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New Asylum Clock Policies Provide No Significant Systemic Change

Released on Mon, Nov 21, 2011

Washington D.C. - Last week, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) issued new guidance addressing the “asylum clock.”  The asylum clock calculates a mandatory 180-day waiting period before an asylum applicant can receive work authorization.  Any delay caused by the asylum applicant will stop the clock and prolong the waiting period for work authorization.  However, delays are often incorrectly attributed to the applicant and asylum seekers are unjustly prevented from working for long periods of time. 

EOIR’s new guidance provides some much-needed clarity and addresses certain longstanding problems.  In particular, it clarifies that the asylum clock should not stop in the event of a delay caused by a government attorney or the court, and that immigration judges must indicate on the record the reason for postponing a case.

Unfortunately, EOIR fails to resolve more systemic problems through its new guidance including:Read more...

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Laying groundwork on immigration

Published on Wed, Aug 19, 2009

While President Obama has put off sweeping changes in immigration policy until probably next year -- after health care and energy -- he also pledged to start laying the groundwork.

Published in the Boston Globe

Legal Action Center Welcomes Ninth Circuit’s Decision on Child Status Protection Act

Released on Fri, Sep 28, 2012

An en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of young adults who, due to long delays caused by visa backlogs, lost the opportunity to obtain their green cards before they turned 21. In accordance with arguments made in an amicus brief submitted by the Legal Action Center and the National Immigrant Justice Center, the court held that Congress specifically remedied this problem in the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) of 2002, by allowing children who were listed on their parents’ visa petitions, but who turned 21 before a visa became available, to retain the earlier filing date of their parents’ visa petitions when new visa petitions are filed for them as adults. As the court explained, “This ensures that visas are available quickly, rather than requiring the now-adult aliens to wait many more years in a new visa line.”

The court’s ruling overturned a precedent decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals, Matter of Wang, 25 I. & N. Dec. 28 (BIA 2009), which interpreted the law as benefiting only one visa category of “aged-out” children.

The court issued its decision in two cases, one of which is a national class action. The petitioners in the two cases were represented by Reeves and Associates and the Law Offices of Carl Shusterman.

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For more information contact clearinghouse@immcouncil.org or 202-507-7516

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b-activists: New children's book reminds us that we all have immigrant pasts (see authors read in NYC!)

Published on Mon, Sep 14, 2009

One part of childhood everyone remembers are their favorite books; the characters, the story, and the lessons they taught

Published in the Blisted

The American Immigration Council Welcomes Bi-Partisan Senate Immigration Bill

Released on Wed, Apr 17, 2013

Washington D.C. – The American Immigration Council applauds the “Gang of Eight” Senators who have introduced the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act."  The Senators and their staff have been working tirelessly, for months, to create a bi-partisan solution that attempts to fix our broken immigration system. The Senate is to be commended for having the courage to lean into this difficult issue and bring forth a detailed and comprehensive proposal. In addition, labor and business groups should be acknowledged for their role in negotiating, in advance, some of the toughest sticking points to help ensure a smooth path through Congress. 

In the coming days and weeks as the bill is analyzed and debated, there will be many who criticize both the policy remedies in the bill, as well as the sheer length of the legislation. It is important to keep in mind, however, that developing a comprehensive solution requires striking a delicate balance between a diverse cross section of stakeholders and impacted constituencies. Furthermore, the dysfunctional system that we have developed over the past two decades is in dire need of deep and precise reforms. While there will be fair criticisms of some of the bill’s contents it is important to keep the spirit of the debate productive and to ensure room for compromise. Read more...

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Senate Democrats want U.S. residency for kin of immigrant service members

Published on Sat, Nov 14, 2009

Six Senate Democrats have introduced a bill to grant permanent residency to family members of immigrants actively serving in the U.S. military — even in cases where the service member has died.

Published in the The Hill

Immigration Advocacy Groups Urge Supreme Court to Interpret Child Status Protection Act Broadly

Released on Wed, Nov 06, 2013

Washington, D.C.—This week, the American Immigration Council filed an amicus curiae brief urging the Supreme Court to rule in favor of young adults who, due to long delays caused by visa backlogs, lost the opportunity to obtain their “green cards” before they turned 21. The brief was filed in collaboration with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, National Immigrant Justice Center, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

The case, Cuellar de Osorio v. Mayorkas, involves a provision of the Child Status Protection Act of 2002 (CSPA).  The amicus brief argues that in the CSPA, Congress specifically remedied the problem of children who, due to long delays caused by visa backlogs, turned 21 and lost the opportunity to immigrate with their families before a visa became available.  Specifically, the brief argues that children listed as beneficiaries on all types of visa petitions – and not simply those filed by lawful permanent residents, as the government argues – are entitled to retain the earlier filing date of their parents’ visa petitions when new visa petitions are filed for them as adults.  As a result, they do not have to wait as long for new visas. The brief presents compelling case histories illustrating the hardship that these families have suffered as the result of the government’s narrow interpretation.    

The amici were represented on a pro bono basis by Lori Alvino McGill and Nicole Ries Fox of Latham and Watkins, LLP.  Read more about this case and the Child Status Protection Act on our website.

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Immigration policy should reflect our best values

Published on Sat, Jan 23, 2010

“Immigrants don’t want to learn English.” “Immigrants don’t pay taxes.” “Immigrants increase the crime rate.” “Immigrants take jobs away from Americans.” “Immigrants are a drain on the U.S. economy.” “Illegal immigrants are a burden on the U.S. health care system.”

Americans have been using these generalizations for 150 years to stigmatize members of every ethnic group that has traveled to these shores seeking a better life for themselves and their children.

Published in the Kansas City Star

U.S.: Audit Finds Major Problems in Immigration Policing

Published on Tue, Apr 06, 2010

NEW YORK, Apr 5 (IPS) - A controversial government programmeme that enlists local police officers and sheriff's deputies to help enforce U.S. immigration laws is verging on being out of control and unable to assess whether it is meeting its stated goals.

Published in the Australia News

Will the Dems Go It Alone On Immigration?

Published on Thu, Apr 29, 2010

The Senate leadership is planning to introduce a summary outline of an immigration bill shortly before 6 p.m. on Thursday, one day after circulating a draft to advocacy groups. The framework—whose existence I reported earlier this week and which is spearheaded by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)—seems to have been written with the intention of attracting support from moderates on both sides of the aisle. But if Dems can't get Republicans to sign on, will they go it alone?

Published in the Mother Jones