This issue covers lawsuits challenging Arizona’s immigration enforcement law SB 1070; two Supreme Court decisions issued this spring involving immigrants; a lawsuit challenging continued detention after the expiration of a detainer; an overview of several “material support” mandamus cases challenging delay in adjudicating adjustment applications, and important reminders from the LAC (including dates and locations for the Council’s litigation and detention meetings at AILA’s Annual Conference, as well as LAC litigation and practice advisory updates).
A Georgia federal judge heard arguments this week over whether Georgia's new Arizona-style immigration law should stand or fall. The judge heard arguments on both the constitutionality and the practicality of enforcing the law.
The law closely mirrors Mississippi's 2011 Senate Bill 2179 - which, like the Georgia law, would have required county and municipal law enforcement officers to investigate the immigration status of certain suspects and to arrest and jail illegal immigrants. The bill failed in Mississippi when House and Senate negotiators could not agree on the law.
Those disagreements were heightened when the Mississippi Municipal League raised legitimate concerns that the bill was an "unfunded mandate" from the Legislature that would increase costs on county and municipal governments and could raise taxes.
The Mississippi bill required housing illegal immigrants in county jails and transporting them to the nearest U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Louisiana. But the bill provided only $20 a day for local governments to pay the costs of incarceration and no funds for transportation, medical expense and host of other potential costs.
Texas state legislators are voting this week on similar legislation. With almost 9.5 million Hispanic residents comprising nearly 38 percent of the state's population, the outcome of this law in Texas will be closely watched nationally.
If adopted, Texans would join citizens in Arizona, Utah, Georgia, Indiana, Alabama and South Carolina as states that have adopted broadly scaled state laws addressing the enforcement of federal immigration laws.
Clearly, immigration is not a problem in Mississippi of the size and scope that it is in Texas and Arizona.Read more...
With over 58,000 employees, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the largest law enforcement agency in the United States, has significantly expanded its immigration-related activities since 2009. Credible reports of abuses by Border Patrol agents and other CBP officers have fostered increased litigation in recent years. This Litigation Issue Page highlights challenges to CBP misconduct and related FOIA lawsuits.
Proposed Class Challenges Unconstitutional Stops and Interrogations by Border Patrol Agents in Washington State Jose Sanchez, et al. v. U.S. Office of Border Patrol, et al., No. 2:12-cv-00735 (W.D.Wa. filed April 26, 2012)
The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) and the ACLU of Washington, in collaboration with Perkins Coie LLP, filed a class action lawsuit alleging that the Border Patrol’s practice of stopping vehicles on the Olympic Peninsula and interrogating occupants without legal justification violates their constitutional rights.Read more...
In addition to recommendations of cities to visit during the holidays and a guide to office gift exchanges, this holiday issue includes an alum's memories of a road trip in Texas and the exchange visitor of the month's encounter with a friendly bus driver in Chicago.
Under a new decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals made on Thursday, immigrants arrested without a warrant will not be read their rights until they are placed in formal deportation proceedings. The Board argued that its decision (PDF) was based on changes to regulations stating that immigrants arrested without a warrant need not be informed of their rights before being questioned.
Melissa Crow, director of the Legal Action Center at the American Immigration Council, said in a press release, “The Board’s ruling renders the advisals practically meaningless and makes immigrants less likely to remain silent when questioned and less likely to assert their right to counsel.”
The new decision makes it harder for immigration attorneys to successfully file motions to suppress evidence acquired while violating an immigrant’s rights. Such motions are being used more often in deportation cases, which are themselves occurring at record levels.
Although people arrested for immigration violations don’t have “Miranda rights” per se, arresting immigration officers were required to inform immigrants of their right to an attorney and that anything they say can be used against them. Now, Crow told TAI, that protection is rendered less effective because officials can inform immigrants of their rights after they given incriminating testimony while under warrantless arrest.
Technically, the decision only affects arrests by federal immigration officials. However, Secure Communities, the new Immigration and Customs Enforcement program in which local law enforcement give the fingerprints of people they arrest to federal immigration officials, could reinforce the effects of the decision.
That’s because immigrants can potentially give incriminating testimony well before federal officials place them in deportation proceedings but after they have been flagged by Secure Communities.Read more...
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.
The International Exchange Center is proud to announce Yves Thiers as this month’s Exchange Visitor of the Month. Yves came to the United States from Belgium soon after graduating with a Master of Industrial Science degree. He hoped to be able to gain hands on knowledge of the engineering projects he studied at university. His host company, Dal-Tile Corporation, was just the place for this. Dal-Tile Corporation is a tile manufacturer and distributor based out of Dallas, TX. Read more...
Newt Gingrich is trying to carve out a middle way on illegal immigration, pushing a “Red Card Solution” that would essentially expand the guest-worker program without giving those immigrants a pathway to citizenship.
But Gingrich’s compromise isn’t eliciting much praise within the immigration community: Activists on both on left and right say that Red Carding fails to address fundamental problems with the U.S. immigration system.
On the right, advocates who want greater restrictions on immigration say the Red Card Solution simply gives businesses a pool of cheap labor at the expense of native-born workers. The Kriebel Foundation, which developed the idea, “has an interest in a modern-day form of slavery while wages have atrophied for less-skilled American workers,” says Dan Stein, president of the conservative Federation for American Immigration Reform. “This is effort to create a stratified labor force that provides wealthy employers with a way to get employees at below-market rates.” What’s more, he warns, guest workers with Red Cards might simply overstay their visit when their work permits expire.
Pro-immigration advocates argue that the Red Card plan would undermine the rights of immigrants and would be massively difficult to put in place. “It virtually guarantees that we create second-class status for workers and their families — lawful but with no real rights,” says Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center. She described plan’s the elimination of birthright citizenship for Red Card workers as “eradicating rights.” She also says the proposal ignores the need to reform the legal immigration system.Read more...
The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a rational conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society. IPC reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policy makers. IPC staff regularly serves as experts to leaders on Capitol Hill, opinion-makers and the media. IPC, formed in 2003 is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office.