California Attorney General: ICE Holds ('Detainers') Not Mandatory

"California's state and local law enforcement agencies can choose whether to place immigration holds on individuals at the request of federal agents, the state's attorney general has advised. California Attorney General Kamala Harris issued this guidance to law enforcement agencies Tuesday...

Berkeley Receives $1 Million for Undocumented Students

"The University of California, Berkeley announced Tuesday that the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund has awarded $1 million toward scholarships for undocumented students. The gift will assist 200 undocumented students at Berkeley and help more in the future, the university said. Most undocumented...

Excerpts From the Jan. 1, 2013 Bender's Immigration Bulletin

USCIS Issues Policy Memo on International Filings On November 30, 2012, USCIS issued a final policy memorandum outlining the circumstances in which applicants may file Form I-601 (Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility) and any associated Form I-212 (Application for Permission to Reapply...

State Net Capitol Journal: California's Immigrant Population Largest in Nation by Far

California has the largest foreign-born population of all U.S. states by a wide margin, according to a report released earlier this year by the Pew Hispanic Center, which was based on the Census Bureau's 2011 American Community Survey (ACS), the largest survey of U.S. households. As of 2011, the...

Advance Copy of DHS Notice: Computer Matching Program

"This document provides notice of the existence of a Computer Matching Agreement that establishes a computer matching program between the Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the California Department of Social Services. ... The Computer Matching Agreement...

Cal. Sup. Ct. on Immigration Advisement in Criminal Cases: People v. Martinez

"[Cal.] Penal Code section 1016.5 requires that before accepting a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to any criminal offense, the trial court must advise the defendant that if he or she is not a United States citizen, conviction of the offense may result in deportation, exclusion from admission...

How a Misguided California Bill May Harm Immigrants Nationwide: Cyrus Mehta

Cyrus Mehta explains how AB 1159 will not protect immigrants from fraud: "[M]any of its provisions are so onerous, and interfere so radically with the attorney-client relationship, that it will likely drive away good and ethical attorneys from representing clients in California leaving it to unscrupulous...

The Saga of Sergio Garcia

Argument Recap in In re Garcia Before California Supreme Court: Does Federal Law Bar Licensing by the States of Undocumented Immigrants to Practice Law? Immigrant fights to become California lawyer Why is the Obama Administration Arguing that Undocumented Immigrants Should Not Practice Law?

Cyrus Mehta: Can An Undocumented Lawyer Practice Immigration Law?

"All eyes are focused on whether the California Supreme Court will grant an undocumented lawyer a law license in the case of Sergio Garcia . If an undocumented lawyer like Garcia is granted a license, what would happen if he chooses to practice immigration law? In the past, undocumented lawyers...

Mooted, But Not Muted

Regarding the Sergio Garcia law license saga, professors Michael A. Olivas and Hiroshi Motomura write: "Two weeks ago, when the questioning at the Sergio Garcia trial went badly, we worked to draft an op-ed that would throw sand in the gears and re-direct the attention of the California Supreme...

California OKs Driver Licenses for Immigrants

"California on Thursday joined the growing list of states that allow immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally to obtain driver's licenses — a measure supported not only by Latino activists but by police chiefs and insurance authorities. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill in front...

Cal. Gov. Brown Signs Immigration Bills

" As advocates rally across the nation today to urge Congress to adopt comprehensive immigration reform, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed legislation to enhance school, workplace and civil protections for California’s hardworking immigrants. “While Washington waffles on immigration...

Brown signs California immigration bills, wins activists’ kudos in pressing for reform

"On a day when immigrant-rights activists nationwide rallied for action from Washington, Gov. Jerry Brown put California at the vanguard of change, signing sweeping laws aimed at speeding the assimilation of those in the country illegally. Brown (D) signed eight bills Saturday, including one prohibiting...

News Excerpts From The Nov. 1, 2013, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Government Shutdown: Impact on I-129 H Visa Extensions and AOS | Via e-Mail on October 18, 2013, USCIS alerted stakeholders that if an H-1B, H-2A, or H-2B petitioner submits evidence establishing that the primary reason for failing to timely file an extension of stay or change of status request was...

ICE Raids at California Courthouses

"Sergio Villatoro was waiting to pay a traffic ticket at the Kern County courthouse in Lamont, California, when the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid began. ICE agents blocked all of the exits. Although ICE agents made no attempt to establish Mr. Villatoro’s identity –...

News Excerpts From the Nov. 15, 2013 Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Report Faults Procedures for Issuance of NTAs | On October 22, 2013, the Center for Immigrants’ Rights at Pennsylvania State University Law School released a report criticizing various practices related to the issuance of Notices to Appear in removal proceedings. Based on a survey and documents...

Immigration Dreaming in California: Assembly Bill 263 Will Bring Nightmares to the State's Employers

"Section 4 of Assembly Bill 263, effective January 1, 2014, adds this new provision (Section 1024.6) to the state's Labor Code: 1024.6. An employer may not discharge an employee or in any manner discriminate, retaliate, or take any adverse action against an employee because the employee updates...

Cal. Sup. Ct. to Release Garcia Decision on Jan. 2, 2014

"In re GARCIA (SERGIO C.) ON ADMISSION, S202512, Argued in San Francisco 9-04-13 In this proceeding, the court ordered the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California to show cause before this court why its motion to admit applicant Sergio C. Garcia, an undocumented immigrant, to...

Cal. Sup. Ct. Admits Sergio Garcia to Bar

"In light of the recently enacted state legislation, we conclude that the Committee‟s motion to admit Garcia to the State Bar should be granted. The new legislation removes any potential statutory obstacle to Garcia‟s admission posed by section 1621, and there is no other federal statute that purports...

Sergio Garcia Sworn In As California Lawyer

"He’s living in California illegally, but now he can legally practice law. California has allowed an undocumented immigrant into the state bar. His swearing-in ceremony was today, following a legal debate decades in the making. The steps of the California capitol served as the stage for Sergio...

New Cal. Bar Unit to Focus on UPIL

"Dunn said the new unit would be “fully engaged from day one,” focusing on complaints from consumers about notarios and immigration consultants." - Cal. Bar Journal, Feb. 2014 .

News Excerpts From the March 15, 2014, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

DHS Designates Chile for Visa Waiver Program On February 28, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security announced the entry of Chile into the Visa Waiver Program. Beginning May 1, 2014, Chilean nationals will be able to visit the United States for up to ninety days without obtaining nonimmigrant visas...

California Driver License Program Hits Unexpected Hurdle: Trust

"Last year, when California became the most populous state to pass a law permitting undocumented residents to obtain driver’s licenses, advocates for immigrant rights were thrilled, saying it would allow people to commute without fear while also decreasing rates of hit-and-run accidents and...

SIJ Victory in California: Matter of Leslie H.

"[T]he evidence overwhelmingly supports Leslie’s request for the necessary findings to enable her to file her SIJ application with the appropriate federal authorities. The juvenile court could not reasonably deny her request, and we therefore grant her writ relief to vacate the juvenile court’s...

California Immigration Holds Drop

"Far fewer immigrants arrested by California law enforcement are being turned over to federal authorities for deportation since a new state law went into effect in January. The law was pushed by immigrant advocates and directs law enforcement agencies to more quickly release those without serious...