America proudly declares that is it the "land or the free and the home of the brave." The unalienable rights of U.S. citizens are well-documented in the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence. Under the decrees of these and other founding U.S. documents, citizens are protected from governmental overreaches related to unauthorized search and seizure and the right to due process.
The United States was founded by immigrants who, despite their many differences, all shared a common dream--having the opportunity to build a better life. Despite the fact that our country's founding fathers were all immigrants, today's U.S. immigration laws are often restrictive and punitive for those who come to the U.S. and hope to build a better life.
President Obama drew praise from both law enforcement officials and immigrant advocacy groups back in November when he announced the termination of the Secure Communities program and the introduction of the Priority Enforcement Program, which is focused on deporting "felons, not families."
It appears that we’re seeing fewer immigrants held in detention centers in the United States. In any case, the number is the lowest in close to 10 years. Though for most years in the last decade, the numbers of immigrants detained exceeded 30,000, the numbers of immigrants detained in 2015 fell to 26,374 people.
For the past several years, one of the most contentious aspects of U.S. immigration law has been the federal detention and deportation program known as Secure Communities.
A few weeks back, our blog took a closer look at the important issue of how long a person can be held by a law enforcement agency on an immigration detainer issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
If you or a loved one has been detained by a local law enforcement agency or by officers from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, you probably have a lot of questions, including where a person can be taken during detention, whether they can receive any visitors and what rights a detainee has.
While it isn't likely that unfair deportation proceedings will stop any time soon, President Obama's administration recently announced that it would review current deportation practices. Obviously, one major problem is that immigrants who have lived in the U.S. a long time and who have not committed a crime are being deported, even though the proposed immigration reform would make those same immigrants eligible for legal status.
Reporters from EFE just pulled data on immigration enforcement actions by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement last year and found some surprising trends. Nationwide, the number of unauthorized immigrants arrested dropped by 23 percent during the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2013. Notably, the ICE office in Miami prosecuted 33 percent fewer people for immigration offenses. Arrests of undocumented people also dropped substantially in Miami, as well as in Chicago, Houston, Atlanta and San Diego.
According to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, a certain Honduran man has "checkered immigration history in the United States," but he's not guilty of being "voluntarily present and found in the United States" after deportation or of criminal reentry. In 2012, a federal jury in Buffalo had convicted him of both offenses, which carry potential penalties of two and 20 years in prison, respectively. The 2nd Circuit, however, has just reversed those convictions and ordered him acquitted.