Court Says ICE Failed to Satisfy FOIA Requirements in Council’s Suit to Compel Disclosure of Records on Access to Counsel
A federal district court recently issued an opinion addressing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) failure to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). According to the court, ICE did not show that it had conducted an adequate search for records in response to the American Immigration Council’s (Council) FOIA request regarding noncitizens’ access to counsel in interactions with the agency. The court also rejected ICE’s justifications for withholding numerous records.
Under the U.S. immigration system, many decisions impacting the lives of noncitizens are made by ICE officers at field offices, detention centers and arrest sites nationwide. Reports from immigration lawyers across the country indicate that the actions of ICE officers routinely impact attorneys’ efforts to represent their clients. Yet, ICE’s policies about access to counsel have not always been easy to ascertain and appear to vary by location. Through its FOIA request, the Council hopes to shed light on these policies.
After waiting more than a year for ICE to respond to the request, the Council’s Legal Action Center and co-counsel Dorsey & Whitney LLP filed a FOIA suit on behalf of the Council, alleging that ICE had failed to turn over records responsive to the FOIA request. After filing suit, ICE released 1084 pages, many of which were heavily redacted or withheld entirely. It subsequently released several thousand records related to detention facilities, which the Council is not challenging. Read more...
No one ever said legislating "change" would be easy. With Congress mired in health care, cap and trade and more, why not take on another issue that has vexed it for years? Take immigration. Ben Johnson of the American Immigration Council says the stars have aligned for reform.
Washington D.C. - The humanitarian challenge posed by the arrival of thousands of unaccompanied children and young families at our southern border has once again ignited passions over the role immigration plays in our country. Rather than respond to the arrival of children and young families as refugees fleeing violence and crime, and appropriately fund our ability to prioritize the health and well-being of these individuals, Washington has yet again become mired in anti-immigration rhetoric. As the Senate and House take up supplemental funding bills, this debate is likely to involve numerous attacks on existing protections for children, including rolling back the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), accelerating court proceedings to limit the due process available to children, and other measures that will in essence blame the children for needing protection. Read more...
Add to the immigration debate following yesterday’s White House meetings a few recently published studies that could prove to be useful in pushing for comprehensive immigration reform.
One study shows that comprehensive immigration reform could add $1.5 trillion to the country’s GDP over the next 10 years by increasing consumption and investment. Comprehensive immigration reform, here, is defined as a plan that “creates a pathway to legal status for unauthorized immigrants in the United States and establishes flexible limits on permanent and temporary immigration that respond to changes in U.S. labor demand in the future.” According to this Center for American Progress and Immigration Policy Center study, comprehensive reform would also boost wages for both native-born and newly legalized immigrant workers.
This week, crowds of peaceful immigration reform supporters gathered outside post offices in several cities bearing signs with slogans stating “We Love Taxes!” and “Viva Taxes!” in an effort to demonstrate that there are millions of undocumented immigrants who are eager for a chance to be brought into American civil society and pay taxes as part of their civic duty. Advocates also submitted thousands of blank tax forms to federal lawmakers that could’ve been filled out to by undocumented immigrants who have the capacity to generate billions in tax revenue.
Lawmakers in at least nine states are using Arizona’s immigration law as a test case to craft similar legislation, ratcheting up the pressure on the federal government to act before states enact a patchwork of laws that undercut federal authority.
Arizona’s S1070 opened a door that national anti-illegal immigration advocates had been pushing against for years. Groups such as the Federation for American Immigration Reform and its legal wing, the Immigration Reform Law Institute, have sought for years to create model legislation on illegal immigration that would withstand legal challenges and create a blueprint for states and cities that wanted to follow suit.
A rough estimate on the number of illegal immigrants residing in the nation as well as New Jersey places the numbers at a minimum of 500,000 in the state, and about 12 million nationwide. The Immigration Policy Center (IPC), the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council, released a study last year that found illegal immigrants made up 9.2 percent of the state's workforce.
This Practice Advisory addresses situations in which a court might excuse a late-filed petition for review and discusses other administrative and federal court options for remedying the failure to timely file a petition for review. The advisory also provides an overview of 28 U.S.C. § 1631, which authorizes courts to transfer a case to cure a lack of jurisdiction when an action is filed in the wrong federal court.