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August 2012 Archives

Pro Immigration

As the presidential elections draw nearer, the careers as political leaders of the candidates are put under the scrutinizing microscope of the public. After President Obama announced his deferred action initiative early last month, the ball of immigration was thrown onto Mr. Romney’s court. His views on immigration and promises of possible immigration reforms were sought out by both supporters and opponents. Recently, articles were published on Mr. Romney’s stance and actions on immigration during his term as the Governor of Massachusetts; the analysis of those four years presents an entire spectrum of pro- and anti-immigration policies.

Undocumented Immigrants Deportation

undocumented immigrantsMr. Romney has shown much compassion for undocumented immigrants and has taken many encouraging and inspiring actions in order to show his sympathy. When an immigrant teacher was facing deportation, Mr. Romney personally interceded, along with many other public officials, in the case, successfully delaying the teacher’s proceedings. Mr. Romney signed into law the requirement of immigration judges to provide a warning to non-citizens that pleading guilty to certain crimes would result in their deportation from the country. Additionally, he has recommended increased funding for English as a Second Language (ESL) programs in schools in order to help undocumented immigrants integrate into the country more efficiently and smoothly.However, these pro-immigration actions are held in stark comparison to other actions that can be considered as anti-immigration. While he has shown support for ESL programs, he has long-championed English-only classes rather than the bilingual education system. The actual motives for this support are rather open for debate. Mr. Romney has also fought against allowing undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition, just as documented Massachusetts residents do.

Undocumented Immigrants Detention

undocumented immigrantsThese stances are, again, in stark comparison to his recent publicized views that he would “staple a green card” to diplomas of undocumented immigrants who receive advanced degrees in math, science, and engineering. This support, however, is on the opposite side of the spectrum in terms of his decision in 2006. In 2006, Mr. Romney signed an agreement with federal authorities that would allow them to arrest and detain any individuals whom they suspect to be undocumented during their normal duties. The detention would soon result in deportation for most, if not all individuals arrested on this basis.It seems, then, that Mr. Romney is not against immigration itself. He supports it and is compassionate towards those who emigrate to the country as they encourage its growth. However, his stance on undocumented immigrants does not run parallel to this view. If elected to be the next president of this country that is so dependent on immigration, what Mr. Romney will do in regard to immigration will be found out in these crucial months leading to the election. His track record as the Governor of Massachusetts as it seems to be so varied, then, cannot be held up as a looking glass for the future for Mr. Romney.We invite you to contact Oltarsh & Associates (212) 944-9072 to speak with one of our experience attorney's.

DACA Policy

On June 15, 2012, DHS Secretary Napolitano issued a memorandum announcing The Obama administration’s deferred action initiative. For fifty days, the country had minimal details on the initiative. The only information the public had was that the deferment would be for a two-year period to certain undocumented youths who came to the U.S. as children and who meet several other criteria. Late last week, USCIS issued revised FAQs and detailed guidelines which prove to be more than helpful.Obama Deferred Action

Deferred Action Guidelines

It was made clear since June that the deferred action process does not allow a path to citizenship but is a temporary relief from deportation only to those individuals who were brought into the country before their sixteenth birthday and have come to consider the United States as their home. According to the updated guidelines, applications will be made available on August 15 and the total cost will amount to $464. Applicants must provide physical evidence that they have lived in the country for at least five years and the previous criteria still stand, including but not limited to not being above the age of thirty-one; being currently in school or having graduated or obtained a GED, or being an honorably discharged of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces; and not having been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and not otherwise posing a threat to national security or public safety. Additionally, those who are planning on applying for deferred action for childhood arrivals are urged to wait until the application is made available on August 15; if an individual applies beforehand, the application will be rejected. The guidelines further specify that USCIS retains the ultimate discretion in not only granting deferred action to childhood arrivals, but also in renewing deferment or retracting deferment.Deferred Action Guidelines

Deferred Action Process

This process, however, seemingly evades the continuous and tedious stalemate witnessed in Congress over the DREAM Act. Since the announcement in June, there have been many arguments that this initiative is merely a political move made by the Obama Administration during a crucial moment in wake of the presidential elections later this year. Nonetheless, the administration proclaims that it remains committed to comprehensive immigration reform, urging that in order to have an efficient system, these initial steps are integral. Additionally, USCIS emphasized in the updated guidelines: “only the Congress, acting through its legislative authority, can confer the certainty that comes with a pathway to permanent lawful status.”Various sources have different estimates for the number of people eligible under this process; but it can unarguably be noted that California, Texas, and New York City would see the most amount of beneficiaries. The most important question falls on the rate of processing: USCIS expects to receive approximately 3,000 applications per day and is planning on hiring several hundred full-time employees. However, there has been no mention of the number of applications that are expected to be processed. The following months will be crucial in determining the success rate of the deferred action for childhood arrivals process, then.

Deportation Laws

One of the most prevalent complaints about any government is that it is too slow. Whether too slow in making new policies, implementing policy reforms, or processing requests, someone seems to always fall victim to the languidness of the government. The most recent victim is twenty-year-old , a immigrant resident of Trenton, Missouri. A distinguished alumna of Stephens College, a friendly employee of her parent’s family-owned a Restaurant, and an active community member, she turned twenty-one on August and therefore, “aged out” of her parents non immigrant visa as she will no longer be considered a dependent of her parents.young immigtantAt the age of four, this young women, and her then one-year-old sister Gemma, were brought into the country by her non immigrant parents. She has grown up in the United States and knows no other place as home. Partaking in activities that any other child might, saying the Pledge of Allegiance every morning in elementary and middle school, cheering in high school, and majoring in the subject that she is most passionate about in college,she has spent her time living in the country with much contentment. Her life as she knows it, at the stroke of midnight on her birthday, just as in a fairy tale, will fall in on her as a result of aging out of her parents’ non immigrant visa; if she continues to live in the country, she will be considered undocumented,and illegal immigrant, a title that she is unwilling to carry. Therefore, this young women has decided to deport herself to England, a country, despite being her birth country is completely unfamiliar to her.

Plight of a Young Immigrant

Under the deferred action initiative of the Obama administration, it might seem as though this young women would qualify for temporary relief from any removal proceedings if she is to age out of her parents’ visa. She was brought into the country as a minor by her parents, she has graduated high school, is under the age of thirty, and has never been charged with any misdemeanors – serious or otherwise. she does not want to become illegal.young immigrantFor parents entered the country on an E-2 Treaty Investors non immigrant visa after buying the property they now own and operate. The E-2 is a “non-immigrant” visa, implying that it is temporary, and is granted to those who enter the country with the intent to invest or start a business that will employ U.S. workers. While the E-2 visa is renewable, it is only extended to its recipients and their dependent children. Realizing that their grandchildren will age out of the E-2 non immigrant visas, Miss Gray’s maternal grandparents, naturalized citizens since 2003, applied for green cards for their daughter, Lauren’s mother. The applications were filed nearly nine years ago.Currently, the government is processing applications filed in applications filed in the May of 2002. The application in question is dated September of 2003. The grandparents filed family-sponsored applications for green cards for their married daughter and her children, they fall under what is known as “third-preference”. Only a small number of these green cards are granted and that too, slowly.This young women therefore faces a dilema. While her family’s application for green cards might not be processed in time for her twenty-first birthday, there was still a glint of hope thanks to the deferred action initiative. However, if she goes out of status she can not adjust.In an interview, this young lady voices her criticism, “I’ve done everything right. I’ve been part of every community I’ve belonged to. Then to be told you’re not welcome anymore? I definitely think it is my right as a human being to live here and stay here. Isn’t it supposed to be a welcoming country, a melting-pot country?”To this predicament, we ask, where is the justice in forcing one to leave one’s home?
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