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12 23Sat11012014

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Back Local News Cruz FOIAs feds on criminal deportation

Cruz FOIAs feds on criminal deportation

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Says feds already have power to deport criminals

FOLLOWING a roundtable meeting on the deportation of non-immigrant aliens under the Compacts of Free Association, Vice Speaker Benjamin Cruz has called on the offices of Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Attorney for information to “quantifiably” determine the diligence of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other “hindering” factors in the removal of deportable aliens from Guam.

During the last legislative roundtable meeting on criminal deportation held by Sen. Rory Respicio last week, a number of deportation issues were discussed, including proposed legislation on the criminal deportation issue, compliance with current laws, communication with ICE’s Detention and Removal Office on deportation proceedings, and the incarceration costs of convicted criminals who are Compact immigrants.

But Cruz pointed out that amending laws before determining the reason why deportation rates in Guam do not mirror those stateside for the same deportation charges would be futile.

He added that the Guam Legislature must first ascertain whether the problem lies in budgetary constraints or in the sincerity of the federal government to follow deportation laws.

“Our people have always been hospitable, but no amount of hospitality should allow a guest to be a burden on your home,” Cruz said.

FOIA

The Vice Speaker has already filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the offices of Homeland Security Investigations and the U.S. Attorney.

“Federal law recognizes that (Compact) citizens must be actively employed or pursuing an education in order to reside on Guam. I issued these FOIA requests to see if federal authorities on Guam are using every tool at their disposal to enforce federal law,” he added.

In his FOIA requests, Cruz is asking for copies of all Notices of Intent to Issue a Final Administrative Deportation Order (Form I-851) and all Final Administrative Removal Orders (Form I-851A) issued in the last five years by the ICE Office of the Guam Department of Homeland Security, to determine the number of habitual residents that have been charged and the number actually deported.

In addition, the Vice Speaker is requesting for the total number of Notices of Intent and Final Removal Orders issued by the same office, with a breakdown based on the reason of deportation as detailed in “General Classes of Deportable Aliens,” Section 237 of 8 U.S.C. 1227, the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Section 214.7 of Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations details the consequences for habitual residents, defined as Freely Associated States citizens admitted to a territory or possession of the United States pursuant to the Compacts of Free Association.

Under the law, habitual residents are subject to removal if they have not been self-supporting for more than 60 days, have fraudulently received unauthorized public benefits, or are already subject to removal under Section 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Section 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act lists the classes of deportable aliens that provide grounds for deportation. These include inadmissibility at the time of entry or of adjustment of status, violation of status, a conviction of a crime of moral turpitude, failure to register as a sex offender, falsification of documents, security-related grounds, primary dependence on the government for subsistence, and unlawful voting.

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