A federal on Thursday ended Mississippi's restraint on adoption by same-sex couples, saying it violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The order by U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan came in response to a lawsuit filed in August 2015 on behalf of four legally wedded same-sex couples, two of whom are raising children, as well as the Campaign for Southern Equality and the Family Equality Council.
The plaintiffs argued that legally united couples were discriminated by the Mississippi restriction on adoption by same-sex couples. Same sex marriage was legalized in the state in 2014.
The lawsuit came barely weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that same sex marriage bans are unconstitutional across the country.￼
￼￼￼In his order, Judge Jordan followed the opinion by the Supreme Court that ended the same-sex marriage bans.
The judge stated that it appears "highly unlikely that the same court that held a state cannot ban gay marriage because it would deny benefits - expressly including the right to adopt - would then conclude that married gay couples can be denied that very same benefit."
It was not until Trump decided to run for president did the Republican Party lose traction in its' race to the Whitehouse.
Immigration and the 11 million undocumented people living in the United States have been propelled it to the front position of American republican politics
As soon as Donald Trump launched his campaign for president he began emitting repulsive rhetoric about "Mexican rapists" and making minorities his patsy in a disgraceful appeal to the Republican Party's racist base. His apparent purpose is to destroy American families and American-born children of immigrants. His solution of mass deportation and ending birthright says it all.
Throught history "ethnic cleansing" has bee part of the human experience. Trump's solution to the "immigrant problem" is version of ethnic cleansing in the ilk of Hitler's 25 demands
"All financial interests in or in any way affecting German newspapers shall be forbidden to non-Germans by law, and we demand that the punishment for transgressing this law be the immediate suppression of the newspaper and the expulsion of the non-Germans from the Reich.
Newspapers transgressing against the common welfare shall be suppressed. We demand legal action against those tendencies in art and literature that have a disruptive influence upon the life of our folk, and that any organizations that offend against the foregoing demands shall be dissolved"
While shifting the republican's base from policy issues to immigration may have catapulted Trump to number one in the polls, it created a backlash from the millions of Americans with an undocumented immigrant family member.
Even as we speak President Obama is intervening with plans to help the 8.8 million legal immigrants in the country to become American citizens though an organized push to make all eligible Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card Holders). Obama's "Stand Stronger" Citizenship Awareness Campaign is intended as a comprehensive effort to change their immigration status so that they can fight back against the GOP hate in the voting booths.
Imagine the effect of 8 million new voters in the next decade, and some 5.4 million of them Latino? It will be all over for the republicans as no republican will ever live in the White house again.
The whiplash republicans are feeling is due to the frightening thoughts of millions of new citizens. Republicans recognize that Latinos vote for Democratic candidates in much higher numbers (2-1) than they vote for GOP candidates. 5 million new Latino vote could permanent keep republicans out of the white house.
August 24, 2015
Washington, D.C. - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Immigration Council (Council) welcome a decision released Friday evening by U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee in Flores v. Lynch, No. 85-04544 (C.D.Ca.), which ruled that children should generally be released from detention within five days—preferably to a parent, including a parent with whom they were apprehended. The government must implement the Court’s ruling by October 23, 2015.
“There is no denying that the government has breached the Flores settlement agreement. The status quo is unacceptable, and the government must take immediate and dramatic steps to end family detention,” said Victor Nieblas Pradis, AILA President. “Our CARA Project* staff and volunteers submitted numerous declarations to the Court showing how the government is still detaining accompanied minors in secure, unlicensed facilities. It can no longer hide from the American people the ugly truth of how it treats children fleeing persecution,” said Nieblas. “Just as striking is how the Court condemned the ‘deplorable’ conditions in temporary border jails. They do not meet even minimal standards for safe and sanitary conditions,” said Nieblas.
“This decision will bolster our efforts to end the inhumane practice of detaining children and their mothers,” according to Melissa Crow, Legal Director of the American Immigration Council. “The Court chastised the government for ‘unnecessarily dragging their feet’ in releasing children from family detention facilities and for repeating the same arguments they had raised in earlier briefing, which she had already rejected. Judge Gee also scoffed at government warnings that the swift release of children and mothers could spur another mass migration of Central American families, characterizing them as ‘speculative at best, and, at worse, fear mongering.’” Crow added, “Although the Court gives the government some latitude to exceed the five-day limit ‘in the event of an emergency or influx of minors into the United States,’ the decision emphasizes that this should be the exception, not the rule. It’s time for the government to stop making excuses and harming innocent children and their mothers.”
“AILA and the Council will be watching every step the government takes. We expect it to follow this federal court’s order with no less zeal than it did obeying the Texas district court’s DAPA decision,” said Nieblas, referring to the extraordinary efforts the government made to comply with the injunction against the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents process and the planned expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process.
The recent ruling in Flores follows from a July 24, 2015, decision, in which the Court concluded that the government was in violation of the terms of the original Flores settlement, which was intended to ensure the proper care of children in immigration custody. In July, the Court had ordered the government to release children subject to the settlement agreement, but gave the government an opportunity to respond to the Court’s ordered remedy. The government’s response fell far short.
Press inquiries, please contact:
George Tzamaras, American Immigration Lawyers Association, 202-507-7649, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wendy Feliz, American Immigration Council, 202-507-7524, email@example.com
*CARA is a pro bono project serving the mothers and children detained in Karnes City and Dilley, Texas. The partners in this project are CLINIC, the American Immigration Council, RAICES, and AILA.
Like many immigrants, the path to U.S. citizenship is a long and arduous one. Not so for those immigrants that join the military. For these few the path to citizenship has been expedited though special rule of the INA (Immigration and Nationality Act) for members of the military. Special rules of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) empowers the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to expedite the application and naturalization process for existing members of the U.S. armed forces and newly discharged members.
Generally, qualifying military service includes service with one of the following military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, certain sections of the National Guard and the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve. Additionally, spouses of members of the U.S. armed forces who are or will be deployed may be eligible for expedited naturalization. Other sections of the law also permit certain spouses to complete the naturalization process abroad.
A member of the U.S. armed forces must meet the requirements and qualifications to become a citizen of the United States. He or she must demonstrate:
Qualified members of the U.S. armed forces are exempt from other naturalization requirements, including residence and physical presence in the United States. These exceptions are listed in Sections 328 and 329 of the INA.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an Independent who is running for president as a Democrat, became upset when an NPR host inferred that he holds a dual citizenship with the United States and Israel.
"Senator, you have dual citizenship with Israel," NPR host Diane Rehm said during a discussion Wednesday.
Sanders immediately responded, saying, "No, I do not have dual citizenship with Israel. I'm an American. I don't know where that question came from."
How is Dual Citizenship acquired?
Dual nationality results from the fact that there is no uniform rule of international law relating to the acquisition of nationality. Each country has its own laws on the subject, and its nationality is conferred upon individuals on the basis of its own independent domestic policy. Individuals may have dual nationality not by choice but by automatic operation of these different and sometimes conflicting laws.
The laws of the United States, no less than those of other countries, contribute to the situation because they provide for acquisition of U.S. citizenship by birth in the United States and also by birth abroad to an American, regardless of the other nationalities which a person might acquire at birth. For example, a child born abroad to U.S. citizens may acquire at birth not only American citizenship but also the nationality of the country in which it was born. Similarly, a child born in the United States to foreigners may acquire at birth both U.S. citizenship and a foreign nationality.
The laws of some countries provide for automatic acquisition of citizenship after birth -- for example, by marriage. In addition, some countries do not recognize naturalization in a foreign state as grounds for loss of citizenship. A person from one of those countries who is naturalized in the United States keeps the nationality of the country of origin despite the fact that one of the requirements for U.S. naturalization is a renunciation of other nationalities.
Current law and policy regarding Dual citizenship
The current nationality laws of the United States do not specifically refer to dual nationality. The automatic acquisition or retention of a foreign nationality does not affect U.S. citizenship; however, under limited circumstances, the acquisition of a foreign nationality upon one's own application or the application of a duly authorized agent may cause loss of U.S. citizenship under Section 349 (a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1481 (a)(1)].
In order for loss of nationality to occur under Section 349 (a)(1), it must be established that the naturalization was obtained voluntarily by a person eighteen years of age or older with the intention of relinquishing U.S. citizenship. Such an intention may be shown by the person's statements or conduct, Vance v. Terrazas, 444 U.S. 252 (1980), but as discussed below in most cases it is assumed that Americans who are naturalized in other countries intend to keep their U.S. citizenship. As a result, they have both nationalities.
United States law does not contain any provisions requiring U.S. citizens who are born with dual nationality to choose one nationality or the other when they become adults, Mandoli v. Acheson, 344 U.S. 133 (1952).
While recognizing the existence of dual nationality and permitting Americans to have other nationalities, the U.S. Government does not endorse dual nationality as a matter of policy because of the problems which it may cause. Claims of other countries upon dual-national U.S. citizens often place them in situations where their obligations to one country are in conflict with the laws of the other. In addition, their dual nationality may hamper efforts to provide diplomatic and consular protections to them when they are abroad.
Allegiance to which country?
It generally is considered that while dual nationals are in the country of which they are citizens that country has a predominant claim on them.
As with Americans who possess only U.S. citizenship, dual national U.S. citizens owe allegiance to the United States and are obliged to obey its laws and regulations. Such persons usually have certain obligations to the other country as well. Although failure to fulfill such obligations may have no adverse effect on dual nationals while in the United States because the other country would have few means to force compliance under those circumstances, dual nationals might be forced to comply with those obligations or pay a penalty if they go to the country of their other citizenship. In cases where dual nationals encounter difficulty in a foreign country of which they are citizens, the ability of U.S. Foreign Service posts to provide assistance may be quite limited since many foreign countries may not recognize a dual national's claim to U.S. citizenship.
Which passport to use when you enter a country?
Section 215 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1185) requires U.S. citizens to use U.S. passports when entering or leaving the United States unless one of the exceptions listed in Section 53.2 of Title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations applies. (One of these exceptions permits a child under the age of 12, who is included in the foreign passport of a parent who has no claim to U.S. citizenship, to enter the United States without a U.S. passport, provided the child presents evidence of his/her U.S. citizenship when entering the United States.) Dual nationals may be required by the other country of which they are citizens to enter or leave that country using its passport, but do not endanger their U.S. citizenship by complying with such a requirement.
How to give up dual nationality?
Most countries have laws which specify how a citizen may lose or divest citizenship. Generally, persons who do not wish to maintain dual nationality may renounce the citizenship which they do not want. Information on renouncing a foreign nationality may be obtained from the foreign country's Embassies and Consulates or from the appropriate governmental agency in that country.
Americans may renounce their U.S. citizenship abroad pursuant to Section 349 (a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1481 (a)(5)]. Information on renouncing U.S. citizenship may be obtained from U.S. Embassies and Consulates and the office of Citizens Consular Services, Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20520.
Furthermore, an American citizen who is naturalized as a citizen of another country voluntarily and with intent to abandon his/her allegiance to the United States may so indicate their intent and thereby lose U.S. citizenship. See below for further information.
For further information on dual nationality, see Marjorie M. Whiteman's Digest of International Law (Department of State Publication 8290, released September 1967), Volume 8, pages 64-84.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) has filed a report summarizes Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 civil immigration enforcement and removal operations. IU.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Along whit ICE shares responsibility for enforcing the Nation's civil immigration laws, executing its enforcement duties, ICE reports that it focuses on two core missions: (1) identifying and apprehending public safety threats--including criminal aliens and national security targets--and other removable individuals within the United States; and (2) detaining and removing individuals apprehended by ICE and CBP officers and agents patrolling our Nation's borders.
In 2014, the number of ICE's FY 2014 removals, which was 315,943, went down from 368,644 in FY 2013. This report analyses ICE's FY 2014 immigration enforcement statistics:
In FY 2014:
* ICE conducted 315,943 removals.
* ICE conducted 102,224 removals of individuals apprehended in the interior of the United States.
* 86,923 (85 percent) of all interior removals involved individuals previously convicted of a crime.
* ICE conducted 213,719 removals of individuals apprehended while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States.
* 56 percent of all ICE removals, or 177,960, involved individuals who were previously convicted of a crime.
* ICE apprehended and removed 86,923 criminals from the interior of the U.S.
* ICE removed 91,037 criminals apprehended while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States.
* 98 percent of all ICE FY 2014 removals, or 309,477, clearly met one or more of ICE's stated civil immigration enforcement priorities.
* Of the 137,983 individuals removed who had no criminal conviction, 89 percent, or 122,682, were apprehended at or near the border while attempting to unlawfully enter the country.
* The leading countries of origin for removals were Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
* 2,802 individuals removed by ICE were classified as suspected or confirmed gang members.
In New Jersey, where there are some 525,000 undocumented immigrants, a resolution by Assemblywoman Annette Quijano of Elizabeth that would make immigrants who are not authorized to be in in the country eligible to get driver's licenses, passed unanimously last week.
Under the bill, New Jersey would be required to issue photo "driving privilege" cards to those residents who are unable to prove that they were in this country legally but are capable of establishing that they live in the state.
"It's about public safety," said state Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex), a sponsor. "Some of the undocumented are driving anyway. This isn't to excuse the fact that they're undocumented. But they're on the roads. They're driving. Many uninsured."
A similar but less extensive bill was presented in the Assembly in 2006 and reintroduced in 2008, but it never progressed and never presented in the Senate.
Presidential hopeful , Governor Chris Christie has made it certain that such a proposal would be dead on arrival: "'I'm not giving driver's licenses to people who are undocumented. That's it,' Christie said flatly, speaking on his monthly radio show on New Jersey 101.5."
Several states, such as Puerto Rico included, currently offers driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants.
Notwithstanding the problems in getting the state to issue driving privileges to its undocumented immigrants community. New Jersey is the latest major U.S. city to promote a municipal identification program that will be available to all residents, including those who may have come to the U.S. illegally.
Mayor Ras Baraka signed City Council-approved legislation that makes Newark the largest and lone city in the state to offer ID cards to all residents, regardless of their immigration status.
The program offers all Newark residents aged 14 and older a valid ID card that will grant them access to vital services the city has to offer. It will be especially useful for people in the community such as those with disabilities, youth, seniors, clergy, formerly incarcerated individuals, the homeless, immigrants and transgender people.
The ID program will:
* Serves as proof of identity and proof of residency regardless of immigration status
* Access to cultural Institutions and schools and within the City
* Discounts at the Health and Wellness Center
* Helps residents who do not have access to other forms of identification to interact with city agencies, local authorities and open bank accounts
The Newark Municipal ID cards a pilot program commences on July 1 and then open citywide on August 1.For more information about the municipal ID program, visit: http://www.ci.newark.nj.us/.
New York 4/13/2015 - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio declared today that an alliance of cities and counties filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Texas vs. United States lawsuit in favor of President Obama’s executive orders and petitioning the Court to immediately carry out President Obama’s executive orders on immigration.
Bill de Blasio and his counterpart, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti coordinated Cities United for Immigration Action, by rallying support of cities and counties across the United States. They were joined by the National League of Cities and U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Obama’s executive actions, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Parents of American and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) would suspend deportation for approximately 5 million people.
According to the group the argument in the “friend-of-the-court” brief is that by blocking the implementation of the orders would result in serous injury to local governments, is not good for families, destroys current law enforcement priorities and stops “desperately needed changes” to federal immigration policy.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the “continuing to delay implementation of the President’s executive action on immigration hurts our economy and puts families at risk…cities are where immigrants live, and cities are where the President’s executive action will be successfully implemented. Our cities are united, and we will fight for the immigration reform this nation needs and deserves – whether in the courtroom, in Congress, or in our communities. Make no mistake about it: our voices will be heard.”
A significant number of cities and counties aligned themselves with today’s brief are situated in states that originally commenced the lawsuit against the Obama administration or have clearly supported the lawsuit. These cities and counties include five cities in Texas, six in New Jersey, three municipalities in Wisconsin and two counties in Arizona, and. The cities and counties that signed on to the brief are listed below.
Central Falls, RI
Chapel Hill, NC
Coconino County, AZ
Dallas County, TX
El Paso County, TX
Highland Park, IL
Jersey City, NJ
Kansas City, MO
Little Rock, AR
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles County, CA
Lucas County, OH
Montgomery County, MD
New York, NY
Niagara Falls, NY
North Miami, FL
Ramsey County, MN
Salt Lake City, UT
San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA
Santa Ana, CA
Santa Cruz County, AZ
Santa Fe, NM
Santa Monica, CA
St. Louis, MO
State College, PA
Travis County, TX
West Covina, CA
National League of Cities
U.S. Conference of Mayors
U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney said “I applaud Mayor de Blasio for working with cities across the nation to support President Obama’s executive actions on immigration”
State Senator Leroy Comrie of New York said “ Not only is it in our best interest to immediately implement the President's platform for immigration reform, but it is the socially and morally responsible thing to do.”
The Obama administration is caught up in a tangle of lawsuits that should decide the fate of the President’s sweeping executive actions on immigration. So far this week, the administration has received both good and bad news.
On Tuesday Texas District Court Judge Andrew Hanen, responding to a motion by government attorneys to reconsider the injunction that is temporarily halting the President’s executive orders, therebye allowing the immigration measures to move forward.
As anticipated, the judge’s response was to reaffirm the injunction. Judge Hanen has made many statements to the press indicating that he is infuriated with the administration’s failure to inform him, that DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) programs had already extended work authorization to 3 years from the prior 2 years.
The judge maintained his previous decision to enjoin ( temporarily freeze Obama’s immigration executive actions.) Obama’s executive order announced this past November. The Order would provide temporary legal status and protection from deportation to as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants. Following the Judge’s denial of the motion to reconsider, the case now heads to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, for arguments next week.
In what seems to be an improbable coincidence, the same 5th Circuit court, on the same day, issued a ruling on another immigration executive order case. This decision concerned Obama’s first executive action on immigration, announced in 2012 called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. The conservative-leaning bench dismissed an objection to DACA because it found that the state of Mississippi, which brought the lawsuit did not have the legal standing to sue the federal government.
This decision indicates that the Obama administration may yet be successful in continuing with the executive orders of 2014.
In a lengthy decision, Judge W. Eugene Davis opined that neither the agents nor Mississippi “demonstrated the concrete and particularized injury required to give them standing to maintain this suit.”
This case is important for a many reasons. The latest group of executive orders currently under attack in the federal courts were shaped by the 2012 DACA program. DACA has endured other legal contests in the courts. The administration is hopeful that a similar decision will be reached next week. Legal experts, throughout the United States, are of the opinion that due to the reason that Mississippi was defeated as an excellent sign for the president’s immigration measures. In this case, Mississippi argued similarly to Texas, that that the state would suffer considerable costs directly associated with the execution of DACA. The Court did not agree and found Mississippi without standing.
For Immediate Release
Unprecedented Coalition of Elected Officials, Advocates, Law Enforcement, Business Groups
Ask Appellate Court to Reverse Texas Ruling Blocking President’s Immigration Initiatives
April 7, 2015
Washington D.C. - The Texas federal district court order that blocked parts of President Obama’s executive action on immigration was based on unproven or incomplete presentations to the court and should be reversed, civil rights and immigration advocates argue in an amicus (“friend-of-the-court”) brief in the case of State of Texas v. United States. Texas and 25 other states have sued the federal government to stop the implementation of initiatives that will provide temporary relief from deportation, but advocates maintain the President’s actions are legally sound.
Multiple legal briefs defending the deferred action initiatives were filed with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals by a range of advocates, leaders, and elected officials. One of these briefs was filed on behalf of more than 150 civil rights, labor, and immigration advocacy groups, led by the American Immigration Council, National Immigration Law Center (NILC), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
Briefs were also submitted to the court by 15 states and the District of Columbia, 73 mayors, county officials from 27 states, 181 members of Congress, and 109 law professors, law enforcement, faith and business leaders. These briefs discuss the economic and community benefits that will result from expansion of the successful DACA program and the new DAPA initiative for parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
“Collectively, the parties in these filings represent more than half of the foreign-born population in our country, which means they have a demonstrated track record of producing inclusive immigration policies,” noted Marielena Hincapié, NILC executive director, during a telephonic press briefing announcing the briefs. “We are confident that we will win because the law is on our side. But we also know that the wheels of justice often move slowly. In the meantime, our message to eligible immigrants and their families is to be patient, continue gathering the necessary documents to apply, save up for the application fee, and don’t lose faith," added Hincapié.
“We are undeterred and we will continue in this campaign [to realize the start of the DACA and DAPA programs]," added Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. An early signer of the amicus brief by local officials, the mayor said the filing before the appellate court by mayors and counties has twice as many signers as an earlier brief submitted to the Texas district court. Citing the economic and community benefits that would come from allowing immigrants to come out of the shadows, Mayor Hancock added, “This is about our communities. This is about working with those who have chosen to call our cities ‘home.’”
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-CA, said the legal filing by 181 members of Congress argues the Texas court overturned Congress’ decision to give the executive branch authority to set immigration enforcement priorities.
“What the court has done is not only an affront to what the executive has done [in setting priorities] and to the authority we have – well-grounded in law and in precedent – but also an affront to what Congress has done,” Lofgren said. “There are millions of people living in fear, who have made our economy and lived here for decades, whose lives have been turned upside down by an erroneous ruling.”
Some states claimed that the administrative relief will harm them, but the legal briefs argue the judgment was incorrect.
“That is incorrect. The states have to show irreparable harm to get a preliminary injunction; they have not,” Noah Purcell, solicitor general in the Washington State Attorney General’s Office told reporters. “The president’s directives are good for states; they are not harming states.”
The human aspect of the case also was highlighted during press call.
“Although I was disappointed by the news that a federal district judge blocked implementation of DACA expansion, I was not disillusioned,” said Jong-Min You, an immigrant from New York who would be eligible for relief under DACA expansion. “I know that eventually, I will be able to come forward and apply for relief from deportation and work authorization, and I’m not the only one. Other elder Dreamers, along with their parents and millions of others, are ready for the legal battle ahead and for the legal battle to end so that we can finally move forward.”
Rocio Saenz, SEIU international executive vice president, said advocates for expanded DACA and DAPA will never give up.
"The plaintiff states and Republicans who support this lawsuit can ignore the will of their own constituents and immigrants' contributions, but we will continue to defend the immigration action in the courts. We will continue to fight for immigration reform. We will continue to inform future applicants and make sure that when the time comes – and it will come – that every eligible person applies for the immigration action. We are and will continue to send a strong message to the naysayers, to Republicans who stand in the way of progress: We are not the enemy. But we are ready – ready to fight back, ready for the immigration action, and ready to vote,” Saenz said.
“Amici and the government are clearly on the right side of the law, and we are confident that a stay [of the Texas order] will be granted, hopefully by the Fifth Circuit, one day very soon,” said Melissa Crow, legal director of the American Immigration Council.
A recording of press call can be downloaded at http://nilc.org/document.html?id=1222.