Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘deportation’

10th October 2018

Even less-than-avid readers of news regarding Thai Immigration matters are probably aware that there have been a number of changes which have occurred within the ranks of the Immigration Bureau in Thailand (including the appointment of Surachate Hakparn also known as “Big Joke” as head of Immigration). Also, there have been a number of incidents which point to an overall shift in the paradigm of Immigration officers in the Kingdom of Thailand. For example, the ongoing raids occurring throughout Thailand under the Operation X-Ray Outlaw Foreigner program and the follow-on arrests, deportations, and blacklisting associated therewith.

Meanwhile, Immigration Checkpoints at various ports of entry throughout the country have seen multiple postings of signs explaining that there is to be “No Tipping” of Immigration personnel by those entering the Kingdom from abroad. The initiative appears to be especially aimed at those arriving in Thailand in need of a Visa on Arrival. This news came upon the heels of reports that individuals were recently arrested in connection with an immigration matter as it was found that the individuals in question were apparently attempting to use forged documents in order to obtain a Thai visa extension. The upshot of these arrests has resulted in increased scrutiny of those filing applications for Thai visa extension. As of the time of this writing, the heightened scrutiny of extension applications appears to be being applied across the board and not exclusively to cases which may be deemed suspicious. This is resulting in delays and difficulties for many people seeking to extend their non-immigrant visa status in the Kingdom.

It recently came to this blogger’s attention via the Bangkok Post that there are even further developments with respect to Thai Immigration. To quote directly from a recent Bangkok Post article:

The defence minister has ordered the IB to strictly enforce the law against foreign nationals overstaying their visas and those who remain in the country despite their visas having been revoked…Lt Gen Kongcheep added the foreign nationals identity database has to be integrated with the immigration screening facilities at border checkpoints and airports to help identify more quickly those who might pose as a threat to national security. Meanwhile, Pol Maj Gen Surachate announced IB will begin to deport visa overstayers — of which there are at least 40,000 — within a month.

These developments would represent substantial changes in terms of the way Immigration authorities currently enforce the law. Moreover, it is notable that the Immigration database will soon be linked to a more broad identity database which will likely result in better coordination between different government ministries in Thailand. As a result, Immigration authorities will be better equipped to identify and possibly forestall those deemed to be undesirable from entering or reentering the Kingdom.

If there are actually 40,000 individuals currently overstaying their status in Thailand it seems logical to infer that the implementation of these measures along with those previously implemented will result in a large number of such individuals being apprehended and possibly deported from Thailand. It should be noted that those arrested in Thailand for visa overstay are likely to be placed on the Blacklist and precluded from returning to the Kingdom for a prolonged period of time.

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29th January 2017

For those who have been following the news in recent days it is not new information that President Donald Trump has signed new executive orders with respect to US immigration and travelers from various countries. Effectively, these orders ban certain foreign nationals from obtaining a visa to the USA or entering the USA for at least 90-120 days. Although at present it appears that these orders will only directly impact nationals of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen there are certain aspects of the order which may impact the US immigration process in a broad sense. For example so-called “extreme vetting” protocols which these orders call for may conceivably be implemented by State Department personnel worldwide in connection with the US visa process. Furthermore, it now appears that those who already hold green cards, but are outside of the USA may be turned away by United States Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) or be required to undergo further screening which was not required for reentry to the USA in the past.

Many following this story may be asking themselves: by what authority is the President able to impose these recent restrictions? Pursuant to 8 U.S. Code § 1182:

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.

It should further be noted that the same statute goes on to mention that the Attorney General has specific powers with regard to the aforementioned issue:

Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States by such airline.

Clearly, the President has statutory authority to impose restrictions like those recently created by Trump. The section regarding the power of the Attorney General in this regard is mentioned because in many cases individuals affected by these new rules will be denied the ability to board an airline bound for the USA as airlines and airline personnel do not wish to be the subject of fines and sanctions associated with transporting someone to the USA who has a strong chance of being refused entry.

As of the time of this writing, it remains to be fully seen exactly how these recent executive orders will play out. This is especially true in light of the fact that certain legal actions have resulted in court orders against implementation of these initiatives. Notwithstanding these developments it is very likely that many of the recently enacted restrictions will remain, at least for practical purposes, in place in the foreseeable future.

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29th March 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that it would appear as though the Department of Homeland Security‘s United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is placing certain deportations on hold if such a proceeding pertains to the same sex spouse of a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident. To quote directly from the website dailynews-update.net:

The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service confirmed Monday that it has temporarily put some deportations of partners in same-sex marriages on hold if they could be affected by the recent Department of Justice decision to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act.

Chris Bentley, Press Secretary for the USCIS said in a statement: “USCIS has issued guidance to the field asking that related cases be held in abeyance while awaiting final guidance related to distinct legal issues.”

The administration of this blog highly recommends that readers click on the above links to view this story in its entirety.

There are many “distinct legal issues” at play when it comes to the issue of same sex marriage and governmental recognition thereof. Those who read this web log with any frequency may have noticed that this blogger has dedicated a great deal of time to commenting and following this issue as it is truly a struggle for both the civil rights of American Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents as well as a struggle for Federal recognition of sovereign State prerogatives on the issue of marriage.

Throughout the struggle for equal marriage rights for the LGBT community there have been many legislators who have supported the cause of same sex bi-national couples. Most notably, Representative Jerrold Nadler has repeatedly introduced legislation such as the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA) in an effort to make headway in securing immigration benefits for same sex bi-national couples in the same manner accorded to their different-sex counterparts. Meanwhile, as noted on this blog, groups such as Immigration Equality and their Immigration Equality Action Fund Blog have recently announced a position regarding DHS issuance of Green Cards for foreign same sex partners of American Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents. Announcements such as these are important because they illuminate the extent to which the political and immigration systems are evolving in an effort to deal with this issue. Clearly, the LGBT equal rights movement has an organic base committed to seeing real change in the immigration system.

It was recently noted on this blog that the Obama administration’s Attorney General Eric Holder issued a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives noting that the administration no longer felt that pursuing so-called “Defense of Marriage Act“  (DOMA) cases was Constitutional. There are some who would argue that this action is contrary to the administration’s duty pursuant to United States law. Some members of Congress, as well as apparent presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich, have even made noises about impeachment regarding this issue. As of the time of this writing, such an action has not taken place.

This blogger personally disagrees with the American administration’s decision not to pursue DOMA cases because doing so could preclude Supreme Court adjudication due to lack of a “case or controversy” before that body. This blogger would also argue that the Supreme Court is the best adjudicator of this issue as there are many ramifications of same sex marriage recognition pursuant to the provisions of the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution.

How the whole issue of same sex marriage, and American government recognition thereof; will ultimately be decided remains to be seen, but for advocates of equal LGBT immigration rights this recent USCIS decision is definitely a positive one.

For related information please see: LGBT visa.

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20th September 2010

The United States Customs and Border Protection Service (USCBP) is tasked with maintaining the security of America’s ports and overseeing the execution of customs regulations. In previous posts on this blog, it has been noted that there is a great deal of economic opportunity in the Asia-Pacific region. Some Americans are unfamiliar with a body known colloquially as APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation). This body has become an increasingly important platform for discussion of various subjects pertaining to inter-jurisdictional matters arising in the Asia-Pacific region. To quote the APEC website directly:

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, is the premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region .

APEC is the only inter governmental grouping in the world operating on the basis of non-binding commitments, open dialogue and equal respect for the views of all participants. Unlike the WTO or other multilateral trade bodies, APEC has no treaty obligations required of its participants. Decisions made within APEC are reached by consensus and commitments are undertaken on a voluntary basis.

This consensus driven initiative has proven effective in facilitating international trade, cooperation, and dialogue. In a recent press release it was announced that the USCBP will likely be taking on a more hand-on role within the APEC framework. To quote the press release as distributed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA):

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced today that it will host the Subcommittee on Customs Procedures as part of the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings that will be chaired by the United States. The Sub-committee on Customs Procedures coordinates CBP’s efforts in customs, immigration and counter-terrorism with partner agencies throughout APEC member countries. The yearlong chairmanship will be handed over to CBP from the Japan Customs and Tariff Bureau today.

“CBP is proud to be hosting the distinguished members of the Sub-committee on Customs procedures for the 2011 APEC meetings,” said Commissioner Alan Bersin. “It is of vital importance to the security of our global economy for the members to coordinate and share
customs best practices.”

The subcommittee is a working level group within APEC. It brings Customs administrations of APEC Member Economies together to simplify and harmonize customs procedures and to ensure trade moves efficiently and safely across the Asia-Pacific region. APEC is the premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. The APEC region is home to more than 2.7 billion
people and represents approximately 60 percent of the world GDP and 44 percent of world trade.

Japan officially turns over the Chair of APEC to President Barack Obama at the November 13-14, 2010 Leader’s Meeting in Yokohama, Japan.

This is a very interesting development from an economic perspective as it would appear that the United States is taking a keener interest in Asia-Pacific affairs. This may be due to the recent downturn in the US economy as well as the rise of The Peoples’ Republic of China as a major player in global economic relations. Whatever the reason for this increasing interest in the region, this author welcomes further streamlining of Customs procedures in an effort to stimulate new transnational trade and facilitate preexisting trading relationships in an effort to increase the volume trade between the United States and the members of APEC.

Hopefully, through voluntary cooperation trade can be increased and the security of the USA and the other APEC member nations will be increased. To further quote the aforementioned press release distributed by AILA:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Hopefully, this new multilateral initiative will be beneficial for all concerned as US officials and Customs authorities from other participating nations can pool some resources in an effort to combat international crime and facilitate the execution of relevant immigration laws.

Many Americans and foreign nationals are under the mistaken impression that Customs and Border Protection simply “rubber stamps” entrants to the United states who are either from countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program or have a US Tourist Visa. Nothing could be further from the truth as even those entering the USA with a valid visa could be turned away or placed in Expedited removal proceedings depending upon their travel history. Those interested in traveling to the USA from a country abroad may find the assistance of an American attorney beneficial as such an individual may be able to provide insight into the Immigration process and streamline the processing of visa applications and petitions.

For related information please see: US Visa China.

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8th September 2010

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (USICE or more commonly referred to by the acronym: ICE) is tasked with enforcing American Immigration and Customs law. Often ICE officers are involved in programs aimed at apprehending those in the United States illegally or those who initially came to the United States legally, but later either dropped out of lawful status or committed a criminal offense which created a legal ground for removal. For the most part, ICE seems to primarily deal with immigration violations which occur along the Southern border of the United States as this has increasingly been an area where illegal immigration occurs frequently. However, their mandate includes all immigrants and foreign nationals from countries around the globe and in a recently promulgated announcement from  the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), distributed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), it was noted that those from Asian countries who violate US law are just as susceptible to removal. To quote directly from the aforementioned announcement:

SEATTLE – In a chartered flight that originated in Seattle on Aug. 31, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) returned 96 immigration violators to the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan and Cambodia; 66 of them had committed criminal offenses in the United States.


ICE’s Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) coordinated the flight that returned 66 Filipinos, 18 Indonesians, 5 Cambodians, 4 Malaysians, 2 Japanese, and 1 Vietnamese nationals to their respective countries. The group included 79 males and 17 females. These individuals came into ICE custody from locations throughout the United States and were housed at various detention facilities across the country before being transported to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash., shortly before the flight.


Among the 66 who had been convicted of criminal offenses while living in the United States, their crimes included homicide, felony drug trafficking and possession, rape and other sex crimes, aggravated assault, weapons possession, grand theft, and burglary.


“This year, ICE expects to remove a record number of criminal aliens from the country and charter flights like this are a big part of making that happen,” said ICE Director John Morton. “The United States welcomes law-abiding immigrants, but foreign nationals who violate our laws and commit crimes in our communities should be on notice that ICE is going to use all its resources to find you and send you home.”


ICE officers and medical staff with the Division of Immigration Health Services accompanied aliens on the flight.

Removal from the United States is a serious matter and those immigrants present in the USA on some sort of immigrant visa are well advised to adhere to US law and maintain lawful immigration status at all times. That said, those who have been deported from the US are generally not able to lawfully reenter the United States for a statutorily prescribed period of time. Those barred from the USA may be able to reenter after an approval of either an I-601 waiver or an I-212 petition for advance permission to reenter the USA. In some cases, those removed from the United States are indefinitely ineligible for readmission to the US. USICE offices overseas seem to be tasked with making certain that those removed from the United States actually return to their home country or remain abroad in an effort to prevent from them returning to the USA unlawfully.

United States Immigration law is a complex area of American jurisprudence. The existence of an American warrant on an alien’s record or prior criminal convictions in US Courts can have a serious impact upon one’s ability to immigrate to, and remain in, the United States.

Those seeking information about specific immigration issues are well advised to contact a US attorney in order to ascertain one’s options pursuant to American Immigration law.

For related information please see: Warrant For Arrest, US Visa Indonesia, or US Visa Vietnam.

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10th April 2010

Visa denial is generally something that most bi-national couples do not wish to discuss, but it is something that should be researched by the prospective visa petitioner as legal grounds of inadmissibility and the I-601 waiver process could be relevant to an individual couple’s Immigration petition and visa application.

In a recent report from the Congressional Research service (distributed by AILA) the issue of visa denial was discussed as the report looked at the reasons for denial and the overall trends in inadmissibility findings:

“Most LPR [Lawful Permanent Residence] petitioners who were excluded on §212(a) grounds from FY1994 through FY2004 were rejected because the Department of State (DOS) determined that the aliens were inadmissible as likely public charges. By FY2004, the proportion of public charge exclusions had fallen but remained the top basis for denial. The lack of proper labor certification was another leading ground for exclusion from FY1994 through FY2004. By FY2008, however, illegal presence and previous orders of removal from the United States was the leading ground.”

The finding of a “public charge” grounds of inadmissibility is related to the affidavit of support. A finding that an alien is likely to be a “public charge” stems from a finding that the sponsor does not have the requisite income and assets necessary to support the alien for whom benefits are being sought. The report goes further to note that Comprehensive Immigration Reform may tackle some of the issues associated with the trends in visa application denials:

“Legislation aimed at comprehensive immigration reform may take a fresh look at the grounds for excluding foreign nationals enacted over the past two decades. Expanding the grounds for inadmissibility, conversely, might be part of the legislative agenda among those who support more restrictive immigration reform policies.”

It is interesting to note that the Immigration system may become more stringent or more lax depending upon the mood of legislators with regard to the issue of immigration. That being said, a more detailed look at the current trends provides insight into the dynamics of the system as a whole:

“[M]ost LPR petitioners who were excluded on §212(a) grounds in FY1996 and FY2000 were rejected because the DOS determined that the aliens were inadmissible as likely public charges. In FY2004, the proportion of public charge exclusions had fallen, but remained the top basis for denial. The lack of proper labor certification was another leading ground for exclusion in FY1996, FY2000, FY2004, and FY2008. By FY2008, however, illegal presence and previous orders of removal from the United States had become the leading ground.”

It is interesting to note that unlawful presence and previous removal had become the leading grounds of inadmissibility cited by the year 2008. This would seem to support the anecdotal evidence and personal experience of this author as more and more prospective entrants to the US seem to be placed in expedited removal proceedings with greater frequency. Also, there seems to be an increasing trend of increasingly zealous enforcement of Immigration law in the USA as illegal aliens are placed in removal proceedings more frequently.

For further information about visa denial please see: K1 visa. For general information about US Immigration from Thailand please see: US Visa Thailand.

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11th September 2009

On this website, there is a great deal of information regarding I-601 waivers and grounds of inadmissibility.  However, there are other situations where a foreign national can be barred from reentering the United States of America. For example, where an alien has been deported or removed from the United States, they are usually subject to a reentry ban for a statutorily specified period of time. If a foreign national has been previously deported or removed from the United States, then that person must submit an I-212 application to reapply for admission to the United States (also known as advance permission to reenter).

Deportation and removal are technically the same thing as the terms can be used interchangeably. That being said, forms of removal from the United States should be looked at on a kind of legal spectrum. What is commonly referred to as “Deportation” occurs after a finding by an Immigration Judge that a person should be removed from the United States of America. Another form of removal is known as “expedited removal” this commonly occurs at a port of entry in the United States where a Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Officer finds that an applicant for admission is not fit for entry under one or more of the  provisions of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act. In many situations, a Border Patrol Officer will allow an applicant for admission to voluntarily withdraw their application and return to the point of origin. In this situation, which is akin to voluntary departure, the applicant’s US Immigration record is not adversely affected. However, it is within the officer’s discretion to place the alien in expedited deportation proceedings and thereby have them removed from the United States.

When an alien is removed from the United States through the use of expedited deportation, that alien is barred from reentering the United States without first receiving approval of the aforementioned statutorily mandated I-212 petition. These applications are somewhat similar to I-601 waivers in that the applicant must show something  like extreme hardship to a United States Citizen would occur if the application were denied and the applicant remained inadmissible.

Avoiding expedited deportation at a port of entry (and the consequences arising therefrom) is just another reason why visa seekers should apply for a visa which comports with their intent. One who is viewed as using a United States tourist visa improperly (hiding their intention to marry in the US and adjust status) could be placed in expedited deportation proceedings. If removed, then a great deal of time and resources would need to be expended to deal with the inadmissibility. Therefore, it is not only ethically incumbent upon all applicants to be honest in their immigration endeavors, but it is also practical because avoiding expedited deportation is a great benefit from a long term perspective.

For the above described reasons, those wishing to bring a Thai loved one to the United States for the purpose of marriage are encouraged to utilize a K1 visa for this purpose as a fiance visa is the appropriate travel document reflecting the couple’s true intentions. For those already married, a CR1 visa or a K 3 visa is preferable to a tourist visa if adjustment of status is the ultimate goal.

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31st August 2009

In an interesting a convoluted situation, it appears that United States officials deported an American Citizen…on more than one occasion. To quote another website:

“Newly released documents show that federal investigators twice ignored FBI records and other evidence and deported a North Carolina native to Latin America, The Charlotte Observer”

One of the most interesting, and somewhat tragic, aspects of the situation is the fact that the Citizen in question could not speak any Spanish and was also mentally ill. To quote the Charlotte Observer:

“At the time of Mark Lyttle’s deportation, immigration officials had criminal record checks that said he was a U.S. citizen. They had his Social Security number and the names of his parents. They had Lyttle’s own sworn statement that he had been born in Rowan County. None of this stopped them from leaving Lyttle, a mentally ill American who speaks no Spanish, alone and penniless in Mexico, where he has no ties.”

Cases such as this really bring to light important issues regarding the overwhelming power of the United States Federal government. The bureaucracy of the United States government is staggering and at times people fall through the cracks. In this situation, the American Citizen at issue not only fell through the cracks, but he should never have been put in a position where he could have fallen through a crack. Had the federal authorities simply done their due diligence, they would have learned that the subject was a Citizen of the United States of America and therefore, could not be subject to deportation. More importantly, he was a native born Citizen of the United States of America. This is important because American Citizens who are born American Citizens cannot lose their Citizenship, except through the process of renunciation. Further, an American Citizen cannot be deported. Therefore the authorities representing the US government made a grave error by wrongfully deporting someone with US citizenship.

It is very disconcerting to see this kind of thing happening to Americans. However, it should be noted that the American deportee had a history of mental illness and actually had claimed Mexican Citizenship on prior occasions. Even still, other government agencies had informed the Immigration officials that the deportee was a Citizen. Further when the deportee went to the US Embassy in Guatemala, “It took someone in Guatemala one day to prove he was a citizen.”This begs the question, if this was easily ascertainable overseas, why couldn’t US Immigration officials figure it out while in the USA.

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