In the Pre-Renascence era, the practice of medicine became an accepted and recognized profession. Many doctors realized that midwives and healers were taking a big chunk of their bread and butter. Midwives were draining doctors financially as the two classes were small and competed. The doctors, though competitors amongst themselves, decided that they should become united. They decided fight and act for their survival as doctors. So they went to the Catholic Church and accused the midwives and healers of being witches that had pacts with the Devil. Their movement worked. Doctor succeeded in putting the midwives out of business. The profession called medicine flourished.
On the other hand, the practice of law follows an adversarial system that lawsuits truly like paper wars. Of course, a civilized “white shoe” war. Be that as it may, lawyers are not only hostile to each other when they are handling cases against each other, but also when they are on the same side. Suppose two lawyers practice immigration law. They are competitors. Nothing wrong about that. Fair competition is healthy. However, the share of information amongst lawyers is much harder. For example, exchange of information amongst doctors who have been united essentially since the Middle-Ages. Science is passed from one doctor to another with pleasure. Back to the example of the two immigration lawyers. These two immigration lawyers most likely will bad mouth each other, steal clients from each other and use any ethical (sometimes unethical) and legal means in order to undermine the other colleague.
I used the particular example of immigration lawyers intentionally. Most are familiar with the infamous notaries that practice immigration law and divorces without a degree or a license of any kind. Sometimes they are called “notarios” a Spanish word that only adds to confuse potential immigration clients especially from Latin America because a “notario” in Latin America is the equivalent of a lawyer, but a notary in the United States is a mere certifier (or verifier) of signatures. Therefore, the unauthorized practice of law (“UPL”) and the “notario” business is thriving. Meanwhile, the legal profession is being hurt. To the lawyer the “notario” is the witch that should be hunted. Needless to say, I am not suggesting that lawyers should unite and burn all “notarios” at the stake as in the Middle-Ages.
However, lawyers tend to be ultra-formalistic. If they do meet to discuss problems related to unauthorized practice law or “notarios” they speak in lengths, relate to the statistics of the harm being done by notario fraud, speak of Ethics and morals. However, in the end, little is accomplished. Most lawyers are too busy to care. Others do not care. In addition, law form small political groups that hate each other and care more about the pedigree of the speaker than about what is being spoken. For example, a lawyer is a partner in a big law firm will speak about a theme and be praised for it. Most lawyers will agree with him whatever the subject because he has achieved some type of professional recognition and due to his knowledge. In the end, few actions will be taken.
Recently, in New Jersey, the crime of unauthorized practice of law was approved to become a crime of a higher degree. This accomplished absolutely nothing. This will not deter anyone. A practice can only be deterred if it is enforced. To be enforced, a law needs incentives. The incentives are mostly pecuniary. The law hits the offender where it hurts: the pockets. For example, laws which the punishment is tied up with steep fines and revocation of licenses tend to be enforced. These laws generate income to the municipality or the state and the goal of the law is generally accomplished. Otherwise, the law is on the books and is rarely enforced. For example, the use of air fresheners dangling from the rearview mirror is a civil infraction due to obstruction, but almost nobody knows about it because the fine is merely $50. Parking tickets generate more money than that. I have seldom met anyone who never received a parking ticket. The law works because the court makes money. There are quotas for tickets given. Some may criticize it, but the law is enforced.
The unauthorized practice of law under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-22 does not have any type of punishment via fines. It is just a crime of the third degree. It does not even address jail, though it address restitution if the client was “harmed.” It is the textbook example of a law gone bad, written bad, and not enforceable. Of course, in extreme cases it has been generally associated with egregious cases of fraud. However, the routine UPL will not be punished and will continue to hurt lawyers financially. Lawyers who devoted years of their lives in law school, passing the bar exam and the developing their craft. I know for a fact that some “notarios” charge more than lawyers and have more clients than some lawyers would wish to have. Thus, the legal profession needs to heal itself from this wound, which is truly more like a chronic illness which has the cure but the patient refuses to take the medicine.
Most attorneys I know are able to solve complex problems, but on a personal level are powerless to solve their own problems. They lose objectivity. I think that uniting lawyers against what harms their profession is pretty much like that lawyer who solves everyone’s problems, but his/her own. There is much talk and no action. There is a fervent hope that the class (as a whole) will unite and act to protect itself. There is a wish that the law profession regains their once reputable and admired position. Until the sixties, attorneys were seen as highly reputable and above suspicion. It was a profession that one could be proud of. Nowadays, the bar (no pun intended) has become much lower. This is, in part, because lawyer are letting the work which only trusted to be done by them slip away and be done by others without a single credential. The problem is not that there too many lawyers.
Moreover, the legal profession is one of the few that self regulates against itself, not pro. It also over-self regulates. For example, it is always finding a way to punish attorney advertisement or the way attorneys displays their recognition awards. However, the self-regulating authorities have done nothing to criminalize the advertisement of “notarios” who blatantly practice law without having a license and therefore are outside their jurisdiction to regulate. Talk about a loophole. That is more like a rabbit hole. I can firmly debate that if there is a profession that has sabotaged itself the once majestic occupation of being a lawyer. The legal profession should understand that, in our modern age, it devours itself like a self-cannibal. The profession must unite and protect itself not in appearance, but in existence. There lays two crucial distinctions that may mean the beginning or the end of some activity that, more often than not, brings justice to someone.
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The Greek philosopher of Ephesus ( 500 BCE), is best known for his doctrines that “there is nothing permanent except change.”
Not so with the Republican Party. As the world transforms, and a new group of significantly less agile leaders took the reign of power of the Republican Party it struggles to comprehend the new realities of the changing social structure of America and has failed to adapt.
A look at Abraham Lincoln , Republican, should provide some guidance for the lost crowd.
It was the 4th of July 1858. Abraham Lincoln advocated that the many immigrants who had recently arrived in the United States could nonetheless feel a sense of connection with Declaration of Independence. In his words:
"We have besides these men—descended by blood from our ancestors—among us perhaps half our people who are not descendants at all of these men, they are men who come from Europe—German, Irish, French and Scandinavian—men that have come from Europe themselves, or whose ancestors have come hither and settled here, finding themselves our equals in all things. “ *
Forward, 123 years , during a primary debate between Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, both past presidents spoke with empathy for immigrants living in the United States when asked if the U.S. should permit the children of undocumented immigrants to go to public schools.
In 2005, George W. Bush’s opiniom as to immigration was rejected outright by mainstream Republicans. Instead, in the fall of 2005, notwithstanding the President’s resistance, House Republicans passed a bill compelling the arrest, deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Many republicans have made clear their belief that all these non-white arrivals should “to go home,”
But it seems that modern republicans cannot make up their minds on what to do about immigration. Listen to statements made by leading republicans :
Secretary Gutierrez chief executive of Kellogg and President George W. Bush’s
commerce secretary discusses Immigration and the Future of the Republican Party (VIDEO)
» “[The issue of immigration] has been around far too long…. A comprehensive approach is long overdue.” - Speaker of the House John Boehner, 11/8/12
“Immigrants come with new skills and new ideas. They fill a critical part in our labor market. They work hard for a better life.” - President George W. Bush, 12/4/12
» “Immigration is an important part of our country's success and if policies are reformed, can be part of restoring and sustaining our greatness as a nation.” - Former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush, 9/13/12
» “This country needs comprehensive immigration reform. I don't care whether it is the person who will crawl across the desert to make five dollars... or Sergey Brin, who comes here from Russia and founds Google. At both ends of the spectrum, America has always been able to attract the most ambitious people.” - Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, 2009
» “I am still convinced that the overwhelming majority of our people just want what my parents had – a chance.” - U.S. Senator Marco Rubio 12/5/12
Congressman Paul Ryan “We have a broken immigration system and, if anything, what we see in Boston is that we have to fix and modernize our immigration system for lots of reasons.”
In June 27, 2013 following two weeks of contested debate with the addition of beefed-up border security measures backed by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.), the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill on Thursday by a 68-32 vote. However then House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that it would not take up the Senate bill. And so the bill died.
But let’s see who were the (14) Republicans that voted for the bill:
♣ Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)
♣ Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.)
♣ Jeff Chiesa (R-N.J.)
♣ Susan Collins (R-Maine)
♣ Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)
♣ Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)
♣ Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
♣ Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
♣ Dean Heller (R-Nev.)
♣ John Hoeven (R-N.D.)
♣ Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)
♣ John McCain (R-Ariz.)
♣ Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
♣ Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)
Republicans just can’t make up their minds. It’s no wonder that the Republican Party is in total chaos.
*Quoted in Garry Wills, Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remain America (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992) 86-87.
WASHINGTON— The intense political fight that would affect millions of people who are in the United States illegally arrives to the Supreme Court on Monday.
The court will decide the destiny of Obama executive orders that would protect more than 4 million people from deportation and allow them the right to hold a job. With this decision, millions of people would not only be able to work legally in the U.S., but also would have the ability to obtain a social security card and even be able to travel out of the U.S.
Roberto Silva, a Brazilian immigrant, living in the U.S. for more than 15 years states that "I need a social security card and a work permit in order to take care of my wife and 3 children born in the U.S. My youngest is autistic and requires special schooling that I cannot afford. We are fighting a losing battle with the amount of money I earn. My wife also can’t work and has to take care of our children. Our lives are in constant stress, Silva said.
The executive order pronounced by President Barack Obama in November 2014 applies to parents of children that are citizens or are legal permanent residents. The order would also expand the president's 2012 program called “DACA.”s. More than 700,000 young people have taken advantage of the program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Texas and 25 other states sued to prevent the new plans soon as soon as they were announced, Federal courts have decided in their favor. The programs barely commenced when it was stopped suddenly. Now its up to the Supreme Court to make the final decision on a crucial immigration problem.
House Republicans say that Obama is asserting the power "to decree that millions of individuals may live, work and receive benefits in this country even though federal statutes plainly prohibit them from doing so."
The administration and immigration advocates, on the other hand, say the immigration orders are neither unprecedented nor even unusual. Instead, they say, that Obama's executive order build on past efforts by both the Democratic and Republican administrations to use discretion in deciding whom to deport.
Moses Apsan, immigration attorney and past president of the Federal Bar Association, stated that “ the debate has taken on a heavy partisan complexion, Republicans repeated describe Obama recklessly abusing his executive powers. This opinion is untrue, as Obama not only act lawfully, but the order was what our country needed. The illegal immigration issue has thwarted Congress for decades, and there’s no indication that lawmakers will be able to settle on a realistic plan anytime soon. This delay has had a human toll: Living with fear, immigrants are prone to be exploited Even if they are victims of a crime, they are less prone to ask police for assistance. Obama’s executive orders would give these immigrants; those that entered as children, as well as the parents of lawful US residents the facility to come out of the shadows and truly live the American Dream.
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/.