Archive for the ‘Immigration, General’ Category.

Beyond Artesia: Without a Choice in Karnes Detention Center

I attended the first Kshutterstock_195505013now-Your-Rights (KYR) presentation as a volunteer lawyer at the Karnes Detention Center on Friday.  The KYR was offered by American Gateways in Austin.  The organization has stepped up to offer weekly presentations, but does not have funding to do more.  Just like Artesia, there is an astounding lack of due process and an emergency need for volunteers.

The facility reminds me of the T. Don Hutto center post-litigation.  The Hutto with murals on the wall and new mulch on the plant beds outside.  But they’re not fooling the prisoners.  It’s still jail.

The presentation was offered in the lunch room with all the kids present.  Needless to say, it was quite loud and chaotic.  Because the facility has only been housing women and children for less than two weeks, everyone is in the very early stages of the asylum process.  Of the over 100 women at the presentation, only five ha
d passed their Credible Fear Interviews (CFIs) and many had failed, even those with clear eligibility for asylum.   I heard several reports of asylum officers interrupting applicants.  One said her asylum officer told her she “doesn’t get to just say what she wants to say.”  No one had seen an immigration judge or been issued a bond.

During our one-on-one consults, the women reported being held in the infamous hieleras (freezers) used by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for up to a week, and sheer relief to be in a place that was warm with access to edible food.  And yet, the kids were all sick and coughing, either from the hieleras or confinement at Karnes.  Most moms wanted to have their kids released to family members in the U.S. rather than be subject to the expedited removal process with mom.  I can’t imagine that awful choice, our modern day Sophie’s Choice, where a mother would rather lose her children to possible safety than keep them close but subject to danger.  They don’t even get that choice though, because even though children are not supposed to be placed in expedited removal, that’s exactly what’s happening.

There is major need right now for representation in the CFIs and the appeals of CFI denials.  American Gateways needs funding to continue their work.  And we need to be loud and outspoken against family detention.  It is absolutely barbaric to detain children.

Written by Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch, AILA Member and volunteer at Karnes

Leaving Artesia

Artesia1Only a few members of our Oregon chapter are able to stay on longer in Artesia at this time. I’m not one of them, and I’m feeling really guilty about leaving. I think it is amazing that our chapter has rallied behind the effort in Artesia and that people are making personal donations to support this cause. One of the hardest parts about being in Artesia (and there are many) is not being able to tell the women we worked with this past week whether anyone would be there to help them tomorrow. If there is additional funding available beyond what is needed to cover the travel costs of the members of team Oregon who are able to stay now, I hope the chapter would consider starting a fund to support sending a second team down the line.

The lack of justice, due process, and the gross infringement on basic human rights at Artesia is truly staggering. We need to keep fighting for these women and children long term. We need to send our members here to see and experience what is happening firsthand, so that they can shed light on this very dark place. I have no doubt that our own government is detaining these women and children–refugees–at Artesia for the sole purpose of deporting them as quickly as possible and discouraging others from coming. These are the most vulnerable people in the world, and our government is using them to send the message that America’s southern border is closed. As advocates, we can’t sit by and allow this voice of hate to be the loudest.

I am not the same person leaving Artesia as I was when I came. I thought after spending a year with the Florence Project and working with detainees every day at the Eloy Detention Center that I had a strong stomach, that I knew just how messed up our immigration system was. Those experiences were nothing compared to one week here in Artesia. I have been gutted by what I have seen here, and I am still trying to process this experience and find the best way to share it.

For now, I just want to share one image that still haunts me. I had my first bond hearing here. I knew going in that the only bond granted so far from Artesia was $25,000. So I was fortunate to be able to watch Philip Smith in a bond hearing just before mine. His hearing took over an hour. During that hearing, they never discussed the Respondent or her child. Instead, they spent that time discussing whether ALL of these women in Artesia should be categorically denied bond because they are a threat to national security. And I watched the Respondent’s three-year-old son swing his little feet back and forth, so far from touching the ground, and then spin his chair around in boredom.  Because he’s three and that’s what children do.

Thank you to everyone who has been or will be part of the effort to stop this. Artesia, I will be back.

Written by Eileen Sterlock, AILA member, Oregon Chapter

A Volunteer’s Experience at Artesia

Artesia1I spent last week at the Artesia “family detention” center, a 4-hour drive from both Albuquerque and El Paso.  We had a group of roughly ten volunteers (attorneys, translators, and administrative staff) trying to stop the rapid deportations and see that the women and their children get some modicum of due process.  This was the first week there has been a full time volunteer attorney presence on site during the month it has been open.

The first impression you get when you walk into the “law library” (a FEMA trailer with one computer for the ‘residents’ to use, one printer, one copier that was out of ink and NO books) is that all the children are sick, with coughs at minimum.  They are dehydrated and listless.  They are cold – there were two mornings where the temperature was around 60, and there were no jackets or blankets, so mothers and kids walked around with towels wrapped around their shoulders for warmth.  Nearly all of them have valid claims for asylum – the majority based on domestic violence or gang issues.  An unfortunate number were already deported without the opportunity to even consult with an attorney.  Some mothers are giving up and asking to be deported because their kids are so sick.

Our team prioritized preparing women for credible fear interviews, representing them at CF reviews before the IJs (who are on video from Arlington), and requesting bond.  As of today’s date, we are not aware of anyone actually being released on bond, though attorney Olsi Vrapi just sent an email to say that IJ Owens set a bond at $25,000(!).  ICE is filing a boilerplate 131-page exhibit that claims all these families are a security risk and thus should be continued in custody.  And of course, ICE’s policy memos on parole after positive CFIs are being completely disregarded.

Around 200 women (the entire capacity of the location is 600, including children) have requested a consultation with a pro bono attorney.  The project is unable to keep up with demand, and trying to figure out ways to best utilize limited resources.  In some cases where there has been an obvious error by the asylum office, we were successful in getting a new CFI.  None of the three organizations on the free legal services list provides direct representation, and only one, out of El Paso, is available to come on site and do Know Your Rights presentations.

After the IJs deny (or set unreasonably high) bond, the women are being given 3-4 weeks to prepare for individual hearings.  They are expected to prepare the form I-589 (which is only in English, and many of the women have no or very little education) on the one computer in the “law library” to present their case.  CBP interviews are being used to impeach the women’s credibility, though many report that they did state a fear of returning to their home country but CBP refused to believe them.  Or, CBP asks whether they intend to work in the U.S., and once they say yes, CBP claims no stated fear of return.

In sum, the reality on the ground feels like the worst of all the border legislation that was proposed and failed actually passed – people are being herded through the system en masse, with no genuine regard to due process whatsoever.  Why bother to change the law when Washington can accomplish the same goals by impeding people’s access to attorneys and to release from custody, as well as rush them to a final hearing where an application written in a language they don’t understand is their only lifeline?

Having said all that, I still think there is a moral imperative to making the trip and your work can make a difference.  These women need to know there are at least some people in the U.S. standing up for them.

Regarding  budget, my expenses were:  airfare $900 (b/c I flew on short notice to ABQ, a flight to Roswell w/a 2 week lead is $550); $400 to rent a car for 6 days, plus 6 nights in hotel at $170/night (LaQuinta in Artesia) was $1020.00.  So, if you fly to Roswell, you can do a week for around $2,000; plus food if you have time to eat.

Written by Kim Hunter, AILA member, Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter

What Do Starfish and Artesia, NM Have in Common?

StarfishArtesia is a tiny town in Southeastern New Mexico that has been thrown into the national spotlight because the federal training center located there has been turned into a make-shift detention center for women and children fleeing violence in Central America.  It’s dry, it’s dusty, it’s hot, and it’s nowhere near an ocean.  So, what could Artesia, NM possibly have in common with starfish?

Several years ago, AILA Colorado presented a Lifetime Achievement award to Betsy Bedient, an AILA Colorado member, who in addition to battling the USCIS for years, had just won her second battle with breast cancer.  During her acceptance speech, Betsy told a story about saving starfish, which is her mantra for her work as an immigration attorney.  She described being on a beach where a number of starfish had been stranded and the frantic efforts one person on the beach made to return the starfish to the water as soon as possible.  In the story, the person is criticized for a futile effort that wouldn’t make any difference.  The person responded, as she threw one back, that she made a difference to that one.  Betsy said that in her practice she couldn’t save them all, but she saved as many as she could and her work made a difference to those that she could help.  Our clients and the people we represent are like starfish.  We can’t save them all, but we can save them one at a time.  Saving starfish has become AILA Colorado’s motto.

And this brings us back to Artesia, NM.  The women and children stranded in Artesia are like the starfish on the beach.  Immigration attorneys from around the country are dropping everything, abandoning their practices, their families, and racing to Artesia, NM to frantically work together to protect these women’s and children’s due process rights.  It is hard work.  It is frustrating.  It is heartbreaking.  Yet, these attorneys are making the impossible possible – they are saving starfish!  And what’s even more incredible is that what’s happening in Artesia is starting to happen everywhere.  Immigration attorneys are volunteering around the nation, wherever they are needed, to help these women and children.   As a witness to these valiant efforts, I feel humbled, I feel hopeful, and I know that our efforts are not in vain.

Written By Lisa Helen York, member of AILA’s Board of Governors

The Heartbreak of Artesia

shutterstock_151907147Driving home from a week in Artesia, New Mexico to Glenwood Springs, Colorado and all the emotions start overwhelming me. I think because the need was so constant and so immediate while I was there with the families and undaunted volunteers I never had time to stop and acknowledge the emotional side to everything. But as I drive, looking at the dramatic desert scenery, I can’t keep from crying for the women and children who will never get to see what I am seeing out my car window or feel the safety and protection I feel from harm. Talking with them, having personal interactions, touching them, hugging them, playing with the children made them feel human. The children are sweet and smart and funny – All of them hungry and thirsty and scared. I could see their appreciation for our work in their eyes and tears.  However, they face a constant barrage of harshness – harsh voices from officers, harsh living conditions, harsh weather, harsh medical care, etc. These women and children are desperate. They left unfathomable atrocities and suffering for America, for a chance of something else – something good. Yet while here in America, they are treated like farm animals to be dealt with and put in order, without care for their feelings. There is no humanity from the government. We can tell them about their rights to counsel and help them tell their story and help them be recognized as human beings with rights and dreams and fears. I wish I could have done more while I was there. This experience has forever changed me. My young children want to know the names of kids I met and why they can’t play with certain toys. They want to know where the mothers and children sleep and what they eat. They want to know why they would have to go back to a place where they will be hurt. They cry too, and my answers are not justifiable for them. They cannot understand why this would happen. I will return because the work is not over.

Written by Jennifer Smith, AILA member, Colorado Chapter

Artesia, Day Two (and a half)

laura lichter artesiaHas it really only been two days? I guess technically, it’s three since I’m writing this at 1:30am. I have another long day ahead, but it’s important to get this out and, you know, you can sleep when you’re dead.

I feel like I’ve been here for weeks. The intensity of this experience has everyone in its grip. No one is getting much sleep:  volunteers get to the facility at 7:00am because Credible Fear Interviews (CFIs) start at 7:30am. CFIs are held all day long and into the evening. We understand the Asylum Office is trying to get its officers to call it quits by 7pm, but that’s not always happening. Just doing the math is daunting:  five asylum officers, twelve hours of interviews a day, seven days a week. It would take 1000 hours of attorney time to prepare these cases and we don’t have anywhere near that kind of time.

We stagger back to our dear “War Room” at the end of the day to celebrate our victories and commiserate when we lose. We trade stories and indignation over what new bullsh_ _  surfaced during the day and brainstorm how to make the process a little less miserable and a little more fair. We strategize on how to get the detainees the help they need and the due process they deserve. The pizza tastes great after a day when our only nutrition has been a couple of protein bars because we’re too slammed to eat—and too concerned about wasting time to leave the facility. Beer and wine have therapeutic benefits.

Yesterday we said goodbye to the Nevada contingent—maybe they’ve made the long drive home by now. We also lost a few Colorado AILA stalwarts. The volunteer from New York is taking off at 6:00am tomorrow. We’re down to less than half the volunteers we had at the beginning of the week, and spend hours trying to prioritize and triage cases.

Today, a care package came from AILA National. Amid the much appreciated office supplies were a couple of special items:  I’d asked if our Conferences people could send us some logo name tags and lanyards—and today we proudly wore our new “AILA Pro Bono Legal Help” badges. People recognize AILA and what we’re doing. They know we respect them, they tell us we give them hope. There is something so powerful in hearing, “que Dios te bendiga,” God bless you.

AILA also sent us a FlipCam, which I’ve been using to interview our AILA volunteers. I was able to capture some pretty inspiring and raw footage—not a single person (not even the camera operator) was able to recount their experience with dry eyes. You have to watch once AILA posts the edited footage.

Tomorrow—or actually, later this morning, I have a review of an CFI denial in front of an immigration judge that thinks counsel in these proceedings should be about as active as a potted plant. Wish me luck—should be just about the most fun I‘ve had all week.

Written by Laura Lichter, AILA Past President

University of Houston Law Center Helps UAC Immigrants Coming to Houston

Front of UH Law CenterThe University of Houston Law Center is spearheading efforts to help UACs beginning immediately and continuing into the next few months. Our Law Center’s clinical program, specifically the immigration and civil clinics, are engaging in a number of projects designed to address the needs of UACs who will be coming to the Houston area. First, UH law students will be conducting intakes relating to potential UAC issues under the direct supervision of the clinical professors. Civil clinic students will assist with all family law aspects of special immigrant juvenile cases. Students will participate in conducting LOPs (Legal Orientation Programs) in the local Immigration Court here in Houston to groups of UACs. These programs provide children with general information about their potential claims and the immigration court process. We are currently working with the Youth Empowerment Alliance, a University-wide student organization that helps immigrant children —doing a clothing/toy drive for items to be sent to detained UACs.

In addition, AILA has tasked Prof. Janet Beck, one of our supervising attorneys and local attorney and AILA member Raed Gonzalez with leading the AILA UAC Houston Taskforce. I am serving as the committee chair for the CLE Committee. To that end, we are currently planning a number of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programs on UAC issues in conjunction with AILA, the Houston Bar Association, pro bono organizations, members of the private bar and the two other law schools in Houston, South Texas College of Law and Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law. The first of these CLE programs, co-sponsored by the Harris County Attorney’s Office and the three local law schools, will be held Thursday, July 31st at the Houston Community College campus.  I will speak on asylum claims for UACs and Prof. Beck will speak about the AILA UAC Houston Taskforce.

In addition to the July 31 CLE, there are further CLE’s planned, about one per month in the coming months. The CLE committee has announced the following further events: August 27, Aimee Maldonado will speak at Central Market-Houston; August 29, South Texas College of Law will host a CLE on all aspects of relief for UACs, including panels on Asylum, U’s, T’s, and SIJ cases; on October 3, UH Law Center will be hosting the annual Joseph A. Vail Asylum workshop (this year we will focus on UAC asylum in the morning and general asylum issues during afternoon sessions); on November 3, Catholic Charities-Cabrini Center will be hosting a half day CLE covering topics relating to UACs.

We are honored to be a part of these efforts at the University of Houston Law Center.  Due to the enormity of this humanitarian crisis, we have to all work together to help these kids in the coming months.

Written by Geoffrey A. Hoffman, 2014 Elmer Fried Excellence in Teaching Award Winner

Day One in Artesia: Notes from the Front Lines

Artesia

We drove from Denver to Artesia yesterday, a small town in central New Mexico, about three hours from anywhere.  It’s about a nine hour drive down from the last high passes of southern Colorado, through the low scrub of northern New Mexico into the high barren desert.  For hundreds of miles, the horizon was punctuated by nothing but long, low mesas, and thunderheads and storm squalls in the distance.

It’s a stark, beautiful landscape, which got drier and more barren the closer we got to our destination. Until recently, Artesia was probably best known as home of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC).  In June, Artesia became home to over 600 Central American women and children, housed in portable units on the FLETC campus.  It’s supposed to be a place to house migrants in a “residential” setting while their cases are reviewed for potential claims.  In reality, the facility feels more like an internment camp designed to be a deportation mill.

First, when you create a detention center in the middle of nowhere, it’s obvious that you’re going to run in to problems.  Staffing, housing, visitation protocols, etc… are immediate concerns and only increase the daily misery.  People are sick–the mothers we meet all tell us their children either refuse to eat or have constant diarrhea.  They don’t have proper clothing against the air conditioning and are constantly cold.  Detainees visit us, covered with small hand towels to keep themselves warm.  We have donations stacked 8 feet high nearby, but ICE won’t let us bring in blankets and other donations.

Add on trying to rush women and children through a process that’s stacked against them – a problem of the government’s own making.  Volunteer pro bono attorneys can’t get names before initial case reviews take place.  More often than not, these women—with their children in tow—walk into one of the most complicated areas of immigration law unprepared, unrepresented, unadvised and have to plead for their lives.

Morale at the detention facility is low, tempers are short—it seems like no one wants to be here—not the “residents,” nor the ICE guards or the USCIS asylum officers.   AILA attorneys are screening, volunteering direct representation and working nearly around the clock to handle the volume and the speed of the cases.  Nearly a half dozen asylum officers are working extended shifts.  Some are good, some are not.  The best of them are courteous and clearly are trying to find out if there is a legal claim.  The worst are short tempered, impatient, biased and rude.

There is no on site Legal Orientation Program (LOP) provider.  Only after several weeks of outcry was funding obtained to allow an El Paso non-profit, DRMS, to come to the facility twice a week, but only to do Know Your Rights presentations, not direct representation.  DRMS can only do presentations two days a week:  if you miss the Thursday/Friday sessions and you didn’t get lucky enough to be screened by a volunteer lawyer, you walk into a legal minefield, defenseless.

Many of the reviewed cases have been found to have a “credible fear” of return, but ICE is refusing to release these bona fide refugees.  Now the government is arguing that their continued detention is necessary to make sure they are not national security threats and to deter other (bona fide) asylum seekers from asking for the protections we are obligated to provide under our own immigration laws.  Not only that, but they are arguing that these refugees are a flight risk, despite asylum seekers having a 93% appearance rate, according to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS).  Unbelievable.

Written by Laura Lichter, AILA Past President

America’s Leaders Are Failing the Children

shutterstock_85214245Our country is facing one of its greatest moral challenges in years: how will we treat the migrant children fleeing violence in Central America and seeking refuge within our borders? I know how I want us to treat them. Fairly, humanely, and within the parameters of the anti-trafficking law passed by bipartisan consensus in 2008 and signed by then-President George W. Bush.

Under the TVPRA of 2008, a child apprehended by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) undergoes initial processing and screening to see if he or she is an unaccompanied child (UAC) from a non-contiguous country, such as El Salvador, Honduras, or Guatemala.  CBP must notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and transfer the child within 72 hours of apprehension to ORR custody.  ORR places the child in the least restrictive setting available that is in the best interest of the child, and then completes a screening to determine whether: (1) the child has been a victim of trafficking; (2) there is credible evidence that the child is at risk if returned; and (3) the child has a possible claim to asylum.  The child is not automatically permitted to stay in the United States.  Rather, he or she is placed in removal proceedings before an immigration judge pursuant to section 240 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.  While proceedings are pending, the child is released to the custody of a family member or to an ORR shelter or foster home.  If the child is not eligible for any relief, he or she is ordered removed from the United States and is repatriated.

But this process, which allows for proper screening for trafficking and persecution, as well as fair and full consideration of their legal claims available under U.S. law, and which takes the best interest of the child into consideration, is not what others are advocating.  Instead, we have an administration that is prejudging these children’s eligibility for relief and proposing streamlined procedures that would prejudice real claims for protection.  Instead, we have Congress focusing its efforts on undermining the legal protections already in existence under U.S. law for these children and curtailing due process.  Recently, the Texas-duo of Senator Cornyn (R-TX) and Representative Cuellar (D-TX) have introduced their HUMANE Act, and even more troubling, Representatives Goodlatte (R-VA) and Chaffetz (R-UT) have introduced the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act, a bill that shows zero understanding of how difficult it is under our current laws to seek and be granted asylum in the United States.

The Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act would eviscerate our already stringent asylum process, strip away the protections that do exist under current law to offer these children a fair chance at due process, and shut out bona fide refugees, returning them to situations of persecution and torture in violation of our domestic and international legal obligations.  This legislation would place these children’s fate in the hands of CBP officers, a law enforcement branch with no training or background in dealing with the unique issues involved in interviewing children, a track record of non-transparency, as well as instances of abuse with impunity of those apprehended, and pressuring of bona fide refugees to accept removal with no process in lieu of protection.  This legislation would subject these children to streamlined procedures, resulting in the removal of children after cursory screenings that have already proven entirely inadequate in identifying genuine refugee claims and the return of these children to dangerous and deadly situations.

Specifically:

  • All children caught at the border would be subject to expedited removal, a process allowing removal without a hearing before an immigration judge if a child has no credible fear of persecution or torture, and which triggers an automatic five-year bar on legal reentry.
  • The screening standard of review for children’s asylum claims would be raised, requiring a child to convince an asylum officer that his or her claim was “more probable than not” in order to even appear before a judge.
  • Under the proposed new definition of “unaccompanied,” all children would be detained until their asylum applications were adjudicated.
  • The arbitrary one-year deadline requiring adults to file their asylum applications within one year of their entry to the United States would be extended to children.
  • Children apprehended at the border could be immediately removed without any asylum screening to a “safe third party country,” such as Mexico, without any agreement from that third party country, as required under current law.

Presenting these changes as “fair” and “humane” is simply offensive.  These changes are anything but fair, anything but humane.  Using children who have suffered horrific violence and abuse in their home countries, survived a dangerous journey of over 1,000 miles, and arrived in search of protection as political pawns to push partisan agendas is heartless and un-American.  We need real leadership, not leaders who decide that treating migrant children from Central America humanely is too difficult, and not leaders who prefer politicking and political posturing to problem solving and standing up for our country’s values.

Our leaders should be working together to secure and implement the coordination and resources necessary to address this major regional humanitarian crisis and ensure due process for children who have braved a harrowing journey to seek safety and protection from violence, persecution, torture, and trafficking.  I encourage all AILA members to call their Senators and Representatives and implore them not to support the HUMANE Act or the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act.  If this legislation is passed, our country would be turning its back on these children and on our nation’s values.

Written by Dree Collopy, Member AILA Media-Advocacy Committee 

A Victory for the Arizona DACAmented

shutterstock_167205071In Arizona, a high school student that has been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) can create an award-winning underwater robot from Home Depot parts, but can’t legally drive to school (more about that below).  Thanks to a mean-spirited August 15, 2012 executive order from Arizona Governor Brewer, DACA recipients are prohibited from receiving driver’s licenses in the state.  However, on Monday, the Ninth Circuit gave Arizona DACAmented individuals a significant victory in their battle against Governor Brewer for the right to get drivers licenses.

The Court held that DACA recipients demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of their equal protection claim, that they are likely to suffer irreparable harm and reversed the Arizona District Court’s denial of a preliminary injunction.

Nearly two years ago, in response to Governor Brewer’s executive order, I authored an open letter to the Governor posted on this same blog in which I predicted that Governor Brewer would ultimately lose the battle and, in the process, waste precious Arizona taxpayer dollars.  Thus far, my prediction is proving to be accurate.

Over the past two years, I have spoken with many DACA recipients in Arizona and have seen how they have continued to struggle to achieve some form of normalcy in their lives.  All that they want is the opportunity to obtain an education and succeed like many immigrants before them.  Most still struggle with the high cost of college and have to find work to help supplement the household income.  Even with a job, the lack of a driver’s license places a significant roadblock to their ability to thrive.  While Governor Brewer has attempted to break the spirit of those receiving DACA, she has ultimately failed and has spawned an even more vociferous group of advocates pushing for reforms to our broken immigration system.

The lack of ability to attain an Arizona driver’s license still begs the question: why would DACA recipients want to remain in Arizona?  They could move to any neighboring state and get a drivers license.  For some this is not economically feasible, for others it is about staying close to family and friends and for others it would be a symbol of defeat.  Arizona is their home and they are not going to let an oppressive governor force them to leave.

The timing of this decision is apropos as this upcoming Friday the theatrical release of the documentary Underwater Dreams will take place in Los Angeles and New York.  The film chronicles a group of undocumented students and their science teachers from Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix.  The students create an underwater robot and enter a national underwater robotics competition where they ultimately defeat everyone including a group of students from MIT.  Many students that attend Carl Hayden High School are also members of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Governor Brewer.

What will Governor Brewer do next? She has already indicated that her office is “analyzing options for appealing the misguided court opinion”.  While she contemplates her next reprehensible move, the DACA recipients will continue to strive to become the next group of leaders, organizers and innovators in Arizona and across the United States.

Written by Maurice “Mo” Goldman, Chair, AILA Media Advocacy Committee

Note: If you are interested in learning more about Underwater Dreams or hosting a screening of the film please visit the website: http://www.underwaterdreamsfilm.com/dates-reviews/