Saturday, April 07, 2007

Allegations That ICE Forces or Tricks People To Waive Rights

A growing topic in the immigration area are allegations that ICE is forcing or tricking immigrants into waiving their rights and agreeing to be deported without having a chance to argue their case to an immigration judge. For example, in "Immigrants say they were pressured to waive rights" on March 29, 2007 at, there are allegations in a federal lawsuit that ICE officials yelled and screamed at a group of women to get them to sign one of those forms. Another ICE official allegedly tricked a man by saying the waiver form was supposedly a way for him to get an attorney. For its part, ICE alleges it conducted itself within the highest standards of conduct. The case is before Judge Richard Stearns arising out of a March 6 raid on Michael Bianco Inc. where ICE arrested 361 people. On April 6, 2007, Aaron Nicodemus of the Standard-Times reported that the judge ruled that attorneys can visit the immigrants who signed the forms. The judge had previously ruled that ICE may not immediately deport any of the 361 people who did not previously have a removal order against them.

The danger of ICE forcing or tricking people to waive their rights is that it is extremely difficult for immigration lawyers to find out if it happens. If someone does not have a lawyer, is tricked into signing a form, and ICE deports him, it is very difficult for that person to contact an immigration lawyer in the US and to hire an attorney (and provide solid information) to support filing a time-consuming lawsuit to challenge what happened.

Let's hope that if ICE is really doing these illegal actions, it comes to light in the lawsuit and a federal judge can address it as forcefully as possible.


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