A day of ICE lies

Sunday, August 20th, 2017
By: Jonathan MontagJ.D.


A fear I have is that with a President who not only lies more than he tells the truth, but who you can count on lying whenever he speaks, lying about everything would permeate the government he administers. Last week in a day of interaction with Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE],  my fear seems to have come true. ICE officials hurled so many woppers at me, I was nearly speechless. All I could do was bat them off one at a time and hope they exhausted themselves telling them before I exhausted myself deflecting them. They did. I try to remember them all:

1. An ICE lawyer announced in court that the current stay of removal  for Iraqi Christians means that a respondent in present removal proceedings does not need to worry about a removal order because when he is picked up for removal he can simply file a law suit then to prevent removal and seek withholding of removal and Convention Against Torture relief.

The truth: The stay imposed by a federal court in Michigan is, according to the complaint, because Iraqi Christians picked up for deportation have very old deportation orders and did not have an opportunity to reopen old cases to pursue withholding of removal and Convention Against Torture relief claims that may have ripened in the many years that the United States was not deporting Iraqis because Iraq would not accept them while, as a government commission noted, the country disintegrated because of the hubris of the Bush administration in invading, occupying, and restructuring governance without consideration of the consequences of its action.

2. The Department of Homeland Security does not know the nationality of a person for whom it successfully completes background checks on and it does not know the religion of an Iraqi it completed a criminal investigation on.

The truth: What?

3. In the matter of two minutes while I was at an ICE office to pick up a client’s green card, I was told:

A) We don’t have the file. (They did.);

B) You should have come right after court? (There was no court, the judge issued a decision on paper. Also, ICE would not have the file right after court as their counsel would still have it and their offices are not always co-located);

C) Your client has to travel from his home more than 1,000 miles away because we don’t return green cards to attorneys. (I have been picking up clients’ green cards for 20 years);

D) Your client chose to have court in San Diego. (My client did not choose to have court at all. DHS arrested him placed him in removal proceedings. I think of the hundreds of clients I have had in 20+ years, two “chose” to go to court);

E) Your client should have moved his case closer to him. (Issues in the case were tied to the border and the case could not be moved because government officers would then have to travel more than a thousand miles for court);

F) I can’t give the card to you, but I will mail it to the client. (There is no reason not to give me the card. Lawyers stand in for their clients for things like this all the time. We’ll see if they actually mail it – or will the promise to mail it will be like the exacta of lies, “I’m from the government and I am here to help,” and “The check card is in the mail.)

We’ll see if ICE actually mails the card. Any bets? Posted August 20, 2017.


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