The Australian government announced that it will change the immigration laws in order to eliminate discrimination against same-sex couples and their children. Same-sex couples will receive the same treatment under the Australian immigration laws as opposite sex couples, both as parents and partners.
The proposed changes will result in same-sex couples becoming eligible for a wider range of visas along with citizenship provisions. Same-sex couples will be included in the definition of “de facto partner” and the new definition of “spouse.”
Similar attempts to amend the US immigration laws regarding same-sex couples have been discussed; however, currently no bills are making significant progress towards reforming US laws in this manner. Immigrants married to same-sex US Citizens cannot receive a green card due to their relationship with their same-sex partner. Many immigrants in this situation are encountering severe immigration problems as a result.
Central American leaders plan to push Vice President Biden and the Obama Administration to cut back on the deportations to Central American countries including El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
During President Bush’s last year in office a record-setting 80,000 people were deported back to Central America in 2008. The deportations coupled with the ailing US economy have had dire effects on the Central American economy. Many of the Central American countries rely on remittances from individuals living and working in the US.
President Obama’s administration seems more dedicated to Central American issues; however, most of the attention thus far has been paid to Mexico.
If you are currently in deportation proceedingsor a loved one is in detention awaiting a deportation hearing, contact The Nunez Firm today. Consultations are free and 100% confidential. Nothing discussed during a consultation can or will be repeated to anyone.
If you are from a Central American country originally, temporary protected status might be available to you as well.
Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Crime is rampant and four out of five Haitians lives in extreme poverty. Last year, four storms ravaged the tiny island nation killing up to 800 people, leaving one million homeless and causing over $1 billion in damage.
The United States offers temporary protected status (“TPS”)to immigrants from countries experiencing economic, civil and political turbulence. Several Central American countries including Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras are classified as TPS countries, which allows immigrants from those countries to avoid deportation back to their home country for a limited period of time.
Haiti has experienced overwhelming political, social and economic instability for many years; however, Haiti has been excluded from the list of TPS countries.
A Washington Post Editorial calls for President Obama to extend TPS protections to Haiti in order to help the small country’s economy recover.
If you are currently in TPS status or believe you may be eligible for TPS, call The Nunez Firm today to discuss your options. The consultation is free and 100% confidential.
The Ninth Circuit held that an alien who is convicted of a simple possession offense who violates his/her probation but still manages to obtain an expungement under CPC 1203.4 remains convicted of a crime relating to a controlled substance for immigration purposes. The Court focused on the Federal First Offender Act’s (FFOA) language which provides that any person granted FFOA treatment who violates probation is no longer eligible to have their offense eliminated. The Court stated, “[W]e now make explicit that FFOA relief is not available when the person whose conviction is expunged has violated a condition of probation.”
The full Estrada v. Holder opinion.
Over 30,000 immigrants are kept in detention every day. This number is triple what it was just ten years ago. Some immigrants are detained for months or years without meaningful judicial review of their case even though international human rights laws require judicial review.
The cost to the U.S. taxpayer is $95 per day to detain an individual. Effective alternatives to detention cost a mere $12 per day. The more cost-effective alternatives are rarely considered and use of such programs varies widely from region to region.
Full Amnesty International Report available here. Executive Summary available here.
Bolstered by President Obama’s encouragement, House Democrats seem ready to move forward with immigration reform efforts. Although the political will might not be there for some members of Congress, Democrats like Xavier Becerra are optimistic.
Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, who supported immigration reform efforts two years ago is skeptical as to the likely success of such a bill. “Nobody’s thinking about it because we’ve got all these emergencies on our hands. Let’s get these emergencies resolved and then we can turn to other things.”
Some say that moving for immigration reform in 2009 is a necessity, because 2010 is an election year, and no one will want to touch it one year from now.
After criticizing President Obama for making a speech at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and making statements that the U.S. Hispanic Chamber was an organization that is interested in exporting drugs and illegal aliens to the United States, the CNN host of “Lou Dobbs Tonight” offered an uncharacteristic apology.
“I, of course, do not believe that the chamber supports or condones either drug or human trafficking. My apologies to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. And I hope that they will forgive me for misspeaking.”
The Ninth Circuit ruled that the immigration judge wrongfully denied asylum cases for three Chinese Christians who were persecuted and abused for helping North Korean refugees escape North Korea. It is very common for North Korean refugees to escape their home country by fleeing to China, then migrating to Southeast Asia and eventually travelling to Japan or South Korea. The trip is grueling, and it is difficult to get through China without being discovered.
According to the Ninth Circuit, the immigration judge incorrectly ruled that the Chinese nationals were being prosecuted for criminal acts rather than persecuted. This is a common issue in asylum cases. Many asylum seekers flee their home country to avoid being imprisoned or tortured. U.S. asylum law does not allow asylum if the individual is merely attempting to avoid legitimate prosecution (e.g. theft); however, if an individual is in danger of prosecution for an illegitimate reason (e.g. religious beliefs), asylum is available.
The Nunez Firm has vast experience with asylum cases. I have helped numerous clients obtain asylee status in the United States. Contact The Nunez Firm today to discuss your immigration situation, and I can help you determine if you have a potential asylum case.
The Immigration Policy Center published a report on the economic effects of reforming immigration and legalizing undocumented workers. The Fact Sheet contains several fascinating statistics including:
- Trying to deport 10 million illegal immigrants would cost approximately $206 billion over five years.
- 9 out of 10 native-born workers experience wage gains because of immigration.
- Latino and Asian buying power totaled over 1.6 trillion dollars in 2008.
- $66 billion in new revenue over 10 years would have been generated if the immigration reform bill, which would have legalized most undocumented workers, had passed in 2006.
The U.S. has provided safe haven for Liberians who fled their country due to the war since 1991. In 2003, the armed conflict ended; however, the United States instituted a deferred enforced departure program which has allowed Liberians to remain in the United States. The DED program was set to expire on March 31, 2009 until President Obama extended the program for another year.