Your Immigration Action Newsletter
It has been a busy few weeks here at the White House. Last Friday, the President met with leaders from the faith community to discuss the need to fix the broken immigration system, focusing on the growing consensus building across American for common sense immigration reform.
Last Thursday, President Obama signed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) into law. The newly reauthorized VAWA strengthens and expands protections for victims of violence, including battered immigrant women who are victims of domestic abuse. As President Obama noted during the signing ceremony last week:
“Imagine the dilemma for so many — if your immigration status is tied to a husband who beats you or abuses you, if you’re an undocumented immigrant, you may feel there’s too much to lose by coming forward. The Violence Against Women Act already had protections so that victims could call the police without fear of deportation, and those protections saved lives. And because we fought hard to keep them in place, they remain a lifeline for so many women. That’s part of what today is all about.”
In addition to the Vice President, Congressional leaders, and domestic violence advocates and survivors, the President was joined by Rosie Hidalgo, Director for Public Policy of Casa Esperanza, who has worked to end domestic violence for the past eighteen years.
Watch the President’s full remarks:
Meanwhile, immigration reform seems to be moving full steam ahead. The President met with members of his Cabinet on immigration issues in early February, and Congress has held several hearings to focus on key aspects of immigration reform. Last Wednesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano delivered remarks at the National Association of Evangelicals’ Washington Briefing, underscoring the Administration’s efforts in securing the nation’s borders.
As always, please share with your networks and we look forward to working with you as we continue to push for common sense immigration reform!
Julie Chávez Rodriguez Associate Director White House | Office of Public Engagement
Justice Department Releases Spanish Language Video about Discrimination in Employment Eligibility Verification February 20, 2013 The Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department launched its first Spanish-language educational video, which was developed by the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices, aims to assist employers in avoiding charges of discrimination in the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 Process and to inform employees of their legal rights.
Policy Memo: CBP Enforcement Actions At or Near Certain Community Locations February 21, 2013 In a policy memo issued in late January and released in February for public viewing, CBP outlined its intent to carefully plan and mitigate the impact of its presence at and near schools, places of worship, and certain other sensitive community locations.
E-Verify Receives High Ratings in Customer Survey February 22, 2013 More than 1,300 randomly selected employers who use E-Verify were asked to evaluate the program on key aspects including registration, online tutorials, ease of use, technical assistance, and customer service. They rated the program as exceptionally high in overall customer satisfaction, averaging an 86 out of 100 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index scale.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano’s Third Annual Address on the State of Homeland Security: “The Evolution and Future of Homeland Security” February 26, 2013 On the 10th Anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Napolitano spoke at the Brookings Institution about the Department of Homeland Security’s journey, and the future of the agency, highlighting her plans for what she refers to as “DHS 3.0.”
DOJ Releases New Fact Sheet on EOIR’s Disciplinary Program and Professional Conduct Rules for Immigration Attorneys and Representatives February 27, 2013 The Department of Justice has released an updated fact sheet on the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s disciplinary program and professional conduct rules for immigration attorneys and representatives.
Provisional Waivers Introduced on March 4th, 2013 March 4, 2013 Beginning March 4th, certain immigrant visa applicants who are spouses, children, and parents of US citizens (immediate relatives), and have been unlawfully present in the United States, can start applying for provisional unlawful presence waivers through a new process that is expected to shorten the time US citizens are separated from immediate relatives while those relatives are obtaining immigrant visas to become lawful permanent residents.
Businesses Need Common Sense Immigration Reform to Keep Growing, Creating American Jobs On March 6th, Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank met with business executives whoare part of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. They discussed key issues facing them as they continue to grow, create jobs, and drive both innovation and competitiveness here in the U.S., including the need to attract and retain the best and brightest from around the world, which is a key principle of the President’s framework for commonsense immigration reform.
A Special Naturalization Ceremony in Honor of the First President of the United States On February 22nd, USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas had the privilege of administering the Oath of Allegiance to fifty new US citizens on the 281st birthday of our first president, George Washington, at Washington’s home estate of Mount Vernon. Director Mayorkas was joined by Senior Policy Director for Immigration at the White House Domestic Policy Council, Felicia Escobar, who welcomed the new citizens and led them in the Pledge of Allegiance.
E-Verify Listens—A Look Inside the Ongoing Discussion E-Verify Listens, an online community where users can submit and discuss ideas as well as vote for their favorite ideas to help frame the evolution of the program, was launched in July of 2012 and has recently been updated to accommodate user needs.
Know a hero? The Citizens Medal is one of our nation’s highest civilian honors. For the past two years, President Obama has relied on you to identify heroes in your community – extraordinary Americans whose exemplary deeds provide inspiration for others to serve. We’re looking for Americans who have made a difference in their communities but who may not have received national attention. Does that sound like someone you know? Click here to nominate the hero in your community today.
USCIS Public Engagement Division Introduces New Registration Process for National Stakeholder Engagements Going forward, each invitation will include a unique link to a website where registrants will enter their email address and preferences for that engagement. Public Engagement will also now maintain two subscription lists: updates from the USCIS Public Engagement Division and updates from the USCIS Intergovernmental Affairs Branch. You can now manage your subscriptions here.
USCIS Public Engagement Division: Intergovernmental Affairs Quarterly Stakeholder Engagement USCIS invites interested individuals to participate in a stakeholder teleconference. The conference will feature experts from the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program, who will provide stakeholders with program updates and information on the new SAVE Case Check service.
Date: Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 Time: 1 pm to 3 pm (Eastern). Register Today: To register, please email the USCIS Intergovernmental Affairs Branch (IGA) no later than Monday, March 18, 2013, at USCIS-IGAOutreach@dhs.gov. Reference “IGA Quarterly” in the subject line of your email, and be sure to include your full name and organization in the email body.