Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Senate to Introduce Immigration Bill Today

Looks like today is the day that we finally see immigration reform legislation that will provide a 13-year path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants that arrived in the United States before Dec. 31, 2011. The pathway will be triggered by border controls. Once I have the legislation in my hands I'll do a breakdown on the components of reform.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Marco Rubio: Immigration Reform is not "Amnesty"

Senator Marco Rubio hit the Sunday political talk shows yesterday to talk about the imminent release of immigration reform legislation. 

Here is what he had to say:

"If you're waiting to come legally to the United States now, no one who has done it the wrong way will get it before you," "In fact, it will be much cheaper, faster, easier and less bureaucratic if you're doing it the right way." "It doesn't reward or doesn't award them anything. But it does give them access to our legal immigration system through a process that will not encourage people to come here illegally in the future, and then through a process that isn't unfair for people that have done it the right way."


Monday, April 8, 2013

USCIS Reaches FY 2014 H-1B Cap

From USCIS.gov:  
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year (FY) 2014. USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption. After today, USCIS will not accept H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2014 cap or the advanced degree exemption.  
USCIS will use a computer-generated random selection process (commonly known as the “lottery”) for all FY 2014 cap-subject petitions received through April 5, 2013. The agency will conduct the selection process for advanced degree exemption petitions first. All advanced degree petitions not selected will be part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit. Due to the high number of petitions received, USCIS is not yet able to announce the exact day of the random selection process. Also, USCIS is currently not providing the total number of petitions received, as we continue to accept filings today. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. USCIS will provide more detailed information about the H-1B cap next week.

Senators in "Gang of eight" hoping for immigration bill this week

Friday, April 5, 2013

Disney Finds Dozens Of Unauthorized Characters Appearing Illegally Inside Theme Park

A little light immigration humor for a Friday morning courtesy of the Onion:
Saying they were working diligently to address the problem, Walt Disney World officials acknowledged Wednesday that several dozen unauthorized characters, none of which have ever appeared in a Disney film or cartoon, had been found in recent weeks wandering throughout the theme park. Company sources confirmed that at least 60 separate individuals in costumes, including various woodland creatures, several fairies, and what officials described as a walrus in a lab coat, have been spotted greeting visitors, hugging children, posing for pictures, and meandering into daily parades alongside sanctioned Disney characters.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Dream in Now Trailer

I was just followed on Twitter by @TheDreamisNow, an organization that is advocating for common sense immigration reform that includes the principles of the DREAM Act.  They filmed a documentary consisting of a collection of stories of undocumented immigrants in America that are desperate to become citizens of the only country they have even called home.

The documentary is set to premiere this month in Washington DC, and will then be screened on college campuses and in communities to raise awareness in the hope of garnering support for immigration reform. 

Pretty moving stuff. I'll be watching.

Jose Antonio Vargas, @joseiswriting, on the AP dropping the use of the term "illegal alien"

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Report: 50% of people deported to Mexico have at least one relative that is a United States citizen

The University of Arizona’s Center for Latin American Studies has issued a report entitled The Shadow of the Wall: Family Separation, Immigration Enforcement and Security.  

The report resulted from interviews of 1,113 recent deportees regarding their encounters with U.S. immigration officials from being caught through their return to Mexico.  The interviews were conducted at ports of entry immediately following deportation, and also in migrant shelters in Mexico.
The focus of the report was to determine:
  • Who are the more than 400,000 people deported to Mexico each year? 
  • What do they experience during their journeys? 
  • How do immigration enforcement programs operate and are there notable di!erences between authorities’ stated practices and people’s experiences? 
  • What are the standard practices and potential problems with costly immigration enforcement programs? 
  • What is “security” and how are specific programs related to immigration enforcement helping to achieve this goal?
The investigation concluded that:
  • Approximately 50% spoke at least some English;
  • 42% were the sole income provider for their families; 
  • 75% had previously lived or worked in the United States. Among those who had lived or worked in the United States, the median time spent in the country was seven years;
  • 50% had at least one family member who is a U.S. citizen, and about 25% have at least one child under the age of 18 who have U.S. citizenship;
  • Almost 50% intended to permanently emigrate during their last crossing; and 28% stated that their current home is located in the United States.
Click here to read the report in its entirety.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Private Prison Corporation withdraws $6 million Donation to Name Football Stadium

It has been reported that private prison corporation GEO Group, which maintains a strategic partnership with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to oversee deportation detention jails, has withdrawn a $6 million dollar donation it made to Florida Atlantic University to obtain naming rights for the university's football stadium.  
This move comes in response to mobilized efforts and criticisms from students, faculty, alumni, and civil rights groups that protested allegations of abuse at GEO Group run prisons.  Opponents of the donation came up with their own name for the stadium "Owlkatraz" after the school's mascot.  A federal judge has called one of GEO Group's prisons "a cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts and conditions."