Discussion Points for Punto Legal- February 28, 2018
We are still looking for a DREAM Act, and DACA is in limbo. This time, all three branches of government are involved in the political limbo. The Trump administration has been forced by the courts to continue a program it wants to end. Congress is unable to pass a long-term fix, despite widespread bipartisan support throughout the country.
On Monday, the Supreme Court refused to take up the Trump Administration’s request for a quick appeal of the lower court’s order to keep DACA going.
A little over a month ago, DACA was such a big deal that Senate Democrats refused to sign off on a short-term spending bill, causing that brief shutdown, as part of a strategy to get some kind of permanent legal status for DREAMers.
Republicans said they were on board in principle, but they want too much in exchange for DACA.
In the end, Democrats had no stomach for shutdowns, and they agreed to a longer-term budget bill that didn’t include a DACA fix, basically trading away their leverage.
If you have DACA, you may still continue to renew your DACA, thanks to lower court orders. Let me say that again-if you have DACA, you may still continue to renew your DACA, thanks to lower court orders.
2. Immigration Detention.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court decided another immigration case. This case involved a permanent resident from Mexico. He had been convicted of a drug offense and a theft offense, which made him deportable. He was picked up by ICE, put in the immigration jail, and put in immigration court. There is something called permanent resident cancellation of removal that deportable residents sometimes qualify for. In other words, a resident with a deportable crime can sometimes ask an immigration judge for one last chance to stay in the United States. But ICE would not give this man an immigration bond. So, he sued ICE. The lower courts said he had to be considered for release every six months. The Supreme Court ruled that ICE could keep him in the ICE jail until the end of this case.
So let’s say your husband who is a resident is convicted of criminal impersonation because he gave a cop a fake name at a traffic stop. He is jailed by ICE. ICE won’t release him because this offense is considered a crime involving moral turpitude. He is eligible for permanent resident cancellation of removal. Let’s say that it takes a year to prepare his case and get before an immigration judge. He will have to stay in jail for a year before his fate is decided. While he is in the ICE jail, he can’t work and generate an income. H e may just decide to go back to Mexico rather than wait in jail for a year, even if he had a winning case.