Immigration rights

Know your rights if ICE visits your home by Torgrim Landsverk

All people living in the United States, including undocumented immigrants, have certain U.S. Constitutional rights. If you are undocumented and immigration (ICE) agents knock on your door, know that you have rights. Please find the full information in this document that you can download and print.  

Timothy R. Bakken

Bakken Law renews its commitment to zealous defense of immigrant rights by Torgrim Landsverk

Bakken Law is committed to defending all immigrants and their rights, now and in the uncertain future before us. We are proud to say that attorney Jamie Crawford lived out the firm’s commitment to immigrant rights when she traveled to the South Texas Family Detention Center in Dilley, Texas to volunteer for the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project during election week. The CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project is a joint effort between immigrant rights organizations CLINIC, AILA, RAICES, and the American Immigration Council. Go to the CARA Project’s website for more information about its partners and how to get involved. 

The South Texas Family Detention Center currently imprisons about 1800 women and children. All of the detainees at the Center are women and children who fled the rampant violence and pervasive corruption of their home countries to seek asylum in the United States. Upon arrival at the border, many of the women and children were held in brutally cold temporary holding facilities known as “hieleras,” or ice-boxes, and denied access to basic necessities for days before being transferred to the South Texas Family Detention Center.

Jamie and her fellow volunteer attorneys and advocates met individually with the women and children detained in Dilley to discuss their rights and to prepare them for Credible Fear Interviews with USCIS Asylum Officers. Credible Fear Interviews, or CFIs, are the first step in the asylum process for applicants arriving at the border. CFIs are often intense and vulnerable experiences, requiring the women and children to share their stories of abuse, violence, trauma, and fear with a stranger who has the power to make a decision that could open the door to asylum or slam it shut. Jamie, the CARA Pro Bon Project staff, and the other volunteers worked 12- 13 hour days providing competent and compassionate legal advice and representation.

Bakken Law is proud of Jamie’s dedication, and is inspired to fight harder than ever for the rights of immigrants. 

By BAKKEN LAW - Timothy R. Bakken, 19.November 2016. 

Congratulations - Same-Sex U.S. citizen partner obtained green card. by Timothy Bakken

Illustration Photo.

Illustration Photo.

Last summer, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act).

Among its other benefits, this decision paved the way for foreign nationals married to same-sex U.S. citizen partners to obtain green cards. 

I am happy to say that since the demise of DOMA I have represented several same-sex married couples who have successfully completed the U.S. green card process, including most recently a green card issued yesterday;  great evidence of increasing equality and fairness in our country in general and our immigration system in particular.

See Marriage Equality for additional information and resources about same-sex marriage issues.

Timothy R. Bakken

Bakken Law thoughts about recent deportation study by Timothy Bakken

Following on my posting of this study yesterday, a careful review of the results indicates that a large majority (67%) of deportations in 2013 were of people with no criminal convictions or misdemeanor convictions. 

Those who say President Obama has not been tough on immigration enforcement should look at the ICE statistics which show his administration has deported far more people than prior administrations. 

This study shows that the current strict enforcement policies affect huge numbers of individuals with no criminal convictions or minor criminal records, notwithstanding existing immigration laws that include provisions allowing many such people to obtain lawful permanent resident status based on long-term residency in the U.S., strong ties and benefits to the U.S., and close U.S. citizen relatives (children, spouses, parents) who will suffer extreme hardship if the non-U.S. citizen relative is deported.

Timothy R. Bakken

Obama calls for review of deportations.
Immigration puzzle of the week: Do we deport people for being mentally ill?
Prosecutorial discretion on the rise in immigration courts.
Locked away in immigration jails.