When Gov. Nathan Deal signed his state’s punitive HB 87 immigration law at noon today, Georgia took Arizona’s place on the nation’s fast track to penal profiteering from immigration crackdowns.
So much for colonial Georgia founder James Oglethorpe’s legacy, who railed against the British prisons, and launched the Great Seal of Georgia in 1733 with the motto: “Not for ourselves, but for others.”
Georgia’s new motto: “Not less than three nor more than 15 years.”
All civil rights violations aside, Georgia’s Arizona copycat “show me your papers” law not only grants widely denounced authority for unprecedented police investigations, but also calls for unabashed long-term prison sentences for numerous violations.
For starters, read this section of HB 87:
Said article of said title is further amended by revising Code Section 16-9-126, relating to penalties for violations, as follows: “16-9-126.
(a) A violation of this article, other than a violation of Code Section 16-9-121.1 or 16-9-122, shall be punishable by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years or a fine not to exceed $100,000.00, or both. Any person who commits such a violation for the second or any subsequent offense shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than three nor more than 15 years, a fine not to exceed $250,000.00, or both.
(a.1) A violation of Code Section 16-9-121.1 shall be punishable by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 15 years, a fine not to exceed $250,000.00, or both, and such sentence shall run consecutively to any other sentence which the person has received.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.
Contrary to the visa title, the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program isn't all about the J1, but the J2s, too!
The Exchange Visitor Program is pleased to announce Tania Alves Calvao AND her son, Olivio, as November's Exchange Visitors of the Month. Each month, we select an exchange visitor who has made an effort to get involved in his/her community and explore American Culture. Read more...
Last month, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement director John Morton issued a memo to the agency’s employees urging the use of prosecutorial discretion in the cases of certain immigrants, among them people who grew up in the United States after arriving here as children, and those who have served the military and their families.
It’s a directive that will be put to the test, as U.S.-raised young people continue to land in deportation proceedings. And just how it changes things remains a bit of a mystery.
For those who are unfamiliar with what prosecutorial discretion is and how it’s exercised, the Immigration Policy Center recently updated its guide to understanding how it works in immigration law. Among the basics that are covered:
What is Prosecutorial Discretion?
“Prosecutorial discretion” is the authority of an agency or officer charged with enforcing a law to decide whether to enforce the law in a particular case. A law-enforcement officer who declines to pursue a case against a person has favorably exercised prosecutorial discretion.
The authority to exercise discretion in deciding when to prosecute and when not to prosecute has long been recognized as a critical part of U.S. law. The concept of prosecutorial discretion applies in civil, administrative, and criminal contexts. The Supreme Court has made it clear that “an agency’s decision not to prosecute or enforce, whether through civil or criminal process, is a decision generally committed to an agency’s absolute discretion.” Heckler v. Chaney 470 U.S. 821, 831 (1985).
When is Prosecutorial Discretion Used in Immigration Enforcement?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...
On 9-11, three sixth-graders along with their teachers were among the passengers killed on American Flight 77 when terrorists crashed the plane into the Pentagon.
I remember later that month dropping in on a class of sixth-graders at May Street Elementary School here in Worcester to get a sense of how they saw themselves and their lives.
That trek ended up being a heartening experience, because in those students, during what was a bleak moment in this country’s history, I found hope, optimism and a hunger to be neighborly.
“What I have learned from this is that we should help each other,” Suzanna, one of the students, told me.
I can only hope now, 10 years after, that Suzanna and her classmates of that year are hanging on to their hopeful and neighborly sixth-grade badges.
Yet, if some of them have lost faith, I wouldn’t be surprised because the billowing dark clouds of that horrific day are still chasing the good in us, still stirring in us a growing hardness, and a crassness in behavior that is threatening to be the norm.
Although many think it is a good and even a righteous battle, there is hardness in the never-ending and costly war we have launched on terror.
We know of the 3,000 innocent lives that perished in those 9-11 attacks, but how many of us have reflected on, according to some estimates, the almost 1 million U.S., Afghan, Iraqi and coalition troops and civilians who have been killed over the course of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars?
We talked about ending these wars, but primarily the debate seems to be over the amount of money we will save, and not the number of lives.
Although many think it is necessary, there is hardness in how we engage one another.Read more...
The Department of State has released a new version of form DS 7002, the Trainee/Intern Placement Plan for J-1 applicants.
The new form can be viewed online on the Department of State website HERE.
In conjunction with the release of the new form, the International Exchange Center has revised our 2013 Application Packet. In addition to including the new version of form DS 7002, we have streamlined our application materials. We will be continuing to move our appication to an electronic system so please check our website FREQUENTLY for more updates.