Articles Tagged with immigration reform

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Lawmakers Explore Immigration Reform Issues from an Economic PerspectiveThere are a number of conflicting points of view whenever the subject of immigration reform rears its head. President Obama’s attempts to implement extensive immigration reform have resulted in a great deal of controversy. Conservatives rallied to block the executive order that Obama’s administration had crafted. Obama’s plans would have granted legal status to millions of immigrants if there wasn’t such a strong sense of opposition from varied camps. Undocumented immigrants and their supporters may feel a sense of defeat as far as the question of reform is concerned but it is important to be aware of the fact that immigration reform isn’t an issue that’s dead in the water. Several lawmakers are invested in the topic of reform for as long as its extent is mapped out in a measured manner.

Business owners and purveyors of the American economy in particular are keen on increasing the caps on the amount of skilled undocumented immigrant workers who are allowed to enter and reside in the United States. Tech companies in particular are eyeing immigrants with a professional skill set that is geared towards the fields of mathematics and science and technology. Some of the supporters who back immigration reform are spurred by productivity requirements. The increased influx of immigrants with the skills that various industries require could have positive effects on the state of the American economy.

Spurred by economic concerns, lawmakers are eyeing the possibility of passing a number of bills that could increase the number of skilled immigrant workers who are allowed to work in the United States. There is still some amount of opposition surrounding this move. People who take a decidedly conservative stance when it comes to reform issues see a piecemeal vetting of each bill to have a greater chance of being passed over a comprehensive approach towards introducing immigration reform. This gradual approach comes with other specifics. The focus of reform should be directed towards highly skilled workers and entrepreneurs. The preference afforded to immigrant workers who fall under this category does not extend to unskilled immigrant workers. Low skilled immigrant workers are not seen to have as positive an effect as their more educated counterparts do.

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Injunction Continues to Block Obama’s Immigration Reform ProgramThere has been a considerable push for extensive immigration reform from undocumented immigrants and their supporters. President Obama’s administration has attempted to address some of these issues through the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability. Under the President’s proposed policy, a deferred action status would be granted to qualified undocumented immigrants who have been residing in the United States since 2010. Obama’s proposal would effectively prevent several immigrants from being deported and avail of work opportunities if it comes to pass. The proposal has come under fire from several conservative sectors and in February 2015, a Texas judge approved a temporary injunction that prevented the program from coming into effect. Now, a federal appeals court has denied the administration’s request to lift the temporary injunction.

The absence of legal action would have guaranteed that the President’s proposals would have come into effect this month. Now, the temporary injunction filed by a Federal District Court Judge in Texas has been upheld by the two judges on a panel of the United States Court of Appeals. The grounds for this ruling were based on the fact that the appeals court did not find enough evidence that would indicate a severe setback for the administration if the injunction remained in place. The appeals court also found that the lawsuit that was filed by several States against Obama’s administration did have sufficient legal basis. The representatives who filed the lawsuit against the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability cited constitutional violations and statutory overreach as reasons to scrap the program.

The ruling comes as a big blow to Obama’s administration. While the injunction stands, further delays on Obama’s Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program are to be expected. The chances of seeing the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program to be passed within the President’s term has decreased. Critics who oppose Obama’s proposals see this ruling as a clear victory. The states who filed the lawsuit that blocked the program from being passed claim that the President attempted to execute drastic changes to immigration policy without Congressional consent. Future developments on this issue will yield tremendous consequences on immigrants residing in the US.

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Conservatives Oppose Amendment that Allows Immigrants to Serve in the U.S. MilitaryThere are a number of immigration reform proposals throughout President Obama’s administrative run that have drawn the ire of several conservatives. A sense of controversy always seems to follow immigration reform that is tailored to benefit undocumented immigrants. One of the biggest boons for undocumented immigrants is Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has allowed specific immigrant cases to receive employment authorization provided that they meet every criterion of eligibility. Undocumented immigrants who have been covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals act entered the United States before they turned 16. It should be noted that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program does not automatically grant an immigrant permanent resident status. Several immigrants who are covered by the program are taking steps to lobby for a path to citizenship. For immigrants like Cesar Vargas, citizenship would allow them to fulfill their dream of joining the armed forces.

Vargas has made numerous trips to Washington to join other immigrants who are looking for a clear path to U.S. citizenship. The desire to serve as a military lawyer is the dream that fuels Vargas’ actions. The U.S. Senate is not blind to the concerns expressed by Vargas and countless other undocumented immigrants but when it comes to addressing the needs of these immigrants, a clear sense of disparity exists between varying camps of political opinion. Several representatives in the Senate support the desire of immigrants like Vargas to serve in the military but a huge chunk of the conservative sector balks at the prospect of having immigrants occupy positions that are traditionally reserved for U.S. citizens.

This time around, an amendment to a defense policy bill proves to be the focus of much political debate. The bill in question requires a broad amount of support from each political party to be passed. Representatives from the Republican sector have threatened to oppose the defense bill because one of the amendments contained in the bill includes language that could allow the Pentagon to consider allowing immigrants covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to serve in the military.

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Backlog in Immigration Cases Poses Consequences for ImmigrantsThe field of immigration law is rife with numerous complications. The need for extensive immigration reform is clear given the scope of the challenges that undocumented immigrants face. One of the areas where immigration reform is needed can be found in the cases that pile up in U.S. immigration court. For immigrants who are trying to legalize their status as U.S. residents, the massive backlog of cases that the U.S. legal system is struggling with is a clear deterrent to their aspirations.  The backlog of cases has reached problematic proportions. Worst case scenarios have immigrants with pending cases waiting for resolutions three years after their cases have been filed.

The delays in legal resolutions yield drastic consequences for immigrants. Cases that are stuck in legal limbo can prevent undocumented immigrants from supporting themselves while they wait for a definitive conclusion to their legal woes. While an immigrant waits for a case to go to court, he is not allowed to legally work within the U.S. Without the necessary legal means to look for gainful employment, undocumented immigrants cannot produce an income that looks after their basic needs. Statistically, the state with the most amount of backlog in terms of immigration cases is California. The city of Los Angeles has the most amount of pending cases in the state with San Francisco coming in second.

For immigrants who fear the prospect of deportation, these legal delays add a deeper layer of anxiety. Given the volume of cases that they need to deal with, U.S. immigration judges tend to deal with cases involving deportation with a sense of haste. The tendency for judges to deliver snap judgments could prove to have terrifying consequences for immigrants who fear persecution once they’re deported back to their country of origin. In a very real way, a huge chunk of these immigration cases carry a foreboding sense of death once the verdict of removal is delivered.

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DHSHqA great deal of attention has been paid to the ongoing immigration reform debate brewing in the United States. Several developments have cropped up over the past few weeks that further complicate the delicate state of affairs, including conflicting opinions that cluster around President Obama’s proposals for undocumented immigrants. The controversy surrounding the President’s proposed executive action may be acquiring a decent chunk of media attention but there are other immigration issues that pose considerable ramifications for a number of immigrants. One of the more notable occurrences that have garnered a measure of importance deals with the new procedures that have been implemented by the Department of Homeland Security for immigrants who have had a history of criminal convictions.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement arm of the DHS has recently rolled out a number of changes to the way that they handle release procedures for detained immigrants with a history of criminal convictions. All in all, there are a total of 5 changes that have been implemented. What’s interesting about these changes is that it reflects a sudden shift in the way that ICE officials deal with their policies for immigrants with criminal convictions. ICE officials have expressed that the changes should exponentially increase the level of safety that the American public currently enjoys as well as enhance the confidence that citizens have when it comes to the way that officials enforce immigration policies and regulations.

The major changes that have been stipulated by the ICE officials largely deals with methods of release and detainment of immigrants with specific criminal convictions. Immigrants who are slated for a release should be backed by the approval of a supervisor if they have a criminal conviction. Immigrants who possess serious criminal records will remain in detention even if the detention facilities are grappling with resource limitations. For detained immigrants who have been convicted of violent crimes, ICE will form a panel of senior managers to discuss the possibility of discretionary release for these specific cases. After previously detained immigrants have been released, ICE will continue to monitor them through the use of methods like personal contact and phone reporting. ICE will also bolster its methods of reporting the release of immigrants with criminal convictions to various state law enforcement arms.

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chrisThe controversy gathering around President Obama’s proposed immigration policies continue to heighten as various political representatives take opposing sides in the ongoing debate. The proposed shift in immigration reform put forward by Obama’s administration could spare countless undocumented immigrants from being deported if it gets passed. The President’s proposals, however, have been met with a great deal of furor and contention from different sectors. Recently, several states have expressed support for the move to block the President’s proposals from being passed. The states who oppose the President’s executive action are adamant about the fact that these changes would yield great losses for the nation as a whole.

One of the more notable developments that have emerged from the ongoing immigration debate is the relatively quiet stance that has been taken by a New Jersey Governor. Chris Christies has decided to back efforts to block the President’s plans from being passed without much fanfare. It is interesting to note that Gov. Chris Chrsitie has been relatively quiet about his stance when it comes to the country’s immigration policies. In the past, Christie had been vocal about the President’s actions on immigration reform without clearly delineating his opinion on the revisions and changes that need to be made. While Christie’s office did not announce his decision to explicitly support the opposition of the President’s proposals with considerable fanfare, the Governor’s actions are a clear indicator of which side his opinion falls when it comes to the developing immigration reform debate.

The political forces that seek to block the President’s actions question the ability of the President to make wholesale changes in Immigration policies in such an independent manner.  The biggest point that has consistently been brought up by the people who oppose the President’s proposals is that the latter’s actions go directly against certain precepts that are established in federal law. The 26 states that have supported the move to block the policies from being passed express that the country would have to invest a significant amount of resources to bestow benefits onto undocumented immigrants who have been residing in the country illegally. While a sense of opposition is prominent, there are also supporters who back the changes that are being planned by the President’s administration. Supporters express that the act of bestowing government benefits onto these immigrants would allow them to contribute to the country’s productivity in an open and unrestricted manner thereby yielding several positive developments for the nation as a consequence.

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KobachUsing their influence over the Kansas Legislature, Conservatives have succeeded in restricting reproductive rights, lowering tax rates, and limiting the power of teacher unions. Countering Obama’s immigration reform has not been so easy, however. Determined to fight back against illegal immigration, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has proposed a bill which declares the President’s executive action unconstitutional.

Kobach, like many Republicans, opposes the Federal Government’s initiative of halting the deportation of nearly 5 million immigrants. The new bill would prevent businesses that hire undocumented immigrants from deducting their wages from state income taxes. It would also restrict an immigrant’s ability to obtain state ID cards and driver’s licenses. Kansas is one of only 25 states that is challenging Obama’s executive action in a Federal Court in Texas.

Kobach claims that Obama abused his authority by issuing his executive order and that the state of Kansas will continue to treat undocumented workers as being in the United States illegally.