Literacy Network (2/9/2017)
Summary of Workshop: What the Executive Order on Immigration Means
Speakers: Attorney Raluca Vais-Ottosen and Madison Police Captain John Patterson
Tuesday, February 7, 2017, 6:00 pm
For regular updates on the Executive Order, see Vais-Ottosen's blog at (dewittross.com)
Executive order ("EO") issued 1/27 - banning immigration from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia
1. Revoked currently issued visas for 120 days, blocked refugees from Syria indefinitely
2. Procedure and information review - verify identity of individuals coming to the US
3. Suspended visas interview waiver program
a. Certain cases were waived from the interview process - no longer the case
The ban was implemented immediately, meaning some people who were en route to US via air were detained upon arrival in the US.
An Emergency motion filed by the states of Washington and Minnesota has been granted, meaning the EO is suspended temporarily. The Department of Justice is currently appealing the ruling. Therefore, the ban has been lifted for now, pending the ruling by a federal appeals court in San Francisco.
• Decision on emergency appeal should come soon
• Mexico, Central America, Venezuela and Columbia are not on the radar at this time
• Only affected visas issued abroad - does not affect pending apps for those already here
• Whatever happens in the court of appeals today will likely land in the Supreme Court (due to it being an emergency motion)
• Gov't is arguing that the states don't have the right to argue on behalf of the immigrants against the EO
• I have a friend who has been granted a visa to come from Syria in May
o Visa was likely revoked, then already reinstated. EO applies to all types of visas (tourism, etc.)
o Permanent residents have many more rights than visa holders. Visa holders can be sent back without due process; permanent residents have the right to due process (see a judge, etc.)
o Department of Homeland Security has to convince permanent residents to sign a form revoking residency, but it is NOT mandatory (some may have signed under duress), but they are waived from the EO until further notice
• Does this ban affect anyone already in this country?
o Only if they travel abroad and try to come back
• How risky is travel from other countries not listed in the EO?
o Keep your eye on how things shake out - extremely volatile, could change anytime
o "Watch the news"
• Type of visas (a U-visa)
o Qualifying victims of a crime (obstruction of justice, sexual assault, trafficking, domestic violence, armed robbery, abduction, hostage, incest, involuntary servitude, homicide, murder, etc., "felonious assault") that file a report and assist in the prosecution, the DA's office will sign off on a form that you were assisting which in turn would make that person eligible to apply for a U-visa which is:
Good for four (4) years;
Qualify for a green card application after those four (4) years
o U-visas are retroactive
If someone was a victim and helped in the prosecution a few years back, can still try to obtain a U-visa
Applies to expired visas or those that came here without one at all
• The Madison PD is NOT allowed to ever ask for your papers, passport, etc. when asking questions, etc.
• Not typical for the PD to work with the immigration department - only in cases of violent felonies and deportations associated with felonies, gang violence, violent crime, acts of terrorism. Extremely rare in all four (4) accepted cases.
• Madison PD is a resource - many officers are fluent in Arabic, Hmong, and Spanish.
• Madison PD is not in charge of the jail - if anyone is arrested, the detainee may get fingerprinted if felony charges, but not for misdemeanors. Officers do not fingerprint "in the field." Therefore, violent felonies are usually the only ones that get the attention of ICE, where the fingerprints would be cross-checked with national databases. Any other cases would not come to their attention. The booking process is performed by the Sheriff's department, and Madison PD will only assist as required - will never take the lead, and won't send offenders to ICE.
• What happens if you get pulled over?
o Will be asked name, DOB, address, and ID but typically not more than that
o IDs from other countries will suffice in lieu of a DL
Need some sort of ID to verify identity and current address, otherwise may be detained. Sometimes other paperwork can suffice (insurance card, copy of lease, something with name/address, etc.). Not the intent to fill the jail with stop sign violations.
If you do not have a valid DL - implication is a citation, but up to officer's discretion (they try to focus on hazardous driving violations, not immigration status - those are that are dangerous, cause crashes, etc.)
o Should not be asked country of origin (not SOP)
Can choose to not disclose country of origin if asked - simply state where you currently live ("Park Street," etc.)
Literacy Network will continue to share information on the EO with teachers and students. Questions can be directed directly to John and Luca.