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Blandon Law Immigration

Friday, July 30, 2010

America Needs Immigrants, Report Confirms

     The Immigration Policy Center just issued a detailed state-by-state report analyzing the economic impact of immigrants.  Intelligent debate about immigration must include recognition of the following:
  • Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians account for large and growing shares of the U.S. economy and electorate. Overall, immigrants made up more than 12% of the U.S. population (or nearly 38 million people) in 2008, and more than 43% of them are naturalized U.S. citizens meaning they are eligible to vote. 
  • In 2008, Latinos and Asians accounted for nearly 20% of all Americans and wielded $1.5 trillion in consumer purchasing power. 
  • The businesses they own had sales and receipts of $549 billion and employed 3.7 million people at last count. 
     This last item is my personal favorite tying the need for immigrants directly with the American goal of improving our economy.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Web Site of Immigration

     For many reasons, including financial constraints, some foreign nationals prefer to file applications with the Citizenship and Immigration Service on their own.  General information on immigration benefits and the applications -- including instructions -- is available at the CIS web site
     Foreign nationals especially file applications for the following matters without the assistance of an attorney:
  • Renewal of a green card
  • Naturalization without arrests or substantial time outside the country
  • Petitions for immediate blood-relation family members (children and parents)
     Other cases, however, can be delayed or denied if filed improperly or without the required evidence.  That is why I strongly encourage foreign nationals to begin their research at the CIS web site.  After learning about various options, an attorney can provide the best strategy to efficiently meet their immigration goals.  In legal matters, an educated consumer is the best client.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Unlicensed Practice of Law

     Elizabeth R. Blandon, Esq., has been appointed by the Supreme Court of Florida to serve on the local Unlicensed Practice of Law (UPL) committee, effective August 1, 2010. 
     The purpose of the UPL program was best explained by the Supreme Court as follows:
     The reason for prohibiting the practice of law by those who have not been examined and found qualified to practice is frequently misunderstood.  It is not done to aid or protect members of the legal profession either in creating or maintaining a monopoly or closed shop.  It is done to protect the public from being advised and represented in legal matters by unqualified persons over whom the judicial department can exercise little, if any, control in the matter of infractions of the Code of Conduct which, in the public interest, lawyers are bound to observe.
     Unfortunately, foreigners -- who do not understand the American legal system and the obligations of immigration attorneys -- are easy targets for paralegals and notarios.  As recently as last month, a scam artist was arrested for allegedly stealing thousands from the unwary.  See the full story at this link.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Floridians: Does He Represent You?

     Attorney General (and candidate for Governor) Bill McCollum is adding Florida to a list of states supporting the Arizona immigration law.  McCollum announced the plan to join with other states supporting the Arizona law against legal challenges by the Obama administration.
     Mr. McCollum, Republican, is using a legal issue to advance his political career.  "I support the current law in Arizona, and I support efforts to see a similar law brought to our state. Seeing no action or leadership from the federal authorities, Arizona has every right to move to protect its citizens, and for this they are being sued by the President," said McCollum.
     The lawsuit against Arizona was filed by the federal government -- not specifically President Obama -- because it is contrary to the Constitution for one state to make immigration policy.  It is the same as if Alaska, by itself, declared war against Russia or declared that only persons over 30 years of age can vote.  States simply do not have that power.  Arizona's argument is that its laws are consistent with the federal immigration laws. 
     Click through to the full story in the Miami Herald.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Attention Guatemalan Women

     Women from Guatemala who have been in the United States for less than a year should consider applying for asylum if they fled their homeland due to violence. 
     The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that Guatemalan women could apply for asylum because of the high murder rate of females in that country.  More than 3,800 Guatemalan women have been murdered since 2000 and fewer than 2 percent of the crimes have been solved, according to the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at the University of California, San Francisco.
     Asylees obtain employment authorization, a drivers license and one year after their case is granted, they can apply for legal permanent resident status, which allows them to work and stay in the country legally.
     Because violence against women extends throughout Central America, the Court's ruling will also be of significant benefit to females from other countries, such as Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador.
     To obtain legal advice and see if you should apply for asylum, contact the Firm at 954-385-0157.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Federal Government Sues Arizona

      Yesterday, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the State of Arizona because of its recently passed immigration law.  The DOJ was joined by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State.
      According to
Arizona's law, law enforcement authorities who suspect that someone is a foreign national in the Unites States without authorization must ask for immigration documents.  Law enforcement officials including the Chiefs of Police of Phoenix and Tucson explained that this new law will greatly decrease their ability to effectively police their communities.  This is because victims of, or witnesses to, crimes will be less likely to contact or cooperate with law enforcement officials.  Also, the Chiefs of Police were highly concerned because this new law would require them to reassign officers from critical areas such as violent crimes, property crimes, and home invasion. 
      As the Department of Justice explained, immigration law is a topic that is best addressed by Congress and not by individual states.  The top Republicans of Arizona claim their state’s law is needed to remove illegals.  Click through to story. 
Ironically, Republicans are the ones preventing comprehensive immigration legislation from becoming laws in Congress. Click through to that story.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

President Obama Defines His View on Immigration

     For those who ask me when immigration reform will become a reality, I have one answer:  yes, we can. 
     President Obama will call for comprehensive immigration legislation and the importance of keeping the border secure at a public address this morning.  His speech is at the American University's School of International Service in Northwest Washington.  Information from the White House is available here.
     Immigration reform is a hot button political issue because the idea of punishing persons who are in the country without authorization seems common sensical many.  On the other hand, most voters who personally know persons who have been here without authorization for many years support a program giving them the right to earn legal documentation.  It must be remembered that most "illegals" pay taxes, have U.S. citizen children and are law-abiding members of their communities.
     Immigration reform is important to Hispanics in the Democratic base, who will play an important part in the outcome of the mid-term elections.

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