What a week!
- Tuesday, 26 June 2012 03:24
- Written by Jonathan Willmoth
On President Obama announced a new initiative where some DREAM Act eligible people will be granted deferred action and potentially renewing two-year work cards. This program is lacking is final instructions, and some issues remain unclear, but within 60 days we should all have the final details. What we know so far is that it does not lead to a green card, and the exact criminal bars are a little unclear - though we know that any felony, any serious misdemeanor (including all drug, DUI, violence, and theft/fraud related offenses) or any three minor misdemeanors will be ineligible. One good thing is that it does apply to those in deportation proceedings, or who have already been ordered deported. In order to be eligible, you have to have come to the US before turning 16, and currently be under 31. You also have to have graduated from High School, be in school, or have your GED. You can also qualify if you have an honorable discharge from the military.
We recommend getting materials together to show when you came here, how long you have been here, and that you were here on June 15, 2012. This should include medical, school, financial, and other related records. Prepare them now so that you can file once the final details come out.
I will be speaking about this at Casa De Dios Para las Naciones, 948 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kansas 66101 on June 30, 2012 from 10am to Noon. Everyone is welcome, bring your friends and your questions.
Today the Supreme Court decides US v. Arizona, the federal government’s challenge to the SB1070, Arizona’s “Paper please” law. In it, the Court determined that three of the four challenged provision were unconstitutional, while they declined to decide on the fourth until Arizona has an opportunity to implement it. Depending on how it is implemented, the Court seemed willing to revisit that provision as well. Some have said that the Court “upheld” the papers please provision, but I don’t read the majority decision that way. Saying that something has not been implemented, and supposing that there is a way it could be implemented lawfully is not the same as finding it to be constitutional. The decision reiterates the long-standing principle that immigration is a federal issue, not a state issue, and that state laws will not be upheld when they are in conflict with the federal laws. I have often heard people make the argument that to the extent a state law creates a state penalty for a federal immigration violation, it is not in conflict, but the decision today refutes that. The Court reasoned that states can’t undo federal immigration-based prosecutorial discretion. That is, if the state creates a crime for an immigration violation, and the federal authorities decide someone shouldn’t be prosecuted for whatever national interest reason, the state can’t undo that by merely declining to agree and prosecuting under the state criminal setup.