According to the Immigration Policy Center in Washington, D.C., the DREAM Act, sponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Richard Lugar, R-Ind., would allow "current, former and future undocumented high school graduates and GED recipients a pathway to U.S. citizenship through college or the armed services." This means that people like Alberto would be awarded a conditional lawful permanent resident status for six years, during which time they would have to complete two years of higher education or military service, although they would not be eligible for federal education grants.
Delays by USCIS in deciding naturalization applications have forced many applicants to seek judicial remedies. Section 336(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act allows a federal district court to review a naturalization application if USCIS has failed to decide it for more than 120 days after the date of the examination. The law allows the court to either decide the application itself or remand the application to USCIS for decision.
Often, USCIS will deny a naturalization application while the case is pending in federal district court. The agency’s lawyers will then move to dismiss the federal court case because the application has been denied. If the case is dismissed, the applicant will face even longer delays as an appeal to USCIS will be required before seeking judicial review of the denial. We have successfully challenged this practice, arguing in amicus briefs that once a case has been filed in federal court, USCIS loses its authority over the naturalization application and must wait for the federal court decision before taking further action.
Bustamante v. Napolitano, No. 08-0990-cv (2d Cir. amicus brief filed May 30, 2008). In a precedent decision, the court adopted the position urged by the Legal Action Center and held that USCIS does not have jurisdiction to decide a naturalization application after an applicant files an action in district court under INA § 336(b). Bustamante v. Napolitano, 582 F.3d 403 (2d Cir. 2009).Read more...
“The new leaders of the House have made it clear that they’re going to continue to push an enforcement-only strategy,” said Mary Giovagnoli, director of pro-reform Immigration Policy Center. “It’s going to be a hard couple of years.”
The Criminal Alien Program (CAP) is an expansive immigration enforcement program that leads to the initiation of removal proceedings in many cases. While CAP has existed in one form or another for decades, there is still much to be learned about the program, how it is organized, and how it works. What is known is that CAP extends to every area of the country and intersects with most state and local law enforcement agencies.
For years, the CAP program has operated with little public attention and many of its elements have only recently come to light following FOIA litigation against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The information obtained through the lawsuit regarding CAP’s current organization and staffing suggests CAP is not a single program, but a loose-knit group of several different programs operating within ICE. Other than a small number of staff responsible for the administration of CAP at ICE headquarters, there is no dedicated CAP staff. Rather, ICE pulls personnel and resources from across the agency to perform CAP-related functions.
The ICE declarations and deposition also explain how CAP functions within prisons and jails. There appears to be little consistency in, and little or no policy governing, how CAP cooperates with state and local law enforcement agencies in different regions and in how CAP interacts with detainees in different facilities. Instead, CAP appears to function as an ad hoc set of activities that operate differently across the country and across penal institutions, raising questions about the adequacy of oversight, training, and accountability of the personnel implementing CAP.
This information confirms that there is still much about CAP that remains unknown or unclear. Given the breadth of CAP, the centrality of its role in immigration enforcement, and its large impact on the immigrant community, it is critical that ICE clarify how CAP operates.Read more...
This week, another batch of state legislators in Nebraska, Indiana, Colorado and Texas dipped their toes in the enforcement-only waters, but found themselves facing an even louder chorus of opposition from their communities.
In South Carolina, the farming lobby is putting pressure on lawmakers considering “papers please” Arizona-style legislation to also consider farmers who need seasonal labor. Last week, amidst questions on the bill’s legality, South Carolina legislators sent an Arizona copycat bill (SB 20 ) to committee for further discussion. This week, however, the American Farm Bureau said it would pursue a policy that “assists the federal government in helping states create programs that give growers access to enough legal labor”—that is, temporary legal status.
This issue covers circuit court challenges to BIA precedent decisions, an advisory on multiple possession convictions, a Q&A addressing the Ninth Circuit's Recent decision Duran Gonzalez, religious worker litigation, and a recently filed natz delay class action.
Prominent immigration restrictionists such as Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) like to pretend that federal and state governments could simply deport their way out of massive budget deficits and high unemployment. By this flawed line of economic reasoning, removing unauthorized immigrants from country would magically free up both jobs and budgets. In reality, removing millions of workers, consumers, and taxpayers would cause national and state economies to contract, resulting in fewer total jobs and less tax revenue. In addition, it would cost hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to locate, round up, detain, and deport the 11 million unauthorized men, women, and children now living in the United States.
This is not a recipe for economic recovery; it is a recipe for economic disaster.
Restrictionists who champion the deport-them-all approach to unauthorized immigrants have been relying of late on a deeply flawed 2010 report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which makes implausible claims about the costs of unauthorized immigrants. The FAIR report and the restrictionists who rely upon it overlook the fact that unauthorized immigrants are not only workers, but consumers as well. Unauthorized workers spend their wages in U.S. businesses — buying food, clothes, appliances, cars, etc. — which sustains the jobs of the workers employed by those businesses. Businesses respond to the presence of new workers and consumers by investing in new restaurants, stores, and production facilities. The end result is more jobs for more workers. For instance, a new report from the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) and the Center for American Progress (CAP) Rising Tide or a Shrinking Pie: The Economic Impact of Legalization Versus Deportation in Arizona estimates that the economic output and consumer spending of unauthorized workers in Arizona sustains 581,000 jobs.Read more...