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Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 5, No. 2

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This issue covers an upcoming Supreme Court argument on the aggravated felony definition; a decision in a suit challenging a state law regulating verification of employment eligibility; favorable court of appeals asylum decisions; litigation resources, and highlights from the LAC (including litigation involving federal court jurisdiction and the Child Status Protection Act, and advocacy around the asylum clock).

Published On: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 | Download File

Heather Conn Explores the Art of Being an American through Cinema

May, 2008
Heather Conn

The Exchange Visitor Program is pleased to announce Heather Conn as May's Exchange Visitor of the Month. Each month, we select an exchange visitor who has made an effort to get involved in his/her community and explore American Culture. Read more...

New report indicates Arizona-style immigration laws do not favor local economies

Published on Tue, Mar 29, 2011

A report released this month aims to help state legislators considering Arizona-style immigration-enforcement bills answer this question: If S.B. 1070-type laws accomplish the declared goal of driving out all undocumented immigrants, what effect would it have on state economies?

This report comes when Florida Republican legislators in both chambers are working to change the Sunshine State’s immigration laws through bills that copy Arizona’s law while making controversial federal enforcement programs Secure Communities and 287(g) state law.

Critics of the proposed Florida bills have pointed to the civil rights and legal violations, as well as the economic burden, these bills would have on the state’s residents.

The report issued by the Center for American Progress and the Immigration Policy Center concludes that:

• Immigrant workers as a whole added $47.1 billion to Arizona’s gross state product — the total value added by workers of goods and services produced in the state — in 2008. The undocumented workforce by itself accounted for $23.5 billion of this gross state product.

• The pre-tax earnings of immigrant workers in Arizona totaled almost $30 billion for all immigrant workers and nearly $15 billion for undocumented workers.

• The output and spending of all immigrant workers generated 1.2 million jobs in Arizona in 2008, while the output and spending of undocumented workers generated 581,000 jobs.

• The analysis estimates that immigrants on the whole paid $6 billion in taxes in 2008, while undocumented immigrants paid approximately $2.8 billion.

The report adds that the effect of deportation in Arizona would:

  • Decrease total employment by 17.2 percent.
  • Eliminate 581,000 jobs for immigrant and native-born workers alike.
  • Shrink state economy by $48.8 billion.
  • Reduce state tax revenues by 10.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the effects of legalization in Arizona would:Read more...

Published in the Florida Independent

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

For years, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the component of the Department of Homeland Security tasked with preventing illegal entries into the United States, has employed unlawful tactics that violate the rights of U.S. citizens and noncitizens alike.  The public knows relatively little about CBP’s activities, and this lack of transparency has made it difficult to hold CBP officers, including Border Patrol agents, accountable for misconduct.  The LAC is engaged in administrative advocacy and litigation intended to expose CBP’s unlawful practices and promote policies that safeguard the civil liberties of all persons who cross our borders.

CASES

Class Action Lawsuit Challenges CBP Delays in Responding to FOIA Requests

Brown v. CBP, No. 15-cv-01181 (N.D. Cal. filed March 13, 2015)

In March, 2015, the American Immigration Council, in collaboration with the Law Office of Stacy Tolchin, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, filed a class action lawsuit against CBP over its nationwide pattern and practice of failing to timely respond to requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The plaintiffs included both immigration attorneys and individuals, all of whom had FOIA requests pending for over 20 business days.Read more...

What is the Australia/United States of America Work and Holiday Visa?

Read the 2007 Practice Advisory on the Australian Work and Holiday visa.

Download File

DHS Does Right by Some Haitians, Extends Protected Status

Published on Wed, May 18, 2011

The Department of Homeland Security has decided to show some reason and compassion in its dealings with Haitians who might have been headed for deportation as soon as their Temporary Protected Status was set to expire this summer. On Tuesday, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that her department would be extending TPS for Haitian nationals another 18 months, through January 2013.

Under the new extension, Haitians who have been in the country since January 12 of this year will be eligible to stay in the U.S. and be legally allowed to work in the country. The Obama administration originally announced that it would grant TPS to Haitians as a result of the devastating earthquake last year. TPS is typically granted on a limited basis to folks from countries mired in war or natural disaster, where returning would be too dangerous. According to the Department of Homeland Security, 48,000 Haitians are in the country under Temporary Protected Status. Around 60,000 or so initially applied for TPS—far fewer than the estimated 100,000 to 200,000 undocumented Haitian-Americans in the country at the time.

“In the extended aftermath of the devastating earthquakes in Haiti, the United States has remained fully committed to upholding our responsibility to assist individuals affected by this tragedy by using tools available under the law,” Napolitano said.

“Providing a temporary refuge for Haitian nationals who are currently in the United States and whose personal safety would be endangered by returning to Haiti is part of this administration’s continuing efforts to support Haiti’s recovery.”

Immigration policy experts and advocates applauded the announcement, and Napolitano’s use of her discretionary powers to help ease the suffering of folks who would be sent back to a country that is still in dangerous disarray.Read more...

Published in the Colorlines Magazine

Supreme Court Holds that Courts Have Jurisdiction to Review Motions to Reopen

Kucana v. Holder, 558 U.S. 233 (2010)

 

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held that the courts of appeals have jurisdiction to review a BIA decision denying a motion to reopen. Read more...

Economists say Alabama's tough new immigration law could damage state's economy

Published on Sat, Jul 16, 2011

MONTGOMERY -- Supporters of the state's new immigration law called it a jobs program when it was being debated in the Legislature, but some economists predict it will put the stigma of the 1960s back on Alabama.

In enacting what has been described as the nation's toughest immigration law, some fear the Legislature's action will backfire, possibly driving away industrial prospects as it promises to chase away thousands of Hispanics holding jobs in construction, food service, manufacturing and agriculture.

Dr. Keivan Deravi, an economics professor at Auburn Montgomery and budget adviser to the Legislature, says the law wasn't supported by facts and wasn't based on "real economic theories and research."

"It is the wrong message sent to the rest of the nation and the business world, especially considering the degree of ongoing globalization," he said.

But Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, the Senate sponsor of the immigration bill, called that view a wish of "something bad on the state."

"A business invests where it gets a good quality product and work force," he said. "I don't believe for a minute that it (immigration law) will keep them from coming here. I do not believe it hurts us on the world stage."

Rep. Micky Hammon, R-Decatur, the House sponsor of the bill, did not return a phone call.

The law is scheduled to take effect Sept. 1, although a coalition of civil rights groups filed a federal class-action lawsuit that asserts it is unconstitutional because it interferes with federal authority over immigration matters.

Dr. Chris Westley, associate professor of economics at Jacksonville State University, said the law raises the "perception factor" about the state and that capital investment "will tend to avoid Alabama relative to other Southern states."Read more...

Published in the Alabama.com

LAC Wins Release of H-1B Fraud Documents for AILA

For Immediate Release

LAC Wins Release of H-1B Fraud Documents for AILA

November 9, 2012

Washington, D.C.—USCIS released in full the four remaining contested documents in a FOIA lawsuit brought by the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) and Steptoe & Johnson LLP on behalf of AILA. The documents plainly describe - in more detail than documents previously released in this lawsuit - “fraud indicators” that result in greater scrutiny of certain H-1B applications. These documents are troubling evidence of a near presumption of fraud in H-1B applications submitted by small and emerging businesses and for certain types of positions at these businesses.  The following documents were released:

Background of the LawsuitRead more...