GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Choose one of the categories below to narrow your choiceImmigration
Alternatives To Detention (ATD)
Programs that provide refugees awaiting asylum hearings a way to live in the country without being detained.
They typically help the refugee find housing and transportation. The refugees are required to maintain contact with immigration officials and attend court hearings. Some refugees are required to wear a GPS monitor.
These programs sometimes are called catch and release.
Asylum (in our case political asylum) is the right for a person to live in a foreign country because they are in danger of persecution in their own country. Asylum can be granted or denied by the foreign country.
For more, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.
Click here to view the steps required to request asylum.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Policy established by President Barack Obama in 2012 to allow undocumented immigrants categorized as DREAMers to remain in the country and legally work.
Applicants must pass a background check, have no criminal record, and either be in school, recently graduated, or have been honorably discharged from the military.
Their permission to remain in the country legally must be renewed every two years.
In 2017, President Donald Trump rescinded the policy. He delayed the recision through March, 2018, saying that Congress could enact legislation to continue it for those already eligible.
Diversity Visa Lottery
A lottery administered by the State Department that attempts to diversify the immigrant population by selecting applicants from countries with low numbers of immigrants in the previous five years.Referenced by...
Acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors, the DREAM Act is the name given to various attempts at legislation that would have provided legal residency to certain young people brought into the United States illegally by their parents.
Though they were brought here illegally, these children grew up in the United States, and their only life (home, school, etc) has been in the United States.
The various attempts to define those who would be helped by the DREAM Act differed, but in general, the person must...
Because the bill was named the DREAM Act, those young people to whom it offered protection are referred to as DREAMers.Referenced by...
Family Case Management Program (FCMP)
For more, read The Atlantic story.Referenced by...
Flores Settlement Agreement
A set of rules that specify the conditions under which immigrant children can be held in custody.
It stems from a 1985 lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of a 15-year-old girl from El Salvador - Jenny Lisette Flores - who was held in oppressive conditions.
In 1997, a consent decree agreed to by the Clinton administration formalized the agreement.
Originally it applied only to unaccompanied minors. But in 2015 - in response to an Obama administration attempt to limit asylum-seeking families from Central America by keeping them in detention - a federal court ruled that the Flores Agreement applies to all children. It also ruled that children could not be detained for more than 20 days.
For more, read the Vox story.Referenced by...
An identification card for non-U.S. citizens showing they are allowed to permanently live and work in the country. They are issued by the Department of Homeland Security. Green card holders are referred to as permanent residents.
A few facts about green cards...
In the strict definition, an open border is one that anyone can cross without restriction - just as we cross from state to state in the 48 contiguous U.S. states.
However, the term has become a political one - used by some Republicans to label Democrats in general when they disagree on how (not whether) the nation's borders should be controlled.
Someone who has been forced to leave their own country to escape war, persecution, or a natural disaster.Referenced by...
When someone is arrested, their identifying information is shared with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
If an inmate is determined to be in the country illegally, ICE may request that the jail detain them after they would otherwise be released, in order to begin deportation proceedings.
A sanctuary city (or other jurisdiction) is one that refuses such requests.
Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC)
A minor who has no lawful immigration status in the United States and does not have a parent or legal guardian in the country available to provide care and physical custody.