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Legal Action Center Files Suit Against DHS for Failure to Disclose Records on "Voluntary" Returns

Released on Fri, Jun 08, 2012

Washington D.C. - Yesterday, the Legal Action Center (LAC) at the American Immigration Council, in collaboration with Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, filed suit against Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for unlawfully withholding records concerning voluntary returns of noncitizens from the United States to their countries of origin. Between January 2009 and April 2011, CBP managed 662,485 voluntary returns of Mexican nationals. Read more...

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Report: Latinos, Asians pump billions into Colo.

Published on Tue, Aug 04, 2009

An immigration policy group says Latinos and Asians in Colorado have a buying power of nearly $26 billion and their businesses employ more than 53,000 people.

Published in the KJCT News 8

Agreement Reached in National Class Action Lawsuit on Work Authorization for Asylum Seekers

Released on Mon, Apr 15, 2013

Washington D.C. - The Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security have agreed to settle a nationwide class action lawsuit challenging the denial of work authorization to asylum seekers who have been waiting six months or more for a decision on their asylum applications. If approved by a federal judge, this agreement will help ensure that asylum seekers, who have fled persecution in their home countries, are not unlawfully prevented from working and supporting their families while the government adjudicates their cases.  The settlement agreement represents the culmination of years of advocacy by the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) and other groups on behalf of deserving asylum seekers.

The agreement stems from a case filed in December 2011 by the LAC and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP), with co-counsel from the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and the Seattle law firm Gibbs Houston Pauw.  The complaint challenged widespread problems with the “asylum clock”—the system government agencies use to determine when immigrants who have applied for asylum may obtain permission to work lawfully in the United States.Read more...

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White House outlines plan for legal immigration

Published on Fri, Nov 13, 2009

The Obama administration will insist on measures to give legal status to illegal immigrants as it pushes early next year for legislation to overhaul the immigration system, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday.

Published in the Dallas Morning News

Court Approves Settlement in National Class Action Lawsuit on Work Authorization for Asylum Seekers

Released on Tue, Nov 05, 2013

Washington, DC – On Monday, November 4, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones ordered the final approval of a nationwide class action settlement agreement. The settlement will help ensure that asylum seekers, who have fled persecution in their home countries, are not unlawfully prevented from working and supporting their families while the government adjudicates their cases.  The changes will commence on December 3, 2013.

The agreement stems from a case filed in December 2011 by the American Immigration Council and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP), with co-counsel from the Seattle law firm Gibbs Houston Pauw and the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute.  The complaint challenged widespread problems with the “asylum clock”—the system government agencies use to determine when immigrants who have applied for asylum may obtain permission to work lawfully in the United States.

The case, filed on behalf of asylum seekers around the country, alleged that the current system unlawfully denies asylum applicants the opportunity to obtain employment authorization if their asylum applications have been pending for six months or more. Some end up waiting several months or years for the government to make a decision on their asylum applications.  Indeed, one plaintiff from China had been waiting nearly 10 years for his case to be resolved.Read more...

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Study finds the economy would benefit from legalizing undocumented immigrants

Published on Thu, Jan 14, 2010

Comprehensive immigration reform would produce at least $1.5 trillion in added U.S. gross domestic product over 10 years, according to a new report by a UCLA professor. Based on this report and other studies, Illinois would see significant economic gains from legalizing undocumented immigrants.

Published in the Medill Reports

Before Brown, There Was Mendez: Immigrants' Role in Desegregating Schools

Published on Fri, Mar 26, 2010

I'm sure most everybody learned about Brown v. Board of Education at some point during their schooling, the 1954 Supreme Court decision that ruled segregating black and white students was unconstitutional. But what you probably didn't learn was that before there was Brown, there was Mendez v. Westminster.

Published in the Change.org

Immigration reform vital to Alaskans

Published on Wed, May 05, 2010

Once again U.S. immigration policies are in the national spotlight. Arizona Gov. Brewer signed legislation on April 23 to authorize the arrest of Arizona residents if a police officer has reasonable suspicion that the person is in the United States without immigration documents. Her decision to sign this legislation has catapulted comprehensive immigration reform from the end of a long list of important Congressional legislation to competing for first place with financial reform.

Published in the Anchorage Daily News

Arizona Lawmaker Takes Aim at Automatic Citizenship

Published on Tue, Jun 15, 2010

Adopting such a practice in the U.S. would be not only unconstitutional but also impractical and expensive, said Michele Waslin, a policy analyst with the pro-immigrant Immigration Policy Center in Washington.

"Every single parent who has a child would have to go through this bureaucratic process of proving their own citizenship and therefore proving their child's citizenship," she said.

Published in the Associated Press

An Immigration Measure Republicans Could Get Behind

Published on Wed, Jul 21, 2010

Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center, said that bipartisan support for the bill has been much harder to achieve this year. In addition to pressure leading up to the midterm elections, she said, "there seems to have really been a sense that one of the most effective ways to undermine the Obama administration was just to be pretty negative or to block pretty much anything that was seen as an administration priority -- and immigration falls into that category. In some ways, I think the fight for the soul of the Republican party is being fought out on immigration issues."

But if Congress cannot muster the force for comprehensive immigration reform, Giovagnoli thinks the DREAM Act could have a good shot at passing on its own. In addition to Lugar, she identified "easily ten" Republican senators whom she believes could be convinced to support the bill.

Published in the Atlantic