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Showing posts from August, 2014

#1 of 11 Million--Is Obama Serious About Immigration Reform?

Despite the relief that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, brought to thousands of young American immigrants in 2012, some 11 million immigrants in the United States remain undocumented today due to gaps and inconsistencies in our immigration system. They live in fear each day that immigration officials will deport them due only to their lack of status and take them their families and lives in the United States.
On August 20, 2014, 11 of these undocumented American immigrants presented their cases to Immigration and Customs Enforcement requesting “deferred action.” Deferred action refers to the power of the government to defer action on one’s case and grant him or her temporary legal status. A grant of deferred action would allow these immigrants to have temporary protection from deportation and the ability to work and drive in the United States.
The 11 undocumented immigrants that presented their cases are from all over the world:  Mexico, Senegal, Philippines, and South …

IMMIGRATION REFORM AND DUIs

DUI is a common crime that could tank your chances at lawful immigration status.
When it comes to immigration and criminal offenses, many people think that violent crimes, drug offenses, and gun crimes will harm your chances of getting lawful status the most. But one crime that has been creeping up as a major road block to achieving lawful status is the DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs).
DUIs and DACA
Previously, immigration typically only considered DUIs as a negative factor when evaluating the case as a whole. A conviction for DUI wouldn’t automatically and definitively prevent someone from getting lawful status. However, in 2012, when the Department of Homeland Security announced Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA, the “Dream Act,” or “accion deferida”), many were surprised to see that DUIs were included on the list of “significant misdemeanors” that would definitively and permanently bar someone from receiving DACA.
The guidelines state that “signific…

5 Common Myths About Immigration

A surge in unaccompanied minors fleeing Central America landed immigration issues back on the top of news feeds this summer, renewing discussion on our current system and the potential of future comprehensive immigration reform (or lack thereof).  Not unlike any other highly charged political debate, this issue brought out some interesting opinions which needless to say were fueled by confusion and fear rather than actual fact. 
Some common misconceptions include the following:
MYTH: Immigrants will take jobs away from US citizens. FACT:  Demand continues to increase for many jobs that not many Americans are willing or able to perform including increasing need for high-skilled workers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields. Not to mention the countless number of immigrants who are skilled in business and invest in job-creating enterprises in the United States.MYTH: Immigrants who are here illegally are probably running from the law or are engaged in illegal…

Obama y la Accion Executivo Sobre Inmigracion. Que, Como, y Cuando?

El Presidente Obama declaro que ya llego el tiempo en el cual va crear una expansión de su programa de discreción fiscal sobre la tema de inmigración.  El gran "Pero" es que no ha dicho exactamente lo que va  hacer.  Por cual razón es importante no dejarse engañar antes de que haya un anuncio oficial del programa que se va a instituir, se conozcan los requisitos para aplicar y  cuando se hará efecto.
Por ahora recomendamos que si creen que calificaran para algún programa, que se mantengan informados y vayan preparando sus documentos de identidad y pruebas de residencia en el país.  Hay una expectativa que los que han vivido por un mínimo de 10 años en los Estados Unidos sin condenas criminales y que tienen hijos aquí, incluyendo los que están cubiertos por DACA, podrán participar en el programa.  No se conoce exactamente lo que el Presidente Obama puede hacer, pero eso es lo que se murmura hasta ahora.
Si hay anuncio o acción del Presidente, esperamos que sea similar a los qu…

Obama Can Fix Some Immigration Problems

From my Editorial in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on August 1, 2014

President Obama has been timid, at best, in using his executive powers to alleviate the current immigration crisis, preferring to wait for what can only be described as a Unicorn-- bi-partisan immigration reform.  Recently, the President indicated that he is ready to use this practical tool to inject rationality and humanity into a broken immigration system that is neither responsive to family nor business realities.
Executive powers are not a “loophole." They have been used historically to interpret and implement immigration statutes and are commonly used by executive agencies. With these broad powers, President Obama can do much to legally alleviate the current immigration crisis.
The President can issue parole in place for immediate relatives of US citizens who are the beneficiaries of approved visa petitions. The Attorney General has the authority to parole into the U.S. under such conditions as he may pr…