A briefing with experts recently featured in the PBS series "Frontline," who have interviewed thousands of experienced and potential migrants, studied U.S. immigration enforcement up close at the border, and reached important conclusions about our current border-enforcement efforts.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals adopted the arguments of the Legal Action Center (LAC), of the American Immigration Council, that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) unlawfully imposed extra-regulatory requirements on a petition for a worker of "extraordinary ability" (EB-1).
Washington D.C. - The American Immigration Council has joined a number of organizations in formally commenting on a proposed detainer policy issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Detainers are requests from ICE to local law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to hold people - whom they suspect may be in the country illegally or who may be deportable for other reasons - so they can be transferred into ICE's custody. There has been much criticism about how ICE uses detainers, and the use of detainers has expanded over time with enforcement programs like 287(g), Secure Communities, and the Criminal Alien Program. To address the criticisms, ICE developed new draft guidelines on the issuance of detainers.
The Immigration Council acknowledges ICE's attempt to ameliorate its detainer policies and is grateful for the opportunity to comment. However, the comments identify several major problems with the proposed guidance, including:
The proposed guidelines do not reflect ICE's stated enforcement priorities. In July, ICE issued a memo on its enforcement priorities, focusing on immigrants with serious criminal histories. ICE's proposed detainer guidelines contradict those priorities. Although ICE claims to target convicted criminals who pose a threat to public safety, the proposed guidance would allow ICE to issue detainers against people arrested for minor offenses and suspects charged with crimes but not convicted.
Washington, D.C.—The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) cautiously applauds last week’s decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals concerning the rights of immigrants with mental disabilities in removal proceedings. Echoing concerns expressed in amicusbriefsfiled by the LAC in other Board cases, the decision acknowledged the need for a framework to ensure that immigrants with mental competency issues are not deported without fair hearings.
“While the Board’s decision is a welcome first step, more comprehensive guidance will be necessary to protect the due process rights of immigrants who lack mental competency,” said Melissa Crow, director of the Legal Action Center (LAC). “A rulemaking process, with outreach to a broad spectrum of stakeholders and an opportunity for discussion and formal comments, would be the ideal mechanism for establishing procedures in this context.”Read more...
The American Immigration Council welcomes Leslie Dellon, who will be joining us in July as our Business Litigation Fellow. As a member of the Council’s legal team, Leslie will spearhead a national effort to challenge current agency policies and practices on employment-based immigration issues.
Heavily-Divided Supreme Court Upholds Matter of WangRead more...
Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed suit against the state of Utah to block the implementation of HB 497, which mandates that local police enforce immigration laws. Several provisions of the law have already been enjoined as a result of previous legal challenges from immigrant rights groups. The DOJ claims that HB 497 violates the Constitution, and the suit is consistent with its other challenges in Alabama, Arizona and South Carolina. Utah's HB 497 is similar to Arizona's SB1070, however Utah state legislators attempted to couple the enforcement bill with a state-level guest-worker program. The guest-worker program is not yet being challenged by DOJ, as it does not go into effect until 2013.
The DOJ continues to appropriately exercise its obligation to preserve the federal government’s exclusive authority to regulate immigration and its responsibility to take a stand against laws that will result in profiling, discrimination and the violation of fundamental constitutional rights. As noted by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, these types of state immigration laws will overload the federal government with referrals and divert scarce resources from the agency’s highest priorities—national security and public safety.Read more...