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Immigration News That Will Affect Millions Of Undocumented Immigrants

illegal-immigrationThe Senate passed a sweeping immigration reform bill on Thursday afternoon, after a recently hashed-out compromise on border security helped persuade a total of 14 Republicans to vote for the measure. The bill, which passed 68-32, could face a steep uphill climb in the Republican-controlled House.

The vote brings Congress a step closer to passing its first major immigration reform since the 1986 amnesty bill that legalized more than 3 million immigrants under President Ronald Reagan.

The reform will implement a mandatory, national employment verification system; allow for more legal immigration of low- and high-skilled workers; beef up border security; and eventually give green cards to most of the nation’s 11 million unauthorized immigrants who pass background checks and pay fines.

The bill has moved to the right in the Senate on border security, thanks to an amendment adopted last week that will double the number of Border Patrol officers and increase fencing on the southern border by hundreds of miles before any unauthorized immigrants are offered permanent legal status.

Now the bill goes to House for their take on the issue. Source

How Immigration Reform Will Let Families Reunite Without Becoming Criminals

Source-By Esther Yu-Hsi Lee on May 24, 2013 at 12:17 pm

A Human Rights Watch (HRW) study released this week found that 85,000 immigrants were prosecuted for illegal entry or re-entry in 2013. The three main reasons that HRW found for illegal entry or re-entry were “to seek work, to reunite with family…, or to flee violence or sometimes persecution abroad.” Illegal entry is a misdemeanor punishable with a maximum six-month jail sentence, but illegal re-entrants can receive sentences that vary between two years and twenty years for immigrants who have prior aggravated felonies. The study recommends that immigration violators to be given criminal charges only when they are convicted for serious, violent felonies.

Desperation to reunite with family often drives immigrants to risk death and attempt border crossings. The sobering reality of why illegal re-entry continues can be summarized by one migrant deported to Mexico who said, “My heart is there. My body is here.” From the time of Operation Streamline — an effort in which federal officials expedited the process of sentencing 40 to 80 immigrants at a time in a mass-deportation trial — criminal prosecutions and imprisonment were required for immigrants who were unlawfully present. In these processes, immigrants who often times do not understand the extent of their criminal charges and are rushed by lawyers to sign a paper announcing their guilt, are charged with a misdemeanor offense after the first conviction and then with a felony charge if they are caught again with illegal re-entry.

Although international human rights law suggests prosecuting undocumented immigrants with civil, not criminal charges, there are no explicit prohibitions for the use of criminal sanctions against illegal re-entrants. As a result, an immigrant are still be treated as a criminal despite not being a public safety threat.

Federal prosecutions of immigration-related offenses have made illegal re-entries the top criminal charge for undocumented immigrants who are caught coming into the U.S. In 2010, “twenty percent of defendants charged with illegal re-entry had prior felony convictions for violent offenses,” yet criminal convictions have skyrocketed by 227 percent in a ten-year period. Many of these immigrants are seeking to reunite with their loved ones, so an immigration bill should frame its priority on not criminalizing family reunification.

West Palm Beach Immigration Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are not a citizen of the United States, you should immediately seek advice from an Immigration Criminal Defense Attorney upon being arrested or charged with a crime. Without attorney’s involvement even some misdemeanor offenses with little or no jail time may result in removal /deportation proceedings, mandatory detention during those proceedings, loss of permanent resident status, and inadmissibility to return to the U.S. for life. Other crimes do not carry such severe consequences, but may result in denial of naturalization to U.S. citizenship.

The law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A. in West Palm Beach, is committed to representing legal and illegal immigrants facing criminal charges and possible deportation. We use our extensive experience in immigration criminal defense to protect the rights of immigrants charged with:

  • Drug crimes
  • DUI
  • Assault
  • Theft
  • Animal cruelty
  • Weapons charges
  • And other crimes against morality

Many crimes result in multiple criminal charges. If charged with drunk driving you may also receive a speeding ticket, a reckless endangerment charge or a manslaughter charge if someone was killed in an accident. You can remain in the United States with one criminal charge. If you have more than one, the possibility of deportation is high.

At the law office of Andrew D. Stine, P.A., we take immigration criminal charges seriously. If you are an immigrant and are charged with a crime, contact our office today. We will seek to have your case dismissed (nolle prossed).

We Immediately Start Working for You

The most important thing in all immigration criminal cases is to act early. Our defense team uses pretrial intervention to prevent a case from going through trial. We negotiate with prosecutors for a reduced sentence and work out deals to have our clients enter programs and complete community service instead of serving time in jail. Being proactive in an immigration criminal case often makes the difference between deportation and remaining in the United States.

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