Washington D.C. - In a continuing effort to promote greater federal court oversight of immigration decision-making, the American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center (LAC) recently submitted amicus (friend of the court) briefs in two cases involving motions to reopen. For noncitizens facing removal from the United States, a motion to reopen (an opportunity to present new evidence in a case) may be the last and only way to pursue their claims for lawful residency in the United States. Failure to grant such a motion might prevent anyone - from an asylum seeker to a U.S. citizen's family member - from presenting new evidence that could prevent deportation. Yet, although the federal courts are the last chance for redress, they frequently refuse to hear claims that immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals abuse their discretion when they deny motions to reopen.
The LAC argument is based on the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in Kucana v. Holder that the Board of Immigration Appeals cannot shield its decisions from judicial review by labeling these decisions "discretionary." Only Congress can limit court review of motions to reopen, and it has not done so.
Given the gravity of removal from the United States, the high volume of immigration court cases, and the reality that most noncitizens do not have lawyers (only 39% of noncitizens were represented in immigration court in 2009), federal court oversight is critical to ensure due process. For an immigration system that is widely understood to be plagued with errors, judicial checks and balances are especially critical.Read more...
The American Immigration Council badge program encourages AILA Chapters to participate in various Council activities and recognizes achievements that the Chapters have made to advance the mission of the Council.
The American Immigration Council Badge
Awarded to Chapters who have hosted events that have increased the exposure of the Council as well as her events.
The Education Badge
Awarded to Chapters who have excelled in hosting the Creative Writing Contest and other Community Education Center initiatives.
The International Exchange Badge
Awarded to Chapters that have hosted an event with the International Exchange Center.
Washington, D.C. - Today, Senators Richard Durbin, Harry Reid, and Robert Menendez re-introduced the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. Last fall, the DREAM Act passed the House of Representatives, and garnered the support of a majority in the Senate, but was ultimately defeated when the Senate failed to invoke cloture and proceed to debate. The sponsors of the DREAM Act hope to build on last year’s momentum and continue to highlight the importance of fully utilizing the talent and potential of thousands of young people who are Americans in every way but their birth certificates. Read more...
The American Immigration Council and its four programs had a busy year in 2011. We want to thank you for your support, readership, and feedback. We also want to ask you to consider supporting our work with a year-end gift. Your tax-deductible donation will help us continue our work which includes the following "Top 11 for 2011." Read more...
While Democrats in Congress are hoping to push health care reform forward in honor of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, the senator's death serves as a reminder that Congress and President Obama have substantial work to do to accomplish another of Kennedy's lifelong causes: immigration reform.
Advocates along the Northern Border report a recent, sharp increase in the use of U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) agents to provide interpretation services to state and local law enforcement officers and emergency responders. This most often occurs when an officer or responder encounters an individual who does not speak English and proactively reaches out to USBP for assistance. But it has also occurred when USBP agents respond to an incident report in lieu of, or in addition to, local law enforcement officers.
Immigrants, their advocates, and community members are reporting—and official statistics confirm—that there are simply too many USBP agents on the ground, apparently with too much time on their hands, who lack adherence to stated priorities.
This special report lays out the problems with border patrol agents serving as translators and make recommendations intended to promote Title VI compliance, maintain the integrity of the USBP mission on the Northern Border, and protect the rights of immigrants and their families who call the Northern Border home.
Sleep is a rare commodity for Juan Cortez. Between nights spent clearing tables at a Manhattan nightclub and days running food to customers in a Bronx restaurant, the 42-year-old Peruvian immigrant worries more about finding time for shuteye than job security.
Mark-Up Characterized by Transparency and Bipartisan Cooperation
Released on Tue, May 21, 2013
Washington D.C. - Today, on a bipartisan vote of 13 to 5, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to pass Senate Bill 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, out of the committe and on to the Senate floor for a full vote in the coming days. The Senate committee mark-up spanned three weeks and covered many of the 300 amendments offered on every aspect of the bill. The resulting legislation represents a concerted effort to find a workable and fair immigration policy that makes our nation stronger.
The following is a statement by Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council:
“We congratulate Senator Leahy and the entire Senate Judiciary Committee on the spirit of deliberation, collaboration, and transparency that marked the process. Many amendments added during the mark-up will strengthen the bill in the areas of high-skilled immigration, protections for vulnerable groups and due process. However, other amendments, like those attempting to deny citizenship, may have been driven more by rhetoric than reality. In addition, not providing some relief to siblings who face extreme hardships because of their separation and not ending the discrimination against same sex couples legally married in the United States is short-sighted and bad policy. Yet despite these high costs, the overall bill coming out of committee now gives the Senate an important and rare opportunity to complete the task we have been working on for years—passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill that finally moves us to our goal of fixing our broken immigration system.