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The LAC Docket | Volume IV, Issue 3

The American Immigration Council Docket

June 17, 2014
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OUR WORK

The American Immigration Council welcomes Leslie Dellon, who will be joining us in July as our Business Litigation Fellow. As a member of the Council’s legal team, Leslie will spearhead a national effort to challenge current agency policies and practices on employment-based immigration issues.


 

Systemic Reforms

     Systemic Reform

 


Heavily-Divided Supreme Court Upholds Matter of WangRead more...

DHS Announces Expansion of Prosecutorial Discretion Guidelines

Signals Opportunity to Regain Common Sense

Released on Thu, Aug 18, 2011

Washington D.C. - Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would put guidelines in place across all immigration agencies to ensure that its enforcement priorities are focused on removing persons who are most dangerous to the country.

In a letter to Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and other senators who had requested that DHS consider deferring the removal of all DREAM Act eligible students, DHS announced that it would not categorically defer removal, but that persons who were not high priority targets for removal would have the opportunity to request prosecutorial discretion on a case by case basis. Low priority cases—previously identified in a prosecutorial discretion memo issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton on June 17—include persons who are not criminals and have been in the country since childhood, have strong community ties, are veterans or relatives of persons in the armed services, are caregivers, have serious health issues, are victims of crime or otherwise have a strong basis for remaining in the United States.

DHS announced the creation of a joint committee with the Department of Justice that will review nearly 300,000 cases currently in removal proceedings and determine which cases are low priority and can be administratively closed. In addition, agency-wide guidance will be issued to ICE, USCIS and CBP officers to ensure that they appropriately exercise discretion when determining whether a low priority case should be referred to immigration court.

Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center, stated:Read more...

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Immigration reshaping the political landscape

Published on Sun, Aug 23, 2009

New U.S. citizens like Ignacia J

Published in the The Santa Fe New Mexican

AIC Reveals Government’s Interference with Noncitizens’ Access to Legal Counsel

Released on Thu, May 31, 2012

Washington D.C. - Today, the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center released a report and filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit on the pressing issue of noncitizens’ access to counsel. Reports from across the country indicate that the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) immigration agencies—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—often interfere with noncitizens’ access to counsel in benefits interviews, interrogations, and other types of administrative proceedings outside of immigration court. Depending on the context, immigration officers completely bar attorney participation, impose unwarranted restrictions on access to legal counsel, or strongly discourage noncitizens from seeking legal representation at their own expense.

A joint report by the Legal Action Center and Penn State Law’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights, Behind Closed Doors: An Overview of DHS Restrictions on Access to Counsel, describes restrictions on access to legal representation before DHS, provides a legal landscape, and offers recommendations designed to combat these harmful practices. It also addresses recent changes to USCIS’s guidance that are intended to expand access to legal representation.

Also today, in collaboration with Dorsey & Whitney LLP, the Legal Action Center filed a lawsuit against ICE and DHS to compel the release of records relating to noncitizens’ access to counsel before ICE. This is the third of three FOIA lawsuits filed by the LAC seeking records from DHS’s immigration agencies regarding their policies on access to counsel in DHS proceedings.Read more...

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Sunday Pops

Published on Sat, Aug 01, 2009

Those much ballyhooed public state House-Senate conference committee hearings designed to end the long budget impasse were quickly suspended last week. And, as predicted here, a whining Gov. Rendell took the talks back behind closed doors. It's another exercise in screw-the-public politics.

Published in the Pittsburgh Tribune

National Wave of Complaints Highlights Abuse by U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Released on Wed, Mar 13, 2013

For Immediate Release

National Wave of Complaints Highlights Rampant Abuse by U.S. Customs and Border Protection
and Dire Need for Reform

Washington, D.C. – Over the past week, an alliance of immigration groups, private attorneys and a law school clinic joined forces in filing complaints targeting abuses by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) across the country. Ten damages cases have been filed alleging unlawful CBP conduct in northern and southern border states. These cases are the latest illustrations of an ongoing pattern of rampant misconduct against both immigrants and U.S. citizens in these states.   

This effort, which was coordinated by the American Immigration Council, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, highlights CBP agents’ unlawful use of their enforcement authority. Border Patrol agents routinely exceed their statutory mandate by conducting enforcement activities outside border regions, making racially motivated arrests, employing derogatory and coercive interrogation tactics, and imprisoning arrestees under inhumane conditions. The cases include claims for unlawful search and seizure, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, and battery.

Among the cases filed: Read more...

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Napolitano sees hope for immigration reform

Published on Fri, Nov 13, 2009

The government has beefed up border security and workplace immigration enforcement, and now should begin the work of overhauling immigration laws, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday.

Published in the L.A. Times

New “Pocket DACA” Mobile App Helps Young Immigrants Apply for Deferred Action

Released on Wed, Aug 14, 2013

Washington, D.C. - The American Immigration Council, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Immigration Advocates Network (IAN), and the Own the Dream campaign are proud to announce the launch of a new "Pocket DACA" app for smartphones and tablets that will help immigrants brought to this country as children understand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process. Through DACA, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is granting two-year, renewable reprieves from deportation to eligible young immigrants who meet certain criteria.

The free app, available for download from the Apple iTunes and Google Play stores, offers a self-screening tool for DACA applicants to understand their eligibility and a searchable directory of listings for immigration legal services providers, including non-profit groups, in all 50 states. The app also includes links to news about the deferred action process and frequently asked questions.

"This app is yet another way that AILA's national organization and members are reaching out to the young undocumented population who may be eligible for this potentially life-changing opportunity, while offering protection from scammers who may try to take advantage of a vulnerable population," said Laura Lichter, AILA's Immediate Past President who was involved in developing a related online screening tool.

"AIC is proud to have been a part of the development of this new app, which includes an easy-to-use and accurate screening tool and answers questions potential applicants may have. This free app will leverage the power of technology and social media to help young immigrants decide whether to apply for this temporary relief," said Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council.Read more...

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Will Obama Address Immigration Tonight?

Published on Wed, Jan 27, 2010

In his White House press briefing yesterday, Robert Gibbs seemed to suggest that President Obama would address the subject of immigration reform in his speech tonight. Why he would introduce such a polarizing topic into the already toxic atmosphere in Washington is unclear to me, but if, in fact, he does, I think it's safe to assume he won't be dwelling on it very long. The chances of getting an immigration-reform bill passed this year, which were iffy to begin with, faded to near black in the wake of the Massachusetts Special Election That Changed Everything. If the message from the Bay State was that the administration needs to focus on repairing an economy that has shed millions of jobs, it's hard to imagine selling the country on the need to legalize millions more workers. But that's not to say the administration won't try.

Published in the Newsweek

Coming Soon


Coming Soon: American Immigration Council

In the meantime please visit www.ailf.org for news and updates from the American Immigration Council (formerly American Immigration Law Foundation