Posted on January 6, 2012 by SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center
By AMY TAXIN
Jan. 6, 2012
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration proposed a rule change Friday to reduce the time that illegal immigrant spouses and children are separated from their American relatives while they try to gain legal status in the United States.
Currently, many illegal immigrants must leave the country before they can ask the government to waive a three- to 10-year ban on legally coming back to the U.S. The length of the ban depends on how long they have lived in the U.S. without permission.
The new rule would let children and spouses of citizens ask the government to decide on the waiver request before they head to their home country to apply for a visa.
The illegal immigrants would still have to go abroad to finish the visa process, but getting the waiver approved in advance would reduce the time an illegal immigrant is out of the country from months to days or weeks, said Alejandro Mayorkas, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The purpose is “to minimize the extent to which bureaucratic delays separate Americans from their families for long periods of time,” Mayorkas told reporters.
The waiver shift is the latest move by President Barack Obama to make changes to immigration policy without congressional action. Congressional Republicans repeatedly have criticized the administration for policy changes they describe as providing “backdoor amnesty” to illegal immigrants. (more…)
Filed under: Deportation, DREAM Act, immigrant community, Immigration and Customs Enforcement | Tagged: Barack Obama, children, illegal immigrants, Janet Napolitano, spouses, undocumented immigrants, visa, waivers | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 4, 2011 by SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center
A petition against a Ga. immigration official may be backed up soon by a federal suit. | AP Photo
The Obama administration is ratcheting up its efforts against state immigration laws around the country, according to a new report.
After suing Arizona and Alabama over immigration measures enacted in those states, the Justice Department is currently reviewing immigration laws in four other states to decide whether to challenge the measures, The Washington Post reported. The immigration measures being examined were enacted in Utah, Georgia, South Carolina and Indiana.
The Justice Department will examine the four laws to see the extent to which the measures interfere with the federal government’s enforcement of immigration law.
“Based on that review and applying those principles, the United States will decide whether and when to bring suit challenging particular state laws,” Justice Department spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa said. (more…)
Filed under: Alabama, Arizona, Arizona-copycat laws, immigrant community, Law Enforcement, Racism, S.B. 20 | Tagged: Barack Obama, Georgia, Indiana, Jonathan Turley, Justice Department, South Carolina, Utah, Xochitl Hinojosa | Leave a Comment »
Posted on August 1, 2011 by SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center
From The Huffington Post:
Kristian Ramos–7/26/11 04:53 PM ET
In the midst of increasingly frantic debt limit negotiations, it is telling that President Barack Obama took the time to speak at the NCLR Conference. With the 2012 campaign season revving up, Obama’s willingness to take time out from the furious negotiations occurring on Capitol Hill to speak before a capacity crowd of Hispanic leaders shows that he understands exactly how important the Hispanic vote will be.
The stakes were high for the president’s speech. Secure Communities and the deportation of DREAM Act students have dulled some of the initial luster that the president had when he first took office. That is not to say that the president has not been deaf to these complaints. The president has advised the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to show greater discretion in what types of undocumented immigrants to deport. DHS has also created an internal working group within the agency to find ways to improve the many problems associated with Secure Communities. (more…)
Filed under: immigrant community, Law, Law Enforcement | Tagged: Barack Obama, Department of Homeland Security, Dream Act, NCLR Conference, Secure Communities, White House Hispanic Policy Day | Leave a Comment »