Carlos Batara – Immigration Lawyer header image

The Separation Of Mixed-Status Immigrant Families: Why Citizen Spouses Are The Key To Reform

mixed-status-immigrant-family

According to Kim Anderson, former President of American Families United, “U.S. citizens are the most neglected constituency in the immigration debate.”

Hyperbole aside, Anderson raises a critically significant issue that is grossly undervalued by many pro-immigrant advocates.

Simply stated, U.S. citizen spouses are far too minimized in immigration reform discourse. [continue reading…]

A Brave New World: Immigration Law In The Age Of Trump

immigrant-family-unity-faces-new-challenges

As the new year dawns, most of us reflect where we’re headed, individually and collectively. Internal strength and resolve are once again at a premium, if our positive thoughts and words are to be turned into actions.

Countless resolutions, based on ideal visions of ourselves in the future, are projected for the year to come.

Unfortunately, when it comes to immigration, optimism is missing in action.

The Happy New Year ended when the clock struck midnight at Times Square. [continue reading…]

Citizenship, Immigrants And Voting: Political Triad For Reform

hemet-immigrants-earn-citizenship

When I learned about the Obama plan to begin citizenship drives across the nation a few weeks ago, I had mixed feelings.

On the one hand, I wanted to cheer from the top of my lungs.

On the other, I suspected the current effort to push the merits of naturalization was driven by self-serving Democratic Party manipulation. [continue reading…]

Lessons From 1965: Why Skills-Based Reform Is Xenophobia In Disguise

Politics is a game of unintended consequences.

One needs to look no further than the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

As a San Bernardino immigration lawyer, it is not uncommon to hear immigration activists praise the virtues of the Act.

Yet, a retrospective review reveals that it was politics as usual.

Benevolence was not the foremost consideration of most in Congress. [continue reading…]

No Room For Segregation In The House Of Immigration Reform

immigrants-must-stand-united-or-fall-divided

United we stand, divided we fall.

This theme is more than the title of a popular song in the early 1970s. It is a slogan worth adoption by all immigration reform supporters, by all immigrant communities.

For many years, as a family unity attorney, I have denounced the American public for failing to acknowledge the benefits of cultural diversity which immigrants bring to this country.

My criticism does not exclude any ethnic group.

Whereas members of various cultural groups may appreciate the value of immigration reform for their cultural brethren, they largely ignore the same needs for immigrants of different hues, traditions, and origins. [continue reading…]

For Whom The Bell Tolls: The Future Of Immigration Reform

blind-mice-immigration-reform

A few days ago, as I set out for my morning exercise, I noticed a neighbor had recently purchased a nice-looking shiny used car.

It looked like it had been re-polished and a few accessories had been added. It seemed to promise a smooth ride.

Whether the engine was up to the journey was another question. The answer, of course, would be forthcoming in a few months.

When I turned the corner, my thoughts switched to immigration reform.

Nine months ago, many friends and relatives decided to buy into a politically used vehicle.

The Democratic Party. [continue reading…]

No White Flag Of Political Surrender: Immigration Reform In 2013

no-political-white-flag-of-immigration-surrender

I refuse to accept laws unfairly slanted against immigrants.

Whether I’m talking to an ICE officer to find out why they picked up a 55-year old lawful permanent resident at his home, while dressed in full combat gear as if they were arresting a well known terrorist . . . [continue reading…]

The HALT Act: Immigration Reform Under Attack

prosecutorial-discretion-ice-clowning-around

As I read news reports about the HALT Act, my thoughts raced to poor Desirée from the 1973 musical, A Little Night Music.

Repeatedly scorned by her sought-after lover, she lamented her misplaced loyalty.

Don’t you love farce?
My fault, I fear.
I thought you’d want what I want . . .
Sorry, my dear!
And where are the clowns?
Send in the clowns

Don’t bother, they’re here.

With the introduction of the HALT Act, the president is probably also wondering if it’s time to send in the clowns. [continue reading…]

The Morality Of Comprehensive Immigration Reform At A Public Crossroads

religious-imperative-compassion-for-immigrants

Being a San Bernardino immigration lawyer, I was recently asked by a local church to participate at a public forum on immigration issues.

“Are we as Christians,” asked the moderator, “called upon to love our less fortunate brothers and sisters?”

“Are we as Christians called upon to love those sitting next to us, even if they are here as undocumented immigrants?”

I liked his direct approach.

Immigration reform is not just a political and social issue.  It’s about morality. [continue reading…]

Immigration Reform Madness: 21 States Join The Arizona Bandwagon

immigration-reform-wagon-train

I don’t get it.

As an immigration lawyer in Hemet, where we just went though an excruciating debate over supporting Arizona SB 1070, I wonder why other states want to create potentially explosive social divisions among its citizens.

After expressing my views on the City Council’s actions as an immigration lawyer, Corona, Lake Elsinore, and Perris residents, many against my position, rose up to let their opinions heard.  The public display of something far less than good manners wasn’t very nice to watch.

Reaction created counter-reaction, instigating counter-counter reaction, in a never-ending cycle of insults continuing today. [continue reading…]