lawyer to plead for asylum on her behalf, she had been ordered to be deported to her native China, from which her family says she fled in 1995 after being forcibly sterilized at age 20. Too ill to obtain the travel documents needed for the deportation to take place, she was trapped in an immigration limbo: a fate that detainee advocates say is common in a system that has no rules for determining mental competency and no obligation to provide anyone with legal representation."
Read the full story by NINA BERNSTEIN Published: September 10, 2009 :

September 17th Celebrations

"U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will be celebrating Constitution Day and Citizenship Day Sept 17 at special naturalization ceremonies throughout the country." For more information on celebrations throughout the country, click on the following link:
USCIS Citizenship Day Ceremonies

News from I.C.E.

New ICE initiative uses biometrics to enhance identification and removal of dangerous criminal aliens from Imperial CountyNow criminal and immigration records of all those arrested to be checked
"EL CENTRO, Calif. - Law enforcement agencies in Imperial County will benefit from a new initiative developed by the Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Homeland Security (DHS) that modernizes the process used to accurately identify and remove dangerous criminal aliens from the community.
The initiative, Secure Communities, is administered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Secure Communities enables ICE to determine whether an individual arrested by a participating state or local law enforcement agency is a dangerous criminal alien and take the appropriate action to remove that individual from the community.
The Secure Communities biometric identification technology is now accessible to the state and local law enforcement agencies in Imperial County that use electronic booking machines maintained by the Imperial County Jail. The program has already been implemented in approximately 79 counties, including Los Angeles and San Diego, with nationwide coverage expected by the end of 2013."

ICE and Colombian National Police seize more than $11.2 million at largest cargo port in Colombia
"WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents along with Colombian customs inspectors and Colombian National Police (CNP) officers seized approximately $11.2 million Wednesday at the port of Buenaventura, Colombia. The seizure was the result of a joint investigation conducted by the CNP and ICE Attaché Bogota.
The U.S. currency was hidden in two shipping containers, each containing 20 big bags filled with ammonium sulfate. Sixteen of the 40 bags contained $700,000 in $20 dollar bill denominations. The containers departed from the port of Manzanillo, Mexico, destined to the west coast port of Buenaventura, Colombia."

ICE deports Mexican fugitive for murder
"EL PASO, Texas - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers deported a man wanted for murder by authorities in Mexico on Thursday."

ICE-led narcotics investigation results in more than $2 million seized and 13 indicted in Georgia
"NEWNAN, Ga. - Thirteen individuals were indicted on September 1 and more than $2 million in drug proceeds were seized following an investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Office of Investigations in Atlanta.
The investigation, which began in early April 2009, was conducted in conjunction with the ICE Office of Investigations in Houston and Laredo, the Coweta District Attorney's Office, the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office, the Georgia State Patrol, the Newnan Police Department and the Marietta Cobb Smyrna Drug Task Force.
In addition to the money seized, ICE agents recovered 68 kilograms of cocaine, 800 pounds of marijuana and three firearms."

Maryland man pleads guilty to selling stolen stamps and counterfeit NFL goods on eBay
"BALTIMORE - Kyle Mathias, 23, of Joppa, Md., pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to steal from the United States and trafficking in counterfeit goods, in connection with a scheme to sell stolen U.S. postal stamps and counterfeit goods on eBay, announced U. S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein."

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

For Colombian Immigrants, Insurance for Burial Back Home
Published: September 2, 2009

"When he recalls the blur of events that followed the death of his 14-year-old son in Queens from an accidental shooting six years ago, Ivan Echeverry can still feel the smothering shame of having to go cap in hand to raise money for the cremation and funeral. "

Denmark Rejects Asylum Requests of Iraqis

Denmark deports group of Iraqis

"Denmark has deported 22 Iraqis after rejecting their asylum requests.
A plane carrying the Iraqis - 21 men and one woman - left Odense airport early on Wednesday. The plane is reported to be heading for Baghdad.
Most of the Iraqis had sought refuge at Brorson's Church in Copenhagen in May, but they were evicted by police amid angry protests in August."

More Refugees to be Admitted to EU

EU plans to admit more refugees

"The European Commission has unveiled plans to allow more refugees from conflict zones and poor nations into European countries.
The scheme is aimed at discouraging immigrants - mainly from Africa - from attempting to reach Europe illegally.
Many risk their lives as they try to enter the EU, often on rickety boats, relying on human traffickers. "

Racial Persecution Basis for Canada Granting South African Refugee Status

South African white man granted refugee status
ROB GILLIES 09/ 1/09 08:27 PM

TORONTO — A white man from South Africa has been given refugee status in Canada after claiming persecution, his lawyer said, angering many in his home country where race remains a highly sensitive issue.

Reminder from USCIS

Federal Contractors Required to Use E-Verify Beginning Sept. 8, 2009

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is reminding federal contractors and subcontractors that effective Sept. 8, 2009, they will be required to use the E-Verify system to verify their employees’ eligibility to work in the United States. In July, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano strengthened employment eligibility verification by announcing the Administration’s support for the regulation that will award federal contracts only to employers who use E-Verify to check employee work authorization.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Man Wrongfully Deported

U.S. ignored evidence when it deported U.S. citizen to Mexico
Kristin Collins - Raleigh News & Observer
Published: Sun, Aug. 30, 2009 03:44PM
Modified Mon, Aug. 31, 2009 07:54AM

The U.S. government admitted in April that it had wrongly deported a North Carolina native, but newly released documents show that federal investigators ignored
The U.S. government admitted in April that it had wrongly deported a North Carolina native, but newly released documents show that federal investigators ignored FBI records and other evidence showing that the man was a United States citizen.

News for Surviving Spouses of U.S. Citizens

USCIS Update: USCIS Issues Guidance for Surviving Spouses of U.S. Citizens
Deferred Action Authorized for Certain Spouses and Children
WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today issued guidance on requesting deferred action for surviving spouses of U.S. citizens who died before the second anniversary of their marriage. Surviving spouses qualify for this temporary program if they were married to, but not legally separated from, their U.S. citizen spouse at the time of that spouse's death; did not remarry; and are currently residing in the United States.

News from I.C.E.

3 American men accused of traveling to Cambodia to have sex with children
Defendants charged in ongoing federal enforcement initiative - Operation Twisted Traveler
LOS ANGELES - The first three defendants to be charged under an international law enforcement initiative targeting Americans who travel to Cambodia to sexually exploit children have been removed from that Southeast Asian nation and are expected to arrive here later today to face prosecution in federal court.
The charges against the three men are the result of Operation "Twisted Traveler," an ongoing effort by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Justice to identify and prosecute "sex tourists" who travel to Cambodia to engage in illicit sex with children.