Posted on June 29, 2011 by SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center
Suzy Khimm–Mon Jun. 27, 2011 3:00 AM PDT
Has President Barack Obama found a way to enact the principles of the DREAM Act—the bill that would prevent the deportation of young undocumented immigrants who are students or military veterans—without passing the measure itself? Unable to move this legislation through the Republican-controlled Congress, the Obama administration has used its executive authority to shape immigration policy in line with the DREAM Act. This month, in a little-noticed move, Obama’s immigration chief advised Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to use discretion when considering whether to deport certain undocumented immigrants who are particularly vulnerable or have strong community ties to the country. That is, go easy on the sort of undocumented immigrants that the DREAM Act could benefit, among others.
Since taking office, Obama has prioritized the deportation of undocumented immigrants who have committed serious crimes and threaten public safety. Now his administration has moved to ensure that federal immigration agents and attorneys are following such guidelines in the field—while empowering them to take their focus off certain undocumented immigrants who meet a host of criteria. In a June 17 memo to ICE employees, the agency’s director, John Morton, outlined 19 factors that could warrant the use of “prosecutorial discretion” and prevent certain immigrants from being deported, on a case-by-case basis. (more…)
Filed under: immigrant community, Law, Law Enforcement | Tagged: American Immigration Lawyers Association, Barack Obama, Center for American Progress, David Leopold, Doris Meissner, Dream Act, Gillian Christensen, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Immigration and Naturaliza, Immigration Policy Center, John Morton, Kris Kobach, Marshall Fitz, Mary Giovagnoli | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 15, 2011 by SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center
With Georgia’s restrictive immigration law set to kick in, Gov. Nathan Deal Tuesday is sending convicted criminals to fill farm jobs vacated by undocumented immigrants fleeing the state.
Deal, a first-term Republican, issued a statement on Tuesday morning calling on the state’s commissioners of labor, corrections and agriculture to work together to connect unemployed probationers with a state agriculture industry now desperate for workers.
“I believe this would be a great partial solution to our current status as we continue to move towards sustainable results with the legal options available,” Deal said in his statement.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who wrote the Arizona and more-restrictive Alabama immigration laws, told POLITICO the state-level immigration battles will soon move from conservative to swing states like Missouri and Pennsylvania.
According to Deal, Georgia has 100,000 probationers, with 8,000 in the state’s heavily-agricultural southwest. A full quarter of the probationers, he said, are unemployed.
Georgia lawmakers in April passed legislation that mirrors Arizona’s controversial 2010 measure. The Peach State will require businesses to confirm employees’ immigration status and gives law enforcement power to check whether suspects are in the country legally. (more…)
Filed under: Arizona-copycat laws, immigrant community, Law | Tagged: Gary Black, Georgia, Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, Jerry Gonzalez, Kansas, Kris Kobach, Nathan Deal | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 1, 2011 by SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center
From The New York Times:
By JULIA PRESTON
Published: May 27, 2011
The decision by the Supreme Court this week upholding an Arizona law punishing employers for hiring illegal immigrants was an energy boost for state lawmakers across the country who have proposed bills this year to curb illegal immigration. As if they needed it.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures
, state lawmakers set a new record in the first three months of the year, proposing 1,538 bills related to immigration, with 141 measures in 26 states passed into law. While some of those laws extended new opportunities to illegal immigrants, like permitting them to pay lower in-state tuition rates at public colleges, most of the laws imposed restrictions on them.
With its decision on the hiring law that Arizona passed in 2007, the Supreme Court indicated that it would not flat out disallow any action by states on immigration enforcement, even though federal law generally pre-empts state measures in that area. State lawmakers now know for certain that there is some firm legal ground for the recent round of bills that seek to drive illegal immigrants out of the country by preventing them from taking jobs and even living here.
But it remains unclear just how large the playing field is that the Supreme Court has opened. Arizona’s employer law was carefully tailored to conform to specific, narrow terms in federal immigration law, and it was never suspended by any federal court. To date, only a handful of states have passed laws with requirements and penalties for employers similar to Arizona’s.
Filed under: Arizona-copycat laws, immigrant community, Law Enforcement | Tagged: Alabama, Arizona, E-Verify, Georgia, Kansas, Kris Kobach, Mississippi, Nathan Deal, S.B. 1070, South Carolina, Utah | Leave a Comment »