The Oregon Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is coordinating efforts to protect the rights of Oregon’s immigrant families following the 2016 election. Please check out AILA Oregon’s website for more information about upcoming events and how you can Get Involved.
In August 2016, I traveled to Guatemala with the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission to participate in a delegation entitled “Defensoras: Guatemalan Women Defending Land, Justice, and Human Rights.” I traveled with a group of women from the United States as we met with representatives from various human rights organizations throughout Guatemala. The Oregon Women Lawyers Association wrote an article about my trip, which you can read here: Eileen Sterlock Joins Delegation to Guatemala.
Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Obama Immigration Actions. The US Supreme Court will decide the fate of President Obama’s DAPA program (which would provide deferred action – renewable protection from deportation and a work permit – to millions of immigrants without legal status who are the parents of lawful permanent residents or U.S. citizens). The Supreme Court may decide the case as early as June 2016.
The DAPA program, if upheld by the Supreme Court, may not be enacted within the remainder of President Obama’s term in office. Democratic Candidates for President in 2016 have indicated that they will continue the DAPA program, but most of the Republican candidates have indicated they intend to dismantle the program and increase immigration enforcement efforts. It is extremely important that CITIZENS who are lawfully permitted to vote in elections, register and VOTE in the 2016 elections. Immigration is a key issue in the 2016 presidential elections.
Immigration detention–especially “family” detention–is inhumane, unnecessary, and extremely costly. There are proven, cost-effective, and humane alternatives to detention that WORK. Check out the math here:
During my fourth trip to volunteer with the AILA Artestia Pro Bono Project, I worked with women and children held in the new family detention centers in Dilley and Karnes, Texas. I was struck particularly by the effect of long term detention on one small boy who had been detained with his mother for more than seven months. Here is a blog post I wrote for the American Immigration Lawyers Association about that experience: A Silent Crisis: Children Experiencing Trauma in Family Detention.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) submitted a statement to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights for a January 30, 2105 briefing on the “State of Civil Rights at Immigration Detention Facilities.” Read the statement here: AILA: Mass Detention of Asylum-Seekers is a Humanitarian Disaster
The Obama Adminstration has been categorically denying bond or release to the hundreds of mothers and children who fled to the US from Central America in the past several months in order to discourage other asylum seekers from seeking protection in the US. At President Obama’s and Secretary Jeh Johnson’s instruction, the Department of Homeland Security has set a zero bond policy for these women and children, despite their having demonstrated a credible fear of persecution or torture. This policy is inhumane and unlawful. The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Obama Administration to put an end to this unjust and un-American policy. ACLU Sues Obama Administration for Detaining Asylum Seekers as Intimidation Tactic
Secretary of Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson flew to Dilley, Texas to proudly announce the opening of the 2,400 bed detention facility for women and children in Dilley, Texas. The Obama Administration continues to use detention of women and children seeking asylum from Central American countries to send a discourage others from seeking protection in the United States. “Standing on a barren dirt roadway lined with cabins in a fenced-in compound, Mr. Johnson delivered a blunt message to migrants without legal papers considering a trip to the United States. ‘It will now be more likely that you will be detained and sent back,’ he said.” Read the New York Times article here: Detention Center Presented as Deterrent to Border Crossings
On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced plans to make some significant changes to immigration policies, that could provide protection from deportation and the opportunity to get a work permit to millions of noncitizens in the United States. BUT its important to learn the FACTS of the President’s announcement, what it means, and who may qualify for these new options. More details will be available in the coming months, but here is a basic outline of the President’s plan in English: Executive Action on Immigration, Y en Español aqui: Acción Ejecutiva sobre Inmigración. ALWAYS make sure to consult with a licensed immigration attorney to answer any questions you may have about these new programs and to determine if you are eligible for these benefits.
Artesia is closing, but advocates aren’t fooled. President Obama is closing the temporary detention center for mothers and children in Artesia, NM, only to transfer them to the new 2,400 bed detention center in Dilley, TX. Use of so called “family” detention is expanding. This new facility will be run by the infamous Corrections Corporation of America – a for profit, private prison corporation. Detention of mothers and children who come to our country to seek asylum is inhumane and cruel. Using their detention to generate profit for a private corporation using tax payer dollars is shameful, corrupt, and disgusting. FAMILY DETENTION MUST END. Read the American Immigration Lawyers Association Press Release here: ADMINISTRATION’S SHELL GAME DOESN’T CHANGE THE NEED TO END INHUMANE FAMILY DETENTION