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President Obama Brings Up Immigration Reform Again

By Tatiana - Posted on 10 May 2011

May 10, 2011

Washington, D.C. - Today, President Obama spoke resolutely about resolving our broken immigration system. Mentioning the concepts of innovation, entrepreneurship, and the American Dream, the President stated again that a comprehensive immigration reform is needed.

Obama to tell the Hispanic Caucus again today that he wants to fix immigration

By Tatiana - Posted on 03 May 2011

The President is meeting with the Hispanic Caucus today, his third immigration related meeting in three weeks. The White House has indicated that this meeting will be about: "the importance of fixing our nation's broken immigration system to meet our 21st century economic and national security needs so that America can win the future."

PRESIDENT SEEKS SUPPORT FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM … AGAIN

By Tatiana - Posted on 20 April 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – On Tuesday, 04/19/11, President Barack Obama enlisted a number of elected officials and religious, business, labor and civil rights leaders to support his quest for a long-overdue reform of the US immigration laws. The President is again trying to keep his promise to enact a broad immigration reform. His failure to do so has angered many of those, who helped to elect him in 2008, and whose support he will need again next year.

The President promised to continue working to build consensus in Congress around immigration reform. But he also said he will not be able to succeed if he led the debate alone. "The president urged meeting participants to take a public and active role to lead a constructive and civil debate on the need to fix the broken immigration system," the White House said. "He stressed that in order to successfully tackle this issue they must bring the debate to communities around the country and involve many sectors of American society in insisting that Congress act to create a system that meets our nation's needs for the 21st century and that upholds America's history as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants."

Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez, who helped attract Hispanic voters to support Obama in 2008, recently stated that he was not sure he could support Obama next year if the president did not act on immigration reform. Last week, 22 Senate Democrats also sent Obama a letter asking him to delay deportations of young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. by their parents. The President has said repeatedly that he is committed to immigration reform, but he can not make headway without Republican support, because he does not have enough Democratic votes in the Senate, and Republicans now control the House.

The President again stated that the reform must require illegal immigrants to pay a penalty for being in the US illegally, pay back taxes, and learn English before they can qualify for legal status and eventual citizenship. Republicans oppose a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, calling this program an "amnesty."

Deported? You may still reopen your case and return to the US.

By Tatiana - Posted on 03 February 2011

February 3, 2011

Washington, D.C. - Today, a federal appellate court chastised the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) for preventing non-citizens from reopening their cases from outside the United States. This important ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit repudiates the government's view that immigration judges and the BIA lack "jurisdiction" over such cases. Federal law gives non-citizens the right to file motions to submit new evidence after their removal orders become final. But the BIA has long maintained that it cannot consider such a motion if a foreign national is outside the United States. This policy gives the government a perverse incentive to remove non-citizens from the country before they have an opportunity to submit evidence that could change the outcome of their cases. Moreover, the policy is at odds with provisions of a harsh 1996 immigration law that resulted in a dramatic reduction in due process rights and expansion of expedited removal but that made it clear that non-citizens had the opportunity to seek review of unfavorable decisions from outside the United States. This policy has now been reversed by the federal court.

Senate failed to move forward the "Dream Act"

By Tatiana - Posted on 20 December 2010

The U.S. Senate, on a 55-41 vote, failed to move forward the "Dream Act," in a procedural vote Saturday, December 18, 2010.

The House of Representatives has passed the DREAM Act!

By Tatiana - Posted on 09 December 2010

The House of Representatives has passed the DREAM Act! Now, in order for the Act to become law, it will need to be passed by the Senate and signed by the President. On 12/9/10, the Senate agreed to consider the House-passed version of the Act, and it is expected that Senate will take up H.R. 6497 within the next several days.

The House passed version of the Act provides that conditional nonimmigrant status may be granted to those aliens who arrived to the US at least five years prior to the Act enactment, were younger than 16 years of age on the date they entered the United States and have been a person of good moral character if such alien is younger than 30 years of age on the date of the enactment of the Act and either has been admitted to an institution of higher education in the United States or has earned a high school diploma or obtained a general education development certificate in the United States.

Dream Act Vote Likely on November 29, 2010

By Tatiana - Posted on 17 November 2010

Dream Act Vote Likely on November 29 in House of Representatives, CapitalWirePR.com, November 16, 2010, available at: http://www.capitalwirepr.com/pr_description.php?id=bafabca7-9b0f-1bf1-99...

Dream Act Vote Likely on November 29 in House of Representatives

Washington, DC [CapitalWirePR] November 16, 2010 – Speaking to several hundred Hispanic leaders at the Latino Leaders Network luncheon today, Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez announced that Speaker Pelosi has tentatively set November 29th for a vote on the Dream Act. Velasquez was honored at the luncheon for her leadership of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

Congresswoman Velasquez called for all Americans to contact their Members of Congress to urge passage. The Dream Act legislation would establish a process for undocumented immigrant youth, brought to the U.S before the age of 16, to achieve legal status if they enter the armed forces or attend college for two years, and have clean records.

New i-485 filing fee for a child under 14 years of age

By Tatiana - Posted on 11 November 2010

New US CIS filing fees go into effect on November 23, 2010. The USCIS Fact Sheet does not list the i-485 filing fee for a child under 14 years of age. However, the Federal Register notice announcing the new filing fees indicate that where the child under the age of 14 is applying concurrently with a parent, is a derivative applicant, and is applying based on a relationship to the same individual as the parent, or under the same legal authority as the parent, the new filing fee will be $635. The fee of $985 for an I-485 applies for a child under the age of 14 whose I-485 application is not submitted concurrently with that of the parent, or is not based on derivative status, or is on a basis other than that of a parent.

Senators Menendez and Leahy Introduce the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010 (S. 3932)

By Tatiana - Posted on 02 October 2010

On September 29, 2010, Senator Menendez (D-NJ) and Senator Leahy (D-VT) introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010 (S. 3932). This law, among other provisions, proposes the following:

Creates Lawful Prospective Immigrant (LPI) status for non‐criminal undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. since 9/30/10. Requires applicants to submit biometric and biographical data, undergo security and law enforcement checks, and pay a $500 fine plus application fees. LPI status lasts four years and can be extended. It includes work authorization and permission to travel abroad; immediate family members are also eligible for status under the program.
o Immigrants may apply for LPI status even if they are in deportation proceedings at the time of application or have an outstanding removal order.
o In order to transition from LPI status to Legal Permanent Residency (i.e. a “green card”), applicants are required to wait at least six years; pay taxes and a $1000 fine; learn English and U.S. civics; and undergo additional background checks. They will not obtain green cards before those who were waiting “in line” to immigrate as of date of enactment.
o The LPI program includes a level of administrative and judicial review, confidentiality protections for applicants and their employers, and fraud prevention measures.
o Incorporates the DREAM Act, which creates a path to legal status for individuals who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, provided they meet age and other criteria and enroll in college or the U.S. military.

DREAM Delayed in the Senate

By Tatiana - Posted on 21 September 2010

September, 21, 2010

Washington D.C. - Today, the Senate voted 56 to 43 against proceeding to the Defense Authorization Act. This procedural vote, which basically followed party lines, ends consideration of critical social issues that affect the military and were to be offered as amendments to the bill. Among the amendments not considered is the DREAM Act, an immigration bill that would provide legal status to young people who graduate from high school and pursue college or military service.

The following is a statement from Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center:

"The political gridlock that has immobilized the Senate has resulted once again in a lost opportunity for the American people. By refusing to allow the Defense Authorization Act to proceed, America will not see, at this time, an up or down vote on the DREAM Act, which would have been a first legislative step in resolving our immigration crisis. The Senators who voted "no" today are ignoring unequivocal evidence that the DREAM Act is good for military readiness, the American workforce and the U.S. economy.

The energy and enthusiasm of thousands of young people who have poured themselves into promoting the DREAM Act has not been wasted, however. Because of their efforts, more people today understand the importance of DREAM to our economy, our military, and the future of our country than ever before."