February 25, 2011
This could happen to you
Citizen wrongly held as illegal immigrant gets $400,000
"A U.S. Army veteran and U.S. citizen, who was detained for seven months at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma as immigration officials prepared to deport him to Belize, has been awarded $400,000 — and granted a rare apology. Additionally, as a result, immigration officials have changed the way they handle cases when someone claims U.S. citizenship.
By Lornet Turnbull
Seattle Times staff reporter
An American citizen and U.S. Army veteran, who was detained for seven months at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma as immigration officials prepared to deport him to Belize, has been awarded $400,000 — and granted a rare apology.
Rennison Castillo's settlement with the Department of Homeland Security comes more than five years after he was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) despite his repeated protests that he was a naturalized U.S. citizen.
As a result of Castillo's case, ICE instituted changes in the way it handles claims of citizenship by people in its custody.
"ICE officers did not listen to me when I told them repeatedly that I was a U.S. citizen and had served in the Army at Fort Lewis," Castillo, 33, said in a statement. "They were disrespectful and told me that I would say anything to get out of detention.
"It was a nightmare."
According to his attorneys, Castillo, of Lakewood, first came to the U.S. when he was six, enlisting in the Army in 1996. He became a naturalized citizen during the seven years he served, before being honorably discharged in 2003.
Two years later, Castillo was jailed for violating a protection order and harassment. Before being released he was questioned by an immigration officer who asked about his immigration status.
Despite Castillo's claims of U.S. citizenship, ICE took him into custody upon his release and began the process to deport him...".
February 14, 2011
Lawsuit challenges Davidson County sheriff's immigration powers U.S. citizen held twice cites 1963 Metro charter
February 10, 2011
Office closed due to ice storm
The office is closed today because of an ice storm. If you need to leave a message call 615-329-4588 or send a message to email@example.com
February 04, 2011
No more out of sight out of mind
National Immigration Project argues successfully in Federal Court case upholding immigrants' right to reopen cases from outside the U.S.
February 3, 2011 - A federal appellate court chastised the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) for preventing noncitizens from reopening their cases from outside the U.S. This important ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit repudiates the government’s view that immigration judges and the BIA lack “jurisdiction” over such cases.
The National Immigration Project and the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center, which filed a joint amicus (friend of court) brief in the case, applaud the ruling. The two organizations coordinated litigation on this issue nationwide, and call upon the BIA to abandon its misguided regulation barring review of motions filed by noncitizens outside the U.S.
Attorney Trina Realmuto of NIPNLG, who argued the case successfully, said, “The Sixth Circuit recognized that the regulation deprives noncitizens of their statutory right to present new evidence in their cases. The decision corrects the government’s unlawful attempt to separate families and opens the door for them to return to the U.S.” Attorney Beth Werlin of the Legal Action Center said, “A motion may be a person's only chance to present his case to the immigration judge. The government should take immediate steps to withdraw this unfair and outdated regulation rather than proceed with continued, unnecessary and costly litigation.”