Hispanic students vanish from Alabama schools

September 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Hispanic students have started vanishing from Alabama public schools in the wake of a court ruling that upheld the state’s tough new law cracking down on illegal immigration. Education officials say scores of immigrant families have withdrawn their children from classes or kept them home, afraid that sending kids to school would draw attention from authorities. Several districts with large immigrant enrollments reported a sudden exodus of Hispanic children. The law requires schools to check students’ immigration status. Anxiety has become so intense that the superintendent in one of the state’s largest cities went on Spanish-language TV to try to calm widespread worries. “In the case of this law, our students do not have anything to fear,” Casey Wardynski said. He urged families to send students to class and explained that the state is only trying to compile statistics. Police, he insisted, were not getting involved in schools. Victor Palafox graduated from high school in Birmingham and has lived in the US without documentation since age 6, when his parents brought him here from Mexico. “Younger students are watching their lives taken from their hands,” said Palafox, whose family is staying put. (AP)

Mayor Bloomberg Pushes for More Immigration

September 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Thomas J. Donohue, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, urged Congress and the Obama administration to dramatically increase the number of legal immigrants in the US in the scientific, engineering and medical professions Speakers at a chamber-sponsored conference warned that other countries are able to retain talented scientists and engineers more effectively than is the US and that Congress and the administration need to fix the problem before the U.S. is outpaced by emerging economic powerhouses in Asia. Bloomberg said quotas limiting the number of H-1B work visas, which are good for 3 years, and green cards, which allow permanent residency in the US, issued to those seeking residency in the country are “arbitrary,” and “crazy.”  The number of H-1B visas issued each year is capped at 65,000. (albany times union)



Rick Perry and the Texas DREAM ACT

September 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said his fellow White House hopefuls are heartless for criticizing his support of providing government funds to help lower tuition rates for university students in his state who did not enter the United States legally.  In 2001, Perry signed the Texas DREAM Act, which allows Texas students to take advantage of in-state tuition prices even if they lack legal status in the US.  “If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they have been brought there by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart,” Perry said at the Republican presidential debate hosted by Fox News and Google.  “We need to be educating these children because they will become a drag on our society,” Perry said, noting that the law passed with near unanimous support in Texas.


September 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

“Gameness is a quality of fighting or working with traits of eagerness despite the threat of injury. To be game is to described as persevering, ready and willing, full of fight, and spirited.” 

Do you really want a lawyer who just talks to you for free for a few minutes?  Someone who takes your case for a few dollars, puts some papers in a folder and forgets about you? 

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Think about this.  It’s your life.  Who do you want to defend you? 

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These days, there are more immigration lawyers than ever.  But how many of them are game?   And how many of them have really fought?   How many cases? 

We have persevered for thousands of clients.  We remain ready and willing to help you with the system that holds you back.  

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Obama Pro-Immigration Before Congressional Hispanic Caucus

September 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

US President Barack Obama said that reforming the nation’s immigration system is central to repairing its economy, while calling on Congress to pass his jobs bill and the DREAM act. The president made the remarks while addressing the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s (CHCI) 34th Annual Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. “We are at a critical time in our country,” Obama said in front of a crowd of about 3,000 people. “The fight that we are having right now, the fight to put people back to work … could not be more important for the Latino community and the people in this room.

He left out the part about deporting a million people since he took office.


Broader security checks to reduce visa overstays

September 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Obama administration is cracking down on immigrants in the U.S. who have overstayed the terms of their visas by using a system that automatically checks multiple national security, immigration and law enforcement databases at the same time, a senior Homeland Security Department official said.  The common practice has been to make manual checks of individual databases. The new system has already identified dozens of investigative leads, said John Cohen, deputy counterterrorism coordinator at the Homeland Security Department.  The immediate focus is on identifying people who have overstayed their visas and who pose a potential threat to national security or public safety, Cohen said.  Some of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers were in the U.S. in violation of their visas, in some cases because they did not attend a school they said they would on their application for a student visa, or their visas had expired.  The 9/11 Commission saw the visa system as a major vulnerability and recommended completing a biometric system that would log immigrants out as they left the U.S. This program, however, was never fully implemented. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has said the exit system called for by the commission is expensive, and the government has put other policies in place since 2001 to address the same issue for a lot less money.  Automating these checks is the latest of those policies. Until now, if an investigator wanted to vet a visa applicant, it would require manual checks of many databases. This policy left room for mistakes, such as someone entering the wrong spelling of an immigrant’s name, which might not turn up critical national security information.  (AP)

160,000 deported without ever facing a judge

September 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Over the course of seven years, 160,000 immigrants have been deported without ever facing a judge. A National Immigration Law Center report charges that the US has used something called “stipulated removal” to strong arm immigrants into signing away their due process.  Immigration agents gave detainees a choice: Stay in detention for a long time while you wait to appear before a judge, or sign a paper that waives that right and gets you out of detention quicker through deportation. “These are people who have been diverted from the normal process,” said Jayashri Srikantiah, one of the study’s authors and a professor of law at Stanford. “They are deprived of the only chance they have to fight their deportation.”

96 percent of them, said Srikantiah, did not have lawyers.

These people are being removed because they voluntarily signed a paper. Srikantiah said the law that rules these kinds of proceedings states that immigrants can be removed only if they sign the waiver “knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently.”  Srikantiah said what their review of documents found was that ICE agents consistently gave detainees “poorly translated and even false information about their cases.” She said agents were found to read scripts that were “derogatory” and did not inform those detained that they could fight their deportation and apply to be released on bond.  “That’s absolutely no way to run a system,” said Srikantiah.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NPR. But the AP reports that the agency defended the practice, saying ” the program is voluntary and the paperwork for stipulated removal is signed by an immigration judge.”  Srikantiah said the program violates the statute under which it operates. In one court case, Srikantiah said, a translator was asked to listen to one ICE agent explain the program to a detainee in Spanish. The translator said it was unintelligible.  One of the most damning things Srikantiah said they found is that some immigration judges refuse to sign stipulated removal papers, saying they can’t be sure by just looking at a paper whether it was signed “knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently.”  Srikantiah said in those cases, documents show that ICE just circumvents the judge by taking the case to another.  (npr)