Thursday, May 29, 2008

No Deportation: The Smoking Gun on U.S. Involvement in Torture

No Deportation: The Smoking Gun on U.S. Involvement in Torture

The Smoking Gun on U.S. Involvement in Torture

The Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General just issued a 370 page report on the U.S. involvement in officially sanctioned torture around the world. Now comes the $64 question, "What are we going to do with this information?" Do we just ignore the torture and abuse, thus implicitly condoning its continuation, by doing and saying nothing. Does anyone actually care? Or have we reached the "Bread and Circuses" stage of the American Empire?

I for one, who has argued before this same government that my clients did not engage in the persecution of other, or did not materially aid a terrorist organization, am appalled and embarrassed to call myself an American. Are we as a nation not a signature to the Convention Against Torture Treaty?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Stateless Refugee

We just took on an interesting case of an ethnic Palestinian who was born in Saudi Arabia and came to the U.S. as an asylum seeker. His affirmative asylum application was denied, appealed to the BIA where it was denied and then to the Ninth Circuit which denied his petition for review.

Prior counsel had filed a motion to reopen for changed country conditions, pursuant to INA § 240(c)(7)(C)(ii). which the Board denied basing their denial on the fact that the country of Saudi Arabia had not materially changed. We filed a motion for reconsideration and a petition to the Ninth Circuit arguing that the Board erred in commingling the two determinations, the country designated for removal and the asylum testing country. In out client's case. early on the Immigration Judge ruled that Saudi Arabia was the country of removal, even though our client had no right to return as Saudi Arabia denies citizenship to anyone not Saudi, especially Palestinians.

Our contention is that the Board erred as a matter of law in using Saudi Arabia as the asylum testing country, when he would never be removed there and the Occupied Territories should have been used in ruling on the motion to reopen.

Just got back the government's opposition to our motion for reconsideration, a one page argument stating that we have not specified any error of fact of law pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 1003.2(b), see also Matter of Ramos, 23 I&N Dec. 336, 338 (BIA 2002).