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How will changing racial makeup of U.S. impact America? (And by implication, the world.)

How will changing racial makeup of U.S. impact America?  (And by implication, the world.) | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it
By 2042, so-called racial minority groups will make up the majority of the U.S. population. That’s according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest projection. Building on that, the Pew Research Center...

Via Community Village Sites
Carlos Batara's insight:


This is not your average read and forget topic.


This topic is one to ponder, seriously ponder.  Your participation in shaping a better tomorrow is required.


More immigrants.  More cultural and ethnic diversity.  A possible inversion of the social pyramid.


These issues are critical to our children and grandchildren. 


How we deal with the coming population shift now will affect the world in which they live.


Because of the U.S. role in the world, this change will likewise impact the entire globe.


Read. 


Reflect.

 

Act.


As we do in our individual lives, clusters, and neighborhoods, so goes the world.

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Hardly A Short Term Immigrant Detention Measure: GPS Ankle Bracelets

Hardly A Short Term Immigrant Detention Measure: GPS Ankle Bracelets | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it
Carlos Batara's insight:

 

Earlier this month, immigration authorities began using GPS devices to track the whereabouts of Central American youth refugees.  The program was named RGV 250, reflecting an aim to keep track of 250 individuals via electronic ankle bracelets. 


The rationale was two fold: (1) a substantial savings from daily detention costs and (2) many of the immigrant children were not showing up for their appointments.


Government officials claim the program is a temporary measure.  As a deportation defense attorney, I doubt this policy will disappear anytime soon.  As long as our nation's immigration policies are geared toward border militarization, there is no incentive to loosen  detention procedures. 

 

In other words, although the devices were put in place to address the large influx of Central American immigrant youths, the RGV 250 program is likely a prelude to a more widespread use of GPS tracking devices for immigration purposes.. 

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Why Streamlining Immigrant Deportations Is Not A Common Sense Solution

Why Streamlining Immigrant Deportations Is Not A Common Sense Solution | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it

In the 2013 report "In the Shadow of the Wall," researchers from the University of Arizona and George Washington University found that the majority of migrants intended to cross again, that the effect of deterrence was difficult to measure, and that deterrence has a limited impact compared with other factors such as family and economic need.


Via Community Village Sites
Carlos Batara's insight:


Many issues of our current immigration debate are really common sense matters.  For instance, it seems obvious that "migration on the southern border is currently at its lowest point in over four decades is not Operation Streamline, but the economic downturn in the United States."


How Arizona's Senators miss this point is baffling.  Their confusion is costly:

"The costs of this ineffective program are staggering. According to a 2012 Grassroots Leadership report, since 2005, when Operation Streamline began, the federal government has spent an estimated $5.5 billion incarcerating undocumented immigrants in the criminal-justice system."


In other words, common sense dictates that it is not smart political policy to fight an issue with international roots with a purely domestic approach. 


Additionally, it is not smart political policy to fight economic-driven migration with a purely punitive law enforcement approach.  


Moreover, looking deeper, in most instances where folks are driven by an economic need to try to enter the U.S. without permission, there is a family living in or near poverty connected to the border crossers.


So where's the common sense?


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Do Racist Comments Hurt? Sure They Do.

Do Racist Comments Hurt?  Sure They Do. | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it
Eleanor Roosevelt’s Quote That No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent Is A Good Motto For Immigrants To Follow.
Carlos Batara's insight:


I'm the son on a first generation immigrant.  He was my hero.


Today, I'm a seasoned immigration lawyer in Escondido, where it's a non-disguised fact that immigrants are not welcomed.  Moreover, I been involved in civic and community affairs for over three decades.  Hence, one might think my skin has hardened by now, and that racist comments don't affect me any longer.


Wrong.


I may tougher and wiser but I remain vulnerable.  Thus, as I driving home from court one day, I heard this long-winded, mean-spirited, hateful commentary about immigrants.


You've heard one of these radio show guys, I'm fairly sure.  So you know what I'm talking about here.


Of course, I intellectually thought to myself that the guy on the radio was ignorant, xenophobic . . .  and, well, much worse.


But to tell the whole truth, his words hurt anyway.

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How Chasity Alvarez Fights To Preserve Family Unity

How Chasity Alvarez Fights To Preserve Family Unity | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it
Riverside Immigration Lawyer And Family Unity Activist Discuss Why Keeping Immigrant Families Together Is Crucial Component Of True Immigration Reform.
Carlos Batara's insight:


What makes a person become an immigration reform advocate?


Often it's personal.


For instance, Chasity Alvarez, founder of Fair Unity, knows firsthand the pain and agony of fighting to keep immigrant family members in the U.S.


This personal ordeal inspired her to create a support organization for U.S. born spouses facing similar situations of lifetime separation from their loved ones.


Alvarez's interview is the start of a new video series, Immigration Live, documenting the obstacles endured by immigrants and immigrant supporters on their journeys to legal residency and U.S. citizenship. 


I encourage you to watch Alvarez's informative and insightful video, and afterwards, if you would like to receive advance notice of future interviews, go here >>> http://www.bataraimmigrationlive.com .


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Why Deportation And Detention Quotas Are The Root Cause Of Immigrant Hunger Strike

Why Deportation And Detention Quotas Are The Root Cause Of Immigrant Hunger Strike | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it

The strike started as a protest against deportations and center conditions," activists say.


Via Janet Owen Driggs
Carlos Batara's insight:


According to numerous news reports, 750 to 1,000 immigrants at Tacoma, Washington Northwest Detention Center have begun a coordinated hunger strike. 

 

The goal of inmates is to draw public attention to deportations separating families and the detention center’s conditions.

 

Their actions, according to one unidentified lawyer, center on requests for:

 

  • Better Food
  • Better Treatment
  • Better Pay
  • Lower Commissary
  • Fairness

 

In my view, as a deportation defense attorney, there are three primary causes which have led to the strike. 

 

These causes are not touched upon in depth by most news accounts of the Tacoma strike.

 

The three causes:

 

Excessive deportation policies.  During Obama’s tenure as president, annual deportations have escalated to nearly 400,000 per year.  Rumors have surfaced about the presence of an annual quota.

 

A for-profit detention agenda.  At present, there is a mandate to fill 34,000 detention beds on a daily basis with immigrants.  Such mandates have no place in a system of law. 

 

Flawed immigration law measures.  In 1996, Congress passed one of the most horrific immigration laws, the Ilegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA), in U.S. history.

 

The net result is predictable.  By cutting off avenues of relief for many immigrants who committed minor offenses, in conjunction with misplaced detention and deportation quotas, the break-up of many families with U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident spouses and children is taking place every day.

 

Worse, current immigration reform proposals do not address these three issues. 

 

And that issue, too, is not a part of most news accounts.   


Hmmm.  I wonder why.

 

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Will Immigration Reform Destroy Some Paths To Permanent Residency?

Will Immigration Reform Destroy Some Paths To Permanent Residency? | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it
San Diego Immigration Attorney Discusses How Immigration Reform Will Affect The Visa Process For Immigrants Seeking Family-Based Green Cards.
Carlos Batara's insight:


Some activists have changed their minds on immigration reform.  Tired of waiting for change, they are willing to compromise. 


They are willing to concede new citizenship pathways in return for hastened action of permanent residence pathways.


As a green card and citizenship lawyer, I disagree with their strategy.


First, without a change to our nation's excessive, cruel, and poorly reasoned detention and deportation policies, becoming green card holders does not make immigrants more secure. 


In other words, a permanent resident today may not be a permanent resident tomorrow.  This is no surprise.  However what is overlooked is that many of those who will lose their status will do so because of terrible, terrible laws affecting minor offenses.


Second, many of those who become green card holders will never advance to the citizenship stage.  Given some of the requirements discussed last year, there will be a permanent sub-class. 


Third, there are some who assert the old paths to a green card and citizenship will still exist.  Thus, they claim that by getting into the permanent residency box will eventually place immigrants in a line for citizenship.


Again, unless changes are made to last year's S.744 immigration legislative proposal, they're wrong.


As explained in A Brief Glance At Family-Based Immigration Reform Under S. 744, part of last year's "family unity" plan is to eliminate certain individuals from even being able to become a green card holder.


In particular, there are two categories of immigrant relatives which would be affected:


  • Second, immigrant sons and daughters of U.S. citizens would only qualify for green cards if they are under 31 at the time their parents file I-130 family-based applications for them.
  • Third, U.S. brothers and sisters will no longer be able to sponsor their immigrant siblings for immigration benefits.

 

So why jump the gun?  Isn't caution the better approach?


On a skeptical note, this change of heart almost seems politically manipulated by those in office. 


All-in-all, being safe is preferred to being sorry.


Isn't the devil really in the details?






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Will Deportation Policy Change Under Immigration Reform?

Will Deportation Policy Change Under Immigration Reform? | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it
As the immigration overhaul stalls in the House, advocates have pushed the president to bypass Congress.
Carlos Batara's insight:

In an interview with Telemundo, President Obama ruled out freezing deportations while immigration reform is pending.


On the one hand, his comments can be construed as gutsy.  Considering how huge an issue random deportations have become to the Latino community, the President staked out his less-than-popular position.


On the other, his comments can be perceived as taking the easy way out.  Freezing deportations on a temporary basis is not the same as revising deportation laws in scope or substance.  Moreover, the President has some precedent already in place: the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. 


All-in-all, it just seems more of the same strategy evoked by Obama and the Democratic Party for several years.  Do a little, promise a lot, then hold back and blame your political opponents as holding up the show.


The reality is that immigration reform has never focused on the need to adjust our nation's deportation policies.


As noted in Comprehensive Immigration Reform In 2013: Now You See It, Now You Don't, there are two visions of immigration reform. 


Neither vision addresses current deportation laws and detention rules.


Freeze deportations?


Nah.


After five years in office, it should seem obvious to most observers, reducing the number of broken immigrant families, via deportation, has never been on the President's agenda.

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Are These The Five Most Important Immigration Reform Issues?

Are These The Five Most Important Immigration Reform Issues? | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it
Efforts to overhaul the nation's immigration system are underway, led by a bipartisan group of eight senators who are expected to unveil a bill after Congress returns from its recess.
Carlos Batara's insight:

In this Los Angeles Times article, the author asserts the following five issues are the most important for immigration reform legislation to address:


  • Border Security
  • Agricultural Workers
  • Legalizing The Undocumented
  • Employment Verification
  • Visa Allocations


I agree these are important issues.  But I would not classify them as the top  five. 


Moreover, even if they are the most critical, and they are all addressed in one form or another by Congress, they are not sufficient to claim the current proposal is truly comprehensive. 


To use the word "comprehensive" with the current proposal is a form of political double-speak. It's lenghtly, no doubt.  But size, alone, does not consitute comprehensiveness.


In my view, the proposal fails to addresses the long-term needs of the family unity system, unless the Gang of Eight's intentions are to dismantle it.


What's an immigration system withhout families?  I thought protecting mixed families was the foremost bedrock of immigration law.


I guess the Gang of Eight has never studied the history of immigration law in this country.





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Migration Is Beautiful

Migration Is Beautiful | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it
Migration is Beautiful symbolizes a commitment from the creative community to see, show, and celebrate the humanity of the migrant story.
Carlos Batara's insight:

Read on.  There is nothing to add:

 

"Immigrants are Americans. They are our mothers and fathers, our brothers and sisters, our partners, our children, grandparents, co-workers, neighbors, and friends. As members of the creative community, we are committed to seeing and showing the humanity of the immigrant story. Through music, theater, visual art, literature, film, television, dance, and other genres, immigrant and refugee artists have defined and redefined our American culture and history. They help renew our national story.

 

Yet immigration policy in this country has become incoherent and inhumane. In recent years over a million deportations have divided American families, often separating parents from children. Some immigrants have waited almost a quarter of a century to be reunited with family members. With federal policy in tatters, states have passed immoral laws of questionable constitutionality that profile, isolate, and criminalize immigrants. A broken and unjust immigration policy is bad for us all—it erodes the social fabric and undermines our shared values of equity and empathy.

 

We believe that this predicament reflects not only a failure of policy but a failure of imagination. Migration is natural and beautiful. The human truth is that all people move, and all people have rights. Creating a just and humane immigration process is a moral and cultural imperative that secures the future of a vibrant nation."

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May Day and the failure of the mainstream immigrant rights movement

May Day and the failure of the mainstream immigrant rights movement | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it
How did a movement that put millions on the streets in 2006 allow the development of something called the “comprehensive immigration reform act,” now being debated in U.S.
Carlos Batara's insight:

Need more be said?

 

"The comprehensive immigration reform act, now being debated in U.S. Congress . . . expands the guest worker program, devotes millions to border and immigration enforcement, denies migrants access to public services and in general does not recognize the rights of migrants and immigrants as full human beings with human rights?"

 

Yup.  Sounds like a major policy failure to me.

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A Day Of Prayer For Immigrant Families In Need Of Compassionate Immigration Reform

A Day Of Prayer For Immigrant Families In Need Of Compassionate Immigration Reform | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it
Jeanette Salguero is co-pastor at the Lamb's Church in New York City. Photographed on Sunday, October 28, 2102.
Carlos Batara's insight:

Wednesday, April 17, 2012 is a day of national prayer for compassionate immigration reform. 

 

 

 

Prayer for Our Immigrant Sisters and Brothers


"Blessed are You, Lord Jesus Christ.
You crossed every border
between Divinity and humanity
to make your home with us.
Help us to welcome you in newcomers,
migrants and refugees.

Blessed are You, God of all nations.
You bless our land richly
with goods of creation
and with people made in your image.
Help us to be good stewards and peacemakers,
who live as your children.

Blessed are You, Holy Spirit.
You work in the hearts of all
to bring about harmony and goodwill.
Strengthen us to welcome those
from other lands, cultures, religions,
that we may live in human solidarity
and in hope.

God of all people, grant us vision
to see your presence in our midst,
especially in our immigrant sisters and brothers.
Give us courage to open the door to our neighbors
and grace to build a society of justice."

 

 

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Obiri Mokini's curator insight, April 23, 2013 12:45 PM

Thw world is with you

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News I Hate To Hear: Six Lawyers Charged With #Immigration Fraud Schemes.

News I Hate To Hear: Six Lawyers Charged With #Immigration Fraud Schemes. | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it
Carlos Batara's insight:

This is the stupid stuff that gives immigrant rights advocates a black eye and provides adverse media fodder for immigration reform opponents.

 

My comments, however, are not intended to make a rushed judgment.  Rather, I prefer to let the case finish before jumping to conclusions. 

 

My point is that instances like those alleged here harm all immigrant communities in their efforts to win political and social legitimacy.

 

Here's a link to download a free report on how to recognize and avoid immigration fraud (before you become the next victim):  http://www.bataraimmigrationlaw.com/escape-immigration-fraud.html

 

I recommend sharing the report with anyone who is thinking about hiring an attorney, paralegal, consultant, or notario to help them with the immigration process.

 

Perhaps the worst part of immigration fraud schemes is that many immigrants do not know when they are part of them.

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Prosecutorial Discretion? ICE Using New Tool For Detention Decisions

Prosecutorial Discretion? ICE Using New Tool For Detention Decisions | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it
Before the controversy surfaced around ICE's release of detainees due to budget cuts, the agency had quietly begun to use a new instrument to decide which immigrants to hold in its custody.
Carlos Batara's insight:

Presumably, immigration law enforcement agencies determine whether specific individuals are high-priority versus low-priority detainees before locking them up.  

 

This was the goal of prosecutorial discretion announced nearly two years ago.  Since such decisions require a look at the totality of circumstances, how can this weighing be turned into a mechanized routine? 

 

All cases are different.  Each immigrant has a different family, immigration, and criminal history.

 

Of course, when one looks the total number of deportations for the past four years, it's hard to imagine that any discretion has been used to ascertain whether arrested immigrants are low-priority matters.

 

Maybe we should look at the BCS for guidance on using strict mechanical formulas.  As college football fans have learned, even the best computer programs are flawed and cannot replace human judgment. 

 

 

 

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Beware The Potholes Along The Road To Immigration Change In 2015

Beware The Potholes Along The Road To Immigration Change In 2015 | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it

In the aftermath of President Obama’s recent immigration announcements, three major challenges await immigrant advocates during the coming year..

Carlos Batara's insight:


By listening to many immigration reform advocates, one might think 2015 will be year of amnesty for immigrants. 


Not so.


There are three challenges ahead.


Will the president's execution action survive constitutional law challenges?


Will immigrants, especially those with a long residential history in the United States, simply assume the coast is clear to come out of the shadows without seeking competent advice?


Will immigrants be wise enough to avoid immigration con artists who take their family's hard-earned dollars and run?

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The Impact Of Deportation On Immigrant Family Unity.

The Impact Of Deportation On Immigrant Family Unity. | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it
Tens of thousands of American families are torn asunder by U.S. immigration policies.
Carlos Batara's insight:


Family unity, in my view, must be front and center if immigration reform is to be truly meaningful, compassionate, and comprehensive.

Yet, excessive deportation and detention policies, currently in effect, move in an opposite direction.  

As Yana Kunichoff, in Till I.C.E. Do Us Part, explains:


"Some 2 million people have been deported under the Obama administration. ICE does not publish data on whether deportees have children in the United States, but government records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Applied Research Center (now Race Forward), a racial justice think tank, show that about 23 percent of those deported between July 1, 2010, and September 31, 2012 — some 200,000 people — said they had children who were American citizens."

She adds, on a national level, 4.5 million children who are U.S. citizens have one or more parents who are undocumented and therefore vulnerable to deportation.

These numbers are similar to the findings of a joint law school study by the University of California at Davis and the University of California at Berkeley discussed in The Impact Of Deportation On Lawful Permanent Residents And Their Families


The law school joint study revealed during a 10 year period, 1997 to 2007, over 60,000 green card holders had been deported for minor, non-violent offenses.  At the time of their removal, they had a total of 103,000 children.  88,000 of these children were U.S. citizens.  44,000 were under the age of 5.

On the average, it showed each deported lawful permanent resident had nearly 1.5 U.S. citizen children at the time of their removal from the U.S.  

So, given the 200,000 deported immigrants identified in the more recent Applied Research Study, this means 300,000 U.S. citizen kids were left behind and separated from deported parents.


During a mere two year period.

Staggering numbers, to say the least.

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ACLU Class Action Settlement Gives Immigrant Families Second Chance

ACLU Class Action Settlement Gives Immigrant Families Second Chance | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it
Escondido Immigration Attorney Explains How ACLU Class Action Settlement Allowing Immigrant Deportees To Return To United States Promotes Family Unity
Carlos Batara's insight:


For years, as a deportation defense attorney, I have heard numerous horror stories about how immigrants, who had potentially winnable cases, were misled, duped, coerced, or intimidated into agreeing  to their deportations. 


In most cases, proving such allegations seemed insurmountable.  


Enter the ACLU.  In Lopez-Venegas v. Johnson, they settled a year-long class action suit with the government over such cases.  The government, in short, agreed to allow already deported immigrants to prove they were shortchanged. If they can do so, they get to reenter and fight to reunite with their loved ones.


In addition, the government agreed to the implementation of certain procedural protections, so that similar incidents will not occur ever again.  


Maybe this is too optimistic.  Nonetheless, it is a step in the right direction.


My hat's off to the ACLU.  Good going.


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How will changing racial makeup of U.S. impact America? (And by implication, the world.)

How will changing racial makeup of U.S. impact America?  (And by implication, the world.) | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it
By 2042, so-called racial minority groups will make up the majority of the U.S. population. That’s according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest projection. Building on that, the Pew Research Center...

Via Community Village Sites
Carlos Batara's insight:


This is not your average read and forget topic.


This topic is one to ponder, seriously ponder.  Your participation in shaping a better tomorrow is required.


More immigrants.  More cultural and ethnic diversity.  A possible inversion of the social pyramid.


These issues are critical to our children and grandchildren. 


How we deal with the coming population shift now will affect the world in which they live.


Because of the U.S. role in the world, this change will likewise impact the entire globe.


Read. 


Reflect.

 

Act.


As we do in our individual lives, clusters, and neighborhoods, so goes the world.

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Immigrant Compassion In Action: Feeding Unemployed And Homeless Citizens

Immigrant Compassion In Action: Feeding  Unemployed And Homeless  Citizens | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it
Here’s an immigrant congregation in Durham, NC that is giving back to the community and making a real difference. It’s a beautiful story about what it means to be the church together. Do you know a...
Carlos Batara's insight:


"We don’t have much to give to begin with . . . but we try to help as much as we can with as little as we have.”


That's compassion.


That's the motive driving a small congregation to help others.


However, the congregation is an immigrant congregation.  The folks being helped are U.S. citizens.


A few years ago, the membership of a small local immigrant church, understanding the economic and psychological ordeals of their neighbors experiencing unemployment or homelessness, made a decision.


A decision to help.


Being immigrants, they had little.  But whatever they have they decided to share.


This exemplifies the spirit of family unity in action.


The church, located in Durham, North Carolina, is a model for all Americans, immigrants, legal residents, and citizens.


And they provide another insight into why immigration reform, centered on compassion for immigrant families, is an idea whose time has arrived.



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Overcoming The Maze Of Immigration Reform: Political Courage And Straight Talk Needed

Overcoming The Maze Of Immigration Reform: Political Courage And Straight Talk Needed | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it
In his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Profiles in Courage,” President Kennedy wrote about eight United States senators throughout history who stood for their principles even if it risked ending their political careers.
Carlos Batara's insight:


When it comes to immigration reform, where are we headed?


One day, there are media reports that immigration reform will pass this year.


The next day, the story changes.  Now, it’s unlikely any reform legislation will be passed in 2013. 


Back and forth it goes, week after week.  Like a teeter totter.


For nearly a year since the November 2012 elections.


Moreover, there are doubts that the current immigration reform proposal is immigration reform. 


The immigration maze has two primary components. 


Will reform take place this year? 


What will be included in the final, if any, reform package?


Many immigrant rights advocates assert the present legislative package should be scrapped.  It’s better to keep the present system, however flawed, than to endorse one with serious structural and legal flaws.


In “Wanted: Profiles in courage on immigration reform”, Brent A. Wilkes, the executive director of the League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC), takes a different approach.  He outlines the  need for immigration reform heroes in Washington to step up, break the political stalemate, and push the issue forward to fruition.  (http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/327551-wanted-profiles-in-courage-on-immigration-reform)

.   

He’s right about the absence of real immigration reform leadership.


His second point is off target, however, because his first point is on target.


In other words, there has been no real pro-immigrant leadership throughout the entire process. 


Without real pro-immigrant leadership influencing the legislation all these past eleven months, what forces shaped the legislation? 


Wilkes points to the Gang of Eight and “real champions” of immigration reform in the House as critical influencers.


To the extent his observations are correct, the pro-immigrant contributions of these politicians should not be exaggerated.


First, the Gang of Eight did not "bravely" support immigration reform.  Their initial involvement quickly followed the November 2012 elections.  At the time, in the eyes of political pundits, supporting immigrants was the "political thing" to do.


As I pointed out in No White Flag Of Immigration Surrender, they did not jump on the bandwagon to follow personal moral imperatives, but to meet their personal political agendas.  Accordingly, the result of their meetings was not comprehensive immigration reform.  Rather, it was a warped legislative package, hyped as immigration reform..


Second, the “real champions" of reform, states Wilkes, are in the House.  Who are they?  If there are real champions present, why haven't issues like fixing the broken immigration court system, amending unfair criminal conviction regulations, adjusting family hardship provisions, and curtailing an out-of-control deportation machinery been addressed?


All-in-all, I agree immigrants need some heroes to stand up and fight. 


Without politically courageous leadership, unafraid to talk straight about the problems in the current proposal, anything passed this fall will not be the end of the story.


And wasn't that the supposed goal just eleven months ago?

 

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A Misguided Immigration Reform Strategy? (Is Something Really Better Than Nothing?)

A Misguided Immigration Reform Strategy? (Is Something Really Better Than Nothing?) | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it

Although immigration reform should be driven by compassion, that's not the political reality. As with most issues of social importance, Congress' view of public policy is driven by vote-counting."

Carlos Batara's insight:

Immigration activists are roughly divided into two camps.

 

Group A supports the current immigration reform proposal.  They believe something is better than nothing.  They are engaged in pressuring the House of Representatives to pass the current legislation, though flawed, as soon as possible.

 

Group B does not endorse the present reform package.  In their view, as the product of distorted politics, the current proposal is riddled with shortcomings and roadblocks.  They prefer to start over again with fresh eyes – especially now that immigrants have learned how the political parties, despite grandiose promises, are not true allies.

 

The difference is simple.

 

Group A takes a micro and short term view towards reform.

 

Group B sees the issue through a macro and long term perspective.
 

One reason for this split is the lack of firm immigration leadership. 

 

About a week ago, I wrote “For Whom The Bell Tolls: The Future Of Immigration Reform” which explained how the absence of an immigration spokesperson and figurehead has led to the public confusion about the immigration reform agenda.

 

(See: http://www.bataraimmigrationlaw.com/future-of-immigration-reform.html.)

 

Immediately, I received replies from various corners of the immigration activist world, most of which disputed my point that immigrant supporters got what they voted for in the November 2012 elections: wishy-washy legislation.

 

Group A immigration activists tell me that I have it all wrong, asserting that “something is better than nothing.”

 

Unfortunately, their argument, in the immigration reform context, is a red herring.   

 

The good and bad of immigration reform legislation must be measured in two ways: short-term and long-term effects. 

 

Let’s say the short-term positive effects of the current immigration reform proposal equal 35 utils. (A util, in this example, is a measurement of usefulness.)  Meanwhile, the short-term negative effects equal 25 utils.

 

But what about the long-term effects?  Under the present reform package, the long-term positive effects equal about 15 utils.  The negative are about 25 utils.

 

Taken together, short-term and long-term effects, there is a total of 50 positive utils and 50 negative utils.  The difference is zero. 

 

Under this approach, something is not better than nothing.

 

The analysis above favors the assumptions of the Group A view.   

 

Based on over 20 years of battling immigration agencies as a deportation defense lawyer, however, I know there is a lot more than meets the eye – some of which will not be exposed until lawyers start to unravel the new regulations over the next decade. 

 

In short, Group A’s “something is better than nothing” attititude falls short for at least  reasons:

 

The short-term positive effects of the current proposal are not as great as the proposal’s supporters are claiming.

 

The long-term negative impacts of the present reform package are not as minimal as the proposal’s supporters are admitting.

 

Something is not always better than nothing.  This is one of those situations.

 

I fall into the Group B camp.  I suggest we scrap immigration reform for now and start over.

 

In “Are Immigration Activists Fighting The Wrong Battle,” I stated that the world will not come to an end if the current legislation fails to reach President Obama’s desk.

 

I’m not alone. 

 

Nearly half of all Republicans, Democrats, and Independents agree.

 

In a recent article entitled “5 Facts About Republicans And Immigration,” Carroll Doherty noted the findings of a recent Pew Research Center study which noted the following:

 

“Republicans are as likely as Democrats to say enactment of immigration bill is very important. Only about half of Republicans (50%) say it is extremely or very important that the president and Congress pass significant new immigration legislation this year. But that is little different from the shares of Democrats (53%) or independents (46%) who view enactment of an immigration bill as at least very important.”

 

(See: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/07/08/5-facts-about-republicans-and-immigration.)

 

In my view, for now, nothing is better than THIS something.

 

If the current proposal is the best we can get from Congress, let's scrap the process.  Now.

 

As an alternative, I’m willing to tackle immigration issues one at-a-time.  In such a manner, something would likely end up being better than nothing.

 

At least until the time is ripe for a better big fight.

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Jorge Mújica Murias's comment, July 11, 2013 3:18 AM
Please don't forget, Carlos, that organizations in "Group A" are also seeking the $50 million a year the bill authorizes "organizations with experience" in the immigrant community who can "educate and help immigrants in their process to become Temporary Residents". Altogether, $250 million dollars in five years. A real crumb, considering the bill designates $40 billion for the Border Surge in 10 years, but that's our "leadership"...
Carlos Batara's comment, July 11, 2013 12:57 PM
That's a good point, Jorge. It is another factor why the Group A folks lobbying efforts cannot be fully trusted.
Manuel Revueltas's comment, July 11, 2013 3:04 PM
This Group A organizations cannot be trust, but have been with us on this journey. They turns a way and very first blink of $$$. We need to open channels of communications or alternatives , so the rest of the public have access of the information.
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A Step Towards Eliminating "Notario" Immigration Fraud

A Step Towards Eliminating "Notario" Immigration Fraud | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it
Under federal law, only licensed attorneys and organizations accredited by the U.S. Department of Justice's Board of Immigration Appeals may offer immigration consulting services. Texas law authorizes notaries public to ...
Carlos Batara's insight:

For years, immigrants have been taken advantage of by less-than-honest legal assistants, notarios, and others providing legal services. 

 

Lacking sophistication, many immigrants are easy targets for such scams. 

 

Recently, the problem has become more common known.  As a result, federal law now allows only licensed attorneys and organizations accredited by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Board of Immigration Appeals to provide immigration consulting services.

 

The defendants in this article were not accused of defrauding immigrants.  But they were performing legal services in violation of federal and state law.

 

Unfortunately, given the widespread nature of ripping-off immigrants, such a broad approach must be taken with all immigration service providers.  No other system of separating the good and bad apples is likely to succeed at protecting immigrants.

 

A few years ago, I put together a short e-book on how to avoid becoming a victim of immigration fraud.  I still see victims of these same scams, despite the tightening federal laws.

 

Here is a link to download the e-book: http://www.bataraimmigrationlaw.com/escape-immigration-fraud.html

 

Immigration fraud is an epidemic.  It requires a close eye by all working in legitimate immigration capacities. 

 

This Texas case is a start.

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If A Spouse Is Deported, Can Her Husband Still Immigrate His Step-Children?

If A Spouse Is Deported, Can Her Husband  Still Immigrate His Step-Children? | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it
If I Am Deported, Can My Husband Still Immigrate My Children As His Step-Children? Carlos Batara Answers Family Petitions FAQ From Cathedral City, CA.
Carlos Batara's insight:

One of the most painful thoughts I had yesterday during Mother's Day was about the many, many immigrant families who are separated due to this country's compassionless deportation policies.

 

In particular, I reflected on mothers who have been deported, despite not having committed any convictions because they were unable to convince an immigration judge their family, if separated, would suffer, exceptional and extremely unusual hardship. 

 

In many cases, it's not that such hardship did not exist.  It just didn't exist in the immigration judge's discretionary view.

 

So if a U.S. citizen's wife is deported, and the husband is left with the custody of his step-children, can he still immigrate them?

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House Unveils Immigration Reform Plan That Senators Say Is Doomed

House Unveils Immigration Reform Plan That Senators Say Is Doomed | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON -- House lawmakers rolled out a piecemeal approach to passing immigration reform Thursday, even as senators warned that a go-slow, incremental effort would likely fail. Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, Rep.

Via Obiri Mokini
Carlos Batara's insight:

 

 

The approach to immigration reform taken by the Gang of 8 has been wrong from the start.  See: http://www.bataraimmigrationlaw.com/2013-immigration-reform-now-you-see-it-now-you-dont.html

 

You cannot try to cut off full discussion just to pass something.  This approach hurts both supporters and opponents.  What a political mess!

 

Anyway, let’s look a little closer at the comments of political players cited in this article:

 

1. Opponents assert, "By taking a fine-tooth comb through each of the individual issues within the larger immigration debate, it will help us get a better bill that will benefit Americans and provide a workable immigration system."   

 

Theoretically, that’s correct.  Shouldn’t every member of Congress read all 884 pages?

 

Since a "beneficial bill for Americans” has different meanings to supporters and opponents, it’s most likely this call to slow down is a ploy.

 

2. Opponents claim they want to make sure we get immigration reform right this time so that we don't have the same problems in the future that we've had with past immigration reform bills."

 

Sounds good. 

 

But, again, is this their real intention for wanting to slow down? 

 

3. President Ronald Reagan's 1986 law “was driven from the top down, not brought from the grassroots." 

 

That’s a joke, right? Since when has anyone ever said Reagan was a grassroots type of guy?

 

It’s also a joke, perhaps a bigger joke, to imply Congress represents the grassroots this time around.  Neither the Senate nor Congress nor the Gang of 8 nor Obama represent grass roots thinking.

 

4. It has got to be a comprehensive approach, said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), noting that past attempts failed when lawmakers began to tack on amendments.

 

True, about past failed attempts. 

 

But the current bill, although 884 pages in length, is not comprehensive. 

 

5. Some observers have warned a go-slow approach will make passage more difficult because it risks pushing the debate into the 2014 election year, when lawmakers will be more sensitive to pressure from interest groups.

 

Oh, how true. 

 

The vast majority of out policy makers are not known for their political courage.  

 

 

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Lady Liberty Weeps. Immigration Reform Bill Seeks To Exclude Path To Citizenship For Immigrants.

Lady Liberty Weeps.  Immigration Reform Bill Seeks To Exclude Path To Citizenship For Immigrants. | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it
An aide says requirements in the bill could end up excluding hundreds of thousands of the 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally from the path to citizenship envisioned by the bill. 
Carlos Batara's insight:

Some ideas die hard, even when they're pig-headed ideas.

 

Immigration reform without a path to citizenship is NOT immigration reform.  All this idea does is create an underclass of immigrants, subject, always, to being removed from this country.

 

How this can be deemed immigration reform is beyond my thought processes.

 

Moreover, this idea is highly impractical.  Consider this scenario.  An immigrant arrived in the U.S. in mid-2012 legally.  He overstays.  He marries.  He already has a condidtional green card.  Is he now stuck in status limbo? 

 

Is he now stuck to only becoming a lawful permanent resident?  With no hope of becoming a U.S. citizen?  Even though his wife and future children will all be U.S. citizens and he will live here the rest of his life?

 

Let's be honest.  This is the the first shot at ending family-based immigration paths. 

 

Lady Liberty is weeping . . .

 

 

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More Fuel For The Immigration Reform Fire: How Much Does Crime Drop When Immigrants Move In?

More Fuel For The Immigration Reform Fire: How Much Does Crime Drop When Immigrants Move In? | Family Unity For Immigrants | Scoop.it
NPR
Does Crime Drop When Immigrants Move In?
NPR
Elected officials from Pennsylvania to Arizona have argued that undocumented immigrants contribute to higher crime rates, but some social scientists tell a different story.
Carlos Batara's insight:

This article points out an interesting fact: that crime rates drop in many communities when immigrants move in.  Although some scholars note such a conclusion cannot be solely attirbuted to one cause, the correlation between an influx of immigrants and a decrease in crime rates appears obvious to even hard-core immigration reform opponents.

 

The key ingredients affecting this correlation appears two-fold.  

 

First, on the whole, immigrants do not move into the higher echelon areas.  They move into areas which are often neglected by local and state governement, and hence bigger companies.  As immigrants establish roots, they build a community, they create small businesses, and they make these neglected areas, which for many are far better than where they came from, their homes.  They bring life, in other words, to previously abandoned neighborhoods.

 

Second, they establish family roots.  The difference between an area where there are only absentee landlords and managers renting to temporary residents versus an area where folks are laying down roots, by becoming part of local schools, churches, businesses, community centers is enormous. 

 

In short, immigrants bring community pride to some of these previously diplidated areas.  As the community prides bounces back, the crime rate drops.

 

Are such social benefits quantifiable?  I think so, and the sooner someone lays down such data in front of Congressional committees, maybe the rhetoric about immigrants just taking from this country can die a faster death.

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