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Lawsuit Seeks to Learn How Government Responds to Complaints of Misconduct by Immigration Judges

Released on Thu, Jun 06, 2013

Washington, DC - The public has a right to know whether the government adequately investigates and resolves complaints alleging misconduct by immigration judges, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) said in a lawsuit filed today in federal district court in Washington, D.C.

The lawsuit, filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), challenges the refusal of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) to disclose complaints alleging misconduct by immigration judges and records that would reveal whether the agency adequately investigates and resolves those complaints. Public Citizen (PC) and the American Immigration Council (AIC) represent AILA in the lawsuit.

Each year, in immigration courts around the country, immigration judges conduct more than 200,000 formal court proceedings to determine whether noncitizens are subject to removal from the United States. In recent years, numerous observers have documented misconduct by immigration judges and weaknesses in the integrity of our nation's immigration courts.

Yet formal discipline of immigration judges is rare, and EOIR, the agency responsible for overseeing immigration judges, is not transparent about its process for resolving complaints. Based on aggregate statistics released by EOIR, in Fiscal Year 2012, formal disciplinary action was taken in response to only 1 percent of complaints resolved by EOIR against immigration judges. In contrast, nearly half of the complaints ended in what EOIR has vaguely termed "informal action."

AILA, a national association of more than 12,000 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law, submitted a FOIA request to EOIR in November 2012, asking that the agency disclose complaints against immigration judges and records that indicate how the agency resolves those complaints. To date, EOIR has failed to provide the documents, prompting today's lawsuit.Read more...

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Immigration Reform: An Economic Stimulus?

Published on Mon, Jan 11, 2010

Over the past year Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has emerged as perhaps the most outspoken proponent within the Obama administration of a comprehensive immigration reform, one balancing a strong enforcement oriented approach with a clearer, more coherent, “fair and firm” pathway toward legal citizenship.  

“Our system must be strong enough to prevent illegal entry and to get criminal aliens off our streets and out of the country,” Secretary Napolitano said in a policy speech in November, “but it must also be smart enough to reward the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit that immigrants have always brought to America—traits that have built our nation.”  

Published in the Homeland Security Today

President Obama sends National Guard to secure U.S. Mexican border

Published on Wed, May 26, 2010

Watch Benjamin Johnson, Director of the American Immigration Council, discuss SB 1070 and racial profiling.Read more...

Published in the NBC News

Paying the Bill on Arizona’s New Immigration Bill

Published on Sun, Apr 25, 2010

According to a DC-based think-tank, when Arizona’s new immigration law goes into effect in three months, residents of a state still struggling with a three-billion dollar deficit will discover that SB1070 comes with an unexpected consequence: a price tag that could run into the tens of billions.

Red State Blues

“At a purely administrative level, Gov. Brewer should take into consideration the potential costs of implementation and defending the state against lawsuits,” concludes the Immigration Policy Center (IPC).

Published in the True Slant

'Not a Positive Signal': The Economic Impact of Arizona's New Immigration Law

Published on Thu, May 06, 2010

Arizona's controversial new immigration law reflects a sharp political response to long-simmering conflict over immigration policy in a nation that takes pride in its history as a society built with the help of people from many lands.

Wharton faculty say the timing of the legislation is in part a reaction to stress brought on by the economic downturn, even as declining demand for labor has slowed immigration into the United States. While the statute has drawn widespread attention, faculty contend that it is unlikely to spur major change in broader immigration policy, at least in the near term. "It seems odd to me that this issue came up in Arizona now, given that the economy is so flat," says Wharton management professor Peter Cappelli, who suggests that Arizona politicians are looking for a "scapegoat" by "saying there are no jobs because of illegal workers. It's easy to blame immigrants."

Published in the UPenn's Wharton School

Arizona Bullies Target Birthright Citizenship

Published on Tue, Jun 15, 2010

But the next target is not kids. It is babies. The next idea is to deny birth certificates to children born here to illegal immigrant parents. It’s not a new idea, but its one that keeps being coughed up by those who haven't found a problem they can't blame on illegal immigrants.

Call them bullies without a clue.

The Immigration Policy Center prepared a fact sheet for those who want to understand this a little better.

Published in the Arizona Republic

Nebraska Town: Is Illegal Immigration Crackdown Worth The Cost?

Published on Tue, Jul 27, 2010

Others say the Fremont City Council is right to look at the costs associated with enacting any kind of legislation.

“Good public policy involves weighing all the costs and benefits of enacting legislation," says Mary Giovagnoli of the American Immigration Council's Immigration Policy Center. "While Fremont may be motivated in this case to suspend the law because of the fear of litigation costs, there are numerous other costs to consider," she says, "including the loss of revenue to the town when people leave, stop supporting local businesses and paying taxes, as well as the psychological impact when a town goes down the road of driving people away."

Published in the Christian Science Monitor

St. Cyr Regulations and Strategies for Applicants Barred from Section 212(C) Relief

Pursuant to the Supreme Court’s decision INS v. St. Cyr, the Department of Justice (DOJ) published its final rule on procedures for applying for section 212(c) relief. This Practice Advisory summarizes the rule and describes who can apply for § 212(c) relief under the rule. In addition, it discusses strategies and arguments to assist individuals who are barred under the rule.

Published On: Tuesday, October 19, 2004 | Download File

Community Grants

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The Community Education Center awards educational bi-annual grants of $100 to $500 to fund educational projects about immigrants and immigration.

Estimate: 1 US kid in 15 born to an illegal immigrant

Published on Thu, Aug 12, 2010

The Immigration Policy Center, an immigrant-rights organization in Washington, D.C., said in a news release that without data on children with two illegal parents, the report "offers no real clarity."

Whether the change would strip citizenship from one baby or 1 million, it's a mean-spirited plan that wouldn't help the country with its illegal-immigration issues, said Michele Waslin, senior policy analyst with the Immigration Policy Center. Waslin also said calling these children "anchor babies" is both offensive and inaccurate.

Published in the Arizona Daily Star