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National Wave of Complaints Highlights Rampant Abuse by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Dire Need for Reform

Released on Wed, Mar 13, 2013

Washington, D.C. – Over the past week, an alliance of immigration groups, private attorneys and a law school clinic joined forces in filing complaints targeting abuses by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) across the country. Ten damages cases have been filed alleging unlawful CBP conduct in northern and southern border states. These cases are the latest illustrations of an ongoing pattern of rampant misconduct against both immigrants and U.S. citizens in these states.   

This effort, which was coordinated by the American Immigration Council, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, highlights CBP agents’ unlawful use of their enforcement authority. Border Patrol agents routinely exceed their statutory mandate by conducting enforcement activities outside border regions, making racially motivated arrests, employing derogatory and coercive interrogation tactics, and imprisoning arrestees under inhumane conditions. The cases include claims for unlawful search and seizure, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault, and battery.

Among the cases filed: Read more...

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Senate Democrats want U.S. residency for kin of immigrant service members

Published on Sat, Nov 14, 2009

Six Senate Democrats have introduced a bill to grant permanent residency to family members of immigrants actively serving in the U.S. military — even in cases where the service member has died.

Published in the The Hill

First Circuit Holds That Immigrants Can Pursue Cases From Outside the United States

Released on Tue, Oct 01, 2013

Washington, D.C. - Last week, the First Circuit Court of Appeals held that individuals who have been deported must have the opportunity to pursue motions to reopen their cases from outside the United States.  A motion to reopen is an important procedural safeguard that helps ensure noncitizens are afforded a fair immigration hearing.  The American Immigration Council and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG), which filed an amicus brief in the First Circuit and argued before the court, welcome the court’s ruling in Perez Santana v. Holder.

Despite having lost in nine other circuits, the government continued to vigorously defend a regulation – the so called “departure bar” – barring individuals from pursuing their cases from outside the United States.  This most recent decision means that all but one circuit court of appeals has rejected the government’s arguments and concluded that the regulation is unlawful.  Only the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has yet to rule on the legality of the departure bar.  The American Immigration Council and NIPNLG renew their call for the agency to strike this unlawful regulation.Read more...

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Immigration policy should reflect our best values

Published on Sat, Jan 23, 2010

“Immigrants don’t want to learn English.” “Immigrants don’t pay taxes.” “Immigrants increase the crime rate.” “Immigrants take jobs away from Americans.” “Immigrants are a drain on the U.S. economy.” “Illegal immigrants are a burden on the U.S. health care system.”

Americans have been using these generalizations for 150 years to stigmatize members of every ethnic group that has traveled to these shores seeking a better life for themselves and their children.

Published in the Kansas City Star

Immigration Council Strongly Reaffirms Research on Reagan-Bush Family Fairness Policy

Released on Fri, Dec 05, 2014

Washington D.C. - This week, the Washington Post issued another editorial in its campaign against President Obama’s decision to authorize temporary deportation relief for several million undocumented parents of U.S citizen children. In particular, the Post argues that there is no historical precedent for President Obama’s action, discounting the parallel that the President and many others have drawn between past executive actions, such as the Family Fairness program instituted by Presidents Reagan and Bush, Sr. In fact, the Post called this analogy indefensible, essentially arguing that supporters of the Immigration Accountability Executive Action were attempting to recast history in an exaggerated attempt to justify the President’s overreach. The opposite is true. As the first organization to publicly lay out the case for the strong precedent for executive action in immigration, we believe it is important to set the Post, and the record, straight on the political significance of the Family Fairness program and why actions from almost a quarter of a century ago matter today.
Read more...

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U.S.: Audit Finds Major Problems in Immigration Policing

Published on Tue, Apr 06, 2010

NEW YORK, Apr 5 (IPS) - A controversial government programmeme that enlists local police officers and sheriff's deputies to help enforce U.S. immigration laws is verging on being out of control and unable to assess whether it is meeting its stated goals.

Published in the Australia News

Just-Released Customs and Border Protection Standards Still Lack Accountability

Released on Mon, Oct 05, 2015

Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released its long-awaited, new National Standards on Transport, Escort, Detention and Search (TEDS), which govern the transfer of individuals in CBP custody, procedures for handling such individuals’ belongings, conditions in CBP detention facilities, and personal searches.  Read more...

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Will the Dems Go It Alone On Immigration?

Published on Thu, Apr 29, 2010

The Senate leadership is planning to introduce a summary outline of an immigration bill shortly before 6 p.m. on Thursday, one day after circulating a draft to advocacy groups. The framework—whose existence I reported earlier this week and which is spearheaded by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)—seems to have been written with the intention of attracting support from moderates on both sides of the aisle. But if Dems can't get Republicans to sign on, will they go it alone?

Published in the Mother Jones

Heritage Boxes

Creating Heritage Boxes will allow students to obtain a cross-curricular knowledge using relevant literature and information obtained through family member interviews. Students will understand the value of becoming familiar with their heritage and culture through the research of an ancestor. (NOTE: This is a project-based learning activity that requires several months and the support of families and the school community to implement. The interconnected activities will foster an overall understanding and appreciation for the diversity in your school and our nation.)

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Study: Under Obama 50% of all Federal Prosecutions are for Minor Immigration Violations

Published on Fri, May 21, 2010

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse on the immigration front, it got worse.

The American Immigration Council, Immigration Policy Center (IPC) has issued a press release that shines a bright spotlight on what the Obama administration is doing to non-violent immigration violators in the United States.

Published in the Ground Report