This issue covers the Supreme Court's favorable decision in an aggravated felony case, a legal challenge to the H-1B/Neufeld Memo on the employer-employee relationship, EOIR resources on BIA precedents, a court of appeals decision vacating a BIA precedent on the finality of a conviction, updates on the suits challenging Arizona's immigration law (SB 1070), and LAC litigation on access to courts, motions to reopen, and the Child Status Protection Act.
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.
As of June 30, bills similar to Arizona's law had been introduced in South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Michigan.
In the first half of the year, 44 state legislatures passed 191 laws and adopted 128 resolutions relating to immigrants and refugees, with governors vetoing five of the bills. This was a 21 percent increase in enacted laws and resolutions from the same time period in 2009.
Most of the state legislation addresses employment, law enforcement and identification.
In all of 2009 more than 1,500 bills were introduced in state legislatures related to immigration, compared to 300 in 2005.
Immigrants made up more than 12 percent of the U.S. population in 2008 and the foreign-born share of Arizona's population was 14.3 percent that year. In California, which is also on the border, foreign-born residents make up more than a quarter of the population. Latinos make up the biggest group.
The Latino share of Arizona's population was 30.1 percent in 2008. In neighboring Texas, Latinos made up 36.5 percent of the population and in California they made up 32.4 percent. In New Mexico, they represented nearly 45 percent of the population.
Earlier this week, the American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center (LAC), the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center filed an amicus brief with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) urging the government to protect the rights of immigrants whose mental disabilities prevent them from participating meaningfully in their own removal hearings. "This is particularly disturbing given that these immigrants are not granted court-appointed counsel in removal proceedings" said Melissa Crow, Director of the Legal Action Center.
CAP is a massive, nationwide enforcement program administered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that identifies removable noncitizens and places them into removal proceedings. CAP is currently active in all state and federal prisons, as well as more than 300 local jails throughout the country. The program is implicated in approximately half of all removal proceedings. Although CAP supposedly focuses on the worst criminal offenders, the program appears to target individuals with little or no criminal history and to incentivize pretextual stops and racial profiling. Despite CAP's role in facilitating the removal of hundreds of thousands of individuals each year, and despite serving as ICE's “bedrock” enforcement initiative, very little information about CAP is available to the public.
Seeking greater transparency, the American Immigration Council (AIC), in collaboration with the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic of Yale Law School and the Connecticut chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), brought a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to compel the release of records that would shed light on the program.
The House-Senate conferees who crafted the final version of the economic stimulus legislation faced considerable pressure to include immigration-related measures that are long on rhetoric and short on results. Read the Immigration Policy Center's statement on the final provisions in the bill.
Congressional Hearing Ignores Impacts on Business and Asserts it's Good for Workers
Released on Thu, Feb 10, 2011
Washington D.C. - Today, the House Immigration Subcommittee held its second hearing of the new session. Ironically, the hearing was titled "E-Verify - Preserving Jobs for American Workers." Some members of Congress persist in their belief that expanding E-Verify and making it mandatory is a magic-bullet solution to our immigration woes. However, data and analysis demonstrate that expanding E-Verify now would actually have harmful consequences for U.S. workers, employers, and the economy.
Earlier today, the Immigration Policy Center hosted a call with a U.S. citizen who was wrongfully terminated due to an E-Verify error, an attorney who sees first hand the economic impact voluntary E-Verify is having on U.S. businesses and workers, and policy experts.
U.S. citizen Jessica St. Pierre described her experience after being rejected by E-Verify. She spent four months trying to correct the error, which originated with her employer and E-Verify. Jessica dealt with federal agencies, credit bureaus and her former employer, trying to clear her name so she could return to work. Read Jessica's story.Read more...
Anyone who thinks the fight to overhaul health care and the fight to overhaul immigration laws are unrelated hasn't been paying much attention -- at least not to the fact that many of those who oppose one oppose the other. It's one more problem for those seeking to fix health care.