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.
On this President’s Day, we wish to add a historical perspective to the robust exercise of executive authority. The President routinely tells audiences that he does not have the power to act unilaterally on immigration reform. Frustration and anger have mounted as the toll from deportations rises, and the lost opportunities due to the lack of immigration reform are compiled. The President’s claim of impotency is in direct conflict with how the right wing of the GOP (is there another wing?)
Looking back on what turned out to be a disappointing 2013 for the lack of progress on meaningful immigration reform and on the continuing pace of removals, we have tried to figure out what articles and stories most appealed to our readers. Turns out that our readers were not as interested in the minute-by-minute accounts of progress, but rather came to Lifted Lamp for information about developments in the law that had a real impact upon their lives.
Tomorrow, December 10, 2013, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Mayorkas v. Cuellar de Osorio, reviewing the 9th circuit decision that reversed the Board of Immigration Appeals’ decision in Matter of Wang that rejected the applicability of the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) to a large number of immigrants. If the Supreme Court upholds the decision of the 9th Circuit, many aged-out young adults will be immediately eligible to apply for residence.
Last week, we told you about two cases that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit heard oral arguments on. As we discussed, these cases will go a long way towards setting the law on what constitutes a particular social group for purposes of asylum. One of these cases, Martinez, dealt with the issue of whether a former gang member can be granted protection in the U.S.
Earlier this week, the Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed the sweeping-change in immigration law that the Windsor decision ushered in. In Matter of Zeleniak, 26 I.&N. Dec. 158 (BIA 2013), the Board recognized that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Windsor, was not an impediment to recognition of same-sex marriage by immigration authorities. In Zeleniak, U.S.
The Supreme Court rocked the world last week by declaring Section III of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional on equal protection grounds. Section III forbade the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. Thus, a legal same-sex marriage entered into in New York was valid under NY law, but did not provide the married couple with any federal benefits. Activists have identified over 1100 ways that federal law provides a benefit to a married couple, all of which were unavailable until Wednesday, June 26, when Section III of DOMA was officially bid adieu.
Today, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. that the state of Arizona cannot separately require an individual to prove he is a citizen in order to register to vote beyond the regulations set forth by the federal government. This decision stated that Arizona’s additional “proof of citizenship” form was contrary to the National Voter Registration Act, the federal law establishing a specific form for Voter Registration.
Despite being on leave from Benach Collopy to study for the California bar, Prerna Lal continues to provide valuable insight on the status of the de Osorio case. De Osorio is the 9th Circuit case in which the court held that the Board of Immigration Appeals and the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service had interpreted the Child Status Protection Act wrongly in a way that excluded thousands of young people from the opportunity to obtain status with their families.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Moncrieffe v. Holder represents a big win for those—like us—who believe lawfully present immigrants should not be deported for relatively minor drug offenses. The question now is: how big? In a 7-2 decision written by Justice Sotomayor, the Court held that a marijuana distribution conviction should not be considered an “aggravated felony” under the immigration laws unless court records demonstrate that the offense involved payment or more than a small amount of marijuana.