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Matt Cameron πŸ—½
"I can't go back," my client told me as soon as he sat down at the table in ICE detention. "They will kill me." I believed him. The judge agreed that they probably would kill him, just before he denied his asylum claim. He was deported. They did. I just found out today.
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Matt Cameron πŸ—½ Aug 26
Replying to @matt_cam
I've been doing Central American asylum cases since 2006. I live in an immigrant neighborhood, and have personally met hundreds of asylum seekers. These stories, the fear, the danger--all real. Real enough to send these people to our borders even knowing how they'll be treated.
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Matt Cameron πŸ—½ Aug 26
Replying to @matt_cam
Imm. Judge Dana Marks calls asylum "death penalty defense in traffic court." That's too true. I've always thought of this as death penalty work. It keeps me going. I'm certain that other cases I couldn't win for my clients have ended this way. I just never knew for sure.
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Matt Cameron πŸ—½ Aug 26
Replying to @matt_cam
Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala produce some of the finest people I've ever met. I'll never understand why they don't hate us more for completely gutting their countries and then blaming them when they couldn't pick up the pieces. Can you imagine Americans accepting that?
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Matt Cameron πŸ—½ Aug 26
Replying to @matt_cam
The President of the United States, the head of USCIS, ICE, the Attorney General, Tucker Carlson--they'll all tell you these people have been coached, that the stories aren't real, that they're just economic migrants. They can fuck all the way off. Into the sun. Forever.
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Matt Cameron πŸ—½ Aug 26
Replying to @matt_cam
This admin is destroying many of the few protections left to Central American asylum seekers, then blaming them when they can't win their cases w/the bad law we're left with They know what they're doing. They're fine with it. If you voted for this & still support it, you are too
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Matt Cameron πŸ—½ Aug 26
Replying to @matt_cam
Just before they deported him, I got a call from ICE HQ in DC. They were checking in to ask if we needed help "reuniting the family." I didn't know what to say. "You're not... letting him out?" "No. We're ready to arrange transportation for his children to Honduras."
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Matt Cameron πŸ—½ Aug 26
Replying to @matt_cam
2019 American "family values": politely offering to deport a man's US citizen children to be killed along with him. Why are we accepting this? What the fuck are we?
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Matt Cameron πŸ—½ Aug 26
Replying to @matt_cam
I'm the person in this story whose life will be least affected by this tragedy, but it's been sitting with me. Thanks to everyone for reading and sharing, and for the kind words and support. I knew this news had to be coming, someday. I was never going to be ready for it.
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Matt Cameron πŸ—½ Aug 26
Replying to @matt_cam
FYI media: I appreciate the interest and I know how important these stories are, but this family is not and will not be available--ever--and I've said as much as I'd ever have to say about this publicly here. Thank you for understanding.
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Matt Cameron πŸ—½ Aug 26
Replying to @matt_cam
And to my incredible colleagues with me in the deportation defense trenches: Even if they didn't end this badly I know we're all haunted by some of the ones we couldn't win, and that we can't help but carry it. Don't do it alone. We're all here for each other.
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Matt Cameron πŸ—½ Aug 26
Replying to @matt_cam
For everyone asking how someone truly in fear for their life could be denied asylum: Ask Jeff Sessions. He did his part with this very bad precedent (among others), issued specifically to try to ensure that our work would be that much harder and cases like mind would be denied
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Matt Cameron πŸ—½ Aug 26
Replying to @matt_cam
I'm seeing a lot of people wanting to blame the judge, but you're going to have to trust me that I don't blame the court for this. I blame the law, and the executive branch we have entrusted to enforce it. Very little a judge could have done differently in this legal reality.
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Matt Cameron πŸ—½ Aug 26
Replying to @GoldenStairsImm
Feels wrong to do this under the circumstances, but so long as I have your attention you should know that we have opened to take on these kinds of cases. There's no appointed counsel in & most can't afford private attys.
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Matt Cameron πŸ—½ Aug 27
Replying to @matt_cam
N.B.: atty-client privilege continues indefinitely even the death of a client. I could be disbarred for sharing the details people are asking for here, esp. in an asylum case. I also sincerely believe that sharing anything more could get someone else killed. Please respect that.
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Matt Cameron πŸ—½ Aug 27
Replying to @matt_cam
Now that I've had 24 hours to get back into lawyer mode, here's the complete legal context for this case. I still can't, and won't, tell you the specific facts (in any case, but esp this one) but I can at least provide the law.
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Matt Cameron πŸ—½ Aug 28
Replying to @matt_cam
To everyone demanding names, details, documentation, etc: NO. Not only because attorney-client privilege lives on after a client's death but because I am bound by federal law. Believe me or don't, but providing anything more than I've shared here would be illegal
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Matt Cameron πŸ—½ Aug 28
Replying to @matt_cam
DOCTOR: the system failed my patient TWITTER: what was his name DOCTOR: I can't tell you that TWITTER: show us his death certificate DOCTOR: ... TD: ok but just post all of his medical records DOCTOR: HIPAA? Anyone? TWITTER: what a fraud DOCTOR: ...
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Jan Aug 26
Twenty years spent training & supervising Asylum Officers only to watch much of the legal humanitarian progress go down the drain is both so soul crushing and infuriating. Please keep going & don’t give up fighting the good fight. πŸ™πŸ»
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Matt Cameron πŸ—½ Aug 26
Thank you for your service to our asylum system, and the enormous good I know that you must have been able to do in that position
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Jan Aug 26
Thanks for your kind words. It was an honor to work with so many talented & hard working people all dedicated to ensuring legal protections for those who credibly claimed a well founded fear of persecution. As your devastating thread highlights-people’s lives are really at risk.
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