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April 01, 2010

88,000 U.S. Citizen Children Lost Parent to Deportation

UC Davis News & Information :: New Study: 88,000 U.S. Citizen Children Lost Parent to Deportation
The United States government deported the lawful immigrant parents of nearly 88,000 citizen children between 1997 and 2007, most for relatively minor crimes, according to a new report released today by the University of California, Davis, and University of California, Berkeley, law schools. The deportations often resulted in psychological harm, behavioral changes and problems in school for the children left behind. The report, "In the Child’s Best Interest?" is based on analysis of data provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, interviews with affected families and comparisons of U.S. and international human rights standards. The study was a joint project of the Immigration Law Clinic at the UC Davis School of Law, and the International Human Rights Law Clinic and the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity at the UC Berkeley School of Law. It is available on the Web at http://www.law.ucdavis.edu/news/images/childsbestinterest.pdf. Drastic revisions to U.S. immigration laws in 1996 led to large numbers of deported lawful permanent residents (green card holders), who now make up nearly 10 percent of immigrants deported from the U.S., according to the report. More than 68 percent of the deported green card holders were deported for minor crimes, including driving under the influence, simple assault and nonviolent drug offenses, it found. "It is often the children in these families who suffer the most," said Raha Jorjani, a clinical professor of law at UC Davis and supervising attorney for the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic. "This nation should take into consideration the impact on families of uprooting individuals with such strong ties to the U.S.” Current immigration laws severely restrict the ability of judges to consider the impact of deportation on children, the report notes. The authors recommend restoring judicial discretion in all cases involving the deportation of lawful permanent residents with U.S. citizen children.

March 30, 2010

Ex-gay "reparative therapy" doctor caught on film molesting male patients

Joe. My. God.: Ex-Gay Reparative Therapy Doctor Filmed Sexually Assaulting Male Patient
Dr Aubrey Levin, who in South Africa was known as Dr Shock for his use of electricity to "cure" gay military conscripts, was arrested after a patient secretly filmed the psychiatrist allegedly making sexual advances. Levin, who worked at the University of Calgary's medical school, has been suspended from practising and is free on bail of C$50,000 on charges of repeatedly indecently assaulting a 36-year-old man. The police say they are investigating similar claims by nearly 30 other patients. The Alberta justice department is reviewing scores of criminal convictions in which Levin was a prosecution witness. Levin has worked in Canada for 15 years since leaving South Africa, where he was chief psychiatrist in the apartheid-era military and became notorious for using electric shocks to "cure" gay white conscripts. He also held conscientious objectors against their will at a military hospital because they were "disturbed" and subjected them to powerful drug regimens. South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission heard that Levin was guilty of "gross human rights abuses" including chemical castration of gay men. But after arriving in Canada in 1995 he managed to suppress public discussion of his past by threatening lawsuits against news organisations that attempted to explore it.

Narcotics task force member who gunned down unarmed pastor unqualifed to carry a weapon

Reason | Another senseless drug war death
The Jonathan Ayers story was already outrageous enough. Last September, Ayers, a 28-year-old Baptist pastor from Lavonia, Georgia, was gunned down by a North Georgia narcotics task force in the parking lot of a gas station. Ayers had not been a suspect in any drug investigation. And even today, police acknowledge he was not using or trafficking in illicit drugs. Instead, Ayers had either been ministering to or having an affair with (depending on whom you believe) Johanna Kayla Jones Barrett, the actual target of the investigation. Ayers is yet more collateral damage in the boundlessly tragic and wasteful drug war, as are his widowed wife Abigail and the child she was carrying at the time of his death. But that's really only the beginning of this mess. In a lawsuit filed last week, Abigail Ayers makes some astonishing new allegations about the competence of the police officers who killed her husband, the supervisors who hired them, and the law enforcement agencies and the grand jury that investigated Ayers' death. Most damning: The police officer who killed Ayers wasn't even authorized to be carrying a gun or a badge.