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State Representative Launches ‘Anchor Baby’ Task Force

Published on Tue, Oct 19, 2010

Wendy Sefsaf, communications director for the American Immigration Council, said there is no proof illegal immigrants come here to have children, only anecdotal stories in articles and newspapers.

“There’s no absolute proof someone would come here and have a baby,” said Ms. Sefsaf. “That baby couldn’t do anything for you until it’s 21 years old, and then sponsor you for permanent residence which could take 10 to 20 years. It’s an imagined problem.”

Ms. Sefsaf also questioned Mr. Metcalfe’s claim the 14th Amendment is being “misapplied” because the original debates around the amendment talked about both rights for African-Americans and for Chinese immigrants.

“It was very purposely passed and set up to take into account both African-Americans and immigrants,” she said. “It’s being applied exactly as it was intended.”

She said illegal immigrants primarily come to the United States for economic reasons, not to have children here.

“It’s almost invariably for economic reasons. We do have a broken immigration system, and we do need to address it comprehensively and fix it, but these patchwork solutions don’t get us anywhere near where we need to be to fix the system,” said Ms. Sefsaf.

Published in the Pennsylvania Independent

Relevant Decisions

In contrast with criminalproceedings, removal proceedings include only minimal safeguards for respondents with mental disabilities. This page contains summaries of select cases addressing the rights of noncitizens with mental disabilities.

Federal Court Decisions

Franco-Gonzalez v. Holder, No. 10-02211 (C.D. Cal. Apr. 24, 2013): Federal Judge Orders Government to Provide Counsel to Detained Immigrants with Mental Disabilities Facing Deportation

In March 2010, attorneys from the ACLU of Southern California filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in a California federal district court on behalf of Jose Antonio Franco-Gonzalez, a Mexican citizen with a cognitive disability who had been in immigration detention for more than five years. Several months later, the ACLU and other organizations and attorneys filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Mr. Franco-Gonzalez and other detained unrepresented individuals with serious mental disorders in removal proceedings in California, Arizona, and Washington. The complaint stated that the government was required to 1) conduct competency evaluations for all those who the government knows or should know may be incompetent to represent themselves, 2) appoint attorneys for those found in need of counsel as a result of the evaluations, and 3) conduct custody hearings for those who face prolonged detention as a result of the delays caused by their mental disabilities. As a result of the habeas petition, ICE released Mr. Franco-Gonzalez from custody.Read more...

More states push for stricter immigration laws

Published on Tue, Jan 18, 2011

In explaining these somewhat contradictory findings, Wendy Sefsaf, the communications director of the American Immigration Council, said, “We have to dig beneath the surface. Americans want solutions, even if sometimes they are bad ones or not really solutions at all.”

Published in the Homeland Security Newswire

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 2, No. 13

This issue covers natz delay class actions, challenges to Matter of Perez-Vargas, potential religious worker litigation, and LAC news.

Published On: Monday, November 19, 2007 | Download File

Barbour May Follow in Brewer's Footsteps on Controversial Immigration Policy

Published on Tue, Mar 15, 2011

Mississippi governor and potential Republican presidential contender Haley Barbour addressed a Chamber of Commerce audience in Chicago Monday, where he spent most of his time on criticizing President Obama's handling of the economy.

He will likely continue to do the same in Iowa and California this week as he continues to test the presidential waters. But back in Mississippi, a quieter fight over a pending immigration bill is brewing, one which would undoubtedly play role in the upcoming battle for the GOP nomination.

Modeled closely after the contentious law enacted by Arizona governor Jan Brewer last April, the proposed measure in Mississippi would allow law enforcement officers to ask people they suspect of being illegal immigrants for proof that they are in the country legally. Failure to produce proper documentation could result in jail time or deportation.

There are slight variations in both chambers' versions of the bill. The state Senate measure would have allowed people to sue cities, counties, and law enforcement officials who failed to comply with the new rules. The House stripped that language, and added a provision to allow for lawsuits and fines for employers of illegal immigrants.

Reaction to the proposed legislation at the local level has largely fallen along predictable partisan lines. The Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance has called it unethical and racist. And a group of state bishops sent an open letter to Gov. Barbour, arguing that "From a public policy standpoint, this bill does not make good law or good sense."Read more...

Published in the PBS Newshour

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 1, No. 3

This issue covers the favorable district court order in the ADIT litigation (Santillan v. Gonzales) and recent decisions addressing Matter of Grijalva and the presumption of effective service.

Published On: Monday, January 9, 2006 | Download File

President Obama has options on immgration, and should employ them

Published on Thu, May 05, 2011

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...

Published in the Sun Sentinel