Monthly Archives - August 2019

Ways Immigrant Help Build the Economy

One of the things that the Trump administration fails to consider is the long range economic impact that mass deportations and other policies meant to curtail both legal and illegal immigration will have on this country. In fact, many studies conclude that a number of industries as well as many states rely on immigrant labor to stay afloat and to succeed. How do immigrants strengthen the U.S. economy? Below is my top 4 list of ways immigrants help to grow the American economy.

  • Undocumented immigrants are paying taxes: If all undocumented immigrants were ejected from the country the result would be a huge loss in tax revenues. In fact, by some estimates undocumented immigrants pay an average of $11.64 billion in state and local taxes a year.
  • Immigrants are helping to sustain the Social Security Trust Fund: There has and continues to be a great deal of concern about the future of the Social Security program. According to the New York Times, immigrants have contributed upwards of $300 billion to the Social Security Trust Fund. Thus, without their contribution to this fund – which so many rely on in the country – it would quickly become insolvent. In fact, many believe the fund would simply shrivel up by 2037 without this influx of money.
  • Immigrants contribute to job creation: Contrary to the popular canard that immigrants take away American jobs, many do just the opposite. There has long been an entrepreneurial spirit among new arrivals and these new arrivals often start businesses that hire native-born Americans. Moreover, a study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, concludes that the average immigrant-owned business hires 11 employees. This adds up to between 3.7 million and 5.2 million jobs being added to the economy.economy
  • Immigrants boost demand for local consumer goods: Immigrants have huge purchasing power. In fact, according to some estimates the purchasing power of Latino and Asian immigrants is anywhere between $775 billion and $1.5 trillion 2015.

Industries that Rely Heavily on Immigrants

Here a just a few of the industries that might simply collapse were it not for both documented and undocumented workers.

  • Agriculture: Indeed, immigrants make up 77% of agricultural workers in California alone.
  • Transportation (taxi driver and limo drivers)
  • Apparel
  • Construction
  • Housekeeping

In short undocumented immigrants make economic contributions to this country. They purchase goods and services, work, and live across the country. Policies that seek to remove immigrants en masse or that make it more difficult to immigrate to this country legally ignore this fact. As an immigration attorney in Ventura County, I know the potential contributions many undocumented persons make or desire to make to this country. I am attorney Erika Roman. If you wish to talk about your case, contact me and I will listen.

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GPS Tracking of Immigrants: Alternative to Detention or a Troubling Civil Rights Violation

By now most Americans – and indeed many people around the world – are familiar with the horrific scenes of immigrant children being snatched away from their parents and carted off to detention centers. Some of these children, it has been reported, may never be reunited with their parents as they and their parents await an uncertain future. Well, now the US government and ICE say that they have come up with a solution to the Trump administration’s policy which has become a humanitarian crisis and a PR disaster – the electronic monitoring of immigrants.

The Monitors

Ankle monitor have been used for some time to track the movement of people who have been confined to their home as a condition of their release from traditional incarceration. These monitors use a radio frequency signal to communicate back to a monitoring station and are designed to be tamper-proof. The monitors issued by the U.S. Immigration and Customers Enforcement are 5.5-once devices that are also called grillets, or electronic shackles. In July of this year the US government reportedly used about 9,300 ankle monitors at a time — 40% more than about six months ago.

What Proponents of Monitoring Say

The government argues that the monitors are more humane than incarcerating immigrants until they are scheduled to appear in court. Moreover, the government claims that the monitors are used on a case by case basis with the emphasis being placed on tracking serious criminal offenders. Finally, the government argues that monitoring immigrants and asylum seekers is less expensive than housing someone in a detention center.

What Opponents of Monitoring Say

The American Bar Association characterizes the monitoring of immigrants this way: It is a form of restriction on liberty similar to detention, rather than a meaningful alternative to detention.” Additionally, they argue, and the government concedes that they fail to work once deportation proceedings begin. Moreover, some experts argue that the devices are difficult but not impossible to remove and that people who are being tracked in this way routinely circumvent the shackles by breaking free of them. Finally, some people who have been tracked with these devices say that can easily set off false alarms when their batteries die, they bump into other objects, etc.immigrants

I say that human should not be placed into a catch and release kind of program. The real solution is real reform to the entire immigration system. Immigrant detention should not be replaced by a system that is ineffective, inhumane and violates the privacy rights of individuals. As an immigration lawyer in Van Nuys, I work with people who are trapped in this broken system. As an immigration attorney in Ventura County, I can help you find the best course of action for your unique set of circumstances.

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5 Immigrant Advocacy Organizations to Donate to if You Support Immigrant’s Rights

One of Newton’s Laws – the third – states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Similarly, as the nation’s immigration laws become more Draconian, there will always be those who stand in opposition to these arbitrary policies that have made it more difficult for people to seek asylum, imprisoned those who seek freedom in this country and separates children from their parents and parents from their children in some cases permanently. The following nonprofit organizations are defending immigrants’ legal and human rights. I invite anyone who is interested in preserving the rights of all people to support any of the following organizations in this critical time of need.

  • American Civil Liberties Union (Northern California): This nonprofit organization’s stated mission is “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.” It has constantly challenged nearly every edict on immigration that has come from this administration. During the Trump presidency the organization has seen a steep rise in membership and in donations. However, one can never give too much support to an organization that has been such a staunch defender of civil and human rights.
  • Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): This is the largest organization in the US advocating for the rights of Muslims.
  • Families for Freedom: Families for Freedom are made up of former immigrant prisoners and their loved ones who have gathered together to fight the family separation policy the Trump administration has chosen to use as a deterrent to immigration.
  • The National Immigration Law Center: National Immigration Law Center: Established in 1979, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is dedicated to defending the rights of low income immigrants. It does so by coordinating its efforts with local and national civil rights organizations and by educating policy makers on the plight of low income immigrants.
  • Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights: The plight of immigrant children has been in the news quite a bit lately including the heartbreaking image of the little girl whose father was caught up in an ICE raid in Mississippi recently. The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights champions the right of unaccompanied immigrant children in this country. They attempt to influence immigration policy and by directly lending them assistance starting from the moment they enter the country.

This is just a small sample of the organizations that are taking the fight for fair and human immigration system directly to lawmakers and who are helping immigrants on the ground. I am an immigration rights Los Angeles who shares the goals of these organizations. So, if you are asking yourself “where can I find an immigration lawyer near me,” reach out to me on my site.

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Thousands of Immigrants Allege Sexual Abuse While being Held in U.S. Detention Centers

Many people have heard about the crimes billionaire Jeffrey Epstein allegedly committed against teenage girls. If proven to be true in a court of law, these allegations of sexual assault and trafficking of minors demonstrates how powerful people are often able to casually disobey even the most serious laws of our land. Well, U.S. officials and customs enforcement officers have this same kind of nearly absolute power over immigrants. Many of these officials, it has been reported, have been accused of sexually abusing minors in their custody

The Evolution of the Problem

From late 2014 to July of last year, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a part of Health and Human Services, received 4,556 complaints of sexual assault committed upon the bodies of minors. Some of this conduct includes official watching minors while they bathed and showing pornographic videos to minors. Children in these centers have also stated that officials there fondled and kissed them on occasion and even raped them and forced minors to engage in sexual contact with each other.

What is Being Done

April 2017, the group Freedom for Immigrants, filed a federal complaint with the Office for Civil Rights & Civil Liberties within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) detailing these reports. They are calling for an investigation into these charges which officials at these centers deny. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., released data from the Health and Human Services Department detailing the allegations during a hearing on the Trump administration family separation policy. The online newspaper Axios – who first reported on the problem – as well as several other media outlets have also reported on and detailed the disturbing allegations.

Of all of the appalling things that have been reported about the detentions centers that have established near the border, sexual abuse of children is the most troubling to me personally. It is part and parcel of the heartless policy of family separation and the detention of people who seek nothing more than a better way of life. Some of the detainees in custody are fleeing from governments that may wish them harm or even death. As an immigration lawyer in Oxnard, I have committed my life to protecting the innocent. As an immigration attorney in Ventura County, I vow to continue to protect the vulnerable against those who casually flaunt the mores of our society and speak for those who cannot defend themselves.

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Why it May get Harder for People to Legally Immigrate to the US

The Trump administration has long made it clear that it desires to limit legal immigration to the US – especially among certain groups – just as much as it desires to curtail illegal entry into the US. This was proven once again when the President announced recently that there will be changes in how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) interprets and implements who is ineligible for admission or for a visa or green card. This new law targets those who have modest financial resources and are – according to the government – likely to become “charges” of the US. That is, those who are likely to depend on entitlement programs at any time, e.g., SNAP, welfare, etc,

The possible effect of the new policy – which takes place in less than 60 days – will be that many poor immigrants will be denied legal green cards since they may be likely to use food stamps, subsidized housing and the like. This policy will more than likely not affect wealthier immigrants who will be able obtain green cards and visas easier than immigrants with limited financial resources. According to the 837 page rule, the policy seeks to ensure “the availability of public benefits not constitute an incentive for immigration to the United States.”

The Reaction

As you can imagine, the reaction to this new rule has been swift. Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke responded by saying that the Trump has blurred the distinction between, “Legal immigrants, undocumented persons, refugees and asylum seekers.” National Immigration Law Center executive director Marielena Hincapié responded by saying this change in policy we be the most far reaching of all the changes proposed by this administration. Then there are the legal challenges that will follow. Already back in 2018 Democracy Forward sued President Donald Trump during his first attempt to change this law. More legal challenges will follow. I, attorney Erika Roman, will also fight to make sure that sanity and compassion are returned to our immigration system. If are asking yourself where can I find an “immigration lawyer near me,” look no further. I will speak to you for free as one who proudly joins my colleagues in the fight against the arbitrary changes that fly in the face of what America has long stood for.

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