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Another Court Upholds Immigrants' Right to Pursue Case From Outside the U.S.

Released on Wed, Aug 03, 2011

Washington, D.C. - Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit joined the growing list of courts to reject the government’s attempt to bar noncitizens from seeking reopening or reconsideration of their cases from outside the United States. The American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, which filed a joint amicus brief in the case and argued before the court, applaud the court’s ruling. “The court’s decision is yet another step in protecting the important safeguards that Congress put in place to help ensure that noncitizens are not unlawfully separated from their families,” said Beth Werlin of the Legal Action Center.

The Legal Action Center and the National Immigration Project have coordinated litigation on this issue nationwide and call on the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to abandon its misguided regulation barring review of motions filed by noncitizens outside the United States.  To date, six courts of appeals have rejected the departure bar.  And just this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, the only court with a decision at odds with the majority, granted rehearing en banc to address the validity of the departure bar.  “The writing is on the wall.  It’s past time for the government to stop cutting off access to the BIA and immigration courts by defending this clearly unlawful regulation,” said Trina Realmuto of the National Immigration Project.Read more...

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Importing Dollars

Published on Tue, Sep 01, 2009

Jose Loa's uncle opened the first Carniceria Loa 13 years ago in Dalton, Ga. Now the family owns seven stores, not only in the self-proclaimed carpet capital of the world, but also Chattanooga and Cleveland, Tenn.

Published in the Chatanooga Times

Groups Seek Information on CBP’s "Translation" Activities in Northern Border States

Released on Mon, Jun 04, 2012

Washington, D.C. - Last week an alliance of immigration advocacy groups represented by the Legal Action Center filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The FOIA requests seek information regarding CBP policies on providing translation assistance to other law enforcement agencies and on participating in 911 dispatch activities. The filing coincided with a federal agency decision finding the U.S. Forest Service’s policy of using Border Patrol agents as interpreters to be discriminatory. The alliance is seeking documents explaining the relevant legal authority, applicable procedural guidance, training materials, statistical data, and complaints filed with the government as a result of CBP's practices.

Over the past year, advocates in states along the northern border of the United States have reported that Border Patrol agents frequently “assist” other law enforcement agencies by serving as Spanish-English interpreters and participating in 911 dispatch activities. Capitalizing on their access to noncitizens, Border Patrol agents often use these opportunities to question individuals about their immigration status and, in many cases, initiate removal proceedings.

There is little public information about the scope and purpose of CBP's collaboration with other law enforcement agencies. The alliance hopes to promote greater transparency regarding these practices and includes the American Immigration Council, the Michigan Organizing Project/Alliance for Immigrants & Reform Michigan, Migrant Justice, the New York Immigration Coalition, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and OneAmerica.


To view the FOIA requests in their entirety see:Read more...

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Latino and Asian Clout in the Voting Booth

Published on Wed, Aug 12, 2009

Immediately after the Presidential election of 2008, it was quickly apparent through exit polling that Latino, Asian, and African-American voting had expanded dramatically compared to the 2004 election. Census Bureau data released late last month confirms the tremendous growth in voting among these groups. Today, the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) releases a fact check, Latino and Asian Clout in the Voting Booth, which shows how much the electoral power of racial and ethnic minorities increased in just four years.

Published in the SOA World Magazine

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

Released on Wed, Mar 13, 2013

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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ICE Agrees to Release Thousands of Previously-Withheld Records

Settlement Will Provide First Detailed Look at “Criminal Alien Program”

Released on Fri, Aug 02, 2013

Washington, DC – Yesterday, a U.S. District Court in Connecticut approved a settlement in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit challenging the refusal of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to release tens of thousands of documents about the Criminal Alien Program (CAP), one of the agency’s largest enforcement programs. CAP currently is active in all state and federal prisons, as well as more than 300 local jails throughout the country and is implicated in approximately half of all deportation proceedings.  Although CAP supposedly targets the worst criminal offenders, the program also appears to target individuals with little or no criminal history for deportation and to incentivize pretextual stops and racial profiling.

Although CAP facilitates the removal of hundreds of thousands of individuals each year, very little information about the program is available to the public. To better understand CAP, the American Immigration Council (AIC), in collaboration with the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic of Yale Law School and the Connecticut chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), filed a FOIA lawsuit to compel ICE to disclose information about CAP. 

Under the terms of the settlement, ICE has agreed to produce numerous previously-withheld records, including:Read more...

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Study: Reform immigration would increase workers' salaries

Published on Thu, Jan 07, 2010

Immigration reform that would permit the legalization of undocumented immigrants in the United States would boost the economy and increase the wages of native born and newly legalized immigrants, said a study released Thursday.

Published in the UNIVSION

Immigration reform affords chance to improve economy

Published on Tue, Mar 09, 2010

As President Barack Obama discusses immigration reform with congressional leaders, it is important to keep in mind that such reform would deliver a much-needed boost to the U.S. economy. Contrary to the views of some, immigration is an economic resource that can be maximized to the benefit of both immigrant and native-born workers. A comprehensive immigration reform package that includes a pathway to legal status for unauthorized immigrants already living in the United States would increase their wages, and therefore their purchasing power and tax contributions, which would support hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs at a time of high unemployment, and generate billions of dollars in government revenue at a time of gaping budget deficits.

Published in the The Hill

Legalizing undocumented immigrants would boost economy

Published on Mon, Apr 19, 2010

A new study published by the Center for American Progress and the Immigration Policy Center demonstrates that the legalization of the 11 to 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States could raise the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of this country by $1.5 trillion over 10 years, and bring other benefits to U.S. workers and the nation's economy.

Published in the People's World

New York Reviews Deportation Policies for Immigrants

Published on Tue, May 11, 2010

Immigrants arrested for decades-old or minor violations, like marijuana possession, may soon be less subject to deportation in at least one state.

Last week, New York state officials promised to ease deportations of immigrants who had committed minor violations. The New York Times reported that the state’s governor, David Paterson, plans to grant more pardons to immigrants facing deportation.

Published in the Latin American Dispatch