Tag: immigration reform

If President Obama issues an Executive Immigration Order in December 2014, the USCIS will request a certain set of documents to prove the alien is eligible for the new Immigration Executive Order. We believe the documents required will be similar to what is required for the Dream Act. In the Dream Act the applicants needed to prove that they have been in the United States before 2009 or earlier. They needed to provide supporting documentation such as proof of entry, tax returns, school transcripts, health records of children or birth certificates of alien’s children who were born in the United States. The US Government does not require all these documents at the moment; these are just examples of what was requested for people to be able to file for employment authorization card through the Dream Act. We believe that similar documentation will be requested if the President Obama issues a new Immigration Executive Order. In addition, the Dream Act filing fee was $465, and we believe the new Immigration Executive Order may require a similar amount in order to receive unemployment authorization card.

First, President Obama has to issue the executive order which we believe will occur in December 2014. Once this occurs, it is supposed to affect at least 5 million illegal aliens. The majority believe is that these 5 million illegal aliens will obtain at the minimum an employment authorization card, which will allow them to work but not travel outside of United States. There are two reasons why we believe that people who have the final deportation orders issued against them will be included in the new executive order. First, we believe that the President can only use the deferred action language which only allows employment authorization to illegal aliens here in United States. Deferred Action has been used for people who have deportation orders for the last 25 years, so we believe that the President will use deferred action in the same manner as it has been used in the past which would include people with final deportation orders. Second, we believe that the President’s immigration executive order will be based on the same model as the Dream Act Executive Order which was issued in 2011. In that executive order children who entered the United States before the age of 16 and have the deportation orders were still able to obtain employment authorization. Therefore, aliens with the final deportation orders will most likely be included in the new immigration executive order and be issued an employment authorization card.

Many in the Hispanic community are skeptical that Barack Obama will take any executive action after the November 2014 elections. The Hispanic community believes they have been misled and lied to for the last six years. However based on the political map after the November 2014 elections, president Obama will have a little or nothing to lose if he issues an immigration executive order. His current approval rating is relatively low; he is hoping to enrage the Republicans by ignoring the Congress and issuing an order that may be constitutionally challenged. In fact, the Democratic Party recently was able to raise funds for the upcoming elections by claiming the Republicans are trying to impeach the president. Especially if the Republicans controlled the Senate, president Obama can position himself as the president trying to help the disadvantaged against the “evil” Republicans. He used this strategy effectively in both the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. Therefore, we believe there is over 95% chance that an immigration executive order will be issued and it will provide employment authorization to approximately 5 million illegal aliens in the United States.

Executive order of prosecutorial discretion

Recently 136 law professors submitted a paper to the White House explaining that the President has legal authority to implement prosecutorial discretion without congressional approval.
The letter goes on to explain that presidents from both parties have used prosecutorial discretion to prevent specific, and often large, groups of immigrants from being deported.
The reason this letter is so important is that President Obama is likely to use it as his explanation when he issues and executive order on immigration. Since he does not have congressional approval, he will he need to rely on some legal argument for taking such a widespread action. The letter goes into more detail stating:
“Our letter confirms that the administration has specific legal authority to use prosecutorial discretion as a tool for protecting an individual or group from deportation,” said Wadhia. “This legal authority served as foundation for prosecutorial discretion policy across several administrations. Historically, this policy has been premised on the twin policy goals of managing limited resources and shielding people with compelling situations from removal.”
If the President relies on this letter, it is likely that deportations will stop except for aliens who have felonies. And there is a high likelihood that 5 million illegal aliens may receive work authorization based on the prosecutorial discretion powers used previously for Dream Act Kids. Dream Act Kids were able to receive employment authorization cards, renewable every two years. Once again this is not a guarantee that the President will issue an executive order, but it appears more likely than ever that something will occur after November 2014.

Part 1

Present Process

An alien is served with a Notice to Appear which provides the date and location at which the alien must appear at a master calendar hearing. A large majority of aliens have an attorney at this point or retain a private attorney for the first master calendar hearing. At the master calendar hearing, an alien or his attorney admits or denies the charges listed in the Notice to Appear, and provides the form of relief the alien will pursue. If the alien has no relief available, the attorney will usually ask for another hearing to accept a voluntary departure order or a deportation order.

Depending on the jurisdiction, immigration judges have between 20 to 40 cases each week for their master calendar hearing. At the master calendar hearings, the assistant district council must be present, and at times, a court-appointed interpreter or telephonic translators are used. The weekly master calendar hearing usually takes between three to five hours. In addition, an alien’s case could range from one to five (or more) master calendar hearings before the case is set for a trial date. Seventy percent of all master calendar cases could beeliminated. The direct cost savings would be the reduced hours spent per week by the assistant district counsel, the immigration judge, and court interpreters.

A complete copy of this Policy Paper was submitted to the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security.

Representative Goodlatte’s option would have a better chance of passing as it would not need to be considered reforming the entire immigration laws in the United States. In fact, a similar provision was previously used in 2002. A bill was passed which basically stated that even if a person is illegal, but files an employment sponsorship application or family sponsorship application before April 30, 2001, they can receive legal status by showing proof of filing and completing the employment or family sponsorship requirements. For the last 10 years, immigration lawyers would always ask their clients, “Did you file anything with Department of Labor or US CIS before April 30, 2001?” If the answer was “yes” it would give the immigration attorney numerous options for getting permanent residency for their client. So Representative Goodlatte’s proposal would just basically bringing back an old law that was passed in 2002. It would appear less scary to the public than Comprehensive Immigration Reform, and may have a better chance of passing as the Republican Congress is wary of passing a huge confusing law. They need to make sure that immigration reform cannot be compared to the huge Health Care Law.

New York City Immigration Lawyer Andrew P. Johnson has proposed legislation to Congress, and has been interviewed regarding immigration law by New York Times, CBS, and New York Daily News.


Remember, focus on the Republicans in the House of Representatives. The only person in the House who really understand the intricacies of Immigration Law is Republican Representative Goodlatte. He is a former immigration attorney, and was quoted regarding another option to help illegal aliens if the compressive immigration law does not get passed.

Goodatte stated that there may be an option that “would allow immigrants here illegally to obtain legal work status, and from there, they could use the existing routes to citizenship: marrying a U.S. citizen or getting sponsored by an employer or U.S.

Citizen relative. Such an approach would allow Republicans to deal with millions of people in the U.S. illegally without bestowing a so-called special path to citizenship as the Senate did — a concept that’s become toxic to many in the GOP.”

What he means is that employment based sponsorship is presently barred for any person out of legal status, and marrying a US citizen is not possible if a person has present deportation order or entered without inspection. A law could be crafted that would allow these options available to illegal aliens while they get issued employment authorization. The benefits of this option will be discussed in Part 2.

New York City Immigration Lawyer Andrew P. Johnson has proposed legislation to Congress, and has been interviewed regarding immigration law by New York Times, CBS, and New York Daily News.

Is Immigration Reform Dead?

What can be done to revive the immigration reform law? Option 1: the Democrats will need to win the majority in the House and maintain the majority in the Senate in the 2014 elections. Option 2: the Democrats can stop bargaining about Border Security. There is section of American Public that is outraged how any person or party uses Border Security as bargaining chip. This section of the American Public believes every American should want Border Security. As long as the Republicans control the House, this part of the American Public will need to be partially satisfied with some Border Security effort.

Pro Immigrants groups will say that Republicans will never be satisfied about Border Security, and always ask for more. In addition, Pro Immigrants groups believe that the claim by Republicans for more Border Security is just an excuse to not vote for Immigration Reform. These arguments are partially true. However, the Republican Party is split on Immigration.

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Do the Democrats really want Immigration Reform?

That is a fair question. The top concern the Republicans have was Border Security. What did the Democrats do in the Senate? They wrote an Immigration Reform Bill that was weak on Border Security. Moreover, during this six month negotiating time period, the Administration could have continued building the Southern Border Fence that was signed into Law by George Bush in 2006, and increase security measures on the Southern Border.

Simply stated, the White House and Democrats showed no good faith and basically wanted the Republicans to trust the present Administration to implement the vague Border Security Language. In addition, throughout the process, the White House and Democrats continually accused the Republicans of not caring about Latinos.

Not surprisingly, the Republicans did not agree to immigration reform.

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Bad News for Immigration Reform

So the White House and Democrats have failed the 11 million immigrants they claim to care so much about. What could they have done differently? Simple: show progress of Building the Fence that authorized and signed into law in 2006.

The 11 million illegal aliens do not care about open borders, if a secure Southern Border will get them some type legal status, ninety-nine percent of the illegal aliens would be begging for a Secure Southern Border. Instead, the Democrats and White House game plan is to accuse the Republicans of hating Latinos. It maybe good Politics, but it not going help a Republican held House to vote for Immigration Reform.

Texas Reps. John Carter and Sam Johnson announced in a joint statement Friday they were leaving the group of seven in the House that was going to propose a House version of Immigration Reform, saying they could not trust President Obama to enforce an immigration bill that might pass Congress.

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Andrew P. Johnson - Immigration Lawyer