Study Finds That Trump’s Immigration Plan Will Hurt Economy

Stairs leading up to the United States Capitol Building in Washington DCThe University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School published a report on August 10, 2017 that detailed findings that President Donald Trump’s immigration plan, commonly known as the RAISE Act, will ultimately hurt the United States’ economy. If put into action, it is estimated that over four and a half million jobs will be lost by 2040.

David Perdue and Tom Cotton, Republicans, drafted the bill that gained the support of the President. The bill would like to see legal immigration to the country cut in half within 10 years. A part of the research team pointed out that with fewer workers, there is less economic growth. According to the statistics, the country relies on more foreign workers as Baby Boomers retire at a rapid pace. The number of people retiring is outpacing the number of people entering the workforce.

Last year alone, there were 27 million foreign-born people employed in the United States. The government said that the study had major faults and assumed economic gains that ultimately come at an expense to workers who are American citizens.

The RAISE Act attempts to limit the number of immigrants who will gain permanent residency, restricts those who can be sponsored for visas, and establish a point system that will be utilized to award employee-based visas. Another study has reported that not allowing immigrants to stay and work in the country could have a negative impact on small businesses.

If you need assistance with immigration law in Washington State, reach out to our office. We will help you schedule a time to talk with an experienced attorney on our team and help you determine your best options.

Truck Victims Being Held as Witnesses in Smuggling Case

Professional white classic semi-truck with white trailer to haul industrial cargo transports cargo on the highway with other road users in foggy weather on the plateau in CaliforniaIn a case that made national news, 13 undocumented immigrants are being held as material witnesses in what is the worst and deadliest case of human smuggling in some time. The men and one woman are not facing criminal charges, but they will remain in federal custody. They will be assigned an attorney and give video depositions toward the end of August.

The attorney assigned to represent the 13 people believes that the government should offer them visas, not detain them, take their testimony and then deport them. They are people, and should be treated as such, according to the attorney. The truck driver involved in the case has waived his right to a bond hearing. He has been charged with smuggling the immigrants with the purpose of financial gain.

One person who survived told authorities that the people in the back of the truck located in a San Antonio parking lot had taken turns breathing from a hole in the trailer. Some people fainted and some made noise to get the driver’s attention. The driver ignored the immigrants, resulting in the death of nine people. Dozens of men, women and children were packed into the trailer in the boiling heat.

If you or a loved one are dealing with immigration issues in Washington state or you have questions about how you can help a loved one, our attorneys are here to assist you. Call our office today to schedule your first appointment. We can help you fill out the correct forms to stay in the country, and we can defend you if you have been detained and charged.

Immigrant Smuggling Proves Dangerous

US-Mexican border in Arizona close to highway 85Nine people were found dead in the back of a tractor trailer in what authorities are calling immigrant-smuggling gone wrong. The incident occurred in San Antonio, Texas on July 23. The tractor-trailer was found outside of a Walmart in the hot summer heat.

According to reports, nine people were found dead and 20 others were rescued. Those rescued were suffering with heatstroke and extreme dehydration. An official told reporters that 17 of those rescued were suffering with injuries that could be called life-threatening.

Authorities were called to the Walmart parking lot and found eight people to have passed away inside of the truck. The ninth person died at a local hospital. The people in the truck, according to officials, were hot to the touch and there was no sign of them having been provided with water. Officials also said there was no working air conditioning in the truck.

Witnesses that spoke with officials said that there may have been as many as 100 people in the truck at one point in the journey. Some of those people escaped. It is believed that the people are from Mexico, and four appeared to be minor children. It was unknown where the truck’s final stop was meant to be.

The driver, a man from Clearwater, Florida, was arrested and taken into custody. It is expected that he will receive multiple charges. The U.S. Homeland Security Department has taken the lead in the investigation into the incident.

If you need assistance with immigration issues, please reach out to our office. We have extensive experience in this legal area and we are ready to put our knowledge to work for you. You have rights regardless of your status in this country.

Immigrant Released by Judge After Light-Rail Encounter

Passport and US Visa for immigrationAn immigrant found himself facing deportation after a run in with a Metro Transit officer in May. The altercation in Minneapolis was highly publicized, shedding light on how some people are treated when others believe they may not be from this country.

According to reports and a video of the incident, an officer asked the man if he was in the country legally. The incident led to a new regulation for the Metro Transit that prohibits officers in most situations from asking about a passenger’s immigration status.

Originally, the male immigrant from Mexico was tased and then arrested. He was charged with obstructing an officer, fare evasion and giving a false name. Those charges were ultimately dropped. The man was taken into custody by ICE after his arrest.

The man says that he was robbed and assaulted just days before his encounter on the train, but didn’t report the crime. A judge granted him a $5,000 bond, which he is expected to post thanks to several donations, and an attorney has taken on his case pro bono. The attorney will be helping the man to apply for a U visa. These visas are reserved for immigrants who have been victims of crime, and the number of applications has risen in recent years.

If you need assistance with a visa application in Washington state, reach out to our team of experienced immigration attorneys. We will review the details of your unique case and advise you of your legal options under current immigration law.

Thousands Become Citizens on Independence Day

Adults raising their right hands before American flagThe United States holds a special ceremony every year on or very close to Independence Day. During that ceremony, thousands of people are sworn in as citizens. This year, close to 15,000 people had the opportunity to participate in these ceremonies. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said that there were more than 65 separate ceremonies held in areas across the country.

Immigrants took their citizenship oath in national parks, museums and libraries. Some of the ceremonies were held on baseball fields, and others were held on aircraft carriers. One ceremony was held at the home of Thomas Jefferson, one of the country’s founding fathers.

To be eligible to participate in a ceremony, an immigrant must have had a green card or been a permanent resident for at least five years. Those who are seeking to become citizens after marrying a United States citizen must have been married for three years. Participants must pass a citizenship test and be able to speak, read and write English. The test is a difficult one. It is estimated that only two-thirds of natural-born Americans of voting age could pass it.

If you need assistance with immigration issues in Washington state or elsewhere in the country, please call our office. We have extensive knowledge in immigration law throughout the country and can provide you with the information that you need. Call today to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our attorneys. We are looking forward to meeting you and discussing your needs.

Kate’s Law Set for a Vote

United States of America social security and green card with US flag on the backgroundKate’s Law was in the House of Representatives last week, waiting to be voted upon. The bill would enhance the penalties for those persons who have been convicted of a crime and deported from the United States and choose to reenter the country illegally. News updates indicated that the bill was passed.

The bill was introduced in 2015 but failed to advance. The bill is one of two that was headed for a vote in the House. The other, “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act,” would make it impossible for sanctuary cities to secure federal grants. The bill would also allow crime victims to sue cities if the crime was committed by an undocumented immigrant.

Kate’s Law is the result of a young woman having been shot and killed. The person convicted of a crime was not in the country legally. He had been arrested and served prison time for other crimes prior to the shooting. Some civil rights groups are calling the bill shortsighted. Opponents say that passing the bill and making it law would add to the misconception that undocumented immigrants are criminals.

Proponents of the bill say that it is about increasing public safety and restoring the rule of the law. Wording in the bill says that if a deported person reenters the United States with either a felony conviction or three misdemeanor convictions on their record, they face up to 10 years in prison. The same goes for anyone who has been deported three or more times.

If you need help with immigration issues in Washington state, please reach out to our office. We are experienced with immigration law and understand that this is a stressful time for you. Your case will be handled courteously and professionally.

Detainees Complain of Harsh Conditions

prisoner in jailThere is a privately-run detention center in Colorado that houses immigrants that have been detained. Former detainees of the center say that the practices inside could nearly be described as modern-day slavery. They have won the right to sue the center after challenging the practices in federal court. The lawsuit will be filed on behalf of what is estimated to be a population of 60,000 that have been held for more than 10 years.

The former detainees who have decided to file the lawsuit allege that the group that owns the center is exploiting people. There is one full-time janitor in the building, leaving the detainees responsible for cleaning, landscaping and more. The inmates’ pay is the same no matter what job they perform or how long they work: $1 a day.

Detention centers that house immigrants are similar to jails that house criminals. The people in the detention center are accused of violating immigration law and are waiting until their cases can be resolved. The U.S. Justice Department’s National Institute of Corrections has said that those in jails may generally not be forced to work as they have not been convicted. Those in the immigration detention center have not been convicted either.

Despite the filing, there are some detainees who have agreed to work for the $1 a day. These detainees would prefer something to do, and many of those who work voluntarily have money for commissary coming in from the outside. Private prisons and detention centers around the country will be keeping a close eye on the case.

If you need assistance with immigration in Washington state or elsewhere, please reach out to our team of experienced attorneys. We understand the complexity of immigration law and will put our knowledge to work for you. Call today to schedule a case evaluation.

Cubans Facing Same Deportation Risks as Other Immigrants

Cuban flag hanging on a door in Trinidad, CubaCuban immigrants living in the United States have enjoyed something of a favored status since the end of Cold War. These Cubans are now facing a new reality: facing the same risks of deportation as any other immigrant in the country. Many Cubans are laying the blame at the feet of former President Barack Obama who they say took away what was close to automatic citizenship, both for those Cubans with visas and those without.

Some Cubans in the country have found themselves detained in immigration offices during routine appointments. Others are afraid that they will be caught in the wave of immigrant crackdown arrests that have been taking place across the country. While no one is exactly sure how the relationship between Cuba and the United States will fare under the new administration, most do not expect that President Donald Trump will restore immigration privileges.

According to officials, there are more than 36,000 Cubans facing deportation. Of those, 7,000 are considered non-criminal violators. Despite the fears, only 57 Cubans have been officially deported in the last eight months. Just over 330 have been arrested. Experts say that President Trump has a stance on immigration that makes things equal across the board. It is expected that the immigration privileges previously provided to Cubans will come to a complete end under this administration.

If you are dealing with immigration issues in Washington State, we understand the stress and anxiety you are feeling, and we are here to help you. We have been providing assistance to those with immigration issues for more than a decade. If you need help with any facet of immigration law, please reach out to our office to schedule a consultation. We will review your case, advise you of your legal rights and help you take the next steps applicable to your unique situation.

Dozens of Chaldeans Arrested by ICE

detroit on a mapU.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officials arrested dozens of Chaldeans in southeastern Michigan. ICE is declining to say exactly how many people were arrested, but advocates say that the number reached at least 40. About 100 people protested the arrests last Sunday in from of a detention center in Detroit.

A United States demographer, Kurt Metzger, says that Detroit is home to one of the largest communities of Chaldeans in the country. An official survey puts the number of Chaldeans at about 120,000 in and around the city.

In a statement released by ICE, officials said that those detained and arrested all had criminal convictions. Those convictions included rape, murder, burglary, assault, drug trafficking and weapons violations. An immigration judge ordered that the arrested be deported.

That judge, according to ICE, determined that those taken into custody were not privy to any type  of relief under the nation’s laws. The Chaldeans, Iraqi Christians, who were arrested had deportation orders signed prior to the sweep, but they could not be removed from the country prior to having reached an agreement with Iraq.

According to Judy Rabinovitz, with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, the deportation orders could be several years old. Those orders don’t consider the current conditions of the home countries of the immigrants. ICE officials said the sweep was an attempt to begin clearing the backlog they have been experiencing.

If you need assistance with immigration issues in Washington state, reach out to our office. We will review your case and advise you of your legal options. Our team is here to help you in any way we can. Please call today.

Immigration Arrests Up Under Current Administration

Officer Arresting Young ManA recent report has shown that, in President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office, more than 41,000 illegal immigrants were arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. On average, that is more than 400 immigrants per day. That is an increase of over 37 percent over the same time last year.

While many of the people arrested were taken into custody due to violent offenses, the largest increase in arrests were immigrants with no criminal convictions at all. In President Trump’s first 100 days, nearly 11,000 immigrants who had never been convicted of a crime were arrested. In the same time period last year, just over 4,200 immigrants with no criminal convictions were arrested.

Immigration officials say they have been able to conduct more arrests because the current administration has loosened restrictions and, therefore, offered more latitude for officers to do their job.

Perhaps surprisingly, deportation rates are actually down about 12 percent this year compared to the same time last year. During the current administration’s first 100 days, just over 56,000 immigrants have been deported. This phenomenon is attributed to two factors. One, there is a backlog in immigration courts across the country. In addition, the deportation for some immigrants who have committed crimes is sometimes longer, since they are serving sentences in jail.

This crackdown on illegal immigrants is a sharp departure from the previous administration. While President Barack Obama lobbied for an easier road to legal residency for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the US, President Trump has instead focused on deporting those same immigrants. However, part of this effort has led to parents who are illegal immigrants being deported, even though their children are protected by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) laws.

Immigrants who are facing deportation have legal options. If you are worried that you or a family may be deported soon, contact the Washington immigration attorneys at Elliot Law Group today for a consultation.