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Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 1, No. 21

This issue covers Supreme Court developments, a class action to restore SSI benefits to immigrants, suits challenging anti-immigrant ordinances, and federal court jurisdiction to review an L-1A extension denial.

Published On: Thursday, December 7, 2006 | Download File

ICE Starts Immigration Audit of 1,000 Firms as GOP Pushes E-Verify

Published on Fri, Feb 18, 2011

Amy Peck from Immigration Daily broke down this system flaw and the many other problems USCIS found with E-Verify in a recent article. “The impact of erroneous name-related TNCs cannot be ignored. According to USCIS, of 22,512 TNCs resulting from name mismatches in fiscal year 2009, approximately 76 percent, or 17,098, were for citizens, and approximately 24 percent, or 5,414, were for noncitizens,” Peck wrote. Peck estimates that if E-Verify were made mandatory for newly hired employees nationwide, about 164,000 U.S. citizens and non-citizens would get wrongly tangled up in immigration proceedings because of the system’s flaws. The system is also unable to accurately spot identity theft or fraud, among myriad other problems. Civil rights groups contend that E-Verify would just add another dysfunctional system to an already broken bureaucracy, and is not a viable job-creation strategy. E-Verify’s many structural problems could result in U.S. citizens actually losing their jobs, the Immigration Policy Center contends.

Published in the Colorline Magazine

Practice Advisories

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These advisories provide in depth analysis on a variety of immigration law issues.

Collaborative Learning at the Kauffman Foundation

May, 2010

Usually we select one trainee or intern as our Exchange Visitor of the Month. For May, we have decided to highlight a group of trainees. While the majority of our trainees and interns are the only J-1 visa holders at their host companies, some companies choose to have many trainees or interns at once. This is the case with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri, an organization that, according to its mission statement, “works nationwide to catalyze an entrepreneurial society in which job creation, innovation, and the economy flourish.” Read more...

Liberal immigration activists eye Utah as model

Published on Sat, Apr 09, 2011

SALT LAKE CITY – Liberal immigration activists are looking to Utah as a compassionate and logical model for shaping the nation's future policies toward illegal immigrants.

Utah leaders — including government, education, business and religious groups — came together last fall to draft a set of principles to guide the immigration debate in the state. Those guidelines, known as the Utah Compact, state in part that illegal immigrants are essential to the economy and deserving of respect.

The recommendations are credited with helping pass immigration changes last month in the Utah Legislature that included enforcement revisions and a guest worker program.

"The leadership in Utah, through the Compact, changed the debate around the country," said Ali Noorani, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based National Immigration Forum. "It's clear the Compact has struck a chord with the silent majority that wants reform."

Noorani is working with Utah officials to create a national version of the plan, which could be announced as early as this summer.

Opponents say the approach will lead to amnesty programs that only benefit big business and caution it will lead to more illegal immigration...

Wendy Sefsaf, of the Washington, D.C.-based American Immigration Council, also points out another reason for skepticism. Even if the principles are laudable, she said, the results in Utah "did not live up to it" because it will create second-class workers who are not citizens.

Still, Utah does provide a starting point.

"We all have aspirational goals, and the compact has great aspirations," Sefsaf said. "But most states are just reacting. Utah at least tried something that wasn't just about deporting people."

Published in the Associated Press

Immigrant Enforcement Program Faces Backlash From Obama Allies

Published on Tue, Jun 07, 2011

Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick yesterday became the third Democratic governor in a little more than a month to reject Secure Communities, an immigration enforcement program that has become a cornerstone of President Barack Obama's immigration policy.

The program, initiated in 2008 under President Bush, conjoins local law enforcement and federal immigration enforcement by giving the Department of Homeland Security access to the fingerprints of people who are arrested, which gives the government grounds to initiate deportation proceedings against immigrants who have committed deportable offenses. Obama has touted the program as a tool to punish immigrants convicted of serious crimes.

But Patrick, like New York governor Andrew Cuomo and Illinois governor Pat Quinn before him, moved to withdraw his state from the program because he said it shatters families by ensnaring too many lower-level offenders and breeds distrust of law enforcement. The decision reflects a growing disconnect between the priorities of the Obama administration, which has presided over a record number of deportations and views tough enforcement as a means of winning eventual Republican support for overhauling immigration law, and state and local officials who see some measures as overly harsh and arbitrary.

"The actions of the governors of Massachusetts, New York and Illinois are clear evidence that president Obama has been misguided in his enforcement strategy, particularly where Secure Communities comes in," said Jacki Esposito, director of immigration advocacy for the New York Immigrant Coalition. "The actions by these governors are clear signs that Obama must take executive action to reverse course."Read more...

Published in the International Business Times

Court Finds Tax Crimes Are Aggravated Felonies

Kawashima v. Holder, 565 U.S. ___, 132 S. Ct. 1166 (2012).

In a 6-3 decision written by Justice Thomas, the Supreme Court affirmed a Ninth Circuit decision holding that convictions for committing and aiding tax evasion in which the Government’s loss exceeds $10,000 qualify as aggravated felonies under INA § 101(a)(43)(M)(i) and therefore, are deportable offenses. In so holding, the Court resolved a circuit split between the Third and Ninth Circuits in favor of the latter. Compare Ki Se Lee v. Ashcroft, 368 F.3d 218 (3d Cir. 2004) with Kawashima v. Holder, 615 F.3d 1043 (9th Cir. 2010).

The Court began its analysis by stating that it will employ the categorical approach by looking to the statutory definition of the crime rather than the specific facts of the case. See Gonzales v. Duenas-Alvarez, 549 U.S. 183, 186 (2007). First, the Court found that the elements of the tax crimes at issue, 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1) and (2), clearly establish that commission of the crimes involves fraud or deceit. Second, the Court addressed the Petitioners’ argument that INA § 101(a)(43)(M)(i) must be read in conjunction with INA § 101(a)(43)(M)(ii), and because clause (ii) references a specific tax crime (not at issue here), Congress did not intend clause (i) to cover tax crimes as well. The Court rejected that argument, concluding that the two clauses are not mutually exclusive and thus tax crimes are not excluded from clause (i).

Justice Ginsburg, joined by Justices Breyer and Kagan, issued a dissent in which she challenged the Court’s “dubious” statutory interpretation.