Republican #Immigration Principles: A Step Toward Reform

Posted today on The Hill Congress Blog

The good news is that the glass is half full.

Thursday’s release of the Republican “immigration Reform Principles” is promising because it shows that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the House leadership are finally thinking about positive solutions to fix America’s broken immigration system.

It’s also very encouraging that while the GOP plainly stated they will not go to conference with the Senate’s bill, their reform principles largely mirror the Senate’s, including keeping the borders secure, preventing bad actor employers from hiring undocumented workers, providing a temporary worker program, overhauling the visa system, and providing DREAMERs with a roadmap to legalization.  Most importantly, GOP talking points no longer include “self-deportation”, a mean-spirited policy proposal championed by anti-immigrant restrictionists.

Even when it comes to providing a pathway to legal status for the country’s 11 million unauthorized immigrants the Republicans seem to be signaling their intent to roll up their sleeves and get to work on an immigration overhaul that will move America forward.  True, the GOP principles include a seemingly firm declaration that there will be “no special path to citizenship”.  But as someone who makes his living parsing through the convoluted immigration law in search of immigrants’ rights, I interpret placement of the word “special” after the word “No” as a statement that a “path to citizenship” –even if it’s not “special—might be acceptable to the GOP as they work with immigration reform advocates to find common ground.  This is critical because it suggests the Republicans are seriously interested solving the Nation’s immigration problems.

In fact, when you think about it, the GOP’s “no special path to citizenship” assertion may not be all that different from the immigration bill passed by the Senate last year.  The Senate’s plan requires that undocumented immigrants spend a minimum of 10 years as “Registered Provisional Immigrants” before they can apply for green cards.  Once they get their green cards—which can only happen after certain enforcement triggers are met and the immigration backlogs have cleared—the new legal  permanent residents must wait another three years to apply for U.S. citizenship under the existing law. In other words, the Senate immigration bill does not include any “special” pathway to citizenship either.

If the GOP is proposing to provide undocumented immigrants with legal immigration status which will protect them from deportation and give them a chance to apply for green card status through the normal legal channels that might not necessarily be a deal killer either.  Of course for that to work the legal immigration system will have to be revamped to provide realistic attainable legal avenues for people to qualify.  Under current law most foreign nationals who don’t have a close US citizen family member or highly skilled job have no access to a green card.

Of more concern is the GOP’s statement that “none of this can happen before specific enforcement triggers have been implemented”.  It’s not clear what they mean by this.  But if the GOP is going to insist on unreachable triggers what they are essentially saying is, “We’re not interested in immigration reform, comprehensive, piecemeal, or otherwise any time soon.”

Hopefully the Republicans will soon offer concrete, detailed legislation which fills in the gaps and answers the serious questions raised by the Statement of Principles released Thursday evening.  Yet it’s very encouraging that they are finally recognizing our Nation desperately needs immigration reform; that we cannot continue to tear apart American families because of a broken immigration system; and that a robust and healthy immigration policy will add billions of dollars to America’s economy and create good jobs for US workers. If the House Republicans are serious about immigration reform—and I believe that they are—then they’ve given the country a Statement of Principles that can be worked with and improved upon.

In meantime one thing is clear.  The House Republicans are late to the party.  It’s time they get moving on real legislation!

Leopold is a former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Associaiton.

Principios para una Reforma Migratoria como Presentado por los Líderes Republicanos en la Cámara de Representantes

Principios para una Reforma Migratoria como Presentado por los Líderes Republicanos en la Cámara de Representantes

30 de enero, 2014

 

PREÁMBULO

El sistema de inmigración de nuestra nación está estropeado y nuestras leyes no se hacen cumplir. El fracaso de Washington para solucionarlos está perjudicando nuestra economía y pone en peligro nuestra seguridad nacional. El objetivo primordial de nuestro sistema de inmigración es promover y favorecer los intereses nacionales de Estados Unidos y ese no es el caso hoy en día. Los graves problemas de nuestro sistema de inmigración deben ser resueltos, y estamos comprometidos a trabajar de manera bipartidista para resolverlos. Pero no pueden ser resueltos con una sola pieza de legislación enorme que pocos han leído y menos aún comprendido, y por lo tanto no vamos a ir a una reunión con el proyecto de ley de inmigración del Senado. Los problemas de nuestro sistema de inmigración deben ser resueltos a través de un enfoque paso a paso, con sentido común, que comienza por asegurar las fronteras de nuestro país, hacer cumplir nuestras leyes y aplicar medidas de ejecución robustas. Estos son los principios que nos guían en ese esfuerzo.

 

La seguridad fronteriza y el hacer cumplir la ley debe ser lo primero

Es deber fundamental de cualquier gobierno asegurar sus fronteras, y Estados Unidos está fracasando en esta misión. Tenemos que asegurar nuestras fronteras ahora y comprobar que son seguras. Además, debemos asegurarnos ahora de que, cuando se promulgue la reforma de inmigración, haya una política de cero tolerancia para los que cruzan la frontera ilegalmente o se quedan tras el vencimiento de sus visados en el futuro. Frente a un cuadro persistente de gobiernos de ambos partidos que sólo hacen cumplir selectivamente las leyes de inmigración de nuestra nación, debemos aprobar una reforma que garantice que un presidente no pueda detener unilateralmente el cumplimiento de las leyes de inmigración.

 

Implementar un sistema de seguimiento de visas de entrada y salida

Ocho leyes distintas han ordenado un sistema de entrada y salida en pleno funcionamiento en los últimos 17 años. Al menos tres de estas leyes hacen exhortaciones para que este sistema sea biométrico, valiéndose de tecnología para verificar la identidad y prevenir el fraude. Debemos implementar este sistema para que podamos identificar y rastrear a los visitantes que abusan de nuestras leyes.

 

Verificación de empleo y aplicación de la ley en lugares de trabajo

En el siglo XXI es inaceptable que a la mayoría de los empleados se les verifique si cumplen los requisitos para poder trabajar en el país a través de un sistema basado en el papel que provoca fraude. Ya es hora de que este país aplique plenamente un sistema viable de verificación electrónica de empleo.

 

Las reformas al sistema de inmigración legal

Durante demasiado tiempo, Estados Unidos ha dado prioridad a los miembros de la familia extendida y a la suerte por encima de la inmigración basada en el empleo. Esto es inconsistente con casi cualquier otro país desarrollado. Cada año miles de extranjeros buscan títulos en universidades de Estados Unidos, sobre todo en campos de alta especialización. Muchos de ellos quieren usar su experiencia en industrias estadounidenses que estimulan el crecimiento económico y crean empleos para los estadounidenses. Cuando las visas no están disponibles, terminamos exportando estos trabajos e ingenio a otros países. Las asignaciones de visas y tarjetas de residencia deben reflejar las necesidades de los empleadores y el deseo de estos individuos excepcionales de ayudar al crecimiento de nuestra economía.

 

El objetivo de cualquier programa de trabajadores temporales debe ser hacer frente a las necesidades económicas del país y fortalecer nuestra seguridad nacional al permitir caminos realistas, aplicables, utilizables y legales para ingresar a Estados Unidos. De particular preocupación son las necesidades de la industria agrícola, entre otras. Es imperativo que estos trabajadores temporales sean capaces de satisfacer las necesidades económicas del país y no desplacen o pongan en desventaja a los trabajadores estadounidenses.

 

Juventud

Uno de los grandes principios fundacionales de nuestro país es que los niños no serán castigados por los errores de sus padres. Es momento de dar una oportunidad de residencia legal y ciudadanía para aquellos que fueron traídos a este país cuando eran niños por causas ajenas a su voluntad, aquellos que no conocen ningún otro lugar como su hogar. Para aquellos que cumplen con ciertos parámetros que los hacen candidatos, y sirven honorablemente en nuestras fuerzas armadas o alcanzan un título universitario, vamos a hacer precisamente eso.

 

Las personas que viven fuera del estado de derecho

Nuestra seguridad nacional y económica depende de exigir a las personas que viven y trabajan aquí sin permiso a que den la cara y se arreglen con la ley. No habrá ningún camino especial a la ciudadanía para las personas que violaron las leyes de inmigración de nuestra nación; eso sería injusto para aquellos inmigrantes que han seguido las reglas y perjudicaría la promoción del estado de derecho. Más bien, estas personas podrían vivir legalmente y sin miedo en Estados Unidos, pero sólo si estuvieran dispuestas a admitir su culpabilidad, aprobar rigurosas revisiones de antecedentes, pagar multas considerables e impuestos atrasados, desarrollar un dominio del idioma inglés y la educación cívica estadounidense y ser capaces de sostenerse ellos y a sus familias (sin acceso a prestaciones públicas). Los delincuentes, miembros de pandillas y criminales sexuales extranjeros, y aquellos que no cumplan con los requisitos anteriores, no serán candidatos para este programa. Por último, nada de esto puede suceder antes de que los detonantes específicos en cuanto a aplicar la ley se hayan implementado para cumplir nuestra promesa al pueblo estadounidense de que a partir de ahora, nuestras leyes de inmigración ciertamente se harán cumplir.

Ruling On Garcia Shows A Growing Recognition Of The Undocumented Youth

From Fox News Latino

In the end, the California Supreme Court’s decision to grant a law license to Sergio Garcia, an unauthorized Mexican immigrant, was all but a foregone conclusion. Garcia, a law school graduate who came to the U.S. illegally with his parents when he was a child, went on to complete high school, college and law school in the U.S. But after he passed the California Bar Examination his admission was stalled by a provision in the federal immigration law which restricts undocumented immigrants from obtaining professional licenses issued by state agencies. Garcia refused to take “No” for an answer and, with the aide of counsel, valiantly argued that the federal provision—section 1621 of the federal immigration code—didn’t apply to California State Bar admissions.

The California Supreme Court heard arguments late last summer and was gearing up to resolve the complicated legal issue when California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation passed by the legislature which amended the law to permit the admission of undocumented immigrants to the California Bar. The statutory tweak, which went into effect on January 1, 2014—the day before the California Supreme Court decided Garcia’s case—satisfied a provision in the federal immigration law which permitted undocumented immigrants to obtain professional licenses where state law “affirmatively provides for such eligibility.”

The resolution of Mr. Garcia’s case—the result of the collective wisdom of the California legislature, the Governor, and the state Supreme Court—shows there is a growing recognition among policy makers and jurists that undocumented youth who have been raised and educated in the U.S. are the product of our investment in the future of the Nation. Educated in our schools they have become an intrinsic part of America’s social fabric. Certainly the inability to earn lawful immigration status—because of the jumble of rules and regulations known as the Immigration and Nationality Act—should not prevent a talented lawyer or other professional from being licensed to serve his or her community.

Yet the outcome of the Mr. Garcia’s case, as wonderful as it is for him and other undocumented Californians who aspire to be lawyers, does not solve the problem for other undocumented professionals across the country. In places like Arizona, Alabama, and Georgia, where legislatures and governors have cynically fanned the flames of fear, the result has been enactment of mean spirited anti-immigrant laws arguably intended to chase away Latino residents. What about aspiring attorneys and other professionals in those states?  There are thousands of undocumented youth, who like Sergio Garcia, dream of becoming licensed doctors, lawyers, engineers so they can give back to the only country they know and struggled against all odds to enrich. But can anyone imagine Arizona Governor Jan Brewer following Governor Brown’s lead by signing a bill founded on the belief that promising undocumented youth should not be stymied by a rigid and unworkable federal immigration law?

To be sure, there are other states where, like California, the legislatures and governors recognize that undocumented youth, raised and educated in this country, should not be punished because they lack immigration paper work. Just this week New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a bill extending in-state tuition benefits in public universities to undocumented students.

In the absence of immigration reform the states are taking action, some with an eye toward integration and others with an eye toward expulsion, to fill the vacuum left by the federal government. But is this state-by-state imbalanced approach any way to run a supposedly federally controlled immigration policy?

As the GOP controlled House of Representatives dithers on immigration reform, allowing itself to be held captive by extremists in the party, a hodgepodge of state immigration rules continues to develop from state to state. Should undocumented immigrants—or lawful immigrants for that matter—be treated better or worse depending upon where they happen to live?  Is a promising undocumented law graduate in California more worthy of a law license than a promising undocumented law graduate in Florida?  Shouldn’t there be uniform opportunity and civic responsibility for all?

The California Supreme Court’s decision in Sergio Garcia’s case will hopefully serve as a lesson to the entire Nation. America’s strength is its openness, its celebration of creativity and new ideas. The exceptional nature of America is the result of hard working immigrants, including promising undocumented immigrants like Sergio Garcia who may lack immigration documents, but know in their hearts that they too have a place in the American family.

David Leopold is the former national president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and currently practices immigration law in Cleveland, Ohio.

AILA and AIC Staff are Joined by over 150 AILA Members in Fast for #Immigration Reform #Fast4Families

From the American Immigration Lawyers Association  

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, staff from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Immigration Council (AIC) are joined by over 150 AILA members from around the country in a 24 hour fast to draw attention to the need for immigration reform.

“I joined this fast for one simple reason: because our country needs House leadership to bring immigration reform legislation up for a vote,” said AILA Executive Director Crystal Williams. She continued, “Is going without food pleasant? No. But across the nation, there are immigrants being torn away from their families and deported, each and every day. The hunger we will feel for these 24 hours is such an infinitely minor feeling compared to the hunger those children and parents, spouses and siblings feel to be reunited with their loved ones.”

AILA and AIC’s Fast4Reform is an act of solidarity with the fasters from immigrant, labor, and faith groups who voluntarily went without food for 22 days and then passed on their fast to other activists and elected officials last week to continue the push for immigration reform. The Fast4Families continues and over five hundred organizations have taken on, or will take on, solidarity fasts like AILA and AIC. .

“Our country needs to get immigration reform done, and done right,” Ms. Williams noted. “It is ridiculous that we lack a system designed to meet the needs of this century, rather than the last. AILA believes that our immigration system must uphold the Constitution and core American values of fairness, equality, and due process. Immigration reform is good for America’s economy, our businesses, and workers. Our system should strengthen all families and reform should offer an earned path to lawful permanent status and eventually citizenship for the undocumented,” she concluded.

Share photos, stories, and comments on AILA’s Facebook page on Twitter using the hashtag #AILAFast4Reform.

The fast will conclude Wednesday, December 11 at 9a.m. Eastern.

 

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The House GOP’s Refusal to Deal on #Immigration Is a Betrayal of Trust

On Huffington Post

Well that clears that up.

It wasn’t the legislative calendar after all. The House GOP, speaking through Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), finally admitted the obvious last Wednesday — the Republicans have no intention of allowing the House of Representatives to vote on anything resembling immigration reform legislation — comprehensive or piecemeal or otherwise. “Frankly, I’ll make clear, we have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate Bill,” the Speaker said. Nor did the Speaker commit to bringing immigration legislation to the House floor in pieces.

Mr. Boehner was seated at the counter in Pete’s Diner on Capitol Hill where he’s a morning regular. He’d been confronted at breakfast by two young undocumented immigrants who implored him to do his job — work to pass immigration reform so they and the 11 million like them will have a chance to earn their way to lawful status so they won’t have to continue to live in fear of arrest, detention and deportation. Boehner, apparently feigning empathy, claimed he was. “I’m trying to find some way to get this thing done” Mr. Boehner said. “It’s, uh, as you know, not easy, not going to be an easy path forward. But I’ve made it clear since the day after the election it’s time to get this done.”

Yet what Boehner and his House Republican colleagues have made clear since the 2012 election is that they will only do the people’s work, whether it’s avoiding a fiscal cliff, negotiating a federal budget, or guarding the Nation’s credit rating, if they are forced to do so by being backed into a political corner. The House GOP leadership are quick to come up with lame excuses — like the so-called Hastert Rule or a short legislative calendar — but they are much slower to act on behalf of the country.

Truth be told, there is absolutely no reason why the Republicans cannot bring an immigration reform bill to the House floor by the end of this year. In fact that’s exactly what they did in the final days of 2005 when the House passed H.R. 4437, the infamous “Border Protection, Anti-Terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act,” with overwhelming Republican support. H.R. 4437 was a mean spirited piece of legislation aimed at making millions of Latino immigrants into felons — it wasn’t all that different from the so-called SAFE Act currently pending before Congress.

Here’s how it went: The House Judiciary Committee considered H.R. 4437 for one day on December 8th and had 3 roll call votes. It was reported out of the Judiciary Committee on Dec. 13th, debated on the House floor for two days – Dec. 15th (from 4:15 p.m.-9:30 p.m.) and Dec. 16th (from 3:10 p.m.-10:30 p.m.) — and passed by the Republican controlled House 239-182. Not only that, H.R. 4437 came with a price tag of $1.9 billion for 2006-2010 and with costs that would “grow significantly” after 2010.

I’m tempted to conclude this column stating that by standing in the way of immigration reform and maintaining the untenable, cruel, and anti-American family status quo, the GOP is risking its future as a major political party. But that’s already been said and the Republicans have clearly failed to heed the warning.

The reality is that the situation is much more grave than a political party refusing to act in its own long-term political interests. The House Republicans simply will not work with the Senate or the President to hammer out bipartisan immigration reform legislation which is critical to America’s national security and economic vitality. In other words, the GOP is refusing to perform its Constitutional duty to legislate in good faith.

That’s not politics, that’s betrayal of the American people.

Follow David Leopold on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DavidLeopold
 

.@SpeakerBoehner, Listen to Your Own Caucus; #TimeIsNow for #Immigration Reform

Path To Citizenship

Rep. Jeff Denham: 11/13/13: “This issue is not dead…I think it’s important to do it this year.” [Los Angeles Times, 11/13/13]

Rep. Mike Coffman: 11/10/13: The Denver Post reported, “Coffman says he believes they should eventually be able to apply for citizenship.” [The Denver Post, 11/10/13]

Rep. David Valadao: 10/29/13: Rep. Valadao Press Release: “Congressman Valadao expressed his support for a pathway to citizenship for those currently undocumented in the United States as well as his desire to ensure the issue was addressed this year.” [Office of Rep. David Valadao – Press Release, 10/29/13]

Rep. Jeff Denham: 10/27/13: “I support an earned path to citizenship to allow those who want to become citizens to demonstrate a commitment to our country, learn English, pay fines and back taxes and pass background checks. This is a common-sense solution to our broken system. I also support a faster pathway for the children who were brought here by their parents through no fault of their own, who have been raised in America and educated in our schools and have no other country to call home.” [Office of Rep. Jeff Denham – Press Release, 10/27/13]

Rep. Jeff Denham: 10/4/13: “I support a pathway to earned citizenship that starts by requiring those applying to learn English, pay fines and back taxes, and wait in line behind those who have already applied for citizenship legally. The Senate’s proposal establishes a three-step process to earned citizenship, following current law for achieving both a green card and ultimately citizenship, if desired.” [The Modesto Bee, 10/4/13]

Rep. Bob Goodlatte: 9/19/13: “I wouldn’t give them what I would call a special pathway to citizenship…I would give them an earned pathway to citizenship.” [Politico, 9/19/13]

Rep. Chris Stewart: 9/5/13: “QUESTIONER: You’re saying you do – you’re okay with them getting citizenship? Not blocking, necessarily, but it would be along the same lines as they are now.  So kind of like Chaffetz said, he agrees with the path to citizenship, not a special path and not no path. Would you second that?

STEWART: I think that’s exactly right. As I understood what you’re saying to me I think what you said was exactly right.” [YouTube, 9/5/13]

Rep. Steve Southerland: 8/30/13: The Miami Herald reported, “Conservative tea party Congressman Steve Southerland has become the latest Republican to voice support for the concept of a pathway to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants. ‘We have to address it. It’s a moral issue,’ Southerland, who represents a conservative Deep South district encompassing Panama City and Tallahassee, told The Miami Herald during a Friday meeting in Miami. Southerland’s support isn’t full-throated or guaranteed. He said he needs to see the details of actual legislation. He wants strict, real and fast border security.” [The Miami Herald, 8/30/13]

Rep. Mark Amodei: 8/14/13: “At the end of 10 years, if you want to become a citizen, you go to the (federal immigration system) and start the process just like anybody else…I don’t think that’s amnesty.” [Reno Gazette Journal, 8/14/13]

Rep. Mark Amodei: 2/10/13: The Las Vegas Sun reported, “…unlike many members of his party, Amodei is amenable to the idea of a pathway to citizenship — and says an entry program that doesn’t respect the principle of family reunification is a nonstarter.   ‘I’m willing to look at that — if all you’ve done is broken the immigration law, to be able to earn your way to a state where you can apply for citizenship,’ Amodei said.” [Las Vegas Sun, 2/10/13]

 Rep. Spencer Bachus: 7/10/13: “I support a pathway to citizenship because I don’t believe we should have a second class of citizens.” [Wall Street Journal, 7/10/13]

Rep. Spencer Bachus: 6/13/13: “And — because I don’t think we ought to have two classes of long-term residents, I even support a pathway to citizenship. But I do think it ought to be earned.” [CQ Transcriptions – Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte Holds a Hearing on the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act, 6/13/13]

Rep. Jason Chaffetz: 8/21/13: “There should be a pathway to citizenship, not a special pathway, and not no pathway, but there has to be a legal, lawful way to go through this process that works and right now it doesn’t.”  [KTVX-SLC (ABC) – Salt Lake City, 8/21/13]

 Rep. Mike Coffman: 7/24/13: The Denver Post reported, “Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican from Aurora…said he believes comprehensive immigration reform, increased border security and a provisional legal status for the millions of undocumented people living in the United States now needs to happen mostly simultaneously. Then, when it has been proven the border is secure, a pathway to apply for legal citizenship should be opened for all undocumented people, he said.” [Denver Post, 7/24/13]

 Rep. Mike Coffman: 7/21/13: “I believe that these young people should be afforded a pathway to citizenship.” [Denver Post, 7/21/13]

 Rep. Jim Costa: 7/1/13: “We must give the 11 million people that are currently living in the shadow the opportunity they deserve to become a part of this great country of ours.” [Fresno Bee, 7/1/13]

Rep. Jeff Denham: 8/22/13: The Patterson Irrigator reported, “When asked point blank by several of the people who gave testimonies whether he supported a pathway to citizenship Denham didn’t waiver.  ‘I have and I will,’ he said.” [Patterson Irrigator, 8/22/13]

Rep. Jeff Denham: 8/8/13: The Modesto Bee reported, “Denham met with many members of the informal group previously in June, about the time the U.S. Senate was passing its comprehensive immigration reform bill. He has publicly supported the sweeping legislation, but it has met roadblocks in the House…‘The Senate bill won’t get a vote in the House, and it’s something that could have helped this community,’ Denham said to the some 25 people present. ‘I am frustrated. I thought we’d get this done before the August work period. I think the Senate made tremendous progress. It was done bipartisan and I thought that would be enough to get the House moving forward.’  [Modesto Bee, 8/8/13]

Rep. Charlie Dent: 8/21/13: “For the balance of those folks, I think it will be a long hard trek to a legal status, and for some that may ultimately result in citizenship.” [Video via Washington Post, 8/21/13]

Rep. Charlie Dent, 6/27/13: “Many members, including myself, are open to some kind of earned path to a lawful status that, to many, would result in earned citizenship.” [L.A. Times, 6/27/13]

 Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart: 7/14/13: “BOB SCHIEFFER: Congressman Diaz-Balart, do you think that the House can come up with some sort of plan that deals with the 11 million people that are in this country now? Because it seems to me, until you can come up with some realistic plan to deal with them, the rest of it doesn’t really matter.

REP. DIAZ-BALART: No, I think we will reach that — that point.” [CBS News – Face The Nation, 7/14/13]

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart: 6/28/13: “…we have to deal with the reality, whether we like it or not, that there are millions of people who are here, we have to figure out a way to come out of the shadows…And then give those who have been here for many, many years, who have been working, a way to earn their way into legalization.” [Bloomberg – Political Capital With Al Hunt, 6/28/13]

 Rep. Blake Farenthold: 7/3/13: “Getting to citizenship is going to be tough, but never say never.”[New York Times, 7/3/13]

Rep. Bob Goodlatte: 7/11/13: USA Today reported, “‘I and other members are open-minded to the idea that [undocumented immigrants] should have a way to come out of the shadows, to be able to work, to have their own businesses, to pay their taxes, to travel back and forth to their home country and elsewhere.’  After attaining that status, Goodlatte said, they could then apply for legal permanent residence and eventually U.S. citizenship through avenues that are already available to foreigners…” [USA Today, 7/11/13]

Rep. Michael Grimm: 7/30/13: WNYC reported, “Congressman Grimm recently told reporters that citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally is ‘the ultimate goal.’” [WNYC, 7/30/13]

Rep. Joe Heck: 8/12/13: “I believe that the pathway that the Senate bill has laid out is a reasonable pathway. I think when you look at having to go through background checks, having to pay a fine, having to make sure that your tax liabilities are paid, making sure that you’re in a provisional status for a period of time, where you have to learn English, you have to show that you’ve got a job — there’s a lot of safeguards here.” [Video via Washington Post, 8/12/13]

Rep. Joe Heck: 7/19/13: “I’ve said, and I’ve always said, that I think a tough but fair pathway to earned citizenship that doesn’t allow anyone to jump to the front of the line, that has certain benchmarks that need to be met, like the ability to show that you can support yourself and your family, that you can speak English, that you have a clean criminal and national security background check, that I would support those.” [KNPR, 7/19/13]

Rep. Darrell Issa: 2/6/13: “Ultimately, if you’re allowed to remain in this country permanently, in almost all cases, there should be a path to citizenship. That is what Abraham Lincoln would have said. That’s what the Republican Party stands for.” [Real Clear Politics, 2/6/13]

Sen. Ron Johnson: 5/8/13: “It is not healthy to have 11 million undocumented individuals in a country. We need to find out who those people are, provide them some sort of legal status.” [Shorewood Patch, 5/8/13]

Rep. Mike Kelly: 7/14/13: “So is there a path to citizenship? I think there is.” [CBS News – Face The Nation, 7/14/13]

Rep. Peter King: 6/5/13: “As far as if we do have security — and I feel that it’s never going to be 100 percent — but as close to full security as possible for the future, then I believe we should legalize those that are here.” [New York Daily News, 6/5/13]

Rep. Raul Labrador: 3/20/13: “What I think should happen is anyone who is here illegally can come out of the shadows, become legalized in some way, have some legal status, and that status could lead to legal permanent residency and citizenship eventually…” [CNN, 3/20/13]

Rep. Raul Labrador: 6/5/13: “If we can fix the borders, if we can deal with future flow, if we can do interior enforcement, I think [conservative members’] positions on the citizenship issue will begin to soften.” [National Journal, 6/5/13]

Rep. James Lankford: 7/10/13: The Associated Press reported, “‘I wouldn’t prohibit forever’ people from getting citizenship, said Congressman James Lankford, a Republican. ‘I’m a Christian, and restitution and reconciliation’s a big deal. If you do something illegal or inappropriate you should be able to resolve that, face the penalty, clear it and be forgiven.’” [Associated Press, 7/10/13]

Rep. Kevin McCarthy: 8/7/13: The Daily Pilot reported, “[Rep. McCarthy] promoted a guest-worker program and legal status for many immigrants but stopped short of offering a path to citizenship.   ‘What you then have to address is the 11 million that are here considered illegal,’ he said. ‘I personally believe it’s different for someone who’s been here 30 years than if they’ve been here three months.’” [Daily Pilot, 8/7/13]

 Rep. Pat Meehan: 7/9/13: “It’s within my contemplation that we’ve got to figure out some kind of earned legal status for people who are here… It’s impractical to assume that we’re going to move 12 million people out of our borders.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 7/9/13]

 Rep. Gary Miller: 4/5/13: The Press-Enterprise reported, “‘I think whatever you’re going to do, you’re not going to take people that came here illegally and put them in the front of the line,’ [Rep. Miller] said. ‘You’re going to put them in line to become citizens.’   When [Radio Bilingüe’s Samuel Orozco] asked Miller whether he would support ‘earned legal status and citizenship for most of the 11 million undocumented immigrants,’ the congressman responded, ‘What you said there is something I would agree with. You said earned. I think that’s appropriate.’” [Press Enterprise, 4/5/13]

Rep. Devin Nunes: 7/23/13: The San Francisco Chronicle reported, “The Chronicle contacted every GOP House member from California. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, was the only other Republican [besides Rep. David Valadao] to support a pathway.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 7/23/13]

Rep. Tom Reed: 8/19/13: “On the issue of immigration, especially when you bring up the kids, that is something that I’m sensitive to, that I recognize, that these individuals, especially the kids, came here innocently. And there needs to be a path forward for them. And that path forward includes citizenship.” [Video via Think Progress, 8/19/13]

Rep. David Reichert: 8/7/13:  “Now, what about those folks, though, that have been here 25 years, and they have family and they have kids that have come over, their kids have gone to school, they came over when they were little, now they’re high school age and they’re graduating?  What do you do with those people? You don’t arrest them….I want them to pay a fine, there’s some penalties they have to through, steps that they are going to go through. I want to hold them accountable and then they get citizenship and pay taxes…” [KVI Talk Radio 570, 8/7/13Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: 2/6/13: “I’m in favor of a citizenship path…”  [Real Clear Politics, 2/6/13]

Rep. Paul Ryan: 6/24/13: “At the end of the day, if everybody else in line who came here legally and did everything right is through the system and a person then, after an exhaustive period, after a probationary period, after a green card, not consuming any government benefits, wants to get in line like everybody else for citizenship, we should allow that person to do that…That’s earning the right to be a citizen.” [Washington Times, 6/24/13]

Rep. Paul Ryan: 7/10/13: The Washington Post reported, “[Rep. Paul Ryan] has held private meetings with members of the group and has reached out to other Republicans to try to find support for a comprehensive plan that would include a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants already in the country illegally.” [Washington Post, 7/10/13]

Rep. Mark Sanford: 7/16/13: The State reported, “US Rep. Mark Sanford believes Congress ultimately will pass an immigration reform bill that contains a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented workers already in the U.S…‘Once it leaves House, I think it will be the Senate side that prevails,’ he said Monday.  Sanford supports a path to citizenship after U.S. borders have been secured, he said.” [The State (SC), 7/16/13]

Rep. Aaron Schock: 8/5/13: “I think there needs to be a secure border, and when that happens and people pay their back taxes, and they haven’t committed any violations of laws. They have been here on a probationary period, then they can apply for citizenship…” [Town Hall event via YouTube, 8/5/13]

 Rep. David Valadao: 7/23/13: “There’s no reason why such a route to citizenship shouldn’t be on the table.”  [San Francisco Chronicle, 7/23/13]

Rep. David Valadao: 7/1/13: “Once you talk to the members and explain to them it’s a process, where they can work for it, appreciate it and someday become citizens — just like my parents did — most members begin to understand.” [Fresno Bee, 7/1/13]

Rep. Greg Walden: 6/3/13: USA Today reported, “[Walden] endorsed the inclusion of a path to citizenship for many of the estimated 11 million immigrants now in the United States illegally. ‘If they pay a fine, if they true up in all their areas and then go to the back of the line, there’s probably a way then that they can get there,’ he said.” [USA Today, 6/3/13]

 Rep. Daniel Webster: 8/4/13: The Orlando Sentinel reported, “On the same day Congress adjourned for a five-week break, U.S. Rep. Dan Webster did something he’s avoided for months: speak at length about immigration reform and declare his support for an approach that would give unauthorized immigrants a pathway to citizenship..” [Orlando Sentinel, 8/4/13]

 Senate Bill/Need For CIR

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart: 11/13/13: “I remain steadfast in the fact that the House needs to take up immigration reform. I urge Speaker Boehner to remain open to any options that allow us to solve this crucial issue. It has been said time and time again that our immigration system is broken, and we must come together to find a sensible solution to fix it. I continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on a bill that secures our border, respects the rule of law, strengthens our economy, modernizes the visa system, and addresses the millions of undocumented immigrants in a way that is both reasonable and humane.” [Office of Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart – Press Release, 11/13/13]

Rep. Mike Coffman: 11/10/13: The Denver Post reported, “Aurora GOP Rep. Mike Coffman, who admits he has evolved his position on immigration because of his new district, says he believes in comprehensive immigration reform. But only after there is an independently verified secure border would he support allowing 11 million individuals living in the country without legal permission to apply for permanent legal status from a temporary status.”  [The Denver Post, 11/10/13]

Rep. Fred Upton: 11/1/13: “…the current system is really broken in every way…I will be part of a bipartisan effort to fix the problem, because it has to be fixed…To me, doing nothing is not acceptable….I do believe that we’ll have at least half our caucus for it…” [Kalamazoo Gazette, 11/1/13]

Rep. David Valadao: 11/1/13: “We’ve got to do something…Leadership has to recognize that this is important to more of us than less of us…” [Los Angeles Times, 11/1/13]

Rep. David Valadao: 10/30/13: The Hanford Sentinel reported, “Denham made waves last week when he thumbed his nose at GOP leaders and announced himself as a co-sponsor of a bipartisan immigration package called HR 15. The measure cleared the Senate last year, but has gotten little support in the GOP-dominated House. ‘If my signing on to it helps move the [process] forward, I’m happy to do that,’ Valadao said, adding that he’s still working with House Republicans to see if an alternative package is possible.” [The Hanford Sentinel, 10/30/13]

Rep. David Valadao: 10/29/13: “Many of my Republicans colleagues in the House understand the benefits of comprehensive immigration reform and they too would like to see legislation come before the House for a vote….I will do everything in my power to ensure that immigration reform is addressed in the House of Representatives before the end of the year.” [Office of Rep. David Valadao – Press Release, 10/29/13]

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: 10/29/13: Rep. Ros-Lehtinen Press Release: “Today, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a senior member of the Florida Congressional delegation, announced her support for H.R. 15, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, a comprehensive bipartisan bill to fix the current, broken immigration system.” [Office of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen – Press Release, 10/29/13]

Rep. Jeff Denham: 10/27/13: Rep. Denham Press Release: “U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) today announced his co-sponsorship of H.R. 15, the House immigration bill introduced October 2, 2013 by Representative Joe Garcia (D-FL), on Univisión’s Sunday show ‘Al Punto.’ Rep. Denham is the first Republican to co-sponsor the bill.” [Office of Rep. Jeff Denham – Press Release, 10/27/13]

Rep. Devin Nunes: 10/10/13: The Fresno Bee reported, “Nunes said it’s ‘vital’ to national security and that he wants to ‘secure our dangerous southern border while providing a humane solution for illegal immigrants already in America.’” [The Fresno Bee, 10/10/13]

Rep. David Valadao: 10/2/13: Politico reported, “Rep. David Valadao (R-Calif.) said, ‘there’s a lot of good things’ in the Senate Gang of Eight immigration bill and indicated some interest in the House Democratic plan. ‘If there’s some common-sense legislation out there, it doesn’t matter who starts it,’ Valadao said. ‘If there’s an opportunity to do something that’s moving the ball forward, I’ll look at it.’” [Politico, 10/2/13]

Rep. Spencer Bachus: 6/13/13: “And I — I think you know that I have advocated for a comprehensive approach.” [CQ Transcriptions – Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte Holds a Hearing on the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act, 6/13/13]

Rep. Eric Cantor: 8/4/13: “We will have a vote on a series of bills at some point, Chris. And it will deal with a variety of issues. Border security is a really important issue. Because it goes to the trust factor as well. We also, as you know, I have been very active in promoting what I’m calling a kids’ bill. It’s not — and it says that you ought not hold kids liable for illegal acts of their parents.”  [Fox News Sunday, 8/4/13]

Rep. Mike Coffman: 7/21/13: “A comprehensive immigration reform proposal must incorporate three essential elements: it must secure our borders and provide for the effective enforcement of our immigration laws; it must contribute to the economic growth of our country; and it must be compassionate in keeping families together.” [Denver Post, 7/21/13]

Rep. Tom Cole: 7/14/13: “I am not surprised that the Senate bill can’t make it in the House…But I do think the eight senators that started the effort produced a decent product. And I think it got better. That’s why it picked up Republican support along the way.” [ABC News – This Week, 7/14/13]

 Rep. Jeff Denham: 8/9/13: “The Senate bill won’t get a vote in the House, and it’s something that could have helped this community…I am frustrated. I thought we’d get this done before the August work period. I think the Senate made tremendous progress. It was done bipartisan and I thought that would be enough to get the House moving forward.” [Modesto Bee, 8/9/13]

Rep. Cory Gardner: 8/9/13: “I strongly support immigration reform.” [Sterling Journal-Advocate (CO), 8/9/13]

Rep. Doc Hastings: 8/13/13: The Columbia Basin Herald reported, “[Rep. Doc] Hastings also addressed immigration reform, which he hopes passes by the end of the year.” [Columbia Basin Herald (WA), 8/12/13]

Rep. Joe Heck: 7/4/13: “There are some good things in [the Senate bill] …I think there are things in there that can serve as a framework for some of the House bills…”  [Las Vegas Sun, 7/4/13]

 Rep. Darrell Issa: 2/5/13: “Well, I think that the Senate was ahead of everyone, and on a bipartisan basis they outlined some of the structures of a good, bipartisan bill.” [FOX News Happening Now, 2/5/13]

 Rep. Raul Labrador: 7/10/13: “It’s a good start, there’s a lot of good things in the Senate bill…” [MSNBC – Alex Wagner, 7/10/13]

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: 6/28/13: “I support it [the Senate bill]…We are a nation of laws and we are also a nation of fairness and opportunity and I think that that bill strikes that balance…” [CNN, 6/28/13]

Rep. Paul Ryan: 7/10/13: The Washington Post reported, “[Rep. Paul Ryan] has held private meetings with members of the group and has reached out to other Republicans to try to find support for a comprehensive plan that would include a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants already in the country illegally.” [Washington Post, 7/10/13]

Rep. David Valadao: 7/9/13: The Fresno Bee reported, “[Rep.] Valadao said the Senate bill was a good start, and a path to citizenship should be part of immigration reform, but ‘everything should be on the table,’ he said. ‘At the end of the day, we have to get something that works for everybody and something that works for the long term.’” [Fresno Bee, 7/9/13]

House GOP Needs to Put up or Shut up on Immigration Reform

From HuffPost Politics

There is a reason the twitter hashtag #TimeIsNow caught on. The time really is now for Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and the House Republican leadership to allow a vote on a bipartisan immigration reform bill. It’s been 5 long months since the Senate passed such a bill, and sent it over to the House for consideration.

But it’s been one excuse after another from the House GOP leadership. First it was the Tea Party-manufactured fiscal crisis which consumed most of September and closed the government for the first two weeks of October. Now the House GOP leadership — including even some like Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) who has worked to draft a bipartisan immigration bill — claim that time has run out this year on immigration reform; that the GOP leadership cannot possibly schedule a vote on a bipartisan bill because there are not enough days in the legislative calendar.

Really? Am I missing something? Last I checked the majority party in the House — the Republicans — controls the legislative calendar.

What about next year then?

Well, there is certainly no reason why the House cannot work on immigration reform in 2014. But if they delay it that long I can already imagine more lame excuses being concocted by the GOP leadership, starting with their reluctance to schedule a vote before for the primaries lest some of their members be vulnerable to challenges from the anti-immigration reform fringe of the party. Of course after the primary season the House leadership will claim the legislative window leading up to the fall election will be too short to schedule a vote on immigration reform. What about during the lame duck session which follows the general election? Maybe, but that’s another tiny legislative window, probably big enough to squeeze in immigration reform but not if the House GOP would rather conjure up more excuses.

Then we’re into 2015 and it won’t be long until presidential politics will take precedence over immigration reform.

In the meantime, 1,100 people are being deported every day. That’s not a cold statistic. That’s 1,100 mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents and others who came to the U.S. for the same reasons most immigrants did — to build a better life for their children. Just because the House GOP leadership cannot seem to find the political courage to allow a vote on immigration reform, thousands and thousands of hard working folks continue to be torn from their US Citizen spouses and children who remain behind in the U.S. For some hardliners in Congress, like Rep. Steve King (R-IA), it’s easy to justify this daily injustice. “They should have waited in line and immigrated legally”, so the argument goes. “Illegal immigrants have no one to blame but themselves if they get deported.” And on and on.

That might make some sense if this country had a safe, orderly, and fair immigration policy-one designed to keep the border secure and American families safe and together. But that’s not case. There is no family- or business-friendly immigration “line” in which to wait. What exists is an ugly morass of rules and regulations that help very few, except maybe fringe restrictionists who want to stop virtually all immigration.

The bottom line is there is no perfect time to do hard work. And there is no time like the present for Speaker Boehner and the House GOP leadership to step up to the plate, put a bipartisan immigration bill before the House, and allow the elected representatives to vote on it. And even if they can’t bring themselves to do that, there are certainly other bills — like the Kids Act which helps DREAMERs — that can be put to a vote.

Let the chips fall where they may. No more excuses, the time is now. Our country cannot afford more dithering and foot dragging by the House GOP.

 Follow me on Twitter:  www.twitter.com/DavidLeopold

 

Follow David Leopold on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DavidLeopold

#Immigration Reform Is Alive and Kicking on Capitol Hill

Originally posted on HuffPost Politics

As it turns out, reports of the death of immigration reform were greatly exaggerated. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and other House Republicans and Democrats are reportedly working on various immigration plans, some of which, including a bill to be released next week by Issa, deal with the toughest issue of all — what to do about the nation’s 11.7 million undocumented immigrants. And Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)says that immigration reform could get to the floor of the House before the end of the year.

Is common sense breaking out on Capitol Hill? That might be too much to ask for. But at least the GOP leadership seems to be taking a hard look at political reality.

Here are four big reasons why an immigration overhaul is likely to happen by the end of the year:

1. Immigration reform is a political win-win for Democrats and Republicans.

I can’t say that either the Democrats or Republicans came out of last week’s shutdown and debt limit brinksmanship looking good to the American people, but the whole debacle hurt the Republicans much more. A recent NBCNews/Wall Street Journal poll found that the public blames the GOP more than President Obama by 53 percent to 31 percent, a 21 point margin. And approval ratings for the Republican party are at an all-time low — never before in the history of polling have the numbers shown such blatant disappointment.

Immigration reform gives the Republicans a unique opportunity to do something big, to reach across the aisle and work with House Democrats to pass real immigration reform either in a comprehensive package or as a series of bills that ultimately have a chance to fix what’s wrong with our immigration system. It would be a colossal mistake for the House GOP not to seize the chance to lead on immigration reform. The American people want it, the country needs it, and it’s a pathway to political redemption for the badly bruised Republican party.

2. The immigration reform coalition is unified and ready to make the final push.

A broad coalition of business, labor, faith-based and ethnic groups are full of energy and ready to finish the job the Senate started in the spring. In the midst of the combined “shutdown and debt ceiling” crisis, thousands of Americans descended on Washington to join the “March for Dignity and Respect.” Eight members of Congress, including civil rights icon John Lewis (D-Ga.), joined together in an historic act of civil disobedience and were arrested near the steps of the Capitol in a show of solidarity with the immigration reform movement. As Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) wrote recently in his The Huffington Post column “Why I Went To Jail“:

Some may call it a publicity stunt. Some may call it a political theater. For whatever reason some may think I stood out there with thousands of clergy and advocates calling for immigration reform, the fact is that it got attention. And immigration reform is a critical issue that desperately needs it. If eight Members of Congress getting thrown in jail is what it takes to get people talking about it, then I’ll gladly sit in the slammer. We cannot let ourselves forget that our nation has been built by immigrants, and the story of America began with people from another nation traveling to our shores.Congress needs to fix the twisted morass of rules and regulations that pass for America’s immigration policy. No longer can we sit idle as our mess of a “system” ruthlessly breaks up American families, stifles economic growth, and compromises our nation’s democratic principles. Now is the time.

3. The DREAMERs have become doers.

A funny thing happened since the DREAM Act was first introduced in 2001. The DREAMERs grew up. And they grew up as Americans, watching football, going to homecoming dances, eating hotdogs on the 4th of July and dreaming about giving back to the country they’ve struggled against all odds to enrich. They are no longer the helpless children who were brought to the U.S. by their parents. Today they are, in effect, undocumented Americans.

Through masterful use of 21st century tools like Facebook and Twitter, coupled with old-fashioned organizing and courage, the DREAMERs have become a key voice in the struggle for immigration reform. They, more than any other group, deserve the lion’s share of credit for pushing the administration to grant an administrative deportation reprieve to qualified undocumented youth last year.

For DREAMERs there is no giving up on their journey toward U.S. citizenship. They will no longer take no for an answer.

4. Now is the time.

The passion is there, the energy is there, and, most of all, the American people are there. It’s time for both parties to sit down together and create an immigration process that will protect our borders, keep our families safe and together, give our businesses the tools they need to compete in the global economy, and provide a road map to lawful immigration status for the 11 million aspiring citizens currently living in the shadows.

Now, not later. Now.

 Follow David Leopold on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DavidLeopold

Updated: The Government #Shutdown and #Immigration

As posted by the American Immigration Lawyers Association:

CIS Ombudsman: The CIS Ombudsman’s Office will be closed and will not be accepting any inquiries through their online case intake system.

Department of Labor:  Office of Foreign Labor Certifications functions are not “excepted” from a shutdown and its employees would be placed in furlough status should a lapse in appropriated funds occur. Consequently, in the event of a government shutdown, OFLC will neither accept nor process any applications or related materials (such as audit responses), it receives, including Labor Condition Applications, Applications for Prevailing Wage Determination, Applications for Temporary Employment Certification, or Applications for Permanent Employment Certification. OFLC’s web site, including the iCERT Visa Portal System and the PERM system, would become static and unable to process any requests or allow authorized users to access their online accounts.

DOL’s Office of Administrative Law Judges will be unable to perform any case-related activities, including conducting hearings. Hearings that have been previously scheduled will therefore be cancelled prior to the date of the hearing, and they will not be rescheduled for hearing until an appropriations bill or continuing resolution takes effect.

Customs and Border Protection: CBP hosted a conference call with travel and trade industry stakeholders on October 1, 2013, to discuss actions CBP is taking in response to the lapse in appropriations. Acting Commissioner Thomas Winkowski led the discussion. Highlights from the call include:

  1. All Ports of Entry are open. There is even no change in using overtime to handle flight arrivals and CBP continues to accept requests from airlines for new service. The Border Patrol and the Office of Air and Marine are also continuing with operations.
  2. The Admissibility Review Office (ARO) is open and continues to function.
  3. All global entry enrollment centers are open and interviews are continuing and all Trusted Traveler programs continue to function as usual.
  4. The CBP website will not be maintained during the lapse in appropriations.
  5. Approximately 6,000 CBP positions, primarily held by technicians and support staff, are impacted by the lapse in appropriations.

Department of Homeland Security: Due to the lapse in federal funds, DHS’s website will not be actively managed.

Department Of State: The Department will continue as many normal operations as possible; operating status and available funding will need to be monitored continuously and closely, and planning for a lapse in appropriations must be continued. Review their“Guidance on Operations” for more information.

Executive Office for Immigration Review (Immigration Courts): EOIR has indicated that its response to a potential shutdown is the same as it was in 2011. EOIR has been advised to “put its shutdown plans in place.” As with other agencies, personnel who are not considered “essential” will be furloughed. EOIR has indicated that the detained docket would likely be considered an essential function and would therefore be able to continue in operation.

Update from EOIR on October 1, 2013: Court functions that support the detained caseload will continue, but other functions are suspended. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is processing emergency stay requests as well as cases where the alien is detained, including case appeals, motions, federal court remands, and bonds. Please review their notice for more information.

ICE: From ICE Community Outreach – ICE detention and enforcement operations shall continue. ICE chief counsel trail attorneys will still work on the detained docket only during a shutdown. Please coordinate with your local Chief Counsel Office on more specifics. The ICE Community and Detainee Helpline will remain operational.

USCIS: All USCIS offices worldwide are open and individuals should report to interviews and appointments as scheduled. E-Verify is currently unavailable due to a government shutdown. Please see their notice for policies implemented due to E-Verify’s unavailability.

DHS Office of Inspector General: The majority of DHS OIG staff has been furloughed due to the lapse in appropriations.

Social Security Administration: SSA chart indicating which activities will continue or cease during the lapse in Federal appropriations and shutdown of agency operations.

Summary of Government Services:


 

Update: What happens if the government shuts down? #immigration

From AILA

Department of Labor: The Administration is working very hard to avoid a government shutdown and believes there is sufficient time to avoid such an occurrence; however, prudent management requires the Department to plan for the possibility that it may need to suspend operations should Congress be unable to pass a funding bill by midnight on Monday, September 30, 2013.

OFLC functions are not “excepted” from a shutdown and its employees would be placed in furlough status should a lapse in appropriated funds occur. Consequently, in the event of a government shutdown, OFLC will neither accept nor process any applications or related materials (such as audit responses), it receives, including Labor Condition Applications, Applications for Prevailing Wage Determination, Applications for Temporary Employment Certification, or Applications for Permanent Employment Certification. OFLC’s web site, including the iCERT Visa Portal System, would become static and unable to process any requests or allow authorized users to access their online accounts.

Further updates will be posted to the Department’s website.

Immigration Courts: The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has indicated that its response to a potential shutdown is the same as it was in 2011. EOIR has been advised to “put its shutdown plans in place.” As with other agencies, personnel who are not considered “essential” will be furloughed. EOIR has indicated that the detained docket would likely be considered an essential function and would therefore be able to continue in operation.

Washington Post Round Up of Various Agency Responses on Impact of a Government Shutdown

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