AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION
IMMIGRANTS' RIGHTS PROJECT
125 BROAD STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10004-2400
1663 MISSION STREET
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94103-2492
Tel. 415.621-2493 Ext. 24
TO: Attorneys/Organizations Assisting in the Screening
and/or Representation of Individuals Subject to New
Summary Removal Procedures
FROM: Judy Rabinovitz (ACLU), Robert Rubin (S.F. Lawyers’
DATE: June 30, 1997
RE: Monitoring of INS Implementation of Summary Removal And
Indentification of Potential Plaintiffs
URGENT NEED FOR INFORMATION REGARDING SUMMARY REMOVAL PROCESS
The ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project and the Lawyers'
Committee for Civil Rights in San Francisco are challenging the
new summary removal procedures in federal court in Washington,
D.C. AILA v. Reno. As part of the challenge, we are attempting
to monitor INS' implementation of these new procedures,
particularly the secondary inspection process.
We are also seeking to identify: (1) individuals who feared
return but still were ordered removed without a "credible fear"
interview and (2) individuals with bona fide asylum claims who
were ordered removed after a "credible fear" interview,
particularly those who did not have the assistance of counsel.
We have prepared the attached checklist as a guide to the
types of information we are seeking. Please call Judy Rabinovitz
or Michelle Caldera at the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, (212)
549-2660, or Robert Rubin or Lisa Lewis at the San Francisco
Lawyers’ Committee, (415) 543-9444 if you have information
regarding any of the issues listed on the checklist, including
possible individual plaintiffs.
Checklist for Interviews with Individuals in Summary Removal
A. LANGUAGE AND INTERPRETATION
Did applicant experience any interpretation problems during
secondary inspection or the credible fear interview (e.g.,
failure to provide interpretation in language applicant
understands; use of untrained or potentially biased interpreters
such as airline employees; errors in interpretation resulting
from use of phone interpreters)?
B. APPLICANT'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE PROCESS
Did the applicant understand the secondary inspection and
credible fear stages of the process? If any forms were provided
to applicant, were they provided in her native language? If not,
or if applicant was illiterate, were the forms orally translated
C. ACCESS TO FAMILY, FRIENDS, OR LEGAL COUNSEL
Was applicant permitted to contact family, friends, or
counsel during secondary inspection; were telephones available?
Was applicant given an accurate legal services list; was the
purpose of the list explained in a language applicant understood?
Did applicant have sufficient time to consult with family,
friends, or counsel prior to credible fear interview; were there
any obstacles to consultation while in detention (e.g. phone
problems, barriers to visitation)?
D. PRESSURE TO WITHDRAW APPLICATION/ABUSE
Was applicant pressured not to apply for asylum or to
withdraw her application for asylum? Did applicant experience
any other physical or verbal abuse?
E. INFORMATION REGARDING OTHER APPLICANTS IN SUMMARY REMOVAL
Is applicant aware of (1) other individuals who experienced
any of the problems described above; (2)individuals who feared
return but were ordered removed without a credible fear
interview; (3) bona fide asylum seekers who were ordered removed
after a credible fear interview? If so, can she identity such
persons or are they still in detention?
© 1999, American Immigration Lawyers Association