This issue covers Supreme Court developments, a class action to restore SSI benefits to immigrants, suits challenging anti-immigrant ordinances, and federal court jurisdiction to review an L-1A extension denial.
The reaction from different pro-immigrant organizations to President Obama’s speech this week on immigration was mixed, but all tend to agree the administration needs to lead with action.
In his speech President Obama spelled out on his administrations increases on border security, adding that they have gone above and beyond what was requested by the people supported broader reform as long as there was more enforcement, but now are calling even more enforcement to ensure the border is secure before talking about comprehensive immigration reform. At the same time, immigrant advocacy groups are calling on the president to put a stop to detentions and deportations – other words, to scale back enforcement until lawmakers can fix the system as a whole.
Jonathan Fried of Homestead-based We Count said that president Obama made this speech to boost his ratings with Latino and other immigrant voters, adding that Obama has failed to move immigration reform while his enforcement policies have separated immigrant families.
“It is fine for him to say he’s starting another dialog in immigration but their isn’t anything new,” Fried said, “I think it is an effort to save face and get votes.”
“It is not accompanied by a legislative proposal, if he really wants to send a message he needs to look at what his administration is doing,”Fried added.
The National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities press release said that despite Democratic Party majorities in the House and Senate over the last two years no immigration policy reform was enacted, and called on the Obama Administration to change its current enforcement approach.Read more...
Gov. Rick Snyder on Monday will make his first major policy speech on immigration. Snyder already has signaled his opposition to an Arizona-style immigration bill, saying any such measure would further divide our state. Here's why that's a wise position.
Our immigration system has no capacity to deal with some 12 million undocumented people already in this country. Deportation is tearing families apart, and a backlog in processing applications creates agonizingly long wait times. Reports of overzealous immigration enforcement -- including stakeouts at a Detroit elementary school -- are only the most recent examples of why we must overhaul this system. But fair, humane legislation demands a comprehensive approach from the White House, not the statehouse.
Immigration bills were introduced in 23 states last year. At least five states have enacted "show me your papers" laws. Arizona blazed the path in 2010 with a sweeping measure that makes it a crime for people to fail to carry immigration documents, and gives police broad powers to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally.
A blatantly unconstitutional Alabama law goes even further, requiring school officials to verify the immigration status of children and their parents, authorizing police to demand papers during traffic stops, and even criminalizing Alabama residents for day-to-day interactions with undocumented individuals.
Such patchwork, state-by-state measures virtually guarantee the proliferation of racial profiling -- an issue with which the Arab-American community is all too familiar.Read more...
On May 18, 2009, a divided Supreme Court reversed the Second Circuit's decision upholding the denial of a motion to dismiss respondent's complaint alleging constitutional violations by defendants. Following his arrest and detention for more than 150 days in a maximum security detention center after 9/11 attacks, respondent Iqbal, who is a Muslim and a native of Pakistan, filed a lawsuit against then-Attorney General, John Ashcroft and other officers and officials. The complaint alleged that government officials adopted an unconstitutional policy of subjecting certain individuals to harsh conditions of confinement based on their race, religion, or national origin. Iqbal claimed that petitioners violated his First and Fifth Amendment rights. Read more...
The ability of whether the President can use discretion in the immigration arena has become the flavor of the month. The announcement by the DHS on August 18, 2001 under which 300,000 individuals who are low priority can hope to have their cases closed and obtain work authorization was welcomed. The details about how this policy will play out are nicely explained in a Legal Action Center advisory. Although many were pleasantly surprised by this policy, within days of the announcement even advocates for immigration reform have become skeptical about whether this policy will have a dramatic and far reaching impact. Obama supporters have even gone so far to accuse the Obama administration for mere window dressing in order to keep certain voters on his side in the next elections. Commentators such as Dan Kowalski also justifiably feel that ICE personnel will continue to ignore this policy, and choose not to exercise their discretion favorably.
While the President has his critics within the pro-immigration camp regarding his new announcement on discretion, the attempt by immigration restrictionists in Congress to blunt the June 17, 2011 Morton Memo on prosecutorial discretion when viewed in a larger context repeats an old pattern. For instance, Congressmen Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Senator Vitter have proposed a most unusual piece of legislation suitably called the HALT Act (Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation Act) that will suspend all of the Administration’s discretionary relief until January 21, 2013, which is the day after the next Presidential inauguration.Read more...