ICE Changes Detention Policy

By | Immigration Policy, News & Press | No Comments

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

What the illegal immigrant can do now

By | Houston Immigration, Immigration Policy | No Comments
Will an Immigration deal be reached? Who knows? But what an an illegal Immigrant do to prepare?

Usually Immigration legislation stops on the day it is passed. Thus the benefits accrue to people who were physically present in the United States before that date or earlier. This is done to stem people from crossing the border with the news that US is giving immigration. However proving that you were in the United States can be a challenge for people already here with no papers. Most states don’t give them driver’s license, and they do cash business and dont have bank accounts. They are not in school.

This problem wont be acute for the applicants who have submitted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Applicants.

However if you have not applied for DACA, you should prepare and get some documents together. Maybe make a purchase with your name.  Go to the church, get involved in community service. If you are sending money home, then keep those receipts. Get utilities bill in all your names, even if you are sharing them. Buy something on layaway. Get any record you can with your name on it.  And yes, best of all, if you can afford it, enroll in some school.

The next thing to do would be to save money. You are here illegally and there will be some sort of fines involved. Traditionally fines have been $1000/-   That was on top of the actual form fee. Add attorney’s fees.  All this will add up.  Although its impossible to say how much money it will cost, I would think before buying my next beer if I was you.

ContactHouston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information

Back of WHICH line, Mr. President?

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The draft bill that the White house has been drafting which was recently “leaked” to the media has the President stating that the illegal immigrants will have to go to the “BACK OF THE LINE.”   But there are many lines in Immigration.  My question is Which line?
The ways to get Residency for legal people is through employment,  family, Asylum or by lottery (Diversity).  Visas have per country restrictions.  The same number is given to every country, irrespective of the size of the country. Thus for skilled professionals from India and China, there is a long lineup for educated legal people.  People born in India for instance, with a Master’s Degree (and this applies to people with Master’s Degree from an American University) has been waiting in line since 2004 just to get their Permanent Residency. Thats 9 years.  How does this jive with a “Path to Citizenship within 8 years ” that the administration has been promising? Lets face it, most illegal immigrants have at best a high school degree. Should they be allowed to jump over the legal non immigrants from India with a Master’s Degree?
In the family category,   brothers and sisters of  United States Citizens from Philippines   have been waiting since 1989.  They are patiently waiting in Philippines and did not enter illegally as did the people who crossed borders.  Should they now just enter this country illegally?
There is No line up for Asylum and Diversity visas.
The second question is how will we grant this “path to citizenship” to the 11 million illegal residents. Most of them are uneducated and don’t have steady permanent employers. Their relatives are most often illegal. Its not like Mexico will persecute them if they went back to Mexico, so no need to give them Asylum. (note: Asylum has no lines, and if amnesty is asylum then there would be no “back of the line.” ) And if Mexicans needed to enhance “diversity” , we would not even be having this conversation.  It’s only their voting power that is motivating this whole legislation.  So will we create a new category?
Will we clear ALL backlog by artificially increasing the numbers this one time?  If so, what about that very bright Master’s Degree holder who just happened to be born in India and just happened to have not applied before the passing of this legislation? Would the next Sergey Brin have to stand behind these 11 million people? Will they then not simply leave and go to EU?
Also Mr. President, any legislation that is passed WITHOUT the input of 2 parties is not the way our system is supposed to work.  We stand for the checks and balances. Did you not teach Constitutional Law?
However that is not to say that the the Republican plan is all good either.  Granting non immigrant visas to some of these 11 million people is like telling them to self deport.  They wont leave when their visas expire.
But my last plea is to the Democrats. Why do you hate Computer Professionals on H-1B?  Because unless you hate them, why do you still have the completely absurd, unconstitutional “Control” memo from 2010? And why are you selectively enforcing it to the computer consulting industry ONLY? Where is the rule of law that we all fought to reinstate from the Presidency of W Bush?
Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information

Texas Lawmakers Take Some of the Focus Off Immigration Policies

By | Immigration Policy | No Comments

Texas lawmakers, preparing for the 2013 session, have been oddly silent on the topic of undocumented immigrants. Compare this to 2010, when Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, parked herself on the Capitol steps, so eager was she to be the first person to propose lack of legal identification as a state crime for immigrants.

While many politicians made it their priority to push for stricter immigration laws prior to the 2012 Presidential election this last November, the end of 2012 was mostly silent. Perhaps it is because the focus was overwhelmingly on passing the Texas state budget, but Gov. Rick Perry’s “emergency” ban on sanctuary cities simply withered on the vine during a recent late-night committee hearing.

Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, has stated that he is attempting to introduce a dialog about immigration in Texas by supporting a bill which would repeal in-state college tuition to undocumented students, and would require schools and hospitals to note the immigration status of individuals receiving their services. Larson has stated that he would like a reckoning of how much support is given by local service providers to undocumented immigrants. He even asked then-Mexican President Felipe Calderón for compensation for the state of Texas for the money the state had spent on services for Mexican immigrants who were in the state illegally. Calderón did not respond. Larson, says the chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus and San Antonio Democratic Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, is advocating for extreme policies when it comes to immigration.

Meanwhile, Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, is proposing a law which would prevent day labors centers from receiving funds from local government agencies. But as noted by Steve Munisteri, chairman of the Texas Republican Party, illegal immigration is currently at a low and immigration reform has subsequently moved to the back burner. Topics such as guest-worker programs, “sanctuary cities,” and other hot-button topics simply have given way to more pressing issued, such as the federal budget crisis and state budget concerns.

The assumption after the 2012 Presidential election is that the harsh anti-immigration stance held by Republicans helped alienate voters and propel Obama to a second term, and may well adversely affect the current Republican majority in Texas.

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

PERM Advertisement

By | Houston Immigration, Immigration Policy | No Comments

In a recent case, In the Matter of Oracle America, Inc. the Board of Alien Labor Certification (BALCA) held that if an advertisement says travel May be required, and the ETA 9089 does not say so, then the  PERM will be denied.  This is true even though there was one  advertisement for several positions, and the travel was required.
The PERM regulations hold that the advertisement cannot be more restrictive than the actual 9089 perm form. However the PERM form is unforgivable. No one sees the form but the Department of Labor. And if one forgets to cross the Ts and dot the Is, it results in a denial. There is no way to correct it, once the Holy highness of DOL lay their eyes on it.  If the Advertisements say XYZ, and you inadvertently leave out Z, and the DOL looks at the perm, you cannot withdraw anything. You have to defend your ground.  Because of course the almighty DOL never makes any mistake. I dont know of any court, any other agency that is so unforgiving as the DOL.
The court held that the job description for all the jobs were similar.  There is also a suggestion that too broad job description for different positions in one advertisement may not be feasible anymore. Although this is allowable under the PERM regulations, I think the DOL will soon clamp down on it, stating that the description has to be specific, or else the US Citizens wont know how to apply.
If there were USCs available to do the job, the Employer would not go through the whole hassle of advertising and paying a lawyer and going through the laborious Labor Certification process.  Thus is actual fact, the only person that the DOL looks out for are people who use the copy and paste function in their computer, thereby eliminating any risk of accidentally  leaving out any information in the form.
Contact Houston Immigration Lawyer, or Houston Immigration Attorney Annie Banerjee, for more information