Holder v. Martinez Gutierrez, Nos. 10-1542 and 10-1543, 566 U.S. ___, 2012 U.S. LEXIS 3783 (May 21, 2012)
The Supreme Court unanimously affirmed a Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) decision barring lawful permanent resident (“LPR”) children seeking cancellation of removal from using their parents’ years of U.S. residence or LPR status to satisfy the seven-year continuous residency or five-year LPR status requirements under INA § 240A(a). In so doing, the Court reversed the Ninth Circuit, see Mercado-Zazueta v. Holder, 580 F.3d 1102 (9th Cir. 2009).
The Supreme Court held that the BIA’s construction of the cancellation of removal statute was permissible under Chevron. Justice Kagan, writing for the Court, began the analysis by noting that the statute’s plain text did not mandate imputation. The Court then went on to reject arguments that (1) the legislative history demonstrates that Congress intended a parent’s residency and status to be imputed to a child for purposes of cancellation of removal and (2) the statute’s goals of family unity demand imputation.
The Court also explained that the regulation is not arbitrary and capricious despite the BIA’s acceptance of imputation in other contexts. The Court found that the BIA consistently “imputes matters involving an alien’s [subjective] state of mind, while declining to impute objective conditions or characteristics” such as duration of residence.
Add to the immigration debate following yesterday’s White House meetings a few recently published studies that could prove to be useful in pushing for comprehensive immigration reform.
One study shows that comprehensive immigration reform could add $1.5 trillion to the country’s GDP over the next 10 years by increasing consumption and investment. Comprehensive immigration reform, here, is defined as a plan that “creates a pathway to legal status for unauthorized immigrants in the United States and establishes flexible limits on permanent and temporary immigration that respond to changes in U.S. labor demand in the future.” According to this Center for American Progress and Immigration Policy Center study, comprehensive reform would also boost wages for both native-born and newly legalized immigrant workers.
President Obama urged Congress today to pass “comprehensive immigration reform,” warning that a lack of federal action would encourage “misguided efforts” such as those in Arizona.
But Mary Giovagnoli of the Immigration Policy Center says there’s a lot the administration could do if it wanted to create a stronger immigration policy. And she said the work would start with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Jenny Hwang is the Director of Advocacy and Policy for the Refugee and Immigration Program at World Relief. Previous to World Relief, she worked at the largest political fundraising firm in Maryland managing fundraising and campaigning for local politicians. Jenny has researched refugee and asylum law in Madrid, Spain through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She is co‐author of Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion and Truth in the Immigration Debate.
Cronkite News listed IPC statistics in an article about the deferred deportation program preparing to accept applications on August 15, 2012. The numbers come from IPC's "Who and Where the DREAMers Are," and breaks down the numbers of eligible immigrants living in Arizona by congressional district: Read more...
LAC Wins Release of H-1B Fraud Documents AILA v. DHS, No. 10-01224 (D.D.C. summary judgment granted in part March 30, 2012)
In May 2012, USCIS released in full the remaining contested documents in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit brought by the LAC and Steptoe & Johnson LLP on behalf of AILA. Filed in July 2010, the case sought the public release of records concerning USCIS fraud investigations in the H-1B program. For the past several years, USCIS’s H-1B visa review and processing procedures have caused confusion and concern among U.S. businesses that depend on temporary foreign workers with specialized knowledge to operate successfully.Read more...
The Immigration Policy Center, based in the nation's capital, pulled together immigration data from a variety of sources. Then it released fact sheets for all 50 states.
The center's Wendy Sefsaf says the study concludes that, if all undocumented workers were booted out of the Northwest immediately, the economic impact would be huge.
Wendy Sefsaf: "The undocumented are part of our workforce and they're people who buy and consume goods. So if you get rid of them, there's less consumers, which means there's less money going into an economy that supports those jobs."
The center's study concludes illegal immigrants have a bigger economic impact in Washington than in other Northwest states. Regionwide, the research estimates spending by undocumented workers is responsible for about 90-thousand jobs.
The Pew Hispanic Center estimates five percent of Oregon workers are undocumented, compared to about three percent in Washington and Idaho.
Attorneys and asylum applicants across the country regularly experience problems with the “asylum clock” — a clock which measures the 150 days after an applicant files an asylum application before the applicant can apply for an employment authorization document (EAD). These problems include a lack of clear guidance about how immigration agencies should interpret and implement the law governing the clock, the lack of a formal review process when an EAD is denied, and a general lack of transparency in USCIS’ administration of the clock. As a result of these problems and increasing court backlogs, asylum applicants often wait much longer than the legally permitted timeframe to receive a work permit and are thus unable to support themselves and their families while their applications are pending.
The LAC has long advised attorneys about methods for addressing asylum clock problems and advocated for systemic change in the current asylum clock process. These efforts included the issuance, in 2010, of a comprehensive report on the asylum clock, Up Against the Clock: Fixing the Broken Employment Authorization Asylum Clock, with Penn State Law School’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights. The report recommends solutions to asylum clock problems intended to ensure that asylum applicants become eligible for employment authorization without unnecessary delays and closer to the timeframe outlined in the INA.
On December 15, 2011, after advocacy efforts proved unsuccessful, the LAC and litigation partners filed A.B.T. et al v. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a class action lawsuit against USCIS and EOIR challenging asylum clock policies and practices.