Posts Tagged ‘Houston immigration lawyer’

Undocumented Immigration Into Texas At Lowest Levels In 20 Years

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

The number of undocumented immigrants entering Texas has reached its lowest pint in two decades.

Immigration advocates believe that the unprecedented drop in the number of undocumented immigrants entering Texas may have a lot to do with the struggling U.S. economy, as well as increased border security. According to a demographic study released by the Center for Migration Studies and just published in the journal International Migration Review, 2000 was the biggest year for immigration in the state; more than 180,000 immigrants illegally entered Texas in that year.

As of 2010, the number of undocumented immigrants dropped to barely 55,000, a number so low, it had last been seen in the 1980s. The study tracked similar trends nationally, is one more factor for politicians unable to decide on the best approach for immigration reform. Fewer people are entering the state and more people are leaving, researchers found. The state of Texas is currently in a position of net zero growth, which may be seen as a positive atmosphere for pro-immigration reform advocates.

The study is similar to others which looked at population flux for undocumented immigrants for the past few years. But this study is one the first that offers concrete data on the choices made by the more than 1.6 million illegal residents that have left the U.S. since 2007. The census showed researchers that some 50 percent of those who left stated that they did so intentionally (i.e., not deported), while 27 percent were removed by immigration authorities. Others either were able to obtain legal residency or passed away.

Texas has an estimated 1.6 million undocumented residents curtly residing in the state, second in population only to California. And even as the U.S. economy continues to rebound, researchers have found that immigrants are still returning to their own countries or searching out new places outside the U.S. in record numbers. What will these new numbers do to affect the immigration reform debate? Advocates hope that they can make the argument that present budget estimates should cover current border security. Contrary to some arguments, say advocates, the net zero population statistics indicate that the border has never been more secure. But critics contend that as the U.S. economy continues to improve, immigrants will once again find coming to the county attractive, whether by legal or illegal means.

A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled web site at

National Immigration Reform Summit Held in California

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

A national immigration reform summit was held on March 16 at UC Riverside in Southern California.

The summit was organized by UCR AIR, a student-led Alliance for Immigration Reform, and helmed by a UCR professor of ethnic studies, Armando Navarro. the immigration summit is deigned to allow hundreds of human rights advocates work together; the invited include legislators, human rights representatives, immigrant groups and immigration policy scholars to come together to discuss on depth the issues surrounding immigration reform in the U.S.

According to Navarro, the U.S. is at a critical juncture when it comes to immigration reform not unlike the way the country struggled with immigration issues leading up to the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. That Act legalized millions of undocumented people who were residing in the U.S.

The National Leadership Summit for Immigration Reform invited attendees to learn about current proposals on immigration policy as put forth by Congress and the White House. They were asked to discuss the recent proposals and then attempt to reach a widespread consensus on what legislation should be enacted to move immigration reform forward. They were also asked to hammer out the best approach for that legislation, and make compelling arguments for the approach.

Speakers scheduled included legislative representatives from across California, as well as California former state senators, the ACLU staff attorney, representatives from the Texas Immigration Law Enforcement Monitory Project, attorneys for the Coalición de Derechos Humanos, based in Arizona, the Committee on Chicano Rights, California, and a representative from Justice for Immigrants Coalition-Inland Empire.

The summit was the brain child of students enrolled in one of Navarro’s courses, “Chicano Contemporary Issues.” The students decided to launch the summit as a “practicum in political change,” and is the only event of its kind in the U.S., inviting a wide range or immigration reform leaders to debate and discuss the issue in an open forum.
The UC Riverside campus is situated in Riverside, California, and is known for the diverse student population.

Immigration Reform and Texas: Why The Republicans Are Shifting Focus

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

Why are more conservatives supporting immigration reform?

Many conservatives, writes author Steve Deace in, wonder why potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates Rand Paul and Marco Rubio are supporting comprehensive immigration reform, better known as an “amnesty program” among most conservatives.

Deace says it’s all about Texas. If immigration reform by the Republicans does include the amnesty approach, that will allow some 40 percent of the national Hispanic vote to go to the Republican Party in future elections. But, if true, that would also tip some 1.5 million new Hispanic voters to the democrats, if the numbers trend continues. So, says, Deace, there is not much for the Republicans to gain by allowing immigration reform, unless the focus is on the state of Texas, which would be where the biggest Republican boost would originate.

President Obama won Florida, Ohio, and Virginia in the 2012 election, but his average margin was less than two points; indicating that those states may be a toss up for the next election. It is up to Republicans to work to regain those states in these next few years; if they lose Texas, all national elections will be lost to them as well. Texas, argues Deace, is the cornerstone of the next presidential election and imperative to the GOP.

Is it true? Might Texas “turn blue?” A survey taken in January by Public Policy Polling found that a number of Texans said they would vote for Hilary Clinton if she were on the presidential ballot in 2016. Clinton (D) would defeat Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) by 50 percent; she would beat  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) by as much as 45 percent, and she would beat Florida’s US Sen. Marco Rubio (R) by as much as 46 percent –  at least according to the survey results.

Demographics in Texas are shifting. According to the Hoover Institution, 65 percent of the state’s population boom since 2000 is Hispanic. Between 2000 and 2010, Texas added more than one million children to the census; 95 percent of them Hispanic. Hispanic children are the majority ethnicity of the almost 5 million children in public schools in Texas, as well as in pre-kindergarten and child care centers. Those children will likely grow up to be voters in Texas, and the Republicans need them. If Republicans cannot hold onto Texas, they would likely need to win 70 percent of the Electoral College votes in order to win the next presidency.

Only time will tell what new players may or may not be seen on Texas’s political stage, and what that means for the U.S.

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New Proposed Legislation In Texas Keeps Immigration Reform At the Forefront

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Immigration continues to be a polarizing topic for Texas.

The U.S. has close to 11 million undocumented residents as of January 2010, says the Department of Homeland Security. Texas is second in the country when it comes to the percentage of   undocumented immigrants: 1.77 million. California, with 2.57 million, has the highest rate in the U.S. But of those 1.77 million undocumented people, how many of them are going to school, or holding down a job, supporting family and loved ones, and working hard in numerous other ways to contribute to their state and local economy and community?

The bipartisan “Gang of Eight,” a group of senators in Washington, D.C., put together their proposed principles for immigration reform. The Gang, made up of Democrats and Republicans, suggests putting at the front of the immigration line people who have already applied to enter the country. They also recommend that employers work within a citizen verification program to weed out the hiring of unauthorized workers, and that the feds makes a concerted effort to speed up citizenship efforts for workers in U.S. industries where they would be sorely missed, such as agriculture.

President Obama has mapped out his planned approach to immigration reform, which includes streamlining the entire process, increasing border security, putting into place stricter penalties for employers who hire undocumented workers, pushing immigrants to learn English as a second (or third) language, and allowing the waitlisted to come in first. Texas lawmakers, meanwhile, have largely been silent, though bills that could be viewed as anti-immigration have been drafted: Rep. J.M. Lozano, R-Kingsville, supports a bill that would make it illegal to” transport an undocumented person.” State Rep. Patricia Harless, R-Spring, meanwhile, supports a bill  that would trigger a labor law violation report from the Texas Workforce Commission in the event someone employed an “unlawful resident alien.”

According to a 2012 University of Texas opinion poll, more than 75 percent of the people surveyed stated that they were in favor of stricter limits on immigrants coming to live in the U.S. Of those polled, roughly 62 percent stated that they felt Texas state and local police should have the option of routinely checking people’s immigration status during stops or in the course of other routine police work. Immigration reform advocates have stated that these polls show that Texas is in serious need of immediate immigration reform.

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ICE Changes Detention Policy

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency has announced that it is cancelling a program which would allow some specifically trained state-level law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration law. On December 21, ICE released a statement that it would not to renew its standing agreements with local and state law enforcement agencies that oversee task forces under its 287(g) program. ICE stated that there are other enforcement programs, such as “Secure Communities,” as a more efficient use of resources, with a focus on priority cases.

In 2009, the Obama administration instructed state and local law officials to view illegal immigrants as a lower priority, establishing tiers of concern and prioritization for detention and arrest, which effectively weakened the 287(g) program. Priority for detention and arrest include illegal immigrants who are deemed a national security threat, who have broken criminal laws, who have repeatedly violated immigration law, or who are considered immigration court fugitives. ICE has recently also issued a policy which restricts detainment of suspected illegal immigrants arrested and/or convicted of petty offenses, including minor traffic violations. ICE uses a system of detainers to identify and start deportation proceedings on illegal immigrants currently convicted and serving time in jails and prisons.

As envisioned, federal officials as part of Secure Communities determine when and if to enforce immigration actions. Since 1996, ICE has overseen 21 states with more than 1,300 officers trained in 57 active 287(g) partnerships.

According to ICE statistics, it deported almost 410,000 people during the 2012 fiscal year. More than 95 percent of those deported were in high-priority categories, states ICE.
More than 50 percent of those individuals were convicted of misdemeanors or felonies. Of those criminally convicted individuals who were deported, more than 95,000 were tagged as repeat immigration violators or fugitives, while almost 70,000 had just recently crossed the border illegally. More than 1,000 of them were convicted of homicide and more than 5,00 had sexual assault convictions.

Under the new ICE guidelines, priority detention includes an individual who has a prior felony conviction or has been charged with a felony, has three or more prior misdemeanor convictions (if in tandem with another detention issue), or has a misdemeanor due to assault, drug dealing, violence, sexual abuse, driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, unlawful possession or use of a firearm, immigration fraud, or is considered a significant risk to national security or border security or to public safety.

A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled web site at