April 29, 2010

Not Gringo Enough

Who will be next in line for deportation?
Apparently rounding up legal permanent residents with previous crime records is not enough. At a tea party rally in Ramona in San Diego County over the weekend, Republican Representative Duncan Hunter fielded a question about the issue.
"We just can't afford it anymore," Hunter said. "That's it. And we're not being mean. We're just saying it takes more than walking across the border to become an American citizen. It's within our souls."
It's within our souls to deport natural-born American citizens. Mind you, not just ANY legal American citizens, that would not be a humanitarian thing to do. "Just the natural-born American citizens that are the children of illegal immigrants," Hunter said.
As far fetched as it may sound, there are about 90 House Republicans who are co-sponsoring a bill that would eliminate citizenship rights for children of illegal immigrants who are born in the United States. You can read the bill in its entirety by clicking here.

April 27, 2010

San Francisco calls on its citizens to boycott Arizona products

Arizona's new legislation, signed into law Friday, makes being in the country illegally a crime punishable by up to six months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said that his office already has started investigating if any contracts between San Francisco and Arizona could be severed without penalty.

This tactic has been used against Arizona before with success, he said.

Arizona was one of the last states to adopt a holiday honoring Martin Luther King - a reluctance that led to a boycott in the 1980s that cost the city hundreds of conventions and Super Bowl XXVII in 1993. The pressure, and the financial pinch, led the state to put the holiday on the ballot. Voters approved the measure, making Martin Luther King Day a holiday.

Steps like the one proposed by San Francisco would remind the state's lawmakers their decision could have economic and political consequences, Herrera said.

Some of the companies headquartered in Arizona include Best Western, U-HAUL, Cold Stone Creamery, PetSmart, and U.S. Airways

April 26, 2010

Iraq war veteran could be denied citizenship

Photo Source: Los Angeles Times
As part of the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act, noncitizens who serve in the military one year during peace time or one day during wartime are eligible to apply for fast-tracked citizenship. In 2002, President George W. Bush issued an executive order and invoked the wartime law as of Sept. 11, 2001.

Shortly after 9/11, Mexico-born Ekaterina Bautista decided to enlist in the U.S. Army, serving the United States for six consecutive years, including a 13-month tour of duty in Iraq. So what exactly prompted her adoptive country to put her application for naturalization on hold, despite the completion of all the paper work and civics exam as well as a clean record and exemplary patriotism that earned her a Combat Action Badge? She had served under a false identity because she had been told that her Mexican passport would not suffice in order to enlist.

Arizona's New Immigration Law Deemed Unconstitutional

When I first read that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer had signed the "Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act" (commonly known as SB 1070) into law in Arizona, the first and only thought that could cross my mind was how over 30% of the residents in Arizona were about to be robbed of their basic rights as human beings.

- How will this affect the Arizona voters who backed SB 1070? Negatively, unless they thrive on having their taxes increase, because there is no other way a state with a budget deficit of over $3 billion can afford such a financially demanding immigration law.

- How will this affect the Republican primary in August? Brewer might survive through the summer and again in the fall, but in signing a partially unconstitutional law that seems to regard Hispanics as presumptively criminal, it's unlikely that she did her party any long-term favors.
The law will take effect in 90 days after the current legislative session, unless there is a successful legal overturn before then.

Yet, amidst all this injustice, there might be a light at the end of the tunnel. Arizona's initiative in reforming immigration law has prompted the rest of the nation to look at the flaws in the current national immigration measures.Time magazine reports that President Obama, who took the unusual step of commenting on a state law when he called SB1070 "misguided" on Friday, ordered the Justice Department to look into the legislation. Some experts say that under Article 1 of the Constitution, only Congress has the right to set immigration law. There is a good reason for that, say opponents of the bill: Even if Arizona is successful in its crackdown, illegal traffic will move to other border states, shuffling the burden elsewhere without solving the national problem. Call me an optimist, but the abominable step that Arizona has taken may just be enough to propel Washington into implementing a comprehensive immigration reform.

April 19, 2010

If you go to Arizona, carry your U.S. Passport, do not listen to ethnic music, do not talk to anyone if you have an accent, and do not wear "un-American" clothing!

 Arizona is out of control and mandates racial profiling!

Stay out of this state unless you have a current U.S. Passport on you, you do not have an accent, you wear only American clothing (whatever this is - jeans, T-shirt and baseball cap?! oh wait, all of these are made in foreign countries!). Oh, and do not listen to ethnic music or be too tan, you could be mistaken for being illegally in the U.S.!

Arizona Republicans Make A Mistake of “Prop. 187” Proportions

Washington, DC – The Arizona State House of Representatives just voted in favor of Draconian legislation that declares open season on immigrants and Latinos in the state.  If signed into law by the governor, S.B. 1070 – the so-called “Safe Neighborhoods” bill -- would make every undocumented worker in Arizona guilty of a criminal offense and require state and local police to go after them.  Supporters of the legislation have cited clothing, music or an accent as details that should prompt a criminal investigation—a suggestion that should send chills through the entire population, not just Latinos, for its blatant endorsement of profiling by appearance instead of behavior.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
"Arizona Republicans have just made a mistake of ‘Proposition 187’ proportions, by voting along party lines to support a piece of legislation that treats every immigrant and Latino in Arizona like a common criminal and does nothing to fix our broken immigration system.  The Governor must veto this irresponsible legislation that will undermine community policing, cost millions for Arizona to defend in the courts, and take us further away from the goal of a rational, controlled, and smart immigration system."

Mexican actress faces real-life drama over alleged marriage scam


Southern California -- this just in

Mexican actress faces real-life drama over alleged marriage scam

April 17, 2010 |  8:25 am
Fernanda Romero
Maria Fernanda Romero Martinez has appeared in numerous Spanish-language movies and soap operas.
But now, federal authorities claim she was at the center of a real-life drama that has landed her and a Los Angeles man in court.

Mexican actress faces real-life drama over alleged marriage green card scam

 Mexican actress faces real-life drama over alleged marriage scam | L.A. NOW | Los Angeles Times

 If USCIS and ICE want to stop marriage green card fraud, which is estimated by USCIS to be approx. 10% of all cases, they should go after the U.S. Citizen spouse who can be prosecuted criminally and fined. Then, massively publicize the arrest of the U.S. Citizen. This would be a deterrent.

Instead, ICE goes after an act...ress who is likely eligible for a green card based on her success as an actress.

I grill my potential clients before representing them, to make sure it is a valid marriage. Maria should have consulted me first!


April 05, 2010

Rescued from Haiti Only to be Detained for Lacking Visa

After the devastating earthquake hit Haiti, about thirty survivors were rescued from the rubble by U.S. Marines and were promptly ushered into U.S. military personnel planes and were promised security and medical care once they would arrive in the United States.
However, what sounded like a heroic rescue mission after the suffering they had endured, soon turned into a nightmare. Shortly after landing, the survivors were handcuffed and detained in a privately operated immigration prison in Pompano Beach, Florida. Despite numerous legal advocates' attempt to persuade government official to release the innocent detainees, no action was taken to provide medical treatment for the thirty Haitians.
The survivors were finally released two months later, after the New York Times published an article regarding their unjust imprisonment.
"Rather than being welcomed in the U. S. of A, and getting the refuge that they expected, they were detained for two months here at the Broward facility," said Cheryl Little, executive director of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center.

One is left to wonder what would have been their fate without media coverage.

To read the rest of the article, click here.
To read the Times article that prompted their release, click here.

April 01, 2010

New Study Observes Detrimental Behaviour on Children of Deported Legal Immigrants

The UC Davis School of Law and UC Berkeley School of Law have published a joint report observing the detrimental consequences children of deported parents must suffer. It is reported that over 80,000 citizen children were negatively affected after their parents had been deported by the U.S. government. Albeit lawful permanent residents, these immigrants were deported due to having committed minor crimes.

In 1996, Congress also significantly broadened the category of crimes considered an “aggravated felony,” the report notes. Although this category initially included only the most serious offenses, it now includes nonviolent theft and drug offenses, forgery and other minor offenses, many of which may not be felonies under criminal law. Lawful permanent residents convicted of an aggravated felony are now subject to mandatory deportation and other severe immigration consequences.

"It is often the children in these families who suffer the most," said Raha Jorjani, a clinical professor of law at UC Davis and supervising attorney for the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic. "This nation should take into consideration the impact on families of uprooting individuals with such strong ties to the U.S.”

The recently published report,In the Child's Best Interest? makes a number of recommendations to U.S. policymakers, including:

- restoring judicial discretion in cases involving the deportation of lawful permanent residents who have U.S. citizen children;
- establishing clear judicial guidelines in these family deportation cases;
- reverting to the pre-1996 definition of “aggravated felony”;
- collecting data on U.S. citizen children of deported lawful immigrant parents to gain fuller understanding of impact of deportation laws.