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Posts tagged ‘Deferred Action’

Comprehensive Immigration Reform On Horizon? Not so fast.

Lamar Smith: Mastermind behind destruction of immigrant families.

Steve King: a particularly nasty hater of immigrants.

Ever since President Obama was re-elected, there has been a deluge of politicians, including  prominent Republicans in Congress such as the John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives, harping on about passing comprehensive immigration reform legislation.  Could it all just be talk?

In an article titled “After Post-election talk of immigration reform, the inevitable reality check.” , Lesley Berestein Rojas provides two compelling arguments on why immigration reform could just be a pipe dream:

First, Congress is busy with the “Fiscal Cliff.” Or in other words, trying to keep the sinking ship of the U.S.’s economy afloat just a little longer with the usual stop-gap measures.

Second, a big part of the Republican party has and always will be virulently anti-immigrant.

So far, the new esprit de corps hasn’t spread to Republicans on the House immigration subcommittee, which could act as the conservative firewall against new legislation. The committee is packed with members who support limited immigration and oppose legal status for illegal immigrants.

The retirement of subcommittee chairman Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., at the end of the year could lead to the elevation of vice chairman Steve King, R-Iowa. King has been an archenemy of immigrant advocates and last year introduced a bill to eliminate automatic citizenship for children born in the United States to illegal immigrants.

Although Democrats have a tattered record on immigration, the Republican party has been the driving force behind nasty, anti-human immigration laws and policies. Lamar Smith, a Republican, was the author of the 1996 laws that were designed to address illegal immigration yet only achieved the arbitrary destruction of hundreds of thousands of families.

The President should be honest with the public for once.

If reform is unlikely, tell us. Absent a concrete possibility of reform actually passing, President Obama should expand DACA and consider other similar relief for their families, as suggested by Donald Stump.

FREE LEGAL CLINIC FOR YOUNG IMMIGRANTS/CLÍNICA GRATIS PARA INMIGRANTES JOVENES

We are conducting an informative, Spanish/English bilingual and free clinic on immigration remedies for young people, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. The two-day program will include a lecture on remedies for youths as well the option for an individual, private consultation with an immigration attorney free of charge.

The clinic will take place 11/30/2012 from 4-7 p.m. and 12/01/2012 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and is being graciously hosted by Salvytech Multiservices located at 1656 5th Avenue, Unit F, Bay Shore, NY 11706.

By attending, you will at the very least leave with invaluable knowledge of the immigration laws of the United States.

Over 100,000 DACA eligible individuals are also eligible for permanent residency

EDIT: The estimates below do not include immigrants from the age of 10-14 who will age into DACA eligibility over the next 4 years. Therefore,  the numbers below could be double of what I estimated below.

END EDIT

Below is a letter I wrote to another immigration attorney recently:

I hope you are doing well.

I am very concerned that practically no one in the immigration law community has emphasized the need to screen potential DACA applicants under the age of 21 for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.

A significant number of my consultations for DACA resulted in a determination of SIJS eligibility.  Given that many of the DACA recipients are from Mexico and Central America–places with high rates of abandonment by at least one parent and high levels of violent crime– it is reasonable to conclude that there are tens of thousands of DACA-eligible individuals also eligible for SIJS as well as asylum, U and T Visas.

Indeed, a report by the Vera Institute, cited in an August 25, 2012 NY Times article titled Young and Alone Facing Court and Deportation, found that 40 percent of unaccompanied minors in 2010 were eligible for some form of relief. Out of that 40 percent,  22.8 percent were eligible for SIJS.

If 22.8 percent of DACA applicants under the age of 21 are eligible for SIJS, my estimate of tens of thousands is conservative. In fact, 22.8 percent of the estimated individuals eligible for DACA under the age of 21 is 129,200. The total number of DACA eligible individuals who are under 21 and eligible for permanent forms of relief  is 226,666.

This is not an insignificant number and does not include what outreach would do for individuals not eligible for DACA but eligible for SIJS.

Without a significant outreach from a credible source, many of these overlapped individuals will apply for DACA and age out of their eligibility for SIJS or other forms of permanent relief.  To me, this is unconscionable; if these individuals are eligible for SIJS, they should at the very least be informed of the choice and the possibility that it could lead to permanent residency.

Thank you for your time.