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November 2011 Archives

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Potential immigration law changes for LGBT community

District of Columbia immigrants who are members of the LGBT community saw some comfort this month in light of some potential changes to immigration legislation. No specific rules pertaining to immigration law as it affects the LGBT community have yet been established, which makes many same-sex binational couples very vulnerable. A new federal working group responsible for deportation reviews has recently added an LGBT liaison to the team who will be responsible for overseeing cases that involve gay binational couples.

Deportation risk from police interaction reduced in D.C.

Mayor Vincent Gray has ordered police in the District of Columbia not to ask individuals about their immigration status in the process of routine questioning or arrests. The change, which is in stark contrast to measures adopted by Arizona and other states, should help enable residents of the district to speak to the police without fear of deportation. The goal is to make the district's large immigrant community feel safer cooperating with law enforcement, and therefore to help reduce crime.

Rights groups vow to fight deportation efforts of DREAM act youth

According to the Obama administration, illegal immigrants who pose no threat to the United States or had not broken any laws would not be detained and deported. But real life is showing that this new Washington policy is not working. At least it is not working for one 25-year-old man who is now facing immigration court and possible deportation.

Grant money to help with citizenship for D.C. permanent residents

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that more than $9 million in grant funds will be made available to 42 organizations from 27 states and the District of Columbia. The money is earmarked for citizenship preparation programs for permanent residents in the designated communities across the country. At a time when immigration doctrine is under fire for what many people perceive to be a broken system that is often unevenly applied, it is gratifying to see that money is being spent to help individuals and families prepare for civic integration and citizenship among permanent residents.

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