Monthly Archives: September 2014

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“Anchor Babies” in the News: The Pregnancy Path to U.S. Citizenship

Every law seems to have unintended consequences. The original intent of granting citizenship to every baby born on U.S. soil (done within the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution) was to avoid creating an underclass, particularly among people who were brought to the U.S. as slaves. (Congress was responding to the infamous Dred Scott decision of 1857, in which the U.S.  Supreme Court denied citizenship rights to freed slaves.) Now, however, a cottage industry has seemingly developed to assist people

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Why Give Birth in the U.S. When a Surrogate Can Do It For You?!

It was only a matter of time, really. First, there was “birth tourism,” in which people from around the world who are interested in gaining a foothold in the U.S. arrange to enter as tourists and have a child here — their own little U.S. citizen “anchor baby.” Now, some parents are avoiding that nerve-wracking plane ride while pregnant, and simply arranging to have surrogate women in the U.S. give birth and cede their parental rights to them. For real.

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When Lawyers for the Other Side Reveal Your Immigration Status

Lawyers tend to take very seriously their duty to keep their own client’s confidential information — otherwise known as secrets — to themselves. But guess what: They get a little fuzzier on the question of whether that duty extends to the clients on the other side of a case, for example in a divorce or other civil case, or in a criminal case. And in a particularly ugly example of how this can play out, the State of Washington’s Latino/a

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Want to Know Who’s Actually Getting DACA Approval?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) just published its first-ever report summarizing the “Characteristics of Individuals Requesting and Approved for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).” The report supplies demographic information about people who requested DACA between August 2012 to September 2013 and were approved by January 2014, in these categories:  age range gender country of birth marital status state of residence Citizens of Mexico are, to no one’s surprise, the largest pool of applicants by far, followed by El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.

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Need to Find a Relative Arrested by Immigration? See Online Detainee Locator

Sometimes what’s going in in the headlines becomes all too personal. That’s what happened for me recently, when a friend called to say that her cleaning woman from El Salvador was in a panic, having received word that her sisters had been arrested by immigration authorities after crossing the border into Texas. They’re apparently part of the flood of young people fleeing countries beset by violence, attempting to cross the Mexican border into the United States. The first question then becomes,

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