The HNBA Board of Governors met in December and had a great meeting to ensure 2015 is a fabulous year for our members.
Plan ahead and mark your calendars for other HNBA career enhancement opportunities:
HNBA Director Professionalism Program – March 18, 2015 (San Antonio, TX)
HNBA Corporate Counsel Conference – March 18-21, 2015 (San Antonio, TX)
HNBA Advocacy Day on the Hill – May 6-7, 2015 (Washington, D.C.)
HNBA Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy – June 25-27, 2015 (Minneapolis, MN)
HNBA Annual Convention – Sept. 2-4, 2015 (Boston, MA)
The HNBA never stops helping you help yourself, and others.
HNBA NATIONAL PRESIDENT-ELECT ROBERT T. MALDONADO HOSTS APPRECIATION RECEPTION FOR 2016 CHICAGO ANNUAL CONVENTION PLANNING TEAM
On Saturday, December 20, 2014, HNBA Region IX President Luis Avila organized an appreciation reception for the 2016 HNBA Chicago Annual Convention Planning Team, which was hosted by HNBA National President-Elect Robert Maldonado at the InterContinental Hotel on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, where the convention will be held September 7-10, 2016. In attendance were prominent members of the Chicago Hispanic Legal Community, as well as leaders of the local HNBA Affiliates Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois and Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois.
HNBA PAST VICE PRESIDENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS LIZ LOPEZ APPOINTED EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF PUBLIC POLICY TO OFN
Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), the national network of community development financial institutions (CDFIs), has appointed prominent government relations advisor Liz Lopez to the position of Executive Vice President of Public Policy. Reporting to Nancy Santiago Negrón, OFN’s Chief External Affairs Officer, Lopez will be responsible for leading federal and state policy efforts, focusing on supporting the development and implementation of policies that benefit CDFIs. Read more here!
NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT LAW COUNCIL SEEKS APPLICANTS
The NELC Academy is open to minority attorneys with less than four years experience practicing managementside labor and employment law. The purpose of the NELC Academy is to provide advanced skills training, expose participants to NELC’s national network of experienced minority labor and employment attorneys, encourage mentoring relationships, promote NELC to attorneys who will soon be eligible for membership, and to create a pipeline for future NELC leaders. Learn more here!
ABA NOW ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE AWARDS
Consider nominating a worthy HNBA Member by clicking here!
THE PRESIDENT'S IMMIGRATION EXECUTIVE ACTION
By Professor Enid Trucios-Haynes, Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, HNBA Immigration Law Committee
On November 20, 2014, President Obama took executive action to provide temporary fixes to some of the most intransigent problems in our broken immigration system. This was a widely anticipated action, taken after the DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Erik Holder conducted a comprehensive review of the immigration system. It has been met with political and and legal challenges, including a lawsuit filed by seventeen states against the Obama administration. Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, State of Texas v. United States, No. 1:14-CV-00254 (S.D. Tex. Dec. 3, 2014). This article will explain why the executive action is lawful under both constitutional law and immigration law.
The Executive Order covered many areas in the system where reform is needed, although none of the measures adopted change the basic avenues to lawful status in the United States. Ten areas were addressed, including: (1) strengthened southern border security; (2) alignment of the DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] officers personnel structure with other federal law enforcement agencies; (3) increased U.S. citizenship access; (4) regulatory reform to assist highly skilled workers with approved immigrant petitions and modernize the visa process; (5) revised “parole” rules to assist families of U.S. armed forces members and those returning to the U.S. on advance parole; (6) expanded eligibility for noncitizens eligible for lawful for permanent residence status to pre-file paperwork in the U.S.; (7) a revised enforcement and removal policy establishing three tiers of deportation priorities with the highest priority focus on national security threats, convicted felons, gang members and unlawful entrants apprehended at the border; (8) a new cooperative program with local law enforcement to adopt the revised deportation priorities, to create greater trust between noncitizen communities and local law enforcement protection, and to eliminate the widely-criticized Secure Communities program; (9) expanded eligibility for noncitizens who entered the U.S. under the age of 16 for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals [DACA] program established in June 2012; and (10) extension of deferred action to the parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who are not within the newly-established deportation priorities.
The final three elements of executive action have generated the most controversy. Critics question whether the President has the constitutional authority to use prosecutorial discretion and establish deportation priorities that bind federal enforcement employees. They also challenge the President’s authority to provide temporary relief from deportation (deferred action) for a large group of noncitizens. Both are forms of prosecutorial discretion and are interconnected because some of the noncitizens who fit within the lowest deportation priority are eligible for deferred action which is an explicit recognition of that low priority.
Some preliminary issues must be addressed before evaluating the constitutionality of the President’s action. None of these measures permanently change the immigration status of individuals who are unlawfully present in this country. Nor does the executive action alter the avenues to lawful status. The Immigration and Nationality Act [INA] creates an extraordinarily complex system for determining who is eligible for lawful status in the U.S. either on a temporary or permanent basis. The “deferred action” merely acknowledges the low deportation priority status of some noncitizens and creates no other permanent immigration status or benefit. This deferred action status also provides employment authorization. The concept of deferred action and the accompanying employment authorization have been explicitly recognized by Congress in the INA, agency regulations, and federal judicial opinions. See, e.g., INA § 237(d)(2), 8 USC § 1227(d)(2); INA § 204(a)(1)(D)(i)(II,V), 8 USC § 1154(a)(1)(D)(i)(II,V); 8 C.F.R. § 274a.12(c)(14) (describing deferred action “an act of administrative convenience to the government which gives some cases lower priority” including employment authorization); Reno v. American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, 525 U.S. 471 (1999).
Prosecutorial discretion is a long-accepted legal practice in practically every law enforcement context, including immigration enforcement, as well as in administrative agency action. See Doris Meissner, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Commissioner, Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion 1 (Nov. 17, 2000) [hereinafter Meissner Memo]; Sam Bernsen, INS General Counsel, Legal Opinion Regarding Service Exercise of Prosecutorial Discretion (July 15, 1976). Early immigration policy documents describing prosecutorial discretion relied on the long-recognized practice in criminal law. See e.g., Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737 (1984) (denying standing to parents challenging an IRS failure to fulfill its obligation to deny tax exempt status to racially discriminatory schools and relying, in part, on constitutional separation of powers concerns to protect the executive branch’s wide-ranging discretionary authority to implement the IRS code).
The President’s constitutional authority for the executive action stems from two sources. First, the President’s authority to take care to faithfully execute the laws includes the broad discretion to interpret and implement. Both Congress and the President share plenary power over immigration law in part because of the foreign policy and sovereignty issues inherent in immigration decisions. We could expect that any judicial challenge would give Chevron deference to the President’s interpretation of the INA. Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984) (requiring deference to agency interpretations when the agency statute is silent or ambiguous on the precise issue). The statute is silent on prosecutorial discretion per se, however the under the plenary power doctrine the broad authority of the executive branch regarding deportation and removal has been recognized. The Supreme Court confirmed the broad executive discretion over when and how to prosecute immigration cases as recently as 2012 in Arizona v. U.S. The Supreme Court granted an injunction to bar enforcement in all but one section of Arizona law SB 1070 based on preemption by INA.
Second, prior presidents have relied on various INA provisions to provide deportation relief to groups of individuals. Deferred deportation relief was adopted by the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush. These prior executive actions represent a long-standing practice to which Congress has acquiesced and involve decisions in which foreign policy, sovereignty and international law issues are implicated. Any reviewing court would have to consider the “gloss on executive power” that has emerged from these and earlier examples of inherent presidential authority in the field of immigration law. Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579 (1952) (J. Frankfurther concurring); Dames & Moore v. Regan, 453 U.S. 654 (1981).
HNBA REGIONAL EVENTS
HNBA Region II hosted its Holiday Party December 10, 2014. Members of the Bar Affiliates, including the Puerto Rican Bar Association, the Dominican Bar Association, and the Long Island Hispanic Bar Association attended.
View More Photos here!
HNBA Region VIII hosted its Holiday Party and Mentoring Event December 18, 2014
HNBA Region XII hosted President Cynthia Mares during her Corporate Counsel Conference planning meetings. Ameriprise Financial, Oakstone Human Capital LLC, Padilla & Rodriguez, LLP hosted lunch for HNBA sponsors.
Region X President Andre Hewitt turned on the lights. Click here to learn more about 2014 in Region X!
The Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia Calls For a Just Response to the Child Refugee Humanitarian Crisis
In October The Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia (HBA-DC) called for our national leaders to take a measured and just approach to the humanitarian crisis that is the thousands of unaccompanied children crossing the southern border into the United States. Read more here!