* Dramatization
* Dramatization
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white-house-754766_640Over the last 5 days, immigration officials conducted sweeps in Reno and Las Vegas, detaining 87 immigrants identified as threats to public safety. Most of the immigrants, who come from at least 9 different countries, have been charged with several criminal offenses, while those with outstanding deportation orders or have a history of illegal entry are reportedly to be removed immediately.

For those not facing criminal charges, they are set to appear in an immigration court and process for administrative removal.

The mass arrests come in the wake of widespread deportation raids that commenced during the start of the year. Naturally, these sweeps didn’t sit well with immigration activists, who have criticized the Obama administration for unfairly targeting undocumented immigrants.

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statue-of-liberty-164294_640A Pew Research Center report shows close to 250,000 undocumented immigrants flocked to immigration centers around the country to apply for U.S citizenship in the four-month period since October 2015.

In addition, preliminary data from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) shows that approximately 249,609 legal permanent residents submitted complete N-400 application this fiscal year, a 5 percent increase from the same months that led to the 2012 presidential election. The number also signifies a 13 percent increase from the same period in October 2014 to January 2015.

Donald Trump the Cause?

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abdulrasheed-480909_640A Virginia congressman recently announced a bill that would officially make it illegal for the United States to ban any immigrant on the grounds of their religion. The brief measure, outlined in just one sentence, could be seen as a symbolic effort to block a proposal of presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has repeatedly promised to implement a temporary immigration ban on Muslims.

The text of the bill, proposed by Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), reads, “An alien may not be denied admission to the United States because of the alien’s religion or lack of religious beliefs.” Beyer unveiled the bill at a news conference earlier this week together with five Democrat lawmakers, as well as a dozens of representatives from Muslim, Jewish, Christian, and atheist groups—a show of unity amidst strong rhetoric against immigrants and minority groups.

Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) spoke of recent examples of bullying targeted against immigrants, mentioning a case of violence against Muslim in his district in Queens.

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usa-1206240_640Several months after a shooting attack in San Francisco ignited a huge debate on how the city apprehends and detains undocumented immigrant criminals, city officials are considering an immigration measure that would effectively clarify the rules for contacting federal immigration authorities.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently voted on a proposal that requires law enforcement officials to notify the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) only if the apprehended immigrant has a history of criminal convictions within the last 7 years.

San Francisco’s Current Immigration Position

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quakeEcuadorian Immigrants are seeking assistance from the Obama administration, asking that undocumented Ecuadorian immigrants be allowed to stay and work in the United States as the as the South American nation tries to get back on its feet after suffering a devastating magnitude-7.8 earthquake. In Los Angeles, Ecuadorian activists recently took to the streets to voice their support to the efforts of Democrat legislators, who are calling for immigration relief for affected Ecuadorians in the wake of the April 16 earthquake that took the lives of more than 650 people, leaving countless more injured and homeless.

U.S. Policy: Temporary Protection for Disaster Victims

It’s a little known fact that the United States sometimes grants “temporary protected status” to citizens of countries affected by war and natural disasters, such as Nepal during the 2015 earthquake, and the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.

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5thcircuitAfter being ordered removed by an immigration judge, Ulises Hernandez Rosales found a glimmer a of hope as the United States Court of the Appeals for the Fifth Circuit transferred his petition for review of removal (deportation), after learning there was a real issue of material fact to his citizenship concerns. In light of this issue, Court Of Appeals moved to transfer the case to United States district court for a hearing and decision to confirm Hernandez’s nationality claim.

Case Background: Overstaying and Drug Charges

Ulises Hernandez Rosales (Hernandez), age 29, is a native of Mexico, born in Nuevo Leon on August 21, 1986. Hernandez entered the United States in 1995 as a nonimmigrant visitor, but would overstay his visa and be convicted for cocaine possession charges by a Texas court in 2009. A year later, the Department of Homeland Security summoned Hernandez after finding him eligible for deportation on the grounds of violating his visa privileges and for being convicted of charges related to possession of a controlled substance.

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escalator-828621_640As the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) turn 20 in April, Humans Rights Watch issued a statement last week, denouncing the unjust immigration laws and calling for the United States Congress to repeal these measures. HRW adds these provisions have placed thousands of individuals at the brunt of aggressive detentions, deportations, and unfair family separations.

According to Alison Parker, co-director of Human Rights Watch’s U.S. program, “The US appears to be coming to grips with the harm caused by its 90s-era crime laws. These 90s-era immigration laws also deserve serious scrutiny and reconsideration.”

Effects of AEDPA and IIRIRA

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fingerprint-255899_640If officials from the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have their way, parents of suspected undocumented immigrant children may soon have to provide their fingerprints to regain custody of their child.

ICE officials are pushing for the implementation of new rules critics fear may lead to the unnecessary separation of law-abiding immigrant families. The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been particularly vocal about the ICE’s plan. The HHS is the government tasked to find housing for immigrant children.

HHS Concerns over the Proposed Measure

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city-hall-222740_640Lawyers representing the state of Texas have repeatedly claimed their efforts to block the Obama Administration’s executive action on immigration isn’t about U.S. immigration policy or the deportation of thousands of undocumented immigrants, but rather, is hinged on what they consider is a clear breach of the separation of powers, an overreach on the part of the president.

Still, that’s proved to be of little comfort to the millions of immigrants across the nation who stand to benefit from the program. Announced in November 2014, the m Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, would provide immigration relief to around 5 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, protecting them from removal by allowing them to apply for work permits good for 3 years.

Supreme Courts to Hear Arguments

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vote-661888_640With the 2016 presidential election fast approaching, large numbers of immigrants are finding themselves united by a common goal: become US citizens to let their voices be heard, especially on the subject of immigration.

Government data shows an increase of movement of more than 8 million immigrants qualified for naturalization, with their concerns geared towards meeting all the requirements to vote in the November elections.

With the issue of immigration more divisive than ever, the entire Latino community is under pressure to take a stand, or face the prospect of a Republican-controlled White House, which could push for the deportation of more than 11 million undocumented immigrations. GOP frontrunner Donald Trump hasn’t shied away from this polarizing issue, going so far as promising to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and sending the bill to the Mexican government.