Articles Posted in U.S. Immigration Reform

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China and India have surpassed Mexico for the first time as the top sending countries of immigrants to the United States, according to research conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. While the debate over immigration reform in the United States often focuses on Mexican immigrants to the United States, data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the number of Mexicans immigrating to the United States has been on the decline since 2004.

As the chart from the U.S. Census Bureau shows, Mexican immigrants to the U.S. peaked in 2000 when over 400,000 immigrants from Mexico came to the U.S. That number has dwindled to 125,000 in 2013, well behind China’s 147,000 and India’s 129,000 immigrants to the United States. NBC News reported that in 2000, “41.2 percent of all foreign-born immigrants were Hispanic, but by 2009, that number had fallen to 30.1 percent, while the rate of immigration for non-Hispanic Asian, foreign-born grew to 34.7 percent.” Asians now represent the fastest growing minority group in the United States, a title Hispanics have held for years, with a growth rate of 2.9%, according to Census data.

Hispanics remain the largest minority group in the United States; however, Census data shows that a slowing birth rate coupled with an increase in the number of immigrants from other countries, mainly China and India, have eclipsed Hispanic’s growth rate in the United States. While Hispanic growth in the United States may how slowed, the Census Bureau projects the Hispanic population in the United States to more than double from 53 million in 2012 to 129 million in 2060. Additionally, Mexican immigrants remain the most apprehended immigrants in the United States, accounting for nearly 65% of immigration apprehensions in the United States during Fiscal Year 2013, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

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When the President announced the executive actions he was taking on Immigration back in November, most of the focus was on the expansion of DACA and the creation of DAPA. What a lot of people missed was what the Department of Homeland Security did about who should be deported from the United States.

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson issued a memo in November 2014 that narrowed the categories of immigrants targeted for deportation. Following in the footsteps of President Obama’s call to prioritize how DHS Immigration enforcement resources are used, the DHS memo released in November expands the concept of prosecutorial discretion to almost every aspect of the Department’s immigration enforcement process, from which immigrants to pursue to which immigrants to prosecute.

DHS now categorizes its immigration enforcement priorities into three categories:

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An earlier blog highlighted a Democratic candidate for President’s views on immigration reform and to keep the conversation going, this blog will highlight a Republican’s views on immigration reform.

Jeb Bush, the former two-term Governor of Florida, is notably the most pro-immigration reform Republican running for President in 2016. Bush has long called for the Republican Party to embrace policies that would show Republicans welcome immigrants. Bush has put forth several immigration reform proposals. As Governor, Bush supported letting undocumented immigrants receive a driver’s license and their children receive in-state tuition at state universities. More recently, in his book Immigration Wars, Bush wrote that there should be a pathway to legal status for adult immigrants that are undocumented.

Bush proposes a path to permanent legal resident status for those who entered the country undocumented and have committed no additional crimes of significance. The next step under Bush’s plan would be to come forward and admit to undocumented entry into the United States and pay fines and/or community service. Anyone that does not fulfill this obligation would then face deportation.

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Immigration policy is complicated enough but it gets even more complicated when a federal lawsuit is involved. So let’s take a minute to rundown what’s actually happening with the DACA lawsuit currently going through the federal court system.

  • Back in November, President Obama announced his long anticipated executive action expanding the DACA program and creating DAPA.
  • Almost immediately after the announcement, a group of 26 states filed a lawsuit in a federal district court to stop the President’s new program from going into effect.
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    Hilary Clinton, the presumptive favorite for the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, has given her full support for immigrant rights and to finding a pathway for citizenship. In a change from her campaign in 2008, where she was hesitant on whether to allow people who were undocumented to obtain drivers license, she now completely backs immigration reform, and highlights her support for reform as a way of

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    The President plans to use his executive authority to overhaul U.S. immigration law unless Congress passes a comprehensive immigration reform bill by the end of the year. Despite protests from Republicans, the President is expected to announce a 10-point plan that could protect up to 5 million immigrants from deportation by the end of the year and as early as next week.

    According to Fox News, the 10 points of the President’s plan are:

    1) Expand deferred action for young illegal immigrants: President Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in June 2012. To be eligible for DACA, you must have come to the U.S. before the age of 16, have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, have been physically present in the U.S. on June 15. 2012, and be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012. Eligibility for DACA is expected to broaden to include anyone who came to the U.S. before the age of 16 and have continuously resided in the U.S. since January 1, 2010.

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    The President is preparing to announce a new set of Executive Actions he plans to take on immigration since Congress has yet to pass a comprehensive immigration reform package. Speaking during a press conference yesterday in Washington D.C., President Obama stated that he is working on ways to ease deportations of immigrants living in the country undocumented. While the President hasn’t indicated what type of relief he plans to offer, many immigrations rights activists are beginning to speculate.

    The President announced earlier this summer that he would take Executive Action because Congress failed to pass a comprehensive immigration reform package before they left for a summer recess. Saying that the American people do not want the him to just twiddle his thumbs while Congress refuses to act, President Obama instructed his staff to begin coming up with actions the President can take that would not require Congressional approval. Many people believe the President will try to expand the popular Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program he initiated during the summer of 2012. The President said he plans to announce the new set of executive actions sometime towards the end of this summer.

    Stay tuned to this blog for further updates regarding the President’s new proposals. If you’re interested in more information about DACA, you should contact a skilled immigration attorney for further details.

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    Both Congress and the President are weighing in on different ways to resolve the ongoing situation involving unaccompanied minors attempting to enter the US illegally. According to the Wall Street Journal, some House Republicans have discussed a proposal that would repeal the 2008 law signed by President Bush that guarantees unaccompanied minors aprehended in the US an asylum hearing as long as they came from a country that does not share a border with the United States. Several Democrats as well as immigration rights activist oppose this plan. Opponents point out that this law was created to protect children from human trafficking, which has become a large problem in many Central American countries.

    The President proposed last week a change to that 2008 law that would allow the Secretary of Homeland Security to wave the requirement for an asylum hearing but would not eliminate the requirement all together. This would speed up the deportation process for many of the children aprehended but still leave the possibility for an asylum hearing if deemed necessary. Even the President’s proposal is being opposed by some Democrats and immigration rights activists who say that the process should remain the same but should be made more efficient. The President has also requested an addition $3.7 billion for resources to handle the situation along the border. The President also continues to use this situation to hammer Republicans, especially in the House of Representatives, for not passing comprehensive immigration reform this year.

    Stay tuned to this blog for further developments regarding this story.

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    President Obama announced last week that he will use executive actions to reform as much of the immigration process as he can without Congressional approval. The announcement yesterday came as Speaker of the House John Boehner told the President last week that he will not call an immigration reform bill for a vote anytime this year. The President has been waiting to use executive action in the hopes that the House of Representatives would pass either the Senate approved immigration reform bill or an immigration reform bill of their own. After House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his bid for reelection, which many attributed to his support for immigration reform, several House Republicans became more fearful of openly supporting any reform bill, especially during an election year.

    While the President has yet to announce what specific actions he will take, he has instructed his staff to begin coming up with ideas to reform the immigration process that will not require Congressional approval. Many immigration activists hope that the President will use this opportunity to alter his deportation policy. One move the President did make public was that he will be shifting resources from the interior US to the border in an effort to make the border more secure. The President said that further actions will be announced by the end of this summer.

    Keep an eye on this blog or contact a skilled immigration attorney for further information about this development.

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    The situation along the US-Mexico border involving thousands of migrant children has raised a lot of questions these past few weeks. A recent Chicago Tribune article does a fantastic job of summarizing a lot of the issues at play. Here is the background for those that have not been following too closely. About two months ago, the US states along the border began to see an influx of unaccompanied minors crossing the US border from Mexico into the United States. The flow of children continued to grow, overwhelming many of the US facilities along the border. Here are some answers to some questions that have been raised about the situation.

    Firstly, where are these children coming from? Most are coming from Central American countries such as Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, as well as Mexico. Recent flare ups in violence and unrest in those Central American countries have sent the children fleeing to neighboring countries. Most of the children are unaccompanied minors traveling without their parents.

    Secondly, why can’t we just send them back to the country they came from? Under a 2008 law signed by President Bush, immigrant children from Central American countries not sharing a border with the US get special protections granting them an immigration or asylum hearing not granted to minors from Mexico. Under a proposal from President Obama, that extra step would be removed from the process and the minor would have to justify his or her stay upon apprehension by a border patrol agent.