As the year quickly draws to a close and we prepare to spend the holidays with our loved ones, we reflect in awe at the year that was. For all of the roller coaster-worthy twists and multiple turns it brought with it, saying that 2010 was an eventful year would be an understatement. All we are left with now besides the remains of bad immigration policies–or lack there of–is an assortment of memories that are as varied and diverse as the wide array of hues in the color spectrum. In retrospect it is clear that the earth-shattering legislative moment for immigration came in April when Arizona passed the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, or SB 1070. The law gave local law enforcement officers the power to check suspected undocumented aliens for documentation as well as the ability to charge them with a misdemeanor and lock them up if they could not produce any identity papers. Even though- on appeal- the harshest portions of the bill were prevented from taking effect, the State of Arizona became the first to take an initiative that, essentially, steps on the federal government’s toes by overriding Congress’ power to create immigration policies; consequently setting in motion a trend that culminated with several states enacting a series of similarly misguided laws to combat immigration.
As a result of this, the xenophobic sentiment went viral, infecting even those states that depend on the economic benefits brought upon by immigration as their bread and butter. Florida, being one such sad example, decided to buy into the bigoted monoculture by drumming up its own set of patently discriminative policies because, it seems, the advanced myopia suffered by some governmental leaders in the state have rendered them incapable of recognizing that much of the state’s progress comes because of immigration and not in spite of it.
In the wake of the devastating earthquake that affected Haiti, the U.S. Government finally granted temporary protected status (TPS) to Haitians who were present in the United States at the time of the earthquake. In some limited circumstances, they granted various forms of status to individuals affected by the earthquake who were brought to the United States after the event. Although conditions in Haiti were so deplorable before the earthquake, it took the disaster of epic proportions for the government to finally act. At years end, however, deportation of Haitians with a criminal history who were not eligible for TPS, resumed even in the wake of a horrific cholera outbreak in that country.
Just when we thought this year could not fare any worse for immigration, Congress failed to secure the prospects for our country’s future by preventing the DREAM Act (a bill that would have given undocumented youth an opportunity for career advancement through higher education or the military to attain legal status) to become law. Yet because this bill is overwhelmingly good for the country and all of its people, our hopes of its passing have not been extinguished. This sentiment was furthered by President Obama’s comments today as he expressed his deeply heart-felt disappointment of failing to grant the wishes of tens of thousands of youngsters who came to this country through no fault of their own.
At Pozo Goldstein, LLP we are proud to serve as advocates of those very laws to protect the rights of the immigrants that constitute the backbone of our great country. Through our team of experienced and dedicated immigration lawyers and staff we set out to provide the best legal representation for our clients in their immigration matters. The quality of work provided by our attorneys in New York , Philadelphia, Miami , Broward, and now in Orlando starting in 2011, has produced outstanding results and given us a reputation for excellence within the community. In the midst of these confusing times, we are proud to have earned the respect and trust of our clients and will continue our fight for them. We will stand ready to help all immigrants to achieve legal status in this country because we believe in the long-term benefits of national immigration policies for the welfare our country.