WBEZ | deportation http://www.wbez.org/tags/deportation Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Attendance Drops at Maryland High School, as Deportation Fears Rise http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2016-01-19/attendance-drops-maryland-high-school-deportation-fears <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/istock_000066798857_medium_wide-568210156e87a867efc380ff9aca55253226a61d-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>At one high school in Maryland, fears of deportation are playing out in the classroom.</p><p>In Prince George&#39;s County, a suburb of Washington, D.C., about 70 percent of the students at High Point High School are Latino. It&#39;s a student population that&#39;s prompted the school&#39;s principal, Sandra Jimenez, to term it &quot;Central American Ellis Island.&quot;</p><p>Principal Jimenez says the fear of deportation raids is making many immigrant students scared to come to school, despite assurances from government officials that there are no raids happening at schools.</p><p>It&#39;s a concern that was echoed in a statement by Dr. Kevin Maxwell, CEO of Prince George&#39;s County Public Schools in an&nbsp;<a href="http://www1.pgcps.org/ceo/index.aspx?id=221188">open letter to DHS</a>.</p><p>&quot;I am deeply troubled by the fear and uncertainty that exists in so many of our school communities as a result of the actions of the Department of Homeland Security,&quot; he wrote. &quot;We urge federal authorities to see schools and other public gathering places as areas where no enforcement activities should take place and ask them to strongly consider the devastating impacts of their actions on the academic, social and emotional well-being of all of our students.&quot;</p><p>DHS declined an interview request from NPR, but said in a statement that the agency &quot;does not conduct &#39;raids.&#39; ICE focuses on those who have been issued a final order of removal from a judge.&quot;</p><p>Jimenez joined NPR&#39;s Michel Martin to discuss the drama that is playing out on her campus.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/01/17/463405722/attendance-drops-at-maryland-high-school-as-deportation-fears-rise?ft=nprml&amp;f=463405722" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Tue, 19 Jan 2016 14:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2016-01-19/attendance-drops-maryland-high-school-deportation-fears Adoptees in Chicago Take On a Different Kind of Immigration Fight http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-12-10/adoptees-chicago-take-different-kind-immigration-fight-114122 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Internationaladoptees.jpg" style="height: 233px; width: 310px; float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="Adoptees Cori McMillan, Becky Belcore, Taneka Jennings and Danae Kovac are meeting about the Crapser case. They want the governor of Oregon to issue him a pardon. (WBEZ/Alexandra Salomon)" />A loophole in U.S. immigration law has left tens of thousands of international adoptees without U.S. citizenship. Some of these adoptees now risk deportation. Chicagoans Becky Belcore and Cori McMillan &nbsp;have been leading a national <a href="http://adopteedefense.nakasec.net/">campaign </a>to prevent the deportation of one of those adoptees, a 40-year-old man in Oregon named Adam Crapser.</p><p>&ldquo;The outrageousness of the fact that you&rsquo;re adopted by U.S. citizens, you come to this country, you grew up here and then you could actually be deported back to a country that you have never known... just the thought of being [sent] back to Korea is so insane to me,&ldquo; said Belcore.</p><p>Adam Crapser was adopted from South Korea in 1979. The family who first adopted him changed their minds and gave him up to foster care. He was in and out of group homes. Then he was adopted by another family, the Crapsers. They were abusive and were eventually convicted of several counts of criminal mistreatment and assault. Neither of these families nor the adoption agencies or the states that facilitated his adoption ever bothered to apply for his U.S. citizenship.</p><p>Now Crasper, who left Korea when he was three, is actually facing deportation because he&rsquo;s got a criminal record.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Adam%20Crapser-%20International%20Adoption%20for%20Salomon%2012-9-15.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Adam Crapser was adopted from South Korea. He has a deportation hearing on December 10th, 2015. (AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka)" /></div><p>At age 19, Crapser was arrested for breaking into his adoptive parents&rsquo; home. He says he was trying to retrieve a Korean bible and a pair of rubber shoes, the only things he&rsquo;d brought with him from the orphanage in Korea.</p><p>He served time in prison for that crime and others he&rsquo;s committed. In 2012 he managed to obtain the paperwork necessary to apply for a green card and that process set off an investigation, which ultimately put him at risk for deportation because of his criminal record. &nbsp;Now, Crapser, who is 40, &nbsp;risks being sent back to a country he left when he was a child. He doesn&rsquo;t speak Korean.</p><p>Both Becky Belcore and Cori McMillan were adopted from South Korea when they were children. That&rsquo;s part of what has drawn them to the Crapser case. &ldquo;What&rsquo;s happened to Adam, we know that could have happened to any of us,&rdquo; said Belcore.</p><p>McMillan and Belcore are raising money to help pay for his legal fees and running an advocacy campaign to try to get the governor of Oregon to issue him a pardon.They want &nbsp;to see the court take into account the abuse and neglect they believe contributed to his crimes.</p><p>&ldquo;The system should be held accountable,&rdquo; said McMillan. She says the adoption agencies and the governments of South Korea and the U.S share the blame for what&rsquo;s happened to him.</p><p>&ldquo;So often times adoption is associated with gain, a family gains a child, a child gains a new home, but there is actually a lot of loss that comes with adoption...you don&rsquo;t know what date you were born, you don&rsquo;t know your name, don&rsquo;t know who your parents are, you don&rsquo;t know your ancestors, you don&rsquo;t know your family history. And then in the case of international adoption you don&rsquo;t know your country, &nbsp;you don&rsquo;t know your language, you don&rsquo;t know your culture, there is just so much loss and I think all adoptees feel that at some level,&rdquo; said Belcore. She says it&rsquo;s hard to imagine that on top of that kind of trauma, you could actually also face the prospect of deportation.</p><p>Even though hundreds of thousands of children have been adopted from foreign countries since World War II, international adoptees were not always granted automatic U.S. citizenship. &nbsp;</p><p><strong>Finally, automatic citizenship</strong></p><p>In 2000, Congress passed the<a href="http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal-considerations/us-citizenship-laws-policies/child-citizenship-act.html"> Child Citizenship Act</a>.The legislation went into effect in February, 2001, and granted automatic citizenship to anyone who was adopted to U.S. citizens and was under the age of 18. That piece of legislation took years to pass and met with a great deal of resistance within Congress. Since the legislation was not retroactive, many adult adoptees were left out.</p><p>Susan Soon-Keum Cox, vice president of &nbsp;policy and external affairs for the adoption agency Holt International, worked on the Child Citizenship Act. &nbsp;She says they believed at the time that even though the legislation was imperfect, they&rsquo;d be able to go back and fix it. &nbsp;&ldquo;Then 9/11 came along,&rdquo; she says, and then anything &ldquo; having to do with immigration just became so difficult,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Belcore and McMillan&rsquo;s colleague Tammy Robinson was another one of those adoptees who was not covered by the Child Citizenship Act. She was adopted from an orphanage in South Korea when she was two and a half. As a teenager, hoping to search for her birth parents, she went to apply for a passport. &nbsp;That&rsquo;s when she discovered she wasn&rsquo;t a citizen.</p><p>&ldquo;When I entered the country I remember there was a swearing in ceremony. You know, &nbsp;I had to salute the flag and sing &lsquo;God bless America&rsquo; and I think my parents believed that was the citizenship ceremony, &ldquo; Robinson said.</p><p>With the help of her adoptive parents, &nbsp;Robinson was finally able to reconcile her case and obtain citizenship. She recalls it involved a lot of crying in front of a judge and a lengthy legal process that required she get re-adopted. &ldquo;Not having citizenship is certainly a kind of trauma and stress,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Robinson actually moved back to South Korea four years ago to try to change the way international adoption works. Since the Korean War, hundreds of thousands of children have been adopted from South Korea. Robinson&rsquo;s helped push through amendments the a<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2014/09/09/346851939/in-korea-adoptees-fight-to-change-culture-that-sent-them-overseas">doption laws</a> in South Korea, a country where, she says, all too often, &nbsp;&ldquo;single mothers and divorced mothers face pressure to give up their children.&rdquo;</p><p>Along with her work on adoption legislation, &nbsp;Robinson is also trying to tackle the citizenship question. With help from &nbsp;Belcore and McMillan, she&rsquo;s begun a process of trying to document just how many Korean adoptees are currently without citizenship in the United States. &nbsp;She&rsquo;s got some preliminary estimates.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re talking about, at least via agency-facilitated adoptions, maybe somewhere between 12,000 to 15, 000 adoptees, &ldquo; she says.</p><p>In surveying Korean adoptees, Robinson says she&rsquo;s discovered &nbsp;there&rsquo;s a range of reasons why the numbers are so high. She&rsquo;s found many cases like her own, where families didn&rsquo;t seem to realize they needed to take an extra step to apply for the child&rsquo;s citizenship. But Robinson also says that in a number of cases, it was &ldquo;part and parcel of a range of types of abuse that the child had&rdquo; &nbsp;and &ldquo;withholding citizenship was one of the forms of abuse that was inflicted.&rdquo;</p><p>Robinson&rsquo;s also been trying to track how many adoptees have already been deported back to South Korea. She says she&rsquo;s aware of 30 cases but adds &nbsp;&ldquo; every week that we engage in this preliminary outreach I hear about a new case.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Deportations to Brazil, Thailand</strong></p><p>Along with South Korea, adoptees have also already been deported back to Brazil and Thailand. Susan Soon-Keum Cox says it&rsquo;s unclear how many adoptees have been deported, but she has been involved with at least ten cases, including one adoptee who was caught up in a sweep and deported back to Thailand after he&rsquo;d serve time in prison for stealing a car. &ldquo;It was horrible talking to his mother, &ldquo; she recalled.</p><p>For Robinson, the survey is personal. &ldquo;I feel in working in solidarity with other adoptees whose cases were not reconciled as teenagers together with adoptees who did obtain citizenship from their placement countries almost immediately upon being adopted ...that we share the same condition of being placed for intercountry adoption and it shouldn&#39;t be by luck (good or bad) that adoptees have citizenship now, or are able to have the right documentation to be able to travel and search for one&#39;s history,&rdquo; she said. Robinson says she wants to see better post-adoption services for Korean adoptees who&rsquo;ve been repatriated back to South Korea, so they don&rsquo;t end up homeless, or in jail, or, like in one case, living at the airport in Seoul.</p><p><strong>A push to change the law</strong></p><p>In November, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota introduced an<a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/2275/text"> amendment</a> that would close the loophole. It would grant automatic U.S. citizenship to all international adoptees, including retroactive citizenship to those who were already 18 when the act first went into effect. It would also offer a pathway back to the United States for adoptees who&rsquo;ve already been deported.</p><p>Kevin Vollmers, executive director of Gazillion Strong<strong>, </strong>&nbsp;worked with lawmakers on the bill. He says if it passes, the U.S. can live up to the promise it made to other countries, that &ldquo; we would take care of their kids.&ldquo;</p><p>In the meantime, Adam Crapser is expected to appear in immigration court on December 10th.</p><p>Becky Belcore and Cori McMillan will be there.</p><p><em>Alexandra Salomon is a producer for Worldview. You can follow her on twitter </em><a href="https://twitter.com/AlexandraSalomo"><em>@AlexandraSalomo</em></a></p></p> Wed, 09 Dec 2015 10:55:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-12-10/adoptees-chicago-take-different-kind-immigration-fight-114122 Get out of jail, get deported http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-11-04/get-out-jail-get-deported-113629 <p><header><figure><div id="file-93113"><img alt="" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_main/public/story/images/prison.jpg?itok=sm550Ifv" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="Inmates leave the exercise yard at San Quentin state prison in San Quentin, California. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)" typeof="foaf:Image" /></div></figure></header><div><div><article about="/stories/2015-11-03/get-out-jail-get-deported" typeof="sioc:Item foaf:Document"><div><p>Under a new law, some 6,000 federal prisoners will be freed as part of a plan by President Barack Obama to adjust federal drug penalties and ease prison overcrowding. That should be some good news to many of the families of these prisoners.&nbsp;</p></div></article></div></div><p>But not all.&nbsp;</p><p>Nearly a third of the 6,000 are foreign inmates who will be placed on a different track, one that may lead to deportation and leaving their families behind in the United States.</p><p>Immigration officials estimate that most of those foreign inmates are from Mexico. Once released, they will be handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials for likely deportation &mdash;&nbsp;whether they legally immigrated to the US or illegally. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><div style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chart.png" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="(Kuang Keng Kuek Ser/PRI)" /></div></div><p>While they are detained, an immigration judge will decide whether the inmate has a legal basis to remain in the United States.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;Deportation is almost never automatic... but it is much more likely that somebody who does not have the federal government&#39;s permission to be in the United States will end up being deported,&quot; César Cuahuhtémoc, an immigration and criminal law professor at the University of Denver. &quot;The tricky part is that there is no right to an appointed counsel in an immigration court&quot; so they have to pay for their own attorney and if they can&#39;t, they will have to make their own case to fight deportation.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;We don&#39;t think of these migrants as being members of our community.&nbsp;We think of them as outsiders, as people who belong to some other country when in reality, many folks who are in the United States who are not US citizens have families.... their livelihoods are here, their homes, their properties are here, so they&#39;re very much part members of our community whether or not we think of them as such.&quot;</p><p>According to Reuters,<a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/31/us-usa-justice-prisoners-idUSKCN0SO2O220151031#2VBsTBJar4OGjKfA.97" target="_blank">&nbsp;ICE said</a>&nbsp;it will ensure all immigrants subject to deportation &quot;receive the full process they are due while in removal proceedings and ICE custody,&quot; including access to phones to contact attorneys, consulates and legal aid groups.&nbsp;Cuahuhtémoc says that the US is adhering to the laws involving criminal acts,&nbsp;but he wonders&nbsp;&quot;whether this is morally sound.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-11-03/get-out-jail-get-deported" target="_blank"><em>PRI&#39;s The World</em></a></p></p> Wed, 04 Nov 2015 12:14:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-11-04/get-out-jail-get-deported-113629 Latino aldermen want city council to halt deportations http://www.wbez.org/news/latino-aldermen-want-city-council-halt-deportations-108171 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Deportation_130724_yp.JPG" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">The group wants city council to approve a resolution asking President Barack Obama to stop deporting undocumented immigrants. They say it destroys families.</p><p>Ald. Danny Solis (25th), who represents the largely Latino community of Pilsen said he worries the separation often negatively affects children.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I have gone to many of my schools, talked to the principals of our schools. And they talk about the problem of counseling,&rdquo; said Alderman Danny Solis.</p><p>Alderman George Cardenas (12th) says he wants that message sent to the White House.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;This country is based on democratic values and we must uphold these values. And that&rsquo;s the message to Mr. President Obama,&rdquo; said Cardenas.</p><p>According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Obama administration has deported more than 1.9 million people since 2008. The resolution was referred to the city council&rsquo;s Committee on Human Relations. It&rsquo;s set for a public hearing at a future date.</p><p><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Arial; font-style: italic; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Yolanda Perdomo is a WBEZ host and producer. Follow her </span><a href="http://www.twitter.com/yolandanews" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(17, 85, 204); font-style: italic; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">@yolandanews</span></a><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Arial; font-style: italic; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">.</span></p></p> Wed, 24 Jul 2013 15:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/latino-aldermen-want-city-council-halt-deportations-108171 Deportation protesters use ‘lockboxes,’ slam Durbin http://www.wbez.org/news/deportation-protesters-use-%E2%80%98lockboxes%E2%80%99-slam-durbin-107166 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Stephanie%20Camba%201%20scale.jpg" title="Stephanie Camba, right, and six other unauthorized immigrants on Tuesday block a street near a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Broadview, a suburb of Chicago. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)" /></p><p>Police sawed through plastic pipes on Tuesday&nbsp;to pry apart seven protesters at an immigration detention center near Chicago. The protesters, all in the United States without legal permission, demanded a halt to deportations as Congress considers allowing most of the country&rsquo;s 11 million unauthorized immigrants to apply for legal status.</p><p>President Barack Obama&rsquo;s administration has increased deportations to roughly 1,100 a day, a record pace. Removals have continued as the Senate Judiciary Committee works on a sweeping immigration bill drafted by a bipartisan group that includes Dick Durbin (D-Illinois). The protesters called on Durbin to push Obama to suspend the removals.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve had over a million families separated because of deportations,&rdquo; said protester Stephanie Camba, 22, a Filipina who said her parents brought her to the United States when she was 11 years old. &ldquo;This bill is not enough if it&rsquo;s not going to stop deportations. It should be deportations being stopped first.&rdquo;</p><p>The protesters, backed by about 100 supporters, held each other using chains and locks inside three-foot segments of polyvinyl chloride tubes &mdash; civil-disobedience setups knowns as &ldquo;lockboxes.&rdquo; The protesters sat down in a street to block vehicles from the center, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in suburban Broadview.</p><p>ICE holds immigrants awaiting deportation in the center before loading them into vans and buses that carry them to flights from Chicago&rsquo;s O&rsquo;Hare International Airport.</p><p>A statement from Durbin&rsquo;s office in response to the protest says the senator was &ldquo;instrumental in pushing the administration&rdquo; to allow many young unauthorized immigrants to apply for work papers and a deportation reprieve under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama policy initiated last year.</p><p>Durbin, the statement adds, is also working on the immigration bill as a member of the Senate panel. &ldquo;The hope is that next month the full Senate will begin debate on this common-sense, compromise proposal that will provide millions of immigrants with an accountable path to citizenship,&rdquo; the statement says.</p><p>After police cut through the pipes, Broadview officers arrested the protesters, charged them with disorderly conduct and released them.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/cmitchell-0">Chip Mitchell</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s West Side bureau reporter. Follow him on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/ChipMitchell1">@ChipMitchell1</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>, and connect with him through <a href="https://www.facebook.com/chipmitchell1">Facebook</a> and <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/in/ChipMitchell1">LinkedIn</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 14 May 2013 18:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/deportation-protesters-use-%E2%80%98lockboxes%E2%80%99-slam-durbin-107166 Biggert, Foster sidestep immigrant detention-center project http://www.wbez.org/news/biggert-foster-sidestep-joliet-immigrant-detention-center-project-103508 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Elisa_Chombo_CROP.jpg" style="margin: 4px 0px 0px 0px; float: left; height: 360px; width: 250px; " title="Elisa Chombo of Joliet signs a petition against the detention center at a Monday night forum. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)" />U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert and her Democratic challenger, Bill Foster, are locking horns in one of the nation&rsquo;s most competitive House races, but both are trying to sidestep a brewing controversy over something President Barack Obama&rsquo;s administration is talking about bringing to the district: a privately run immigrant detention center.</p><p>The project came to light last week when an official of Joliet, a city 40 miles southwest of Chicago, said he had had talks with federal officials and Tennessee-based Corrections Corporation of America. The Joliet official, City Manager Thomas Thanas, said the detention center could generate hundreds of jobs and city revenue.</p><p>The project is not going over well with Latino groups that organized a candidate forum Monday night at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a Joliet church. The forum&rsquo;s moderator tried to ask the 11th Congressional District candidates whether they would help fight the project.</p><p>The response from Foster, a former U.S. representative, elicited nods from the roughly 200 audience members at points. &ldquo;For-profit incarceration is something that I am personally quite leery of,&rdquo; Foster said. &ldquo;We have an immigration system that depends way too heavily on incarceration and deportation.&rdquo;</p><p>But Foster said it was too early for him to make a decision about the detention center. &ldquo;I want to see the details of it,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;So the answer is, I&rsquo;m waiting and seeing.&rdquo;</p><p>Biggert, the race&rsquo;s Republican, did not attend the forum. She sent a spokesman, who read a campaign statement that did not answer the moderator&rsquo;s question. &ldquo;Congresswoman Biggert would strongly oppose the federal government coming in and mandating what Joliet should or should not do,&rdquo; the spokesman told the crowd. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s really, ultimately, Joliet&rsquo;s decision.&rdquo;</p><p>Hours before the forum, WBEZ asked the Biggert campaign whether she would back a privately built and operated immigrant detention center in the district. The campaign sent the statement and did not answer the question.</p><p>Joliet&rsquo;s project follows a setback for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and CCA in south suburban Crete, where the agency wanted the company to build and run the detention center.</p><p>A political tide against the Crete project rose in January, when rivals in the area&rsquo;s Democratic House primary &mdash; U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and his challenger, former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson &mdash; both sided against it. Village trustees rejected the plan in June.</p></p> Tue, 30 Oct 2012 02:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/biggert-foster-sidestep-joliet-immigrant-detention-center-project-103508 After Obama immigration offer, college roommates weigh risks http://www.wbez.org/news/after-obama-immigration-offer-college-roommates-weigh-risks-103257 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F75048041" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/DSC_0295cropped.jpg" style="margin: 4px 0px 0px; float: left; height: 228px; width: 350px; " title="Northern Illinois University sophomores “Marissa Castillo,” left, and Elaine Rodríguez share an apartment in DeKalb, Illinois. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)" />President Barack Obama has an offer for many undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. Since Aug. 15, the Department of Homeland Security has been letting them apply for work papers and a deportation reprieve under a policy called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. But the department says it had received fewer than 180,000 complete applications as of Oct. 10. That represents a small fraction of the 950,000 immigrants that, according to a Pew Hispanic Center estimate, could qualify immediately for the deferred action.</p><p>That got me wondering: What would keep people from applying? I&rsquo;m hearing about immigrants having trouble gathering documents to prove their eligibility. I&rsquo;m hearing about struggles to find affordable legal advice and scrape up the $465 application fee. But there&rsquo;s another factor: fear. Many immigrants are wondering how long the policy will remain in place and whether the application information will be used for immigration enforcement. Some are also wondering whether they can count on the Obama administration, which has deported people in record numbers.</p><p>I found a pair of young roommates bound up in these questions. Both women have immigrant parents. Both grew up in Chicago. And both are college sophomores. But just one has papers to be in the United States. That woman, a U.S. citizen, wants to convince her undocumented roommate to take up Obama&rsquo;s offer and send in the application. Their story revolves around trust, immigration status and who will have a future in the United States.</p></p> Fri, 19 Oct 2012 17:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/after-obama-immigration-offer-college-roommates-weigh-risks-103257 Driver licenses for undocumented youths? http://www.wbez.org/news/driver-licenses-undocumented-youths-101986 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/immigrant%20map.jpg" style="margin: 4px 0px 0px 0px; float: left; height: 369px; width: 600px; " title="WBEZ asked eight states whether they are planning to provide driver’s licenses to immigrants who receive Social Security and employment-authorization cards as a result of President Barack Obama’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” policy. (WBEZ map by Elliott Ramos)" /></p><p>Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio are planning to provide driver&rsquo;s licenses to undocumented immigrants who get work papers under a new federal policy.</p><p>The Obama administration policy, called &ldquo;Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,&rdquo; will allow as many as 1.7 million illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children to get Social Security and employment-authorization cards, along with a deportation reprieve. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began accepting applications Aug. 15.</p><p>&ldquo;As long as the Social Security Administration issues an individual with a Social Security number, and they have the other documents that are required under Illinois law, then they can apply for a driver&rsquo;s license,&rdquo; said Henry Haupt, spokesman for Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, who oversees that state&rsquo;s driver licensing.</p><p>WBEZ surveyed eight Midwestern states about their response to the policy change. Along with the four states planning to provide licenses, Wisconsin and Iowa officials said they had not decided yet, while Minnesota and Missouri officials did not respond to numerous WBEZ inquiries.</p><p>The states planning to issue the driver&rsquo;s licenses differ from Arizona, Nebraska and Texas, where governors have vowed to block illegal immigrants from getting licenses.</p><p>The immigrants must meet several requirements to get the Social Security and work-authorization cards, including having been younger than 31 on June 15; having arrived in the U.S. before turning 16; having lived in the country continuously since June 2007; being a student or graduate, or having served in the military; and having no serious criminal record nor posing any public safety threat. The work authorization will last up to two years and, if the federal policy stays in place, be renewable. The policy does not provide a path to citizenship.</p><p>Assuming some of the immigrants have been driving illegally, states that enable them to get a license could make roads safer. &ldquo;They have to pass the road exam, they have to pass the written exam, and they pass the vision test,&rdquo; Haupt said about Illinois. &ldquo;We require so many different things of our young drivers and &mdash; by doing so &mdash; they, of course, become better drivers.&rdquo;</p><p>Illinois also requires proof of liability insurance on the car the driver uses for the road test. So it&rsquo;s possible that allowing undocumented immigrants to drive legally could reduce the number of uninsured vehicles.</p><p>The immigrants themselves have more at stake. Karen Siciliano Lucas, an advocacy attorney of the Washington-based Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., points out that driver&rsquo;s licenses are vital for working and attending school in most regions of the country. &ldquo;Not only that, it is a state-issued identification that shows who you are,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>The issue is complicated because most states require driver&rsquo;s&nbsp;license applicants to prove &ldquo;lawful status&rdquo; or &ldquo;legal presence&rdquo; in the United States. Officials in some states say the work authorization under the Obama policy will be sufficient proof. But a USCIS statement says the policy &ldquo;does not confer lawful status upon an individual.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s unclear whether courts will enable states to define lawful status differently than the federal government does.</p><p>States expecting Obama administration guidance about the driver&rsquo;s licenses could be waiting awhile. In response to WBEZ questions, the Department of Homeland Security sent a statement saying the department does not comment on state-specific matters.</p><p>Until federal courts weigh in, states are likely to face lawsuits no matter their course. &ldquo;We will see battles on this,&rdquo; Lucas predicted.</p><p>Making matters more complicated is the federal Real ID Act, a 2005 law aimed at fighting identity theft and keeping terrorists out of federal buildings and airplanes. Among other things, the act requires states to verify that driver&rsquo;s license applicants have lawful status in the United States.</p><p>The law is set to take effect in January, but it&rsquo;s not clear how the Obama administration will enforce it. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano has fought for the measure&rsquo;s repeal, calling it unworkable.</p><p>That irks advocates for tougher immigration enforcement: &ldquo;If you want to protect against identify theft, you&rsquo;ve got to eliminate the fraud,&rdquo; said Janice Kephart, who focuses on national security policies for the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies. &ldquo;That means you have to eliminate the illegal-alien community out of that scheme. It doesn&rsquo;t mean that states cannot give driver&rsquo;s licenses to illegal aliens. It just means that they have to do it outside the Real ID Act.&rdquo;</p><p>Kephart praised Utah, which has created a &ldquo;driving privilege card&rdquo; specifically for undocumented immigrants.</p><p>At the moment the only other states that let undocumented immigrants drive legally are New Mexico and Washington, which provide them the same licenses that U.S. citizens can get.</p></p> Mon, 27 Aug 2012 13:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/driver-licenses-undocumented-youths-101986 Young immigrants line up to apply for deportation reprieve http://www.wbez.org/news/young-immigrants-line-apply-deportation-reprieve-101734 <p><p> <div id="PictoBrowser120816122822">Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer</div><script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.db798.com/pictobrowser/swfobject.js"></script><script type="text/javascript"> var so = new SWFObject("http://www.db798.com/pictobrowser.swf", "PictoBrowser", "500", "500", "8", "#EEEEEE"); so.addVariable("source", "sets"); so.addVariable("names", "Young immigrants line up to apply for deportation reprieve"); so.addVariable("userName", "chicagopublicmedia"); so.addVariable("userId", "33876038@N00"); so.addVariable("ids", "72157631082359162"); so.addVariable("titles", "off"); so.addVariable("displayNotes", "always"); so.addVariable("thumbAutoHide", "on"); so.addVariable("imageSize", "medium"); so.addVariable("vAlign", "mid"); so.addVariable("vertOffset", "0"); so.addVariable("colorHexVar", "EEEEEE"); so.addVariable("initialScale", "on"); so.addVariable("bgAlpha", "80"); so.write("PictoBrowser120816122822"); </script> </p><p>Thousands of young undocumented immigrants lined up Wednesday at Chicago&rsquo;s Navy Pier for help with paperwork as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security began taking applications for deportation deferrals and work permits under a new policy initiated by President Barack Obama.</p><p>The turnout led the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, which organized the event, to begin turning immigrants away in the morning.</p><p>The policy, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, allows undocumented immigrants who had not turned 31 by June 15 to temporarily live and work in the United States.</p><p>Elizabeth Espinosa, a Chicago resident who arrived at Navy Pier hours before the event&#39;s 9 a.m. start time, said she was applying so she could attend college to become a registered nurse.</p><p>&ldquo;It means not just equality, but ... a better hope for us and our future children,&rdquo; Espinosa said. &ldquo;It means so much more than just a piece of paper. It means our whole lives.&rdquo;</p><p>Cristián García of Mundelein said he wanted the deportation reprieve and employment authorization so he could work as a computer technician. He also said he wanted his family to gain some peace of mind.</p><p>&ldquo;Sometimes, because we don&rsquo;t have documents and we&rsquo;re not legal we don&rsquo;t feel secure and we don&rsquo;t have the same opportunities to study,&rdquo; García said.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.wbez.org/line-dreamrelief-day-navy-pier-chicago-126-seconds-101746" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Image1_1.jpg" style="float: right;" title="The line to apply deferred-action, in 126 seconds." /></a>Applicants must prove they arrived in the United States before turning 16 and that they have lived in the country continuously for five years. They also must be a student or graduate or have served in the military, among other requirements.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Republicans have called the policy an election-year maneuver that bypasses Congress and favors illegal immigrants over U.S. citizens. They also point to the fact that legislation known as the Dream Act, which would have provided a path to citizenship for many of the youths that are now applying for deferred-action, failed in the U.S. Congress.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Prominent Illinois Republicans &mdash; including U.S. Reps. Judy Biggert (R-13th), Aaron Schock (R-18th), Randy Hultgren (R-14th), Adam Kinzinger (R-11th) and Peter Roskam (R-6th) &mdash; did not make themselves available for comment.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Mitt Romney &mdash; the party&rsquo;s presumed presidential nominee &mdash; has talked about vetoing the Dream Act if it were ever passed and has suggested pushing undocumented immigrants, as he puts it, to &ldquo;self-deport.&rdquo; Romney has not promised to keep Obama&rsquo;s deferred-action policy in place.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The election and its possible impact on the deferred-action policy has Chicago immigration attorney Robert Cotter calling Wednesday&#39;s Navy Pier event &ldquo;reckless.&rdquo; He adds that the immigrants ought to wait to submit the paperwork until they see who wins November&rsquo;s election.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&ldquo;We could have a new president,&quot; Cotter said. &ldquo;That new president could undo what&rsquo;s been done in one day. One signature could undo everything. So I&rsquo;m counseling my clients, &lsquo;Look, you survived this far. If you can wait another 10 - 11 weeks, you&rsquo;re going to be a lot more certain that you&rsquo;re really going to get that work permit and that you&rsquo;re not going to get a notice to appear in immigration court.&rsquo;&rdquo;</div><p><img a="" achieve="" afford="" all="" alt="" be="" because="" become="" can="" class="image-original_image" correct="" enough="" finally="" get="" i="" is="" job="" my="" not="" paperwork="" pray="" said.="" school="" she="" so="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS6169__PHO4197sm.jpg" style="height: 264px; width: 175px; margin: 5px; float: left; " the="" this="" time="" title="Yulizma Mendoza, 27, arrived at 2:30am to wait for a workshop on preparing her application for deferred deportation at Chicago's Navy Pier on Wednesday, August 15, 2012. (WBEZ/Peter Holderness) " to="" two="" want="" will="" years="" />This sentiment didn&rsquo;t sit well with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), one of the principal sponsors of the Dream Act. The senator attended Wednesday&rsquo;s event and gestured to hundreds of young people filling out their applicants in the ballroom, saying it will be politically unfeasible to reverse this policy.</p><p>&ldquo;I will tell you the force that they are creating is a moral force here, beyond a legal force,&rdquo; Durbin said. &ldquo;It is a moral force that, I believe, that as the American people support this 2 to 1, that&rsquo;s what the polls tell us. They will support these young people being protected. If someone later comes along and tries to exploit the fact that they did the right thing, they did what they were told legally.&rdquo;</p><p>Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-4th) said the scene at Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;Navy&nbsp;Pier&nbsp;resembled Ellis Island.</p><p>Immigrant advocates and others cautioned that the applications for deferred-action include all sorts of things &mdash; fingerprints, information about family members &mdash; that would be useful for deporting people.</p><p>The Department of Homeland Security says it won&rsquo;t use such information for enforcement unless there&rsquo;s evidence of criminal activity.</p></p> Wed, 15 Aug 2012 09:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/young-immigrants-line-apply-deportation-reprieve-101734 Durbin: Youth deportation reprieve to hold up http://www.wbez.org/news/durbin-youth-deportation-reprieve-hold-101722 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Dreamers3scaled.jpg" style="margin: 4px 0px 0px; float: left; height: 225px; width: 300px; " title="Undocumented students protest in 2010 at a GOP office in Chicago. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, says any attempt to reverse President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy would spark a public outcry. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)" />President Barack Obama&rsquo;s administration says it will start accepting applications Wednesday from some immigrants to get a temporary reprieve from deportation. That&rsquo;s under a controversial policy the administration is calling Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The immigrants won&rsquo;t get a path to citizenship &mdash; distinguishing the policy from stalled legislation, known as the Dream Act, that U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, (D-Ill.) has been pushing for more than a decade. But an estimated 1.7 million young people will have their first shot at valid papers to live and work in the country. Durbin is planning to attend a Wednesday event at Chicago&rsquo;s Navy Pier to help about 1,500 of these youths with the application. He told WBEZ&rsquo;s Chip Mitchell that this is an important moment for them.</p><p>DURBIN: It is a leap of faith on their part. Many of them have lived in the shadows for years and now they&rsquo;re stepping up to say to this government, &ldquo;We&rsquo;re here and we&rsquo;re ready to follow your law.&rdquo; I think it&rsquo;s going to be a day that they&rsquo;re going to remember for a long, long time.</p><p>MITCHELL: Yet, Senator Durbin, some immigrant advocates are calling the &ldquo;deferred action&rdquo; policy risky for the undocumented youths because they&rsquo;d be revealing details about their immigration status &mdash; [and] biometrics for the first time, in many cases &mdash; to the same government department that could one day deport them. The next president could throw out President Obama&rsquo;s policy as quickly as January. But you&rsquo;re recommending that the youths apply anyway. Could you be putting them in danger?</p><p>DURBIN: I believe the fact that two out of three Americans believe President Obama did the right thing &mdash; that most everyone agrees that children should not be held responsible for the wrongdoing of their parents &mdash; argues that ultimately that, once they come forward, once they comply with the law and become part of the system, it won&rsquo;t be reversed. And, if someone tries it, in either political party, if someone should try that in the future, I think there will be a strong public reaction in support of these young people and against efforts to rescind it.</p><p>MITCHELL: Some Republicans in Congress are criticizing the program&rsquo;s cost. And at least one &mdash; Steve King, not too far away, in Iowa &mdash; is vowing to file a suit to try to force the administration to, in his words, &ldquo;enforce the law.&rdquo; What&rsquo;s your response to him?</p><p>DURBIN: Congressman King of Iowa is notorious. He&rsquo;s kept alive a tradition, which has been in America for a long time, of hating immigrants, resisting immigration, denying what America is today &mdash; a nation of immigrants. That&rsquo;s his right. He can continue to. But let&rsquo;s get to the bottom line. Let&rsquo;s answer the question directly. These students are going to pay fees to cover all the costs to the federal government. So to argue that this is adding to our debt or deficit is just wrong.</p><p>MITCHELL: . . . Senator, how about the principle of enforcing the law as it stands &mdash; the rules enacted by Congress about who gets to stay in the U.S. and who doesn&rsquo;t? The law says these young people are not supposed to be in the country.</p><p>DURBIN: Every day, at every level of government, prosecutorial discretion is used. In other words, the government, with the power to continue a lawsuit or to start a lawsuit, decides, &ldquo;No, there are more important things to do with our resources to keep America safe.&rdquo; President Obama has made a decision. These young people who are here, being brought here as children, who have no significant criminal record of any kind and are ready to come forward and be part of the system, should not be a high priority for taking people out of our country. I think he&rsquo;s right. He&rsquo;s using prosecutorial discretion &mdash; the enforcement decision &mdash; which every government has used and has been recognized by the Supreme Court.</p><p>MITCHELL: Some immigrant advocates are criticizing the timing of President Obama&rsquo;s &ldquo;deferred action&rdquo; policy. He could have taken this step, after all, as soon as he took office in 2009. So these advocates are calling it a play for Latino support just months before he&rsquo;s up for reelection. What do you think?</p><p>DURBIN: The president is in a terrible situation now. Anything he does this year will be viewed in this context of the political campaign. I know where Barack Obama stands. He was a cosponsor of the Dream Act. He worked for its passage. He voted for it. And he&rsquo;s told me from the start that he will sign it as president of the United States, unlike Mitt Romney, who has promised to veto it. Two years ago, I said to the president, &ldquo;If we can&rsquo;t pass it in the Senate, because of the Republican filibuster, will you at least protect these young people from deportation until we can pass it?&rdquo; And he said he would. I think he&rsquo;s kept his word and he&rsquo;s been consistent.</p><p>MITCHELL: The Obama administration, nevertheless, is deporting people at a record pace &mdash; about 400,000 a year. Has this president done all he could for undocumented immigrants &mdash; the roughly 10 million people living and working in the shadows in this country &mdash; and for their families?</p><p>DURBIN: Well, of course, there are deportations and there must be. In some cases there are people who are dangerous to America, living here illegally with a criminal record or some major problem that brings them to the attention of our government. And, in those circumstances, every president has a responsibility to keep America safe. I&rsquo;ve never heard anyone argue that these Dream Act students are a danger to America. The president has made this decision. I think it is the right decision. And, ultimately, he has to depend on Congress to pass immigration reform. There&rsquo;s only so much the president can do on his own. I think we should and I hope we can do it on a bipartisan basis.</p></p> Tue, 14 Aug 2012 16:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/durbin-youth-deportation-reprieve-hold-101722