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Memo on Summary Removal

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 97100156 (posted Oct. 1, 1997)"

AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION
IMMIGRANTS' RIGHTS PROJECT

125 BROAD STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10004-2400
Tel. 212.549-2660
Fax 212.549-2654

1663 MISSION STREET
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94103-2492
Tel. 415.621-2493 Ext. 24
Fax 415.255-1498

MEMORANDUM

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’ Committee)

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 to applicant?

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?

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