Some States Resist Obama’s “Secure Communities” Program

The New York Times has reported that an increasing number of states are expressing dissatisfaction with President Obama’s “Secure Communities” Program, in which the fingerprints of every person arrested by police are checked against databases of the Department of Homeland Security for immigration violations.

Some state officials have criticized the program, stating that, instead of deporting convicted criminals, the program appears to be focusing mainly on removing people with no criminal records.

Last week, Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois stated that he was pulling the state out of the program. Concerns have also been raised in other states, including Maryland, Massachusetts, and California.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association has called on President Obama to suspend the program.

To read the New York Times article, please click here.

Removal Proceedings in Immigration Court

If you have received a document from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security titled “Notice to Appear,” then you have probably been placed, or will likely soon be placed, in Removal Proceedings in Immigration Court.

Under the “Resources” section of our website, we have some brief documents that outline various aspects of Immigration Law.

We include a brief document regarding Immigration Court proceedings. Please take a look.

The Waiver Process: Seeking a Pardon

Some potential applicants for permanent residence face certain barriers to being approved.  Some of the most common roadblocks include entering the United States without permission, or remaining in the United States beyond the expiration of a visa.  Some people qualify to ask for a waiver of the grounds that make them ineligible for permanent residence.

This area of immigration law has some complexities, and it is best to consult with an immigration lawyer about your particular situation.

Under the “Resources” section of our website, we have some brief documents that outline various aspects of Immigration Law.

Please take a look at our brief overview of the Waiver Process.

NYT article on influential anti-immigrant activist

The New York Times has published a profile of John Tanton, a Petoskey, Michigan native who founded three influential groups that oppose immigration.  As the article describes, Mr. Tanton and his groups have made some statements that others label as blatantly racist, bigoted, and culturally insensitive.

Please read the article for some insights into the man behind much of the current anti-immigrant sentiment.

Detailed report on the many costs of detaining immigrants

The National Immigration Forum has published a detailed report on governmental policies regarding the detention of immigrants.

Titled “Immigrants Behind Bars:  How, Why, and How Much?” the report documents the high costs to local communities of incarcerating immigrants in county jails, costs that often are not reimbursed by the federal government.

Because of the recent focus on enforcement and detention, persons who have legal status in the United States are unlawfully detained due to errors or lack of knowledge of immigration laws.

To read the full report, please click here.

“Secure Communities” program often targets immigrants with no criminal records

Critics argue that the federal government’s “Secure Communities” program, which was designed to target immigrants who have committed serious crimes,  is being used to deport some immigrants with clean records.

“We’re not talking about people who are truly dangerous criminals,” said Gary Daniels, Ohio associate director for the American Civil Liberties Union. “These are people who are getting caught in the dragnet of law enforcement.”

“We’re talking about people who want to work, who want to pay taxes, who just want to be left alone to live.”

Click here to read the full article.