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.
Facts Regarding Immigration Process and Procedures After the Executive Order by POTUS
President Trump signed an executive order on 30th January that suspends admission to refugees from all countries for 120 days; restricts immigrants from some countries; and bars Syrian refugees indefinitely. The reaction to this order was swift and polarizing. Immigrants who are set to arrive on US soil in the following weeks or months are anxious and need accurate information. Here are some facts you need to know if you are set to migrate to the US soon, especially if you wish to migrate to the state of Indiana.
Who are Most Affected by These Executive Orders on Immigration?
There are several categories of people affected by this executive order. If you belong to any of these categories, you need to seek legal advice before you attempt to land on US soil.
• All refugees are denied admission for 120 days, regardless of their country of origin.
• People from Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen are banned from entering on any Visa category for 120 days as well
• People from Syria are denied admission indefinitely, regardless of their Visa category.
• Green card holders are somewhat exempt as their situation will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Lawful permanent residents who are no threat the welfare of the country won’t be subjected to restrictions. However, green card holders who travel very frequently between two countries will be subjected to greater scrutiny.
• People that hold dual citizenships involving the above mentioned countries will also be affected by the order. If you hold citizenships in Iran as well as France, for example, you will be subject to restrictions.
Who are Not Affected by the Executive Order?
The order doesn’t apply to everyone coming into US. If you belong to the groups mentioned below, you don’t need to worry about the restrictions being applied to you:
• People from any country aside from the seven mentioned above can enter US as long as they have valid Visas and aren’t refugees.
• US citizens, by birth or naturalization, aren’t affected by the restrictions and will be able to travel. Some might face closer scrutiny, but citizens will be allowed to pass.
• People who hold US citizenship along with the citizenship of another country will also be allowed to pass.
• US citizens who frequently travel back and forth between US and the seven mentioned countries will be allowed to enter, but they will bear further scrutiny if needed.
What is a Refugee?
In order to fully understand the impact of the executive order, you need to understand what refugee means in legal terms. According to American Immigration Council, refugees are people who are “fleeing persecution or are unable to return to their homeland due to life-threatening or extraordinary conditions.”
They are allowed into the US because they can’t return to their home country as there’s a credible fear of persecution. These people flee from their homeland because they fear for their life and well-being and face discrimination based on race, belonging to a social group, religion, political opinion, or national origin.
Refugees usually apply for admission from a transition country that’s close to their homeland and outside US. If they’re granted permission, they’re allowed to enter the United States for resettlement.
If you belong to this category, you can’t enter US for 120 days. Syrian refugees are denied entry indefinitely, but that might change in the future.
Immigration for People Who are Not Refugees
People from all countries aside from the seven mentioned in this article will be allowed to enter on family-based immigration, employment-based immigration, or through the diversity visa program. So if you’re from countries like UK, Ireland, France, Australia, Japan, etc, you will face no problems as long as you don’t hold dual citizenship and are a citizen of the restricted country.
Is It a Muslim Ban?
Not on paper. It’s a ban against the seven aforementioned countries but it doesn’t ban Muslims from other countries. Majority of the Muslims who come to the US originate from countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia, etc. These countries don’t face any restrictions unless the people wishing to enter are refugees.
However, one can’t ignore that most of the countries on the list are Muslim majority countries and this order has an impact on people belonging to this community. Even the minority non-Muslim community from these countries will face the same restrictions as the majority Muslim community so this ban has an impact on everyone with a refugee status or originating from those countries.
Is this Executive Order Permanent?
Unless something changes and new orders are implemented, the suspension of access to refugees is only valid for 120 days for people coming in from countries other than Syria. The suspension of admission to all Visa holders from the seven countries is also valid for 120 days. After that, you should be able to enter the United States. It’s wise to seek legal council from an expert in immigration law or research thoroughly before you finalize any plans.
Is there Any Action Taken Against the Order?
There are many professionals in the legal community who are actively working to resolve the situation. The American Civil Liberties Union or the ACLU has filed legal action in several courts. Judges in Alexandria, Virginia; New York; Boston; and Seattle have ruled that people in transit can’t be detained at airports. This ruling is limited to people who are already in transit or in US.
For now, the President’s orders are still valid and will restrict the movement of people mentioned in the order.
If you’re still uncertain about the status of your immigration, you can contact the immigration office and get more details on the matter. They will have the most up-to-date information about your status. If you’re married or closely related to people from these restricted countries, you should contact a legal expert to understand your position. It’s better for them to remain where they are instead of trying to travel to the US at this time.
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.
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.
The Legalmente Hablando Indy and Goodin Abernathy LLP attorneys successfully represented two Hispanic sisters and their children for injuries caused when a high school student driver hit them. The sisters were walking along a roadway in their apartment complex when a student ran them over. One of the sisters had a child on her shoulders and the other child was in a stroller. The driver was texting a friend and not paying attention to the roadway.
Our clients suffered serious injuries and went to the emergency room. The driver and her insurance company did not want to pay a reasonable amount for damages. The Legalmente Hablando Indy and Goodin Abernathy LLP attorneys filed a lawsuit and aggressively fought for our clients. After the insurance company understood we would not settle the case for an amount less than the damages our Mexican clients suffered, the company agreed to pay the money it owed. Thankfully our clients were patient waiting on the legal process and trusted our work. Eventually it paid off and they received settlement checks.
Many insurance companies defend motor vehicle accident claims, trying to avoid paying reasonable money for damages their clients cause. Our Latino clients depend on our experience to represent them and their immigration status does not prevent us from handling their cases.
If you, a family member or friend was injured in an accident, contact us for a free consultation. The Legalmente Hablando Indy and Goodin Abernathy LLP attorneys speak Spanish and take pride helping our Hispanic clients.
Unfortunately, domestic violence, or “intimate partner violence” is all around us. It doesn’t matter the culture – not even the gender. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/spanish/domesticviolence.html
Hispanics frequently face domestic violence and work place violence, leaving them with basic but important questions. If I am undocumented, what do I do about my spouse or partner who beats me? What do I do if a co-worker beats me up? Will the police help me? Will my employer help me? Where can I get help? How does this affect my immigration issues?
THE U-VISA – for Victims of Violent Crimes
My law firm focuses on immigration questions and walks clients through their legal options. For instance U-Visas protect victims of violent crimes. The U nonimmigrant status (U visa) is set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. Applicants must have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse due to a criminal activity in at least one of the following categories: rape, torture, trafficking, incest, domestic violence, sexual assault, abusive sexual contact, prostitution, sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, hostage situations, peonage, false imprisonment, involuntary servitude, slave trade, kidnapping, abduction, unlawful criminal restraint, blackmail, extortion, manslaughter, murder, felonious assault, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, perjury or attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above mentioned crimes.
VAWA – Violence Against Women Act
The VAWA provisions in the INA allow certain spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens and certain spouses and children of permanent residents (Green Card holders) to file a petition for themselves, without the abuser’s knowledge. This allows victims to seek both safety and independence from their abuser, who is not notified about the filing.
The State of Indiana has laws to help victims of workplace violence. So you only speak Spanish and are not familiar with the legal system, well report the problem to your employer and ask for help. A victimized employee can request a Court’s restraining order. Employers of a targeted worker who is the target of unlawful violence or credible threats of violence can apply for support from law enforcement for their workers. These orders are called “Workplace Violence Restraining Orders” (WVRO’s). There are 2 kinds of WVRO’s—a temporary restraining order (TRO) issued without a hearing that lasts a maximum of 15 days, and an injunction (an order issued after a hearing) that lasts up to 3 years.
Contact us for free information if you have questions about domestic and workplace violence. Don’t let your immigration status stop you from seeking help!