We have some exciting news! Recently, President Obama held a news conference to answer questions about his plan for the next four years. When asked about the need to fix our broken immigration system, the President stated that he is very confident that we can get commonsense immigration reform done:
“So we need to seize the moment. And my expectation is, is that we get a bill introduced and we begin the process in Congress very soon after my inauguration. And in fact, some conversations I think are already beginning to take place among senators and congressmen and my staff about what would this look like.”
30 New Citizens Naturalized on the “Today Show”
Friday November 16, 2012
On Friday, November 16, USCIS welcomed 30 new citizens during a special naturalization ceremony televised live on the Today Show in Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. USCIS Director Mayorkas provided the call of countries and Secretary Napolitano administered the oath ceremony. These new citizens and their families were joined by Lee Greenwood, whose song “God Bless the U.S.A.” gives voice to the hope and promise of the American dream, and is played at naturalization ceremonies across the country. To watch this special ceremony, click here.
On November 16, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released updated statistics regarding implementation of the first three months of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process which allows certain people who were brought to the United States as children and meet several key guidelines to request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. The data shows that USCIS has accepted 298,834 requests for processing, and that 53,273 requests have been approved. USCIS also provided updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in Korean, Tagalog, and Portuguese, and Form I-9 Guidance for Employers. To learn more about this process visit the USCIS website.
In this newsletter, you will read about the President’s nomination of two Latinos for U.S. District Court judgeships and find agency updates on the ICE ERO’s Community Detainee Hotline and a newly-established Detainee Intercultural Center. In addition, you also find updates on upcoming stakeholder events including USCIS Intergovernmental Affairs Quarterly Meeting, National Spanish-language Engagement, and Asylum Division Quarterly Stakeholder Meeting.
Julie Chávez Rodriguez
White House | Office of Public Engagement
Administration Announcements & Agency Updates
President Obama Nominates Two Latinos to U.S. District Courts
November 14, 2012
On November 14, President Obama nominated seven individuals for U.S. District Court judgeships, including two Latinos: U.S. Attorney Kenneth John Gonzales and Judge Analisa Torres. When making the announcement, President Obama stated “These individuals have demonstrated the talent, expertise, and fair-mindedness Americans expect and deserve from their judicial system. They also represent my continued commitment to ensure that the judiciary resembles the nation it serves.” To learn more about these judicial nominees, click here.
ERO launches second phase of Community and Detainee Helpline
November 14, 2012
Recently, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) launched the second phase of its ICE Community and Detainee Helpline (CDH). Detainees from ERO Atlanta, Baltimore, Miami, New Orleans and Washington will be able to directly contact the Public Advocate Office by telephone through toll-free telephone systems in the facilities. This expanded service streamlines the means by which detainees can access assistance. To learn more, click here.
Detainee Intercultural Center is a place for spiritual reflection
November 8, 2012
The newly-established Detainee Intercultural Center at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) El Paso Processing Center in Texas is a place where men and women in ICE custody can reflect, meditate and worship. “The new Detainee Intercultural Center, not only serves the spiritual needs of people in our custody, but it’s part of ICE’s larger effort to reform the immigration detention system as a whole,” said ICE Field Office Director Adrian Macias. To read more, click here.
Adult College Completion Tool Kit
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), 2012, 69 pp.
This publication contains “a wealth of resources and tools” to help undereducated adults transition to postsecondary education. In producing the Tool Kit, OVAE seeks to advance President Obama’s goal for the United States to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. The primary audience for the Tool Kit are administrators of state literacy programs and adult education practitioners. The publication outlines effective strategies for college transition and organizes them into three categories: facilitating access to college, ensuring quality of instruction, and promoting college completion. Sidebars give examples of effective programs. An appendix contains links to, and descriptions of, more than 50 resources discussed in the report, many of them developed with OVAE funding. The Tool Kit also includes handouts for four target student populations: adult basic education students, incarcerated individuals, veterans, and high-skilled immigrants.
Intergovernmental Affairs Quarterly Meeting
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invites interested parties to participate in the next Intergovernmental Affairs quarterly teleconference to be held Tuesday, November 27, 2012 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm (Eastern). USCIS will provide updates on SAVE, E-Verify, Transformation, Temporary Protected Status for Haiti and Syria, and other areas of interest. If you are interested in attending, click here.
National Spanish-language Engagement – A Conversation with USCIS
On Wednesday, December 5, 2012, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Eastern), USCIS will conduct a national Spanish-language Enlace session as part of an ongoing series of quarterly public engagements. This free session is an opportunity for individuals who speak Spanish to engage with us in their native language. To learn more, click here.
Asylum Division Quarterly Stakeholder Meeting
USCIS Asylum Division will host its quarterly stakeholder meeting on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm (Eastern) in the White Oak Conference Room at 20 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC. The purpose of this engagement is for individuals to ask questions and raise issues regarding USCIS asylum operations. If you wish to attend, you must respond to Public.Engagement@uscis.dhs.gov no later than Tuesday, December 4th, 2012. For more information, click here.