Author Topic: Immigration Policy  (Read 1502 times)

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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Immigration Policy
« Reply #58 on: October 25, 2012, 10:20:32 PM »
I think the takeaway from this discussion is that immigration policy is extremely complicated. And the people affected most by the laws usually don't have a clue about negotiating the immigration maze. This is one area of law where there is no free or low cost advice or attorney available.

I have spent a lot of time reading documents and surfing websites trying to find information so immigrants who want to get out of trouble, or stay out of trouble could do it. People who want to do the right thing are most likely to get caught and deported, in my experience.

Suppose you come to the US as a wealthy student or on a visit and your family back home is arrested and tortured. Your relatives who were sending money and supporting you are all disappeared or in prison. (It really happened to someone who lived with me.) What should you do? Go to the immigration office and explain your situation? Or disappear into the illegal underground?

The people who innocently show up in the immigration office and try to explain what happened end up getting all their documents confiscated, and get handed a stack of incomprehensible papers in return. They are screwed. They will be jailed and deported.

Believe me, it is almost impossible to understand the rules and laws if you are not an attorney. I am not an attorney, and I was terrified whenever I helped someone fill out the paperwork. We all knew that if we made one mistake, put the wrong date or name or city or whatever on that paper, the person could be deported or jailed. Nobody tells you what the wrong answers are, so people don't even know what they put down that was wrong.

So, if you wonder why people decide to stay illegal and work in the underground economy instead of applying for legal residency or asylum, it is because they have better chances with the criminals than with the government. That is sad but true.

I have to admit that now when young people in that kind of situation come to me for immigration advice, I tell them the following:
1)First of all, you are screwed. Sorry.
2)Stay illegal.
3)Don't go to the authorities or apply for anything.
4)Hang onto your documents.
5)Don't break any laws or come to the attention of the authorities and you can stay in the US indefinitely.
6)Your only chance of legal residency is to marry a citizen, but that is very longterm, expensive and risky.
7)Work on your English.
8)Don't get sick. Don't get pregnant or make anyone pregnant.
9)Stay with me until you can find work, and then disappear.
10)Call or text me if you need money.


That is the best I can do for them. Sucks for everyone.  :( >:( :'(

Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Immigration Policy
« Reply #59 on: October 26, 2012, 08:21:52 AM »
nogodsforme,

Are there any legal ramifications for you helping the illegal immigrants or offering advice such as you described?
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Immigration Policy
« Reply #60 on: October 26, 2012, 08:42:59 AM »
Quesi,

Thank you for the detailed summary of the process. It sounds rather complicated. In one hand I understand the need for thoroughness but it seems like we are more afraid of fraud than we are concerned about the safety of domestic violence victims. I'm glad they try by having a policy. What do you think they could do to improve upon it?
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Immigration Policy
« Reply #61 on: October 26, 2012, 10:45:00 AM »
nogodsforme,

Are there any legal ramifications for you helping the illegal immigrants or offering advice such as you described?

They have a dossier on me. What do you think?

I am not an attorney, so my advice is worth exactly what the people pay for it. Nobody has to take my advice and my advice has no legal value. I suppose I could get into trouble for helping undoc people break the law. Truth is,  I think/hope the government is more worried about violent crime. :-\
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Quesi

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Re: Immigration Policy
« Reply #62 on: October 26, 2012, 06:24:03 PM »
nogodsforme,

Are there any legal ramifications for you helping the illegal immigrants or offering advice such as you described?

They have a dossier on me. What do you think?

I am not an attorney, so my advice is worth exactly what the people pay for it. Nobody has to take my advice and my advice has no legal value. I suppose I could get into trouble for helping undoc people break the law. Truth is,  I think/hope the government is more worried about violent crime. :-\

If you have offered someone employment, you are required by law to verify that the person you have hired is who s/he says he is, and that s/he is eligible to work in the United States.  Your burden is to complete the I9 form.  http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf

If you are treating someone to dinner, chatting about paperwork, advising someone in terms of education, marriage, procreation, or even carpooling with them, you are not required to verify the immigration status of that person. 

If I tell you that I am an undocumented immigrant, you may choose to believe me or not.  It does not matter, because you have no proof either way, and there is no legal requirement that you verify my claim.   You can, however, offer me your opinions about work, family, transportation, relationships to my country of origin, housing, or whatever you like, so long as no fees are exchanged and you are not representing yourself as legal counsel. If you advise me to break the law, you are in a grey area.  If you give me specific information about how to obtain false identification, how to engage in a fraudulent marriage, or connect me with a coyote who is willing to transport my friends or family members across a border illegally, you are committing a criminal act.  If you are chatting about my lifestyle and offering your opinions, you are not in violation of the law.   

Think about it this way. 

If I tell you that I am the illegitimate daughter of Prince Charles, you may choose to believe me or not.  It does not matter, because you have no proof, and there is no legal requirement that you verify my claim.  You can, however, offer me your opinions on my ascendency to the thrown of England, my theoretical rights to lands and territories and titles, blah blah blah, so long as no fees are exchanged and you are not representing yourself as legal counsel. 

Nogodsforme is offering her opinions, based on claims that she is not legally responsible to verify. 

However, I would like to offer some information that may be useful for some of the folks that nogodsforme might work with, and for friends and neighbors and classmates of other folks here. 

On August 15, 2012, an executive action taken by President Obama went into effect.  It is known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and it provides an opportunity for approximately 1.7 million young people (under the age of 30) who were brought into the US as children under the age of 15, to receive a temporary deportation deferral, along with a two-year work permit and a social security number.  The applicants have to meet a very specific set of criteria, including a high school degree, GED, or enrollment in a program designed to help them achieve a some sort of recognized high school equivalency.   They also need to provide evidence of continuous presence in the US during a specific set of dates. 

There are legitimate agencies all over the country that can assist with the application process. My program just got a grant to do (among other things) DACA applications for free, and we are poised to start next month, assuming Obama gets elected. (Romney has said he will honor applications already submitted, but that he would allow no new applications after his presidency.)   

NYC private attorneys are charging as much as $1500 to do the applications, in addition to the $465 fee.   I’m sure that there are private attorneys everywhere that are trying to get rich off of low income, undocumented immigrants all over the country.  If you know someone who is potentially eligible, but you don’t know of any legitimate agencies providing DACA application assistance, you can try calling your elected officials and seeing if they can refer you to a legitimate agency. If that doesn’t work, try and get in touch with your local branch of the Legal Aid Society.  They probably have a very long waiting list, but might be able to refer you to a community organization that could do your application for free or for a nominal fee.   If you try both of those options and don’t have any luck, if you send me a private message.  I can try and put you in touch with an NYC organization that might be able to locate someone in your area doing applications. 

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Immigration Policy
« Reply #63 on: October 26, 2012, 07:45:04 PM »
Is that the Dream Act? I hear folks talking about "los dreamers". If so, that is a really good opportunity, but you do need a lawyer. The legal aid hotlines only take calls two days a week, they are so swamped. And they just refer you to an attorney who once did pro bono work in the past and you have to try to get them to take your case. They are also swamped.

I just read some of those ignorant replies to an article about health care. Several people claimed that "illegals just off the boat line up and get generouse finacial aide (sic) from the govt." I am tempted to contact those people and find out where those lines are so I could refer my illegal friends there.... &)

Anyone know where illegals are getting all that free government help and money, please PM me.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Immigration Policy
« Reply #64 on: October 26, 2012, 07:48:20 PM »
Oh, yeah, I don't know how to get fake papers, how to arrange a fake marriage or how to find a coyote. Except for the ones who patrol the yards in my neighborhood threatening local cats. Ahwoooooo!
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Quesi

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Re: Immigration Policy
« Reply #65 on: October 26, 2012, 09:10:03 PM »
Is that the Dream Act? I hear folks talking about "los dreamers". If so, that is a really good opportunity, but you do need a lawyer. The legal aid hotlines only take calls two days a week, they are so swamped. And they just refer you to an attorney who once did pro bono work in the past and you have to try to get them to take your case. They are also swamped.

I just read some of those ignorant replies to an article about health care. Several people claimed that "illegals just off the boat line up and get generouse finacial aide (sic) from the govt." I am tempted to contact those people and find out where those lines are so I could refer my illegal friends there.... &)

Anyone know where illegals are getting all that free government help and money, please PM me.

This is not the Dream Act, but most people are understandably confused and I've also heard eligible applicants referred to as "dreamers."

The Dream Act is proposed legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for certain childhood entrants. 

This is sort of "The Dream Act Lite."  It is an executive action that provides temporary relief from deportation for certain childhood entrants.  They get a two year visa, which provides a social security number and temporary work authorization.  It is not an immigrant tract visa. 

Either an attorney or an accredited representative working for an agency that is recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) can complete the application.  BIA accredited representatives are not lawyers, but they are able to practice certain aspects of immigration law, such as completing applications on behalf of clients.  A lot of not-for-profits have accredited reps.   They can charge "nominal fees,' but some non profits have grants that enable accredited reps to provide certain services for free.  My agency is preparing for a frenzy right now, and our accredited rep is getting training specifically on how to complete DACA applications. 

There are risks involved in applying.  The applicants must come forward, and inform the federal government of their undocumented status, their contact information, work history, family information, etc.  And this is NOT an immigrant tract visa.  It is a temporary visa.  And since it is an executive action, rather than a piece of legislation, a future president could, with the sweep of a pen, order all of the applicants deported.  This is unlikely, but possible.  Romney has said that he will allow visas to be issued to people who applied prior to his election, but that he will not allow visas to continue to be issued after his election.     

On the other hand, it is an opportunity for 1.7 million young people who are living in the country illegally, through no fault of their own, to have legal status, and the ability to work legally.

Sadly, not all childhood entrants will qualify. 

Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, "came out" last year as an undocumented immigrant.  He had not even known he was in the country illegally until he tried to get a drivers licence at 16 years old.   Last year, he wrote this article http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/magazine/my-life-as-an-undocumented-immigrant.html?_r=2&ref=magazine&pagewanted=all which was featured in the NY Times Magazine section, about his big secret.  But he is too old to qualify for even a work permit under DACA. 
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 09:30:09 PM by Quesi »

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Immigration Policy
« Reply #66 on: October 27, 2012, 06:40:51 AM »
This reminds me of 2 cases I dealt with. One was an Italian (in the days before the European Union) who arrived from abroad in possession of an Italian identity card (this was acceptable but as he had no passport, he had nothing to show his status). He spoke English with a local accent and spoke no Italian. He was 19 years old and in work. His parents were dead. He had been sent, aged 4 years, to live with his aunt who had never bothered to regularise his immigration status. At the end of the day, we told him to get a passport and report back. When he did, we granted him residence there and then. This was in line with our discretionary powers. The subsequent report led to a change in policy in line with our action.

The second instance was a 32 year old man with a strong American accent and a new, US issued, British passport who arrived having been deported from the US for burglary having served 6 months imprisonment. His parents were still in the US and he had arrived there aged 8 years. After 24 years, and regardless of his crime, it seemed to me to be overly harsh to reject him. (With more serious crimes, I would not have had a difficulty.)

The problem with not deporting children with the parents is that it creates a load of de facto orphans. It is important to realise that the phrase “through no fault of their own” is not a defence.

I used to deal with people who had offended and who, rightly, said, “… but my lawyer told me I could do that.” My answer was, “Then sue your lawyer.” (That may seem hard, but otherwise, lawyers could say anything and it would be a defence.)

Likewise for the ‘illegal’ minor child, you must realise that the parents are entitled to make decisions for and behalf of the children and when they make decisions contrary to the regulations, the child becomes part of that decision – it is not for the state to interfere, for if they do, they split a family, or they have to allow the family to stay.

If, through this, the family is given the right to stay then it is an incentive to bypass the law by procreating as soon as possible after arrival. Do not think it does not happen, it does.

One solution, as adopted here, is to recognise that after a certain time, a family is established in a country and administrative (as opposed to judicial, i.e. as part of a sentence) removal may not be appropriate and allow for the use of discretion. Discretion is good. With discretion, the bad guys stay out, the good guys get in.

Pro-immigrant groups do not like discretion; they prefer written, clear laws that are rigidly enforced. They like to see each case as creating a precedent to be quoted. This removal of discretion has the effect of setting everything in stone and creating individual cases that are unjust both for the immigrant and the state.

My Italian above should have been sent back to Italy – but the next case might only have been here 18 months and be an arsehole; without discretion, either the Italian would have had to be sent back, or we let in the arsehole.

“Where to draw the line for a firm but fair immigration policy?” This is the question that has dogged everyone who has tried to give an answer.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”