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Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 4, No. 9

This issue covers two class actions, one seeking to recover TPS fees and the other involving the Child Status Protection Act; upcoming BIA argument on Matter of Perez Vargas (IJ's jurisdiction to apply INA § 204(j)); a decision on the consular nonreviewability doctrine; and a court order compelling DOL to adjudicate a PERM application.

Published On: Monday, August 3, 2009 | Download File

Immigration In An Election Year: From Rhetoric to Reality

Washington, D.C. - The failure of Congress and the White House to act on immigration reform last year combined with the fiery election campaigns has opened the door for political attacks on immigration and immigrants. Lost in the rhetoric is a sober analysis of the trends and facts crucial to a constructive debate. What is the real story about the importance of immigration for America's future? Two different stories are being told, and they can be compared with real data.  In a soon-to-be-released report for the IPC, Myers examines trends in U.S. immigration. Among his findings: (1) rates of immigration to the U.S. are slowing down, not speeding up; (2) reliable indicators show immigrants are learning English and advancing socially and economically; and (3) the immigrant population provides important economic benefits to a U.S. society with a large, aging generation of Baby Boomers.  Myers's research covers several key states including:  California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Georgia, and North Carolina.   Read more...

ICE Starts Immigration Audit of 1,000 Firms as GOP Pushes E-Verify

Published on Fri, Feb 18, 2011

Amy Peck from Immigration Daily broke down this system flaw and the many other problems USCIS found with E-Verify in a recent article. “The impact of erroneous name-related TNCs cannot be ignored. According to USCIS, of 22,512 TNCs resulting from name mismatches in fiscal year 2009, approximately 76 percent, or 17,098, were for citizens, and approximately 24 percent, or 5,414, were for noncitizens,” Peck wrote. Peck estimates that if E-Verify were made mandatory for newly hired employees nationwide, about 164,000 U.S. citizens and non-citizens would get wrongly tangled up in immigration proceedings because of the system’s flaws. The system is also unable to accurately spot identity theft or fraud, among myriad other problems. Civil rights groups contend that E-Verify would just add another dysfunctional system to an already broken bureaucracy, and is not a viable job-creation strategy. E-Verify’s many structural problems could result in U.S. citizens actually losing their jobs, the Immigration Policy Center contends.

Published in the Colorline Magazine

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 2, No. 4

This issue covers Hutto detention facility litigation, U visa litigation, post St. Cyr litigation (trial vs. plea), and interim EAD delays.

Published On: Tuesday, March 27, 2007 | Download File

Liberal immigration activists eye Utah as model

Published on Sat, Apr 09, 2011

SALT LAKE CITY – Liberal immigration activists are looking to Utah as a compassionate and logical model for shaping the nation's future policies toward illegal immigrants.

Utah leaders — including government, education, business and religious groups — came together last fall to draft a set of principles to guide the immigration debate in the state. Those guidelines, known as the Utah Compact, state in part that illegal immigrants are essential to the economy and deserving of respect.

The recommendations are credited with helping pass immigration changes last month in the Utah Legislature that included enforcement revisions and a guest worker program.

"The leadership in Utah, through the Compact, changed the debate around the country," said Ali Noorani, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based National Immigration Forum. "It's clear the Compact has struck a chord with the silent majority that wants reform."

Noorani is working with Utah officials to create a national version of the plan, which could be announced as early as this summer.

Opponents say the approach will lead to amnesty programs that only benefit big business and caution it will lead to more illegal immigration...

Wendy Sefsaf, of the Washington, D.C.-based American Immigration Council, also points out another reason for skepticism. Even if the principles are laudable, she said, the results in Utah "did not live up to it" because it will create second-class workers who are not citizens.

Still, Utah does provide a starting point.

"We all have aspirational goals, and the compact has great aspirations," Sefsaf said. "But most states are just reacting. Utah at least tried something that wasn't just about deporting people."

Published in the Associated Press

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 5, No. 4

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This issue covers the Supreme Court's favorable decision in an aggravated felony case, a legal challenge to the H-1B/Neufeld Memo on the employer-employee relationship, EOIR resources on BIA precedents, a court of appeals decision vacating a BIA precedent on the finality of a conviction, updates on the suits challenging Arizona's immigration law (SB 1070), and LAC litigation on access to courts, motions to reopen, and the Child Status Protection Act.

Published On: Friday, June 18, 2010 | Download File

Immigrant Enforcement Program Faces Backlash From Obama Allies

Published on Tue, Jun 07, 2011

Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick yesterday became the third Democratic governor in a little more than a month to reject Secure Communities, an immigration enforcement program that has become a cornerstone of President Barack Obama's immigration policy.

The program, initiated in 2008 under President Bush, conjoins local law enforcement and federal immigration enforcement by giving the Department of Homeland Security access to the fingerprints of people who are arrested, which gives the government grounds to initiate deportation proceedings against immigrants who have committed deportable offenses. Obama has touted the program as a tool to punish immigrants convicted of serious crimes.

But Patrick, like New York governor Andrew Cuomo and Illinois governor Pat Quinn before him, moved to withdraw his state from the program because he said it shatters families by ensnaring too many lower-level offenders and breeds distrust of law enforcement. The decision reflects a growing disconnect between the priorities of the Obama administration, which has presided over a record number of deportations and views tough enforcement as a means of winning eventual Republican support for overhauling immigration law, and state and local officials who see some measures as overly harsh and arbitrary.

"The actions of the governors of Massachusetts, New York and Illinois are clear evidence that president Obama has been misguided in his enforcement strategy, particularly where Secure Communities comes in," said Jacki Esposito, director of immigration advocacy for the New York Immigrant Coalition. "The actions by these governors are clear signs that Obama must take executive action to reverse course."Read more...

Published in the International Business Times

Criminal Alien Program (CAP)

The Criminal Alien Program (“CAP”) is one of the federal government’s largest and least understood immigration enforcement programs. Through CAP, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) agents screen detainees in jails and prisons across the country and place those deemed removable into immigration proceedings. Between 2005 and 2010, CAP led to the arrest of more than a million people, and the program was implicated in approximately half of all removal proceedings in FY 2009. As a result of CAP, ICE often deports individuals before they have been convicted of a crime or have had the opportunity to speak with an immigration attorney. CAP’s operations vary widely. In some jurisdictions, ICE agents work in jails to routinely interview and process prisoners. At other facilities, ICE agents interview detainees either during regular or ad hoc visits, or by telephone or video conference. Some counties give ICE full access to jails, while other localities limit agents’ access to certain hours or days of the week. Despite CAP’s role in removing hundreds of thousands of individuals each year, very little information about CAP is available to the public. What little is known about the program suggests that CAP targets individuals with little or no criminal history and incentivizes pretextual stops and racial profiling. The LAC and its partners are engaged in litigation intended to enhance public understanding and oversight of one the federal government’s most ubiquitous enforcement programs.

CASES

Lawsuit Against ICE for Failure to Disclose CAP Records

AIC v. DHS, No. 12- 00355 (D. Conn. filed March 8, 2010)Read more...