Naturalization And Citizenship
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Naturalization And Citizenship
The Final Frontier For Immigrants - A Path To Full Legalization.
Curated by Carlos Batara
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Yellow Brick Path to Citizenship

Yellow Brick Path to Citizenship | Naturalization And Citizenship | Scoop.it
Yellow Brick Path to Citizenship, Political Cartoons, Comics, Editorial Commentary on the latest news, politics, cartoon memes and events around the world
Carlos Batara's insight:

Sometimes a cartoon can expresss an idea better than a thousand words.

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Immigration Q&A: Can You Claim U.S. Citizenship Through A Grandparent?

Immigration Q&A: Can You Claim U.S. Citizenship Through A Grandparent? | Naturalization And Citizenship | Scoop.it

"Is It Possible For An Immigrant To Become A U.S. Citizen Through A Grandparent?" 

Carlos Batara's insight:

 

Question:

 

“A friend told me that I am really a U.S. citizen because my father’s mother was a U.S. citizen. Is this true?”

 

Answer:

 

Yes, it is possible you may be a U.S. citizen.

 

This is a very rare type of case. A lot of work will be needed to figure out if you qualify.

 

What your friend was talking about is known as the Doctrine of Constructive Retention.

 

In a nutshell, here is how it works.

 

Let’s suppose your father was born and raised outside the United States. As a result, he was not aware he acquired U.S. citizenship through his mother.

 

So he did not attempt to fulfill the requirements before his 18th birthday to prove his citizenship.

 

If he had known back then, it’s likely he would have taken steps to claim his citizenship.

 

In this type of situation, it is possible he could claim citizenship.

 

(However, if he had known, and he took no affirmative steps, that would also likely destroy your efforts.)

 

Now, you have to prove the same for yourself.

 

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The Obama Plan Has Been Defeated: Now What?

The Obama Plan Has Been Defeated: Now What? | Naturalization And Citizenship | Scoop.it

We live in confusing immigrant times. One moment, undocumented immigrants are filled with hope and optimism. The next is flush with dread and despair, especially since the recent Supreme Court 4-4- deadlock on DACA+ and DAPA.

Carlos Batara's insight:

 

With a new president to be elected next year, the short term future for immigration reform is sketchy at best. Imagine a Trump victory in the fall.

 

The legal battles over DAPA and DACA, whoever is elected, could last until 2018 or beyond.

 

In any event, they are piecemeal, temporary measures which can be abolished by a new administration or change in policy.

 

Immigrants and their family members should think twice about tying their hopes and dreams to such uncertain outcomes.

 

Is there hope for lasting, compassionate reform? Yes, without question.

 

But undocumented immigrants and their advocates must be committed to understanding the “reforms” that are put before them.

 

And equally important, immigrants have to decide when it is prudent to seek professional guidance.

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Citizenship And Voting: The End Of Political Innocence

Citizenship And Voting: The End Of Political Innocence | Naturalization And Citizenship | Scoop.it
San Diego Immigration Attorney Discusses Promises And Pitfalls Of Effort To Increase U.S. Citizenship Among Immigrants As Part Of Democratic Party Agenda.
Carlos Batara's insight:

The Obama Adminstration recently launched a plan to increase the number of Hispanic immigrants applying for citizenship.

 

There is only one way to perceive this effort.  It's an effort to increase potential voters, many of whom will be unlikely to vote for the GOP given their stances on immigration issues.

 

On the one hand, as a citizenship and naturalization lawyer, I felt inclined to cheer.  But I was reluctant. 

 

I recall being scolded by Democratic Party elders, in my days of community organizing, for openly combining voter registration and citizenship drives on a grassroots basis, without financial support from any political parties.  (Of course, that didn't stop me.)

 

But now?  A change of heart?

 

Nah.

 

It's simply political expediency.

 

After all, the freedom of Latino immigrants from GOP xenophobes may end up leading them into a more deeply subservient role under the control of Democratic autocrats - and that is not a good thing. 

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A Really, Really Tough Question On Citizenship

A Really, Really Tough Question On Citizenship | Naturalization And Citizenship | Scoop.it
A woman has given birth during a Los Angeles-bound China Airlines flight after unexpectedly going into labour.
Carlos Batara's insight:


I don't want to get too law schoolish on you but this news does raise a lot of tough questions.


Here's one: Is the child a U.S. citizen?


Before you answer, let's image that the woman was a conditional lawful permanent resident, leaving to take a break from her U.S. husband. They never got back together.


She did not remove her conditions and did not become a regular LPR.


She did not return to the U.S. and the father never held himself out as the father of the child.


When the child was born, the plane was not in U.S. air space.


Now, you're the judge.  And the answer . . .


(Now I'm wondering why this case has not already landed on my desk already - since I get so many bizarre fact patterns thrown my way.)

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The Lone Star State Strikes Again: The Renewed Attack On Fictional Baby Immigrant Invaders

The Lone Star State Strikes Again: The Renewed Attack On Fictional Baby Immigrant Invaders | Naturalization And Citizenship | Scoop.it
San Bernardino Immigration Attorney Shares Why Texas Effort To Deny Citizenship To Children Of Immigrants Is Based On Xenophobic Political Agenda.
Carlos Batara's insight:


What's to say about the latest Texas effort to curtail granting of citizenship to children born on U.S. soil?


Sure, their actions are unconstitutional - but they actions run deeper.  They're aimed at ramping up the fears about folks from other countries in time for the 2016 presidential primaries.


In the meantime, unnecessary fear and hatred is amplified, at a time when our nation really needs to heal from such divisions.



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Why U.S. Citizenship For American Samoans Is Overdue

Why U.S. Citizenship For American Samoans Is Overdue | Naturalization And Citizenship | Scoop.it
San Diego Immigration Lawyer Shares How Legal And Political Arguments Support Claims Of American Samoa Residents To U.S. Citizenship.
Carlos Batara's insight:

For over 100 years, American Samoa, an archipelago in the South Pacific, has been a territory of the United States.


During that period of time, the residents of other U.S. territories - Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands – have been elevated to citizenship status. 


Although they have been as loyal to U.S. interests as any other of the former territories, including service in the U.S. military during various wars, they remain remain isolated in a second-class “national” status.


This article argues it's time for change - and to grant birthright citizenship for American Samoa.

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Can You Become A U.S. Citizen Through A Grandparent?

Can You Become A U.S. Citizen Through A Grandparent? | Naturalization And Citizenship | Scoop.it

Is It Possible For An Immigrant To Become A U.S. Citizen Through A Grandparent? 

Carlos Batara's insight:


Is it possible for an immigrant to become a U.S. citizen through a grandparent?


Yes, it's possible. 


But like most legal answers, it depends.


These cases are rare, extremely rare.


And technical.


There are two legal doctrines in this area which guide the outcome of such cases.

 

  • First, the Doctrine of Constructive Retention


  • Second, the Doctrine of Double Constructive Retention.


If it sounds like a mindful, it is . . . and no one should try to handle these matters on their own.  This is one of those areas of law, you'll need the assistance of an attorney, one who practices citizenship and naturalization law.


No if's, no and's, no but's .


To find out more about if you can become a U.S. citizen through your grandparent >>  Click Here.


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Lost In A Legal Wilderness: U.S. Citizens Who Cannot Prove Citizenship

Lost In A Legal Wilderness: U.S. Citizens Who Cannot Prove Citizenship | Naturalization And Citizenship | Scoop.it
Court: Applicants wrongly denied US citizenship
Carlos Batara's insight:


An American citizen being deported four times because of a law that doesn’t exist sounds like the plot of a Hollywood movie.


Sadly, this is a true story.


As NPR reported, in Applicants Wrongly Denied U.S. Citizenship, for more than two decades, Sigifredo Saldana Iracheta kept telling immigration officials he was a U.S. citizen, born to an American father and a Mexican mother in a city just south of the Texas border. 


Meanwhile, his wife and three children remained in South Texas, hoping of the day his ordeal could end.


His claims were rejected. 


Not once, not twice, not three times.


Four times.


That beats a former client of mine, who, after failing twice to win his  citizenship status, lost his confidence and applied for permanent residence - before he finally proved citizenship on his third try.


Adding insult to injury, Saldana's citizenship claims were rejected on the basis of a Mexican law provision which did not exist.


At a hearing before the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the government lawyer explained the mistake on a “typo.”


In response, Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod scolded the government attorney, “you all have been citing this over and over again to people for years now, and you can't even look it up in Mexican law."


The judge was correct but may not have gone far enough.


Did Saldana ever have an attorney represent him in the earlier cases?


And what about the judges in those earlier cases?


Was anyone awake besides Saldana?


Perhaps worse, it is not know how many immigrants, like Saldana, have been deported under the same flawed interpretation of a non-existent law.



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Sam Burich's curator insight, April 17, 2014 3:07 AM

This article shows fault in the United State's citizenship policy's.

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Why All Families For Freedom Should Reject The Current Version Of Immigration Reform

Why All Families For Freedom Should Reject The Current Version Of Immigration Reform | Naturalization And Citizenship | Scoop.it
Carlos Batara's insight:

 

 

The current immigration proposal being floated by the Senate is NOT the type of reform most immigrants were expecting.  However, I fear that far too many immigrant and their supporters are unaware of the proposal’s not-so-hidden dangers.

 

Of course, when a proposal is over 700 pages in length, how many individuals are going to read the whole thing?

 

As a result, I’ve been baffled and disappointed by the actions of the “true believers,” activists who have fallen for the empty rhetoric of Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

 

To be blunt, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 is not comprehensive. 

 

Moreover, from an immigration standpoint, S.744 represents deform, not reform. 

 

As noted in “Immigration Reform In 2013: A Tale Of Two Visions,” the political Pied Pipers would have you believe S. 744 is immigration reform, just like they told us that we were experiencing a recession, not a depression just a few years ago.

 

(The article can be found at: http://www.bataraimmigrationlaw.com/2013-immigration-reform-now-you-see-it-now-you-dont.html.)

 

But not all grass roots groups have fallen prey to media and political manipulation.    

 

Familes For Freedom, a New York multi-ethnic human rights organization, recently took a strong stance against the bill introduced by their own Senator, Charles Schumer [D-NY].

 

(For more about Families For Freedom: http://familiesforfreedom.org.)

 

Noting the bill does nothing meaningful for our families, organization leaders explained,“Politicians dangle the prospect of legalization in front of us, but with the heavy cost of increased ICE and border enforcement, more deportations of those who have had contact with the criminal legal system, and no right of return for those that have been deported under expansive categories of convictions.”

 

Calling CIR a dangerous euphemism, they add this type of comprehensive immigration reform takes away a policy rooted in family unity and expands the ways in which immigrants will be brought into the criminal legal system, where they are denied legal representation, due process, and suffer human rights violations. 

 

Of particular concern, Families For Freedom correctly calls into question the Senate’s granting of a new Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status for immigrants. 

 

RPIs, they note, will be in danger of immediate deportation.  They do not enter a path to citizenship, but rather a probation period without a full legal status and no legal rights.

 

In fact, the bill does not create a pathway to citizenship for immigrant families.  How can such dead-end legislation be termed immigration reform?   

 

I prefer for RPIs to RIP.

   

Sadly, far too many so-called immigrant advocates are willing to accept such limitations.

 

I’m not. 

 

I’d rather terminate all reform discussion for now and go back to the drawing board, one issue at-a-time if necessary. 

 

I appreciate the courage of groups like Families For Freedom, which, despite the public pressure being asserted by both political parties to buy into this flawed proposal, stand up and tell the truth to their constituents.

 

Fight on. 

 

 

 

 

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An Environmentalist View: It's Time To Build A Path To Citizenship, Not Walls Around Border Communities

Chart a pathway to citizenship without border walls Kansas City Star Back in 2006, the House and Senate could not reconcile competing immigration bills, so they dropped the pathway to citizenship and passed just the provision mandating border walls...
Carlos Batara's insight:

Much has been written about opposition to immigration reform by outspoken members of the Sierra Club.  This piece, written by Scott Nicol, takes a different approach.  It raises not commonly-known views by someone who lives in a border community.

 

His main contention is that, in terms of immigration reform, Congress has hopefully learned from its past mistake, not repeat it.

 

He writes “we should not, as part of the deal, tear apart more farms and communities, bulldoze more wildlife refuges, or brush aside more of our nation's laws to build more border walls. We've had enough on the border already.”

 

He adds:

 

“Back in 2006, the House and Senate could not reconcile competing immigration bills, so they dropped the pathway to citizenship and passed just the provision mandating border walls as the Secure Fence Act.

 

As a result, approximately 651 miles of border wall have gone up, tearing through sensitive habitat from California's Otay Mountain Wilderness Area to Texas' Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge."

 

Nicol further explains an ugly environmental reality:

 

“Hundreds of landowners had their property condemned, and billions of dollars were spent on walls that the Border Patrol calls "a speed bump in the desert."

 

The Border Patrol dynamited mountains and filled canyons to erect those speed bumps. And the border walls it put up have dammed washes and worsened flooding at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and in the Mexican city of Nogales, causing two drownings there.

 

Endangered species from ocelots to Sonoran pronghorn have seen their habitat sliced in half, pushing them closer to extinction.”

 

Given such extraordinary facts, why are any environmentalists opposed to immigration reform?

 

It’s time for Sierra Club members, and other all nature-loving folks, to come together in unity. 


Join your immigrant brothers and sisters in supporting real immigration reform and help create a path to citizenship for immigrants.

 

 

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Sudan TPS And South Sudan TPS Extended: Why Not A Path To Residency And Citizenship?

Sudan TPS And South Sudan TPS Extended: Why Not A Path To Residency And Citizenship? | Naturalization And Citizenship | Scoop.it
Escondido Immigration Lawyer Outlines Why Ongoing Armed Conflict Has Prompted A New 18-Month TPS Extension For Sudan And South Sudan.
Carlos Batara's insight:

Frankly, I don't understand a lot of our government's thinking on immigration programs.  Take TPS for Sudan and South Sudan.  Victims of a 22-year old civil war, with no end in sight, the Department of Homeland Security continues to extend TPS protections and benefits for Sudanese and South Sudanese citizens living in the U.S.  

 

TPS has been re-designated 12 times.  There are only 340 Sudanese and South Sudenese citizens who qualify for TPS living here.  Doesn't it make more sense to just create a path to permanent residency, then to citizenship, for this small group of individuals who may never be able to return home?  

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Citizenship Could Boost Economy By Billions Of Dollars: Study

Citizenship Could Boost Economy By Billions Of Dollars: Study | Naturalization And Citizenship | Scoop.it
Looking for simple ways to kickstart the economy? Consider turning more immigrants into citizens.
Carlos Batara's insight:

As an immigration attorney, I’ve long known the social, cultural, and economic virtues of naturalization.  Unfortunately, far too many immigration reform opponents argue against such realities based on unsupported data. 

 

In knee-jerk fashion, the anti-reform forces have harshly criticized the creation of a legalization path for immigrants to move from undocumented status to permanent resident status to naturalized citizenship.

 

A recent study by the Center for the Study of Immigration Integration, showing that simply extending citizenship to more lawful, permanent residents could provide a $37 billion to $52 billion boost to the economy, should silence at least a few critics.   

 

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The Myth Of Anchor Babies: A Disguised Attack On The 14th Amendment

In this video, Immigration Attorney discusses the political and legal fallacies of Anchor Babies rhetoric. 

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The Ordeal Of Children Born Via Midwives In U.S. Border Towns

The Ordeal Of Children Born Via Midwives In U.S. Border Towns | Naturalization And Citizenship | Scoop.it
Riverside Immigration Lawyer discusses over-zealous efforts to strip U.S. citizenship status of children born in U.S. – Mexico border towns via midwives.
Carlos Batara's insight:

 

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a push to close the U.S. – Mexican border followed in the wake of the legalization program enacted under President Reagan.

 

As part of this effort, the government also began filing fraud charges against mid-wives in the South Texas area, who had signed certification documents that children of Mexican immigrants in poor, rural areas had given birth on United States soil.

.

More than 75 were convicted of signing birth certificates between 1960 and 2008 for children they did not deliver.

 

However, ascertaining which midwife-granted birth certificates are fraudulent has been largely impossible.

 

The convicted midwives were not asked to prove which children they delivered legally, and which ones had been given fraudulent certification in exchange for financial payments.

 

In most cases, the midwives ended up just guessing, which led to overly-inclusive lists of names.

 

Immigration authorities did not notify any of the individuals, or their parents, about the placement of their names on these lists – they were never given the opportunity to challenge the inaccuracy of these lists.

 

 

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The Immigration Teeter Totter Effect: Americans No Longer Favor Immigration Reform

The Immigration Teeter Totter Effect: Americans No Longer Favor Immigration Reform | Naturalization And Citizenship | Scoop.it

Sixty-one percent say immigration jeopardizes the nation.

Carlos Batara's insight:

 

Given all the events related to immigration over the past 18 months, I am not at all surprised at these numbers.

 

Whether accurate or not, they highlight a point I've tried, largely unsuccessfully, to highlight: the pro- immigration reformers have not developed a effective public relations strategy designed to win the hearts of Middle America.

 

Part of winning comprehensive reform is winning the war against anti-immigrant propaganda.

 

Once more energy and creative thought is applied in this direction, I strongly belived the support for citizenship will rise.

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Define American Film Festival Begins In Iowa

Define American Film Festival Begins In Iowa | Naturalization And Citizenship | Scoop.it
The Films
Carlos Batara's insight:


The Define American Film Festival opened this week in Iowa, just before the first round of election primaries. 


From what I know, neither Trump nor Cruz have been invited.  They might flunk the exam.


Six documentatry films give an entertaining as well as an informative look at the immigrant experience across a range of cultures.


The films:


A Better Life is a touching, poignant, multi-generational story about a father's love and the lengths a parent will go to give his child the opportunities he never had.

Four older women, all Chinese immigrants living in San Francisco, meet regularly to play mahjong, eat, and tell stories. Each of these women has an adult Chinese-American daughter. The Joy Luck Club reveals the hidden pasts of the older women and how their lives are shaped by the clash of Chinese and American cultures as they strive to understand their family bonds and one another.

In Mother Of George, Adenike and Ayodele, a Nigerian couple living in Brooklyn, are having trouble conceiving a child - a problem that defies cultural expectations and leads Adenike to make a shocking decision that could either save or destroy her family.

Don't Tell Anyone - Where silence is seen as necessary for survival, undocumented immigrant activist Angy Rivera joins a generation of Dreamers in a quest to come out of the shadows and claim her place in the only home she's ever known.

The Muslims Are Coming - Comedians Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah lead an all-star Muslim comedy performing in big cities, small towns, liberal enclaves, conservative hotbeds, rural and everything in between to explore the issue of Islamophobia. Watch them onstage as they hilariously challenge racial, gender and religious stereotypes.

Documented - Jose Antonio Vargas shares his immigrant journey at age 12, when he was sent to the United States from the Philippines by his mother to live with his grandparents in Mountain View, California.
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Trumping Trump: The Paths To U.S. Citizenship

Trumping Trump: The Paths To U.S. Citizenship | Naturalization And Citizenship | Scoop.it
Problems Proving Your Citizenship? Immigration Naturalization Lawyer Handles HARD Acquisition Of Citizenship, Derivation of Citizenship, Naturalization Cases.
Carlos Batara's insight:


There is a simple way to defeat Trump's nonsensical rhetoric. 


Apply for and become a U.S. citizen.



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U.S. Citizenship And War Criminals: Selective Review, Selective Prosecution

U.S. Citizenship And War Criminals: Selective Review, Selective Prosecution | Naturalization And Citizenship | Scoop.it
Riverside Immigration Attorney Discusses U.S. Denaturalization And Citizenship-Stripping Policy Towards War Criminals And Human Rights Violators.
Carlos Batara's insight:


Over the years, several war criminals have legalized their status and become citizens of the United States.  The list includes:


  • El Salvador - General Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova
  • Bosnia -  Jadranko Gostic, Zvornik Infantry Brigade Leader
  • Guatemala - Jorge Vinicio Sosa Jr., Special Forces Commander
  • Germany - Michael Karkoc, Nazi Commander 


As a citizenship and naturalization attorney, my first question when I hear such news is, "How did they get past security checks?"


My second question, when I hear not all are prosecuted, is, "Why does the U.S. fail to prosecute some of them?"


Your guess is probably close to mine.



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How Does Separation From A Spouse Affect Your Application For Naturalization?

How Does Separation From A Spouse Affect Your Application For Naturalization? | Naturalization And Citizenship | Scoop.it

If An Immigrant Win Residency Via His U.S. Citizen Wife, Can He Still Qualify For Citizenship If They Later Separate?.

Carlos Batara's insight:


You do not have to be married to apply for citizenship.  But if a wife or husband sponsored you for a green card, it could affect how long you must wait to apply for naturalization.


This is where whether you are living together could be an important issue for you to think about before you file papers to become a U.S. citizen. 


The normal waiting period between becoming a permanent resident and filing for citizenship is five years.


There is an exception for immigrants who obtained green card status through marriage to a U.S. citizen spouse.


If you gained legal residency through a U.S. citizen wife, you can file to

naturalize after three years of legalizing your status.


This is where separation could be important.


But you cannot file for citizenship under the three year rule if, before filing the application, your marriage ends due to divorce or separation.


For the full answer on this topic, you may want to read My Wife And I Separated. Do I Still Qualify For Naturalization?

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How To Ease The Heartache of an Immigrant Family

How To Ease The Heartache of an Immigrant Family | Naturalization And Citizenship | Scoop.it
Most migrants don’t want to leave home.

Via mohanhills23
Carlos Batara's insight:


This well-written article by Sonia Nazario lays out many of the issues in a moving and personalized manner - issues which need to be truly, nor superficially, addressed if we are going to fix our broken immigration system which is breaking immigrant family after immigrant family.


The stories shared by Nazario are not uncommon.  They number in the thousands.  The helping hand they need is immediate.


Unfortunately, I do not see the currently proposed immigration reform legislation as addressing these matters in either a compassionate or comprehensive manner.


For instance, Peter Schey of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law has estimated nearly half of the 11.1 undocumented immigrants in the U.S. may never qualify for benefits under the current legislation.


These individuals, states Schey, “will most likely be left facing an extremely harsh and unforgiving set of laws almost certain to eventually force their detention and deportation (if detected) or more likely leave them in undocumented status for the rest of their lives (if undetected).”


Moreover, as I noted in Renewing The Battle For Family Unity, written the day after the November 2012 elections, real solutions are not impossible. 


In terms of family unity, a few quick adjustments would do wonders for curing the broken families problem.  These include Increasing the amount of family visas, placing caps on waiting times, and modifying per country visa limits.


Of course, our immigration court and appellate systems would need to revamped, as well as our deportation and detention policies.


Do this and the heartaches of many immigrant families would come to an end. 

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USCIS Fear Of Middle Eastern Bogeyman Exposed By ACLU Report: Racial, Ethnic, And Religious Profiling

USCIS Fear Of Middle Eastern Bogeyman Exposed By ACLU Report: Racial, Ethnic, And Religious Profiling | Naturalization And Citizenship | Scoop.it
BREAKING: Muslims Need Not Apply - a report on how US govt secretly mandates discriminatory denial and delay of citizenship and immigration benefits to aspiring Americans.
Carlos Batara's insight:


While some Congressional representatives are busy opposing what they term “special paths” to citizenship, immigration and law enforcement officials secretly closed off regular paths to legalization for certain immigrant groups. 


In particular, the American Civil Liberties Union has uncovered Muslims and Middle Eastern immigrants were subjected to administrative blacklisting, as well as ethnic and religious profiling, when they sought immigration benefits. 

 

According to the ACLU’s report, the special program, entitled the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program (CARPP), made immigration authorities subservient to federal law enforcement agencies, like the FBI, in matters involving the targeted groups.

 

Being an immigration attorney, the news is not surprising.  One of the reasons for the creation of the Department of Homeland Security was to fight international terrorism.  This fight, in the government’s view, has always been seen as a battle against Muslims and Middle Easterns.


(And whenever bad news occurs, as in San Bernardino, where the couple responsible for the "terrorist" rampage were married after a Fiancé(e) visas, is sure to heighten DHS concerns.)

 

I suspected something was awry several years ago.  All of my cases involving persons born in the Middle East began to take long periods to complete.  Despite inquiry after inquiry after inquiry, I could not get clear, if any, answers from immigration authorities.  After a few experiences, I sensed the delays were the norm, not the exception. 

 

I began to advise my Middle Eastern clients to expect long waiting periods before their applications would be processed.  They, too, sensed there was a government witch hunt taking place.  Nonetheless, the frustration would sometimes build to a point where they were unsure if my office was advocating strong enough for them – questioning whether immigration lawyers were somehow in cahoots with government agencies.    

 

Such responses are not irrational under the circumstances they were experiencing.

 

In early 2010, South Carolina Congressman J. Gresham Barrett’s introduced The Stop Terrorists Entry Program (STEP) Act.  Ostensibly, the legislation was aimed at Iranians, whom, if the bill passed, would not have been allowed to attend U.S. colleges any more. In addition, the STEP Act sought to make it illegal for Iranians to travel to the United States, except for medical emergencies and political and asylum after “extensive federal screening.”

 

The STEP Act was only the tip of the iceberg.  It reflected a sentiment in certain political circles not only against Iranians, but also against all Middle Eastern immigrants.  CARPP fit into this line of thinking. 

 

In response, I decided to write about our foolish national propensity to perceive Middle Eastern immigrants as bogeymen hiding in dark corners, wanting to do Americans harm. (http://bataraonimmigration.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/the-step-act-pursuit-of-the-iranian-bogeyman)

 

With the ACLU report, maybe our government will now stop the nonsensical approach to immigration cases involving Muslims and Middle Eastern immigrants. 

 

It’s time for us to stop being afraid of our own shadows. 

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Is The $680 Fee For Naturalization Too High ?

Is The $680 Fee For Naturalization Too High ? | Naturalization And Citizenship | Scoop.it
Critics argue that the fee is too high, discouraging green card-holders from becoming full-fledged citizens
Carlos Batara's insight:

 

For many immigrants, especially those working in low wage positions, the cost of $680 is a lot of money.   

 

However, I disagree that the fees for naturalization are unreasonable.

 

First, the immigrant view.  Citizenship fees are an investment in one's future.  After all, legal residents can lose their status by virtue of a criminal conviction, whereas a citizen is generally shielded from such an outcome. by operation of law,


 

Second, the immigration advocate view. Lawful permanent residence is a stopover, not a stopping point.

 

Third, the government view.  Someone one has to pay for the services and materials.  


Overall, since the value of citizenship in the long-term far exceeds the actual dollars to be spent on filing fees, I don't feel the $680 fee is too high..    

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A New Self-Deportation Policy? Gang Of Eight Aims To Eliminate All Paths To Citizenship For Immigrants Who Enter Without Permission

Citizenship cutoff date set by 'Gang of Eight' senators
KTAR.com
Under the measure, undocumented immigrants who meet the cutoff date will have access to a 13-year path to citizenship.
Carlos Batara's insight:

This is such a misguided, cruel, and impractical policy.

 

Why would a path to citizenship be cut off for those who have already qualified for permanent residency? 

 

Does the Gang of Eight think that somehow the citizenship prohibition will reduce the incentive to become green card holders?

 

Actually, many of the currently proposed provisions seem to have an implied self-deportation goal underlying them.  "If the law is cruel enough, many will leave on their own."

 

In fact, Rubio has said that publically, almost.

 

What about all those immigrants who enter the country on temporary visas, then overstay?  Expect this group to grow.

 

The key to sensible immigration reform is revamping the entire visa allocation system. 

 

More to the point, how does this proposal strengthen the United States?

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Birthright Citizenship Again Under Attack - A Last Gasp Defense Against Immigration Reform?

Birthright Citizenship Again Under Attack - A Last Gasp Defense Against Immigration Reform? | Naturalization And Citizenship | Scoop.it
Birthright Citizenship Again Under Attack in Congress
IREHR Update News Site
Birthright citizenship—a cornerstone of the 14th Amendment that grants citizenship to everyone born on American soil—is again being challenged in Congress.
Carlos Batara's insight:

I have a simple message for hardcore opponents of immigration reform.

 

Why do you want to keep fighting with me and my ancestors?  Together, we can make this country greater than ever.

 

Divided, we fall.

 

The American public knows what is at stake in the upcoming immigration reform debates.  So does Congress. 

 

Ultimately, reasonableness will prevail.  And anchor baby rhetoric will be relegated to a chapter in future history books as an example of the dark ages of immigration in America.  

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Billie Greenwood's comment, January 19, 2013 11:25 AM
Many Iowans (like me) oppose Steve King as an embarrassment to the state. He maintains a base of support that I can't understand. Your message is so reasonable that I would have to term the opposing viewpoint "unreasonable."