February 2016 Memo
Happy President’s Day!
On Monday, February 15th, we as a country celebrated President’s Day. The day was created to commemorate the birthday of our first U.S. President, George Washington, as well as to honor the office of the Presidency.
FAMILY DEPORTATION ROUNDUPS IN JANUARY
Last month, 121 undocumented immigrants were detained and being processed for deportation. The majority of the people were in Georgia, Texas and North Carolina and from Central American families. The government focused its efforts on searching for those who crossed the southern border illegally seeking refuge after May 2014, received final orders of removal by immigration court, and continued to stay in the country. Different from past workplace deportation raids, this sweep focused on families at home. However, official orders of removal give agents the authority to detain immigrants but not the authority to enter their homes without permission. Immigrants have the right to deny Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers entry into their homes. Salvadoran and Guatemalan government officials warned immigrants not to open their doors or sign documents and to seek legal help. If the officers come with a warrant, then you must open the door.
SUPREME COURT DECIDES U.S. VERSUS TEXAS CASE IN JUNE 2016
The Supreme Court announced that the U.S. v Texas case will be heard this year and a decision is expected in June. This case involves the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program, which could affect over 4 million undocumented immigrants. If approved, eligible immigrants could apply for a three-year work visa and would be spared from deportation upon meeting several conditions, including that they are a parent of a U.S. citizen and have been in the U.S. continuously since 2010. The Obama Administration is confident that the program will pass and, if so, it would be put into effect in mid-to-late 2016. Following the end of President Obama’s term, the continuation of the program would likely depend on the party of the next President.
STATE OF THE UNION AVOIDS IMMIGRATION ISSUES
President Obama addressed the nation in his annual State of the Union speech, but this year’s speech barely mentioned the immigration issues the country is currently facing. In previous years, it has been discussed as a top domestic priority for his administration. The President stated, “And I’ll keep pushing for progress on the work that still needs doing,” listing “fixing a broken immigration system” among other national issues such as gun violence and raising the minimum wage.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact the office!
Susan W. Scheer and Staff