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Riverside & Orange County Immigration Law Blog

DACA still exists despite congressional impasse

If you are one of the California enrollees in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, you probably know that DACA did not expire in March as it was scheduled to do. You may, however, be unclear as to the current status of this program and how worried you should be about your immigration status relative to the possibility of your being arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

Given the extraordinary number of undocumented immigrants deported so far this year, particularly from California, your fears are well-founded. Nevertheless, as a DACA enrollee, you are relatively safe, at least for the rest of this year.

ICE arrested 150 Californians in three-day sweep

California is home to many sanctuary cities, including Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. However, despite living within a sanctuary city, many immigrants have had to contend with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In fact, in one three-day sweep that occurred in northern California, ICE arrested over 150 people. While half of the people arrested had criminal records, that still leaves a sizable portion of people whom ICE arrested for only violating immigration law. 

3 ways to seek relief from the removal process

If a judge has recently determined that you have broken immigration laws, he or she may have ordered deportation. Now, you are facing separation from family members, employment or education. 

Is there anything you can do? Maybe. Here are three tactics that may result in relief from removal.

New employer rule may make following federal law a crime

Illegal immigration continues to be a hot issue in the United States, and California is often front and center of the debate. Of late, California employers are in the hot seat, torn between federal obligations and newly enacted state legislation that may be at odds.

Most recently, as reported by Fox News, the California Attorney General Xavier Becerra warned California employers that should they comply with federal law, they may be subject to charges. With regard to illegal or undocumented workers or other immigration violations, the employers cannot comply with federal obligations without inviting state trouble. The AG will use a newer California law to prosecute and punish them.

Answers to common questions about Donald Trump's travel ban

On December 4, 2017, the Supreme Court ruled to let the Donald Trump travel ban go forward. You probably hear about these travel restrictions and how the Trump administration wants to change immigration policy in the U.S., but you may not be aware of some important details.

If you have questions about the travel ban, you are not alone. Read below to find out what you need to know about the measure.

What are sanctuary cities?

California is particularly susceptible to new changes in immigration law. Approximately 222,800 Dreamers live in the state, and their livelihoods are at risk with a potential repeal of DACA. 

With the changing political landscape, there has been a lot of talk recently about sanctuary cities. The definition classifies these as cities that limit their overall cooperation with the federal government in terms of enforcing immigration law. Sanctuary cities can be a type of safe haven for immigrants who simply want to go to school or earn a living without fear of deportation. Many cities and counties within California are sanctuaries, and there is a lot for immigrants to benefit from. 

Can I renew my work authorization?

One goal many immigrants in California who came to the United States years ago as children have is employment. Many of them find that the biggest hurdle to achieving this goal is work eligibility. Certain DACA individuals can renew their authorizations by filling out forms I-765 and I-821D on paper or online. 

Some foreign nationals wait too long to renew their work permits. What many of them do not realize is that the renewal process is not short and easy to navigate. If they qualify and do not get their renewal applications in and processed on time, they could lose the right to work legally in the United States. Here is a brief overview of the DACA work permit renewal process. 

Performance quotas proposed for immigration judges

People in Riverside County likely understand the need for certain industries to have performance standards and quotas. Yet there are others where, despite a heavy workload, prudence and patience may be needed in order to ensure optimal outcomes. One might certainly think that the judicial system (particularly in regards to immigration law) falls into that category. One certainly would not want to prompt a rush to judgment in a judicial proceeding. At the same time, others might make a legitimate argument that some see such independence as an excuse to allow legal matters to drag on unnecessarily. 

That is the argument being made currently by the Trump Administration, and recent immigration reform recommendations are specifically designed to address it. Amidst proposals submitted earlier this week, the President recommended introducing performance standards for federal immigration judges. This comes on top of actions already taken to remove limits on enforcement in immigration cases and stated intentions to seek added funding to more than double the current number of immigration judges. All of these initiatives are said to be aimed at clearing up the backlog of 690,000 immigration cases currently in the system. 

DACA and employment immigration

On this blog, we have discussed many of the different challenges that arise for immigrants and those they love. Whether someone is pursuing citizenship or simply wants to visit the country as a tourist or to participate in a family event, people encounter immigration-related difficulties in many different ways. Recently, some people in Corona and across California have been extremely stressed out over changes that were announced with DACA. For those affected by this decision, life may change in many different ways.

Whether someone is enrolled in college or worried about leaving behind their friends and loved ones, DACA has created a considerable amount of stress for many people. Moreover, those who have jobs may be worried that they will lose their position and never be able to work in the country again. For those affected by this issue, it is essential to fully review all legal rights and try to carefully address any challenges that arise.

DACA beneficiaries’ deadlines and Congress’ time to legislate

Many beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in California worry more than ever about their legal status in the United States. While most worried all along because they always lacked legal status, they enjoyed the unlegislated, protective but in-limbo nature of DACA.

Now DACA may be ending if Congress chooses not to legislate on the issue. While it is unclear what the future holds, there is reason to be hopeful, particularly if residents, both with and without legal status, demand action by Congress.

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