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Georgia Dumps Peaches for Prisons with Arizona Copycat Immigration Law Today

Published on Fri, May 13, 2011

Will the Peach State now become the Prison State?

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:

SECTION 5.

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...

Published in the AlterNet

Naturalization Adjudication Delays

ARCHIVED ISSUE PAGE (LAST UPDATED JUNE 2012)

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.

Latest Developments|Additional Resources

Latest Developments

Pre-interview Natz Delay Cases

Select pre-interview naturalization delay cases filed as mandamus/APA lawsuits are summarized on our Mandamus Litigation Issue Page.

Class Action and Individual Suits Challenging Delay in the Adjudication of Naturalization Applications

CaliforniaRead more...

In light of recent ICE memo, a primer on ‘prosecutorial discretion’

Published on Wed, Jul 20, 2011

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...

Published in the Southern California Public Radio

Remand Rule

Gonzales v. Thomas, 547 U.S. 183 (2006)Read more...

  • In a per curiam decision dated April 17, 2006, the Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit’s decision and remanded the case for further consideration of the asylum claim.

America Through Sonja Haenzelmann’s Lense

November, 2010

The International Exchange Center is proud to announce Sonja Haenzelmann as this month’s Exchange Visitor 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. Sonja is also the winner of last month’s photo contest on our Facebook page!

Read more...

After 10 years, does hope exist?

Published on Mon, Sep 12, 2011

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...

Published in the Telegram: Worcester MA

UPDATE: IEC Comments on Proposed DS 7002 (July 2012)

July 05, 2012-- The International Exchange Center has responded to the second round of proposed revisions to the DS 7002. Read our full comments to the Department of State here.