In the White House, Debating How Far to Go in Easing Deportations

WASHINGTON — At a recent White House meeting with immigration activists, President Obama told the group his hands were tied. Even if he wanted to halt the deportations of millions of illegal immigrants, the president told the group, he could not do so without congressional approval.

But Mr. Obama has more latitude than he lets on, legal experts say, and he may soon reveal how he intends to use it. Under increasing pressure to slow the pace of deportations from Hispanic supporters who helped get him re-elected in 2012, he has ordered his Homeland Security secretary to make immigration enforcement more humane. Continue reading

Court limits mandatory detention of immigrants in California

(Reuters) – U.S. immigration authorities cannot detain without a bail hearing California immigrants who have been convicted of certain crimes unless the immigrants are transferred to their custody directly from jail, a judge has ruled.

Under federal law, immigrants who commit crimes including drug offenses and assault can be deported, even if they are in the country legally.

The class-action lawsuit is challenging an element of the practice of mandatory detention, under which prisoners are not given an opportunity to argue before a judge that they should be released or allowed to post bond while fighting deportation.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers wrote in an opinion released Thursday that unless the immigrants are transferred directly from jail or prison, they must be allowed such a hearing to see whether they should be held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or allowed to live in the community.

The ruling in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California was part of a case filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and others in San Francisco. The civil rights organization has filed similar cases in Washington State and Massachusetts.

“What Immigration and Customs enforcement has been doing is picking them up based on criminal convictions from long, long ago,” said Julia Mass, an attorney with the ACLU in San Francisco. “Our lawsuit said the statute only allows mandatory detention when somebody is brought directly into immigration custody from criminal custody.”

The ruling applies only to cases in California, Mass said.

ICE and its attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Adjudicating cases involving the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006

In adjudicating cases involving the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, Pub. L. No. 109-248, 120 Stat. 587, the Board of Immigration Appeals lacks jurisdiction to review a “no risk” determination by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, including the appropriate standard of proof to be applied.

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Visa petition case involving the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006

(1) In a visa petition case involving the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, Pub. L. No. 109-248, 120 Stat. 587, the petitioner bears the burden of proving that he has not been convicted of a “specified offense against a minor.”

(2) In assessing whether a petitioner has been convicted of a “specified offense against a minor,” adjudicators may apply the “circumstance-specific” approach, which permits an inquiry into the facts and conduct underlying the conviction to determine if it is for a disqualifying offense.

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Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006

Section 402(a)(2) of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, Pub. L. No. 109-248, 120 Stat. 587, 622, which bars the approval of a family-based visa petition filed by a petitioner who has been convicted of a “specified offense against a minor” and has not shown that he poses “no risk” to the beneficiary, does not have an impermissible retroactive effect when applied to convictions that occurred before its enactment.

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Politics is Personal for Young Undocumented Immigrants (American Immigration Council)

Young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children—often referred to as DREAMers—have grown up here, gone to school here, and formed deep roots in local communities. And while their immigration status prevents them from voting or even accessing affordable higher education in some states, DREAMers are civically active in pushing for reforms to the nation’s immigration policies that personally affect them and their families. A new report based on surveys of young immigrants found that 35 percent of DREAMers polled said they were part of an immigrant rights group. According to “In Their Own Words: A Nationwide Survey of Undocumented Millennials” by Tom Wong and Caroline Valdiva, that civic action does not translate into an automatic alignment with one political party.

About 40 percent of respondents said they aligned with the Democratic Party based on its immigration positions. Five percent said they were closer to the Republican Party because of its position. The other half of young immigrants surveyed said they were independents or had no party affiliation. As The New York Times explains, the political views of undocumented immigrants are significant because they still have an impact: Continue reading

American Immigration Council – Entrepreneurship and Innovation Update

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Update
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Update

Latest Research

Study of U.S. metros with most high-tech immigrant entrepreneurs provides lessons for other regions.
A recent post on Immigration Impact highlights a new report from the Kauffman Foundation. The report examines geographic factors that intersect with metro concentration of high-skill immigrant entrepreneurs. According to the report, “an open and culturally diverse environment helps promote high-tech entrepreneurship among both immigrants and the U.S.-born.” As the study notes, “immigrant-owned businesses are more likely to locate in ethnically diverse metro areas that have high foreign-born populations. That’s important for metro areas hoping to attract and retain this fast-growing pool of high-impact founders.” Dane Stangler, vice president of Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation, stated, “Because immigrants are far more likely to start businesses—particularly high-tech companies—than the native-born, their importance in the U.S. economy is increasing.”

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“WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 7 that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2015. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the advanced degree exemption.

USCIS received about 172,500 H-1B petitions during the filing period which began April 1, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 10, 2014, USCIS completed a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. For cap-subject petitions not randomly selected, USCIS will reject and return the petition with filing fees, unless it is found to be a duplicate filing.

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