Law Offices ofJan Joseph Bejar A P.L.C.
Resolving Immigration Problems In An Honest & Responsible Manner

San Diego Immigration Law Blog

San Diego to help city workers apply for citizenship

Immigrants who work for the San Diego city government or at the airport are getting a nice, new benefit. Thanks to a partnership formed by the city, the airport, the National Immigration Forum’s New American Workforce and the Chamber of Commerce, legal immigrants will receive help at work in their efforts to become U.S. citizens.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer said immigrants are important parts of the city's economy and culture. "Legal permanent residents deserve help along their path to citizenship so they can take part in the American dream,” he said.

Differences between refugees and immigrants seeking asylum

Persecution or fear of persecution because of religion, nationality, political beliefs, race or social status are motivations for both groups to cross borders into the United States. Members of the two groups often settle here in San Diego, but there are some important differences between them.

Some of the differences between refugees and asylum-seekers include sheer numbers (refugees outnumber immigrants seeking asylum) and where the two groups begin the immigration process (refugees begin it abroad; those seeking asylum do it at the border or inside the U.S.).

LAPD: 911 calls by Latinos are down. Fear of immigration hassles?

The reason the State of California and many of its cities and counties have passed so-called "sanctuary laws" is a strong belief that immigration enforcement and local law enforcement do not mix.

When local police are actively involved in immigration enforcement, the theory goes, they will naturally wish to address any immigration irregularities they encounter while responding to calls. If they do, however, the effect is likely to be that people who have immigration irregularities, or who fear they do, will avoid calling the police altogether.

That effect seems to be real, as we recently discussed in regards to San Diego. Now we have more evidence that, when a 911 call could bring an immigration hassle, 911 won't be called.

The science of opposition to immigration

Here in San Diego, we are not only close to the border, we are near the center of many national debates over immigration issues. Not only would we be next to a wall, if one is built, but we have detention facilities here, as well as ICE offices and many immigration activists.

In the effort to broaden understanding of immigration issues, a trio of political scientists has released their research into the cause of opposition to immigration. Their study suggests that opposition has a biological genesis rather than a philosophical one.

The cost of deportation in dollars and cents

Deportations of undocumented immigrants continue their frenetic pace in the 100+ days following President Donald Trump’s inauguration. A campaign promise to remove all 11 million has narrowed to a focus on the approximately two million with criminal histories.

To bolster those targeted efforts, the president has asked Congress for another $1.15 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain, transport or remove unauthorized immigrants with criminal histories from the United States. He also requested another $76 million to recruit and hire an additional 10,000 ICE agents.

Attorney General compares border communities to 'war zone'

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is widely regarded as a tough-talking politician who is promising big changes in law enforcement. In a recent speech, Sessions described the border as a "war zone." Some immigrant rights advocates say Sessions is dishonestly misstating the reality of life in border communities such as San Diego, where crime has fallen to historic levels.

Christian Ramirez, human rights director for Alliance San Diego, said, “It’s not the reality of the border region." He said Sessions insists on "on making the border region out to be a dangerous, lawless place," adding that "these are just lies."

The fight for U.S. citizenship

He has twin tattoos: one of the Statue of Liberty and another of the Special Forces insignia. The proud veteran served two tours in Iraq, where he put his life on the line for his adopted country. Unfortunately, he was wounded while serving and sustained a traumatic brain injury. He also returned home with a diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder.

Many of our San Diego readers are familiar with the risks and rewards of the military life. Multiple studies have shown that PTSD and traumatic brain injuries can both result in long struggles with substance abuse and sometimes nonviolent crime.

California proposals to resist immigration enforcement efforts

A recent column in the San Diego Union-Tribune expressed what so many firmly believe: "immigrants — authorized and unauthorized — energize and sustain California’s economy." 

David Garcias, president of Service Employees International Union Local 221 and a U.S. Army veteran, writes that two key pieces of legislation currently before lawmakers will help protect immigrants from detention and deportation while at the same time safeguarding our state's growing economy.

Deportation fears force immigrants to file fewer police reports

It can appear at first glance to be good news: reports of sexual assault and domestic violence filed by the Latino population are dropping dramatically. But the bad-news side of the story is quickly apparent: police reports are dropping in frequency because of fears among immigrants that contact with law enforcement could result in detention and deportation.

San Diego's Channel 7 reports that here in California, the drop-off is especially noteworthy in Los Angeles, where reports of sexual assaults have plummeted 25 percent and reports of domestic violence have dropped 10 percent. Other ethnic groups have not shown similar decreases, the LA police chief said.

San Diego ACLU sues to stop months-long detentions

The American Civil Liberties Union is one of the nation's leading advocates of individual rights. The San Diego branch of the organization recently announced that it is suing the federal government for denying due process rights to immigrants who are detained for months before appearances in front of immigration judges.

A senior staff attorney with the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties said people charged with crimes typically go before judges within 48 hours while immigrants who are not charged with crimes are routinely detained for two months or more before a court hearing.

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