Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Feds Go After Allegedly Phony California Immigration Services Company

"Phony Immigration Agents Charged"

"Federal prosecutors charged a man and woman with bilking immigrants of more than $100,000 through their bogus California Legal Services company of Pico Rivera. Armando Garcia and Elizabeth Alcocer claimed to be immigration officers and immigration attorneys, and took money to submit fraudulent federal applications, according to the 16-count indictment.

Garcia, 58, of Tijuana, was arrested this week and charged with conspiracy, mail fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Alcocer, of Albuquerque, was arrested there on the same indictment, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

If convicted of all charges, they could face up to 127 years in prison and millions of dollars in fines. Prosecutors also want $120,000 in restitution for victims."
Read the Indictment:

Monday, June 21, 2010

International Child Custody Battle Between Biological Father and Legal Father

"Where should boy grow up?

International Custody Battle Waged in Ocala Courts"
A case featured in The Atlantic magazine is far from over.


Published: Saturday, June 19, 2010 at 9:29 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, June 19, 2010 at 9:29 p.m.

"Last March, Todd Hopson turned to a stranger with military training to help reunite him with the boy he's raised since birth.

These days, the Ocala lawyer is using more conventional means to prevent the possibility of another separation: court motions.

In October, the biological father of Andres Hopson - Jason Alvarado - filed a petition in Circuit Court here asking a judge to order the boy's return to Costa Rica, a place the child last recollects through blurry images caught through the window of a fast-moving van.

Alvarado, a dentist by trade, claims Andres was wrongfully removed from Costa Rica last year and that pursuant to The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, he must immediately be returned.

Hopson, who claims Florida recognizes his legal paternity over Andres, has tried to get this case dismissed.

That request was recently denied, keeping a case with a remarkable, complex story afloat for now, and bringing to the surface issues relating to paternity, custody, international treaties and habitual residency.

The story concerns two men living in separate countries who think each is the rightful father of a 10-year-old boy living a typical, suburban existence here in Ocala.

Andres was born at Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala on Sept. 6, 1999. His mother, Helen Zapata, met Hopson while he vacationed in Costa Rica. She was pregnant at that point with Alvarado's child.

She returned to the United States with Hopson, where they married.

Hopson raised Andres like his son, although he was not his biological father."

Read the complete article:

Early Responses to Orphaned Haitians Causes Complications in Adopting Now

"Rescued From Rubble After Earthquake, Haitian Orphaned Removed From Adoptive Parents"

"International adoption has always been a sensitive subject in Haiti, a reminder that the country is too poor to care for its own. After January's quake, the Haitian government effectively slammed the door shut on most adoptions altogether. With no foster care system and virtually no domestic adoption in Haiti, untold numbers of children orphaned by the quake... now face a lifetime inside an institution.

The crackdown on adoption came in response to two incidents. First, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell flew 53 children from a destroyed orphanage run by two Pittsburgh sisters back to the U.S., after a tense standoff with officials at the Haiti airport. Then a group of U.S. missionaries tried to take 33 Haitian children out of the country without papers, claiming they were orphans when in fact all had at least one living parent.

Infuriated, the Haitian government announced that all children leaving the country would need the signature of Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive. Since then, the government has relented somewhat, but it still allows only the adoption of children orphaned before the quake or those relinquished by their parents in the presence of a judge.

"The sad part is that because of a few people's mistakes, children that could find a good home and are waiting for a home will now have to suffer for years – and may never get a home at all," says Miriam Frederick, founder of the New Life Childrens Home orphanage."

Read the complete article:

Rights Groups Attempt to Block "Nevada Immigration Verification"

"ACLU, NAACP Unite to Fight Arizona-Like Immigration Law in Nevada"
"The ACLU of Nevada, the NAACP and several others have filed legal challenges Friday to block a Nevada assemblyman's petition that's similar to the controversial anti-immigration law in Arizona.

The ACLU and NAACP, along with a gun-owner club, created a group called "What Happens in Arizona Stops in Arizona." They want Carson City District Judge James Wilson to block the so-called "Nevada Immigration Verification" petition from reaching the 2011 legislature.

Another group, "The Nevada Open for Business Coalition," sought similar relief.

The ACLU says the legislation, proposed by Nevada Assemblyman Chad Christensen, is "deceptive and would intentionally confuse voters and should not be circulated for signatures."

"This 'show me your papers' ballot initiative proposes multiple measures that would result in state-sanctioned discrimination and racial profiling. Not only does the intent of the proposal blatantly violate America's most fundamental values of fairness and equality, the expansive scope of it intentionally confuses voters," Maggie McLetchie, an attorney with the ACLU of Nevada, said."

Read the complete article:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

US Supreme Court Rejects Deportation Ruling from Fifth Circuit

"Justices Back Immigrant in Drug Deportation Case"

"The government cannot deport a Mexican who has been living in the United States for nearly three decades based on a second minor drug offense: possession of a single anti-anxiety pill without a prescription, the Supreme Court ruled Monday.

The high court unanimously reversed the 5th Circuit's ruling that upheld the deportation of Jose Angel Carachuri-Rosendo, who came to the United States in 1983, when he was 5 years old. He is a legal permanent resident, and his wife and four children are all U.S. citizens.

"Like so many in this country, Carachuri-Rosendo has gotten into some trouble with our drug laws," Justice John Paul Stevens wrote.

In 2004 Carachuri-Rosendo received 20 days in prison for possessing less than 2 ounces of marijuana. The next year he pleaded no contest to possessing a single tablet of the anti-anxiety medication Xanax without a prescription and received 10 days in jail.

Under Texas law, Carachuri-Rosendo could have been given an enhanced sentence for the second offense, because he had been convicted of a similar crime, but the Texas prosecutor chose not to charge him as a recidivist.

However, the government argued that Carachuri-Rosendo's second offense triggered deportation, because he could have been charged with an aggravated felony under federal immigration law.

The 5th Circuit agreed, ruling that a simple drug possession offense is always a felony after the defendant has been convicted of a similar crime.

But the Supreme Court emphatically rejected the government's hypothetical approach.

"[W]e are to look to the conviction itself as our starting place, not to what might have or could have been charged," Stevens wrote.

"Carachuri-Rosendo was not actually 'convicted' of a drug possession offense committed 'after a prior conviction ... has become final,' and no subsequent development can undo that history.""
Read the Decision:

New Arizona Immigration Bill Targets Children

"Arizona bill would deny citizenship to children of illegal immigrants"
By the CNN Wires Staff
CNN's Ethan Harp contributed to this report
June 15, 2010 4:57 a.m. EDT

"A proposed Arizona law would deny birth certificates to children born in the United States to illegal immigrant parents.

The bill comes on the heels of Arizona passing the nation's toughest immigration law.

John Kavanagh, a Republican state representative from Arizona who supports the proposed law aimed at so-called "anchor babies," said that the concept does not conflict with the U.S. Constitution.

"If you go back to the original intent of the drafters ... it was never intended to bestow citizenship upon (illegal) aliens," said Kavanagh, who also supported Senate Bill 1070 -- the law that gave Arizona authorities expanded immigration enforcement powers.

Under federal law, children born in the United States are automatically granted citizenship, regardless of their parents' residency status.

Kyrsten Sinema, a Democratic state representative, strongly opposes the bill.

"Unlike (Senate Bill) 1070, it is clear this bill runs immediately afoul of the U.S. Constitution," she said.

"While I understand that folks in Arizona and across the country support S.B. 1070, they do so because we have seen no action from the federal government," said Sinema. "Unfortunately, the so-called 'anchor baby' bill does nothing to solve the real problems we are facing in Arizona."

Arizona Republicans are expected to introduce the legislation this fall."