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Marvin está libre y celebrará el día del padre con su familia!

Muchos padres indocumentados pasarán el Día del Padre detenidos, debido a las promesas incumplidas por la Administración de Obama

Hoy Marvin Corado, un inmigrante indocumentado proveniente de Guatemala, fue finalmente puesto en libertad tras ser detenido por más de seis meses en una prisión privada para inmigrantes sólo por conducir sin licencia. Marvin podrá celebrar el Día del Padre con su esposa y su hija de 5 años quien es ciudadano de EE.UU., mientras que centenares siguen innecesariamente separados de sus familias debido a la incapacidad de la Administración de Obama de parar la detención y deportación de los inmigrantes.

Un informe nacional “Restablecer la Promesa de la Discreción del Proceso” (archivo adjunto) publicado a principios de esta semana, muestra varias estadísticas alarmantes sobre el grado de incumplimiento por parte del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS) de implementar la Discreción del Proceso (PD-Prosecutorial Discretion, por su nombre en inglés) un año después de que se anunciara. En junio de 2011, el DHS anunció una nueva política que se suponía iba a centrar el control de inmigración en “lo peor de lo peor” y dejar libres a individuos que han estado en los EE.UU. desde hace años, criando a sus familias. Sin embargo, sólo el 1,5% de los 300.000 casos revisados fueron cerrados y el PD se ha utilizado muy escasamente para liberar a padres, madres y jóvenes estudiantes elegibles para el DREAM Act.

Según el informe, “el DHS está amenazando con socavar la credibilidad en las políticas del Presidente Obama y su imagen en las comunidades latinas e inmigrantes en todo el país“.

El caso de Marvin se presentó en el informe como un claro ejemplo de las promesas incumplidas. Marvin llegó a este país hace 12 años, es padre de una ciudadana de los EE.UU., no tiene antecedentes penales y fue detenido sólo por no tener una identificación. Todas estas características lo hacían elegible para el PD. Sin embargo, los oficiales de deportación intentaron varias veces expulsarlo del país, incluso el día antes de ser liberado.

Como un inmigrante de ‘baja prioridad’, Marvin no debería haber sido detenido en primer lugar. Este es un ejemplo claro de por qué los cambios cosméticos del ICE a la política de inmigración han fracasado y seguirán fracasando en nuestras comunidades “, dice Juan Escalante de Dream Activist Florida, quien apoyó a la familia de Marvin y creó una petición en línea para detener su deportación. “Casos como el de Marvin siguen sucediendo por culpa del programa Comunidades In-Seguras. Seguiremos luchando en nombre de personas como él, hasta que el presidente Obama y su gobierno hagan cambios considerables a las políticas actuales de inmigración“.

Leslie Corado, la esposa de Marvin quien también es indocumentada, hizo su miedo a un lado y trabajó sin descanso para tener a su esposo de vuelta en casa. Mientras espera a Marvin salir del centro de detención, dice: “Siento que una parte de mi corazón volvió a mi vida. Tengo 8 meses de no verlo, es lo mejor que me pudo pasar en este día. Mi hija no lo puede creer, está muy emocionada. Gracias a todos por su ayuda, luchen familias, ¡si se puede!”.

Marvin is free and will spend Father’s Day with his family!

Many undocumented parents will still spend Father’s Day in detention due to the Administration’s Broken Promises

Today Marvin Corado, an undocumented immigrant originally from Guatemala, was finally released after being detained for more than six months at a private immigrant detention center for only driving without a driver’s license. Marvin will be able to spend Father’s Day with his wife and his 5 year old daughter who is a U.S. citizen, while hundreds continue unnecessarily separated from their families due to the Administration’s failure to stop the detention and deportation of immigrants.

A national report “Restore the Promise of Prosecutorial Discretion” (Exec Summary attached) released earlier this week, outlines several shocking statistics about the scale of the failure of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) implementation of Prosecutorial Discretion (PD) one year after it was announced. In June 2011, DHS announced a new policy that was supposed to focus immigration enforcement on the “worst of the worst” and spare individuals who have been in the U.S. for years, raising families. However, only 1.5% of the 300,000 cases reviewed were closed and Prosecutorial Discretion has been poorly utilized to release fathers, mothers and DREAM Act-eligible students.

According to the report, “DHS is threatening to undermine the credibility of President Obama’s policies and standing with Latino and immigrant communities nationwide”.

Marvin’s case was featured in the report as a clear example of broken promises. Marvin came to the United States 12 years ago, is a father of a U.S. citizen, has no criminal record and was detained only for not having an ID. All these characteristics made him eligible for Prosecutorial Discretion. However, deportation officers tried several times to deport him, including the day before he was released.

As a ‘low priority’ immigrant, Marvin should not have even been detained in the first place. This is a clear cut example as to why ICE’s cosmetic changes to immigration policy have failed, and continue to fail our communities,” says Juan Escalante from Dream Activist Florida, who supported Marvin’s family and created an online petition to stop his deportation. “Cases like Marvin continue to be taken on by In-Secure Communities. We’ll continue to fight on behalf of people like him until President Obama and his administration makes considerable changes to the current immigration policies.”

Leslie Corado, Marvin’s wife, an undocumented immigrant herself, put away her fear and worked relentlessly to have her husband back home.  As she waits for Marvin to get out of the detention center, she says:  “I feel like a part of my heart came back to my life. It’s been 8 months without seeing him, this is the best thing that could happen today. My daughter cannot believe it, she is very excited. Thank you all for your help and I invite all families to fight. Yes, we can!

Changes in Deportations? Understanding the DHS Announcement

Janet Napolitano, DHS

Janet Napolitano, DHS

On August 18th, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced significant changes on our country’s deportation priorities. Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, sent a letter to Sen. Dick Durbin, stating that DHS and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) would concentrate their resources towards “high priority” deportation cases and that “it makes no sense to expend our enforcement resources on low-priority cases.”

What does this mean? According to Napolitano, deportation efforts should focus only on “those who pose a threat to public safety and national security, repeat immigration law violators and other individuals prioritized for removal.”

So far, this announcement didn’t sound like anything new. Until Napolitano further explained how this change was going to be achieved:

  • Review case-by-case all individuals currently facing deportation proceedings, approximately 300,000
  • Immigration officers should exercise “prosecutorial discretion” to identify low-priority and high-priority cases, according to a memorandum from ICE Director John Morton (read below)
  • Those cases deemed “Low Priority” will get a letter form DHS stating their case has been administratively “closed”
  • Those whose cases are closed, can probably apply for a work permit

This does sound like great news for thousands of families! 

However, there is still confusion and misinformation on how and when those currently in deportation proceedings can benefit from this.We need to understand fully what this announcement really means, in order to inform correctly our communities and to demand that it is implemented appropriately.

To understand what this announcement IS and what it ISN’T, read this Consumer Advisory by the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

To understand the differences between “Low-priority” and “High-priority” cases, refer to the Morton Memorandum

IMMIGRANT RESISTANCE MOVES GOVERNMENT TO REVIEW DEPORTATION PRIORITIES, IMPACT STILL UNCLEAR

Move by Obama Administration positive sign, but impact still unclear

Miami, FL – Florida’s immigrants and advocates see yesterday’s announcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), that it would review the cases of 300,000 persons currently in removal proceedings, as a step in the right direction. However, they assert that much is still unknown about the criteria DHS will use in this process and caution the immigrant community that many deserving persons will still face deportation.

“We are cautiously optimistic about the relief this may bring to thousands of families facing separation,” says Maria Rodriguez, Executive Director for the Florida Immigrant Coalition. “This is a testament to the power of community organizing and the remarkable resilience of those most affected by this criminalizing system.”

Julio Calderon, an undocumented student leader of Students Working for Equal Rights (SWER), who is currently facing deportation, said, “I feel we may be given a second chance and all I hope for is that this promise is fulfilled. We simply don’t understand why Obama had to wait until there were 1 million deported to take this step, and we will continue fighting until all immigrants are not seen as criminals and are valued and respected.”

Immigrant rights advocates note that the administration in essence announced a process to implement ICE director John Morton’s June 2011 statement that ICE would begin exercising “prosecutorial discretion.”

“The devil is in the details and there is still much ambiguity as to how the process will be carried out,” says Jonathan Fried from WeCount! For example, the administration has not said that it will dismiss removal proceedings for all persons without criminal records. So far it seems it will only apply to those who meet other criteria such ashaving come here as a child, being a victim or witness of a crime, or having a serious health problem or disability.

“Moreover,” Fried added, “what will happen with those that were detained only for driving without a license in a state like Florida where it is considered a crime? Will they still be deported for having a criminal background?”

“We believe that the Obama administration can do even more,” says Rodriguez. “If the intention is to focus enforcement efforts on those who are adanger to our communities or who have committed violent crimes, the administration should broadly apply prosecutorial discretion. It also must end dragnet programs such as ‘Secure Communities’ that are creating this crisis in deportations.”