Washington D.C. - Last week, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) issued new guidance addressing the “asylum clock.” The asylum clock calculates a mandatory 180-day waiting period before an asylum applicant can receive work authorization. Any delay caused by the asylum applicant will stop the clock and prolong the waiting period for work authorization. However, delays are often incorrectly attributed to the applicant and asylum seekers are unjustly prevented from working for long periods of time.
EOIR’s new guidance provides some much-needed clarity and addresses certain longstanding problems. In particular, it clarifies that the asylum clock should not stop in the event of a delay caused by a government attorney or the court, and that immigration judges must indicate on the record the reason for postponing a case.
Unfortunately, EOIR fails to resolve more systemic problems through its new guidance including:Read more...
An en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of young adults who, due to long delays caused by visa backlogs, lost the opportunity to obtain their green cards before they turned 21. In accordance with arguments made in an amicus brief submitted by the Legal Action Center and the National Immigrant Justice Center, the court held that Congress specifically remedied this problem in the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) of 2002, by allowing children who were listed on their parents’ visa petitions, but who turned 21 before a visa became available, to retain the earlier filing date of their parents’ visa petitions when new visa petitions are filed for them as adults. As the court explained, “This ensures that visas are available quickly, rather than requiring the now-adult aliens to wait many more years in a new visa line.”
The court’s ruling overturned a precedent decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals, Matter of Wang, 25 I. & N. Dec. 28 (BIA 2009), which interpreted the law as benefiting only one visa category of “aged-out” children.
The court issued its decision in two cases, one of which is a national class action. The petitioners in the two cases were represented by Reeves and Associates and the Law Offices of Carl Shusterman.
Amid a growing restlessness that immigration reform has been put on the back burner in Washington, local activists are beginning to ratchet up the pressure on their elected officials. Yesterday, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) kicked off its own leg of the nationwide Reform Immigration FOR America campaign. As the Tribune reports, their latest strategy for pushing the reform agenda comes from an unlikely source:
Day Four of Senate Mark-Up Will Address New Legalization Program
Released on Mon, May 20, 2013
Washington D.C. - Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee continues mark-up of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. The Committee is expected to complete work on Title Three and then begin considering amendments related to the legalization component of Title Two.
Creating a pathway to citizenship is one of the fundamental principles of S. 744, but many of the amendments offered in Committee appear designed to weaken the bipartisan program put forth in the bill by limiting eligibility, creating more hoops to jump through, and undermining procedural safeguards. The Senate Judiciary Committee should evaluate such proposals by asking what is necessary to achieve a workable plan for legalization of 11 million people—one that ensures the program has integrity, but that is also designed to succeed. The Gang of 8’s proposal is not perfect, but it was crafted with this goal in mind.
Amendments that would deter many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants from applying for or remaining in the program, or that would make it a bureaucratic nightmare to implement, must be avoided. Instead, if we wish to ensure that we are not repeating the mistakes of the past, we must strive for a generous and fair program that recognizes the contributions already being made by undocumented immigrants to this country.
In order to create a successful legalization program, Senators should keep in mind the following principles when considering the amendments offered under Title Two:Read more...
In his Dec. 3 Ideas piece, “Recovering Stolen Jobs Key to Recovery,” Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) misconstrues the relationship between unauthorized immigration and unemployment among native-born workers. Smith seems to think that deporting the 8 million unauthorized-immigrant workers now in the United States would magically create 8 million job openings for unemployed, native-born Americans. In the real world, however, it’s not that simple. Immigrant and native-born workers cannot simply be exchanged for one another like batteries.
Legalization of the more than 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States would raise wages, increase consumption, create jobs and generate more tax revenue, two policy institutes say in a joint report Thursday. The report by the Center for American Progress and the American Immigration Council estimates that "comprehensive immigration reform that legalizes currently unauthorized immigrants and creates flexible legal limits on future immigration" would yield at least $1.5 trillion in added U.S. gross domestic product over a 10-year period.
A federal program to identify and deport dangerous criminal immigrants has been routinely scooping up legal and unauthorized immigrants with little or no criminal history, according to a locally generated study released this week by the Immigration Policy Center in Washington.
According to the study, 57 percent of immigrants identified by the Criminal Alien Program in 2009 had no criminal convictions, up from 53 percent in 2008.