This issue covers litigation challenging USCIS's fee increase, developments in the social security no-match letter case, the reversal of a Fifth Circuit decision on natz delay litigation, new raids lawsuits, surviving spouse litigation, and the Hutto detention facility settlement.
Nobody should question the importance of the Navy SEAL assault that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, nor President Barack Obama's authority to order the raid.
Undocumented immigrants in the U.S. question something else: an authority Obama says he does not have. He says he cannot by executive order modify the implementation of the laws under which a record number of undocumented immigrants have been deported in his first two years in office.
Obama has held countless meetings with Latino leaders to bring Hispanic voters to his side. Yet he always says that it is not his fault; that he has to obey the law; that Republicans are to blame. Some of this is true, but according to a legal memo from an American Immigration Council study, there are many things the president could and should do.
"The President and his cabinet have a wide range of choices available that can ameliorate some of the worst excesses of current law," the memo's cover letter said.
The memo mentions several options the administration has if the president is really serious. It says the Department of Homeland Security already has memos saying its agents should differentiate between deporting known criminals and those with no felonious criminal records. It should make sure the agents understand and apply the instructions given.
It also mentions that Homeland Security has the authority to grant "deferred action" to an otherwise "deportable" immigrant when it sees the presence of "sympathetic or compelling factors.'' This is already in use to grant exemptions for those who fall under the Violence Against Women Act.
The memo talks about temporary protected status granted to those after a determination is made that it is unsafe for foreign nationals to return home due to armed conflict, natural disasters or extraordinary conditions.
There is also the option of the issuing "humanitarian parole."Read more...
Washington D.C. - The Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution affirms that all persons born in the United States (and subject to its jurisdiction) have a birthright to citizenship, or, in other words, are automatically U.S. Citizens upon birth. During the last presidential election cycle the issue of birthright citizenship was used to challenge the legitimacy of both major parties' candidates. And this year, like every other, bills will be introduced in Congress to deny U.S. citizenship to the children of unauthorized immigrants as a "cure" to our broken immigration system. However, what are the legal and practical issues surrounding birthright citizenship? What does the Constitution provide for and what is at stake when it comes to preserving the birthrights of our citizens? Read more...
Are immigrants joining the military to circumvent the U.S. immigration system’s notorious backlogs and win citizenship for themselves and visas for their family? A new article from AFP seems to suggest so. The piece tells the story of Darby Ortego, a 25-year-old Filipino-American who became a citizen this year after serving in the military. He’sbeen stationed in Afghanistan.
Like thousands of fellow Filipinos, he sees the US military as a fast-track to American citizenship, securing his own future and also helping his family back home. “I joined up to get my mom to America,” said Private Ortego, who is deployed at Combat Outpost Sabari in Khost, where US troops clash with Taliban rebels based across the border in Pakistan. “I want to bring my mom from her village in the Philippines to Nevada, where I live. I want her to be with me.” Ortego is one of the roughly 9,000 legal immigrants who join the US armed forces each year from countries as far apart as Panama, Nigeria, Liberia and Turkey.
The piece goes on to suggest that joining the military is a straightforward route to citizenship that many are taking.
In the last 10 years, nearly 69,000 immigrant troops have become US citizens while serving. Naturalisation takes just months for serving military personnel compared to years for regular legal immigrants. Unemployment and poverty in their homeland have driven millions of Filipinos abroad to search for work, often on construction sites or as domestic staff. “It is better in the US because there are more opportunities. You can find a job and they will pay a decent amount,” said Ortego, who sends money back to his family in Northern Samar province.
All true as it is, except that in order to even qualify for military service, foreign nationals must first have a green card, which is nearly impossible to come by these days. Military service is not exactly the breezy fast track to citizenship it can appear to be.Read more...
Long used in criminal trials, motions to suppress seek to exclude evidence obtained by the government in violation of the Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, or related provisions of federal law. While the immediate purpose of filing a motion to suppress is to prevent the government from meeting its burden of proof, challenges to unlawfully obtained evidence can also deter future violations by law enforcement officers and thereby protect the rights of other noncitizens.
The Supreme Court held in INS v. Lopez-Mendoza, 468 U.S. 1032 (1984), that motions to suppress under the Fourth Amendment should be granted only for “egregious” violations. Immigrants in removal proceedings can also use motions to suppress for violations of the Fifth Amendment, as well as certain provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act and federal regulations relating to the collection of evidence. The Legal Action Center has published a practice advisory offering guidance on filing motions to suppress in removal proceedings.
In a paper published today by the Immigration Policy Center, former Arizona Attorney General and 2010 Democratic candidate for governor Terry Goddard strikes out at the state’s current border enforcement strategies and attempts to lay out what he sees as a superior binational approach to border security.
In criticizing Arizona’s current approach to border enforcement, Goddard writes, “Again and again, symbols trump reality, misinformation buries the truth.” Goddard is referring to recent efforts to build a massive wall, stretching the entire length of the U.S.-Mexico border, an effort derided by many as simultaneously impractical and ineffective. Goddard is similarly critical of the federal Secure Communities program, in which local law enforcement is employed to enforce immigration law. He argues that these largely symbolic and rhetorical efforts at securing the border could in fact be making current problems worse.
Goddard’s solutions to solving current problems at the Arizona-Sonora border focus not on undocumented immigrants but rather on what he sees as the larger issue in this region: Mexican drug cartels. He argues that the U.S. and Mexican governments must approach the cartels as business enterprises. In order to disable them, Goddard writes that the countries must work together to stanch the flow of money into these criminals’ hands.
For Goddard, because the Tucson Sector is the primary locus through which people and resources are smuggled back and forth across the border, it is here where any successful effort to abolish border violence must begin. This means that Tucson must serve as a model to the rest of the border region of how effectively securing the border starts not with capturing and deporting undocumented migrants, but with capturing and arresting the criminals that facilitate these individuals’ cross-border movement and propagate the border region’s larger criminal environment.Read more...
Judulang v. Holder, 565 U.S. ___, 132 S. Ct. 476 (2011)
The Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision overturning the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (Board or BIA) policy of restricting relief from removal, namely section 212(c) waivers, for many lawful permanent residents (LPRs) with old criminal convictions. Under the Board’s now-rejected policy, LPRs found deportable were eligible for 212(c) relief only if they could show that the ground of deportation was substantially equivalent to a ground of inadmissibility. The Board’s policy, referred to as the “comparable ground test,” was announced in the 2005 decisions Matter of Blake, 23 I&N Dec. 722 (BIA 2005), and Matter of Brieva, 23 I&N Dec. 766 (BIA 2005). The Legal Action Center has issued a Practice Advisory offering strategies for LPRs and others impacted by the decision. Read more...