Monday, December 6, 2010

Obama Administration "cooking of the books" to calculate Record Deportation Number

What do you want to hear first, the good news or the bad news?

Here's the good news: the Obama administration may not have broken its   own deportation record last fiscal year.

The bad news is that 392,862 people were deported by the administration over an approximate 12 month period.

What is now at issue is the methodology for the calculation of the deportations.

The Washington Post has reported that the Obama Administration "cooked the books" to reach the record number of deportations (392,862) this past fiscal year.  It appears that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) included approximately 19,000 immigrants who were forcibly returned during the previous fiscal year, and an additional 6,500 individuals that were forcibly returned under the Mexican repatriation  program, that was extended by an unprecedented five weeks.  This extension enabled the 6,500 individuals who were forcibly returned under the program to be included in ICE statistics rather than U.S. Border Patrol statistics.

The point that should not be lost in any of this hair splitting is not that Obama didn't break his own deportation record, but that his administration deported 392,862 people over an approximate 12 month span.  I personally don't for one second care how these numbers were tabulated.  What I do care about is the fact that the number of people who have been forcibly removed since Obama has been elected is rapidly reaching the one million mark, and we are no closer to immigration reform than we were when he campaigned to address it in his first year in office.

What I find particularly annoying about this non-story is that the head of ICE, John Morton, specifically stated in his October 6, 2010 news conference that nothing out of the ordinary was done by ICE to achieve the 392,862 deportations statistic.  He stated that: "When [Secretary Napolitano] tells you that the numbers are at an all-time high,  that's straight, on the merits, no cooking of the books, It's what happened."

Or maybe not.

Wouldn't it be refreshing if for once our government officials looked us straight in the eye and actually told the plain straight truth. Is anyone else tired of hearing from our elected and appointed officials that "it depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is." I know I am, and apparently so is the American public.  It is no wonder the Democrats suffered the "shellacking" this past November.  They have proven to be no better, and maybe worse than the Republicans.  At least under Bush we all knew we were being lied to.  So much for transparency.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

DREAM Act protesters arrested at Senator Hutchison's office

L-1 approved at the border in only 13 days after B-1 refusal

Our client is a Canadian citizen residing in Canada. He is the CEO of a Canadian corporation that is a subsidiary of a major U. S. company.  The client has entered the United States on many occasions as a business visitor to attend meetings and to oversee the affairs of the U. S. corporation.

Recently our client was questioned about his business activities in the United States at Pearson International Airport in Toronto. He was denied admission by immigration officers because they determined that his activities were going to benefit the U. S. corporation as well as the Canadian subsidiary. At this point we were retained.

After investigation of all of the facts and circumstances, we concluded that the client was eligible for L-1A intracompany transferee status as an executive, which would allow him to supervise the activities of the U. S. corporation on an as needed basis.

We prepared a petition and supplemented it with all of the necessary documents.  Because he is a Canadian citizen, under the NAFTA we did not need to apply for a visa for him to be admitted in L-1A status, and we appeared with him at the United States border when he presented himself for inspection.

L-1A status was approved on the spot for a period of three years and the client was admitted to the United States.

White House DREAM Act event

The Matthew Kolken Daily



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Monday, November 8, 2010

Number of Detained Grow, as Immigrants in Nevada wait 11 months in Deportation Cases

The Las Vegas Review-Journal has reported that in 2010 there has been an 80% increase in the backlog of cases at the Las Vegas Immigration Court.   In President Bush's last year in office (2008) there were 1,028 backlogged cases in Las Vegas.  In President Obama's second year in office the number of backlogged cases at the Las Vegas Immigration Court exploded to 2,080.  I wonder what Harry Reid has to say about this?

These statistics were compiled by Syracuse University's nonprofit Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC).  According to TRAC, nationwide the number of backlogged immigration cases (261,083) in fiscal year 2010 has grown to record numbers under President Obama.

This clearly is the direct result of the Obama administration's 400,000 deportations per year mandate.  Unfortunately, President Obama has neglected to add a sufficient number of Immigration Judges to compensate for the exponential jump in deportation cases that stem from his change in immigration policies. The end result of this backlog is that certain immigrants are forced to remain incarcerated for longer periods of time while awaiting the outcome of their immigration hearing, which inevitably is a boon to the prison industry.

NPR has recently reported that the Arizona immigration law may have been architected by lobbyists for the prison industry.  It would be interesting to see if the Obama administration has any similar ties.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Waiver of Inadmissibility Granted

Our client is a native of Pakistan and citizen of Canada. He came to the United States with a visitor’s visa in the 1980’s when he was a Pakistani citizen and then overstayed. Eventually, he was apprehended and Immigration Court proceedings were instituted against him, and he was ultimately able to obtain a grant of Voluntary Departure in lieu of an Order of Deportation.  However, he did not depart when he was required, and as a result, the Voluntary Departure Order automatically con-verted to an Order of Deportation.

Years later, he left the United States and entered Canada. Shortly thereafter, he re-entered the United States by walking across one of the bridges connecting the United States and Canada, without being inspected by U. S. immigration. Later that day he was apprehended by the U. S. Border Patrol and returned to Canada.
A month or two later he re-entered the United States as a fully visible back seat passenger in an automo-bile operated by a friend, which stopped for inspection at a checkpoint on the U. S. – Canada border. He remained in the U. S. for two years and then returned to Canada with his wife and family, where he has resided ever since.

We were retained for the purpose of having the client re-admitted to the United States in conformance with our laws. Upon investigation of the case, we determined that his wife is a U. S. citizen. We had her petition for him as an immediate relative, which petition has been approved.

Unfortunately, the client is inadmissible to the United States for life because he was unlawfully present in the United States for more than one year, as well as being ordered deported, and re-entered the United States without being inspected and admitted. He is unable to apply for an immigrant waiver to utilize his wife’s approved petition until he has been outside of the United States for 10 years, which has yet to elapse.

Notwithstanding, he is eligible to apply for a Nonimmigrant Waiver of Inadmissibility which will allow him to visit the United States and for other valid nonimmigrant purposes, if approved. We carefully prepared an application for a waiver and supported the same with a legal brief and appropriate documentation to persuade U. S. Customs and Border Protection to approve the same.

The waiver has now been granted and the client is able to enter the United States as a visitor from time to time while he waits for 10 years to elapse so that he may apply for an immigrant visa along with an application for an immigrant waiver.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

How will the Mid-Term Elections Impact Immigration Enforcement and Reform?

Micheal E. Hill has put together a fantastic analysis of the 2010 mid-term elections as they affect immigration enforcement, and the likelihood of comprehensive immigration reform in the rest of the Obama Presidency.

He analyzes the following key factors that will directly impact potential immigration lawmaking in the immediate future:
  • Congressional Hispanic Caucus losses in the House.
  • Election of immigration restrictionist-oriented Hispanic Republicans.
  • Dramatic increase in the number of immigration restrictionists in the House.
  • Loss of key pro-immigrant Democrats in the House.
  • More difficult path to a bipartisan filibuster-proof immigration majority in the Senate.
  • Uncertainty about the makeup of the House Democratic Leadership.
  • Likely aggressive anti-immigrant agenda coming out of the House. 
As I have been predicting for quite some time, President Obama's broken campaign promise to address comprehensive immigration reform in his first year in office does not bode well for the prospect of immigration reform in the near or distant future.  The reality is that President Obama chose health-care reform over immigration reform.  We all must live with this choice that he made for us.  I do not anticipate that we will see any meaningful immigration reform until well after 2012.

Click here to read Mr. Hill's entire analysis.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Obama gets an 'F' for effort on Immigration Reform

I just read an article published in the L.A. Times about President Obama speaking on Spanish language radio defending his failed immigration efforts.  The first thing that immediately came to mind is, what efforts? The second thing that came to mind is, what is there to defend?

Obama's tried and true immigration reform strategy has been to blame Republicans while deporting more immigrants over a two-year period than any President in the history of the United States.  It appears that President Obama wants your vote this November, just not your undocumented relative.

President Obama likes to blame Republicans for the lack of immigration reform when in reality he has literally done nothing in two-years to even try to get immigration reform passed.   In fact, President Obama broke his immigration reform campaign promises the moment he unpacked his bags in the White House.

All of the heavy lifting has been done by people like Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill) who introduced his own immigration reform bill on December 15, 2009, as a result of the President's inaction.  To date, President Obama hasn't even gone so far as to promote or publicly support the bill that was introduced by a Representative from his home city of Chicago.  Some effort.

The President needs to stop saying all the right things, and doing all the wrong things, or on the immigration reform front doing nothing.  I would really like to see some actual "effort" from this President.  He can start by being a champion to millions of Americans by immediately saving their families from destruction by his own administration's 400,000 deportations per year quota. Not the Republicans' quota... the Obama administration's quota.

President Obama can also start by framing the immigration reform message properly. Stop adopting Republican talking points about securing our borders, and start talking about the economic benefit that immigration reform would have on our country.  Debunk the slanderous Republican accusations that immigrants increase crime, and show them the studies that immigration actually reduces crime. He can also stop wasting our resources by criminally prosecuting immigrants for relatively minor immigration violations.  It is simply unfathomable that 50% of all federal criminal prosecutions are for relatively minor immigration violations.

More pressingly, this President needs to clean up the abuses occurring in his immigration detention system, and ensure that immigrants are afforded due process by eliminating dirty immigration judges, and unprofessional government lawyers.

In short, Mr. President, you weren't elected to make excuses. You were elected to get the job done.  This is the type of "effort" that was expected of you, not empty rhetoric, finger pointing, and pandering.

Maybe after we are looking back on the second half of your first term we can say that you actually rolled up your sleeves and put in the hard work required to reform our beyond broken immigration laws, but as it stands right now Mr. President, you get an 'F' for effort.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Nonimmigrant Waiver Granted

Our client is a Canadian citizen. Unfortunately, 21 years ago he was convicted of Conspiracy to Traffic in a Narcotic and was sentenced to five years imprisonment. This conviction renders him inadmissible to the United States for life.

Since his conviction, he has rehabilitated himself. He is married and has a son. He is a respected businessman. He has had no criminal involvement since that time.

He retained us because he has a need to enter the United States to attend trade shows and conventions and to purchase equipment for his business, as well as to vacation with his family. We prepared a comprehensive application for a Nonimmigrant Waiver of Inadmissibility, which included a legal brief and substantial documentation in support of the application.

U. S. Customs and Border Protection granted the application for a period of three years. This is the second Nonimmigrant Waiver of Inadmissibility we have obtained for this client.

Monday, October 18, 2010

700% Increase in Dismissed Cases at Houston Immigration Court

The Houston Chronicle has reported that after Department of Homeland Security attorneys began a review of immigration cases in Houston, Immigration Judges dismissed more than 200 deportation cases, a 700% increase over the previous month.

Executive Office for Immigration Review data reveals that this August Houston Immigration Judges dismissed 217 cases.  There were only 27 dismissals in July prior to the review. In September, Immigration Judges dismissed 174 deportation cases.  It has been estimated that 45% of 350 cases decided in the Houston Immigration Court were dismissed by Immigration Judges in the month of September.

EOIR liaison Raed Gonzalez confirms that Government attorneys in Houston have been instructed to look at each individual case and consider moving to terminate proceedings if it is determined that the immigrant has lived in the U.S. for at least two years and has no serious criminal history. This includes having no felony or misdemeanor convictions involving DWI, sex crimes or domestic violence.

It will be very interesting to see if this trend spreads to immigration courts outside of Texas.  I'll keep you posted.

Click here to read the full Houston Chronicle report.

Friday, October 15, 2010

American Citizen with Mental Disability Deported to Mexico

The ACLU of Georgia and North Carolina have teamed up to file a lawsuit on behalf of Mark Lyttle, a United States citizen who was wrongly deported from the United States.  Mr. Lyttle was born and raised in Rowan County, North Carolina, and suffers from mental disabilities.

Despite the fact that there was ample evidence of Mr. Lyttle's United States citizenship, he was taken into custody, and held for six weeks before being deported to Mexico by U.S. immigration officials.  It has been alleged that Mr. Lyttle was not provided with legal representation either during his interrogation, or during his deportation hearing despite the fact that he is most likely mentally incompetent.
Over a four month period after his deportation, Mr. Lyttle survived by living on the streets, shelters and prisons of Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala. He survived imprisonment and abuse by prison guards.

He eventually made his way to the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala.  Embassy officials contacted his brother on a military base where he is serving.  Mr. Lyttle was issued a United States passport, and money was wired to him to enable him to fly back to the United States.

After arriving in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Lyttle was again taken into custody and held for hours by immigration officials as a result of his adverse immigration history.  You would think that a United States passport would be sufficient.

The ACLU complaint was filed on October 13, 2010, and alleges violations of the Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, false imprisonment, negligence, and intentional infliction of emtional distress.

The following are listed as Defendants:
  • The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA;
  • ERIC H. HOLDER, JR., U.S. Attorney General;
  • JANET NAPOLITANO, Secretary, Department of Homeland Security;
  • THOMAS G. SNOW, Director of the Executive Office of Immigration Review;
  • JOHN T. MORTON, Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement;
  • JAMES T. HAYES, Director, Office of Detention and Removal, Immigration and Customs Enforcement;
  • RAYMOND SIMONSE, Field Office Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement;
  • DAVID COLLADO, Enforcement Officer, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement;
  • MARCO MONDRAGON, Enforcement Officer, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement;
  • TRACY MOTEN, Enforcement Officer, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement;
  • MICHAEL MOORE, Enforcement Officer, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement;
  • CHARLES JOHNSTON, Enforcement Officer, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement;
  • BRIAN KEYS, Enforcement Officer, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement;
  • ICE DOES 1-10, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officials and Agents;
  • U.S. PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE DOES 1-10;
  • CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA; and
  • GEORGIA DOES 1-10,
Click here to read the ACLU press release.

Click here to read the suit, Lyttle v. The United States of America, et al., filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division.

President Obama on the DREAM Act

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Nation's Isabel Macdonald Exposes Lou Dobbs' Reliance on Undocumented Labor

Investigative journalist Isabel Macdonald has written an article in The Nation magazine entitled "American Hypocrite" exposing Lou Dobbs' indirect reliance on undocumented labor to care for his estate and his stables.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Obama Administration Deports more Immigrants in year two than in year one.

The Washington Post has reported that the Obama Administration has deported 392,000 immigrants during the fiscal year that ended on September 30th. This exceeds the 389,834 immigrants deported by the Obama Administration in the previous fiscal year.

Despite falling 8,000 immigrants short of their 400,000 deportation goal, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano touted their "achievement" by stating: "It has been another record-breaking year at ICE."

These statistics, coupled with the Obama Administration's complete failure to meaningfully address comprehensive immigration reform, are a bitter pill to swallow for immigration reform activists.

With the mid-term elections just weeks away, and projected flat Hispanic voter turn-out, it appears that there may be no chance for immigration reform in Obama's first term in office, especially if the Democrats lose the House.

Disappointing doesn't begin to describe it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Deportation proceedings terminated, client released from custody to apply for Green Card

We just were able to obtain the termination of deportation proceedings to enable our client to apply for his Green Card. Our client came to the United States with his mother as a young child under a visitor's visa. He never departed the country. After growing up in the United States he eventually met and married a United States citizen. The couple had a child together, but never took the steps to file for lawful permanent residency (Green Card status).

Ultimately, our client was found in the United States and charged with deportation for overstaying his visitor status. He was taken into custody, and was held at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility, in Batavia, New York.

To complicate matters, our client has a minor criminal conviction for assault. We successfully argued that his conviction does not render him deportable from the United States, and that he is eligible to be released from custody while he fights to remain in the country. We were also able to obtain a reduction in his immigration bond. Unfortunately, our client was not able to post the $3,500.00 bond to be able to be released.

We immediately sprung into action. We filed his wife's petition to sponsor our client for a Green Card, provided proof to the Immigration Court of the filing, and also filed a proposed Green Card application with proof of our client's eligibility to adjust status. The Government's attorney assigned to the case did not oppose our motion to terminate proceedings, the Immigration Judge terminated proceedings, and our client was released from custody and is now back with his wife and child.

The next step is to finalize the Green Card application process, which once completed will put our client's immigration ordeal to a happy end.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Secretary Napolitano on Interior Immigration Enforcement

The following testimony of DHS Secretary Napolitano was given at a Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing held on September 22, 2010.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

86% of all individuals detained in 2009 by the Obama administration on immigration charges are from Mexico

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Immigration Statistics has released the Yearbook of Immigration Statistics 2009 tables on Enforcement.

The statistics include the numbers relating to the apprehension, detention, return, and removal of foreign nationals during 2009.

The Key findings in this report include the following:

* DHS apprehended 613,000 foreign nationals; 86 percent were natives of Mexico.
* The number of foreign nationals apprehended by CBP’s Border Patrol decreased 23 percent between 2008 and 2009.
* ICE detained approximately 383,000 foreign nationals.
* 393,000 foreign nationals2 were removed from the United States—the seventh consecutive record high. The leading countries of origin of those removed were Mexico (72 percent), Guatemala (7 percent), and Honduras (7 percent).
* Expedited removals accounted for 106,600 or 27 per-cent of all removals.
* DHS removed 128,000 known criminal aliens3 from the United States.
* 580,000 foreign nationals were returned to their home countries without a removal order.

Arizona State legislators decide not to tweak portions of controversial immigration measure

Friday, August 13, 2010

Obama Still Deporting DREAMers Like Ivan Nikolov

The following is written by David Bennion who represents Ivan Nikolov in his immigration case.

Ivan Nikolov still needs your help. He has been locked up since May for the "crime" of coming to the United States with his mother when he was eleven years old. All he wants is to be able to stay in the U.S. with his fiancée Alanna, a senior at Wayne State University in Michigan. Ivan's mother was already deported last week, leaving Ivan's U.S. citizen stepfather heartbroken and questioning the actions of his own government. Ivan waits in prison not knowing if each day will be the last day he sees his fiancée. Today his fiancée and stepfather are holding a press conference at Macomb Community College in Warren, Michigan, to try to raise awareness of Ivan's situation in order to stop his deportation (see details below below the fold).

Contrary to Julia Preston's otherwise informative New York Times article about the success of undocumented youth organizing to stop their own deportations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has not announced any formal policy on this point. This allows ICE to approach the issue on a case-by-case basis, deporting some DREAM Act-eligible youth (DREAMers) while exercising mercy in others. It's like the emperor in the stadium, giving the thumbs up to the gladiator he likes and sending the others to the lions. The emperor doesn't have to explain himself, the thumb does the talking.

Except in this scenario, the emperor isn't Obama, it is the supposedly subordinate agency that reports to Obama: ICE. Anti-immigrant elements within the Department of Homeland Security, of which ICE is a constituent agency, have decided that the chain of command that keeps every other military and federal law enforcement agency running smoothly doesn't apply to DHS. They've decided to take matters into their own hands, leaking draft policy memos to hostile Republican Senators and staging a public vote of no-confidence in their own leadership.

ICE is a rogue agency that wants to cause political problems for its own leaders so that ICE agents can ramp up deportations beyond the record 400,000 people Obama is already deporting this year. And so far, Obama and Napolitano have caved to their supposed subordinates, more afraid of anti-immigrant voters than Latin@ voters.

Who is running the show here?

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos has cast his own vote of no confidence in the Obama administration, and some Latin@ voters are likely to follow Ramos's lead this fall.

Meanwhile Ivan waits in jail for the crime of coming to America as an eleven-year-old child. Will you ask DHS Secretary Napolitano to let Ivan out while he fights his immigration appeal?

Friends, Family, and Community Members Urge Senators to stop the deportation of Ivan Nikolov, 22-year old from Michigan

Friends, family, and community members gathered today at Macomb Community College to express their support for Ivan Nikolov, a 22 year old who aspires to studying film or music, and urge Senators Stabenow and Levin to take action to stop his impending deportation.

Ivan would be eligible for the DREAM Act, which, if passed, would grant a path to citizenship for undocumented youth who arrived in the country as children and commit to at least two years of university education or two years in the military.

Ivan, who was born in Russia, and is currently in detention, relayed the following message via his fiancee: "I've been here for as long as I can remember. I've worked hard, I've played by the rules, and I deserve the chance to fulfill my dreams and contribute to this country."

Ivan's fight to remain in this country began on Monday, August 9th, with an effort led by undocumented youth and allies from a number of organizations -- DreamActivist.org, ONE Michigan, Immigrant Youth Justice League, New York State Youth Leadership Council and America's Voice.

"Deporting immigrant youth who want to get an education is not a preferred policy by the Department of Homeland Security. They've recognized cases like these in Michigan before- last year they deferred the deportation of Herta Llusho, a DREAM-eligible Albanian immigrant," stated his fiancee, Alanna Woolley.

"We're running out of time. If Senators Stabenow and Levin don't intervene, Ivan will be deported to a country he doesn't remember. Ivan deserves this chance to stay in the country with his fiancee, his family, and his friends," stated his step-father, Mike Porter.

Juan Escalante 407-602-8675 (National Contact)
media@thedreamiscoming.com

Mary Woolley 313-804-0980 (On the Ground Contact)
11:00AM
Macomb Community College, In front of the K Building
14500 E. 12 Mile Road • Warren, Michigan

###

At least 65,000 undocumented immigrant youth graduate from high schools every year, and many of them struggle to attend institutes of higher education and the military. The DREAM Act will grant youth who traveled to the United States before the age of 16 a path to citizenship contingent on continuous presence in the country, good behavior, and the attainment of at least a two-year university degree or a two-year commitment to the armed forces.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

President Obama has been too busy to address immigration reform

The first eighteen months of the Obama Presidency have come and gone, and the President has yet to address immigration reform. That being said, the President has assured us that he WILL address immigration reform. Not now, but soon. So we should all just be patient. Our time will come. Not now, but soon.

What the President means by "soon" is not in 2010. No, no, not in 2010. There is an election in 2010, and Nancy Pelosi must shield her Democrats from any more controversial votes before the mid-term elections or risk losing the House. As for Harry Reid, he is hanging on by a thread in Nevada, so you can forget about the Senate taking the lead.

No, soon means some time in 2011, or maybe in 2012. Well, not in 2012. There is a big election in 2012, and we all know what happens if you address immigration reform in an election year (see 2010). As for 2011, keep your fingers crossed that the Democrats don't lose the House or you can forget about it.

In fairness, President Obama hasn't had the time to address immigration reform in his first year in office. He has obviously been very busy since getting elected.

Busy deporting more undocumented immigrants than George W. Bush did in any single year in office...

Busy covering up abuses of immigrant detainees...

...and busy raiding businesses that employ United States citizen workers, and also provide jobs to the very people who are patiently waiting for him to make immigration reform a "top priority" (as promised).

I don't know about you but I have had enough of being patient. As an attorney in the trenches of the immigration war I have had enough of having to tell a parent, spouse, or child that their family member is getting deported because of the Obama administration's mandate to deport 400,000 people in Fiscal Year 2010.

I'm tired of having to explain to my clients that the President has turned his back to the Hispanic electorate after he got their votes because their family isn't important enough to be a "top priority" (as he promised).

In most instances the people President Obama has deported must wait 10 years before they will be eligible to return to the United States. Should their United States citizen family members just be patient while their family is destroyed by the deportation of their loved-one? Should a child just be patient while they grow up without their mother or father? Should innocent children who have known no other country but the United States be patient and put their dream of an education on hold while the President decides what "soon" is.

The time for being patient has come and gone like a broken Obama campaign promise.

There is no single campaign promise that President Obama has broken that has more of an impact on the immediate daily lives of Americans, because for every one of the estimated 11 million undocumented aliens in this Country there are countless U.S. citizens who will lose their parent, spouse, or child to deportation.

If people only understood the importance of immigrants to the financial security of the United States they would not be so dismissive of the issue of comprehensive immigration reform, and they would not callously ask for our patience.

Soon is now Mr. President.

We have lost our patience.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Who remembers this:



Sounded pretty good huh?

Well, we are 18 months into the Obama Presidency, and all I can say is: "Where's the beef?!?!"

The Washington Post has just reported the following:

"The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency expects to deport about 400,000 people this fiscal year, nearly 10 percent above the Bush administration's 2008 total and 25 percent more than were deported in 2007. The pace of company audits has roughly quadrupled since President George W. Bush's final year in office."

ICE director John Morton issued a June 30 memorandum that instructs that parents caring for children or the infirm should be detained only in unusual cases. Rhetorical question: how is a parent supposed to care for his/her United States citizen child when their job was just taken away from them by the President through a workforce raid.

Didn't this President say that he stood for job CREATION?

If this isn't the WTF moment of 2010 I don't know what is. It is simply incomprehensible to me that President Obama can look an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the eye, and from one side of his mouth tell them that he intends to put an end to the destruction of their families, and then from the other side turn around and pledge to deport more undocumented immigrants than his predecessor. Make that any President in the history of the United States.
Simply astounding.

Plain and simply, I'm tired of being lied to by this President. I would rather he come clean with the fact that his administration has no intention to seriously address comprehensive immigration reform. Not in 2010, not in 2011, not ever. I would at least respect his honesty.

Other than a few brave Representatives (i.e., Congressman Gutierrez, ILL.), the Democrats are petrified of immigration reform with the November elections threatening incumbents. That, coupled with Obama's plummeting approval ratings, has resulted in the death of CIR in 2010. If the Republicans make any significant gains in the House as predicted it is unlikely that we will see immigration reform in Obama's first term.

If this is the case, rather than blaming the GOP for the lack of any meaningful movement on CIR, the President should look to his broken campaign promise to address immigration reform in his first year in office as the real reason for CIR's demise.

Shame on you Mr. President, for insulting our intelligence with your empty promises, half-truths, and record deportations.

Many people have claimed that 2012 will be end the end of the world...

I am predicting that it will be the end of the failed Obama presidency.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Judge Andrew Napolitano 'Arizona Law Is Unconstitutional'

Judge Andrew Napolitano discusses the constitutionality of the Arizona Immigration statute. He believes that the law is unconstitutional on two grounds.

The reality of our broken immigration laws: U.S. Citizen's Wife Deported, Family Destroyed



"The undocumented wife of this U.S. citizen was deported as a result of being pulled over for a minor traffic violation. Set in Queen Creek, Arizona, this story provides a window into the impact that new state laws like Arizona's SB 1070 will have on the lives of undocumented residents and citizens alike.

Even tough SB 1070 will become effective on July 29, some law enforcement agencies are already putting it into practice." ~90daystophoenix

Friday, July 9, 2010

McCain changes views on illegal immigration



"The former GOP presidential candidate once co-sponsored an immigration bill which offered a path to legalization, but now he's changed his mind. An Ed Show panel debates whether McCain's new position is a reflection of his efforts to win reelection in Arizona."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Showdown on Immigration

Board of Immigration Appeals Decision: delivery of a simulated controlled substance in violation of Texas law is not an aggravated felony

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has just overturned a May 6, 2008, order of an immigration judge that found an alien deportable under former sections 241(a)(2)(A)(iii), and (B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1251(a)(2)(A)(iii) and(B)(i) (1994), as an alien convicted of an aggravated felony and a controlled substance violation.

In this specific case the alien is a native and citizen of El Salvador. He entered the United States without inspection on March 28, 1984, and was subsequently convicted on September 4, 1996, in the 185th District Court of Harris County, Texas of delivery by actual transfer of a simulated controlled substance (cocaine).

The BIA ruled that the offense of delivery of a simulated controlled substance in violation of Texas law is not an aggravated felony, as defined by section 101(a)(43)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(B) (2006), but it is a violation of a law relating to a controlled substance under former section 241(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1251(a)(2)(B)(i) (1994). See Matter of Fidel Antonio SANCHEZ-CORNEJO, 25 I&N Dec. 273 (BIA 2010)

The BIA reasoning was an alien’s State drug offense qualifies may only constitute an aggravated felony under the “illicit trafficking” clause if it is (1) a felony under the law of the convicting sovereign that (2) involved “unlawful trading or dealing” in (3) a Federally controlled substance.

Therefore, because simulated cocaine is not a Federally controlled substance, the alien's conviction does not constitute an “illicit trafficking” offense, and therefore is not an aggravated felony.

US federal action against Arizona over immigration law

Feds sue to overturn Arizona immigration law

Saturday, July 3, 2010

OneAmerica Responds to Obama's Immigration Reform Speech



"Pramila Jayapal, the executive director of OneAmerica (a Seattle-based immigration reform advocacy group) talks about President Obama's immigration address.

She outlines requirements for a comprehensive immigration reform bill, expresses disappointment with the lack of progress that has been made, and outlines their advocacy strategy."

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Murdoch and Bloomberg Join Forces for immigration

Robert Gibbs Mocks GOP Sen. Jon Kyl in Answer About Border Conversation with Obama

Battered Spouse Petition Approved

We just obtained the approval of a Form I-360 battered spouse petition on behalf of citizen of Canada. Our client was initially admitted to the United States in 2002 as a Scientific Technician/Technologist with authorization to remain in the United States until 2003. He subsequently met, fell in love, and married a United States citizen in 2005.

Shortly after the marriage, our client hired an attorney for the preparation of his Green Card application. However, after hiring the attorney, our client’s spouse kept putting off filing the application. She would get angry at him when he brought it up, and threatened to report his overstay status to immigration authorities.

Our client soon realized that his spouse had begun drinking alcohol heavily. Although he was aware that his new wife had lost her driver’s license in 2003 as a result of a DUI conviction, she had characterized the conviction as a mistake. He understood that mistakes happen, and accepted her explanation.

Unfortunately, the problems were just beginning. His spouse became physically abusive when drunk. Over the 14 months that they resided together as husband and wife, the abuser threw objects at him, punched him in the face and head, and hit him with objects such as a telephone. Knowing that our client’s eyesight was poor, his abuser would grab his glasses from his face during her attacks, rendering him unable to defend himself against her blows because he couldn’t see them coming.

Despite the severe difficulties in the marriage our client encouraged his wife to seek help for her alcoholism, and although the abuser promised that she would, she continued to drink, which resulted in frequent and violent abuse.

His abuser’s drinking ultimately led to another car accident in which she was severely injured. Our client also learned that the abuser had been having a longtime affair with an ex-boyfriend. After summoning his courage and strength our client ultimately fled the marital residence. Our client remains married to the abuser as she is unwilling to grant him a divorce because she expects him to keep her on his health insurance under threat of deportation.

We were retained and prepared the Form I-360, Battered Spouse Petition, and supported it with substantial evidence of the abuse our client suffered at the hand of his United States citizen spouse. Such evidence included affidavits of eye witnesses to the abuse, police reports, and photographs.

Thankfully, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services approved the petition, and deportation proceedings have been deferred to enable him to apply for his Green Card.

While the horrors of spousal abuse against women have been widely documented and condemned, men can also be victims of both physical and emotional abuse by their spouses. It is estimated that 835,000 men are the victims of domestic violence in the United States each year. Men are often less likely to report the abuse against them, because they fear they will not be believed, or even if they are believed, that they will be ignored or humiliated.

Man or woman, it is imperative that you contact an experienced immigration lawyer if you are the victim of physical or psychological abuse by a United States citizen who is holding your immigration status over your head in return for your silence.

Arizona Democrat US Rep Gabrielle Giffords explains why she wants the Obama administration to back off suing the state over its illegal immigration law

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Congresswoman Giffords appeared on FOX News to talk about her fight to reverse the economic boycott over AZ S.B. 1070



"On June 28, 2010, Congresswoman Giffords appeared on FOX News to talk about her fight to reverse the economic boycott over AZ S.B. 1070. Giffords also has written to 42 cities and organizations urging that they reverse plans to boycott Arizona to protest the immigration law."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Supreme Court Ruling: Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder, June 14, 2010

The United States Supreme Court has just issued an immigration related decision that breaths a whisper of common sense back into the interpretation of our United States immigration laws.

In Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder, June 14, 2010, the Court found that a second or subsequent simple possession offense may not be interpreted as an aggravated felony under §1101(a)(43) when the state conviction is not based on a prior conviction.

The Supreme Court overturned the Immigration Judge's interpretation that a second simple possession conviction constitutes an “aggravated felony” that renders an individual in-eligible for cancellation of removal.

Both the Board of Immigration Appeals and Fifth Circuit affirmed the Immigration Judge in reliance on the holding in Lopez v. Gonzales, 549 U. S. 47, 56, which states that for a conviction to be an “aggravated felony” for immigration law purposes, a state drug conviction must be punishable as a felony under federal law. Both the Board and the Fifth utilized a “hypothetical approach,” to conclude that if “conduct” could have been prosecuted as a recidivist simple possession under state law, it could have also been punished as a felony under federal law.

In rendering its decision the Supreme Court reaffirmed a previous ruling in Leocal v. Ashcroft, 543 U. S. 1, 11, n. 8, where it held that ambiguities in criminal statutes referenced in immigration laws should be construed in a non-citizen’s favor.

This is a tremendous victory for justice. Hats off to Professor Geoff Hoffman, from the University of Houston Immigration Law Clinic for the fantastic work done on this case.

Being anti-immigration has never worked for Republicans

Group Removes Sheriff as Keynote Speaker at Convention

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Immigration Protests Across the United States

Faith leaders in Las Cruces are working together and sending a strong message to local lawmakers.



In Michigan Obama sparks peace, immigration rallies



Santa Ana students engaged in a civil disobedience action with the purpose of shutting down all activity in the Santa Ana Federal Detention Center.



100 people protest unjust laws by protesting in front of the immigration detention facility in Aurora, Colorado.

Obama, Calderón speak out on immigration, border security



"During a joint appearance with Mexican President Felipe Calderón, President Barack Obama called on Republicans to support comprehensive immigration reform legislation. The leaders criticized a tough anti-illegal immigration state law in Arizona and pledge to work together on border security."

Monday, June 7, 2010

Buffalo Sabres NHL Prospect Zack Kassian Skates into the "Culture of No"

Over the weekend I read an article about the Buffalo Sabres recent draft choice Zack Kassian, a citizen of Canada, who has managed to get himself into a bit of trouble up in Windsor, Ontario. It has been reported that the 13th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft has been charged with "common assault," stemming from an alleged bar fight.

What I found to be the most disturbing part about the article was not that another sports star found himself in the paper for something other than his athletic ability, but that the article contained another example of the "culture of no" that is symptomatic of the enforcement of our U.S. immigration law.

Specifically, the crux of the article is that, because Kassain has a pending assault charge against him, he is inadmissible from the United States, and that he may not be permitted to enter the United States in the future because any assault conviction would render him inadmissible.

The article quotes Chief Ron Smith of U.S. Customs and Border Protection who stated that:

"If an individual has an assault charge on their record, they’d be found inadmissible into the United States, . . . There are ways to mitigate that, primarily through the Department of State, which issues visas. But under normal circumstances, initially, the individual would be inadmissible in the United States for the assault charge.”

With all due respect to Chief Smith, he is wrong on both the law, and on the procedure. All assault convictions do not render an individual inadmissible from the United States. To the contrary, in most instances, simple assault does not constitute a crime involving moral turpitude that would have any immigration consequences. See Matter of Perez-Contreras, 20 I&N Dec. 615, 618 (BIA 1992); Matter of Short, 20 I&N Dec. 136, 139 (BIA 1989).

The reason for this is that in most jurisdictions you may be convicted for simple assault without having any evil intent, depraved or vicious motive, or corrupt mind that is normally associated with crimes involving moral turpitude. See Matter of J-, 4 I&N Dec. 512, 514 (BIA1951); Matter of J-, 4 I&N Dec. 26, 27 (BIA 1950); Matter of O-, 3 I&N Dec. 193, 194-95 (BIA 1948).

That being said, a conviction for a more serious assault may render an individual inadmissible if the underlying conviction includes an aggravating circumstance, such as, but not limited to, the intent to cause serious bodily harm, or if the assault included a dangerous weapon. Matter of Solon, 24 I & N Dec. 239 (BIA 2007) [A conviction under New York Penal Code § 120.00(1) is a crime involving moral turpitude because the assault must include both the specific intent to cause physical injury.]

In order to determine if an assault conviction has immigration consequences you must look to the language contained in the underlying criminal statute which differs by jurisdiction. Parenthetically, it makes no difference what crime an individual has been charged with, but rather what an individual is ultimately convicted of.

If Mr. Kassian is convicted for an offense that renders him inadmissible to the United States that does not mean that he will NEVER be allowed into the United States. There is a waiver that is available that would enable him to be admitted, which requires a balancing of several factors as well as an exercise of discretion.

The Sabres would be best served to get Kassain's Canadian criminal defense attorney in touch with a United States immigration attorney that has experience in inadmissibility issues prior to entering into any plea negotiations.

As for the procedure for applying for the waiver, Chief Smith shoots the puck wide of the net again. The United States Department of State would ONLY be involved with Mr. Kassian's waiver application if he were applying for it in conjunction with a visa application. As a citizen of Canada, Kassian would not need a visa in most instances so long as he has advance approval from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services when applying for admission to the United States, and if the waiver was approved by the Attorney General.

The moral of the story is this: don't get your immigration advice from employees of Customs and Border Protection.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dream Walkers Walk right into the Belly of the Beast

Fresh off their Miami-to-Washington trek, which ended on May 1, four Dream Walkers, Juan Rodriguez (U.S. via Columbia), Felipe Matos (Brazil), Gaby Pachecho (Ecuador), and Carlos A. Roa (Venezuela), yesterday stared into the eyes of the monster, and the monster blinked.  Three of the four are undocumented.

The Dreamer Walkers paid a visit to Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office in Maricopa County on Tuesday in order to discuss Arizona's immigration law with the hope of humanizing the immigration debate.

When confronted by the spirited youth Sheriff Joe stated that although he has compassion for the plight of undocumented immigrants that he must continue to enforce the immigration laws. Arpaio rationalized his stance stating "I was elected to do a job," "My job overrides my
compassion."

The Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act), is designed to help undocumented youth who meet certain requirements by providing them with an opportunity to enlist in the military or go to college, which inevitably will lead to a path to citizenship that would otherwise be unavailable.

I urge you to contact your representatives in Congress and implore them to back the DREAM Act.




Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Over 100,000 March against SB 1070 in Phoenix



"May 29, 2010 over 100,000 people marched against SB 1070 and for Immigration reform. This is more than the Tea Party and other groups will ever bring to AZ."

Obama's Immigration Policy: Enforce, Deport, and Militarize

Congressman Luis Gutierrez on Meet The Press: President Obama hasn't Demonstrated the Political Will and Courage to Tackle Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill) is at the forefront of the immigration debate.  He has put his money where his mouth is getting arrested in front of the White House, and being harshly critical of the President for his handling of the situation in Arizona, and for his failure to meaningfully address comprehensive immigration reform eighteen months into his presidency.

The Congressman appeared on NBC's Meet the Press last Sunday, and as always he provided clear insight into the immigration reform issue, rationally evaluating the problem.  In doing so he assessed President Obama's political will as it related to immigration reform as follows: 

"I don't think [President Obama] is there yet, and I think that the President has to understand that simple political soundbites is not what the American public want.  They want practical solutions.  He knows what the solution is to this issue.  He needs to demonstrate the political will and the political courage to take it on."

Plain and simply we need more people in Washington like Congressman Gutierrez.