florida immigrant advocacy center
florida immigrant advocacy center: Page 1
In a new and more lenient policy, the head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has instructed the agency's legal office to stop the deportation proceedings of foreign nationals who may now be eligible for a green card.
South Florida immigration attorneys and activists said the move is the first solid evidence of more tolerance by ICE toward some foreign nationals facing removal to their homelands.
Affected are possibly tens of thousands who are married or related to a U.S. citizen or a legal resident who has filed a petition for them. The immigrants who will benefit must also not have a criminal conviction.
This policy was disclosed via a memo from John Morton, head of ICE; in the memo he wrote: "Where there is an underlying application or petition and ICE determines . . . that a non-detained individual appears eligible for relief from removal, [its attorneys] should promptly move to dismiss proceedings." The new policy is cheered in the article by Cheryl Little of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center. In the past, some or most of those covered by the new policy would be deported, but with the new "backdoor amnesty" push from the DHS, they'll get to stay.
To a very, very small extent policies like this are reasonable: ICE says they want to concentrate on the criminals first and points out that they can only deport 400,000 people per year. To a far greater extent, this is indeed a backdoor amnesty and potential illegal aliens in foreign countries will no doubt rush to take advantage of it.
The way to block things like this would have been to do things like really press Janet Napolitano on such policies, as I suggested over nine months ago. No one in the mainstream media is going to really press Obama administration officials, and citizens aren't filling the gap.
"Temporary" Protected Status for Haitian illegal aliens pushed by profiteers (Haiti earthquake) - 01/14/10
[TPS has been approved; see the update below]
Yesterday, Janet Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security suspended repatriations of illegal aliens from Haiti; that makes some sense as long as it's actually temporary. What doesn't make sense are the calls from some to give "Temporary Protected Status" in the U.S. to Haitian illegal aliens. The word "temporary" is generally a misnomer as that status is renewed over and over.
TPS would be an infected band-aid that wouldn't fix Haiti's structural problems and in some cases would result in importing Haiti's problems into the U.S. It would also result in brain-draining that country of its more energetic citizens, making things easier for corrupt Haitian leaders. These pushing TPS are at root simply self-serving: they're interested in little more than obtaining political power. They're thinking only of themselves instead of trying to solve problems; they're only making the long-term situation worse.
"Well, we have, as you know, many Haitian Americans. Most are here legally. Some are not documented. And the Obama administration is taking steps to make sure that people are given some temporary status so that we don’t compound the problem that we face in Haiti."
Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, both Democrats, and (Representatives Lincoln Diaz Balart and Mario Diaz Balart) of south Florida, both Republicans, as well as John C. Favalora, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Miami... "If this is not a slam-dunk case for temporary protected status, I don’t know what is," said Kevin Appleby, a spokesman for the bishops. He said the status would allow Haitian immigrants here to work here and send money back to relatives in Haiti trying to recover from the quake.
Appleby's proposal is at heart immoral: he would encourage Haiti to become even more dependent on the U.S. than they already are and he would embed that dependence in their society, instead of encouraging them to develop their own commerce.
The letter from Senators encouraging TPS is here; in addition to Gillibrand and Schumer, the signatories are: John Kerry, Paul Kirk, Jeff Bingaman, Bill Nelson, Dick Durbin, Frank Lautenberg, Chris Dodd, Bob Menendez, Pat Leahy, Dianne Feinstein, Tom Harkin, Bob Casey, and Bernie Sanders.
(The Florida politicians including Ileana Ros Lehtinen) are among several leaders holding separate news conferences in Miami on Thursday to draw further attention to the issue. Others include the head of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, who will be accompanied by Edwidge Danticat, a celebrated Haitian author and winner of a MacArthur Fellow "genius" grant. Twenty-six refugee agencies also sent a joint letter Thursday urging Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to consider TPS for Haitians, and the National Council of La Raza released a statement to the same effect.
That also contains Mark Krikorian seeming to support TPS in this case, as well as this:
"When somebody works here they can support up to 10 times that number back in Haiti. So we're talking about supporting hundreds of thousands of people in Haiti at no cost to U.S. taxpayers," (Steve Forester, a Miami-based advocate with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti) said.
Obviously, he's either trying to mislead people or he can't think things through. Many or most of the jobs they'd be doing would be jobs that Americans who are drawing unemployment insurance could be doing, and much of the labor those Haitians would be doing in the U.S. would be heavily subsidized.
"We are considering all alternatives available to us in extending a helping hand to Haiti," (Alejandro Mayorkas of the USCIS) said. He confirmed those considerations include temporary protected status for Haitians.
And, Reform Immigration for America is also promoting TPS with a petition drive: reformimmigrationforamerica.org/blog/blog/
The Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society has joined with several other groups in calling for TPS:
Likewise with Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform:
"It is in the foreign policy interest of the United States and a humanitarian imperative of the highest order to have all people of Haitian descent in a position to contribute towards the recovery of this island nation."
See the comments above.
1/15/10 UPDATE: Janet Napolitano has now approved TPS, but only for those illegal aliens who were here on Tuesday. How they'll be able to tell isn't clear; some people will no doubt try to provide fake documentation showing they were here at that time.
DHS Dep. Asst. Sec'y for Policy is from CAP, United Nations, Ted Kennedy office (Esther Olavarria) - 02/23/09
Janet Napolitano has selected Esther Olavarria as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy in the Department of Homeland Security. And, she's from the Center for American Progress, called around here the "think tank that can't think straight". CAP supports illegal immigration and defines opposition to massive illegal activity as "xenophobia"; see the link for more on them. And, since August 2008 she's been a CAP Senior Fellow and their Director of Immigration Policy , 
The first page has her bio containing more nuggets of great news:
Esther comes to CAP/CAPAF from the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, where she served as senior advisor for government and external relations. Prior to joining UNHCR, she was chief immigration counsel to Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) on the Senate Judiciary Committee. From 1998 to 2007, she served as Senator Kennedy’s principle advisor on immigration, border security, and refugee policies and legislation, including comprehensive immigration reform. Esther began her career as an immigration attorney in Miami, FL, working at several non-profit organizations. She co-founded the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center and supervised the direct service work of that organization. She also worked at Legal Services of Greater Miami as the directing attorney of the American Immigration Lawyers Association Pro Bono Project, and at the Haitian Refugee Center, as a staff attorney.
Thieves are increasingly targeting Hispanic illegal immigrants who are reluctant to report robberies to the police for fear of deportation, US activists and law enforcement agencies say.There's, of course, a bit more to it than that. The Austin Police Department partnered with the Mexican government, and the APD Chief later got an award from that government. Wells Fargo and the Texas Secretary of State were also involved, and all in a crooked scheme to profit from illegal activity while hiding behind an attempt to prevent crime.
...But advocate groups and police departments are trying to spread the word that illegal immigrants will not face deportation if they report a crime.
...To combat the problem, authorities in Austin, Texas sought help from local banks to enable more immigrant workers to open up accounts.
In addition to Brian Miller of the Austin PD and Elizabeth Watts of the Clearwater Florida PD, others quoted are Margarita Romo of Florida's Farmworkers Self Help and Cheryl Little of the Florida Immigration Advocacy Center.
If you're in Florida or another southern state, watch out for a push by banks to profit from illegal activity.
The "Rights Working Group" is trying to organize Moveon-style house parties throughout the U.S. on Thursday, April 5, 2007, supposedly to support due process in our immigration system. In fact, it appears to be a backdoor way to promote immigration "reform", aka a massive amnesty. And, some of the organizers lined up are linked to the Mexican government. Details here: rightsworkinggroup.org/?q=ConversationNight
Their "one-pager" (http://18.104.22.168/files/Night_of_1000_Convo_OnePager.pdf ; actually a two pager) includes a blurb from the Washington Post propaganda piece "Deporting a Model Noncitizen" by Marc Fisher (link). Some of the things Fisher forgot to cover are listed in a long comment from J. Scott here.
Their talking points are here: 22.214.171.124/files/NOTC_Toolkit_040507.pdf While they suggest steering the conversation away from immigration matters and back to due process if the former proves too contentious, it's clear that their main goals are supporting amnesty, anchor babies, catch and release, and all the other factors leading to massive legal and illegal immigration.
Their local affiliates are listed in the extended entry. Those with "LTM" have some sort of link to the Mexican government.
1. American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (Washington, DC) - Laila Al-Qatami
2. Arab American Institute (Washington, DC) - Valerie Smith
3. Asian American Justice Center (Washington, DC) - Pang Houa Moua
4. Breakthrough: Building a Human Rights Culture (NY) - Carly Castania-Fox
5. Center for Intercultural Organizing (OR) - Kayse Jama
6. Coalicion de Derechos Humanos (AZ) - Kat Rodriguez
7. Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA) - Sara Sadhwani
8. Coalition of African, Arab, Asian, European and Latino Immigrants of Illinois (Chicago, IL) - Khemarey Nuth
9. Desis Rising Up and Moving (NY) - Monami Maulik
10. Florida Immigrant Advocacy Coalition (FL) - Maria Rodriguez
11. Hate Free Zone (WA) - Hari Kondabolu
12. Idaho Community Action Network (ID) - Leo Morales
LTM 13. Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (IL) - Mehrdad Azemun
14. National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (CA) - Juhyung Lee
15. National Network for Arab American Communities (MI) - Nadia El-Zein
16. National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (CA) - Arnoldo Garcia
17. New York Immigration Coalition (NY) - Avideh Moussavian
18. Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition (PA) - Regan Cooper
19. South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow (MD) - Deepa Iyer
20. Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TN) - Stephen Fotopulos
21. United Farm Workers Foundation (CA) - Oscar Gonzalez
22. University of New Mexico, School of Law - ACLU Student Chapter - Pamela Hernandez (Albuquerque, NM)