On June 5, 2014, the renewal process for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals starts for more than half-million DREAMERs who are already enrolled in the program. DREAMERs or DACA beneficiaries will continue to benefit from renewing driver’s licenses, working, and obtaining in-state tuition in at least 16 states. To renew DACA, applicants must complete the recently released dual-use Form I-821D for initial and renewal DACA applications.
The House of Representatives passed the Enforce Act yesterday. This piece of legislation, which is never going to become law, provides a cause of action to Members of Congress to sue the President for failure to enforce the laws as they see fit. The Enforce Act is aimed squarely at the President’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has given hope to so many young undocumented immigrants.
“Something is happening and you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?” It wasn’t until Tuesday night at a Bob Dylan concert that I saw the limits of my own vision. I had avoided taking a position on the efforts of the Dream 9. As a lawyer, you hate to see people take actions that can jeopardize themselves. As as someone who only vaguely knows, but cares deeply about, Lulu, Marco and Lizbeth, I was worried for them.
There is much hue and cry over a federal district court judge possibly blocking the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In a lawsuit filed by Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, on behalf of ICE Union head, Christopher Crane, challenging the DACA program, Judge Reed O’Connor (Northern District of Texas) has indicated that he is likely to find that the program violates federal law. Previously, Judge O’ Connor had ruled that agents with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement had standing to bring suit as the prosecutorial discretion directive urged them to violate federal law, and the agents believed that by not following the directive, they would be subject to discipline and other adverse employment consequences.
As Washington, DC has seemed to jump from winter to summer, the politics of immigration reform are heating up. For the rest of this week, the Capital will be inundated with activists, lawyers, politicians and celebrities all advocating for immigration reform. Among all this activity, the Senate “Gang of Eight” is prepared to release their proposed bill. Rumored to be nearly 1500 pages, the Gang of Eight will provide the meat on the bone that all of us have been waiting to chew on.
The optimism and hope that have been generated by all of the hype around immigration reform has been intense. Every day, a new prominent political figure comes out in favor of immigration reform. Look, Sean Hannity! Condoleeza Rice! Was that closet really big enough for Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes? Eric Cantor and John Boehner now support the DREAM Act after voting against it in 2010!
It has been a tough week for the ICE bureaucrats who have sought to undermine the political leadership of this country to pursue their own restrictivist and nativist agenda. Regular readers of this blog (my wife and my mother), will know that we have sought to document the efforts of bureaucrats within ICE to stymie intelligent immigration enforcement through insubordination, lawsuits, leaks, and more generic tactics like refusal to complete trainings and sick-outs.
Those of us on the East Coast woke up this morning to the news that Maria Arreola and her son Heriberto Arreola were arrested in their home Thursday night by Immigration & Customs enforcement in Phoenix, Arizona. Another day in immigration, where ICE enters people home’s homes and removes individuals who have done little more than entered into or remained in the country without permission. Yep, this was a normal case except that Maria is Erika Andiola’s mother and Heriberto is her brother.
The Migration Policy Institute recently released a study documenting that the U.S. government spent $18 billion on immigration enforcement, dwarfing the $14 million spent on other federal law enforcement agencies. The FBI, the DEA and the ATF, combined, received $14 billion. Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s budget, alone, is $6 billion. Something is seriously out of whack here. None of this is surprising to immigration attorneys. ICE runs a gulag archipelago of detention centers across the country, holding immigrants who have overstayed visas, entered without inspection, seek asylum, and committed minor offenses.
The publication of the rule allowing for processing of provisional waivers for unlawful presence in the United States was another act of administrative rule-making that the President has undertaken to make the immigration laws more humane. Over the past year, the effort at prosecutorial discretion, the introduction of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and the provisional waiver have created a much improved immigration system that attempts to solve real immigration problems for families.