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IMMIGRATION NEWS BRIEFS

By Humera Subhani Email By Humera Subhani
January 2013
IMMIGRATION NEWS BRIEFS

Georgia Police Can Choose Whether to Enforce Immigration Law
Georgia law enforcement agencies may start enforcing the “show-me-your-papers” portion of the state’s immigration law now that a judge has lifted an injunction against it.

As The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, the law allows police to check the immigration status of certain suspects and detain those they determine to be in the country illegally. Police have the option to investigate the immigration status of suspects they believe have committed state or federal crimes and who cannot provide police with identification or other information that tells police who they are.

Critics have said this law and those like it—Arizona has a similar practice in place—lead to racial profiling, but proponents argue it protects taxpayer resources by pushing undocumented immigrants who might use state resources out of Georgia and note that enforcement is discretionary, meaning some police agencies across the state may choose to enforce it while others may elect not to.

Executive Director of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police Frank Rotondo referred to the potential implications of the law in farming communities that rely heavily on migrant Hispanic laborers during an interview with the paper. “Clearly, the police chiefs are not going to encourage their people to stop everybody and arrest them because they don’t have the right paperwork,” he said. “They are going to use a lot of discretion because the economy of the whole community relies upon that.”

If police decide to enforce the law and they have reason to believe a suspect is in the country illegally, they may contact federal authorities to verify the person’s legal status.

In Alabama, where a similar discretionary law is already in place, one police chief told the AJC that his officers stopped enforcing the law in part because it can take hours for federal authorities to respond.

USCIS to Implement New USCIS Immigrant Fee from Feb. 1
On Feb. 1, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin collecting a new USCIS Immigrant Fee of $165 from foreign nationals seeking permanent residence in the United States.

USCIS has worked closely with the Department of State (DOS) to implement the new fee, which allows USCIS to recover the costs of processing immigrant visas in the United States after immigrant visa holders receive their visa packages from DOS.

In order to simplify and centralize the payment process, applicants will pay online through the USCIS website after they receive their visa package from DOS and before they depart for the United States. DOS will provide applicants with specific information on how to submit payment when they attend their consular interview. The new fee is in addition to fees charged by DOS associated with an individual’s immigrant visa application.

Note: President Obama believes that 2013 is the year for “comprehensive immigration reform,” a bill that combines tighter border security with a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already here.

 

VISA PREFERENCE NUMBERS FOR NOVEMBER 2011

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

22Dec05

22Dec05

2A

22Sep10

22Sep10

2B

08Dec04

08Dec04

3rd

22Jun02

22Jun02

4th

08Apr01

08Apr01

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

Current

Current

2nd

01Sep04

Current

3rd

08Nov02

01Feb07

Other

08Nov02

01Feb07

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current1B



 

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