The significance of Holly and Ivy during Christmas
Holly and ivy have always been considered magical plants because they are evergreens. They represent eternal life and the cycle of nature. They were used in ancient European rites because Holly represents the masculine and Ivy the feminine elements of nature. Holly also represents Saturnalia, the ancient Roman winter festival. The first Christians also remembered Christ with Holly because the sharp leaves felt like his crown of thorns and the red berries looked like drops of his blood. This Christmas let’s remember its true meaning and share our bounty with a spirit of compassion. Merry Christmas from Jonathan, Lisa, and Lizette!
You may recall how happy I was to share the news about a great change in law. Specifically, I was sharing the outcome of a case called Mayorkas v De Osorio; a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that held that children who turn 21 while waiting for the their parents visa do not have to reapply for a visa. Unfortunately, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) appealed the decision favoring De Osorio to the United States Supreme Court. USCIS has stated on its website that while De Osorio is on appeal, it will only recognize the opposing case, Matter of Wang. The reason the immigration service has appealed the decision is to obtain a decree that the “Child Status Protection Act” does not apply to children that are only named derivative beneficiaries.
Current and former members of congress submitted written argument in support of De Osorio. On November 4, 2013, congressmen submitted written argument asserting congress intended the “Child Status Protection Act” to promote family unity. It is my opinion, that the more reasonable interpretation of congressional intent when it passed the “Child Status Protection Act” was De Osorio’s interpretation. I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will uphold the 9th Circuit’s ruling and declare that children who turn 21 do not need to re-apply for a visa. At least one Supreme Court Justice, Justice Breyer, has already previewed his inclination against the government’s interpretation. Below is a portion of the oral argument. JUSTICE BREYER: “Your interpretation (only) applies to a tiny subset of people. Now, we can argue about whether that’s for you or against you. I think it’s against you…We don’t have numbers on separation from parents. We do know that these people, the ones that would be caught on the broad interpretation, have also been waiting for years and years and years and years.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) warns that the House will not negotiate with the Senate to reconcile its plans for immigration reform with the Senate’s recent immigration bill, S.744. According to Aaron Blake from the Washington Post, Mr. Boehner said, “The idea that we’re going to take up a 1,300-page bill that no one had ever read, which is what the Senate did, is not going to happen in the House…Frankly, I’ll make clear that we have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill.” (Nov 13) The House will spend a good part of December and January in winter recess. By summer, election-year partisanship ignites, evaporating cooperation. This leaves February through May 2014 as the last months to expect new law if any from congress. This leaves little possibility for immigration reform well into 2015.
Meanwhile, the urgency for immigration reform has never been more visible as a record number of people are deported and states individually enact their own immigration laws. The state of California expects immigration reform to remain a hot topic for some time as evidenced by passage of AB 1159. The immigration debate has called so much attention that it has prompted scams against undocumented immigrants. In response, Governor Brown in October signed the immigrant consumer protection law, AB1159, which prohibits attorneys and immigration consultants, otherwise known as “Notarios” from collecting money for services related to immigration reform until congress actually passes a law. The law also prohibits use of the word “Notario” because it suggests qualification to give legal advice. So, stay hopeful for immigration reform in 2014 and don’t give your money to anyone who says they can fix your status under the new immigration reform laws. The only new law is the one that says it is a crime to collect fees for “immigration reform” services or calling oneself a notario.