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The LAC Docket | Volume I, Issue 3

The Newsletter of the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center

June 3, 2011
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OUR WORK

Enforcement

Obama Administration urged to exercise prosecutorial discretion in compelling cases

Frustrated by Congress’ failure to enact comprehensive reform, immigration advocates have increasingly advocated for a robust prosecutorial discretion policy that encourages immigration officers to grant relief from deportation in compelling cases. In a letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano in early April, the American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) asked the Department of Homeland Security to offer written guidance setting forth detailed criteria on the favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion. A subsequent legal memorandum released by the Immigration Council and co-signed by two general counsels of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service outlined specific steps the Administration could take to forestall removals in sympathetic cases. Read more...

Chasing the Dream: Sorting Fact and Myth Is Biggest Obstacle to Immigration Reform

Published on Tue, May 01, 2012

Consensus doesn’t seem to have a place in policy discussions about the state of the U.S. immigration system. But there is, at least, widespread agreement that the system needs fixing.

“Everyone will tell you the laws aren’t working,” says Brittney Nystrom, director of policy and legal affairs at the National Immigration Forum in Washington, D.C. But beyond that starting premise, views on immigration laws start to splinter.

“On both sides of this debate, there are deeply held beliefs about what immigration means to America,” says Nystrom. “On one side, you have the idea that we’re a nation of immigrants, and it’s healthy and important to keep that tradition alive. On the other side, you have the argument that immigrants are a burden. Trying to factually discuss immigration becomes almost impossible when people tend to fall into one camp or the other based on what they’re told.” Read more...

Published in the ABA Journal

Barbara Murik Chesman

Barbara Murik Chesman was born in the Schlachtenzee Displaced Persons Camp in Berlin, Germany after World War II. Her parents, Abraham and Lisa Murik (nee Davidowicz) both survived the horrors of the Holocaust and emigrated from Germany to the United States in March of 1949.

The family settled here in Washington, DC where Mrs. Chesman attended Wheatley Elementary School, the Hebrew Academy of Washington, and Western High School (now Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts). She later attended the University of Maryland where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government and Politics in May of 1968.

While at college, Mrs. Chesman started working part-time for the Department of State in the Bureau of Consular Affairs for the Passport Office. Following graduation, Mrs. Chesman became a full time employee of the Department of State in August of 1968 in the Office of Passport Services. She met her future husband Bernard Chesman in May of 1971 and they were married June 4, 1972 at Beth Sholom Synagogue in Washington, DC. Immediately following their marriage, they moved to Atlanta Georgia for 7 months, but decided to return to Washington in January 1973 where Mrs. Chesman resumed her career in the Passport Office.

Mrs. Chesman has held many positions in almost every part of the Office of Passport Services but her most notable achievement came in June of 1994, when the Special Issuance Agency (the passport agency which handles all passports for the Federal government) was made a separate entity and she was named Director. Currently, Mrs. Chesman serves in that position today.Read more...

Deferred deportation program ready to begin accepting applications

Published on Fri, Aug 10, 2012

Cronkite News listed IPC statistics in an article about the deferred deportation program preparing to accept applications on August 15, 2012.  The numbers come from IPC's "Who and Where the DREAMers Are," and breaks down the numbers of eligible immigrants living in Arizona by congressional district: Read more...

Published in the Cronkite News

Royce Bernstein Murray, Esq.

Royce Bernstein Murray, Esq. worked for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) for eight years: as Associate Counsel in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Office of the Chief Counsel, Refugee and Asylum Law Division from 2003‐2008, and as a Presidential Management Fellow/Asylum Officer in the INS Office of International Affairs from 2000‐2002. At present, Ms. Murray is an adjunct professor of immigration law at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law and an independent refugee and immigration law consultant. She is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center and holds a B.A. with distinction in political science from the University of Michigan.

The IPC's Mary Giovagnoli in the Christian Science Monitor

Published on Thu, Apr 25, 2013

The IPC's Director, Mary Giovagnoli, was quoted in a recent article in the Christian Science Monitor on what could be expected from the new reform package from the Senate:

"Pro-reform analysts say that’s a good thing: The bill is replacing illegal workers with legal ones, these advocates argue, thus allowing American employers legally to meet legitimate business needs and uniting families kept apart by poorly fashioned immigration laws.

“You’re having to play catch-up for 20 years of neglect of this system,” says Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center and a former aide to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D) of Massachusetts during the 2007 immigration reform effort.

Without creating a functional (and larger) legal immigration system, they say, the lures for illegal immigration will remain."

Published in the Christian Science Monitor

Hiroshi Motomura

Hiroshi Motomura, Susan Westerberg Prager Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law, is the co‐author of two immigration‐related casebooks: Immigration and Citizenship: Process and Policy (Seventh Edition 2012), and Forced Migration: Law and Policy, published in 2007. The substance of this report is drawn from Hiroshi Motomura, “The Discretion That Matters: Federal Immigration Enforcement, State and Local Arrests, and the Civil–Criminal Line,” UCLA Law Review 58 (2011): 1819‐1858, which cites the relevant sources.

 

AIC Executive Director Ben Johnson in the Roanoke Times

Published on Mon, Sep 30, 2013

The AIC's Executive Director, Ben Johnson, had an op-ed titled "The High Cost of Inaction" published in Virginia's Roanoke Times.  In it, he draws attention to the recent IPC Fact Sheet, "The Cost of Doing Nothing:  Dollars, Lives, and Opportunities Lost in the Wait for Immigration Reform," released last week. 

"Yet, three months after the Senate passed immigration reform legislation (S. 744), the House of Representatives continues to dawdle. Other than giving speeches and mulling over a few backward-looking, enforcement-only bills, the House has done nothing to revamp the broken U.S. immigration system or put forward any vision of what to do with the 11 million unauthorized immigrants now living in the United States — 210,000 of whom call Virginia home. The standard excuse for this inaction is that there are too many other high-priority items on the legislative agenda right now — so immigration reform will have to wait.

"But while Congress waits, dollars and lives are being lost."

Published in the Roanoke Times

Contact Us

CONTACT INFORMATION:

The International Exchange Center is located at:

American Immigration Council
International Exchange Center
Suite 200
1331 G Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

Email: J1Program@immcouncil.org
Phone: (202) 507-7506


Please email J1Program@immcouncil.org for all J-1 visa related inquiries. Someone will respond to your query within 1-2 business days, or as soon as we are able to obtain information relevant to your issue.

If you need to reach the office by phone, you will be directed to an operator who will direct your call to the appropriate staff member.

If you are a seeking updates regarding the status of a recently submitted application, or information regarding the issuance of a DS 2019 form, please contact one of the Program Specialists with your questions.Read more...

NY Times Highlights Immigration Council Lawsuit Challenging Tactics at Immigrant Detention Center

Published on Fri, Aug 22, 2014

The New York Times recently highlighted a lawsuit filed by the American Immigration Council and other groups challenging the governments policies of denying a fair deportation process to mothers and children who have fled extreme violence, death threats, rape, and persecution in Central America and come to the United States seeking safety.

The article states:

"The lawsuit, brought in Federal District Court in Washington, says that immigration authorities created a system to rush deportations from the temporary center holding about 600 mothers and their children in the isolated desert town of Artesia, N.M. The suit accuses officials of raising numerous legal and practical hurdles to discourage migrants from seeking asylum, after deciding in advance that few petitions would succeed.

'By locking up women and babies, the Obama administration has made it their mission to deport these people as quickly as possible,' said Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, one of the groups bringing the suit. 'Our message to the government is simple: Follow the law,' she said during a conference call with reporters. 'We must ensure that every person who interacts with our legal system has a fair hearing.'Read more...

Published in the New York Times