How Central Americans are Affected by Obama’s Immigration Raids

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In May, the Obama administration announced the beginning of a series of immigration raids of Central American migrants to be carried out by ICE officers. Since the raids began, there have been 40 cases reported of women and children being mistreated by ICE officers. The arrests largely to place in homes, schools, and workplaces; some arrests included aggressive and inappropriate conduct according to CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project. Of these cases, more than half have valid asylum claims that have not yet been heard in immigration court and some didn’t even have deportation orders. It is clear that the Obama Administration is approaching this influx of Central American refugees as an illegal immigration problem rather than a humanitarian crisis.

It has been reported that gang-related violence, drug trafficking, and corrupt criminal justice systems have plagued Central American countries such as Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. As a result, families have fled from these countries to seek asylum in the U.S. despite women and children being the least mobile group-they don’t leave unless there is no other choice. While these migrants may have valid asylum claims, it has become clear that these immigrants have not had the chance to be heard in court. In fact, many did not have legal counsel or even receive a notice to appear in court.

Immigrants in removal proceedings are afforded all appropriate due process under the law. The number of migrants who are being denied this right in our nation’s immigration courts is growing rapidly. The Obama Administration’s response to this surge in Central American migrants is inappropriate and devastating to the immigrant community while ignoring basic humanitarian decency.

Goldstein & Associates urges anyone who is unsure of their status to contact us immediately online or via phone at 412-258-8080.

Obama Immigration Raids

13260226_557612724413200_2879551303306558359_nOn Thursday, May 12th, the Obama administration announced their intent to begin a “30-day surge of immigration raids”. The target of the raid will be families who did not show up for court appearances of who have defied orders for removal. The raids are in response to the doubling of the Central American family units apprehended at our borders with the hope that other Central Americans will be deterred from illegally entering the U.S.

These raids sound like something out of Trump’s immigration reform plan, but have actually been initiated by the Obama administration. Leading Democrats, including Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, have staunchly opposed the raids. Rightfully so, as it appears that the raids will not have the intended effect on immigrants coming to the U.S.

The undocumented migrants that the raids are targeted toward are not coming here to work or conduct illegal business, but are simply fleeing from their home countries riddled with brutal violence and persecution. The targets are chiefly from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador; it has been reported that eighty-three U.S. deportees back to these countries have already been murdered in their homelands. For that reason, it is hard to believe that this immigration raid will have the desired deterrence effect- “nothing will change people’s minds when they are literally fleeing for their lives” according to White House spokesman, Josh Earnest.

The lack of access to legal representation is a big reason that these Central Americans get placed in removal proceedings. In 2014, 86% of asylum cases from Central America lacked legal representation. An overwhelming majority of these detainees have a reasonable fear of returning home. This fear will be heightened as the immigration raids ensue. The Obama administration should reevaluate the proposed raids and take a more humanitarian approach to the immigration crisis in the United States.

Goldstein & Associates would be happy to discuss legal options for individuals and family units who may be affected by the proposed immigration raids. Please do not hesitate to contact our firm online or call us at 412-258-8080.

Implications of Trump Immigration Reform

trump-627166Living in the United States during a presidential election can present alarming issues for the international community. As it remains possible that Donald Trump could be elected our next president, anyone with immigration concerns should try to resolve their immigration status as soon as possible. If there is an available remedy for your immigration concerns, please take care of your situation sooner rather than later.

Donald Trump has several big ideas to “make America great again” that have severe implications on immigration in the United States. The American dream that so many immigrants strive for would become much harder to achieve if Trump’s immigration reforms were to be implemented.

According to Trump’s plan, there are several steps that should be taken in order to enact “real immigration reform”. The first is to triple the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers. Essentially, increased ICE officers would increase deportations of immigrants in the U.S. Trump insists that ICE officers should be required to detain “every illegal alien they encounter, in jails and prisons.” A mass-deportation mission for ICE forces would lead to roundups of the undocumented people in the U.S. The plan also outlines a proposal to end birthright citizenship. All around, these initiatives would have serious consequences for the immigrant population of the United States.

Recognizing the problems with this plan, the Boston Globe posted a satirical front page dated April 9, 2017 featuring mock articles on Trump’s potential presidency. The main article discusses the mass-deportation initiative after tripling ICE officers. While the front page was simply satire, representatives from the Boston Globe say it is “an exercise in taking a man at his word.” The editorial outlined the concerns of Trump’s candidacy and aimed to fabricate a prospective reality for the future of the United States. It is important for both immigrants and non-immigrants to understand the implications of a Trump administration and ensuing immigration reform plan.

It is important to uncover immigration solutions when they are available under the law and Goldstein & Associates would be happy to assist anyone seeking to obtain more information on this matter. For those interested in how their immigration status may be affected, please do not hesitate to contact our firm for a free consultation online or at (412) 258-8080

Bipartisan Plan for Immigration Reform

A new plan created by a group of bipartisan senators focuses on border control, job protection, and other issues in immigration reform.

In January, a document was released by bipartisan Senators Michael Bennet, Dick Durbin, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Robert Menendez and Marco Rubio. This document laid out the foundation for updates to the United States’ immigration laws, including laws pertaining to illegal immigrants already living in the U.S.

Four Basic Legislative Pillars

  • Create a tough but fair path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants currently living in the United States that is contingent upon securing our borders and tracking whether legal immigrants have left the country when required;
  • Reform  our  legal  immigration  system  to  better  recognize  the importance  of characteristics  that  will  help  build  the  American economy  and  strengthen American families;
  • Create an effective employment verification system that will prevent identity theft and end the hiring of future unauthorized workers; and,
  • Establish an improved process for admitting future workers to serve our nation’s workforce needs, while simultaneously protecting all workers.

The plan also includes improved technology for the Border Control and steps to reduce racial profiling and violence.

Updates for Immigrants in the U.S.

What does this mean for immigrants currently living in the U.S.? Illegal immigrants are asked to register with the government for probationary legal status, dependent on a background check and including a fine. The plan aims to continue to welcome the “best and brightest” to the U.S., awarding green cards to those who hold Ph.D. or Master’s degree in science, technology, engineering, or math from an American University.

To read the entire transcript, visit the ABC news website. As you search for answers on citizenship, our goal is to arm you with the knowledge you need to know. If you have any questions on how the latest updates on immigration reform affect you or your family, contact us at mgoldstein@mglaw.com or 1-412-258-8080.