City Council Bill Seeks To Protect Jailed Immigrants From Feds

Originally posted on CBS New York:

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new bill in the City Council aims to keep detained immigrants from being deported by the federal government.

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, the measure, supported by Mayor Bill de Blasio, would prohibit correction officials and police from handing over detainees to immigration officials.

But Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito noted there are exceptions.

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“The law will only allow the city to honor the detainer if the subject has been convicted of a violent or serious felony in the last five years or if the person is a possible match on the federal terrorist watchlist,” she said.

The bill would also shutter the federal immigration office on Rikers Island.

Mark-Viverito said New York is setting the standard for treatment of the immigrant population.

The speaker…

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Where do you stand on immigration?


Good question. Where do you stand?

Originally posted on The Vigil:


By James Cullinane

During this week’s debate, incumbent Jeanne Shaheen and challenger Scott Brown exchanged verbal blows while discussing immigration.

While  Shaheen and Brown have both expressed desire to “fix” the immigration system, the two candidates differ regarding what problems need fixing.

As a Senator, Shaheen supported an immigration reform bill that attempted to map out a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented residents living in the United States.

On the other hand, Brown “believes that amnesty is wrong,” according to his campaign website.  “It undermines the law, and is a disservice to the millions of immigrants who are following the law and playing by the rules.”

  • How do you feel about amnesty for undocumented residents?
  • Which candidate are you with on immigration? Why?

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Sen. Kay Hagan slammed on immigration in Spanish-language billboards

Originally posted on Voxxi:

Kay Hagan

This is one of the billboards that went up Tuesday in North Carolina, slamming Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan for her record on immigration. (Courtesy photo)

A coalition of Latino families is going after Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina in a pair of Spanish-language billboards that are meant to expose her record on immigration.

The billboards went up Tuesday — one in Raleigh and another in Durham — and were paid for by donations from Latino families. They show an image of Hagan and assert that the Democratic senator “is not a friend of immigrants.” Hagan is among the handful of vulnerable Democratic senators running for re-election in tough races.

SEE ALSO: Number of Latinos in U.S. House could reach 32 after the elections

Viridiana Martinez, a Dreamer who helped with the efforts to put up the billboards, said the purpose of the billboards is to hold Hagan accountable…

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My Panel Discussion at AILA CFC’s Annual Conference and Why it is VERY IMPORTANT for You to Hire an ETHICAL ATTORNEY

I had the pleasure of speaking before AILA Central Florida Chapter’s 28th Annual Conference this past weekend. It was my first such engagement before the group and it was one of the best experiences of my life.

I had the pleasure of meeting immigration superstars like Mary Kramer and Ira Kurzban, who are considered two of the best immigration attorneys in the country.

The main issue discussed during my panel discussion was the unique ethical issues immigration lawyers face because of the special circumstances with which they deal. I discussed the problems of confidentiality and communication, which sometimes complicate the immigration attorney’s task. Immigration attorneys face unique problems because most of their clients do not usually speak English and face other cultural circumstances that may make complicate the representation.

It is very important to choose an ethical attorney with an excellent reputation when hiring an immigration attorney. An ethical attorney with an excellent reputation among adjudications officers will facilitate your case, because the government trusts your attorney.

Please leave me a comment with your thoughts or email me at if you have any questions.

Many unaccompanied Central American youth traumatized

Originally posted on Friends of Refugees:


Many of the 30,000 (some articles say 60,000) Central American unaccompanied minors who have entered the U.S illegally since last January have come with histories of trauma. Many of the children and teens have been physically or sexually abused. For example, the USCRI refugee contractor says more than 90 percent of the girls they’re dealing with have been raped. An article at NPR explores this troubling issue:

Many of the Central American children who have entered the U.S illegally in recent months have come with a heavy burden — a history of hardship and violence. And many of the children now face difficult and uncertain futures.

This has social service agencies around the country scrambling to figure out how to help the more than 30,000 unaccompanied minors who have been placed with family and friends since January, as they await their immigration hearings.

One of those nonprofits is Mary’s Center…

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SCOTUS Grants Certiorari to Two Immigration-Based Cases for 2015 Term: Will the Government Have to Explain Its Exercise of “Discretion”?

Originally posted on The National Law Forum:

Greenberg Traurig Law firm

The United States Supreme Court is back in session as of last Monday, Oct. 6—often referred to as “First Monday” due to the fact that the term must begin on the first Monday of October by law. Among its roughly 50 case docket, featuring headliners that will refine Fourth Amendment jurisprudence and agency regulatory authority, the Justices will tackle two cases that stand to have a considerable impact on American immigration law and procedure.

The first of those cases, Mellouli v. Holder, concerns the issue of whether a noncitizen—even a green card holder—can be mandatorily detained and deported for possessing drug paraphernalia.Section 237(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act broadly authorizes the deportation of noncitizens that find themselves caught up in charges related to a “controlled substance.” Currently, the circuits are split as to whether the drug paraphernalia itself, the possession of which is prohibited by some…

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