Obama

Survey Finds Obama’s Immigration Actions Are Popular with Americans

By Peek & Toland on August 23, 2016

There has been much speculation about how popular President Obama’s immigration policy is with the general population. When the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its verdict on the President’s flagship immigration actions, it was a disappointing blow to the administration.

But while the justices were split over the decision that could affect more than 4 million undocumented immigrants, there is evidence of support for the deferred action measures outlined by the president.

Obama's immigration policies are generally popular

The 4-4 ruling in June came seven months before the President’s term in office ends. It means immigration reform is practically dead in the water until a new president is elected and appoints a ninth Supreme Court judge.

The Supreme Court considered the case of United States. v. Texas, a lawsuit brought by 26 states against the contentious executive actions allowing certain undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S.

The two deferred actions in question were Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). They would give deferred action status to some undocumented parents who lived in the US since 2010 who have children and some undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children. DACA was set up in 2012 but its expansion was discussed by the courts. The expansion would make an additional 270,000 people eligible for DACA.

You can read more about the programs here on our website.

Notwithstanding the opposition of states, the programs appear to be less contentious and popular with the general public.

Take the PRRI/RNS survey from a year ago that found 73 percent of Americans support DAPA. Although much has been made of the opposition of Republican-led states, 65 percent of Republicans and 79 percent of Democrats were supportive of DAPA.

Research Found the DREAM Act was Popular

Research also found that 66 percent of Americans backed the DREAM Act, a policy that would allow undocumented immigrants who arrived in America as children to obtain legal status by joining the military or attending a college. The DREAM Act has stalled in Congress.

Last year, a CNN poll also suggested the President’s flagship policy was popular. It found just a quarter of Americans thought Obama’s immigration policies went too far, while half of those who responded agreed with it. Another 22 percent said deferred action did not go far enough in reforming the immigration system.

However, the survey found a majority of the respondents – 56 percent – thought the President had gone too far in using executive action to override opposition.

We are concerned that the alternative to deferred action is families being broken apart by deportation. The fact that deferred action not been implemented has left the lives of millions of immigrants in limbo at a time when they could be making a valuable contribution to the economy of Texas.

If you or a loved one is facing possible deportation, we can help you. Call our experienced Texas cancellation of removal lawyers for a consultation at (512) 474-4445.

 

Posted in Deferred Action, Immigration

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How Supreme Court Stalemate over Obama’s Immigration Plan Affects Undocumented Immigrants in Texas

By Peek & Toland on August 8, 2016

President Obama’s flagship policy to allow almost 4 million undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States has ended in disappointment after the Supreme Court was deadlocked.

The court was split 4-4 on Obama’s executive actions on immigration, meaning the policy won’t proceed during the remainder of his presidency.

Supreme Court stalemate leaves immigrants in limbo

The one line ruling was greeted by CNN as “crushing blow to the White House.”

The President didn’t attempt to hide his disappointment over the ruling. He said.

“For more than two decades now our immigration system, everybody acknowledges, has been broken. And the fact that the Supreme Court wasn’t able to issue a decision today doesn’t just set the system back even further, it takes us further from the country that we aspire to be.”

The programs in question were DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).

DAPA would confer deferred action status to certain classes of undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States since 2010 and have kids.

DACA is aimed at non-citizens who arrived in the United States as children but remain undocumented. You can read more about the programs here.

What Effect Does the Supreme Court Deadlock Have on Undocumented Immigrants in Texas?

According to the Houston Chronicle, Texas has 1.5 undocumented immigrants which is the second highest number after California.

The ruling won’t mean drastic consequences such as deportation but it will continue the period of limbo faced by undocumented immigrants ever since the immigration reforms were first outlined by Obama in 2012.

Millions of undocumented immigrants had their applications for deferred action ready, only to enter a holding pattern as the issue became a political football and then a matter for the courts.

June’s ruling in United States v Texas was not a final ruling. Instead, it continued the injunction that prevents the deferred action programs from being implemented. The lives of about 4 million undocumented immigrants won’t be changed, and they will remain undocumented for the rest of Obama’s term.

The failure of the Supreme Court to make a decision means the case will now go back to the lower courts for further proceedings. It could also return to the Supreme Court, and the 2016 general election could determine whether the policy can be resurrected. If Hillary Clinton wins the election and appoints a Supreme Court justice, the fifth vote needed to allow the DAPA and DACA programs to take effect, would likely be secured.

A report on NBC said the deadlock in the Supreme Court could prove beneficial to undocumented immigrants because the implementation of DACA and DAPA would have been “an adrenaline shot to the arms” of the opponents of immigration and help supporters of Donald Trump, the likely Republican nominee for President.

As Austin immigration attorneys who help undocumented immigrants, we can sympathize with those affected by this decision. However, the tie was not the worst possible outcome. If you are affected by DAPA or DACA, we can help you figure out the process. Contact us at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Deferred Action

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Is Obama’s Austin Claim that immigration is at a 40 Year Low Correct?

By Peek & Toland on June 2, 2016

During a speech in March in Austin, President Barack Obama claimed that illegal in the United States is lower than it has been for 40 years.

The claim earned Obama applause at a Democratic National Committee reception in Texas, but it has been subjected to intense scrutiny ever since.

The view was at odds with those of the Republicans who are vying for their party’s nomination, in particular, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, who say immigration is a massive crisis in America.

Obama has claimed immigraiton is at a 40-year low

President Barack Obama

Obama’s claim was looked into in more detail using Border Patrol figures by PolitiFact and found to be mostly correct. Apprehensions of immigrants at the U.S. border reached a 44-year low in 2015. The publication stated there are about 11 million to 12 million people living in the United States without legal permission to do so. The number of undocumented immigrants has held steady in recent years.

The article concluded Obama was referring to the flow of immigrants into the country which is always a difficult trend to quantify.

Obama Highlighted the Lowest Number of Border Apprehensions since the 1970s

PolitiFact considered a Border Patrol chart that lists total apprehensions nationally since 1925. The chart stated its 2015 apprehensions were the fewest since the agency noted 302,517 apprehensions back in 1971.

Apprehensions since 1960 near the Southwest Border found apprehensions in that sector in 2015 were the lowest since 2011. Overall you have to go back to 1972 to find a year in which fewer border-zone apprehensions were recorded.

Although the figures appear to back up Obama’s claims, there are certain caveats. Border Patrol had far fewer agents in the 1970s and there were no barriers such as the areas of fencing that were erected in recent years. Before the barriers on the U.S./Mexico border, more people tried to enter multiple times.

Homeland Security spokesman Peter Boogaard replied to a request from PolitiFact. He said in 2014, there was a spike caused by the large number of families and children from Central America crossing the border. He stated.

“In FY 2015, the number of those apprehended on the southwest border was 331,000 – with the exception of one year, this was the lowest number since 1972.”

Separately, a report on MSNBC cited a recent study by the Center for Migration Studies that estimated there were 10.9 million immigrants living in the country without authorization as of January 2016. The figure represented a 13 year low and was the first time numbers had fallen below the 11 million mark since 2004.

Although immigration appears to be declining, there are still many people arriving in this country who face a very real struggle and a long path to citizenship. At Peek & Toland , we are well versed in the complexities of immigration laws and would like to help you. Call us for a consultation at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Immigration

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Deferred Action Program Would Allow Woman to Visit Her Daughter in Austin

By Peek & Toland on June 1, 2016

There has been a lot of publicity in recent weeks about President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program after a Supreme Court hearing in April.

But very little of the material we have read about the legal arguments relates to how it would affect real people. An article in My Statesman highlights how the impasse over the executive orders is affecting the relationship between a woman from Austin and her mother.

DAPA is Deferred Action for Parents of Americans

Maria Reza is a student at The University of Texas at Austin. She received temporary legal status through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the other initiative that was considered by the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Texas in April, with a decision likely in June, according to the Huffington Post. You can read more about DACA, here on our Austin immigration attorneys’ website.

My Statesman reported that Reza’s mother lives in Houston. She qualifies for the DAPA program because her younger children were born in the United States. However, her life is dogged by uncertainty ahead of the Supreme Court ruling.

Reza told My Statesman that her mother avoids making a drive of more than 160 miles between Houston and Austin because she’s afraid of being pulled over for a traffic infraction and facing possible deportation if officials find out she is an undocumented immigrant.

Reza said her mother had initially been hopeful about the orders but after more than a year-and-a-half of uncertainty as DAPA became a political battleground, she has started to lose hope.

Deferred Action Would Allow Fort Worth Woman to Start a Business

My Statesman also highlighted the case of Sheridan Aguirre, whose mother started working at a Wendy’s restaurant in Fort Worth in Texas a decade ago to support her family. She earned $8 then. She only earns $11 an hour now.

Her life would be transformed if she was granted legal status through deferred action. It would allow Aguirre’s mother to obtain a work permit, giving her the chance to “fulfill her dream of starting her own business.”

DAPA promises to provide employment eligibility and to give relief from deportation to immigrant parents of U.S. citizens or legal residents on the condition they have not committed offenses. Under the program, they would receive rigorous background checks and must have well-established ties to the United States.

A recent article in Fox News Latino stated Texas, the state that has led the charge against DAPA, would be one of the biggest beneficiaries. The Migration Policy Institute estimates the state’s GDP would increase by more than $38 million a year and DAPA would create an extra 4,800 jobs a year in Texas for the next decade.

The stories of families who would be split apart if their parents are not allowed to stay in the USA highlights the importance of the case that’s currently before the Supreme Court.

Peek & Toland , help people who are facing these painful situations on a regular basis. Our Austin-based immigration attorneys can advise you on the next steps and provide peace of mind. For your convenience, we have set out the latest details of Obama’s immigration reforms here, to help you keep up to date. Call us at (512) 474-4445 for a consultation.

Posted in Deferred Action

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