unlawful immigrants

What is the Proposed VOICE Office for Immigration Victims?

By Peek & Toland on June 20, 2017

VOICE is a new acronym but one that is likely to be heard more in immigration circles in the next few months.

President Donald Trump detailed proposals to create the Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) office in his address to Congress on Feb. 28.

VOICE is intended to protect victims of immigrants

Questions linger over VOICE

The new office would draw attention to crimes committed by unlawful immigrants and look at protecting the victims. It was created by the Department of Homeland Security under an executive order on Jan. 25. Trump said:

“I have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create an office to serve American victims. We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests.”

Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said funds currently provided by the federal government to advocate for undocumented immigrants would be re-routed to fund the office.

VOICE is tasked to work with the victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants in the United States. President Trump said the office would look at the effects of “victimization by criminal aliens” in the United States.

Trump said the office will issue reports once a quarter. It will research the effects of the victimization by undocumented immigrants involved in criminality in the United States.

Trump invited family members killed by criminal undocumented immigrants to his speech and drew attention to them.

His approach was condemned by political opponents and immigrant groups. Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth, said Trump was exploiting the people he invited, reported CNN.

She expressed sadness that the President did not talk about the positive contribution made by immigrants or address Dreamers.

The Creation of VOICE – Do Immigrants Commit More Crimes?

A considerable body of research suggests Trump’s assumption that immigrants commit more crimes is misplaced. A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggested offending rates among immigrants are lower than the native population.

The New York Times noted most of the studies concur in concluding that immigrants commit fewer crimes. The American Immigration Council found immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than people born in the United States.

We have also noted how an influx of immigrants into a deprived area can revitalize it and reduce crime.

In Texas, as in other parts of the United States, there have been high profile and horrifying crimes committed by unlawful immigrants. Terrible crimes have also been committed by American-born people. Claims that people from other countries commit more crimes than the U.S.-born population appear to be unfounded.

If you need help or advice on an immigration or a crime matter in Austin, Round Rock or elsewhere in Texas please contact our experienced attorneys here.

Posted in Criminal Defense, Immigration

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Fewer Undocumented Workers are in the US than in 2008

By Peek & Toland on December 29, 2016

The issue of undocumented workers took center stage in the U.S. presidential election, raising questions about how many immigrants are working unlawfully here.

The answer, according to a recent CBS news story, is not as many as in 2008.

The story drew on research published this year by the Pew Research Center, which looked at data from the U.S. Census Bureau. It estimated there were about 8 million undocumented workers in 2014.

The figure was down from about 8.3 million in 2008, which was at the height of the recession and 8.1 million the following year in 2009.

study looked at numbers of undocumented workers

male hand pressing immigration key button over blue abstract background

At the same time, the size of the American labor force comprised of people born in the United States or immigrants who are entitled to work, grew by 2.2 percent.

Undocumented workers are making up a smaller share of America’s labor force than in 2009.

Where Are Undocumented Workers Coming From?

The survey also provides some information about the source of the unauthorized workers.

The number of undocumented workers from Mexico has decreased in recent years. However, Mexicans still make up the largest share of unauthorized workers.

U.S. Census Bureau figures state about 5.85 million unauthorized immigrants are from Mexico. El Salvador is the second largest source of undocumented workers. About 700,000 were born in the Central American country.

Over the last five years, there has been a steady increase in unauthorized immigrants coming from Guatemala, China, and Canada.

Pew found the number of unauthorized workers rose in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, while it fell in South Carolina, Georgia, and California.

Unauthorized workers are most likely to work as drywall installers and agricultural workers.

Other professions that employ high numbers of unauthorized workers are roofing and construction, carpet installers, maids and housekeepers.

It is prohibited for undocumented immigrants to seek employment, although undocumented workers can be self-employed. Recently, the Los Angeles Times reported on how thousands of undocumented immigrants are their own bosses.

If you are undocumented, making a living can be a major problem and you are likely to be living in constant fear of potential deportation. Our Austin immigration attorneys may be able to help you. Read about our success stories here.

If you or a loved one is facing an immigration dilemma, call us at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Immigration

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