On May 4, 1970, U.S. National Guardsmen shot and killed four people protesting the Vietnam War. The massacre, known as the Kent State shootings, topped a tumultuous decade that spurred a lot of violence against those making then-controversial claims to civil rights. In the aftermath of the shooting, many Americans blamed the protesting students and cited violations of law allegedly committed by the protestors. What was not in dispute was that four young people lost their lives that day at the hand of troops acting under the flag of the United States.
Back in November, we made some predictions about what might occur in a Trump presidency as it relates to immigration. Generally, we were very pessimistic and presumed that almost all areas of immigration would become more difficult and challenging for immigrants, families and communities. This has proven to be true, but not in all of the ways we anticipated. In some areas, such as refugees and admission policies, the administration has been as bad as expected.
Last week, we discussed what might happen early on in a Trump presidency. It was not our goal to sound alarmist, but early indications are that Trump is not backing down on his awful immigration ideas. His elevation of restrictionist Kris Kobach, the architect of so many terrible anti-immigrant laws and initiatives, demonstrates that Trump intends to keep his campaign promises on immigration. Based upon our assessment of what is likely to come, here are some practical tips that you can follow to prepare for the Trump administration, which takes office on January 20, 2017.
The shock over the results of Tuesday’s election of Donald Trump has not yet worn off. After two days of triage in hearing from scared clients and friends, we are now forced to confront what will lie ahead for immigration policy in a new administration. Before we go ahead though, it is important to point out a couple of things. First, our take here is speculative- Donald Trump has never voted for anything as a legislator or taken action as a government official.
For September 2015, we are proud to present Aura Carrera of Heber City, Utah as our client of the month. Her green card arrived last month and she is heading home to Guatemala for the first time in over twenty years, a resident returning to visit family after nearly a quarter century. Aura’s case was a fight from the beginning. When she came to Ava Benach, Aura had a removal order from an immigration judge in Salt Lake City, Utah and a determination for the U.S.
Much of the world rejoiced yesterday upon seeing the photos of Caitlyn Jenner’s exquisite transformation on the cover of the June issue of Vanity Fair. Much of the commentary I saw focused not so much on her physical appearance, but how she looked at peace and contented to be herself. As an immigration lawyer who has represented many trans asylum seekers, I know and have seen that look.
In December, the U.S. Senate confirmed Sarah Saldaña to be the first Hispanic woman to lead Immigration & Customs Enforcement. It was an exciting moment in immigration politics. Political paralysis had doomed immigration reform by Congress. The Morton era at ICE had produced record levels of deportation. Young undocumented immigrants forced the President to acknowledge them and enact DACA, which proved wildly successful. In response to the failure of Congress to enact reform, the President announced his executive actions to shield many millions from the threat of removal.
Earlier this month, Benach Collopy authored a brief on behalf of the American Immigration Lawyers Association in the case of Michael Sylvain v. Attorney General before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. In Sylvain, the court must decide whether the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA) requires the detention of individuals convicted of certain offenses regardless of how long it has been since they were released from criminal custody.
Yesterday, after receiving a gift of $6 million, Florida Atlantic University announced that it was renaming its stadium “The Geo Group Stadium,” after the for-profit prison company, best known for operating detention facilities on behalf of Immigration & Customs Enforcement. It is remarkable that any university would name a stadium after a prison company, but simply stunning that Florida Atlantic University, which sits in South Florida, a community that has been decimated by the overuse of civil immigration, would be so tone deaf as to think this was a good idea.
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.