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Illegal Immigration News

Joined Forces Might Have Played Role In Obama’s Deferred Action AnnouncementJohn Lennon famously sang “Give Peace A Chance” during anti-Vietnam war rallies during the Nixon administration. This song resounded forcefully as his deportation was ordered and scores of his supporters sent petition letters to the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Government officials claimed that Lennon had not only been admitted into the country improperly - pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of cannabis possession in London prior to his entering the U.S. - but had also overstayed his permitted visit. Meanwhile, supporters of Lennon claimed that this action was taken by the Nixon administration in order to dowse one of the most vocal and effective anti-war actors.

United We Dream

Lennon’s defense attorney reverted to using a prosecutorial tool then known as granting non-priority status, arguing that federal immigration authorities have the prosecutorial power to defer action on certain cases. Today, this has come to be known as granting deferred action. A similar phenomenon occurred exactly forty years after Lennon’s case. Earlier this month, President Obama announced plans to grant deferred action to those undocumented immigrants who were brought into the U.S. as minors. Similar to Lennon’s situation, this decision by the President might have been spurred on by letters and grass-roots movements.United We Dream ActNinety-six law professors from more than seventy universities nationwide signed a letter dated May 28th of this year, advising the President that the executive branch has the authority to defer deportation of undocumented foreign youths. Hiroshi Motomura, a Susan Westerberg Prager law professor at UCLA drafted the letter after becoming increasingly involved in grass-roots immigrant advocacy groups, specifically United We Dream, providing background on certain legal matters to students at his university.

United We Dream Leaders

United We Dream leaders, planning on meeting with White House legal counsel in early June, were able to use this letter as one of their strongest support systems. While the counsel might have been able to reject the leaders claiming there was no legal way in which to carry through their demands, there was no possible manner in which to reject a letter signed by nearly 100 law professors.Motomura, in support of the letter, said: “The reason that this is part of the president’s executive authority and fits within prosecutorial discretion is that we’re not talking about giving people green cards. We’re not talking about putting people on a path to citizenship. …It’s not even legalization.”United We Dream ACTWhether this letter served as a prominent reason for President Obama’s announcement or not is difficult to gauge; however, the most important point is that academia is joining forces with grass-roots movements in order to give hope a chance. If your situation involves any of the DREAM ACT dynamics, we invite you to contact one of the partners at Oltarsh & Associates.
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