On February 15-16 stakeholders from around the world will gather in DC to participate in the “Forensic Evidence in the Fight Against Torture” conference, co-sponsored by the International Council for Torture Victims and American University Washington College of Law.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) achieved a new milestone a few days ago when it released a newly-created training module, “Guidance for Adjudicating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Refugee and Asylum Claims.”
When the Obama administration announced that it would encourage the use of prosecutorial discretion to determine which undocumented immigrants should be targeted for deportation, immigrants and advocates were cautiously optimistic. Now, as the first batch of cases to be considered for prosecutorial discretion are making their way through the system, both the benefits of the policy and the challenges to implementing it are coming into focus.
Immigrants, especially those with mental disabilities, face nearly insurmountable odds in trying to prevent their deportation and gain legal status in the US. US immigration law is a complicated jumble of statutes enacted over the past 60 years that is in desperate need of wholesale reform. The good news is for detained immigrants with serious mental disabilities in California, Arizona, and Washington, help may be on the way.
To anyone who has worked in the immigration detention system, last week’s news that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has uncovered evidence of systematic profiling and discrimination against Latinos in Maricopa County, Arizona comes as no surprise. While Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has gained a reputation for aggressively targeting Maricopa County’s undocumented immigrant communities for arrest, the DOJ’s findings – including pervasive discrimination against non-English speaking inmates, raids in Latino communities based on complaints about people with dark skin speaking Spanish, and failure to investigate sex crimes committed against Latinos, including Latino children – are stunning.