Immigration

JS Publication July 13, 2016

Indefensible: A Decade of Mass Incarceration of Migrants Prosecuted for Crossing the Border

"Indefensible,” a new book from Justice Strategies and Grassroots Leadership, examines the costs and failures of over a decade of criminalization of border migration. Operation Streamline was launched in 2005 and added criminal convictions to the previous civil removal process, and is known for the disturbing spectacle of mass courtroom proceedings in which up to 80 shackled migrants are arraigned, convicted and sentenced for misdemeanor improper entry charges. While the Streamline courts have been scaled back in several districts, the legacy continues in federal courts, and includes related massive immigration prosecutions for both improper entry and felony re-entry. In 2015, half (49 percent) of all federal prosecutions were made up of what is essentially a crime of trespassing, in the form of improper entry and re-entry prosecutions. Read more »

News Article Albuquerque Journal May 14, 2016

Immigration offenders jam federal court in NM

Executive Directors Judy Greene, of Justice Strategies, and Bob Libal, of Grassroots Leadership, offer insights into federal court felony prosecution of immigrants for illegal entry and re-entry in New Mexico in the attached Alququerque Journal article. The number of people apprehended for crossing the border illegally has fallen eighty percent in fifteen years.  However, though fewer people illegally cross the border today, those who are apprehended are more likely to be prosecuted and jailed.  Illegal entry and re-entry prosecutions, especially along the border, have skyrocketed in the last twenty years.  From 2011 to 2015 alone, immigration cases in the New Mexico's federal courts have increased by eighty percent.  New Mexico charges nearly one hundred percent of re-entry cases as felonies, and does not allow defendants to plea down to a lesser charge. 

Recent studies suggest that immigrants who have children or relatives in the U.S. are unlikely to be dissuaded by repeated apprehensions, jail time or deportation.  A 2015 study of eighteen thousand illegal re-entry cases by the U.S. Sentencing Commission found that half of offenders had at least one child living in the United States at the time of their apprehension.  More than two-thirds had relatives other than children in the U.S. Read more »

JS Publication March 21, 2016

US Sentencing Commission Testimony Mar. 21, 2016

In this joint testimony regarding proposed sentencing enhancements for unlawfully entering or remaining in the US, Justice Strategies and Grassroots Leadership provide the US Sentencing Commission with insights into the views of the judges, federal public defenders, private attorneys and individuals who, on a daily basis deal with, and have been directly impacted by, these prosecutions.

JS Update July 28, 2015

Immigrant Children Ordered Released

In a rebuke of the federal government's position that a prior consent decree (the Agreement) prohibiting the incarceration of unaccompanied minors in unsafe or secured facilities (detention centers) did not apply to accompanied minors crossing the US Mexico border with their parents, in last summer's refugee crisis, Federal District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee ordered the government to show cause, within ninety (90) days, why the remedies she concludes are needed to protect the well being of incarcerated accompanied minors (class members) held by ICE and the US Border Patrol, should not be imposed.  In Jenny L. Flores, et al. v. Jeh Johnson, et al. decided July 24, 2015, Judge Gee grants the plaintiffs motion to enforce the Agreement as to class members and denies the government's motion to amend the Agreement.  In her order, Judge Gee would further require the defendant federal government to comply with the following remedies:
1. Make and record prompt and continuous efforts toward family reunification and the release of minors under the Agreement.
2. Comply with the Agreement by releasing class members without unnecessary delay in first order of preference to a parent, including a parent who either was apprehended with the child minor or presented herself or himself with a class member.

JS Update February 10, 2015

"Shadow Prisons" Transforming Rural America's Landscapes

Follow this link to see Fusion writers Jorge Rivas and Cristina Costantini's birds-eye-view of how "Shadow Prisons" used to house over 55,000 immigrants, have transformed landscapes in rural America. http://fusion.net/story/43342/before-and-after-how-shadow-prisons-transformed-rural-america/

JS Update February 10, 2015

Director Judy Greene Quoted on Shadow Prisons

In their multimedia Fusion article, with quotes from Justice Strategies' Director Judy Greene, authors Cristina Costantini and Jorge Rivas describe how the U.S. Government has created a second-class federal prison system specifically targeted to holding immigrants in private for-profit prisons. http://interactive.fusion.net/shadow-prisons/

JS Publication October 8, 2014

For-Profit Family Detention: Meet the Private Prison Corporations Making Millions by Locking Up Refugee Families

In this joint report by Grassroots Leadership and Justice Strategies, we review the history of charges of sexual abuse and neglect of children, indifference to medical needs, inadequate and unsanitary food, and brutal treatment by staff, levied in lawsuits, government investigations, and allegations by those held in family detention facilities operated by private, for-profit, prison corporations.  These same corporations are now being contracted by the federal government to detain refugee families arriving at our southern border after fleeing the violence in Central America.

JS Publication August 13, 2014

Justice Strategies Testifies before US Dept. of State on Border Crossing Prosecutions

In this testimony provided to the US Department of State, Justice Strategies' Director, Judith Greene discusses our concerns with the tremendous increase in misdemeanor and felony prosecutions filed against those crossing the border under 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1325 and Sec. 1326, respectively, from 2002 to 2013.   In addition, we express our concerns with the segregated, sub-standard prisons being exclusively administered by private, for-profit prison corporations under contract to the US Bureau of Prisons.  This testimony is provided as part of the reveiw of the US government by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination being conducted in Geneva.  Follow our reporting on the proceedings in Geneva on Facebook and Twitter.

News Article EAST BAY EXPRESS January 22, 2014

The Napolitano Files: The opportunistic Immigration record of the new UC president

In her comprehensive article, Ashley Bates, with commentary from Justice Strategies' Director Judith Greene, escorts the reader on the wide circle that has brought former Homeland Security Secretary and now University of California President, Janet Napolitano, face-to-face with the real-life personal, academic and legal challenges of undocumented UC students; challenges brought about by the very policies and political atmosphere that she, in her former role as a high-ranking government official, helped to fashion, champion and vigorously enforce.

News Article Colorlines September 12, 2013

LA County Sheriff Helps Deport Record Numbers of Immigrants

The work of handing over arrestees to immigration authorities under the controversial Secure Communities, or S-Comm, program is largely done by local county sheriffs. And, in terms of sheer numbers, no county has cooperated more fully than Los Angeles, where undocumented immigrants, authorized residents, and even U.S.-born citizens have been turned over for deportation. In fact, nearly 11 percent of all immigration detainers under S-Comm have originated in Los Angeles County—with Sheriff Lee Baca’s blessing.

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