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  1. Letters of the Week: Sep 16 - Sep 20

    Please email your letters to or post them directly as a comment below.
  2. Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Retroactive Application of Padilla v Kentucky

    by , 09-16-2013 at 09:15 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Sorry for my absence over the last couple of weeks. I have had a packed trial schedule that has kept me away from the blog. The good news is that in my absence my office was able to save the Green Card of a long time permanent resident through cancellation of removal, prevent the imminent deportation of the father of two United States citizens (he was literally being flown back to Mexico when the decision was rendered), and terminate deportation proceedings on behalf of a mother of four United States children.

    But back to the subject of this blog.

    Professor Christopher N. Lasch has written a fantastic analysis on reviewing last week's Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision where it has decided to "continue to part ways" with the Supreme Court on the retroactive application of Padilla v Kentucky​.

    Check it out
    . It is well worth the read.

    Updated 09-16-2013 at 10:45 AM by MKolken

  3. Education Secretary: Colleges Should Offer Lower Tuition to DREAMers

    by , 09-16-2013 at 08:37 AM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    One of the unfortunate benefits NOT automatically available to DACA recipients is in state tuition at state universities. Several states are offering this to DACA beneficiaries, but many do not. This is really unfortunate as it is a tremendous waste of talent. It's looking pretty likely that the DREAMers are going to eventually get citizenship. So to deny them a higher education is bad for all of us. US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan addressed this problem recently in Arizona. Hopefully, every state will move to do the right thing.
  4. Incompetence, Not Only Intolerance, is a Barrier to Immigration. By Roger Algase

    Recently, my "bloggings" have been focusing on the powerful impact of intolerance, racial, religious, and with regard to sexual orientation, in blocking immigration reform. Unfortunately, hatred and prejudice against the other - people who look different, speak different languages and have different religious beliefs, cultures or lifestyles. have been around in America for at least as long as the anti-Irish campaigns and Chinese exclusion laws beginning in the 19th century, and the infamous "national origins" quotas against Italian, Jewish, Eastern European Middle Eastern and other non-"Nordic" immigrants that were in effect until 1965.

    But intolerance - against Mexicans, Latin Americans, Africans, Asians and Muslims, to name a few, is not the only barrier to immigration today.

    Let's not forget about sheer incompetence in the immigration system. That has been around for a long time too, and is still very much with us. As (with a few exceptions - see below) everyone affected by the immigration laws knows, last month, in August 2013, the immigrant visa priority date for the F2A category - husbands and wives of green card holders - became current, and adjustment of status applications based on marriage to a permanent resident became eligible for filing.

    This quota is still open for adjustment of status to permanent resident filing until the end of September, 2013, according the US Department of State Visa Bulletin for this month.

    But try telling that to the people at the USCIS National Benefits Center in Missouri, which is responsible for processing marriage based adjustment of status green card applications.

    Since the F2A quota became current, I have received notices in two adjustment cases in this category which I filed in August asking for evidence that the sponsoring green card spouse (I-130 petitioner) is a US citizen!

    In at least one of these cases, my covering letter had specifically mentioned the August, 2013 Visa Bulletin. I understand that the officers at the National Benefits Center (MSC) may be too busy to read things like Visa Bulletins which their work depends on, but don't they know what is going on in the immigration world?

    Is there a moat around the MSC? Are their Internet connections turned off? More to the point, don't they receive any training?

    I suggest that anyone filing an F2A adjustment of status case between now and the end of September attach a copy of this month's visa bulletin with the I-485 and I-130 forms, and mark it in bright red.

    Then, maybe, all of the MSC reviewing officers will finally catch on to what the rest of America's immigration community has already known for the past two months.

    Updated 09-16-2013 at 09:12 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

  5. Over 100 Brave Women Arrested Protesting For Immigration Reform. By Roger Algase

    In a protest against the cowardice of House Republicans who are afraid to stand up to the Tea Party extremists and white supremacist anti-immigrant bigots in their party, more than 100 courageous women, including at least 20 unauthorized immigrants, held a pro-reform rally on Thursday, September 12 and were arrested by Washington Police for blocking an intersection near the Capitol.

    Details were reported that day by in More Than 100 Women Arrested at Capitol Immigration Reform Protest

    One of the protesters, Heather Cronk, co-director of Get EQUAL, a leading LGBT advocacy organization, explained in a September 14 article in THE HILL's Congress Blog why she participated. See Cuffs won't stop us: Comprehensive immigration reform can't wait

    She writes:

    "We can seize this moment to demand action on comprehensive immigration reform, or we can turn our backs on 11 million aspiring Americans' hopes and dreams: for a path to citizenship, for asylum, for humane detention policies and an end to the 1,100 deportations that happen in our country each day."

    She continues:

    "Some are suggesting that we offer undocumented immigrants work permits, but not full citizenship. That approach would relegate millions of people to a permanent underclass. Others are suggesting that Congress should address the status of immigrant youth only, and leave the rest of the 11 aside...We don't want any more families to be separated."

    She concludes:

    "Some are suggesting that members of Congress have too much on their plates to focus on an issue as big as immigration reform. To them we say that the magnitude of our country's broken immigration system is too big to ignore."

    Long after the country has forgotten the Eric Cantors, the Bob Goodlattes and the John Boehners who, up to now, have been too timid, too scared of their party's xenophobic, intolerant far right Steve King wing to allow legalization and a pathway to citizenship to come to a vote in the House, America will remember and applaud Heather Cronk and the more than 100 other brave women who faced arrest so that 11 million people can gain freedom from fear of deportation and the break up of their families; and so they can win the opportunity to participate as full members of our society.

    Updated 09-16-2013 at 06:28 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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