October 24, 2011 |
It is an oddity of the Obama years: A president who wants new pathways to legal residency for millions of undocumented immigrants is deporting them at a record rate. From Oct. 1, 2010, to the end of last month, federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials expelled 396,906 illegal immigrants - the largest number in the agency's history. Annual deportations have increased 400 percent since 1996, with "more than a million people [expelled] since the beginning of the Obama administration," notes a University of California at Berkeley Law School study released this month.
October 19, 2011 |
MIAMI - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton said Tuesday that his agency deported nearly 400,000 individuals during the fiscal year that ended in September, the largest number of removals in the agency's history. Morton said about 55 percent of those deported had felony or misdemeanor convictions. Officials said the number of those convicted of crimes was up 89 percent from 2008. Authorities could not immediately say how many of the crimes related solely to previous immigration violations.
October 14, 2011 |
OVER THE PAST several months, the Obama administration has said it would exercise prosecutorial discretion in determining whom it will deport, focusing on undocumented immigrants who are serious threats to the community. But immigrant-rights advocates say this policy shift hasn't been implemented consistently. Yesterday afternoon, they rallied near City Hall for Miguel Angel Orellana Garcia, 24, who was brought here from El Salvador as a child, and now faces a final deportation hearing Oct. 27 in Philadelphia Immigration Court.
September 6, 2011
WHEN FACED with violence, victims and witnesses must move quickly to protect themselves, their families and communities. But Philadelphia's participation in a controversial data-sharing program is jeopardizing the ability of some to do that. Philadelphia provides immigration-enforcement agents with real-time access to police arrest records via the Preliminary Arraignment Reporting System. Instant access has instant consequences: People arrested, even by mistake, are immediately subject to detention and potential deportation.
September 2, 2011 |
The Justice Department cannot hold immigrants fighting deportation for years without bail hearings, a U.S. appeals court in Philadelphia ruled Thursday, echoing rulings in two other federal circuit courts. It was unreasonable to detain a Pennsylvania man for nearly three years as he fought deportation to his native Senegal over a 1995 drug case, a panel of judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled. "We do not believe that Congress intended to authorize prolonged, unreasonable, detention without a bond hearing," Judge Julio M. Fuentes of Newark, N.J., wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel.
August 26, 2011
An armed man strolls through a basketball game, opens fire on the bleachers, injuring six people, one critically. The shooter is still at large. Of the 500 people present at the game, not one has stepped forward with information that might help the police find the shooter. This week's incident, at the Kingsessing Recreation Center, is a discouraging chapter in the city. We are as upset as anyone - including Mayor Nutter, who offered a $20,000 reward for information (215-686-TIPS) - over the irony of violence occurring in a so-called "safe haven" rec center.
August 25, 2011 |
Outside the Immigration Court building at Ninth and Market Streets on Wednesday, about 100 demonstrators knelt on the sidewalk in memory of recent deportees, whose names they wore on string-and-paper necklaces. It was just one stop in a mile-long walk to increase public pressure on Mayor Nutter to end a program in which the Philadelphia police share the names of the people they arrest - and their country of origin - with federal immigration authorities. Advocates for immigrants say the voluntary agreement, signed in 2008, can result in deportations even when the original criminal charges are dismissed.
August 12, 2011 |
A federal judge Thursday morning rejected an attempt by a former Delaware County restaurateur known for his family's frequent brushes with the law to withdraw his guilty plea on weapons, tax, and immigration charges. Sean O'Neill, who with his wife owned Maggie O'Neill's Irish Pub & Restaurant in Drexel Hill until selling it in 2006, argued that a guilty plea he made in 2009 was coerced by his then-attorneys, who he said warned him that his wife would be arrested on tax-fraud charges if he did not admit to the crimes.
June 18, 2011
A 28-year-old Delaware County woman who faced deportation to her native Guatemala has been given a one-year reprieve by federal authorities. Zulma Villatoro was required to voluntarily return to Guatemala by July 2 or be arrested and expelled. She came to the United States with her mother illegally when she was 14. In 2006, she requested asylum, arguing that Guatemala's gang violence put her in jeopardy as a woman. An immigration judge rejected her argument. Harold A. Ort, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in an e-mail Friday: "ICE granted Zulma Villatoro a one-year stay of removal on June 15, 2011.