As school kids, Americans are taught that everyone has the right to an attorney. That means if a person cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed. It is not widely known, however, that immigrants who are detained in our court system have no right to counsel, meaning that are no public defenders for them.
The New York Times recently ran an article about a group of mothers fighting back in one of the few ways available to them. The 22 mothers are holding a hunger strike in an immigration detention center that is about a two-hour drive west of New York City.
There are federal immigration courts stretching across the United States from New York to California, and in many of the states in between. There are 58 of the courts, including 19 that are inside (or on the property of) prisons and detention centers.
She stars in a critically acclaimed series, but her success as actress does not mean there isn't real-world pain in the life of Diane Guerrero. Guerrero is more than someone artfully reciting words someone else has written; she writes her own as well.
They say that once a person has committed a crime and then paid their debt to society, they can rejoin and resume their life. They can reintegrate and lead a full and productive life.
Back in 2012, President Barack Obama announced an ambitious overhaul of U.S. immigration policy. The reform was put on hold when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an injunction blocking enforcement of the change in policy.
Their story is not an unfamiliar or uncommon one. The parents arrived more than a decade ago from Peru on tourist visas. The visas have expired but the parents could stay in the United States if the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Legal Permanent Residents (DAPA) is upheld by the United States Supreme Court.
People all across the world view the U.S. as a place of safety, where citizens have rights and are protected from the types of persecution others face in their home countries. Because of this, many people flee to this country in the hopes of escaping danger and protecting their families.
Immigrants who are considered permanent U.S. residents are granted green cards which allow them to live and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis. It's important to note that, while a green card holder enjoys many of the same rights and privileges as a U.S. citizen, he or she can be stripped of a green card for failing to fulfill certain responsibilities, like obeying the law and filing income taxes.
The United States is a land of immigrants and refugees, the vast majority of whom came to this country to build a better life and/or to escape violence and persecution. While the U.S. is known worldwide as the land of opportunity and has a long history of welcoming individuals from all over the world, in recent decades, there’s been a drastic shift in ideology as immigration policy and laws become more exclusive and restrictive.