* Dramatization
* Dramatization
Published on:

trump-tower-943400_640-300x189Ever since DACA was repealed on September 5th, 2017 DREAMers have been left wondering what happens to them now. Congress has six months to come up with an effective legislative solution. DREAMers fear what that solution may be.

Who Is Affected By Changes To DACA?

DREAMers are immigrants who were brought to the United States before they were sixteen years old. They were either brought here illegally, or on a visa that has since expired. When DACA was enacted, they were granted temporary protection from deportation, along with other rights such as work permits and driver licenses. For many, the United States is the only country they know, which is making many uneasy about what the future holds in store, if they are deported.

Published on:

donald-j-trump-1342298_640-242x300On September 5th, 2017 President Trump announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that Congress has six months to find a legislative solution. This promptly raised reactions throughout the country, both in support and opposition of the announcement.

15 states and the District of Columbia are now suing the Trump Administration to block the planned reversal of the program, which shields young immigrants from deportation. The lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of New York.

States suing the administration include New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and District of Columbia. Surprisingly, California, a solidly Democratic state with a large immigrant population, is not presently listed as a state participating in the legal action. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said that the state plans to file a separate lawsuit.

Published on:

usa-tourist-visa-300x169On August 22nd, 2017, President Trump signed the Northern Mariana Islands Economic Expansion Act (H.R 339), which revises the CW-1 visa classification for Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) transitional workers. Changes under the act include an increase in the number of visas available for certain occupations, new restrictions for construction workers, and fee increases.

The Northern Mariana Islands are a commonwealth of the United States located in the Pacific Ocean.

CW-1 visa’s allow employers in the CNMI to apply for permission to employ foreign workers who would otherwise be ineligible to work under other nonimmigrant worker categories, like an employment-based green card. A foreign worker is classified as a CW-1 nonimmigrant during the transitional period if they stay in the CNMI to work in an occupational category designated as needing foreign workers to supplement the existing resident workforce due to labor shortages.

Published on:

agriculture-1835918_640-300x204On August 25th, 2017, the U.S Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that in-person interviews for immigration benefit applicants were being expanded. This change complies with Trump Administration’s Executive Order 13780, “Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States,” and is part of USCIS’s strategy to further improve efforts to detect and prevent fraud. The interviews will begin on October 1st, 2017.

The USCIS will conduct interviews for:

  • Applications for lawful permanent resident status through offer of employment
Published on:

wooden-2660155_640-300x225A federal judge shot down a Texas lawsuit filed against municipalities identified as “sanctuary cities” for their alleged non-compliances with Texas State Senate Bill 4 (SB4), an immigration law designed to stop so-called “sanctuary” cities—those that refuse to cooperate with the federal government’s efforts to deport undocumented immigrants—and prevent new ones from forming within the state.

District Judge Sam Sparks of the Austin Division of Western Texas ruled that the municipalities in question could not have violated SB4 as its implementation has yet to formally take effect.

Judge Sparks wrote and published the order on August 9, stating: “Because Sb4 does not take effect until September 2017, it is impossible for defendants to take any action that would violate the not-yet-effective law. … The mere fact that a municipal policy was instituted before a law was signed, or that it remains in place prior to the law taking effect, does not equate to a violation of the law.”

Published on:

coffee-2351437_640-1-300x225Six “DREAMers” protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program spoke at an event held at the Triune Mercy Center, sharing their stories in support of the Dream Act, an immigration reform bill authored by Senators Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin.

According to a statement issued by Sen. Graham’s office, the Dream Act is designed to “allow immigrant students who grew up in the United States to earn lawful permanent residence and eventually American citizenship.” The bill is a bipartisan effort that comes in response to the Trump administration’s threat to abolish DACA, an executive action by the Obama administration.

Keny Murillo and Ilse Isidra, two of the speakers at the Triune Mercy Center event, expressed concern that they would be unable to practice medicine in South Carolina due to the current immigration policy. Murillo, who entered the country at age 9, is a fifth-year biology major at Furman University. Isidra is a nursing student at USC Upstate,

Published on:

hammer-1707735_640-300x225An investigation by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has forced Eleno Quinteros Jr., the former vice president of operations for two airline staffing companies, to plead guilty to charges of fraud after falsifying statements regarding his illegal collection of unlawful fees from immigrant employees.

The fees, from which Quinteros gained around $567,000, were paid by the victims with the expectation that he would support their applications for lawful permanent resident status. Staffing airline companies with mechanics sourced from Mexico, as well as being the designated officer in assisting said immigrants in acquiring work visas like the H-2B, H-1B, or TN, gave Quinteros access to the immigrants that fell victim to his scheme.

Quinteros had to make a series of confessions before arriving at his final one, presumed to be forced out of him by USCIS officials. He began with the admission to falsely certifying that he had received none of the payments he was alleged of collecting. He later admitted to only one count of falsely claiming supporting of status application but also confessed that his illegal operations involved over 20 different immigration documents.

Published on:

shutterstock_108217214S-300x200San Juan County has settled a class action lawsuit concerning the involvement of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in local detention centers, creating critical changes in the county’s jail operations.

In 2014, Santa Fe-based immigrant rights group Somos Un Pueblo Unido filed a class action lawsuit in federal court, seeking an end to the alleged illegal detention of three noncitizens. According to the lawsuit, over 200 immigrants were illegally detained by the San Juan County Board of Commissioners and Sheriff Ken Christesen on behalf of ICE.

Today, signs are posted at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center—in both English and Spanish—informing detainees that they are not required to speak with ICE officials. The county has also ceased initiating contact with ICE regarding inmate releases.

Published on:

chicago-1627827_640-300x230The City of Chicago is opposing the Trump administration’s federal immigration policies, filing a complaint against the Justice Department over recent changes in federal grant guidelines. City officials allege these changes would coerce cities identified as “sanctuary cities” to comply with the federal government’s immigration efforts by withholding federal funds – a violation of the 10th amendment, as stated in the 46-page complaint.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently announced that the Justice Department would withhold at least $385 million in grants from cities and states that refuse to detain undocumented immigrants in local jails deportation processing. The Justice Department states that the money, provided through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, is intended to improve police enforcement, mental health services, and to “reduce unnecessary incarceration in a manner that promotes public safety.”

Demands by the federal government, through Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE), to use local jails to detain suspected undocumented immigrants with no local charges have sparked outrage in several cities around the country, with legal groups, cities officials, and universities making moves against the policy change. Most recently, the Massachusetts High Court decided per curiam that Massachusetts law could not permit or accommodate local immigration detainers from federal immigration agencies.

Published on:

aerial-view-houston-skyline-1087751_640-300x200The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, together with multiple affiliate organizations, has filed requests to obtain copies of communications between the Office of the Texas Attorney General and the federal government regarding any discussions on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an immigration program under the Obama administration that seeks to protect undocumented immigrants brought into the country as minors, placing them as low-priority targets for deportation.

The requests come after officials from 10 states, Texas included, sent a letter late in June to Attorney General Jeff Sessions demanding an end to the DACA program, threatening to amend an existing lawsuit challenging the program’s lawfulness in front of Texas Judge Andrew Hanen should the federal government fail to take immediate action.

DACA allows qualified undocumented immigrants to apply for “deferred action” in renewable, 2-year periods, allowing them to apply for and receive a temporary work permit and obtain a driver’s license. The program was intended to protect immigrants who were raised as Americans and would have nowhere to go should they face deportation.