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Victory: Firm Prevails in Challenge to Montana Anti-Immigrant Law!

On Friday, Judge Jeffrey Sherlock of the First Judicial District Court struck down the vast majority of Montana’s voter-approved law requiring state agencies to determine an applicant’s citizenship or immigration status before granting a wide variety of state services. The decision can be downloaded here. The law would have required denial of unemployment insurance benefits, licenses to practice trades or professions, enrollment in state universities, crime victim services, and infant hearing screenings to those who cannot prove their citizenship or immigration status. The referendum, which was presented to Montana voters in the November 2012 election, passed with almost 80 percent […]

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Client Sexually Assaulted in Immigration Detention in Montana

As an immigration attorney and President of the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance (“MIJA”), Shahid Haque-Hausrath is representing and advocating for Audemio Orozco-Ramirez, who was the victim of a sexual assault while in immigration detention in Montana. Audemio courageously shared his story the Great Falls Tribune. Audemio was attacked and raped in his sleep during his first night in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody at the Jefferson County Jail in Boulder, Montana. It took two days before he found a law enforcement officer he could trust to ask for help. When Audemio reported the rape, ICE officers handcuffed him and forced him […]

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Video: An Overview of Immigration Issues in Montana

We have a broad and diverse immigrant population in Montana — more than most realize. There are a lot of issues that immigrants face in Montana. Shahid Haque-Hausrath has represented over a thousand Montana immigrants and their families, and has significant knowledge about issued and trends facing immigrants in Montana. Learn about some of these issues in an interview that Shahid Haque-Hausrath did for the Helena Civic TV show “Everybody’s Business.” We conducted the interview on December 5, 2013. If you have any thoughts, please feel free to share them with us.

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Pot, Meet Kettle: U.S. Department of Justice’s Mishandling of Violent Assault Against Missoula Woman

The U.S. Department of Justice has issued a scathing report detailing the alleged failures of the Missoula County Attorney’s office in handling sexual assault cases. The U.S. Department of Justice has said that a pattern of misconduct by the Missoula County Attorney’s office is so serious that it amounts to gender discrimination. Among other things, the report states that there is a lack of training offered to deputy county attorneys, low priority placed on sexual assault cases, and little time spent developing evidence. The press has also been vicious in its criticism (and rightly so) of comments allegedly made by deputy county attorneys to victims. […]

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Video: NAFTA and How U.S. Trade Policy Impacts Immigration

In our national debates on immigration reform, we typically omit an extraordinarily important component of the whole discussion: How U.S. trade policy impacts immigration. Understanding how trade policies such as NAFTA actually create and drive undocumented immigration is essential to the discussion, and is perhaps the missing link to greater public understanding and appreciation of the need for immigration reform. However, these are complex issues, and we rarely have the opportunity to delve into them. This is why I was so pleased to be interviewed on these topics by Will Boland for the Helena Civic TV show “Everybody’s Business.” We conducted […]

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Thank You, Linda Gryczan: How Gay Rights Pioneers Helped Immigrants in Montana

by Shahid Haque-Hausrath, Immigration Attorney with the Border Crossing Law Firm, P.C. and President of the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance (“MIJA”). Immigrants who are challenging LR-121, the State of Montana’s new anti-immigrant law, owe a debt of gratitude to the pioneering gay rights advocates who established an important legal precedent that gives marginalized groups legal standing to challenge laws that threaten to deprive them of their rights. In 1993, Linda Gryczan led a legal challenge to Montana’s “deviate sexual conduct” statute, which criminalized consensual, private, same-gender sex between adults. In bringing this lawsuit against the State of Montana, she and her five colleagues broke new ground — this was […]

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Victory Against Montana Attorney General, Lawsuit Against Anti-Immigrant Law Continues

As we have written about before, Shahid Haque-Hausrath of the Border Crossing Law Firm, P.C. is representing the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance (“MIJA”) in a lawsuit to challenge Montana’s new anti-immigrant law called LR-121. You can read all about the law and what it does here. This week, Judge Sherlock rejected the Montana Attorney General’s efforts to dismiss our lawsuit, and has ruled that the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance (MIJA) has standing to challenge LR-121 on behalf of its members, who have a reasonable fear that the law will be used to wrongly deny them benefits. Over ten members of MIJA, all […]

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Immigrant Victims of Domestic Abuse

On May 9, 2013, I participated in a panel discussion about immigrant victims of domestic abuse and sex trafficking victims in rural Montana. The focus was on the remedies available to these victims, and issues surrounding lawyering and advocating for these groups. The other panelists were Laurie Grygiel of the Montana Legal Services Association, Cynthia Wolken of the Montana Human Rights Commission, and Representative Jenifer Gursky. The University of Montana Law School has made a video of this event available for all to view. (Click here to view the video.) We have assisted numerous immigrant victims of domestic abuse with petitions under the Violence […]

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Final Deportation Hearings in Montana Will Now Be Conducted by Video Conferencing

We just received a call from the Immigration Court Administrator with jurisdiction over the state of Montana, and were informed that the final deportation hearings scheduled in Montana this May will now be conducted by video conferencing. We are representing clients in eight final deportation hearings next month, and this came as a surprise to us. We were told that this change in policy arose due to budget cuts from the sequester, and is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. This means that when a Montana resident appears for a final deportation/removal hearing, only the individuals and their attorney […]

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Shahid Haque-Hausrath Interviewed by Brian Kahn for Home Ground Radio

Home Ground Radio, hosted by Brian Kahn, is one of the most intellectually stimulating radio programs in the state of Montana. We were proud to be asked to appear on the show to discuss immigration issues, and found it to be a great experience. The interview was described as follows: During the 2012 election, illegal immigration was a red-hot topic. But we didn’t learn much about who illegal immigrants are, why they come to America, or the pros and cons of allowing them to stay. Shahid Haque-Hausrath provides some context. You can listen to the whole interview here: Home Ground Radio […]

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Firm Proves Citizenship of Client Facing Deportation

The U.S. government often tries to deport U.S. citizens. This is a harsh and inescapable fact, and it is also a difficult one for many people to believe. However, it almost happened right here in the State of Montana. Thankfully, the Border Crossing Law Firm, P.C. stepped in to prove our client’s citizenship and terminate the deportation proceedings against her. The Immigration Judge just issued a decision ordering that the deportation process be stopped because we established U.S. citizenship.

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LR-121 Lawsuit: First Hearing is Scheduled!

We have some exciting news: Judge Sherlock has ordered the government Defendants to appear on February 7, 2013 at 10:00 am to “show cause why Plaintiffs’ application for a preliminary injunction should not be granted.” You can download a copy of the order here. As we previously reported, on December 7, 2012 the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance (“MIJA”) filed a lawsuit in Montana’s First Judicial District Court to challenge and enjoin implementation of LR-121, along with our co-Plaintiffs MEA-MFT and Alisha Blair (a U.S. citizen who would likely be wrongly denied services under the law). We are challenging the constitutionality of LR-121 because it violates the rights […]

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Video from Forum at Carroll College on LR-121, Montana’s Anti-Immigrant Law

On October 29, 2012, Professor Alan Hansen of Carroll College hosted a forum to discuss LR-121, the “proof of citizenship” referendum. The speakers were Shahid Haque-Hausrath (founder of the Border Crossing Law Firm, P.C. and President of the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance “MIJA”), Moe Wosepka (Executive Director of the Montana Catholic Conference), and Professor Jeremy Johnson. HCTV recorded the event for broadcast, and has approved re-posting the event online. Please check out this video for an analysis of LR-121 and immigration policy in Montana from multiple different perspectives (the video may take a minute to load).

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Governor Brian Schweitzer’s Thoughts on Immigration

Families who want to come to America, work in America, raise families in America ought to be welcome because that’s the thread that has made this blanket so warm in this country. We need to have a system that allows people a path to citizenship. That’s the way we’ve done it for the last 150 years.” – Governor Brian Schweitzer, 2008. Governor Brian Schweitzer is well known for speaking his mind, and as he approaches the end of his term in office, he remains one of the most popular governors in the country. What many Montanans may not know is that […]

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Interview on PoliticktickBOOM, a local Podcast.

Shahid Haque-Hausrath, founder of the Border Crossing Law Firm, P.C., had fun talking to Kev Hamm for this week’s episode of his podcast, PoliticktickBOOM! We discussed LR-121, the state of Montana’s anti-immigrant referendum, the anti-immigrant laws proposed in the Montana legislature, the suspension of the top Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer in the state, and much more. You can listed to the whole interview here: Kevin Hamm has been interviewing many important politicians lately, and we suggest checking out his podcast.

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