Hot! Immigration in the News

UCLA Shuts Down Controversial Illegal Immigrant College Program

After scrutiny from a California lawmaker, the University of California is shutting down a controversial college program for illegal immigrants.

Critics of the so-called National Dream University (NDU) welcomed the decision to stop the program.

Earlier NDU began recruiting those seeking a college degree and a career in activism focused on immigration issues.  Its website, which has been taken down, promoted “an educational opportunity to those who have demonstrated leadership and commitment to the immigration and/or labor rights movements [with admission] open to everyone, regardless of their immigration status.

The program was operated by the UCLA Labor Center and the National Labor College, NDU, and would have offered credit for online courses in immigrant rights and political advocacy.

UCLA professors established NDU with no oversight from university administrators. University of California President Mark Yudof said the two research groups behind NDU did not go through the proper channels, and therefore would not be allowed to continue the program.

First Immigrants Approved for Deportation Deferral Program

The Obama administration has approved the first wave of applications from young illegal immigrants hoping to avoid deportation and get a work permit.

The Homeland Security Department is notifying a small group of people this week that they have been approved to stay in the country for two years as part of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

To be eligible for deferred deportation, applicants must have come to the U.S. before they turned 16, be 30 or younger, be high school graduates or in college, or have served in the military. The immigrants could not have a serious criminal record. Successful applicants can avoid deportation for up to two years and get a work permit.

Though the policy does not provide legal status for the immigrants is resembles the failed DREAM Act that would have provided legalization for many of the same immigrants applying for the current deferred action policy.

President Obama’s use of “executive orders” to create policies that have already been rejected by lawmakers has been criticized as unconstitutional and violating the separation of the powers clause. Moreover, the policy of providing amnesty to immigration offenders is considered by many as being discriminatory against immigrants who have followed the legal process. If a foreigner without a proper visa in Thailand is apprehended, deportation is not only a serious risk but is a likely outcome and there is no amnesty or special college classes in the Thailand Detention Center.

TRUST Act Endorsed by California Democrats

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has two and a half weeks to decide whether to sign the TRUST Act, a bill that would cut off some cooperation between law enforcement in his state and federal immigration authorities.

Twenty-two Democratic members of Congress from California, including Nancy Pelosi, sent a letter on Thursday to Brown urging him to sing the bill into law.

The TRUST Act passed the state assembly but Brown has given no indication as to whether he supports it. The bill would put limits on the impact of a key immigration enforcement program, Secure Communities, by instructing law enforcement to ignore some requests from the federal government to hold immigrants suspected of being deportable.

The program is meant to net criminals for deportation but critics say it brings in low-level and non-criminals and makes the community fearful of police. From the perspective of an American living abroad who has to comply with multiple Thai law regulation concerning immigration, the laxity of the U.S. immigration enforcement trend is difficult to understand.

Child Custody Laws Thailand
Child custody disputes between parents can arise in the course of a divorce case, or between unmarried parents.

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