Cover letter dated August 22, 2012 from Fernando Pineiro Jr., FOIA Officer, Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, to Melissa Crow, Director, Legal Action Center, indicating that 5 pages of records were releasable in full, 42 pages were partially releasable, and 42 pages were withheld in full under 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(5) and (b)(6).
Pages 1-12: Partially redacted internal CRCL e-mails from April 2012 and drafts of memos from Tamara Kessler, Acting Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, to Audrey Anderson, Deputy General Counsel, DHS, requesting advice on legal consequences of Border Patrol officers’ initiation of immigration investigations while providing Spanish interpretation services to local law enforcement agencies. Redactions under (b)(5) appear to relate to the substance of the requests. A series of illustrative incidents from Washington, Montana, California and Louisiana, most of which were taken from press reports, is set forth as an appendix to the memo (at 10-11).
Pages 13-18: Partially redacted internal DHS e-mails from April and May 2012 regarding the above-referenced draft memo. Read more...
Today, Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP), in the House of Representatives. The 87 original co-sponsors of the bill include members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Black Caucus, Asian Pacific American Caucus, and Progressive Caucus.
U.S. must confront challenges of attracting global innovation talent: A September 9 post summarizes a new report from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) about the policy challenges related to attracting individuals from the global talent pool.
The American Immigration Council's Community Education Center has launced the 14th Annual "Celebrate America" creative writing contest. Every year thousands of 5th graders from across the country participate in local contests.
AIC Amicus Argues Employees Have Right to Remain While Extension Applications Pending
Released on Wed, Apr 13, 2011
Washington D.C. - A recent ruling from a federal judge in Connecticut confirmed that—as the American Immigration Council (AIC) and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) argued in an amicus brief—the government may not arrest H-1B employees for whom timely-filed extension applications remain pending. The decision in El Badrawi v. United States, by U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall, correctly recognized that a federal regulation allows H-1B employees to continue working for 240 days pending the adjudication of their extension applications, and that “work authorization is part and parcel of their authorization to be in the country, not a separate matter.” Permitting the initiation of removal proceedings during this period would thus be unfair to employees and employers alike, according to the decision.
The plaintiff, a Lebanese national, was gainfully employed as a medical researcher when his employer requested an H-1B extension in early 2004, more than a month before his H-1B status expired. Though his employer paid a $1,000 fee for premium processing of the application, the government never adjudicated it and refused to respond to requests for information. Nearly seven months after the request was filed, immigration agents arrested the plaintiff for allegedly “overstaying” his initial period of admission. He was placed in removal proceedings and detained for nearly two months.Read more...
Washington D.C. – This week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it was filing suit in South Carolina to block Act No. 69 (formerly SB 20), South Carolina’s new anti-immigrant law—modeled on Arizona’s SB1070. DOJ argues—like it did in Utah and Alabama—that the law is unconstitutional and interferes with the federal government’s ability to set and enforce immigration policy and is likely to result in civil rights violations. Following the legal challenge, the DOJ Civil Rights Division also sent a letter to Alabama’s public schools reminding them of their duty to provide public education to all children in the state regardless of immigration status.
The DOJ is challenging state legislatures that pass immigration enforcement laws that interfere with the federal government’s role in enforcing immigration laws and setting priorities. The DOJ’s effort on this case reflects their commitment to protecting constitutional principles and individual rights, a commitment that should extend to pursing vigorous challenges in other states that have passed similar laws, including Utah, Georgia, and Indiana.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also has a strong role to play and should respond to the civil rights crisis taking place in the states and make good on Secretary Napolitano’s assurance that her agency will not be complicit in enforcing Alabama’s new law through federal immigration enforcement actions. Read more...
Washington, D.C.—One month ago today, the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Arizona v. United States, which invalidated three provisions of the immigration law known as “SB 1070” and left a fourth open to future challenges. More than any matter in recent history, the case settled a range of important questions regarding the role that states may play in the enforcement of federal immigration law. As a result, the ruling will affect not only SB 1070, but the fate of other state immigration laws being challenged in court and the odds of similar laws passing around the country.
Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases an updated version of its Q&A on Arizona v. United States, which discusses how the Supreme Court decided the case and what the ruling means for immigration laws in other states. As debates over the ruling continue, understanding the basis for the Court’s opinion will prove critically important in furthering a rational discussion on the implications of the decision.