Earlier this month, Benach Collopy authored a brief on behalf of the American Immigration Lawyers Association in the case of Michael Sylvain v. Attorney General before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
the court must decide whether the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA) requires the detention of individuals convicted of certain offenses regardless of how long it has been since they were released from criminal custody.
The Migration Policy Institute
recently released a study
documenting that the U.S. government spent $18 billion on immigration enforcement, dwarfing the $14 million spent on other federal law enforcement agencies. The FBI, the DEA and the ATF, combined, received $14 billion. Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s budget, alone, is $6 billion.
Something is seriously out of whack here.
None of this is surprising to immigration attorneys. ICE runs a gulag archipelago
of detention centers across the country
, holding immigrants
who have overstayed visas, entered without inspection, seek asylum, and committed minor offenses.
It is very true that the immigration laws need a wholesale revision. Congress needs to make substantial changes, regulations need to be re-written, precedent decisions scrapped and new guidance forthcoming. But another change is needed and this change may the hardest of all. It is a change of attitude within the agencies. We have written in this space on multiple occasions about the hostility that elements within ICE
have for their political leadership and the “culture of no” within CIS has been well-documented.
This morning, we won bond for our client, who is mandatorily detained under 236(c)
and hence, subject to mandatory detention. The Government lawyer, flanked by his supervisor, strenuously contended that mandatory is mandatory, but the Immigration Judge (“IJ”) found it in his jurisdiction to grant bond due to our creative lawyering and excellent grasp of recent case law.
Most attorneys never challenge the detention of a client under 236(c).