Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and election has been one of the most divisive and contentious in recent memory. Ever since he took office, there have been questions and controversies popping up left and right. People have questioned the legitimacy of this election, speculated about his possible ties with Russia and Putin, and expressed dismay over this very active and noticeably unchecked presence on social media.
Since he became President, he has signed an Executive Order to ban refugees and immigrants; promised to build a wall between the US and Mexico; started measures to repeal Obamacare without proposing a solid plan for replacement; allowed coal mining companies to dump pollutants in streams; and has taken several other controversial steps. Needless to say, there are many people who want him out of office and talk of the possibility of an impeachment of President Trump.
What Is Impeachment?
Impeachment is a power granted to the Congress by the constitution to essentially put certain elected officials on trial. If the officials are proven guilty in this trial, they can be removed from the office and therefore impeached. The process involves both the legislative arm of the government while the executive branch isn’t involved.
The legislative body decides whether there are any grounds for impeachment before they hold a formal trial. This trial decides whether it can convict the official if they’re found guilty. This brings us to our next point:
On What Grounds Can A President Be Impeached?
You can’t just impeach the President because you dislike him or disagree with his political stance. In fact, the judicial department won’t even investigate the President until they have very serious allegations and enough proof to warrant an investigation. The grounds for impeachment are laid out in the constitution in Article II, Section 4:
“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
As you can see, this statement is quite vague and doesn’t provide a clear definition of what can get the officials impeached. The House of Representatives decides what offences can fit that definition and that is very subjective. According to the former President Gerald Ford, the grounds for impeachment can be anything that the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given point of time or history. The grounds for impeachment today can be different from what they were 50 years ago. It’s generally understood that an official can be impeached if they:
• Use their Presidential power to profit or for personal gain.
• Exceed the powers of their Office as laid down by the Constitution.
• And engage in behavior completely unbecoming of their proper function in office.
It’s very difficult to find actions that can fit these categories of offences. For example, if Trump actually arrests someone and throws them in jail for being a political opponent or uses his influence as President to earn millions under the table, there might be grounds of impeachment.
What is the Process of Impeachment?
The impeachment proposal must go through a long process to be successful. The law is confusing and there are many safeguards in place to ensure the President can’t be impeached without due cause. Here’s a brief description of the process:
• The impeachment is first considered by the House Judiciary Committee. They will determine if there’s any cause of impeachment.
• If they find cause, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee will initiate a formal inquiry into the issue of impeachment.
• After the inquiry is complete, the Committee will inform the Full House. They will explain they find impeachment warranted and that will trigger a debate in the Full House.
• The Full House will vote on every Article of Impeachment. If even one of the Articles of Impeachment is approved by a simple majority vote of the Full House, the President is considered informally impeached.
• The trial will then proceed to the senate. This is where they convict the President and finalize the impeachment.
• The President’s interests will be handled by his lawyers like in any court case. Some members of the House will be prosecutors. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will preside and the entire Senate will be the jury.
• The entire senate will debate and determine if the impeachment is valid. If 2/3 agree, the President will be removed from office.
DAPA & DACA on Hold
Unfortunately, an appellate court decided this week to keep the DAPA program and DACA expansion on hold while the case moves forward in court. So what does that mean for Latino immigrants and people from other parts of the world seeking immigration relief here in Indiana? Well, the decision wasn’t a surprise for advocates who were following the case closely– and the good news is the Obama administration can still appeal the ruling. So there is hope the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn the lower court.
We know the Obama administration wants to help immigrants – that’s why the new immigration opportunities were proposed. And there is still time left before a new President takes office. We also know the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled favorably for immigrants in other cases when the States tried to regulate or enforce immigration law—such as the case of Arizona v. US (2012) where the Supreme Court decided that Arizona couldn’t enforce much of their controversial “papers-please” law, SB1070. Many legal experts agree that the Supreme Court may open the program.
Also, news outlets are reporting that some members of Congress are proposing new immigration legislation in light of the court’s decision. So the immigration attorneys at Goodin Abernathy LLP are planning for the appeal and any new proposals.
For now it is important that everyone understands that this decision doesn’t affect other immigration programs, if you qualify for original DACA, for a U-visa, or a family petition you can still undertake these processes. Additionally, it is important to understand that parts of the executive action announced by the president a year ago are now in force (like the new deportation priorities) or in process (like the expansion of the provisional waiver).
What should you do if you are waiting on relief?
The advice hasn’t changed—get your documents in order to be prepared for any kind of new immigration relief. What kinds of documents? While we don’t know for sure what the requirements of any new relief would be exactly there are some documents which are likely to be part of the process, such as identification documents (birth certificates, passports, or other national IDs), documents which show that you have been living in the US (like bills, tax returns, bank statements, medical records, leases, or other papers), and documents which show your ties to the US (such as US citizen children’s birth certificates). Also, if you have ever been arrested or had to go to court you should try to get certified copies of those court or arrest records.
While we can’t predict the future or what will happen with politics, the immigration lawyers of Goodin Abernathy remain dedicated to keeping the Spanish-speaking community updated with the most recent information about any new immigration reform or benefits. If you have questions don’t hesitate to call—317-574-3090.
Volunteers with NOPAL Cultural promoting their Dia de los Muertos event last weekend at the Indy 11 game.
Our good friends at NOPAL Cultural have a special celebration of Day of the Dead planned for this Saturday, October 31, 2015 from 11am to 5pm at the Eiteljorg Museum in downtown Indianapolis. The event will highlight the exhibition of ofrendas and altares made by local artists and civic groups to honor their loved ones. There will be special musical performances, art projects, a marketplace and a Catrina parade. The event is free and open to the public. You can find out more at the event page on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/events/770875693040591/ We hope to see you there!
How does your family remember your loved ones? How do you celebrate Day of the Dead? Let us know in the comments!
Recently Donald Trump has been in the news for his negative comments about immigrants and in particular Mexican immigrants. Trumps comments, while upsetting to many in the community are only words–unfortunately police are investigating whether someone may have resorted to violence based on their anti-immigrant or anti-Latino bias.
Fox59 reported that this weekend a young man was shot on the Northwest side of Indianapolis after leaving the Una Parada grocery store. According to reports the shooter shouted an anti-Hispanic slur. Also there was another shooting at a Tortas restaurant involving a similar vehicle and bullet caliber. Finally, a Latino-owned business was robbed at gunpoint in the same area. Check out the video from Fox59 here: http://fox59.com/2015/09/07/suspects-who-shot-14-year-old-boy-while-walking-with-mother-allegedly-yelled-racial-slur/ Police are investigating a possible connection and investigating whether the crimes were motivated by an anti-Latino or anti-immigrant bias.
Unfortunately anti-Latino hate crimes have been increasing in recent years. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/20/hate-crime-victimization-statistics-show-rise-in-anti-hispanic-crime.html Indiana is one of the few states that doesn’t have a specific hate crimes law—although there have been proposals to change that in the state legislature as recently as this year. http://www.indianapolisrecorder.com/news/article_d06bc77c-a7d3-11e4-8b27-1fa8df8c1d84.html However, this doesn’t mean that the person who fired those shots this weekend will be off the hook—police and prosecutors can still investigate and prosecute the criminal actions of a perpetrator without a special law to address the hateful motivation.
Victims of violent hate crimes who have cooperated with law enforcement in spite of being undocumented may be able to benefit from the U-visa—like these hate crime victims in San Francisco http://www.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2011/03/17/illegal-immigrants-more-hate-crime-victims-could-get-visas If you or someone you know has been the victim of a hate crime or another serious crime and is interested in evaluating the possibility of the U-visa, contact our office today—317-843-2606.
The ex-Subway spokesman, Jared Fogle, is reportedly pleading guilty to child pornography and having sex with minors. Fogle, an Indiana resident, is said to have conducted these perverted acts for years. A reporter recently told her story of taping conversations to CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/21/us/subway-jared-fogle-informant-child-pornography-allegations/
Sexual predators using human trafficking, many times for illegal sex, is a national problem that even Indiana faces. http://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/2963.htm Human trafficking is also associated with immigration problems. http://www.ice.gov/human-trafficking
Many times, victims are caught in the trafficking system through “coyotes,” drug smuggling and gangs. http://www.ice.gov/news/releases/leader-south-texas-human-smuggling-organization-2-others-sentenced-federal-prison#wcm-survey-target-id
The Legalmente Hablando Indy and Goodin Abernathy LLP Spanish speaking attorneys find solutions to immigration problems. Many of our clients are victims of criminal activity and domestic violence. Immigration laws share an interest in protecting the community by offering U-Visas to keep criminals, like sex predators, off our streets. The law also gives special protection to victims of trafficking through the T-Visa program.
If you have immigration questions, call the Legalmente Hablando Indy and Goodin Abernathy attorneys for a free consultation. We speak Spanish and enjoy evaluating immigration opportunities for our Hispanic clients.
Indiana’s Hispanic population around Fort Wayne and Elkhart continues growing. Information describing the population growth is shown in this article about Fort Wayne and this one about Elkhart. Many of these Spanish speaking residents face immigration and general legal issues. The Goodin Abernathy LLP attorneys are experienced and take pride helping their Latino clients.
The attorneys at Goodin Abernathy LLP frequently visit the Fort Wayne and Elkhart, IN areas to meet with Latino clients. Our experience shows many Hispanic clients qualify for immigration services including visas, work permits, residency and citizenship. Since Immigration law is federal, we are also able to help clients living nearby in Illinois and Michigan and Ohio. Our Spanish speaking attorneys consult with clients by telephone and in meeting with them in person to evaluate their best immigration options.
Frequently our clients throughout Fort Wayne, Auburn and Elkhart qualify for DACA, U Visas, TPS, naturalization, legal permanent residency and deportation protection. Many of these clients have had contact with the police and law enforcement agencies and need their criminal court history. But the Fort Wayne police and Sheriff’s department make it difficult for non-citizens to obtain their records. We regularly send requests and work to collect the reports our clients need. Our attorneys explain the fingerprinting process and prepare clients for their immigration interviews. We translate documents and walk our clients through the process, start to finish.
The Spanish speaking attorneys at Goodin Abernathy LLP provide individual and focused attention to their immigration clients. Visit our Spanish web site at http://www.legalmentehablandoindy.com.
Use our mobile phone site to immediately connect and speak with one of our attorneys.
Attorneys Browne and Mahern are connected to the Hispanic community by family, friends and their community work. Attorney Browne’s mother is Mexican and Mahern’s husband is Mexican. They speak Spanish and care about their clients. Our Legalmente Hablando Indy attorneys provide clear explanations and arrange affordable payment programs. If you do not currently qualify for an immigration opportunity, they will tell you – but they will also tell you how to plan your future and what to look for as the immigration laws change.