Across the country, tens of thousands marched and rallied May 1, May Day, to call for national immigration reform and to support all workers’ rights. Just as we did on April 4, working people declared: “Somos Unos—Respeten Nuestros Derechos” or “We Are One—Respect Our Rights.”
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told a crowd of about 100,000 in Milwaukee that “May Day is our day to stand together shoulder to shoulder for immigrant and worker rights.”
Gov. Scott Walker…has declared war on Wisconsin workers and, like you did before, you joined in a peaceful protest to say “No! No!” We reject the idea that America can no longer be a great nation and that we’re too broke to treat people fairly. We reject the notion that America can’t be the land of shared prosperity.
The crowd marched 2.5 miles across Milwaukee chanting, “this is what democracy looks like,” “sí, se peude,” “Walker eschuca estamos en la lucha” and “Wisconsin no es Arizona.”
Read Trumka’s entire speech here and click here to read more about the Milwaukee march.
On the other side of the country, nearly 10,000 people in Los Angeles rallied for good jobs that include a path to citizenship for 12 million undocumented immigrants.
According to a recent report by the Center for American Progress and the Immigration Policy Center, if federal immigration reform included a path to legalization, California would add 633,000 jobs and increase tax revenue by $5.3 billion.
AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler spoke at a mass rally in Chicago and Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker spoke at a rally in New York City.
Cory McCray, president of the Young Trade Unionists in Baltimore, spoke to Young Democrats from Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia and Pennsylvania about the importance of collective bargaining. Check out a video of some of the discussion here.
Section 336(b) of the INA provides for judicial review of a stalled naturalization application. It states that if USCIS fails to grant or deny an application for naturalization before the end of the 120-day period after the date on which the examination is conducted, the applicant may apply to the district court for the district in which the applicant resides for a hearing on the matter. The court may (1) determine the matter or (2) remand to USCIS, with appropriate instructions, to determine the matter. If the delay occurs before the naturalization examination date, many litigants seek relief under the mandamus statute and the Administrative Procedure Act. See our Mandamus Litigation Issue Page for information about these types of actions.
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...
John Morton, executive director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (aka ICE), issued a memo (.pdf) last Friday that provides ICE personnel “guidance on the exercise of prosecutorial discretion to ensure that the agency’s immigration enforcement resources are focused on the agency’s enforcement priorities.”
The memo is one among several issued over the past 30 years by federal immigration authorities on how to exercise prosecutorial discretion. This latest memo explains that “the term ‘prosecutorial discretion’ applies to a broad range of discretionary enforcement decisions” that can include deferred action but also the execution of a deportation order. It offers guidelines on how to use discretion on a case-by-case basis and states that “decisions should be based on the totality of the circumstances, with the goal of conforming to ICE’s enforcement priorities.”
According to the Immigration Policy Center, there are factors that lead to the use or exercise of prosecutorial discretion in an immigration case, “with respect to investigations, arrests, detention, parole, the initiation of removal proceedings, continued litigation of removal proceedings, and even the execution of final removal orders. Examples of the favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion in the immigration context include a grant of deferred action; a decision to terminate removal proceedings; a stay of removal; or a decision not to issue a charging document in the first place.”
The Morton memo adds that “when weighing whether an exercise of prosecutorial discretion may be warranted for a given alien, ICE officers, agents, and attorneys should consider all relevant factors.”
The memo lists a series of factors that would allow ICE officials to use discretion:
• If the alien came to the United States as a young child.
• Whether someone has graduated from a U.S. high school or has successfully pursued or is pursuing a college or advanced degree.Read more...
On Tuesday February 20, 2007, the Court denied Haroon Rashid’s petition for certiorari. The Tenth Circuit had upheld a finding that Rashid was removable because his misdemeanor assault conviction constituted an "aggravated felony." On December 6, 2006, Justice Breyer had stayed the deportation pending the Supreme Court's ruling on his petition for certiorari.
This year, we’re kicking off Hispanic Heritage Month with the disheartening news that Latinos, for the first time in American history, comprise the majority of inmates in federal prison. One reason for this, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, is the unprecedented amount of undocumented immigrants being arrested and charged rather than deported. The trend is a tactic on the part of the Obama administration, (and the Bush administration before them), says Walter Ewing, senior researcher at the Immigration Policy Center, to butter up conservative litigators for immigration reform.
“It’s a losing strategy because it’s never going to be enough for them,” Ewing told political watchdog site Colorlines, referring to members of Congress who demand “a secure border” before they can consider immigration reform.
Meanwhile, those sneaking into the United States to willingly perform labor for minuscule wages are finding themselves involved in a far more diabolic system than they bargained for. Namely, privatized prisons motivated by profit.
Corrections Corp. of America, (it sounds like something out of a Monty Python skit, but it’s sadly very real), runs more than 60 prisons and immigrant-detention centers across the country. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan organization that tracks the effect of money on U.S. politics, CCA has spent more than any other corrections company–$17.6 million– lobbying politicians, contributing to their campaigns and hiring their former staff. They also lobby the Department of Homeland Security and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement division which just so happens to contract with CCA and other private companies for immigration-detention centers.
Though CCA says they only lobby to educate policy makers, one can’t help but notice that what they lobby for is tougher prison sentences. After all, it’s how they make their money.Read more...
Newt Gingrich continued his full-throttle emphasis on immigration on Thursday in Iowa, countering opponents who have accused him of embracing amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Gingrich signed a pledge to build a fence along the entire 2,000-mile stretch between Mexico and the United States by the end of 2013.
Building the fence could cost taxpayers billions of dollars, not including annual maintenance expenses. But Gingrich told The Des Moines Register in an interview that those costs could be trimmed as much as 95 percent by simply eliminating all federal regulations for the fence’s construction.
He did not explain how he arrived at that estimate and his staff was unable to pinpoint the information Thursday.
“Remember, we built the Pentagon for almost nothing because we didn’t go through all the modern baloney,” Gingrich said.
Such federal regulations are intended to protect water quality, prevent ground pollution and ensure worker safety — all items generally seen as critical to human health.
Several immigration reform advocates said Thursday that while they agree with Gingrich that action is needed, they doubt his cost-saving ideas and whether such a fence would be effective.
A better idea would be to invest the billions of dollars in increased security and screening at the nation’s ports of entry, where the majority of illegal immigration and drug smuggling occurs, said William Moore, a spokesman for the Texas Border Coalition. The nonpartisan group of mayors and local officials represents more than 6 million people living along the border.
Moore also contends that building the fence would be difficult if not impossible because of the region’s harsh landscape. Because of flood plains, some U.S. farmers and their homes would likely be on the Mexican side of the fence, creating numerous safety and property rights issues, he noted.Read more...