Tag Archive for 'USCIS'

The USCIS going for the easy kill

Not just content on detaining foreign nationals indefinitely while their legal status is getting cleared up, the USCIS is getting increasingly criticized for causing the deaths of several foreign nationals in their custody due to denying chronically ill detainees medical treatment.

The New York Times tells a story of Hiu Liu Ng, who died earlier this month due to an untreated cancer. The officials in charge of his care were claiming he was faking his symptoms for months and did not take him to see a doctor despite many pleas by Mr. Ng. When he died, he had a fractured spine, could not walk or eat and the cancer had spread to his liver, bones and lungs. ICE (the “police” force of USCIS) officials meanwhile deemed him fit to be driven several hours from Rhode Island to Connecticut in shackles. He died a week later. I can’t even begin to think how painful the drive must have been for Mr. Ng.

It shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone. After all illegal immigrants, or people suspected of being illegals, are considered to be worse than common criminals and without any real human rights. This is exactly how they get treated by USCIS and ICE, and a large portion of Americans think that’s just fine and dandy.

I know it’s far too much to hope USCIS and ICE to treat their detainees as human beings, but maybe there’s some hope for change if attitude towards suspected illegal immigrants changes from guilty until proven innocent to innocent until proven guilty. I’m not holding my breath.


There’s nothing like the USCIS bureucracy

In roughly 4 months I will be forever done with the USCIS (unless I apply for US citizenship). That will be one of the happiest days of my life. No longer will I have to worry that some paperpushing assmaggot loses my paperwork (been there, done that), sends me the wrong forms causing undue delays in processing (been there, done that) or simply pushes me around just for the hell of it (been there, done that).

What little trouble I’ve had with this Government office is nothing compared to the problems Mohammad Sarfaraz Hussain has had with the USCIS. Mohammad is unfortunately Pakistani, so his paperwork is probably flagged to be strip searched every time it changes hands at the USCIS. He came into the US when he was 8 years old, 13 years ago. He’s as American as they come.

He’s being deported, again, despite a judge having already once dismissed his deportation case in 2003. I guess the USCIS gets to try deporting people multiple times. Remember, non-citizens have no rights.

Since he’s unable to stay in the country without getting deported, he’s now applying for asylum because he fears if he gets deported to Pakistan, he will become a target of the anti-americanism in the country. Pretty ingenius. Let’s see if the USCIS wants to kill him or not.

Update: Mohammad got his asylum despite heavy opposition from DHS/USCIS.


The illegal immigration debate is all academic

Immigration (illegal and legal) has been on the news a lot lately. New bills are being introduced at Federal and State levels, it seems, every week.

The solutions introduced by these bills range from cold war era wall building to xenophobic, oppressive and inhumane to kumbaya-like let’s all have a hug type of programs.

The more viable solutions seem to have two things in common, more or less. They all suggest a guest worker program of some sorts either with amnesty for illegal immigrants currently in the country or not. All of them also suggest we shut down the flow of illegal immigrants by increasing border security.

All of that stuff is academic. Sure, a law or two might get passed, but there is absolutely no way they’ll get effectively enforced. Here’s why.

A guest worker program of some sort would sic millions of temporary guest worker applications onto the USCIS. The backlogs created by those applications would make the current backlogs dwarf in comparison. The processing of those applications will take forever. What would be the incentive for an illegal immigrant already in the country to apply for one, if the application processing time was 2 years, and there’s a chance it would be denied resulting in immediate deportation? The guest worker program would only be benefitial for people still outside of the United States and would do nothing or very little to address the problem of illegal immigrants already in the country.

Securing the US borders is another academic debate. Sounds like a great idea, but who’s paying for it? The current administration is more interested in spending their money on fighting the global war on terror/islamic radicalism/whatever than addressing domestic problems such as healthcare, social security, education, homeland security or disaster recovery. There’s a reason why groups like the Minutemen, however despicable they may be, exist.

Both of these initiatives will fail because of lack of resources. That’s a given considering the priorities of the current administration.


All men are created equal, unless you’re an alien

No, not the ET kind of an alien, but an immigrant in the United States.

The life of an immigrant, legal or illegal, in this country is filled with fear, uncertainty and confusion. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of dealing with The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), nowadays called The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a department of Homeland Security (DHS), you will know exactly what I am talking about. Since my immigration process is still ongoing, I will not discuss specifics about my personal experiences in public using my own name.

The article I am linking to describes a DHS crackdown on “alien criminals” (sounds like a scene from Men in Black, doesn’t it?). The immigration laws in the US have restrictions on who can apply and retain immigrant status in the United States, and rightly so. One of those restrictions is immigrants can not commit crimes involving moral turpitude (conduct that shocks the public conscience) and if they do, they can be deported at any time. That’s all good and well, if it wasn’t for the “effectiveness” of how DHS applies it.

Since immigrants are not US citizens, they generally have little or no rights when they find themselves in the opposite side with the law. Abusing this fact, DHS regularly holds immigrants for months with no legal presentation while they are “processing their deportation documents”. In fact, immigrants have less rights than serial killers, war prisoners, and, yes, enemy combatants.

Like many detainees, Mr. Venant had passed through the New Jersey jail without being seen by Mr. Lonegan, the lone Legal Aid lawyer whose weekly legal clinics function as a kind of triage. Because immigration proceedings are officially civil, not criminal, those who cannot afford counsel have no right to a public defender, and legal volunteers are scarce.

“Everybody loves asylum cases, everybody loves to defend the Buddhist monk,” Mr. Lonegan said. “But the guy who’s got the green card, with a wife and child, here for 30 years, and is being deported for a nonviolent offense, and the punishment does not fit the crime, he does not get a lawyer.”

You wonder what sort of crimes are we talking about here. Well, the 20-year legal permanent resident (green card holder) whose situation was described in the article was using and selling fake metro cards in New York City. Might as well crack down on all NYU students, and jail them for months with no legal representation. For this horrible crime, he was sent to a Federal Detention Center in Lousiana generally used to house violent criminals to wait for his deportation, indefinitely, if needed.

For a nation built by immigrants that sure is an interesting way of treating immigrants.

-TPP – you are a descendant of an immigrant family, unless you are of native american heritage