Here’s a link to a Politico article describing why immigration reform is highly unlikely at this point. After losing on the funding of the Department of Homeland Security fight recently, the last thing the GOP-controlled Congress is going to take up is the issue Comprehensive Immigration Reform. As one of the President’s key agenda items, Congress isn’t going to be doing him any favors. And as we approach another election cycle, candidates will very likely avoid this always controversial issue. Too bad. We’ll have to wait another few years before we see any progressive action.
This Washington Post article reveals a shocking problem with our Immigration Court system. Apparently, non-priority litigants are finding their hearings cancelled and rescheduled into the distant future. Generally, high-priority cases would include those convicted of certain crimes, and more recently, the focus has been on the massive influx of unaccompanied minors from Central America. For others, even those who have relief available to them (i.e., they are eligible for green cards), it looks like it’s going to be a long wait.
The new year is underway and now that the GOP controls both houses of Congress we get to see what priorities they’ll focus on first. As it turns out, it’s immigration, but not in the progressive sense. Rather than work toward comprehensive reform, they seek to eliminate any funding for the President’s recent executive order that would have benefitted an estimated 5 million undocumented immigrants. Further, they would similarly defund the President’s 2012 executive order creating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. What does the bill fund? The Secure Communities program that seeks to link up local law enforcement and immigration law, not a good mix.
Here’s a link to the full article at the New York Times.
Many states enacted their own immigration reform efforts effective in the new year. Although states lack the power over immigration reform that the federal government does, every effort helps. Some states now will issue drivers licenses to the undocumented. Others have chosen not to detain people solely on the basis of immigration status. Here’s a link to the article.
This National Geographic story highlights something the media hasn’t made much mention of regarding the current humanitarian crisis faced by minors fleeing to the United States escaping gang violence – that gang violence started as an American export. Specifically, as the Los Angeles gang culture grew, many immigrants found homes there. When arrested, and likely deported to their home countries, they brought the bigger, badder American gang culture with them.
I don’t know if I agree with this Crossfire host in her opinion that most of those out-of-status immigrants want legal status alone and not citizenship. Becoming a permanent resident (i.e., getting a green card) is the first and possibly most important step in stabilizing one’s life. It cements their legal status in the US, permits employment and travel overseas without concern of not being able to return. Nevertheless, naturalizing confers enormous benefits, including the ability to petition for other out-of -status relatives, thereby legalizing their statuses as well. Most of my clients do naturalize, especially when their home countries permit dual citizenship.
Anyway, here’s a link to the video.
“Finally, if we are serious about economic growth, it is time to heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders, and law enforcement – and fix our broken immigration system. Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have acted. I know that members of both parties in the House want to do the same. Independent economists say immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost $1 trillion in the next two decades. And for good reason: when people come here to fulfill their dreams – to study, invent, and contribute to our culture – they make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and create jobs for everyone. So let’s get immigration reform done this year.”
-President Barack Obama
A good piece by AILA DC Chapter Cynthia Rosenberg refuting the notion that undocumented immigrants harm the economy. On the contrary, the article points out, the undocumented are responsible for over 6 billion dollars in state domestic product and have created 70,000 jobs statewide. Whether you’re for or against immigration reform on idealistic grounds, surely the practical side of reform should serve as an important influence. Immigration is good for the state and good for the country.
The USCIS Field Office for Baltimore, Maryland has moved from downtown Baltimore to the following address:
3701 Koppers Street
Baltimore, MD 21227
Here is a link to a map. According to the USCIS Field Office Locator, this address is used for mail and courier service as well.
- POLITICO: Immigration Reform Looks Dead
- Immigration Court Hearings Set to 2019?
- NYT: GOP’s Attempt to Gut the President’s Executive Action
- American Immigration Council: States Take Up Effort When Feds Failed
- US Exports Gang Violence to Central America
- CNN: Businesses need immigration reform to function
- Pathway to Citizenship
- State of the Union
- Baltimore Sun: Immigration Benefits Maryland
- Baltimore Field Office Moved
- USCIS Field Offices Open
- Nation Letdown by House
- US State Department
- Visa Bulletins
- Make an Infopass Appointment
- Change Your Address with USCIS
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- Today's Docket – Montgomery County
- USCIS Citizenship Resources
- Maryland Judiciary Case Search
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