Sunday, May 13, 2012

AZMEX I3 13-5-12

AZMEX I3 13 MAY 2012

Judge affirms damages to illegal immigrants
Lawsuit accuses rancher of abuse in 2004
by Alia Beard Rau - May. 12, 2012 08:57 PM
The Republic |

Not even a 2011 Arizona law written just for him could help Roger
Barnett. The Arizona rancher this week lost another court ruling in a
years-long lawsuit over allegations he assaulted illegal immigrants
caught on his land in 2004.

"We hope this will be the final chapter in Barnett's attempts to
avoid paying his victims the judgment that is long overdue," David
Hinojosa, an attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense and
Educational Fund, said in a news release.

MALDEF filed the lawsuit on behalf of the immigrants.

In March 2004, Barnett apprehended a group of illegal immigrants on
his ranch and turned them over to law enforcement. The immigrants
alleged that Barnett held them at gunpoint and kicked one of the
women. Barnett, who has claimed he's apprehended thousands of illegal
immigrants crossing through his ranch, disputed the allegations.

Barnett was never criminally charged in the case. But MALDEF's
lawsuit garnered national attention and outraged many in the

Lawmakers in 2006 passed a measure asking voters to change the state
Constitution to forbid Arizona courts from awarding punitive damages
to illegal immigrants. Proposition 102 passed with an approval rate
of 74 percent. But lawmakers realized later that the measure was too
late to help Barnett because it wasn't retroactive.

In 2009, a federal-court jury found that Barnett didn't violate the
civil rights of the illegal immigrants but ordered him to pay $77,000
to the victims for the claims of assault and causing emotional distress.

Barnett appealed, and last year the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th
Circuit upheld the lower-court ruling. With interest, the amount came
to about $87,000.
Less than a week later, Republican lawmakers tacked an amendment onto
an unrelated bill and made Prop. 102 retroactive to Jan. 1, 2004, to
help Barnett.

But U.S. District Judge Frank Zapata ruled that the retroactive law
still didn't apply to Barnett because it covers plaintiffs' legal
status when punitive damages are awarded, not when the incident

"When plaintiffs were awarded punitive damages in February of 2009,
the four plaintiffs ... were not present in Arizona in violation of
federal immigration law," Zapata wrote in his ruling. "Three of the
plaintiffs were lawfully present in the U.S. and the fourth plaintiff
had returned to Mexico."

Read more:

Note: welcome to welfare?

Nonviolent migrants may be allowed to stay, but not to work
Deportation dropped, illegal migrant in limbo
Jeremy Redmon The Atlanta Journal-constitution | Posted: Sunday, May
13, 2012 12:00 am | Comments

The immigration case against Pedro Morales, 19, was dropped last
year. Morales was brought to the U.S. illegally by his parents when
he was 7. Though he's not being deported, he's also not authorized to
work, he says.
DALTON, Ga. - Pedro "Peter" Morales remembers the party his family
and friends threw last summer after he was freed from a detention
center and told he would not be deported to Mexico.
They presented the 19-year-old with a chocolate cake that said
"Welcome Back, Pedro." His dad grilled chicken and steaks. Morales -
who was illegally brought to the U.S. by his parents when he was 7 -
was relieved to be back home in North Georgia.
But those happy feelings have given way to anxiety. He still does not
have legal status in the U.S. And the government won't permit him to
work legally here.
His situation stems from the federal government's efforts to shrink a
massive backlog in the nation's immigration courts, totaling 306,010
cases as of last month. The government is shifting more of its focus
toward deporting violent criminals, fugitives from immigration
authorities, recent border crossers and people who have re-entered
the country illegally.
Morales' deportation case is among 2,722 the government has closed as
part of this effort so far, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
figures show.
Charles Kuck, Morales' immigration attorney, said his firm has about
20 other clients in the same predicament as Morales. He predicted
there are many more caught in similar circumstances nationwide.
"It's quite clear that there was not a lot of thought given to what
happens to these people when we exercise our discretion of 'Throw
them back in the ocean,'" said Kuck, who teaches immigration law at
the University of Georgia and is past president of the American
Immigration Lawyers Association. "It's disappointing there wasn't a
better plan, frankly."
Work permits a problem
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration
Studies, has a different view. He said halting illegal immigrants'
deportation cases and then permitting them to work here could send
the message that it is OK to enter the country illegally and stay
here without legal status.
"It is like: 'Hey, you know, now I'm legal. It's great. I'm glad ICE
arrested me,'" said Krikorian, whose Washington-based organization
advocates for tighter immigration controls. "Giving work
authorization really is much more problematic."
Federal officials said they are constrained by law concerning when
they may grant work permits. They said some people who have had their
deportation cases closed since last year have received work permits,
but they could not immediately say how many.
They also pointed out that the Obama administration has been pushing
Congress to pass the DREAM Act. That measure - which failed in
Congress in 2010 - would give illegal immigrants a path to legal
status if they came here as children, graduated from high school and
attended college or served in the military.
Effort to ease caseloads
Meanwhile, ICE officials said they are moving as quickly as they can
to review the cases pending in the nation's immigration courts. They
said they are trying to "alleviate the burden posed on already
overwhelmed immigration courts" and have identified about 16,500
cases that meet their criteria for being closed.
Closing cases through this process, according to ICE, allows the
agency "to more quickly remove those individuals who pose the biggest
threat to community security and who have most flagrantly abused our
immigration system."
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano ignited controversy in
August - the same month Morales was freed - when she announced the
case-by-case review.
The government's actions come as Georgia and several other states are
seeking to crack down on illegal immigration through their own new laws.
Among other things, those statutes seek to block illegal immigrants
from taking jobs from U.S. citizens and getting public benefits they
are not entitled to. Parts of those laws are tied up in federal court
amid legal challenges.

As of April 16, the government has reviewed 219,554 cases and
determined that about 16,500 of them meet criteria for being closed.
Of those, 2,722 have been closed. They include:
who have had a "very long-term presence" in the U.S., have an
immediate relative who is a U.S. citizen, have established
"compelling ties and made compelling contributions" to the U.S.
who came to the U.S. under the age of 16, have been in the U.S. for
more than five years, have completed high school or its equivalent
and are now pursuing or have completed higher education in the U.S.
children who have been in the U.S. for more than five years and are
either enrolled in school or have completed high school or its
who suffer from serious mental or physical conditions that would
require "significant medical or detention resources"
victims of domestic violence, human trafficking or other serious
crimes in the U.S.
who are members of the U.S. military, honorably discharged U.S.
military veterans or spouses or children of U.S. military veterans
Sources: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Justice
Department's Executive Office for Immigration Review

Read more:

No comments:

Post a Comment