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Particularly Serious Crime and Jurisdiction; Case Dismissed

Ali v. Achim, 551 U.S. 1188 (2007)

The Supreme Court granted certiorari to determine whether the Seventh Circuit erred 1) when it concluded that an offense does not need to be an aggravated felony to be classified as a “particularly serious crime,” and 2) when it construed the scope of the court’s jurisdiction to review the BIA’s particularly serious crime determinations under 8 U.S.C. §§ 1252(a)(2)(B)(ii) and (a)(2)(D). On December 21, 2007, the petitioner filed a motion for voluntary dismissal asking the Court to dismiss the writ of certiorari pursuant to a settlement agreement. The motion states that the petitioner and the government entered into a settlement agreement and petitioner has agreed not to pursue his claims for asylum and withholding of removal. The Court dismissed the case on December 27, 2007. Read more...

Alumni of the Month: Ignacio De Solminihac Sierralta

February, 2013
Map of Chile

 In the winter of 2010, Ignacio De Solminihac Sierralta arrived in New York City to start a law internship. He was only in the US for two months, but on the day before his scheduled flight back to Chile, February 27, 2010, the sixth largest earthquake ever recorded hit Chile. The magnitude 8.8 earthquake also set off a devastating tsunami that reached all the way across the Pacific Ocean to Japan. Here’s his story. Read more...

Big Breakthrough on Binational Gay, Lesbian Couples

Published on Thu, Aug 18, 2011

BY PAUL SCHINDLER

In a significant reprieve for the same-sex partners of American citizens facing the threat of deportation, the Obama administration on August 18 announced that such actions would no longer be pursued against foreign nationals unless they are identified as security threats, convicted criminals, or repeat immigration law violators.

The policy was rolled out in a letter from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

In a telephone conference call with reporters, a senior administration official explained that the focus on those “high-priority” categories represents the latest in the government’s efforts to un-“clog” a deportation system that currently has 300,000 cases pending.

The Obama administration has already made a significant dent in shifting deportations toward priority cases, the official said. In fiscal year 2010, more than half of those deported were security risks or criminal convicts –– up from just 30 percent before the president took office –– and two-thirds of the remainder were repeat immigration law offenders, including deported individuals who had reentered the country.

The new policy was announced in response to a letter sent to President Barack Obama from 22 senators earlier this year asking that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) categorically stop deportation proceedings against young people who would have been covered had the Dream Act been approved by Congress. That bill aims to offer permanent residency to college students and military service personnel who are undocumented immigrants that arrived in the US as minors.

Like same-sex partners and other law-abiding undocumented immigrants, these young people should now largely be in the clear.Read more...

Published in the Chelsea Now

Understanding the Final Rule for J-1 Trainee and Intern Programs

New final rules became effective Sept. 9, 2010 for J trainee and intern programs 22 C.F.R.§ 62 (2010). With few exceptions, the final rule will produce little change to the way J trainee and intern programs have been administered since the interim-final rule of 2007.

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Undocumented Immigrants Facing Deportation: Caught Up In Confusion, Lost Records, Inconsistent Policy Enforcement And Difficult Choices

Published on Fri, Nov 18, 2011

PLANO, Texas -- The worst shock of Maria Navarro's life came, fittingly, on Halloween. Weeks later, she still is afraid, asking that her real name not be used, recounting her story over the phone and hiding out with her three U.S.-born children at the home of relatives.

In the pre-dawn, federal agents arrested Navaro's husband, Ramiro, as he made his way to his plumbing job. Within hours, he had been deported. He broke the news to his wife over the phone from his hometown in north-central Mexico's Guanajuato state.

"He is disillusioned," she said. "He spent the last 20 years in the United States. He made his life here. This is where his children were born."

Ramiro's is just one case in the record number of undocumented immigrants being deported by the Obama administration -- nearly 400,000 in the last fiscal year. Many are whisked quickly across the border. Increasingly, they're deported without speaking to a lawyer or having a proper hearing, according to a recent report from the National Immigration Law Center, a Los Angeles-based advocacy group.

An official at the Mexican Consulate and a spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Dallas said they found no record of the immigration raid that netted Ramiro and seven other men on Oct. 31.

Roberto Nicolas, the consular official, said in an email it was "not a common practice for deportations to occur on the same day."

Carl Rusnok, an ICE spokesman in Dallas, also wrote in an email that he "did not find any information regarding these actions taken in that location that day."

Immigration attorney Kathleen Walker believes that Navarro may have been swept up in a little-known federal program called "stipulated removal."Read more...

Published in the The Huffington Post

Community Education Center Resources

K-12 teachers, who are often pressed for time and lack adequate resources, need up-to-date, factual, teacher-written and classroom-tested teaching materials when discussing and teaching immigration-related topics in the classroom. The Community Education Center is committed to providing teachers with the tools and resources they need to prepare fair and informative lessons.

The Community Education Center strives to enhance classroom learning by providing a wide variety of accessible and creative educational teaching resources to fit the need of every modern classroom. Our annual Teachers' Resource Guide, created by teachers for teachers, provides new lesson plans, book reviews and other valuable educational tools. The center also provides additional K-12 teacher-written lesson plans, suggested reading lists and links to other educational resources.Read more...

Quick Facts: Immigrants are the majority in Silicon Valley

Immigrants founded more than half of the high-tech companies in Silicon Valley.

Saying "sí" to business opportunities

Published on Wed, Jan 18, 2012

Manny and Vicky Gonzalez are reminded each day that it isn’t only Spanish speaking people who stop to purchase Mexican (“tortas”) sandwiches at their two restaurants in Minneapolis.

“A lot of Minnesotans have learned that there is more to Mexican food than tacos,” said Manny, who with his wife started Manny’s Tortas along Lake Street in 1999.

In the past century, long-time Minnesota families learned there was more to Italian cuisine than pizza, and that Chinese food is regional and far more complex than chow mein. Now, Minnesotans with newly acquired tastes for the Gonzalez’s Mexican sandwiches drive from throughout the Twin Cities metro area to their two shops in Minneapolis’ Mercado Central and Midtown Global Market.    

U.S. Census data from 2010, anecdotal evidence about immigrant entrepreneurship, and a recently released study from the Immigration Policy Center show Minnesota is rapidly changing. Days of sputtering along and resisting change should be behind us. New Minnesotans are changing the demographic portrait of the state and communities. New ethnic entrepreneurs are changing the mix of businesses and the products and services being offered in commerce.

Hector Garcia, executive director of the Chicano Latino Affairs Council (CLAC), refers to the benefits of this commerce as “cultural complementarities.” The long established Minnesota society learns from immigrants and refugees entering the state in search of opportunities, he said, and new arrivals learn from established businesses, groups and people.

What’s more, new Census data show that immigrants now comprise 8.3 percent of the Minnesota workforce. From them, Garcia said, existing Minnesota businesses and its large corporations gain knowledge for opening even more trade and business relationships with countries and businesses abroad, paving the way for even more economic activity.Read more...

Published in the Twin Cities Daily Planet

2007 Winner, Ben Groselak

"Immigration To Our Great Nation"

 By Ben Groselak

 SS. Cyril & Methodius Parish and School

 Lemont, Illinois

 

A lot of people from far and wide,

come to America with nothing to hide.

A new life to start…

an American citizen…a dream in their heart.

 

Imagine the strife of traveling so far,

aboard a boat, a train or even a car.

Leaving your homeland, what a decision…

to come to a strange country of mixed composition.

 

Immigration has made a great nation…

new ideas, languages, cultures and creations.

All our lives have been touched by the blending,

the music, the foods, the inventions…by immigrants ascending.

 

What do they hope for? Why do they come?

They come for religious choice, to join their family…

they come to have a voice.

Most of all, however, they come for freedom.

 

How lucky am I to live in this land that is free!

How fortunate am I to know that I don’t have to leave!

I am blessed to be here…and I am extremely proud to say…

 

“America is just where I plan to stay!”