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online order advocates for the rights and opportunities of immigrants and refugees. In partnership with its members, online order advances this mission through policy analysis and advocacy, institutional organizing, training and leadership development, and strategic communications.
By Sarang Sekhavat, online order Federal Policy Director:
After what seems like an eternity of waiting, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) finally issued the final rule for provisional waivers of inadmissibility, what advocates are calling the “Family Unity Waiver”. DHS initially announced back in January 2012 that it would make changes to the way that undocumented relatives of US Citizens could re-enter the United States after leaving the country to obtain an immigration visa abroad. In April, DHS issued an interim rule and requested comments from the public. On January 3, 2013, DHS released the final rule which incorporates some of the suggestions from public comments, but leaves many of our major concerns untouched. The final rule will go into effect on March 4, 2013.
The Old Rule
The new rule is necessary because of the unfair way that the federal government processes I-601s, Applications for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility. According to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), certain undocumented relatives of US Citizens who benefit from a family-based petition had to leave the United States in order to obtain their immigration visa from a US consulate. The problem is, once an undocumented individual leaves the country, they are subject to a 10-year bar to returning. So essentially, the person is leaving the country to obtain documents required to be here legally, but once they leave, they are not legally allowed to return for 10 years. The INA does allow an individual to file the I-601 to request permission to return to the United States prior to the 10 years, but current regulations say that the individual must file the I-601 outside the country. That means that the beneficiary of the immigration visa must leave the country and be subject to the 10 year bar first, then file the application and hope they are allowed back into the country.
Senate Bill 2061 and its counterpart House Bill 3913 have been widely condemned by advocates, including faith-based organizations, poverty law attorneys, and health care providers. The bill was introduced last fall in the legislature as a political response to media uproar over the tragic death of a U.S. citizen by a drunk driver who happened to be undocumented. Instead of tackling the problems of alcohol abuse and driving under the influence, the bill imposes punitive measures on immigrant communities by focusing on matters related to federal immigration law. These measures would send painful reverberations through immigrant, mixed status and non-immigrant households alike by damaging community-police relations and our economy.
El gobierno anunciÃ³ hoy la extencion del Estatus de ProtecciÃ³n Temporal (TPS, por sus siglas en inglÃ©s) de los ciudadanos elegibles de El Salvador por un perÃodo adicional de 18 meses, comenzando el 10 de marzo de 2012 y terminando el 9 de septiembre de 2013. ReinscripciÃ³n esta abierto hasta el 12 de marzo de 2012. El gobierno aceptarÃ¡ solicitudes presentadas desde el 9 de enero de 2012 hasta el 12 de marzo de 2012.
After Eva Castillo, New Hampshire Immigrant Project Organizer, gave a presentation on immigration to a group of students, she received the letter from Julie Becher reprinted with permission below.
According to the L.A. Times, Mitt Romeny is in big trouble with some Republican voters because he didn't "Let 'em die!" -- as one audience member infamously shouted when a candidate was asked about the plight of the uninsured at a recent Republican debate.
â€œMuch like terrorists, [undocumented immigrants] are looking for a place to go where nobodyâ€™s going to notice them,â€ said Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson today.
Today, the Boston Herald published an article highlighting the efforts of two MA Sheriffs â€“ Thomas Hodgson of Bristol and Joseph McDonald of Plymouth â€“ who are trying to join the federal Secure Communities (SComm) program. Under Secure Communities, all people who are arrested would have their fingerprints run through the federal IDENT database which contains nearly 100 million records of people who have had previous contact with US Citizenship and Immigration Services, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or Customs and Border Protection. Apparently, these sheriffs are ignorant of whatâ€™s already happening in the jails they are supposed to be running.
Immigrant advocates might be weary of Barack Obamaâ€™s words at this point, but weâ€™ve got to give him credit for taking some risks Monday by giving a speech at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR).
For starters, Obama risked eliciting more wisecracks about his blatantly empty-handed courtship of Latino voters (see, for example, John Stewart on the Presidentâ€™s four-hour foray to Puerto Rico).
â€œI donâ€™t want people to feel that they have to fear the police, no matter what their status is," Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis told the Boston Globe on Sunday. Then why hasn't Davis withdrawn Boston from the Secure Communities program?
online order was thrilled to hear today that Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced the extension and broader â€œre-designationâ€ of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals.
On Wednesday May 11 six New England Senators joined 26 of their colleagues to introduce the DREAM Act of 2011 in the United States Senate. online order thanks Senators John Kerry (Mass), Joseph Lieberman (Conn.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.), and Bernie Sanders (Vt.) for their joint effort.
Immigrant and healthcare advocates today applauded the Massachusetts Supreme Court for ruling that the exclusion of immigrants from the state's universal healthcare program was likely a violation of "equal protection obligations" under law.
In a major victory, the Massachusetts House of Representatives rejected three major anti-immigrant budget amendments on April 28.
Late on the night of Wednesday, April 27, the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted to fund the Commonwealth Care Bridge program (see previous post for details) at $25 million for at least six months of FY2012, with further funding down the road.
"We blew it," said John Grossman on Saturday afternoon to a Worcester meeting room packed with 150 to 200 immigrants. "And Iâ€™m here to apologize."
As undersecretary for the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Grossman was referring to the collective failure of the Patrick administration to consult with the state's immigrant community before signing onto a controversial new immigration enforcement program, Secure Communities. The Worcester meeting, held at the cityâ€™s public library and hosted by The African Council, was the first of ten gatherings across the state at which Patrickâ€™s representatives will work to rectify that wrong. Grossman promised that community questions and concerns would all be considered, and then "the governor is going to make a decision [about signing onto Secure Communities] sometime over the summer."