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  1. Ros-Lehtinen Second Republican in Last Day to Co-Sponsor HR 15

    by , 10-29-2013 at 09:43 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the South Florida Republican Congresswoman, is the 187th co-sponsor of H.R. 15, the House's comprehensive immigration reform bill. The decision was announced on Twitter by Democrat Joe Garcia. Ros-Lehtinen later released a short statement:

    It's important to keep the conversation going in trying to fix the broken immigration system. I favor any approach that will help us move the negotiations forward. Other Members may soon produce a bipartisan product that may also deserve support and I'm cautiously optimistic that we can pass meaningful immigration reform.
  2. Update from DREAM 30 Lawyer David Bennion

    by , 10-29-2013 at 01:42 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Unfortunately, DREAM 30 member Rocío Hernández Pérez was deported today despite desperate attempts by advocates to stop her deportation.

    DREAM 30 Lawyer David Bennion gives us the following update on the DREAM 30.

    From David Bennion:

    34 entered on Sept. 30, all were detained, one released that night on parole, 7 parents and minors paroled the next day for "significant public benefit." 1 UAC minor was later released for possible SIJS, the 25 others are the classic "dreamers" and all have gone or are going through the credible fear process. 12 were reinterviewed by the asylum office after the initial interview because, as the asylum office told me, these are high profile cases. 16 were approved by the asylum office, 9 denied. That is a 36% denial rate, far higher than the national average of 9% in FY2013, especially considering all are fluent in English and were represented by counsel, and none had negative credibility findings. 1 denial was overturned on review by the IJ, and Rocio was deported this morning after the IJ confirmed the asylum office's denial of credible fear. She's from Veracruz, where the Zetas already kidnapped her aunt and uncle.

    The other 7 denied cases are awaiting review by the IJ, but I am not optimistic. The 17 approved cases have been held nearly a week after approval, with no explanation why they haven't yet been paroled per ICE policy. Several went on hunger strike over the weekend. Yesterday, ICE took them to the hospital and requested a court order to force feed them. The doctors said there was no medical justification for that at this stage. The clear message from DHS is: don't try this again. We don't care if you were once a Dreamer, once you set foot outside the U.S., it's as though you were never here. Actually worse, b/c now you have ULP bar and presumed immigrant intent, so good luck coming back.

    I will keep you posted as new information becomes available.
  3. Infosys Settles Visa Fraud Case for $35 Million

    by , 10-29-2013 at 11:00 AM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    CBS News reports that the tech giant Infosys, an India-based staffing company, has settled a fraud suit with the Justice Department by agreeing to pay a $35 million fine. The company was accused of misusing the B-1 visa category as a way to get around the H-1B annual cap that has limited its ability to send IT professionals to the US.
  4. Senator Menendez Sits on His Hands while #Dream30 Member Set to be Deported

    by , 10-29-2013 at 09:34 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    In a move that has left her mother “heartbroken,” Rocío Hernández Pérez, one of the members of the #Dream30, will be deported today to Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, after pleas from organizers and family members to Latino politicians asking for help with her case went unheeded. According to both Hernández’s mother and #Dream30 organizers, Hernández’s case has already been processed. Hernández has also been given her street clothes back, and is expected to be in Juárez within the next couple of hours.

    Last week two mothers of the #DREAM30 went to Senator Menendez's office to plea for help. The Senator issued the following response (after arresting them of course): “unfortunately, congressional offices are not able to single-handedly interfere with and influence deportation cases. Senate Ethics prohibits “demands” to the agencies about individual cases.”

    In addition to being cowardly, it appears that Senator Menendez isn't quite telling the truth. There are many examples where Senators have intervened on behalf of individuals facing deportation. See: Senators aid wife of missing soldier. Kerry Kennedy pressure officials, and Senator Durbin helps stop the Deportation of DREAMer Elier Lara.

    I represented the individuals in both of these cases, and I can assure you that if it weren't for the courageous acts of Senators Kerry, Kennedy, and Durbin my clients would have been deported. In fact, it wasn't until there was Congressional intervention that the administration was willing to consider a favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion.

    So Senator Menendez, what's your excuse?

    I think Julio Ricardo Varela summed it up perfectly is his article that appeared today on NBC Latino when explaining opposition in the immigration reform community to the #DREAM30 protest:

    How dare does anyone try to upset the immigration reform apple cart now? Obama is our friend, why are you making him look bad? We have private prisons to fund and border fences to build. Don’t you know that immigration reform will die?

    Senator Menendez, the deportation clock is ticking, so maybe it is time to start acting like a leader, and not just another follower.

    Update: Unfortunately, Rocio has been deported to Mexico.

    Updated 10-29-2013 at 01:35 PM by MKolken

  5. Et Tu, Marco? Rubio Backs Away From His Own CIR Bill. By Roger Algase

    This post has been updated as of 10:30 am on October 29.

    The Huffington Post reports on October 28 that Tea Party Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) a Gang of Eight member and key immigration supporter, is now backing away from his own CIR bill. See Marco Rubio Backs Away From Own Immigration Bill Becoming Law.

    Huffpost mentions that "Rubio received pushback from some conservatives for his support of comprehensive immigration reform, and has gone mostly silent on the issue."

    Et tu, Marco?

    However, some analysts are arguing that Senator Rubio's retreat on immigration reform in October, 2013 AD is not really a replay of the events in the Roman Senate on March 15, 44 BC, because Rubio has not actually changed his position on reform.

    Seung Min Kim, for example, writes the following in Politico Marco Rubio sparks immigration debate (October 28):

    "The Florida Senator has long called for giving House Republicans some space to come up with their own plan. And some advocates believe Rubio's call to focus on piecemeal aspects of reform could actually pave the way for some kind of agreement between the House and Senate."

    Who believes this, actually?

    Kim quotes the eternally optimistic voice of reform advocate Tamar Jacoby, who still insists:

    "This is making a more doable task for House Republicans. House Republicans are trying to pass pieces that add up to a package...'We'll meet you halfway' is essentially what the message is."

    Very nice idea, but meeting halfway is exactly what the House Republicans are trying to avoid at all costs. For them, going to conference with the Democratic-controlled Senate on immigration reform would be like meeting with the devil himself.

    This reminds me of Jacoby's statement in the LA Times this last summer that the House "piecemeal" bills would eventually add up like beads on a "necklace". In view of what has happened since, leaves on a funeral wreath might be a better analogy.

    As I have argued before, the problem with the "piecemeal" approach is not with the process, but with the substance. If the House were to pass a hundred piecemeal bills that together added up to real reform, who would complain?

    But, as Kim makes clear in her article:

    "A top concern of advocates is that if lawmakers only focus on areas of immigration reform with broad bipartisan agreement, one big group will be left out: the estimated 11.7 million undocumented immigrants in this country."

    Rubio's retreat has also given aid and comfort to the anti-immigration reform side. Kim quotes an aide to a GOP lawmaker who opposes reform as follows:

    "His [Rubio's] turnaround represents an admission that, on substance, the [Democratic CIR] bill is a catastrophe...This should be the end of anyone seriously attempting to promote this awful, awful, proposal."

    Nor has backing down on CIR helped Rubio very much with his own former Tea Party allies.

    Kim writes that Roy Beck, Executive Director of anti-immigrant NumbersUSA said of Rubio's turnaround on CIR:

    "He's going to be digging himself out a hole for some time."

    For those who balk at comparing Marco Rubio with Marcus Brutus, however, another comparison may be more apt:

    To paraphrase Shakespeare, Marco Rubio is in effect saying the same thing about reform that Marcus Antonius said of Julius Caesar:

    "I come to bury CIR, not to praise it."

    Updated 10-29-2013 at 10:58 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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