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Last weekend Chris Hayes did a segment on his MSNBC show about President Obama's deportation policy. He put together a panel that took a look at the practical effect of the administration's record deportations.
What they found was that in the first six months of 2011, the Obama administration deported 46,000 parents of United States citizen children, many of whom became orphaned as a result. In fact, there are 5,100 United States citizen children in foster care that have been separated from their mother or father who have either been deported or detained. To put it in proper perspective, one-quater of all people deportated by this President are parents of United States citizen children.
Here is just one example:
Click here to watch the entire Chris Hayes segment. It is worth your time.
U.S. District Court Judge Clark Waddoup has delayed issuing a decision on the constitutionality of Utah's immigration law until after the Supreme Court reaches a decision on Arizona's immigration law.
Judge Waddoup reasoned that: “Because this case addresses significant constitutional issues, the court does not believe it would be helpful to the parties for the court to rule on the present motions before it receives the additional guidance from the Supreme Court.”
Arguments on Arizona’s SB1070 are scheduled for April, and it is possible that the Supreme Court's decision may be rendered as early as May.
Click here for the source of this article.
U.S. District Court Judge Laurie Smith Camp has issued a 37-page summary judgment enjoining the City of Fremont, Nebraska "from enforcing certain parts of the ordinance that prohibit the harboring of illegal aliens and provide for the revocation of occupancy licenses."
The Court's ruling, however, permits the enforcement of the employment provisions of the immigration ordinance that was approved by voters in a June 2010 special election.
Judge Smith declined to enjoin provisions of the ordinance that require employers to verify the immigration status of employees and also requires renters to obtain an “occupancy license” prior to renting a house or apartment. Both sides of the debate are claiming victory.
Click here for the source of this story.
The Associated Press reports that U.S. District Court Judge Clark Waddoups has scheduled arguments today (Friday) to determine the constitutionality of Utah's immigration enforcement law that was signed by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert last March.
The law requires police officers to verify the immigration status of individuals arrested in Utah for serious crimes. The law includes a discretionary component relating to individual determinations of whether or not police will investigate the immigration status of individuals charged with non-serious crimes.
The Obama administration has challenged the law arguing it is unconstitutional because it usurps federal authority and violates civil rights. The State of Utah argues that it is constitutional because there are limitations on who the police may investigate for potential immigration violations.
Judge Waddoups must decide whether to issue a permanent injunction. The Judge order a temporary injunction in May 2011.
Click here for the source of this story.
President Obama's proposed FY2013 budget includes a very modest (0.5%) reduction of funds dedicated to immigration enforcement, or $191 million fewer dollars to spread around.
Here is what is proposed:
A coalition of Texas-border mayors, county judges and economic development association aren't happy about it.
Here is what Ramsey Cantu, Eagle Pass mayor and chairman of the Texas Boarder Coalition has to say: "we are extremely disappointed that the federal budget does not include additional resources for the Southern border crossings, and that security at these facilities remains a low priority for this Administration in the year to come.”
Click here for the source of this info.
It has been reported that it took inquiries from 30 members of Congress for the Obama administration to be shamed into acknowledging reports of sexual abuse of immigrant detainees.
The administration's response: they are going to launch an investigation.
With all due respect, there has already been an investigation that found more than 170 allegations of sexual abuse of immigrant detainees, the majority occurring in the three years since Obama took office.
We are clearly beyond the "investigation" stage. Maybe it is time for someone in the Obama administration to actually fix the problem.
While we're at it, whatever happened to the administration's ambitious plan to fix the immigration detention system. It has been over two-years since the promise was made to "clean up a system notorious for shabby and abusive conditions, poor or nonexistent medical treatment and a trail of preventable injuries and deaths." President Obama must be saving this promise for his second term.
In related news, the administration is also trying to decide whether to provide protection for immigrant detainees through inclusion in pending prison rape prevention regulations. Shockingly, sources from within the administration report that here has actually been a "contentious" debate over whether to provide protection for immigrant detainees from rape.
I just received the following response to my open letter to Congressman Gutierrez, and have been asked to post it here.
This is very helpful. I was pushing back on the critics of President Obama and the GOP critics of the DREAM Act in Miami on the day of the Florida primary and I went too far. I think we have made great strides with prosecutorial discretion and getting deportation cases of DREAMers closed, but to say categorically that they have stopped is overstating the reality, which he accurately points out.
I did say that if people know of cases, they should call us and I mean that. We are already working on a ton of cases for people facing deportation and are having much more success now than we ever did. Take a look at the HuffPo piece I wrote on Martha's story in January (http://huff.to/wIR2GZ).
People with a long time here or who came as children or who have significant equities in the U.S. and no serious criminal background are getting relief more often, but many are falling through the cracks, so I apologize for overstating it and will watch out for that in the future.
In addition to this response, Congressman Gutierrez has encouraged people to contact his office if you receive an unfavorable response to a request for exercise of prosecutorial discretion.
Thank you Congressman for your response, and for championing fair and just immigration reform. Your hard work is noticed, and is very much appreciated.
Yesterday I saw a clip of the esteemed Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill) speaking on Univision about the Obama administration's deportation policy as it relates to DREAM Act eligible students.
Congressman Gutierrez stated the following:
"You don't see any young people getting deported anymore, and when they are call me. We'll undeport you. This administration has made a point that no more DREAM eligible students will be deported from the United States."
First off, I'd like to state that I hold Congressman Gutierrez in high regard, and offer the following with the utmost respect.
Mr. Congressman, you couldn't be more wrong.
Let me first introduce you to 22-year-old DREAMER Yanelli Hernandez, who attempted suicide twice while being held in immigration detention as a result of depression attributable to her pending deportation. DREAMers across the country held vigils as part of “Undocumented Youth Mental Health Day" to bring attention to her case with the hopes of stopping the Obama administration from deporting her to Mexico.
It didn't work.
ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls confirms that Yanelli was just removed to Mexico this past week under a final order of removal. It is my understanding that there were no criminal grounds of removal brought against her, and that the sole basis for her deportation was an immigration violation. Whatever happened to common sense enforcement priorities?
Mr. Congressman, I am respectfully taking you up on your offer, and calling on you to "un-deport" her.
I'd also like to introduce you to DREAMer Gerson Armando Morales. When he was a child Gerson's mother escaped an abusive husband in El Salvador. She received Temporary Protected Status in the United States, which does not permit her to sponsor her children. As a result, Gerson was brought here illegally as a 12-year-old child to escape gang violence, and natural disasters in El Salvador.
He is now facing deportation from the United States. Please help stop it from happening.
These are just two examples from this week alone of how the Obama administration treats DREAMers, and such treatment is symptomatic of this President's proclivity of deporting children, mothers, and fathers. In short, in three years this President has destroyed more families through deportation than any other President in the history of this country. His record on immigration reform is nonexistent, and his human rights record deplorable.
But you know all of this.
My point being, President Obama should not be commended for his pandering lip-service, as more times than not his deportation review program is not preventing the removal of individuals with extensive family ties, and an absence of criminal records. I know, as I am in the trenches of the deportation war that Obama has been waging for over three years now, and let me tell you something, it ain't pretty.
The facts are that DREAMers continue to be deported daily by this President. My mother once told me that you will never find a solution if you ignore the problem. Unfortunately, our problem is this President's immigration enforcement agenda, and the problem will never be fixed if we ignore the undeniable fact that President Obama's record deportations are our problem.
Congressman, I am not writing this because I am in any way critical of the very hard work that you have been doing throughout the country on behalf of undocumented children. In fact, I can't commend you enough for your advocacy for comprehensive immigration reform. You will always have my unwavering support as a result. I only wish I could share your enthusiasm and join you in being "happy and proud to support President Obama for reelection." Because as it currently stands, this President is unworthy of the immigration reform vote, and he is running out of time.
Thank you for listening.
The Board of Immigration Appeals has rendered a decision that empowers Immigration Judges to administratively close removal proceedings when the Department does not consent to administrative closure. See Matter of Bavakan AVETISYAN, 25 I&N Dec. 688 (BIA 2012).
The case involves a woman who is a native and citizen of Armenia. She is married to a United States citizen, and they have a child together. She came to the United States legally, but didn't leave the country after she completed her studies. An immigrant petition was filed with all the requisite supporting documentation establishing that her marriage was real, and copies were provided to the Court. If approved, the Respondent appears prima facie eligible for adjustment of status As such, the Respondent requested administrative closure of the case while the immigrant visa petition was pending.
The Department objected to administrative closure of the case despite the fact that they were not prepared to go forward in Court because the file was in the hands of visa petition unit awaiting adjudication. The Department instead requested a continuance of proceedings. The Court denied the Department's request for a continuance, and instead ordered administrative closure over the Department's objections. The Board affirmed the IJ's decision.
In doing so, the Board revisited their previous finding in In Matter of Gutierrez, 21 I&N Dec. 479, at 480 (BIA 1996), were the general rule was established that “[a] case may not be administratively closed if opposed by either of the parties. When taking a second look at the issue the Board found the general rule "troubling" because it afforded DHS "absolute veto power" over administrative closure requests.
The new rule is as follows:
(1) Pursuant to the authority delegated by the Attorney General and the responsibility to exercise that authority with independent judgment and discretion, the Immigration Judges and the Board may administratively close removal proceedings, even if a party opposes, if it is otherwise appropriate under the circumstances. Matter of Gutierrez, 21 I&N Dec. 479 (BIA 1996), overruled.
(2) In determining whether administrative closure of proceedings is appropriate,an Immigration Judge or the Board should weigh all relevant factors, including but not limited to: (1) the reason administrative closure is sought; (2) the basis for any opposition to administrative closure; (3) the likelihood the respondent will succeed on any petition, application, or other action he or she is pursuing outside of removal proceedings; (4) the anticipated duration of the closure; (5) the responsibility of either party, if any, in contributing to any current or anticipated delay; and (6) the ultimate outcome of removal proceedings (for example, termination of the proceedings or entry of a removal order) when the case is recalendared before the Immigration Judge or the appeal is reinstated before the Board.
I have been arguing for the past 15 years that an IJ does not need the acquiescence of the Department to administratively close removal proceedings. Only one Judge, Sandy K. Hom, agreed with my argument, and the Department appealed his decision. The case remains pending before the Board, for now.