Wednesday, February 9, 2011

City of Chicago Response to ACLU Report on Surveillance Cameras

Advisory Message has been issued by the Chicago Police Department - Headquarters.

Wednesday February 9, 2011 11:30 AM CST

City of Chicago Response to ACLU Report on Surveillance Cameras

February 8, 2011 Contact: Roderick Drew OEMC Media Affairs 312/746-9454

City of Chicago Response to ACLU Report on Surveillance Cameras

The Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) today issued a response to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois’ Report on Surveillance Cameras. “The cameras supplement the work of police personnel in the field, and save local taxpayers money by freeing up police resources to protect other areas not covered by surveillance cameras,” said José A. Santiago, OEMC Executive Director.

The City of Chicago’s extensive surveillance camera network operates on the public way. The cameras are not monitored 24 hours a day unless there is an ongoing law enforcement investigation utilizing the cameras in the area.

“The cameras have helped the Chicago Police Department solve over 4,500 crimes since 2006. In addition, the presence of cameras has prevented an untold number of crimes, because their presence sends the message that you will be caught if you commit a crime within sight of a camera,” commented Santiago.

Surveillance cameras are also used to assist first responders by providing a view of a location prior to their arrival at a scene, providing critical information including location of victims, potential threats at the scene to first responders, and information on suspects if the actual crime is recorded.

The cameras are state-of-the art, but they do not have facial recognition capacity or the ability to automatically track a person. Operation Virtual Shield cameras can track large objects such as cars or trucks, but not people.

Further, OEMC and Chicago Police Department officials receive regular community feedback about Police Observation Device (POD) camera locations through CAPS beat meetings. “The element of direct feedback symbolizes the partnership between local law enforcement and the community that make Chicago great,” commented Santiago.

Other important points regarding the surveillance camera network: Operation Virtual Shield cameras were funded by Department of Homeland Security grants at no cost to local taxpayers or impact to the City’s budget. These funds could not be used to hire traditional public safety personnel, such as police officers.

The City has established strict written procedures that govern how the cameras are employed. Everyone is trained on 1st and 4th Amendment rights with respect to individual rights and privacy issues, and camera operators are supervised.

The City can only request access to private camera footage in an emergency, and the OEMC does not have the capability to access or record private camera feeds.

With respect to the red light camera program, the City already only takes pictures/videos of the rear of the vehicle, including its license plate; pictures/videos are only used to issue red-light violations; and all red-light intersections are clearly marked with signs and all locations are listed on the City's web site.

Red light camera images of non-violations are erased after 72 hours. All images are erased after two years per contract. # # #

Chicago Police Department - Headquarters
3510 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60653
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 312-744-4000

(Executive Summary)

Chicago has our nation’s most “extensive and integrated” network of government video surveillance cameras, according to former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. While the City of Chicago is secretive about the number of cameras (as well as many other critical aspects of its camera program), the City does not dispute the repeated public reports that it has access to 10,000 publicly and privately owned cameras throughout the City. In the downtown district, virtually every segment of the public way is under video surveillance. These technologically sophisticated cameras have the power to automatically identify and track particular persons, and the capacity to magnify and make visible small details and objects at great distances.

Nevertheless, the City seeks to expand and enhance the level of surveillance. Mayor Daley has announced a plan to place a camera “on every corner” of the City. In the words of another top City official, the objective is to “cover one end of the city to the other.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois believes that Chicago does not need a camera on every sidewalk, on every block, in every neighborhood. Rather, our City needs to change course, before we awake to find that we cannot walk into a book store or a doctor’s office free from the government’s watchful eye. We urge the City to order a moratorium on the expansion of the camera system. Then the City should initiate a thorough and open review of this surveillance system, including whether to reduce the number of cameras. Finally, for those cameras that remain, the City should implement new rules to safeguard individual privacy.

The ACLU hopes that this report – the first large-scale, independent analysis of Chicago’s camera system – will contribute to an informed public dialogue about the future of Chicago’s system of surveillance cameras.


Monday, February 7, 2011

USCIS Issues Interim Guidance on Providing Information on Appeals and Motions to Reopen or Reconsider in Denial Notices; Seeks Comments

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released to the public an interim policy memorandum (IPM) dated January 26, 2011, providing USCIS adjudicators issuing denial notices guidance on advising petitioners and applicants as to whether they may file a motion to reopen or reconsider or an appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA or Board) or the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO).  The IPM, including the revised AFM chapters.

The IPM, entitled “Notice to Applicants and Petitioners Concerning Ability to File Motions to Reopen or Reconsider; Revisions to the Adjudicator's Field Manual (AFM) Chapter 10.7; AFM Update AD11-09,” points out that 8 CFR § 103.3(a)(1)(iii) requires that USCIS include in a written denial of a petition or application information about whether the petitioner or applicant can appeal the decision. In addition, the IPM notes that, when available, petitioners and applicants may also file motions under 8 CFR § 103.5 to reopen or reconsider an adverse decision and advises that, although not required by law or regulation, USCIS has determined that written decisions should also include information about the opportunity to file these motions.

The IPM directs that any written decision denying a petition or application must advise the petitioner or applicant as to whether he or she may appeal the decision to the BIA or the AAO and must include the proper appeal form if the decision is appealable. Adjudicators are also advised that, if available, written denials must also advise the petitioner or applicant that he or she may file a motion to reopen, a motion to reconsider, or both within the period specified in 8 CFR § 103.5(a). Such notices are to include Form I-290B. Despite the IPM's title, the AFM is revised throughout to reflect this guidance, not just in Chapter 10.7. The IPM, including the revised AFM chapters, is reproduced here.

The memorandum, which was posted on January 31, 2011, will be available on the website for 10 business days after posting. It is effective until further notice. USCIS states that adjudicators will use the current memorandum with the understanding that the guidance may be revised after the comment period closes. Final guidance will be issued to the field offices and service centers following review and consideration of the comments from the public.

Comments must be submitted by February 14, 2011, and should be emailed to The title of the memorandum should be in the subject line of the email. Comments should refer to a specific portion of the memorandum, explain the reason for any recommended change, and include data, information, or authority that support the recommendation. USCIS may distribute any comments received (including any personal information and contact information) on its public website or to those who request copies.

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BIA Overrules Matter of Shanu in Part; Finds Alien Present in U.S. Pursuant to Admission Occurring More than Five Years Before CIMT Offense Is Not Deportable

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA or Board) held in Matter of Alyazji, 25 I. & N. Dec. (B.I.A. Feb. 3, 2011), that, in general, an alien's conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) triggers removability under INA § 237(a)(2)(A)(i) [ 8 USCA § 1227(a)(2)(A)(i)] (2006) only if the alien committed the crime within five years after the date of the admission by virtue of which he or she was then present in the U.S., thus overruling its earlier holding in Matter of Shanu, 23 I. & N. Dec. 754 (B.I.A. 2005), review granted, order vacated, 450 F.3d 578 (4th Cir. 2006), that an alien's conviction for a CIMT supported removal under INA § 237(a)(2)(A)(i) so long as the crime was committed within five years after the date of any admission made by the alien, while leaving in place Shanu's holding that the term “admission” used in § 237(a)(2)(A)(i) refers to adjustment of status as well as admission at the border.

The respondent was admitted to the U.S. as a nonimmigrant student in August 2001. He remained in the U.S. thereafter, and in April 2006 his status was adjusted to that of a lawful permanent resident. In January 2008, he was convicted of indecent assault under Pennsylvania law based on a 2007 offense. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) commenced removal proceedings, and the immigration judge denied the respondent's motion to terminate those proceedings on the ground that the indecent-assault conviction resulted from an offense committed more than five years after his “admission” as a nonimmigrant in August 2001. The IJ found that, under Matter of Shanu, the respondent was removable because he committed his offense less than five years after his “admission” to lawful permanent resident status.

INA § 237(a)(2)(A)(i) provides that an alien is deportable if he or she:

(I) is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude committed within five years ... after the date of admission, and

(II) is convicted of a crime for which a sentence of one year or longer may be imposed

After discussing the controversy created by Matter of Shanu's holding that the term “admission” used in § 237(a)(2)(A)(i) refers to adjustment of status as well as admission at the border and expressing the Board's continued concern over some of the implications of the contrary rule, the Board concluded that, in the final analysis, resolution of the case before it did not warrant disturbing its precedent holding that adjustment of status constitutes an admission. However, the Board agreed with the respondent that it misconstrued the phrase “the date of admission” when it held that that phrase encompassed the date of any admission and held instead that “the date of admission” necessarily refers to a single date in relation to the pertinent offence so that not every “date of admission” triggers the five-year clock. Finding that INA § 237(a) is focused on admission plus presence, the Board concluded that the most natural reading of § 237(a)(2)(A)(i) is that the phrase “the date of admission” refers to the date of the admission by virtue of which the alien was present in the U.S. when he or she committed his or her crime. Thus, to ascertain an alien's deportability under § 237(a)(2)(A)(i), the Board explained that it must look first to the date when the alien's crime was committed. If, on that date, the alien was in the U.S. pursuant to an admission that occurred within the prior five-year period, then the alien is deportable. Conversely, the alien is not deportable if he or she committed his or her offense more than five years after the date of the admission pursuant to which he or she was then in the U.S. Moreover, the Board said, under this understanding of the phrase “the date of admission,” the five-year clock is not reset by a new admission from within the U.S. (through adjustment of status). Rather, the Board explained, such an admission merely extends an existing period of presence that was sufficient in and of itself to support the alien's susceptibility to the grounds of deportability.

Applying this ruling to the respondent's case, the Board concluded that, inasmuch as the respondent committed his offense more than five years after his “date of admission (August 2001),” he is not deportable even though the Board would treat him as having been “readmitted” by means of adjustment of status in April 2006. That readmission did not reset the five-year clock because it added nothing to the deportability inquiry. Accordingly, the appeal was sustained and the removal proceedings terminated.

Board Member Lauri S. Filppu wrote the opinion for the three-member panel, which included Board Members Roger Pauley and Linda S. Wendtland. Wayne Sachs, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, represented the petitioner. James A. Lazarus, Appellate Counsel, appeared for the government. Emily Creighton, American Immigration Council, Washington, D.C., filed an amicus curiae brief.

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