Tag Archives: Undocumented Immigrant

Oscar goes to “Inocente,” keeping immigration in center stage

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tonight recognized the film “Inocente,” a fearless documentary about a 15-year-old undocumented girl living in Los Angeles who copes with homelessness, her immigration status, family turmoil, and the challenges of adolescence all at once.

In winning the “Oscar” for Best Documentary Short, the film has not only validated the hard work and creative talent of its creators but also the trying experience of Inocente Izucar and hundreds of thousands of young women like her whose lives are shaped by federal laws and migration forces that are beyond their control.

Although policies like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) have helped to empower this class of young people so they can come out of the shadows and live a semblance of a normal life, much work remains to be done to pass legislation like the DREAM Act or comprehensive immigration reform that would legalize the status of and offer a path to citizenship to millions of unauthorized immigrants.

 

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Filed under Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), National News, Uncategorized, Undocumented Immigrants

Mexican woman arrested for selling tamales faces deportation

The Sacramento Bee is reporting this week that a woman was arrested and detained for twelve days for refusing to leave a Wal-Mart parking lot where she was selling inexpensive tamales. Complicating the case is that 46-year-old Juana Reyes is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who came to this country over 16 years ago and now has two U.S. citizen children. During her time in jail she was interviewed by an officer from Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) through the federal Criminal Alien Program (CAP), which ultimately led to ICE bringing deportation charges against the woman.

In the aftermath of this incident, Ms. Reyes’ case is being publicized as evidence of the overreach of federal immigration enforcement policy. Advocates for more generous immigration policies argue that CAP and other related programs like Secure Communities reach too far into the criminal justice system in order to ensnare immigrants detained on minor charges. Advocates are pushing for legislation and policy changes that would prevent some of these programs from applying to individuals arrested on minor crimes if they have no other criminal history. Ms. Reyes had no prior criminal history but her case will still be an uphill battle to avoid deportation.

A year ago the Obama Administration announced new policy guidelines aimed at focusing immigration enforcement resources on high-priority offenders such as violent criminals and repeat immigration violators. Critics charge that these policies have not become a reality despite what is written in memos and discussed in speeches. Although the Obama administration has argued for comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) that would address the nation’s ten to twelve million undocumented immigrants, it has also overseen a massive increase in deportations.

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Filed under National News, Undocumented Immigrants