Musings on Immigration

Our Globally Recognized Team of Immigration Lawyers Sharing Knowledge and Providing Counsel on Immigration Issues that Affect You, Your Business and Your Family

The Obama Amnesty--NOT!!

From my friends at www.stopnotariofraud.org.

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S IMMIGRATION ANNOUNCEMENT IS NOT AN AMNESTY. IT DOES NOT GRANT LEGAL STATUS OR WORK PERMITS. IT IS NOT SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN SIGN-UP FOR! THERE IS NO “SAFE” WAY TO TURN YOURSELF IN TO IMMIGRATION AUTHORITIES. CONSULT AN IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY ABOUT YOUR IMMIGRATION CASE OR STATUS.

STOP NOTARIO FRAUD

Don’t become a victim of dishonest immigration consultants often known as “notarios.” Immigration consultants, notary publics, and notarios cannot represent you in the immigration process. These people—especially notarios—prey on immigrants, often from the same ethnic community as the notarios themselves.

NOTARIOS WILL TAKE YOUR MONEY AND YOUR DREAMS!

Many noncitizens find out that they will never get their green card or other immigration benefits because an unqualified immigration consultant or notario unlawfully working as an immigration lawyer destroyed their dreams.

PROTECT YOUR FAMILY’S DREAMS

To avoid fraud, use your common sense. Many people hear what they want to hear—be smart! If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t believe it if someone tells you about a secret new immigration law or claims to have connections or special influence with any government office or agency. Follow these simple guidelines.

Take action to get help and stop the notario from harming others!

If you have been harmed by a notario or an immigration consultant, you can take action that may help you and stop the person from harming others.

WE WANT TO HELP!

The resources on this website are meant to:

  • Help prevent immigrants from being victimized by notarios
  • Provide resources for victims of notarios
  • Provide information and resources for attorneys working with victims to remedy crimes committed by fraudulent consultants unlawfully practicing immigration law
  • Help immigrants find competent and affordable legal service providers

Many Undocumented Immigrants Without Criminal Records Facing Deportation Will Stay In U.S.

According to the Huffington Post, the Obama administration said it will allow many illegal immigrants facing deportation the chance to stay in this country and apply for a work permit, while focusing on removing from the U.S. convicted criminals and those who might be a national security or public safety threat.

That will mean a case-by-case review of approximately 300,000 illegal immigrants facing possible deportation in federal immigration courts, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in announcing the policy change.

Advocates for an immigration overhaul have said that the administration, by placing all illegal immigrants in the same category for deportation, has failed to live up to its promise to only deport the "worst of the worst," as President Barack Obama has said.

"From a law enforcement and public safety perspective, DHS enforcement resources must continue to be focused on our highest priorities," Napolitano wrote a group of senators supporting new immigration legislation. "Doing otherwise hinders our public safety mission – clogging immigration court dockets and diverting DHS enforcement resources away from the individuals who pose a threat to public safety."

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter.

Some states are rebelling against another administration effort to control illegal immigration known as Secure Communities. The program requires that when state and local law enforcement send criminal suspects' fingerprints to the FBI, the prints are run through an immigration database to determine the person's immigration status. States have argued that the program puts them in the position of policing immigration, which they consider a federal responsibility. Immigrant advocacy groups have complained that people who had not yet been convicted of a crime were being caught up in the system.

In June, the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, John Morton, sent a memo to agents outlining when and how they could use discretion in immigration cases. That guidance also covered those potentially subject to a legislative proposal, known as the DREAM Act, intended to give young illegal immigrants who go to college or serve in the military a chance at legal status.

Morton also suggested that agents consider how long someone has been in the United State, whether that person's spouse or children are U.S. citizens and whether that person has a criminal record.

A senior administration official said delaying deportation decisions in cases for some non-criminals would allow quicker deportation of serious criminals. The indefinite stay will not give illegal immigrants a path to legal permanent residency, but will let them apply for a work permit.

"As a matter of law, they are eligible for a work authorization card, basically a taxpayer ID card, but that decision is made separately and on a case-by-case basis," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discussed the change publicly.

The official said the change will give authorities the chance to keep some cases from even reaching the court system. The message to agents in the field, the official said, would be "you do not need to put everyone you come across in the system."

If an immigrant whose case has been stayed commits a crime or other circumstances change, their case could be reopened.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., a longtime supporter of immigration overhaul and the DREAM Act, applauded the policy change.

"These students are the future doctors, lawyers, teachers and, maybe, senators, who will make America stronger," Durbin said in an emailed statement. "We need to be doing all we can to keep these talented, dedicated, American students here, not wasting increasingly precious resources sending them away to countries they barely remember."

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said the Obama administration was implementing reforms "against the will of Congress and the majority of American people we represent."

"It is just the latest attempt by this president to bypass the intended legislative process when he does not get his way," McCaul said in a statement. "The fact that we have a backlog and prioritize deportations is nothing new. This policy goes a step further granting illegal immigrants a fast-track to gaining a work permit where they will now unfairly compete with more than 9 percent of Americans who are still looking for jobs."

Other Republicans have previously criticized the DREAM Act and other immigration legislation that would provide a path to legal status as amnesty. Following Morton's June memo, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, introduced a bill to block the administration's use of prosecutorial discretion and called the use of that discretion "backdoor amnesty."

Thank you President Obama and Senator Durbin for embracing the concept that the United States is truly a nation of immigrants. This policy will allow the government to decide who gets to stay in the United States based on their actions and not based on the arbitrariness of our broken immigration system.

Georgia's Secure Document List--So What.

The Georgia Attorney General just issued his Secure and Verifiable Document List, as required under HB-87, Georgia's Anti-Immigration Law. This list brings to mind the First Rule you need to know when a State passes an Anti-Immigration law. That rule is summarized in one word--"meaningless." That's right. The List, as written, is meaningless. The List changes NOTHING about Georgia law and how people can use documents in Georgia.

The main reason that Rep. Matt Ramsey wanted this part of HB 87 in place was to stop the use by Mexicans of a document known as a "Matricula Consular." The Matricula Consular is a secure document, issued after a lengthy process of identification verification by the Mexican Consulate. It is certainly as secure as a Georgia Driver's license. But, since it gave the impression, apparently, to Rep. Ramsey that people were using a Mexican ID documents to apply for benefits in the U.S. for their US Citizen children, he wanted it done away with, in the mistaken belief that by doing so, perhaps these U.S. Citizen children could be deprived of the benefits they were eligible for. Unfortunately, for Rep. Ramsey he did not do his homework before writing this provision, as Federal Law permits the use of a Matricula Consular and related foreign documents to verify identity for applications for certain purposes. Neither HB 87, nor the List can change that. So, a state law was never going to be permitted to stand that disallowed what the Federal Government permitted.

The Attorney General clearly realized the problem. This is no where more evident than in the last paragraph of The List, which states:


In addition to the documents listed herein, if, in administering a public benefit or program, an agency is required by federal law to accept a document for proof of or documentation of identity, that document will be deemed a secure and verifiable document solely for that particular program or administration of that particular public benefit.

So, the Matricula Consular, as I have been saying for months, is still usable to apply for Federal Benefits for U.S. Citizen Children, even benefits administered by the State of Georgia,as permitted by federal law!

Also interesting in the Attorney General's list is the inclusion on the List of a Canadian Driver's license, as well as the drivers licenses of ALL 50 states! So much for not recognizing the licenses of Washington and New Mexico.

What the Attorney General failed to include were the dozens of variations of documents issued by USCIS to verify a person's immigration status and identification. We cannot expect the Attorney General of Georgia to be an immigration expert, but it is surprising that there was no attempt made to try to bring into the List, secure and verifiable immigration documents carried as the sole source of identification by thousands of people living in Georgia!

There must be much weeping and wailing of those anti-immigrants who wanted a limited List. the current List fails to effectively change anything about Georgia law. This List coupled with Judge Thrash's order stopping the most egregious sections of HB 87 from being enforced means that Georgia law is effectively not changed as it pertains to people's immigration status. HB 87 continues its march toward the dust heap of history as yet another bill passed by a state more concerned about the social effects of new immigrants rather than compliance with actual federal law.

Finally, let's note that the Attorney General also turned out his "Report on Public Benefits" a lengthy tome that details all the public benefits available in Georgia to U.S. citizens and
qualified aliens". Most of us who are conservatives will say WOW, I had no idea that so many programs existed, there is one thing lacking in this report. There is no indication that anyone who was not entitled any of these benefits actually got the benefit. No evidence that a person who is not a U.S. Citizen or qualified alien received benefits only intended for U.S. citizens and qualified aliens. Makes you wonder why, if there was no evidence of abuse of "public benefits" by non-qualified aliens, this law and report was even necessary.