Immigration


Democrats Methodically Stripping Republicans Of Immigration Excuses

By Bill Scher

Throughout the immigration debate, Republicans have run phony excuses for delay, Democrats keep stripping them away, and the process keeps moving forward.

Last June when the Senate was deliberating immigration reform, and Republicans were complaining that it didn’t do enough border security, Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer’s team suggested a multibillion-dollar “border surge.”

The deadlock was broken and the bill passed with a solid bipartisan vote.

Then House Republicans rejected the Senate’s “comprehensive” approach and signaled its preference for a series of “piecemeal” bills – without explaining their desire to delink any legalization of undocumented immigrants with other aspects of immigration reform.

Immigration Consequences of Criminal Convictions

By Selena Teji

Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

There are many collateral consequences to criminal convictions in California, such as barriers to employment, housing, and social services. An additional concern that criminal defense attorneys should consider when advising their clients is the possible immigration consequences of their conviction. Under current immigration laws, even legal permanent residents can face deportation and bars on reentry following a conviction for a low-level drug offense.

Civil Immigration Detention is Not an Appropriate Use of Local Jails

By Brian Goldstein

Center on Juvenile & Criminal Justice

Should federal immigration enforcement consume finite local public safety resources and capacity? As California mulls this question, consider that Governor Brown is expanding the state’s reliance on private prison as a last minute solution to federal mandates, while some county sheriffs request jail construction funding to overhaul local facilities. Now is not the time for California’s local jails to unnecessarily hold those suspected of violating civil immigration laws.

Barred from Federal Programs, DREAMers May Qualify for Medi-Cal

Viji SundaramBy Viji Sundaram

For years, DREAMer Rodrigo Perea, 18, lived under a threatening cloud of deportation. Now, Perea has legal permission to live and work in the U.S. - but until recently he was still in the dark about the low-income health programs he qualifies for.

He's not alone. Thousands of immigrants, and even many health care advocates in California who work with young immigrants, are unaware that recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program may qualify for state-funded-only Medi-Cal, identical in every way to the full scope federal and state funded program that shares the name.

What Senators Saw at the U.S.-Mexico Border

By Michael Dear

Four U.S. Senators came to visit the Arizona border. Hosted by John McCain, Republican of Arizona, they were members of the so-called 'Gang of 8' - a bipartisan group currently drafting proposals for comprehensive immigration reform.

During their visit, the senators reportedly witnessed a migrant trying to scale the border wall before being apprehended by authorities. Such drama! (And such a coincidence...)

But being on the line does provoke fresh insights. "You can read and you can study and you can talk but until you see things it doesn't become reality," said Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, who was touring the border for the first time.

Immigration Reform Reality Check

By Victoria DeFrancesco Soto

In 2007 the U.S. Senate choked the life out of the last major immigration reform initiative. Republican Senators, fourteen to be exact, refused to give President George W. Bush the votes needed for cloture.

Today, this same chamber is giving life to the issue they squashed no more than five years ago. And more importantly, back-of-the envelope math shows that with 55 Democrats, two Independents, and the four Republicans who helped draft the immigration reform, there will not be a replay of the Senate immigration showdown.

Immigration reform also has an active advocate in President Obama and a Senate chamber that can make the push. That's the good news.

Republican Increase in Visas to Foreign Graduates at US Schools Comes with Reduction in Other Legal Immigration Programs

By David Dayen

In one of their last acts before going home to campaign, House Republicans have passed a bill that will increase the level of high-skill immigrants allowed to stay in the country. It would expand by 55,000 the visas granted to foreign graduates of US colleges and universities in what are known as the STEM disciplines: science, technology, engineering and math. This fits with a key part of Mitt Romney's immigration agenda, which he expressed in a roundtable on Univision last week. He said that any diploma to a foreign student for a high-skill field like this "should come with a green card."

California TRUST Act Awaits Governor's Signature

By Michele Waslin

The California TRUST Act (AB 1081) has now passed both houses of the state’s legislature and is awaiting Governor Jerry Brown's signature. Passage of the California TRUST Act would be an important step toward mitigating the harmful impact of the Secure Communities Program (S-Comm). Immigrant advocates from across the country are calling on Gov. Brown to sign the bill into law.

DREAMer Deferred Action Suffering from Low Application Submissions

By David Dayen

The first day of the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program saw thousands of DREAM-eligible youth line up for the chance to apply for two years of temporary legal status. This policy shift was touted heavily at the Democratic National Convention. After the initial flush, however, applications have slowed amidst a variety of issues.

From Tijuana, Ex-Dreamer Calls for Immigration Reform

By Jacqueline Guzmán-Garcia, Translated by Elena Shore

Photo: Nancy Landa at graduation

Nancy Landa was working in the public sector at a California organization that fateful September in 2009, when she was 29. She had graduated with honors in 2004 with a degree in business administration from California State University, Northridge (CSUN), and had a steady job. Everything seemed normal.

All of a sudden, at the Third Street entrance to Highway 710 N toward Long Beach, Landa was stopped by two immigration officials. They got out of a van and, without showing her any official documentation, told her she was under arrest.

“I’m dreaming -- it’s a nightmare,” Landa thought as she climbed in the vehicle with four other people, heading to a detention center in downtown Los Angeles.