Discussion Points for Punto Legal- July 27, 2016

1. Republican Party Platform on Immigration. In about three months we will have a presidential election. Donald Trump is the Republican candidate for President. Hillary Clinton is the Democratic candidate.

I decided to take a look at the official Republican Party platform on immigration to see what was in store for the Latino community if Donald Trump is elected.

First, Republicans say they are angry and disgusted at President Obama for relaxing immigration enforcement, such as by creating programs like DACA and DAPA. They also blame President Obama for murders committed by illegal immigrants.

Second, Republicans say they oppose any form of amnesty for illegal immigrants. I read this to indicate that there will not be any immigration reform from Republicans.

Third, Republicans call DACA and DAPA unlawful amnesties that must be immediately rescinded by a Republican president. If I were a young person with DACA, I would start doing all I could to defeat to Mr. Trump. One of the mandates from the Republican Convention is to end DACA immediately.

And-by the way-you can participate in political marches, protests, and events, even if you are an illegal alien. ICE has a policy of staying away from these events.

Fourth, the Republicans say in writing that they want to build a wall along the Southern Border. The wall must cover the entire Southern Border and stop both vehicles and people from crossing.

Fifth, the Republicans also want to make sure that anyone who has been previously deported and then crosses gets a minimum mandatory prison sentence of five years. It doesn't matter to them that we are already prosecuting 100,000 people per year just for crossing.

Finally, Republicans want to reduce the number of people who get permanent residence in the United States and let states like Arizona pass their own immigration laws.

2. Bars to Entry/Castigos. Every year the U.S. Department of State tells us the numbers of immigrants barred from entry by U.S. embassies and consulates around the world and how many got waivers. I want to share with you some of the numbers. Of course, one of the biggest operations in the world is the U.S. consulate in Juarez.

  • Almost 40,000 immigrants were barred for unlawful presence in the U.S. If you had got provisional or stateside waiver, and then went to your consular interview, over 98% of you were admitted to the U.S as lawful permanent residents. The provisional waiver program again shows that it is very successful. If you had to ask for the waiver outside the U.S., only 62% got waivers and entered the U.S. as residents.
  • A trend with castigos in Juarez has been alien smuggling. If you aid, assist, or help your undocumented child to come to the U.S., you have committed alien smuggling. We had a case in which a father kidnapped a child in Mexico and brought the child to the U.S. The mother came to U.S. to get her child and stayed. Years later, the consulate accused her of alien smuggling simply because her undocumented child was in the U.S. There is a waiver available for alien smuggling, if, and only if, it's an immediate family member. Over 2, 800 immigrants were hit for alien smuggling and 37% got waivers.
  • Lying to immigration officers happens pretty frequently. It's called immigration fraud. Over 5,700 immigrants were barred as residents for immigration fraud; 36% got waivers.
  • One worry that we have is gang-related tattoos. At the medical exam in Juarez, the doctors look very closely for tattoos. But, the number bars issued for tattoos and gang-relationships is actually pretty small. For the entire world, only 126 people were barred for tattoos and/or gang relationships.
  • Crimes involving moral turpitude are bars to entry. 1,374 immigrants were barred for crime involving moral turpitude, such as theft, fraud, forgery, and aggravated assault. You can get a waiver of a crime involving moral turpitude if you can show an extreme hardship to a spouse, child, or parent. 418 waivers were issued. The waiver percentage was thus 30%.
  • What if you tell the doctor in Juarez that you have used marijuana or have two or more DUI's? This will result in a bar as a drug abuser until you wait for a year and show remission. 1,211 immigrants were barred at consulates and embassies around the world. 627 immigrants overcame the bar.