Washington, D.C.—Last week, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Moncrieffe v. Holder, holding that a state drug conviction is not an aggravated felony when the statute of conviction extends to the social sharing of a small amount of marijuana. The case has important implications not only for noncitizens charged with drug trafficking, but also for the application of the categorical approach in immigration proceedings.
Yesterday, the Legal Action Center, the Immigrant Defense Project, and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild issued a Practice Advisory, “Moncrieffe v. Holder: Implications for Drug Charges and Other Issues Involving the Categorical Approach.” The advisory discusses the holding of the case, the decision’s potentially broader implications, strategies for representing noncitizen criminal defendants, and steps that lawyers should take immediately in pending or already concluded removal proceedings affected by Moncrieffe.
For many years now, religious leaders and diverse faith groups have contributed much to the ongoing immigration debate. Grounded in faith and good works, the faith community has been and continues to be steadfast in their outreach to immigrants through a myriad of support and service programs, faith rallies, and support of those in need. That being said, there are restrictionist groups who would rather sully the debate by co-opting faith-based terminology and tease anti-immigrant agendas out of scripture.
Washington D.C. - Yesterday, Speaker of the House John Boehner reassured the far-right wing of the Republican Party and anti-immigrant activists that he would never agree to a conference to hammer out an agreement on a House immigration bill and S. 744, the Senate’s bipartisan immigration bill that passed in June. While that statement may have been reassuring to a few die-hard anti-immigration reform activists, it had the opposite effect for the vast majority of Americans. The Speaker’s statement does not stop the clock on the economic, social, and societal costs of doing nothing on immigration. It also does not honor the hard work of Democrats and Republicans who have worked in good faith to pass the Senate bill and negotiate on various fronts in the House.
However, what Speaker Boehner's statement does do is open the door to more protests and public outrage, encourage states to continue to take the lead on immigration policy and leave the administration in the difficult situation of deciding how long they will let Congressional inaction continue before they will intervene. When Congress refuses to act they make themselves less relevant and reinforce the idea that they cannot work constructively to fix our nation's most pressing problems.
Thus, rather than tamp down the flames of reform, the Speaker’s statements will embolden those who will work to fix immigration policy on their own - for better or worse. It’s inevitable that immigration reform will happen it’s just a matter of how much our economy, communities, and the Republican Party will lose in the meantime
Based on the experience of immigration reform in 1986, a change in the law to legalize the undocumented would bring great benefits to the U.S. economy, adding to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) around 1.5 trillion dollars over the next 10 years.
A group of business owners from the Northwest suburbs has called on Sen. Dick Durbin to lead Congress in reforming the country's immigration system, which they said could be the "recipe" needed to stimulate the country's struggling economy.
About half dozen business people spoke during a news conference Thursday at the La Quebrada Banquet Hall in Elgin, sponsored by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.
"We thank Sen. Durbin for being a supporter of immigration reform, but we want him to be a leader," said Jose Figueroa of Vista Insurance Agency in Rolling Meadows.
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is the first Latina to sit in the Presidential cabinet. She is the daughter of immigrants. As a four-term Congresswoman, she pushed for a law that would make it easier for non-U.S. citizens serving in the U.S. military to get American citizenship.
But when it comes to the Obama administration’s messaging on immigration, Solis has been strangely sidelined, and advocates who focus on the issue are beginning to ask why.
Marie, a Haitian mother, couldn't have been more grateful. "Thank you God for TPS," she recently told an attorney helping her fill out forms that will protect her from deportation. She was referring to temporary protected status, which will allow her to work legally, help Haiti and support her two young children. It's the sentiment that we hear most these days.
As longtime advocates, we at Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center were gratified when the Department of Homeland Security granted temporary protected status to unauthorized Haitian immigrants after the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti. Temporary protected status will allow perhaps 100,000 Haitians to legalize their status for the next 18 months.
Walter Ewing, a senior researcher at the Immigration Policy Center in Washington, D.C., had read the headlines, listened to the television commentators, and witnessed the ongoing, thorny and evolving health care debate that polarized elected officials and much of America over the last years.
You don't have to be an evangelical Christian to realize that immigration reform is in the U.S.'s self-interest. According to a report earlier this year from the Campaign for American Progress and the American Immigration Council, an amnesty program affecting the more than 11 million undocumented people in the United States would add $1.5 trillion to the GDP over a decade. That's a lot more folks generating government revenue and keeping U.S. businesses afloat.