Jose Loa's uncle opened the first Carniceria Loa 13 years ago in Dalton, Ga. Now the family owns seven stores, not only in the self-proclaimed carpet capital of the world, but also Chattanooga and Cleveland, Tenn.
Washington D.C. - Last week, an alliance of national immigration advocacy organizations filed suit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), seeking to compel the release of documents concerning the agency’s Criminal Alien Program (CAP).
Seeking greater transparency, the American Immigration Council (AIC) and the Connecticut chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) brought the suit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which requires federal agencies to produce responsive, non-exempt records upon request. For years, the public has been unable to scrutinize CAP because DHS has shrouded the program in secrecy. AIC and AILA Connecticut requested a variety of documents related to CAP last year, but DHS has not produced a single one.
CAP is the workhorse of the federal immigration enforcement system. Under CAP, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents are stationed in prisons and jails, visit other detention facilities, and initiate deportation proceedings against people convicted of criminal offenses. However, CAP also sweeps up individuals who have been arrested but never convicted of any crime. And while DHS is still rolling out Secure Communities, CAP — a more far-reaching program — has been operational for years. Over the past five years alone, CAP has led to the arrest of more than a million people, and the program was implicated in approximately half of all removal proceedings in FY 2009. Read more...
Immediately after the Presidential election of 2008, it was quickly apparent through exit polling that Latino, Asian, and African-American voting had expanded dramatically compared to the 2004 election. Census Bureau data released late last month confirms the tremendous growth in voting among these groups. Today, the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) releases a fact check, Latino and Asian Clout in the Voting Booth, which shows how much the electoral power of racial and ethnic minorities increased in just four years.
In Dent v. Holder, the Ninth Circuit found that the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires the government to turn over copies of documents in a respondent’s Alien File (A-file) in cases where removability is contested. Significantly, the court held that the respondent’s access to his or her records is not conditioned on filing a request under the Freedom of Information Act. This Practice Advisory discusses the Ninth Circuit’s decision and offers strategies for making document requests pursuant to the INA and due process, both in the Ninth Circuit, where Dent is binding authority, as well as outside the Ninth Circuit.
For a complete list of all LAC Practice Advisories, please visit the LAC’s website.
Washington D.C. - Today, the Supreme Court unequivocally affirmed that there is no legitimate reason for the federal government to discriminate against married couples on account of their sexual orientation. The Justices struck down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, noting in their decision, “DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal.”
Today’s historic decision means that our immigration system must stop treating gay and lesbian families differently than other families. For far too long, gay and lesbian U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents have been barred from obtaining immigration status for their noncitizen spouses. As a result, families have been separated and spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent residents have been deported from the United States.
President Obama issued an immediate directive to the Attorney General to “work with other members of my Cabinet to review all relevant federal statutes to ensure this decision, including its implications for Federal benefits and obligations, is implemented swiftly and smoothly.”
The Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano also issued a statement to press confirming that DHS is “working with our federal partners, including the Department of Justice, [to] implement today's decision so that all married couples will be treated equally and fairly in the administration of our immigration laws."
Immigration reform that would permit the legalization of undocumented immigrants in the United States would boost the economy and increase the wages of native born and newly legalized immigrants, said a study released Thursday.
The Notice to Appear is the charging document used by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to notify a noncitizen about immigration charges and a future immigration court hearing. Filing a Notice to Appear (“NTA”) with the immigration court places an individual in a removal proceeding before a judge and is a significant step in the removal process. Various officials within the three major immigration-related components of the Department of Homeland Security — Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) — are empowered to issue NTAs, which trigger removal proceedings in immigration court. At various points after an NTA is issued, an attorney may negotiate with DHS to obtain a favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion. DHS has discretion either to file the NTA with the court, thus going forward with removal proceedings, to drop or revise certain charges, or to cancel the NTA and thus end the removal proceedings. After the NTA is filed, DHS can exercise discretion through a joint motion asking the judge to administratively close or terminate proceedings. The decisions made by DHS about Notices to Appear are not just ministerial, but can impact the lives of noncitizens and their families in significant ways.Read more...
As President Barack Obama discusses immigration reform with congressional leaders, it is important to keep in mind that such reform would deliver a much-needed boost to the U.S. economy. Contrary to the views of some, immigration is an economic resource that can be maximized to the benefit of both immigrant and native-born workers. A comprehensive immigration reform package that includes a pathway to legal status for unauthorized immigrants already living in the United States would increase their wages, and therefore their purchasing power and tax contributions, which would support hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs at a time of high unemployment, and generate billions of dollars in government revenue at a time of gaping budget deficits.
A new study published by the Center for American Progress and the Immigration Policy Center demonstrates that the legalization of the 11 to 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States could raise the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of this country by $1.5 trillion over 10 years, and bring other benefits to U.S. workers and the nation's economy.