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Family Unity: Escutia v. Reno

This lawsuit challenges INS' failure to timely adjudicate applications under the Family Unity Program.

This lawsuit challenges INS' failure to timely adjudicate applications under the Family Unity Program.

  • AILF and the INS have reached a final agreement to settle Escutia v. Reno, a case addressing the INS's failure to timely adjudicate applications under the Family Unity Program.
  • AILF has filed a national class action lawsuit against the INS for its failure to timely adjudicate applications under the Family Unity Program. Click here to see the complaint and press release.

Small Town or Big City, Ju Jiaqi Does It All

October, 2009

The Exchange Visitor Program is proud to announce Ju Jiaqi as this month’s Exchange Visitor of the Month. Each month, we select an exchange visitor who has made an effort to get involved in his/her community and explore American culture. Read more...

Can Winnipeg model save Detroit?

Published on Sat, May 21, 2011

Detroit has become the poster child for urban decay. The city lost 25 per cent of its population between 2000 and 2010, and more than half its population since 1950. More than 90,000 houses stand empty, and many neighborhoods have been completely abandoned.

The burden of maintaining infrastructure and law enforcement in a city with an eroding tax base and sparse population has led to attempts to "shrink" the city. This means bulldozing several areas of the city and relocating existing residents. Mayor Dave Bing realizes this, and has pledged to knock down a staggering 10,000 structures during his first term.

In the past, such slum clearances led to vigorous opposition from urbanists like Jane Jacobs, who argued that top-down approaches to urban redevelopment would cause a great deal of pain for little to no benefit. Yet despite the fact that Jacobs is widely admired, the plan to shrink the city has met with little opposition in Detroit. Frankly, unless Detroit sees a major population surge, shrinking the city sadly may be necessary.

Last week, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared on NBC's Meet the Press, and mused about using immigration policy to repopulate the city. The premise makes perfect sense. Most of Detroit's problems stem from the fact that fewer and fewer people are working and paying taxes in the city. There is more infrastructure than people need or the city can afford.

Ultimately the issue then is getting people to live in Detroit. But the biggest problem, even with a mild resurgence in the auto sector, is that Americans, and even most Michiganders, don't want to live in Detroit, even with jobs.

For many immigrants, however, Detroit would seem like a major upgrade over their current situations. This is not a far-fetched notion. Here's a proposal for Detroit based on an unlikely Canadian immigration success story: Winnipeg.Read more...

Published in the Winnepeg Free Press

Supreme Court Reverses Second Circuit Decision on Post-9/11 Detention Suit

Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009)

On May 18, 2009, a divided Supreme Court reversed the Second Circuit's decision upholding the denial of a motion to dismiss respondent's complaint alleging constitutional violations by defendants. Following his arrest and detention for more than 150 days in a maximum security detention center after 9/11 attacks, respondent Iqbal, who is a Muslim and a native of Pakistan, filed a lawsuit against then-Attorney General, John Ashcroft and other officers and officials. The complaint alleged that government officials adopted an unconstitutional policy of subjecting certain individuals to harsh conditions of confinement based on their race, religion, or national origin. Iqbal claimed that petitioners violated his First and Fifth Amendment rights. Read more...

Study: Fewer Mexicans migrating to United States

Published on Tue, Aug 02, 2011

PHOENIX - While illegal immigration has dominated a portion of political dialogue in the United States over the last few years, fewer Mexicans are crossing the border according to a new study.

"About 60 percent fewer people are coming to the United States from Mexico," said Wendy Sefsaf with the Immigration Policy Center. The center uses Mexican nationals as a proxy because they are a large part of the undocumented population, Sefsaf said.

The reason that fewer people are looking to head across the border is the downtrodden economy.

"The reason why people are not coming is the economy," Sefsaf said. "That's always been the case. Migration from Mexico for 100 years has been impacted the economic conditions in the receiving countries."

Data from the Pew Hispanic Center and the Rand Corporation also revealed that fewer immigrants are leaving the country and those that are in the United States have likely been here for more than a decade, showing a need for a more nuanced set of policies to help immigrants integrate fully into American society, Sefsaf said.

Published in the KTAR Arizona

Court to Hear Consular Non-reviewability Case

Kerry v. Din, No. 13-1402 (cert. granted Oct. 2, 2014)

In Kerry v. Din, a case addressing the availability of federal court review for visa denials, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument on February 23, 2015. The government often argues that such review is barred pursuant to the doctrine of consular non-reviewability, which provides that courts should not review consular officers’ visa decisions due to their wholly discretionary nature; the Supreme Court previously held that federal court review is not appropriate where the visa decision is based on a facially legitimate and bona fide reason. Kliendienst v. Mandel, 408 U.S. 753 (1972). In Din, a U.S. citizen sought review of the denial of her application for a visa for her husband, after consular officials stated only that the denial was pursuant to INA § 212(a)(3)(B), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3)(B), which describes a broad array of terrorism-related grounds of inadmissibility. The government sought certiorari after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Ms. Din had a “constitutionally protected due process right to limited judicial review of her husband's visa denial” based on her liberty interest in her marriage and that citation to § 212(a)(3)(B), absent any allegation regarding what rendered the individual seeking entry into the United States inadmissible, is insufficient to show that a visa denial is facially legitimate under Mandel. See Din v. Kerry, 718 F.3d 856 (9th Cir. 2013).

Undocumented College Students Rally For Public Financial Aid

Published on Wed, Sep 28, 2011

Two dozen college students rallied Werdnesday afternoon outside the San Francisco office of Gov. Jerry Brown, who has until Oct. 9 to either sign or veto a bill that would allow undocumented students to receive public financial aid for higher education.

The students, joined by a member of the City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees, took part in a statewide day of action designed to pressure Brown into signing the bill, AB 131, the second half of the California Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM, Act.

In July, Brown signed AB 130, a bill allowing undocumented students to receive private scholarships.

If he signs the second bill, undocumented students attending public higher educational institutions who qualify for the exemption from non-resident tuition would be eligible to receive financial aid at the state's public colleges and universities.

Currently, undocumented students cannot receive state or federal financial aid.

According to the Immigration Policy Center, although some 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school, only 5 to 10 percent continue onto college, with many unable to continue for financial reasons or because schools do not allow them to enroll.

Several students, identified only by their first names for their protection, shared stories at the rally about their college experiences.

Through choked tears, Catherine spoke of how she had been a fourth-year political science student at the University of California at Berkeley but had to drop out the semester she was to graduate because she could not afford to finish.

"Sign this bill as if your own children needed it," she said, urging Brown to take action. "Undocumented students are under attack and California can be the beacon of hope."Read more...

Published in the The San Francisco Appeal

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