Created in 2003, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE is the federal government agency that is tasked with enforcing U.S. border control laws and engaging in immigration removal operations. As one would expect, the very mention of ICE can set off panic signals throughout immigrant communities and especially among those individuals who are undocumented.
In 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program went into effect. The program, which was championed by President Barak Obama, allows undocumented individuals who came to the U.S. before they turned age 16 to obtain permission to stay and work in the U.S. for a two-year renewable time frame. In addition to coming to the U.S. prior to turning age 16, DACA applicants must meet a series of other requirements related to their age and current removal or deportation status.
In our Jan. 8 blog post, we discussed the recent raids conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the government's continued attempts to deport individuals from violence-ravaged Central American countries who are seeking asylum in the U.S. While some people may previously believe that only hardened criminals or those who enter the U.S. illegally have to worry about being deported, ICE's recent actions prove otherwise as the targets were primarily women and children.
In our last blog post, we reported on the rumored impending raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to find undocumented Central American immigrates. This past weekend, ICE raids commenced in three states and ended with 121 people being taken into custody where they are awaiting deportation back to their violence-ravaged home countries.
Since being sworn in as president in 2008, President Barak Obama has been vocal about his plans to reform U.S. immigration policy. However, absent the support of republican members of Congress, during his seven years as president, Obama has been unable to pass any sweeping immigration reform. He has, however, invoked his executive power to make certain changes to existing immigration laws.
In the United States, citizens are fortunate to enjoy many freedoms and opportunities. These include freedom from persecution with regard to religion and freedom of choice with regard to personal views and political ideologies. Sadly, millions of people around the world don't enjoy these same freedoms and spend their lives fearing persecution, violence and death.
As both the Democrat and Republican parties attempt to decide who should represent their parties in the upcoming presidential election, the differences between the parties and their ideological beliefs has never been clearer. In the upcoming presidential election, immigration is slated to be a main issue with Democrat candidates favoring immigration reforms which would make it easier for families to stay together and in the U.S. while many Republican candidates support mass deportation and building an actual wall along the U.S. and Mexican border.
According to The Sentencing Project, as of 2013, an estimated 2.2 million people called a U.S. prison or jail home. This number is higher than incarceration rates in any other country and equates to a 500 percent increase within the last three decades. In an effort to reduce the U.S. incarceration rate, in 2014, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted to "redraw federal sentencing guidelines for some drug offenses." In accordance with the new sentencing guidelines, thousands of nonviolent drug offenders who are serving out prison sentences are slated for early release.
For many five-year-old children in the U.S., their biggest worries and fears may include imaginary monsters under the bed, having to share toys with friends and trying to get out of brushing their teeth. For one little girl, who was recently allowed through a street barricade to meet Pope Francis as his processional rode through Washington D.C., her concerns are much more serious and heartbreaking.
Shrewd businessman, real estate mogul, author and television personality are just a few of the titles that Republican presidential candidate hopeful Donald Trump has held. After years of threatening to run for numerous political offices, including president; few took Trump seriously when he announced that he was campaigning to be the 2016 Republican candidate.