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Posts tagged ‘Napolitano’

Why President Obama Can Implement Deferred Action For Immigrant Families

Yesterday, Celia Munoz of the Obama administration repeated a by now familiar justification for steaming along the deportation track: 

The duty of the government is to do what Congress has instructed it to do. The congress, under the current immigration laws, obligates us to deport persons who are “deportable” and gave the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), frankly, a great quantity of resources to do this work.

Munoz’s comments echoed the response of the President when he said he was not a King and that there would still “be stories that are heartbreaking with respect to deportations until we get comprehensive immigration reform.”

According to the representations of President Obama, he cannot legally put a halt to deportations that would result in the destruction of immigrant families.

Déjà vu 

On March 28, 2011, Jorge Ramos asked President Obama the following question:

With an executive order, could you be able to stop deportations of the students?

President Obama adamantly declared that he could not stop the deportations of students with an executive order for essentially the same reason that he is declaring today that he cannot put a stop the deportations of immigrants that would result in family separation. Read closely: 

With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed…The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws.

There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.

On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced that he would suspend the deportation of students through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which, as you can see, he previously said was impossible.

When asked about this about-face, DHS secretary Janet Napolitano awkwardly took the fall:

During Thursday’s Judiciary Committee hearing, Napolitano admitted to Virginia Republican Rep. Randy Forbes that Obama’s March 2011 statement was inaccurate. “Could he have issued an executive order to do what you did?” Forbes asked her.

“Yes,” Napolitano responded.

The Daily Caller was generous in stating that Napolitano found Obama’s statement to be inaccurate. It should really read as: “Obama’s March 2011 statement was a lie.”

Obama was a constitutional law professor. He knew what he was saying in March of 2011 was not true.

This is the same lie that is currently being spread to the public when the President laments that we will continue to see heartbreaking stories and he is just “enforcing” the laws as he is required to.

The President and his defenders will say that DACA was permissible because it allowed DHS to redirect enforcement resources to higher priority removals. They will say that a broader Deferred Action will be different from DACA because it will then run afoul of the Executive’s obligation to use the resources appropriated to it by Congress for immigration enforcement.

This defense is preposterous because there is no way to verify if it is true.

No one knows whether DHS has ever prioritized removals as they purport to have done. Under the Obama administration, DHS has refused to corroborate its deportations statistics.

Furthermore,  as far as anyone knows, DACA did nothing to cause higher priority immigrants to be removed from the United States.

President Obama could use the same justification behind DACA for a wider Deferred Action.

Prioritization. By suspending the deportations of immigrants that would result in the separation of families, DHS would be able to focus more of its limited resources on the mythical and monstrous criminal aliens.



Obama administration crafts new DACA rule to exclude more dreamers

The Obama administration is ostensibly gearing up for comprehensive immigration reform while at the same time acting directly against the interests of immigrants.

On January 18, 2013, USCIS updated its “FAQs” on DACA.

The FAQs are put into quotes because there is at least one rule change dressed up as an FAQ.

USCIS’s update is by now widely known for its affirmation that DACA recipients are considered by DHS to be lawfully present in the United States. This was obviously spurred on by the fact that several states were denying DACA beneficiaries drivers licenses because they did not consider them to be lawfully present in the United States.

At first glance, USCIS’s updates seem to support DACA recipients against boogeyman anti-immigrant states like Iowa or Arizona.  But on closer examination, there is a rule change that was designed to exclude the number of young immigrants eligible for DACA. Question and answer 1 under the heading Miscellaneous states:

New – Q1: I first came to the United States before I turned 16 years old and have been continuously residing in the United States since at least June 15, 2007. Before I turned 16 years old, however, I left the United States for some period of time before returning and beginning my current period of continuous residence. May I be considered for deferred action under this process?
A1: Yes, but only if you established residence in the United States during the period before you turned 16 years old, as evidenced, for example, by records showing you attended school or worked in the United States during that time, or that you lived in the United States for multiple years during that time. In addition to establishing that you initially resided in the United States before you turned 16 years old, you must also have maintained continuous residence in the United States from June 15, 2007, until the present time to be considered for deferred action under this process.

This caught my attention because one of our clients would not be eligible under this new rule change.

When the DACA requirements were first published, one only needed to show that one came to the United States before one’s 16th birthday.

In fact, question 13 on Form I-821D asks: Date of Initial entry into the United States. The form emphasizes the importance of the initial entry, not whether the applicant established residence after that initial entry.

Our client did not establish residence in the U.S. until after reaching her 16th birthday. 

Under the rules at the time that our client applied, she qualified and received DACA. Under the new rules, she would not qualify for DACA.

Why did the Obama administration craft a new rule that restricts the amount of young immigrants eligible for DACA? Does Obama want to penalize young immigrants for having been lucky enough to have entered the U.S. for a vacation prior to their 16th birthday?

This new rule makes no sense and is anti-immigrant.

Snippet after snippet after snippet of evidence (De Osorio) reveals the Obama administration acting concretely against the same immigrants that he concurrently purports to want to include in a comprehensive reform package.

When all of the facts point one way, hope is useless. It is time to turn the other way–to abandon Obama–and find a new avenue for reform.

Napolitano Announces Dreamer Deferred Action Process

Testifying before Congress today, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that the details of what would be necessary to apply for deferred action will be available August 1.

The date in which the actual application can be submitted to USCIS is likely August 15, 2012. Everyone who believes they are eligible for deferred action should try to prepare in advance.

It is also important to keep in mind that applying affirmatively carries a risk: you could be put into deportation proceedings. Therefore, it is extremely important that you consult with an attorney before applying. 

You should be wary of any attorney or representative who urges you to apply without explaining the accompanying risks. Good luck!