16 • FEBRUARY 08, 2019 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
VOLUME 03 ISSUE 06
The State of the Union’s immigration mess And a solution to consider
Andrew L. Reback is a Southern Californiabased sole-practitioner attorney.
Washington DC is regurgitating towards another government shutdown over Immigration. Despite this distasteful course, we do have viable options on the political menu, depending on the size of Mr. Trump’s appetite. Some fast food for thought: it’s almost February 15, the next shutdown is quickly approaching and the extra value menu option of Comprehensive Immigration Reform is too much to chew in this short timeframe. So lets boil down two major issues we actually could address quickly: our DACA “Dreamers” and that Wall. Dig in, America. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), created through Executive Order by President Obama, took effect in Aug. 2012. DACA allows persons brought to the United States before their 16th birthday, AND prior to June 15, 2007, to apply for temporary relief from “Removal” (deportation). An applicant must prove they have completed high school or are currently enrolled and attending school, and must prove good moral character—meaning no significant criminal history. Most importantly, along with this temporary relief from Removal, DACA holders may also apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card (Work Permit), renewable every two years, with a government fee of course. Today, the reality for DACA holders is a perpetual cycle of relief and angst. They are a shamefully tossed around like a political football to score points. We have a whole population of young, educated, industrious
folks, legally working and paying taxes, who cannot travel abroad, apply for benefits at home, or get on any pathway towards American citizenship. This is why Trump’s offer to simply extend DACA for three more years in exchange for a permanent border wall is shameful and ridiculous. The ironwilled “Ms. Nancy” and her unified House Democrats are right to reject this proposal. Comprehensive immigration reform is needed but terribly unlikely before Feb. 15 or anytime soon. So instead of shutdown after shutdown, and the constant threat of a fake national emergency about constructing the most idiotic piece of infrastructure humanity has ever imagined, here is one Immigration lawyer’s more practical proposal for a deal. First: permanently legalize DACA holders using the “Dream Act” template that already passed the Senate years ago. That Dream Act essentially was “DACA Plus” that provided a pathway to citizenship. Polling shows there is general consensus for this idea across both parties and amongst the American public. Second: legalize the parents of the Dreamers using the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) model that Obama tried to implement in 2014 before being blocked by the courts. The DAPA program would grant Deferred Action status to the undocumented parents of US citizens and US green card holders. After a certain period of time (to be negotiated), allow DAPA holders to apply for green cards so they, too, can get on the pathway to citizenship. Third: provide the same Deferred Action relief with eventual pathway to citizenship to most, if not all, current holders of Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Fourth: update the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) specifically at Section 245(i). That section allows persons who have either illegally crossed the border, or have overstayed visas, to apply for green cards based on the petition of a qualifying family member or an employer-sponsor, even though they would otherwise be ineligible to apply for a green card by paying a $1,000.00 fine as the penalty fee for their illegal entry or visa overstay. An update to Section 245(i) would create a path to legalization for the large undocumented population that has
ballooned due to the law called “Unlawful Presence” (the legal ramification suffered once someone has been found unlawfully inside US territory beyond their allotted time. Once tagged with “Unlawful Presence,” a series of “Bars to Reentry” can kick in that prohibit an immigrant’s lawful reentry to the US for periods of 3 years, 10 years, or sometimes permanently. Since taking effect in 1997, the Bars to Reentry resulting from Unlawful Presence have fueled a persistent rise in the undocumented immigrant population, and the reason is simple. Someone with Unlawful Presence is unlikely (and ill-advised) to ever leave the United States, because once they leave, there is little hope of ever returning legally under current law. The risk of family separation for 3 years, 10 years, or possibly forever, is not worth the risk of stepping out of the shadows. Congress’ last update of INA Section 245(i) set a cutoff date for April 30, 2001, meaning anyone with a valid petition filed by that date could continue the process towards obtaining a Greencard by following current laws, and by paying the $1,000.00 added penalty fee. Reviving INA Section 245(i) with a new cutoff date, perhaps April 30, 2020, would pave the way to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants. At the same time, billions of dollars from penalty fees would be paid to the government by those same intending immigrants. The revenue from penalty fees could then be used to further fund enhanced border technology, add customs and border patrol agents, and hire more Immigration Judges—which are sorely needed to clear a terribly backlogged system. There could also be money for additional physical border barriers (where locally approved and deemed appropriate). Another sweetener: these additional border barrier funds would come from the penalty fees paid by intending immigrants, not from direct Federal tax dollars. This is just the opinion of one concerned immigration attorney on the front line, who represents dozens of DACA and TPS holders, and who is married to a Mexican immigrant. Please digest with care. Millions of lives are at stake.
ADDRESS 5455 Wilshire Blvd #1505, Los Angeles, CA 90036 PHONE 310-230-5266 E-MAIL email@example.com INTERNET losangelesblade.com PUBLISHED BY Los Angeles Blade, LLC PUBLISHER TROY MASTERS firstname.lastname@example.org 310-230-5266 x8080 (o), 917-406-1619 (c) SALES & MARKETING BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER BEVERLY DENICE SPARKS email@example.com 310-230-5266 x8072 PALM SPRINGS ACCOUNT EXEC BRAD FUHR, 760-813-2020. firstname.lastname@example.org NATIONAL ADVERTISING RIVENDELL MEDIA email@example.com, 212-242-6863 MARKETING DIRECTOR STEPHEN RUTGERS firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-747-2077 x8077 EDITORIAL CALIFORNIA EDITOR KAREN OCAMB email@example.com NATIONAL EDITOR KEVIN NAFF firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-747-2077 x8088 INTERNATIONAL EDITOR MICHAEL K. LAVERS email@example.com EDITORIAL ASSITANT MARIAH COOPER firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTORS
CHRISTOPHER KANE, AUSTIN MENDOZA, JOHN PAUL KING, JOEY DIGUGLIELMO, CHRIS JOHNSON, LOU CHIBBARO JR., MARIAH COOPER, REBEKAH SAGER, JON DAVIDSON, SUSAN HORNIK, CHANNING SARGENT
CREATIVE DESIGN/PRODUCTION AZERCREATIVE.COM DISTRIBUTION CHRISTOPHER JACKSON, 562-826-6602
All material in the Los Angeles Blade is protected by federal copyright law and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Los Angeles Blade. The sexual orientation of advertisers, photographers, writers and cartoonists published herein is neither inferred nor implied. The appearance of names or pictorial representation does not necessarily indicate the sexual orientation of that person or persons. Although the Los Angeles Blade is supported by many fine advertisers, we cannot accept responsibility for claims made by advertisers. Unsolicited editorial material is accepted by the Los Angeles Blade, but the paper cannot take responsibility for its return. The editors reserve the right to accept, reject or edit any submission. A single copy of the Los Angeles Blade is available from authorized distribution points, to any individual within a 50-mile radius of Los Angeles, CA. Multiple copies are available from the Los Angeles Blade office only. Call for rates. If you are unable to get to a convenient free distribution point, you may receive a 26-week mailed subscription for $195 per year or $5.00 per single issue. Checks or credit card orders can be sent to Phil Rockstroh at email@example.com. Postmaster: Send address changes to the Los Angeles Blade, PO BOX 53352 Washington, DC 20009. The Los Angeles Blade is published bi-weekly, on Friday, by Los Angeles Blade, LLC. Rates for businesses/institutions are $450 per year. Periodical postage paid at Los Angeles, CA., and additional mailing offices. Editorial positions of the Los Angeles Blade are expressed in editorials and in editors’ notes as determined by the paper’s editors. Other opinions are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Los Angeles Blade or its staff. To submit a letter or commentary: Letters should be fewer than 400 words; commentaries should be fewer than 750 words. Submissions may be edited for content and length, and must include a name, address and phone number for verification. Send submissions by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2019 LOS ANGELES BLADE, LLC.
Losangelesblade.com, Volume 3, Issue 6, February 8, 2019