This issue highlights Supreme Court cases that will be argued this fall, judicial review of denied adjustment of status applications, challenges to the use of detainers, and updates from the LAC, including a recent victory in a naturalization delay case and favorable developments in a BIA case involving portability/Matter of Perez Vargas.
As Florida business and faith leaders speak out against state immigration-enforcement proposals, a new report released Tuesday raises questions about President Obama’s leadership in crafting a federal solution.
Florida business and faith leaders who spoke as part of a National Immigration Forum press conference on Wednesday said proposed state legislature immigration bills are harmful and that immigration is a federal problem that requires a federal solution.
Adam Babington, vice president of government affairs for the Florida Chamber of Commerce said the state needs a federal, consistent immigration policy.
But an Immigration Policy Center report released on Tuesday concludes the Obama Administration and the Department of Homeland Security are not using their extensive authority to make the necessary changes to immigration policy.
Homeland Security is responsible for the nation’s three immigration agencies: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Customs and Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (aka ICE).
The Immigration Policy Center report states:
From the beginning of the Obama Administration, there has been a tension between enhanced immigration enforcement and a push for comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). This tension increased significantly in 2010 as the Administration ramped up its immigration-enforcement efforts at the expense, many believe, of the very people most likely to benefit from legalization and CIR.
The report adds, “the public looked to the President and his Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for some measure of immigration relief. For the most part, they didn’t find it.”Read more...
This issue covers an upcoming Supreme Court argument on the aggravated felony definition; a decision in a suit challenging a state law regulating verification of employment eligibility; favorable court of appeals asylum decisions; litigation resources, and highlights from the LAC (including litigation involving federal court jurisdiction and the Child Status Protection Act, and advocacy around the asylum clock).
The list of Arizona S.B. 1070-style immigration-enforcement laws challenged in court keeps growing. Now it’s Georgia’s turn.
On Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Law Center filed a class action lawsuit challenging Georgia’s H.B. 87, the immigration-enforcement bill signed into law there by Gov. Nathan Deal last month.
The National Immigration Law Center says that H.B. 87 is out of step with fundamental values and the rule of law and gives Georgians a reason to fear that they may be stripped of their constitutional rights simply because of the way they look or sound.
Florida’s failure to pass an immigration bill that would have, among other provisions, required local law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration law and mandated E-Verify, was an issue of national interest. A recent decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the Legal Arizona Workers Act heightens the possibility that such an E-Verify bill could return during Florida’s next legislative session.
According to Numbers USA, an organization that supports the concept of “attrition though enforcement” (the idea that unauthorized immigrants will leave if immigration laws are more strictly enforced), under the Georgia bill:
• Local and state police will be empowered to arrest illegal immigrants and take them to state and federal jails.
• People who use fake identification to get a job in Georgia could face up to 15 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.
• A seven-member Immigration Enforcement Review Board would be established to investigate complaints about local and state government officials not enforcing state immigration-related laws.
• Government officials who violate state laws requiring cities, counties and state government agencies to use E-Verify could face fines of up to $10,000 and removal from office.Read more...
For years, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the component of the Department of Homeland Security tasked with preventing illegal entries into the United States, has employed unlawful tactics that violate the rights of U.S. citizens and noncitizens alike. The public knows relatively little about CBP’s activities, and this lack of transparency has made it difficult to hold CBP officers, including Border Patrol agents, accountable for misconduct. The LAC is engaged in administrative advocacy and litigation intended to expose CBP’s unlawful practices and promote policies that safeguard the civil liberties of all persons who cross our borders.
Lawsuit Seeking Damages on Behalf of Four-Year-Old U.S. Citizen Wrongly Detained and Returned to Guatemala
Leonel Ruiz o/b/o E.R. v. U.S., No. 1:13-cv-01241 (E.D.N.Y. filed March 8, 2013)
In March, 2013, the LAC, in collaboration with Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, filed a lawsuit alleging that CBP officers at Dulles Airport in Virginia unlawfully detained a U.S. citizen child for more than twenty hours, deprived her of contact with her parents, and then effectively deported her to Guatemala. The case was one of ten complaints filed the same week to highlight CBP abuses along the northern and southern borders. (For more information, see CBP Abuse of Authority.) Read more...