Category: Law Firms

Latest DACA Decision from Texas District Court, DACA Lives!

Federal District Court Judge Andrew Hanen issued a 117 page Memorandum Opinion and Order today in regards to the State of Texas and other States attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. 18.08.31Texas Order Denying PI  Many expected the decision to call for an end to the DACA program, however Judge Hanen stated that Texas and other states essentially took too long to file the lawsuit.

Judge Hanen did cast great doubt on the future of DACA, stating that he believes the program was enacted in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and finding that the states were harmed by the program. However, given so many people relied on the program and Texas took years to file suit, he did not grant the preliminary injunction. He also issued a separate order allowing either party to appeal the case to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Hanen essentially is wanting the higher courts to issue ruling on the different legal theories so that everyone across the nation can have one unified policy. Currently the majority of District Court Judges have ruled that the DACA program must continue, however others have not. Ultimately the United States Supreme Court will decide the case after the separate cases make their way through their respective Courts of Appeals.

Immigration and Criminal Attorney Ray Ybarra Maldonado, of the Ybarra Maldonado Law Group, breaks down the Judge’s Ruling and describes what he believes will happen next with DACA.  To be updated of future videos following the Ybarra Maldonado Law Group on Facebook.

Abogado Ray quoted in NPR segment about Government failing to meet Court imposed Deadline

Abogado Ray Ybarra Maldonado was quoted in an NPR segment about the Federal Government’s lack of effort in reuniting children with their parents. The segment, titled Migrant Family Reunifications Continue As Deadline Nears, states that the deadline for the government to reunited the children is July 26.  In a Facebook Live video, Abogado Ray Ybarra Maldonado goes into further detail about the government’s lack of progress in complying with the Federal Judge’s Order.  The status report was filed by both the Government and the American Civil Liberties Union on July 19, 2018.

  • Key points: 2,551 total children are class members

In total, 2,551 children were taken from their parents and placed in a facility separate from their parents. The parents remained in immigration custody, where transferred to U.S. Marshall custody for a federal criminal charge, or were sent to state custody for a pending arrest warrant.  Most common was to take the parents to federal court to charge them with the crimes of illegal entry (8 USC 1325) or illegal reentry (8 USC 1326). After they were given a criminal conviction they were then sent back to immigration custody.

  • Only 1,606 possibly eligible, of this only 848 have been interview and cleared for reunification.

This means that just over half of those deemed eligible by ICE have actually been interviewed to be reunified. This means the government has an extremely large amount of interviews to still complete and only a very small timeframe in which to do that.

  • Potential Class Members not eligible, 91 with prohibitive criminal record or deemed ineligible

Without explanation of the criteria used, the federal government is claiming 91 people have a criminal record which would prohibit them from being a member of the class or getting their child back. The ACLU asked for the criteria but as of the filing of the memo the federal government would not disclose what types of convictions or arrests would disqualify someone from being able to get their child back into their custody.

  • 136 waived reunification

It is difficult to believe that 136 people chose not to be reunited with their children. The government likely lacks any video recording of these alleged waivers signed by individuals. Nobody knows if the waivers were attained with consent or the people were simply told to sign on the dotted line or lied to about what they were signing.

  • Total Number of reunifications 346

A very small percentage given the extremely large number of families that still need to be reunited.

Please like our Facebook Page, Ybarra Maldonado Law Group, to be able to watch any future videos on this issue.

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DACA case back at 9th Circuit

Abogado Ray Ybarra Maldonado provides an update on recent development on DACA case at 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

On March 15, 2018 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order in the pending DACA case, Regents of the University of California, et. al, v. Department of Homeland Security et. al.  As previously reported the United States Supreme Court rejected the Trump Administration’s attempt to bypass the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The order from the 9th Circuit on March 15 granted in part and denied in part a motion to expedite proceedings.  The Court granted the motion to expedite having the case placed in front of a panel, and asked the Clerk of the Court to assign to a random panel as early as May of 2018.  The Court denied ordering that a decision from this panel also be expedited, however, either party can ask the panel to expedite their decision once they know who is assigned to the case.

This means that a decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals could come as early as May or June of this year. If the decision overturns the Northern District Court of California’s Preliminary Injunction, this could mean that USCIS could stop accepting DACA renewal applications. It is unclear how USCIS would proceed given that one Judge in New York has also previously ordered USCIS continue accepting renewal applications.

Given Congress’s absolute neglect of the Dream Act, the results of the Court decisions are extremely important. Just yesterday Trump stated he was upset with Democrats for not including Dreamers and his wall in the latest budget.  Obviously this was simply a political stunt and he had no intention of shutting down the government to support Dreamers. Both major political parties need to stop using Dreamers as a political football and instead pass a clean Dream Act.

ID-theft laws may be vulnerable in court

Originally posted on azcentral:

The state identity-theft laws challenged in last week’s federal lawsuit against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and others have been challenged previously by defense attorneys in court. Those initial results, attorneys say, are promising.

The two state laws in question, “taking identity of another person or entity” and “aggravated taking identity of another person or entity,” are frequently cited as the legal backing behind Arpaio’s workplace raids.

The suit alleges that the statutes, while purporting to enforce all varieties of identity theft, are thinly veiled mechanisms used to promote a broader, anti-immigration agenda.

Arpaio defends his practices and maintains that his investigations target identity thieves regardless of their immigration status.

Since its inception in 2008, the Sheriff’s Criminal Employment Squad has arrested and booked over 780 suspects for charges related to forgery and identity theft.

The vast majority of those arrested under the ID theft laws, through Arpaio’s workplace investigations or otherwise, were convicted, according to data from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

In a sample of 2,500 cases, some of which include more than one defendant, only six defendants were acquitted after going to trial.

Most will ultimately accept a prosecutor’s deal and plead guilty, either to the charged Class 3 or Class 4 felonies or to a lesser charge, such as Class 6 felony criminal impersonation, said Ray Ybarra Maldonado, the local plaintiffs’ attorney on the lawsuit.

He said the standard sentencing agreement is 90 days in jail, a felony record and probation.

It’s a tempting offer, Ybarra Maldonado said, given that the alternative requires defendants to wait out their trials behind bars.

Under Arizona’s Proposition 100, those who are in the country illegally are not eligible for bail if they are accused of a “serious” felony, classified as a Class 4 felony or lower.

“It’s essentially a deal, because if you want to take your case to trial, you’re probably going to be sitting in Arpaio’s jail for more than 90 days,” Ybarra Maldonado said.

But felony records may create a virtually impenetrable barrier for an undocumented immigrant to obtain the legal right to live and work in the U.S.

It was for this reason that Miguel Angel Morales-Sedano, a father and husband of a U.S. citizen, decided instead to take his chances with a jury.

He was charged with identity theft and forgery after a Sept. 27, 2012, raid at United Construction Group in Glendale.

Ybarra Maldonado represented Morales-Sedano in that case and filed a motion to dismiss the charges based on pre-emption of the federal government.

“The state of Arizona has simply created a mechanism by which they can arrest, detain and prosecute undocumented individuals for ‘working illegally’ in the country,” the motion stated. “Such actions are the exclusive domain of the federal government.”

The case went to trial, and a jury found Morales-Sedano not guilty based on reasonable doubt that he was the one who provided the false documentation.

The judge’s and jury’s responses to the state’s case emboldenedYbarra Maldonado and others to take these arguments on pre-emption a step further.

Plaintiffs in the suit are grassroots human-rights organization Puente Arizona, two women arrested and convicted of felony identity theft and Reverend Susan E. Frederick-Gray, a Maricopa County taxpayer who says enforcement of these statutes is an illegal expenditure of county dollars.

Along with Arpaio, County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Maricopa County and Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Robert Halliday, are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

Q&A about the new ID-theft lawsuit

Question: What will happen if the plaintiffs are successful?

Answer: The plaintiffs are asking for a permanent injunction that would prohibit Maricopa County from further enforcing the two named ID-theft laws, and a permanent injunction prohibiting Maricopa County from using documents associated with employment verification as a basis for law-enforcement efforts.

Essentially, the state could no longer enforce the ID-theft laws commonly used in workplace raids. The suit also asks that a judge order the defendants to expunge the records of the two plaintiffs who were convicted under these laws.

Q: I am using a fictitious Social Security number for my employment. Can I still be arrested?

A: Yes. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio pledged in a recent news conference to continue to enforce the state laws against identity theft. Under the current statute, using a false Social Security number, whether it is attached to a real or a fictitious person, is a felony.

Q: I have been convicted under one of these laws. If the plaintiffs are successful, does this mean my convictions will be vacated?

A: Probably not automatically, saidRay Ybarra Maldonado, the local plaintiffs’ attorney on the lawsuit. “They would have to file some sort of motion to vacate, using our victory as a legal precedent,” he said.

Q: What if I pleaded to a lesser charge?

A: This will probably not affect those who pleaded to a lesser charge,Ybarra Maldonado said.

Q: Could Arpaio still conduct workplace raids based on forgery charges?

A: “That’s going to be up to how broad the ruling is from the district court,” Ybarra Maldonado said. In an interview, Arpaio said he would continue to enforce state forgery laws.

Q: Does this mean that I could still be arrested and charged by the federal government?

A: “Without a doubt,” Ybarra Maldonado said. “This is not a challenge for the federal government’s authority to do what Congress tells them they can do.” However, he noted that federal workplace raids are significantly less frequent and tend to go after employers, rather than the employees.

“It’s not by any means an approval of the federal government doing these raids, but it is pretty telling that what the state government does is the exact opposite of what the federal government does,” Ybarra Maldonado said.

Q: I’m currently using a fake ID to buy alcohol. Will this affect me?

A: No. “There’s a specific statute going toward those minors, and they aren’t being addressed at all in the lawsuit,” Ybarra Maldonado said.

Q: After an ID-theft conviction, I am on a priority list for removal from the country by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). If this lawsuit is successful, will this remove me from the list or place me lower on it?

A: Plaintiff’s attorneys are hopeful that this would be the case, but history hasn’t proved promising, Ybarra Maldonado said.

After the plaintiff’s recent victory in a racial-profiling lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Office, attorneys attempted to use this as an argument to curb prioritized deportations.

“ICE just kind of seemed to ignore that argument,” Ybarra Maldonado said.

ICE officials do not comment on pending litigation.