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Tag: Immigration reform

Obama and Deportation Policy

Republican intransigence over immigration reform may result in President Obama easing Homeland Security's removal (previously called deportation) policies. Two measures are under consideration.

Obama met with various Latino groups yesterday. After the meeting:

Obama announced late on Thursday that he had decided to review deportation practices to seek a more "humane" way to enforce immigration laws.....Immigration law experts have said Obama could use his executive authority to also stop deporting parents of those children to keep families together.

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Calif Court Okays Undocmented Resident as Attorney

Great news for Sergio Garcia, an undocumented resident who went to law school in the U.S. and wants to be a lawyer. A California court has ruled he can be admitted to the bar as an attorney.

“We conclude that the fact that an undocumented immigrant’s presence in this country violates federal statutes is not itself a sufficient or persuasive basis for denying undocumented immigrants, as a class, admission to the State Bar,” the chief justice wrote.

Garcia waited four years for the ruling. More on his case, and that of Jose Godinez-Samperio at the ABA Journal here.

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Senate to Vote on Immigration Reform Bill

The Senate is expected to pass the immigration reform bill today. There will be a vote at 4:00 p.m.

In addition to providing a 13-year pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, the bipartisan bill would double to 40,000 the number of federal agents on the U.S.-Mexican border and help provide American businesses with needed low- and high-skilled workers.

(Added: the use of the word "illegal" to describe immigrants is not allowed here, it was a quote in a Reuters news article. (another version here.) I just noticed it and struck the word. Newer Reuters articles aren't using the word.

The bill will then move to the House. Republicans in the House want their own bill. They oppose the path to citizenship in the Senate version.

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Saying No at DHS Checkpoints

What happens when you refuse to comply with a request for information about your citizenship at an immigration checkpoint within the U.S.? Apparently, they have to let you continue on your way and you don't have answer questions or go to the secondary area. At least, that's what happens to those stopped in this video that refused -- the agents backed down.

Good to know. But why are there immigration checkpoints 30 miles from the border?

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ICE Releases From Detention Are Overdue

Republicans will make a political issue out of anything, even the implementation of existing legal and humane policies concerning undocumented immigrants.

Here is the December, 2012 Detainee Guidance Policy. It limits the use of detainers to individuals who meet the Department's enforcement priorities and restricts the use of detainers against those arrested for minor misdemeanor offenses such as traffic offenses and other petty crimes. The policy is intended to ensure that available resources are focused on apprehending felons, repeat offenders and other ICE priorities. [More...]

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Obama's Expected Immigration Reform Bill

USA Today has obtained a draft of President Obama's proposed immigration reform bill. It reports there is a path to lawful residency included in the bill, which will take 8 years. During this time, those working towards citizenship will receive a Lawful Prospective Immigrant Visa.

The bill sounds similar to the unsuccessful 2011 Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act (S.1258)and the 2009 and 2007 bills before that. [More...]

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Obama's Proposed Immigration Plan aka Crime Bill

Speaking in Las Vegas today, President Obama outlined his new immigration plan, including a path to citizenship for most of the 11 million undocumented residents currently present in the U.S.

The White House has issued this fact sheet on the plan.

Immigrants living here illegally must be held responsible for their actions by passing national security and criminal background checks, paying taxes and a penalty, going to the back of the line, and learning English before they can earn their citizenship. There will be no uncertainty about their ability to become U.S. citizens if they meet these eligibility criteria. The proposal will also stop punishing innocent young people brought to the country through no fault of their own by their parents and give them a chance to earn their citizenship more quickly if they serve in the military or pursue higher education. [More...]

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Immigration Reform Proposals to be Submitted This Week

A blueprint for immigration reform, including a path to citizenship some undocumented residents, is expected to be released this week by a 6 member Senate working group, that includes Senators Dick Durbin, John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Mark Rubio, Charles Schumer and Robert Menendez.

The Republicans in the group are going to stress tougher border security and more employer penalties. The Democrats (hopefully) will stress family reunification.

Mr. Durbin added that the effort will be focused on unifying families, and will include a version of the Dream Act, which would give undocumented students a path to permanent residency status.

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Applications Out Today for Young Immigrants to Defer Removal

Today is the day that hundreds of thousands of undocumented young persons who have been residing in this country can start applying for a two year period of protection from deportation.

Under President Obama's recent order, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is handling the applications. The forms became available today.

Individuals requesting consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals must submit Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (with accompanying fees); and an I-765WS, Worksheet. USCIS recently developed a series of resources to inform the on how the process will work. The website, www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals, includes a flier, a How do I brochure, frequently asked questions, and a number of other resources. USCIS encourages individuals with questions to visit this website or call the USCIS National Customer Service line at 1-800-375-5283.

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New DREAM Deferral Details Released: $465 Cost to Applicants

New details were released yesterday by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) about the application process for President Obama's new program deferring deportation for undocumented young residents for up to two years.

The cost for a work permit will be $465.00. Lawyers aren't needed. The applications will be available August 15.

Here is the press release. [More...]

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Obama Spends July 4th With New Citizens

President Obama, as is his custom, spent July 4th with military families, at a White House backyard barbecue, but he began the day presiding over a citizenship ceremony for 25 new citizens.

“Just as we remain a nation of laws, we have to remain a nation of immigrants,” Mr. Obama said. “And that’s why, as another step forward, we’re lifting the shadow of deportation from deserving young people who were brought to this country as children. It’s why we still need a Dream Act — to keep talented young people who want to contribute to our society and serve our country.

Immigration is another issue that sets him apart from Mitt Romney. I wonder how that issue polls in the swing-states that everyone says will determine the election in November. It's likely to help him in Colorado and Nevada, but what about the others? [More...]

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ICE Announces 400,000 Deportations in 2011

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton today announced the number of people deported from the U.S. in fiscal year 2011 (which ended in September.) The total, which is the highest number yet: 400,000. (ICE press release here.)

According to ICE, "55 percent of the 396,906 individuals deported had felony or misdemeanor convictions." It could not answer how many of the felonies were immigration offenses like illegal re-entry which don't require the commission of a separate crime:

Individuals can be convicted of a felony just for returning to the U.S. or being found in the U.S. after the government orders them to leave.

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New Immigration Policy Begins, Canceling Some Removals

Homeland Security has begun its review of 300,000 cases of undocumented residents eligible for removal (deportation) and giving reprieves to a limited few.

Under the policy, immigration authorities will use powers of prosecutorial discretion in existing law to suspend the deportations of most immigrants who, although they have committed immigration violations (which generally are civil offenses), have not been convicted of crimes.

In particular, officials will look to halt deportations of longtime residents with clean police records who came here illegally when they were children, or are close family of military service members, or are parents or spouses of American citizens.

The cases will be examined individually, with removals being canceled for those who fit the guidelines: [More..]

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Obama Authorizes Work Permits in Lieu of Deportation

President Obama today issued an order authorizing undocumented residents to obtain work permits and avoid removal (deportation.)

The Obama administration said Thursday it will allow many illegal immigrants facing deportation the chance to stay in this country and apply for a work permit, while focusing on removing from the U.S. convicted criminals and those who might be a national security or public safety threat.

That will mean a case-by-case review of approximately 300,000 illegal immigrants facing possible deportation in federal immigration courts, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in announcing the policy change.

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Lou Dobbs' Undocumented Worker Problem

The Nation has a feature article alleging Lou Dobbs employed undocumented workers.

Based on a yearlong investigation, including interviews with five immigrants who worked without papers on his properties, The Nation and the Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute have found that Dobbs has relied for years on undocumented labor for the upkeep of his multimillion-dollar estates and the horses he keeps for his 22-year-old daughter, Hillary, a champion show jumper.

From The Nation's editorial: Make it Legal:

On any given day, we've all probably eaten fruit harvested by undocumented workers or meat they butchered. These workers also make possible the lifestyles enjoyed by wealthy Americans like Dobbs and Whitman, with their estates and grounds and stables. How these millions of workers could be extracted from their jobs and deported without causing massive disruption not only to their lives but to the entire economy defies the imagination. Yet this is what Dobbs demands with his call for ever tougher enforcement.

The solution:[More...]

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