February 5, 2016

Senators agree on path to legal status for illegal immigrants


WASHINGTON — Eight senators who have spent weeks trying to write a bipartisan bill to overhaul immigration laws have privately agreed on the most contentious part of the draft — how to offer legal status to the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants. According to aides familiar with the closed-door negotiations, the bill would require illegal immigrants to register with Homeland Security Department authorities, file federal income taxes for their time in America and pay a still-to-be-determined fine. They also must have a clean law enforcement record. Once granted probationary legal status, immigrants would be allowed to work but would be…

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Senators look to early April for immigration bill

Senators in a bipartisan group crafting a comprehensive immigration bill said Tuesday they’re not sure whether they can meet a self-imposed March deadline but they’re optimistic about a deal soon. The lawmakers in the “Gang of Eight” have been meeting several times a week to write sweeping legislation that would strengthen the U.S.-Mexico border, improve legal immigration, crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants and provide an eventual pathway to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the U.S. When they unveiled legislative principles in January, the senators announced they hoped to release a bill sometime in…

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Internet Marriages on Rise in Some Immigrant Communities in US


With a red embroidered veil draped over her dark hair, Punam Chowdhury held her breath last month as her fiancé said the phrase that would make them husband and wife. After she echoed them, they were married. Guests erupted in applause; the bride and groom traded bashful smiles. Just then, the Internet connection cut out, and the wedding was abruptly over. Normally one of the most intimate moments two people can share, the marriage had taken place from opposite ends of the globe over the video chat program Skype, with Ms. Chowdhury, an American citizen, in a mosque in Jackson Heights,…

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ICE Frees Immigration Detainees As Sequester Looms


WASHINGTON — Immigration and Customs Enforcement released some people from immigrant detention facilities across the country on Monday in response to looming federal budget cuts. “In order to make the best use of our limited detention resources in the current fiscal climate and to manage our detention population under current congressionally mandated levels, ICE has directed field offices to review the detained population to ensure it is in line with available funding,” agency spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said in a statement. ICE and the Department of Homeland Security are analyzing spending as congressional inaction increases the likelihood of so-called budget sequestration…

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McCain to meet with Obama on immigration


Republican Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) will meet with President Obama on Tuesday to discuss on-going efforts to overhaul the nation’s immigration system, a Senate aide confirmed Monday. The one-time Republican presidential nominee first mentioned the possibility of a meeting with his 2008 rival while traveling in Mexico on Friday. McCain is the lead Republican on an eight member bipartisan Senate working group attempting to craft immigration legislation. The group, which includes four Democrats and four Republicans, unveiled a joint statement of principles last month to guide their efforts. They have said they hope to submit legislation in March. Republicans on the committee had…

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Proposed design of NC illegal immigrant licenses sparks concern


A new driver’s license expected to be issued to some illegal immigrants in North Carolina has prompted state lawmakers and immigrant rights groups to voice concerns over the proposal. The proposed North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles license has a bright pink stripe and the bold words “NO LAWFUL STATUS.” The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles announced last week they would begin issuing the licenses March 25 following a lengthy legal review. The Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program grants valid federal work permits to qualified applicants brought to the U.S. as children without legal authorization. Some Republican…

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View detailed drafts of President Obama’s immigration bill


Posted are three components of  the White House draft immigration legislation. This is the draft that was circulated to US media houses last week. The draft proposal was slammed by Republicans and Marco Rubio insisted that it was” half baked and flawed”. “It will be dead on arrival,” proclaimed Rubio. “Aside from the emphasis on border security, there appears to be relatively little in the White House draft proposals that conflicts with what Rubio wants. Though we are posting three pieces of draft legislation ranging from 45 to 95 pages each, White House officials are preparing other drafts in case…

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Kenyan Embassy in US advises Kenyans who may be impacted by expected immigration reforms


Discussions from the White House and Congress indicate a high likelihood that the United States will reform the immigration system in the year of 2013. An actual bill has not yet been introduced. However, these reforms could include new pathways to citizenship, advanced border control and tougher employment verification systems. The Legal and Political Department of the Kenya embassy in Washington, DC advices that If you are or know of a Kenyan in the United States that may be impacted by any changes in the US immigration system, to please consider the following tips: Keep a current visa status. If you are currently in…

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ICE placing detainers on US Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents


Between FY2008 and FY2012, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have placed detainers on 834 U.S. Citizens and 28,489 legal permanent residents (LPRs, or “green card” holders), a report by Transaction Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) shows. An immigration “detainer,” often called an “immigration hold,” is a notice that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents issue to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. It is a primary tool ICE uses to apprehend suspected noncitizens being held by these authorities. These results are based on TRAC’s analysis of case-by-case records on nearly one million detainers issued by ICE between FY…

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Supreme Court won’t extend 2010 immigration ruling


(Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court declined on Wednesday to apply retroactively a 2010 ruling that requires lawyers to tell immigrant clients that they can be deported if they plead guilty to certain crimes. The 7-2 decision was a defeat for thousands of immigrants who might have been able to withdraw guilty pleas in cases alleging ineffective counsel. These cases predated the court’s March 2010 ruling in Padilla v. Kentucky that immigrants should be told some consequences of guilty pleas. In Wednesday’s majority opinion, Justice Elena Kagan said the Padilla ruling did not apply to cases that were already final…

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