Unfinished Business

Civil Rights News: Hundreds of Immigrants Apply for “Deferred Action” Prgrm; Many Wrongfully Imprisoned People Could be Freed

Compiled by Maddie Peare, a Summer 2012 Leadership Conference Education Fund Intern

Young Immigrants, in America Illegally, Line Up for Reprieve
The New York Times
Julia Preston

In June, President Barack Obama used his executive authority to create a program that will allow young undocumented immigrants to apply for a temporary reprieve of deportation, which also comes with a work permit. As a result, 1.7 million undocumented immigrants will have the opportunity to work legally, obtain valid Social Security numbers and driver’s licenses, earn professional certificates, and apply for financial aid in college. Over the weekend, hundreds of immigrants brought their proof of residency documents to the offices of the Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) to find out more information about the application process.  Despite being open all day, the CHIRLA offices could not accommodate everyone who came in and hundreds were turned away at closing.

Dozens of ‘Innocent’ Prisoners Could be Freed
USA Today
Brad Heath

A USA Today investigation found that some people are currently imprisoned for something an appeals court later determined was not a federal crime and many do not know this. Previously, the Justice Department did not try to identify which prisoners were falsely convicted and argued that these innocent prisoners should remain imprisoned.  However, the Justice Department has changed its position and the ACLU estimates that as many as 3,000 prisoners will be released or face shorter sentences.