Skip to main content

Immigration Checks at Local Jails. What Does this Mean?

According to recent reports, the Obama administration is expanding a program that was initiated by President Bush designed to check the immigration status of virtually any person booked into local jails. This crackdown on illegal immigrants who commit criminal offenses illustrates Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano’s commitment to focus enforcement measures on immigrants who commit criminal offenses, as opposed to those who are merely here in the United States illegally, but are otherwise abiding by the laws of this country.

My three cents…First, the program will unfortunately lead to immigration detention of foreign nationals who commit such grave offenses (said in a sarcastic tone) as speeding or driving without a license. Once arrested on these minor offenses, the local jail will necessarily perform a background check and determine that the person may not have status and then pass along the information to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and place the person in removal proceedings. It seems to me that the net is cast far to broad, and the program should focus on serious offenders. This leads me to my second impression…

Second, further implementation of this program will lead to overburdening of the court system – potentially the straw that broke the camel’s back. Currently in the Atlanta, Georgia immigration court, final hearings are set for individuals nearly two years down the road because the court’s dockets are so crowded. If illegal immigrants are detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and put in removal proceedings with more frequency, the courts and judges will be overwhelmed, and adjudication of cases – and justice will be delayed.

Third, I think that this helps set the table for comprehensive immigration reform. Clearly President Obama would be unable to garner support for reform without enforcement being a focus. Essentially what Obama is doing is appeasing or gaining the favor of the hesitant, or anti-immigrant folks by sensibly focusing on enforcement prior to initiating a path to legalization. There is simply no way reform would pass without a step up in enforcement and Obama clearly recognizes this. What appears to be a sign that things are getting even tougher for immigrants, in reality this is likely another sign that reform is on the horizon. Stay positive.


Popular posts from this blog

If You Are An Immigrant (even a US Citizen), Here Are 9 Things You Should Know

Are you a Naturalized U.S. Citizen, Lawful Permanent Resident, Visa Holder, or an Undocumented Immigrant? We recommend you take the following steps to protect yourself in our current version of America.
The last couple of weeks have reminded immigrants, even naturalized U.S. citizens, that they were not born in the United States. Our office has received countless phone calls, emails, and social media messages from people worrying about what their family’s future in the United States holds.
Most people want to know what they can do now to protect themselves from what promises to be a wave of anti-immigration activity by the federal government. Trump's Executive Order on Interior Enforcement has some provisions that should make most Americans shiver.  We recommend the following actions for each of the following groups:
Naturalized U.S. citizens. In particular if you have a foreign accent, and you are traveling within 100 miles of any US Border (including the oceans), we strongly rec…
Si usted es inmigrante (incluso un ciudadano de los EE.UU.), aquí hay 9 cosas que usted debe saber.

¿Es usted un ciudadano estadounidense naturalizado, residente legal permanente, titular de una visa o inmigrante indocumentado? Le recomendamos que tome los siguientes pasos para protegerse de nuestra versión actual de América.
Las últimas semanas hemos recordado a los inmigrantes, incluso a los ciudadanos estadounidenses naturalizados, que no nacieron en los Estados Unidos. Nuestra oficina ha recibido innumerables llamadas telefónicas, mensajes de correo electrónico y mensajes de medios sociales de personas preocupadas por el futuro de su familia en los Estados Unidos.
La mayoría de gente quiere saber qué puede hacer ahora para protegerse de lo que promete ser una ola de actividad anti-inmigración por parte del gobierno federal. La orden ejecutiva de Trump sobre la aplicación de la ley interior tiene algunas disposiciones que deberían hacer temblar a la mayoría de los estadounidenses. …

The DOJ Raised The Penalty Fee for Immigration Law Violations--Including Employer Sanctions

The Department of Justice announced an increase in fines for violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as the pertain to those sections that account for fraud, document abuse, and unfair immigration-related employment practices. While this is only an adjustment for inflation, it brings home the point that that poorly or incorrectly completing immigration forms, like the Form I-9, can lead to very costly fines from ICE and the Immigration Court. If you have any questions or concerns about I-9s in your company, please call the attorneys and Kuck Immigration Partners.  We have decades of experience representing employers in the ICE and DOL immigration investigations.  You can reach us at 404-816-8611 or at  

U.S.C. citation


CFR citation DOJ penalty assessed after 8/1/2016 ($) 1 DOJ penalty assessed after 2/3/2017 ($) 2 8 U.S.C.     IRCA; Unfair immigration-related employment practices, document abuse (per individual discriminated against).     …