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April 2014

Immigration Reform Blame Game

Tired of reading immigration news that merely finger-points who is to blame for failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform? Is Obama to blame? The GOP? Does it even matter? Or is this back and forth all about who will take the credit for immigration reform passage? The GOP recognizes that it will have to address immigration reform if it hopes to acquire Latino votes (Charles Schumer Promises Immigration Reform). They recognize that Latino voters have influence and they matter. A look at this Latino Vote Map will give some perspective on the impact and influence of Latino votes.

Yet, the most immediate impact of immigration reform or its lack of passage are the undocumented immigrants themselves. Where is their voice? How can we make sure that it is being heard in the immigration debate? At the end of the day, immigrants just want a humane and immigration reform bill to pass. Undocumented students want hope for the future, undocumented people want security that they will not be deported just for being undocumented, respect for worker rights, and families want the security that they will not be separate from their loved ones just for lacking documentation. The only way to achieve this is by changing the current immigration laws (recognized by both sides as broken). The time is now. Lets move beyond the blame game and follow through with the promises of immigration reform.

Is race the force keeping immigration reform from passing?

Time and time again recent efforts to consider and pass comprehensive immigration legislation have been either stalled or blocked. Deferred Action for individuals that arrived in the United States as children is continuously threatened (to be defunded) and the House has yet to consider even piecemeal immigration reform.

Today, Nancy Pelosi stated that “race has something to do with delay in immigration” (The Huffington Post April 10, 2014). Her comments point to an issue that is at the heart of what American politics has been about. Pelosi’s commentsImage remind us that race remains a pivotal force driving politics and shaping institutions in the US. Race has played a central role in how social policies from housing and social security have been passed and implemented in the United States. Racial identity itself has driven by federal policies. Immigration policies are no exception, helping shape US demographics that maintained a population of immigrants from European countries the majority (Origins Quota Act), thus solidifying a white identity to a legal requirement of whiteness as a per-requisite for naturalization. (See M. Ngai’s “Impossible Subjects”).

The inflammatory racial language that has been employed throughout the current immigration debate is illustrative of the dominant stereotypes and other biases that exist regarding race and mostly targeted at Latino immigrants.

Pro-immigration advocates focus on the contributions of immigrants and highlight the archetype of the ideal immigrant pursuing the American dream: the hardworking, law abiding, tax payer with strong family values. While positive, this image does not challenge the dominant and racially charged perceptions of the immigrant takes more than it contributes. This understanding and racial preconception of immigrants helps justify anti-immigrant stances and appeals to a US sense of virtue and goodness that is supposed to be the American way. This is what drives racial politics. Continuing to ignore the ways in which race has shaped policies towards people of color in the US is not doing anything to advance the pro-immigration stance. Is it time to bring race back into the conversation?

DACA RENEWAL – ICE GRANTED Renewal Guidance

 

Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrivals (DACA) can now be renewed for those individuals who received their status from June 15, 2012 until August 15, 2012.

USCIS indicates the renewal process will be done in chunks depending on when individuals obtained their DACA status. Needless to say, the process is a bit confusing. So here are some tips for your DACA renewal:

  • Include a copy (front and back) of your previous Employment Authorization Card (EAD Card);
  • If you are still in school (college or high school) – include your current school transcripts and registration documents to show you are enrolled; OR
  •  A copy of your graduation certificate if you have graduated;
  • Update your mailing address – don’t forget to fill out a Change of Address Form (AR-11);
  • Include two passport-size photos for your Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization;
  • File your Renewal by Certified Mail and Return Receipt Requested for verification that your application was received;
  • Keep a copy of everything you file!
  • Don’t forget your filing fee!
  • Careful with Notarios/Notaries! Consult an experienced immigration attorney if you have any questions!

Check out USCIS for updates for DACA Renewal Guidance

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ESPAÑOL: ¡Atención! El servicio de inmigración indica que el proceso para renovar sera por porciones dependiendo de las fechas en la cual un individuo recibió DACA.   El estatus de Acción Diferida ya se puede renovar para individuos que recibieron su estatus entre el 15 de Julio del 2012 hasta el 15 de Agosto del 2012.

Este proceso es un poco confuso, entonces aquí hay unos consejos para la renovación de DACA:
• Incluye una copia (los dos lados) de la tarjeta de permiso de trabajo (EAD);
• Los que están en la escuela: Incluyan copia reciente de registración/matricula y reporte de calificaciones; O
• Una copia del certificado de graduación si se ha graduado;
• Mantén a USCIS informado de cualquier cambio de domicilio (AR-11);
• Envía la renovación por correo certificado y firma requerida para más seguridad;
• ¡Has copia de todo lo archivado!
• ¡No olvides el costo de archivar!
• ¡Ojo con Notarios! ¡Consulta a un abogado con experiencia si hay cualquier duda!

Visita al USCIS para más información sobre Renovación de DACA.

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