Thursday, April 26, 2012

Liberal Justices May Side with Conservative Bloc on Arizona Immigration Law

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday about the constitutionality of Arizona's immigration law (SB 1070). Justice Reports indicated that the Court will limit its review to issues relating to state-versus-federal power, not questions about potential civil rights violations.

Justice Kagan reused herself, which could potentially result in a deadlocked 4-4 decision. With that in mind, the typically liberal Justices voiced significant concerns with the Government's arguments.

Justice Sotomayor: "I'm sorry.… I'm terribly confused by your answer," "Your argument — that this systematic cooperation is wrong — is not selling very well. Why don't you try to come up with something else?"

Justice Stephen G. Breyer remarked that he did not see a problem if "all that happens is a policeman makes a phone call.… I'm not clear what your answer is to that."

Swing voter Justice Anthony M. Kennedy: "So you're saying the government has a legitimate interest in not enforcing its laws?"

If just one of the three above Justices sides with the conservative bloc of the Court all or part of the law may stand.

We shall see.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Chuck Todd Discusses Importance of Latinos to Obama in the 2012 Electoral College Map

Nonimmigrant Waiver Approved in Only 44 Days

Our client is a Canadian citizen. He is inadmissible for life because he reentered the United States without inspection after he had been ordered deported by an Immigration Judge. He has now resided in Canada for more than ten years.

He has family in the United States that he would like to visit. We were retained and prepared an Application for a Nonimmigrant Waiver of Inadmissibility, along with a legal brief and appropriate supporting documentation.

We established that our client was no longer inadmissible to the United States as a result of the deportation order, his unlawful presence of several years, and a possible misrepresentation.

The Admissibility Review Office in Washington, DC agreed with our position, and granted his nonimmigrant waiver based upon the unlawful entry in only 44 days after the application package was filed.

Friday, April 20, 2012

TRAC Report: Nationwide only 2,609 cases closed via Prosecutorial Discretion

Once again TRAC has done the heavy lifting by putting together an interactive chart identifying by Court how many cases have been closed due to a favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion as a result of the Morton memo.

There are a total of 298,173 deportation cases nationwide that are currently backlogged. Of them, the Obama administration has moved to administratively close or terminate a whopping 2,609.

But don't worry, Obama promised to address immigration reform in his second term.

More lies you can believe in.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Audio via @RadioDiaries: Weasel’s Diary – Deported

"A 26-year-old Los Angeles resident gets deported to his parents’ home country of El Salvador, which he has not seen since age five. He has no memories of the country, no immediate family, and little ability to speak Spanish. This story originally aired on This American Life."

Friday, April 13, 2012

Initial Fraud Determination at Border Reversed by Immigration Judge, Client Admitted to US

Our client is a Canadian citizen. He is a well qualified management consultant to the computer industry. Previously, it had been determined by the Department of Homeland Security that he was inadmissible to the United States for fraud and misrepresentation. This ground of inadmissibility constitutes a lifetime bar to United States entry. At this point we were hired. After review, we disagreed with the Government’s determination.

Because the Government would not voluntarily change their position, we had an Immigration Court proceeding initiated so that an Immigration Judge could determine whether or not our client was inadmissible to the United States. We submitted substantial documentary evidence as exhibits in the Court proceeding showing that the Government’s position was incorrect. A thorough review of our position was undertaken by the attorneys for the Government and the Immigration Judge. Upon consideration, the Government stipulated that our client was admissible to the United States.

The Immigration Judge accepted the stipulation and issued a Court Order in our client’s favor. Our client has now been offered a position by a United States management consulting firm to provide consulting services to a major United States corporation. We prepared all of the required documents in support of the application, prepared our client for the inspection, and appeared with him at the Port-of-Entry.

The application was approved for a period of three years in less than one hour without difficulty. This is the second TN Management Consultant approval we have obtained for him since we won his Immigration Court proceeding.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Unconsidered Alternative to Deportation

The question has been posed whether President Obama really has done everything legally possible to put an end to the destruction of hundreds of thousands of families through deportation.  I, and many others, do not believe that he and his party have the political will to address comprehensive reform in a meaningful way.  

Not in his first term.  Not in his second term.  Not ever.

So let's take a look at what the President has done to stem the tide of his 400,000 deportations per year mandate.

The Obama administration has reviewed approximately 150,000 pending deportation cases, moving to administratively close 1,500 of them through a favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion.  Not good odds, as the amount of individuals benefiting from prosecutorial discretion is insignificant in consideration of the amount of pending deportation cases reviewed.

The administration has also proposed a new policy that will permit the pre-adjudication of hardship waivers for individuals that are statutorily ineligible for adjustment of status due to the manner of their admission (i.e., they were not inspected and admitted a/k/a they "snuck into the country").  Of course this proposed policy won't go into effect until after the election, and is transparently being offered as a political carrot.  In reality it may be all stick.

I say this because the waiver process is tumultuous, and submission of an application should in no way be interpreted as a guarantee that a waiver will ever be issued.  Even if a waiver is granted the individual will be required to incur great expense to leave the country simply in the exercise of tagging up in their home country for visa issuance.  Moreover, if an individual submits themselves to the pre-adjudication waiver process, and the waiver is denied, the inevitable result will be the institution of removal proceedings.

I'm not willing to predict what percentage of waivers will ultimately be favorable adjudicated.  That being said, the percentages of people benefiting from the prosecutorial discretion memo are between 1-6% depending on who you ask.  All I know is that unless I have a client who has already had removal proceedings instituted against them it will be a hard sell to convince them to risk everything by exposing themselves to the potential liability of a denied waiver, coupled with the harsh slap of the institution of deportation proceedings.  The whip is simply much, much bigger than the carrot.

Point being, there are alternatives that have not been considered by the Administration that in certain circumstances will negate the requirement of a waiver and the need of the individual ever departing the United States.

Specifically, humanitarian parole, or parole in place.  President Obama has the authority to confer parole status on an individual that would render them eligible to adjust their status inside the United States.  This would eliminate the need for a waiver, which in most cases is required to cure either a three or ten year bar that is triggered upon departure due to unlawful presence inside the country.

Parole could be granted on a case by case basis to individuals who are immediate relatives of United States citizens, and who are able to establish hardship to their relatives if they are deported.  The hardship would not have to be extreme in nature, which has been defined as more than the pain that stems from separation, and which is less than what is required for the approval of the waiver.  

This option could be made available only to individuals with no criminal record, have established good moral character, and who are only ineligible for adjustment because they were not inspected and admitted.

So the bottom line is that there are other options available to this President that are much better alternatives to what has been offered, and the options could be implemented IMMEDIATELY.

If this President is serious about making good on his previously broken promise to stop the flow of deportations this would be a seriously big step in the right direction.

And by the way, I don't want to have to wait until after the election, which is half a year away.

Start issuing paroles this summer Mr. President.

Don't make us wait for your second term to break another promise.

Protesters rally against ICE's deportation program in Montgomery County

Monday, April 9, 2012

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fl - D) Backs Corrections Corporation of America over Her Constituents

Over the weekend I stumbled upon a blog posted on, which I found to be particularly telling.  It appears that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fl. - D) has endorsed Correction Corporation of America's (CCA) plan to build the largest immigration detention center in the United States.

For those of you who don't know, CCA is a private corporation that is in the business of designing, building, managing, and operating detention centers for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  In short, they are in the business of locking up immigrants.  CCA is for-profit, and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.  Their profitablility is directly tied to the policies of the government as they relate to the number of immigrants being locked up.  

It should be noted that the price of a single share of CCA stock has nearly doubled since President Obama's election.  No small coincidence.  Anyone that reads this blog knows that President Obama has implemented the most aggressive immigration enforcement and deportation policy in the history of the United States. Needless to say, for CCA, business is booming.  

So back to Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  CCA wants to build its newest super prison in a small Florida town that just happens to be in Schultz's district.  Cuenteme reports that 99% of all the residents of this town, Schultz's constituents, oppose the building of a private for-profit prison that houses immigrant detainees.  Schultz, in all her hypocritical glory, has backed the Corporation.

Does anyone else find it curious that the President and the party that pledged to champion the issue of comprehensive immigration reform have not introduced a single new piece of legislation in over three years that actually addresses the issue?  I, for one, would like to know how much money CCA has donated to the DNC, President Obama, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, or alternatively to Super Pacs that fund their campaigns. 

This President has set quotas of 400,000 deportations per year.  I wonder how they came up with that number.  Was CCA consulted?  

The Administration has also stonewalled the release of immigration enforcement data.  Another coincidence?

I implore you to click here to sign the petition to tell Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fl - D) to say NO to CCA because immigrants are not for sale!

Friday, April 6, 2012

When Real Life Meets Art: The Continued Enforcement of DOMA in the Immigration Context

I was just  introduced to a new film starring Jamie Lynn Sigler of Sopranos and Entourage fame that tackles the subject of the continued enforcement of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the immigration context.

Here is a summary of the film:
Jack Edwards is a British gay man living in New York. After his brother gets killed in a brutal car crash Jack is left to raise his niece with his sister-in-law Mya. When Jack's work visa gets denied he marries his best friend Ali for a green card in a desperate attempt to keep his family together. After he meets Spanish American Mano Alfaro and his marriage of convenience starts to crumble, Jack is faced with impossible decisions for his family, friends and the man he loves.
And the trailer:

On April 2, 2012, Immigration Equality, on behalf of five same-sex couples, filed suit in U.S. District Court in New York challenging the constitutionality of DOMA.  The suit alleges equal protection violations stemming from the denial of immigration benefits due to gender and sexual orientation.

Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas among others, are the named defendants.  

The Obama administration continues to deny immigrant petitions filed on behalf of legally married same-sex spouses, and in most cases has been moving forward with deportation proceedings after the denial.

It will be very interesting to see if the Obama administration defends the law in District Court, or concedes its unconstitutionality.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Obama’s "Uncle Omar" to meet with Immigration Officials to Discuss Deportation to Kenya

The Boston Globe reports that President Obama's uncle Onyango "Omar" Obama has been "summoned" to a meeting with ICE officials in Burlington, Massachusetts to discuss his deportation to Kenya.

Uncle Omar was ordered deported in 1992, but never left the United States.  His drunk driving arrest last August brought him to the attention of immigration officials.  On Tuesday, Uncle Omar appeared in Court where he admitted that he had a blood alcohol level of 0.14 when he was stopped.

Brian P. Hale, ICE director of public affairs has stated that: “Now that Mr. Onyango’s criminal case has completed, ICE has communicated, in accordance with standard procedure, with his attorney regarding his removal pursuant to a previous final order by an immigration judge.’’

Omar is the second relative of President Obama living in the United States without lawful immigration status.

I wonder if he is a deportation priority.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

President Obama, Why I am a Deportation Priority

Largest Immigration "Sweep" in History Nets 3,168 Immigrants

And the deportation machine rolls on.

The Obama administration announced yesterday that they arrested more than 3,100 immigrants over a six day period.  It was called operation "Cross Check," and is the largest of its kind in the history of the United States.

Another record for President Obama.

It has been reported that more than half (1,691) of all of the immigrants detained have not committed serious crimes.

Here is the bottom line, the President needs to start telling the American public the truth that his administration has adopted a no-nonsense immigration enforcement strategy that is hell-bent on deporting as many immigrants as the system will allow.  If he would acknowledge this self-evident truth I would have a lot more respect for the man.  That being said, he needs to put an end to the persistent stream of lies that he is utilizing common sense enforcement strategies. Unless, of course, you consider it to be common sense to use the shotgun approach.

On that note, I have heard multiple reports that individuals that received deferred action under the Morton memo are having extensions denied.  Apparently the news coverage has gone away on their cases, along with the embarrassment to the administration.  Remember the golden rule, it is ok to deport an immigrant, so long as the T.V. cameras aren't rolling.

I'll post more on the subject when I am permitted to do so.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Obama Administration "Pleased" to Report that they Deported 46,486 Parents of United States Citizens in the Second-Half of 2011

Now I have seen it all.  The Obama administration just stated that they are "pleased" to report that from January 1, 2011, through June 30, 2011, they deported 46,486 parents of United States citizens. John Morton's congratulatory statement is front and center on page two of the report.

To be crass, what the hell is there to be "pleased" about?  Did they meet a quota?

The Applied Research Center has determined that there are now 5,100 children living in foster care that have been torn away from their detained or deported parents by the Obama administration.

The Immigration Court in Atlanta, Georgia has taken the crown deporting 2,249 parents of United States citizens.  I've appeared before that Court.  Needless to say, it doesn't surprise me.

I'll post the statistics for the first half of FY 2012 as soon as the Administration brags about their handy-work in another report.

And there you have it. Kinder gentler immigration enforcement at work.

More "Change" you can believe in.

Inquiries about the report may be sent directly to John Morton at (202) 732-3000, or to Peggy Sherry at (202) 447-5751.  I suggest that you give them a call if you have any "inquiries."

Immigration Deaths in Detention

Detention Deaths March 2012