Immigration lawyer & advocate. VA Office of New Americans Adv Board. Former: Candidate VA HD87, @TheVAAB, DEI Commission.
Prosperity is a human right. 🇺🇲🇵🇰
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Oct 4, 2018 • 13 tweets • 6 min read
@FAIRImmigration, founded by Dr. John Tanton, is a mouthpiece of white nationalist rhetoric. But it's more than that: it injects its foul ideology into actual policy.
One (latest) example: Temporary Protected Status, or TPS. Read what a federal judge found:
On p29 of the decision, the Court gives yet another example of Acting Secy Elaine Duke, who is supposed to make a dispassionate assessment of conditions on the ground in determining TPS eligibility, said "this conclusion [to end TPS] is the result of an America first view..."
Sep 28, 2018 • 10 tweets • 2 min read
Feeling drained after the #KavanaughHearings? I've been thinking about why. Objectively, there are far worse injustices going on even as Kavanaugh spoke.
Sure, there's the out of sight out of mind factor. Most injustice goes unreported; yesterday's hearing was not that.
But there was something distinctive about the hearing. It was a rare exposure of several different vectors of underreported injustice, concentrated into one episode.
Sep 25, 2018 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
This administration continues to target aspiring American communities, one by one. DACA revocation, TPS de-designation, changing asylum laws, the Muslim Ban...
What about Indians?... qz.com/india/1400398/…
Once again, the administration regurgitates rhetoric spewed by nativists, and with H-4 work permit revocation, they get an added "bonus" - getting to undo something Obama put in place. Yes, this is what they base their policies on.
Sep 24, 2018 • 11 tweets • 5 min read
Well this is curious. Apparently @FAIRImmigration believes I am a paid operative of "state-owned propaganda outlet" @ajplus to meddle in 2018 midterm elections.
Why? For this video I did calling FAIR out as driven by white nationalism:
More effective than any physical barrier on the southern border. Keeps people out before they can even begin their journey.
You can't fly over it or tunnel underneath it. You can't sneak around it, either. And it's much, much harder to tear down.
It's the combined bureaucracy of several different agencies that keeps people out. Physical barriers are a small slice of the pie of exclusion.
But with due process, there is sometimes a way through. Perfectly legal, not unlike carving out a nice little door for yourself.
Sep 22, 2018 • 11 tweets • 4 min read
It's Saturday, but there's no day off of this administration's oppression of aspiring Americans... especially the poor.
Most immigrants have always had to prove they're not a public charge: it's been the law for over 100 years.
But the administration now wants to greatly expand what a public charge is...meaning the types of public funds an aspiring American can lawfully use.
And also be able to deny green cards based on an officer's belief of an immigrant's likelihood at becoming a public charge.
Sep 19, 2018 • 9 tweets • 2 min read
Here's what it's like dealing with the new ICE:
Our client entered the US in August and sought asylum. We immediately informed ICE that he was represented by counsel. 3 days later, they acknowledged it by email. So far, so good.
We needed to talk to the deportation officer. We called. And called. And called. Radio silence. Meanwhile, we prepared our client for the credible fear interview - the first step in seeking asylum.
They did his interview without informing us, so no lawyer. It was denied.
Sep 19, 2018 • 11 tweets • 4 min read
Jeff Sessions is rewriting the immigration law into deportation law.
It's nothing less than an ethnic purge.
Today, amid the #Kavanaugh hearings and #MarioKart level discourse, he began another act in the purge.
What is he doing?
He will overrule a 2005 case that gives bind hearings to asylum seekers who pass a credible fear interview.
That means the majority of asylum seekers will have to fight their cases from inside a jail cell.
Because of too many asylum seekers from south of the border. But, Pompeo reminds us, this has nothing to do with how we feel about welcoming refugees. It's just about public expense.
They got you to believe national security was served by kicking people out.
They got you to be pro family but ok with putting children in cages.
They got you to hate.
They scared you.
They promised you jobs.
They promised you safety.
They planned it a long time ago. Right after immigration stopped race based quotas in 1965.
They tried population and environmental excuses. When that didn't work, they tapped into racism.
And, this being America, they succeeded. Beyond their wildest expectations.
Sep 12, 2018 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
As an immigration lawyer, I believe in due process. Access to counsel is the heart of it. Without lawyers, the immigration system becomes a deportation system.
Today I attended a press conference in San Diego with my friend @Alyssa_Milano and advocates at the @verainstitute.
Vera is announcing the #SafeFamiliesFund, a new fund to provide legal representation for immigrants facing deportation.
Deportation isn't guaranteed. The law allows many of these people the right to stay...if they get the right advice at the right time.
That's the law.
Sep 10, 2018 • 8 tweets • 3 min read
First, Jeff Sessions called us "dirty immigration lawyers." Now, he says we are like "water seeping through an earthen dam" [to get around the law.]
I just had to break this down.
Sessions is the Attorney General of the United States, but he thinks "good lawyers" doing their jobs are somehow an affront to the rule of law.
Only if you define the law as requiring deportation, Jeff. The AG of the US should know better. Much better.
Sep 9, 2018 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
The internment camps for Uyghur Muslims are the largest such mass detention in China since Mao.
One million people. It's time we stop being selective in standing up for human rights. China must not repeat the horrors of the Cultural Revolution.
The perils of authoritarianism should be painfully clear to Americans.
I have long been fascinated with China, its cultures and languages.
I also took a class with Sidney Rittenberg, who was a member of the inner circle of Communist power under Mao.
Sep 3, 2018 • 6 tweets • 1 min read
This Wed/Thu at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington, DC, there's a hate con going on: the 12th annual radio row for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
They pay for radio hosts to come to DC and interview elected officials and others.
They call it "Hold Their Feet To The Fire." Past guests include conservative commentators Michelle Malkin and Lou Dobbs, and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Paul Gosar (AZ-4), and Daryl Metcalfe (PA-12).
Sep 1, 2018 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
Title 8, US Code Sec. 1503 allows people who are denied a right or privelege of citizenship by a government agency to sue for a declaration of nationality.
I'm just putting this out there as the Trump administration begins its attack on native born citizens.
Does this mean born citizens (like me) are in danger of losong citizenship? No. But losing citizenship and refusing to recognize citizenship are two different things. The latter is much easier to do.
So far, it's Latinos born near the border delivered by midwives.
Read his own words:
To recap: This is a man who was obsessed with ideas about racial purity and eugenics. His ideas informed his views on immigration. Those organizations are currently in the White House's ear.
I ran into a gentleman coming back from San Diego who asked me where I was coming from. I told him I had been in Tijuana, Mexico helping people apply for asylum.
"Good for you!" he exclaimed, then added, "It must be hard to know if they're telling the truth."
How do we ever know whether someone is telling the truth? As client-serving lawyers, we have to ask ourselves this every day. We are practiced at looking at the facts, and poking holes to see how well the story stands up.
But this is what I wanted to tell the gentleman:
Aug 13, 2018 • 7 tweets • 2 min read
Tales from the border, Day 2
I went back to the shelter today to meet with women seeking asylum. Today was more of the same: stories of mass extortion, police inability or corruption, and desperate despair.
Today I focused on empowerment. Because telling stories is empowering.
I closed each consult with "su historia es su poder"-your story is your power. I wanted these women to own their stories.
But I have to be honest. I felt the enormity of the task. So much work to kind of help one person.
It's easy to feel despair. Even easier to lose your mind.