US Immigration News
|THE U.S. IMMIGRATION NEWSLETTER IS PUBLISHED BY AN INDEPENDENT ORGANIZATION.|
|© 2009 UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION SUPPORT|
Washington, D.C. – On August 6, 2009 the Obama administration announced that it plans to change policies regarding how the country detains immigration violators. Immigration detention centers have been under fire recently, for the mistreatment of detainees as well as providing inadequate medical care. The exact details regarding proposed changes to immigration detention centers are not clear, and it can take up to several years before any changes are in effect. However, details that are known include a plan to offer a centralized authority over immigration detention centers, as well as to offer increased oversight of immigration detention centers, in order to ensure the humane treatment of prisoners as well as adequate medical care. One immediate change announced by the Obama administration is that families will no longer be sent to the T. Don Hutto Residential Center, an immigration detention facility near Austin Texas, which has been subject to lawsuits and claims of inhumane treatment.
But David Kihuha says he would rather stay in the federal prison in Leavenworth than go back to Kenya and face possible violence there.
Immigration agents tried twice last year to deport the 36-year-old, but he bit, spit and covered himself in his own excrement, according to government records. He also chewed up a head covering known as a "spit mask."
The government noted that commercial pilots "will not accept a violent, feces-besmeared passenger."
So officals want to give him a sedative and put him on a plane, which civil rights groups say violates his human rights.
Tuesday, 21st April 2009
What do you do about a Kenyan with an expired visa who just won’t go back home?
In the curious case of Mr David Kihuha, the US government wants to resume a rarely used and controversial practice and sedate him, then put him on a one-way flight to Nairobi.
But that has proven to be difficult, at best.
Indeed, the case of the 36-year-old Kenyan, a former Olathe resident, has frustrated federal prosecutors, hobbled the government’s deportation system and led to the unusual tactic of indicting Kihuha on federal felonies for, in essence, refusing to leave.
As the drama plays out in a US District Court in Kansas, Kihuha remains in a cell in Leavenworth, and he has made it abundantly clear he prefers prison in America to freedom in Kenya.
Fearful that returning home could be dangerous, Kihuha — who has been in the US for 13 years on an expired student visa — sought asylum because of alleged violence in Kenya.
"That is the fuel that feeds his intransigence," said Melody Evans, his federal public defender, in court.
"Whatever his circumstance here, it cannot be worse than what he faces at home," wrote Evans, who declined to comment further on the case.
How determined is Kihuha?
Since he was denied asylum, Kihuha has used every means available to avoid deportation.
Twice last year, when immigration agents tried to deport him, Kihuha managed a last-minute reprieve.
He bit, spat and, according to government records, managed to "cover himself in his own excrement."
He also chewed up a head covering known as a ‘spit mask’.
"I told them I did not want to go. I told them to take me back to jail," said Kihuha in a telephone interview from his cell.
Belabouring the obvious, the government noted in court filings that commercial pilots "will not accept a violent, faeces-besmeared passenger who chews off protective clothing and spits and bites."
The government’s frustration with Kihuha is evident in documents filed after his indictment last year.
"Dumping the defendant out the door of a plane with a parachute is not practical or diplomatically prudent," noted the government at one point.
As for his methods, government said, he has "crafted a relatively painless plot" to stay in the US.
Those who know him say Kihuha is no poster child for the sympathetic immigrant. And since going to jail, he has become so obsessed with remaining here that he has reportedly become unpredictable and unco-operative, even with those who are trying to help him.
While Kihuha is ‘no picnic’ to have in prison, the government says, "he is not mentally ill, and his behaviour is "generally acceptable."
But detention for more than 20 months in four different facilities has not been any picnic for Kihuha, either.
He has been segregated in a federal holding facility in Leavenworth and confined to his cell for up to 24 hours a day. At one point Kihuha allegedly sabotaged his toilet, forcing him into the all-too-familiar situation of having to live with his own excrement.
"It is really quite unfair," said Kihuha "because when you don’t know much about the law, they take advantage of you".
Michuki: Could move to the Finance docket
Sources in Government and in both PNU and ODM say the looming shuffle could come as early as by the end of the week, with hurdles that were holding the President’s hand now out of the way.
Bett: A possible beneficiary in Rift Valley
Sources on both sides say the shuffle that touches both parties is a delicate act tailored to woo back waning loyalty from different regions for both principals and to crack the whip in others.
Kones: Could join Government
Former Finance Minister Amos Kimunya is likely to be by-passed by the shuffle since the Justice Cockar Commission that has been probing the sale of the Grand Regency hotel is yet to wind up.
Munya: May reap from regional balancing
Recently four of the eight Meru MPs who had announced they had quit PNU and were planning to form their party rescinded their decision and rejoined the party.
Keter: Among likely beneficiaries in Rift Valley
Ministries of Roads left vacant following the death of the late Kipkalia Kones and that of Finance, which fell vacant after Kimunya resigned and assistant ministerial slots at Home Affairs formerly held by the late Lorna Laboso are currently vacant.