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  1. Five Reasons to be Optimistic an Immigration Reform Bill Will Pass

    by , 03-04-2013 at 05:59 AM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    Talking Point Memo's Benjy Sarlin has a great analysis discussing why reform advocates have reason to be hopeful that a major bill will pass.
  2. House GOP Leaders Meeting Next Week to Discuss Immigration Plans

    by , 03-02-2013 at 12:06 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    Roll Call is reporting that House Republican leaders will meet next week to start planning for taking up immigration legislation. The meeting will be led by Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Immigration Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy. One of the big issues will be whether immigration legislation will move in a comprehensive fashion or as smaller bills in a piecemeal approach.
    Roll Call also reports that the House "Gang of Eight" is close to resolving it's approach to some of the more controversial issues like citizenship possibilities for legalized individuals.
  3. Pro-Immigration Republican Group Ready to Start Ad Blitz

    by , 03-01-2013 at 01:21 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    Ask and ye shall receive. Yesterday I was bemoaning the fact that groups like NumbersUSA are relatively unchallenged when they launch ads promoting their anti-immigrant message. And today there's news that at least one well-funded group is getting ready to hit back. Good news.
  4. Increase in Federal Criminal Prosecutions for Immigration Related "Petty" Offenses may reflect "a harsher policy for sanctioning individuals who have been caught."

    by , 03-01-2013 at 08:55 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Syracuse University's TRAC Immigration has released another report that reveals that there has been a "spike" in federal criminal prosecutions for immigration related crimes that resulted from an increase in federal criminal referrals from Customs and Border Protection (CBP). There was a total of 15,313 federal prosecutions in December 2012, which was an increase of 14 percent from the previous month.  The largest charged criminal offense is for violation of 8 U.S.C. ß 1325: Improper Entry by Alien, i.e., sneaking into the country.
    From the report:

    Included in the case-by-case records obtained by TRAC is information about what the Justice Department calls the "lead charge" and the sentence that was imposed. The data show that the majority of defendants received no prison time other than time served while waiting for their cases to be resolved (see Table 2). During the first three months of FY 2013, nearly three out of four prosecutions (73 percent) were for illegal entry, a petty offense under Title 8 Section 1325 of the United States Code. In second place were prosecutions for illegal re-entry, a more serious felony charge. A total of 20 percent were re-entry prosecutions. For those convicted on the basis of the second charge the median prison sentence was 6 months.

    TRAC believes that the increase in federal criminal prosecutions may be a result of the administration's employment of "a harsher policy for sanctioning individuals who have been caught."
    Click here to read the rest of the report. 
  5. Yet another "low priority" "non-criminal" immigrant is facing deportation and needs your help.

    by , 03-01-2013 at 07:21 AM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)

    The Petition
    To Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, John Morton, and Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano:

    I am writing to call for the immediate release of Agnaldo Batista de Andrade (A#205-345-159) from Broward Transitional Center and urge ICE to immediately stop his deportation. Agnaldo is a low priority for deportation, has an approved I-130 application and a pending green card application with a March 4th appointment date. Despite all this, he has not been released while his U.S. citizen wife, Claudia, continues to suffer emotionally in his absence.

    Agnaldo came to the United States from Brazil in March, 2004 in search of a better life. Growing up one of 12 children in an impoverished village, Agnaldo's family sometimes did not have enough money to put food on the table or shoes on their feet. When he came to the U.S., Agnaldo wanted nothing more than to be able to support his family in Brazil, and along the way, he found the love of his life, who he married in March, 2012. 

    Everything came crashing down in 2012, when his mother passed away in January. In April, Agnaldo's wife took care of her mother in Brazil, at which time, she found out that she had severe appendicitis and had to have an emergency appendectomy without her husband. Grief-stricken on Mother's Day, having been separated from all of the women he loves, he went to a friend's house to be consoled. Agnaldo consumed a small amount of alcohol while at his friend's house. On his way home, after swerving to miss hitting a dog in the road, he lost control and crashed his car. Agnaldo was injured, but no other passenger or car was involved in the crash. Agnaldo, however, was summarily arrested by local sheriff's office and soon transferred to ICE custody.

    Other than this infraction, Agnaldo has never been in trouble with the law and is therefore a perfect candidate for prosecutorial discretion, as laid out by John Morton, the Director of Immigration Customs and Enforcement. In addition, Agnaldo received approval for his I-130 petition and has a pending Green Card application with a March 4th appointment to pursue approval of his adjusted status.

    In the year that Agnaldo has been detained, his wife Claudia has shown signs of depression - she's not sleeping or eating well, and spends every last penny to support her husband. Claudia was not able to continue paying for her house, and is now living with her children, still trying to keep herself afloat.

    Millions of citizens across the country are arrested for this same offense every year, however they do not have to fear being separated from their families. Claudia has made it clear that she will not leave her husband's side, and will be forced to leave the U.S. if Agnaldo is deported. 

    According to the memo issued by John Morton, Agnaldo is not a priority for deportation, has an approved I-130, a pending green card application, and should be released immediately and granted favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion. I urge you to release Agnaldo from Broward Transitional Center immediately and stop his deportation. 

    Click here to sign the petition, and/or call John Morton, Director of ICE @ 202-732-3000

    Sample script:
    "I am calling to ask ICE to release Agnaldo Batista de Andrade (A#205345159). He has an approved I-130 and has already applied for a green card. His U.S. citizen wife, Claudia, continues to suffer from depression and is fighting to keep a roof over her head. Agnaldo is a low priority for deportation and should be released immediately." 

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