This year has been strong for everyone. The country is on fire and Immigration is in a place of transition. There have been many small and large changes that will have a bad effect on immigrants and their families. A self-sufficiency law passed in February that added an additional form and many requirements to people who want to become residents.
Later the consulates and services in people closed causing many applications to be delayed and canceling interviews. Many cases have been paused and many people are stuck in other countries with their families, jobs, and life here.
Also, the visa center changed how it sends and accepts certain documents without announcing it to the public, causing many cases to delay and people without access to computers and other technologies to send documents.
Courts have been closed and many cases moved more than a year from their original time, the department is also pressuring neutral judges to withdraw them in order to replace them with anti-immigrant judges.
Changes to criminal law are requiring a certain guilt admission for people participating in the ARD program, a program where people can avoid being convicted of minor crimes. This program previously did not count as a conviction and in many cases helped prevent the deportation of immigrants for their first misdemeanor. New laws on this program will remove those protections.
The DACA program is in danger as the Supreme Court may close it. This may spell the end of this highly beneficial program for immigrant youth; especially now that the court is largely conservative.
I know that the Hispanic community and all the immigrant communities have been going through a lot of difficulties this year, but we have to unite and we also have to support our African American brothers. They are protesting racist policies that allow police officers to kill them without consequence, but remember that these are the same police that assist racist officers when they rape children and women in immigration prisons, when they beat immigrants, and when they kill immigrants crossing the border. We are of different colors and languages, but we are suffering under the same racism.
Abraham Cepeda, Attorney at Law