Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from June, 2010

Have We Really Come To This?

The headline in a report on KGUN9 (a Tucson, Arizona TV station) reads:Group of illegal immigrants shot at, 1 wounded near Rio Rico (AZ)Apparently a group of undocumented immigrants were shot at while walking in the desert away from the border on Friday. The reports indicate that two men wearing camouflage used high-powered rifles to shoot at them. One of the five immigrants was wounded in the attack and was treated by local authorities in the hospital. This same group also told authorities that they had passed two bodies nearby during their trek.Another Headline in the Arizona Republic Reads:Phoenix murder of Latino man called hate crimeThe Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has alleged that the May 6 fatal shooting of a Mexican-American man in south Phoenix by a neighbor shouting racial epithets was a hate crime. The allegation was filed June 9 as one of six aggravating factors that the office raised in the case of Gary Thomas Kelley. Aggravating factors allow judges to enhanc…

Don’t bring the Arizona law to North Carolina

As Arizona implements their new immigration law (A.R.S. 13-1509), making it a federal misdemeanor, punishable by 30 days in jail and/or a $100 fine, for failing to carry one’s “certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card”, other states have looked to replicate this law, namely North Carolina.Senator Don East of Surry County, NC has introduced Senate Resolution 1349 which if approved, would require immigrants to carry proof of citizenship or an alien registration card. The problem with this law and with the Arizona law is that they both ignore the complexity of the every changing area of immigration law.For example, if you are from Haiti and you were in the USA illegally you could have been arrested under this new law up until January of 2010. After the earthquake in Haiti all Haitians that were already here with no criminal records could apply for “Temporary Protected Status.” You could have been in the USA illegally one day and be completely legal the next al…

Everyone has a blog…even USCIS!

United States Citizenship and Immigration Service has recently added their own blog to the blogosphere. It is called The Beacon and can be accessed at the following URL:http://blog.uscis.gov/Besides covering important issues like advanced parole, immigration is now publishing stories about adoptions and recognizing our veterans under their “wounded warriors” program. It is nice to see that immigration is away of the thoughts and questions that are on people’s mind.

The Fees, The Fees, Where are the Fees (Going Up!)

The surprise announcement of a proposed fee increase at today’s USCIS stakeholder meeting should take no one by surprise. USCIS plans to raise filing fees by “generally” 10% or so across the board, except for Naturalization (which is already at an outrageous $675, but will really now be $680) and Adjustment of Status, which is only going up 6% (by $55!!), but the Form I-140 filing fee is increasing by 20% to $580 and Premium Processing is skyrocketing to $1,225!!! USICS is doing this at a time when inflation has been basically nonexistent, there has been zero accountability from USCIS, and quality of service levels have dropped across the board.Director Mayorkas has said that the USCIS is taking further steps to cut spending by $160 million from its $2.5 BILLION dollar budget (less than 1%). There is no doubt that USCIS is hamstrung by Congress, which gives USCIS virtually no funding. And, federal law is clear that USCIS does have to recoup some costs from users of its services. The…

I HAVE Read the Arizona Law. And, It Still Stinks!

I was at church on Sunday when a fellow parishioner decided to engage me on the Arizona anti-immigration Law. His main point was this: ”it is exactly like federal law.” When I explained to him that it was not actually “exactly” like federal law and that in fact there is no federal law allowing for racial profiling and arresting people because they look “illegal,” he would not believe me (keep in mind, we are at church).I have heard repeatedly over the last month, from folks who may have read the Arizona law, but who have NOT read the federal law, that the Arizona law is somehow nothing more than an extension of what the Federal government already does. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the Arizona law is classic Kris Kobach. When he worked in the Attorney General’s office under Ashcroft, he took Section 263 of the INA (written as part of the Alien Registration Act of 1940— this law is how we put thousands of Japanese into internment camps), and turned it into “Sp…