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DHS: Prioritizing Enforcement and Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion

Experts Welcome New Guidance, But Agree the Devil is in the Details

Released on Mon, Aug 22, 2011

Washington D.C. - Today, the American Immigration Council hosted a briefing to discuss the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) announcement last week that it would issue agency-wide guidance to make certain that prosecutorial discretion is exercised in a manner that ensures the agency's enforcement resources are used to remove those who pose the greatest risk to public safety. DHS also announced the creation of a joint committee with the Department of Justice (DOJ) that will review nearly 300,000 cases currently in removal proceedings to determine which ones are low priority and can be administratively closed in order to begin unclogging immigration courts. While it is unclear how these proposals will play out in practice, the federal government must continue to assert its authority over immigration given the rise of state legislative initiatives that seek to impose different priorities on immigration enforcement.

Melissa Crow, Director of the Legal Action Center at the American Immigration Council discussed the practical implications of the use of greater prosecutorial discretion and had a warning for immigrants not in removal proceedings:

“Prosecutorial discretion is not a new concept, and is exercised on a daily basis by law enforcement agencies. It refers to the authority of a law enforcement agency or officer to decide whether – and to what extent – to enforce the law in a particular case. Prosecutorial discretion can take a variety of forms, depending on the nature of the case involved.Read more...

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Employee verification program could renew immigration battle

Published on Sat, Aug 22, 2009

President Barack Obama pushed back his immigration reform agenda until 2010, but a little-known initiative requiring employers to verify the legal status of their workers may ignite a political powder keg.

Published in the Washington Examiner

The American Immigration Council Honors Immigrant Achievement in Music at the 2012 American Heritage Awards

Released on Mon, Jun 11, 2012

Washington D.C. - The American Immigration Council is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 American Heritage Awards. The Awards celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of immigrants to America and this year we recognize immigrant achievement in music. The Council will celebrate the honorees and enjoy live performances on Friday, June 15, 2012, in Nashville, Tennessee during the Council’s Annual Benefit and as part of the American Immigration Lawyers Association's Annual Conference. Read more...

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Immigrants add richness to America's tapestry, Friends students write

Published on Thu, May 21, 2009

Imagine what it would be like if everyone looked the same, ate the same food, wore the same clothes and liked to do the same things

Published in the SOUTH COAST TODAY

The American Immigration Council Welcomes Bi-Partisan Senate Immigration Bill

Released on Wed, Apr 17, 2013

Washington D.C. – The American Immigration Council applauds the “Gang of Eight” Senators who have introduced the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act."  The Senators and their staff have been working tirelessly, for months, to create a bi-partisan solution that attempts to fix our broken immigration system. The Senate is to be commended for having the courage to lean into this difficult issue and bring forth a detailed and comprehensive proposal. In addition, labor and business groups should be acknowledged for their role in negotiating, in advance, some of the toughest sticking points to help ensure a smooth path through Congress. 

In the coming days and weeks as the bill is analyzed and debated, there will be many who criticize both the policy remedies in the bill, as well as the sheer length of the legislation. It is important to keep in mind, however, that developing a comprehensive solution requires striking a delicate balance between a diverse cross section of stakeholders and impacted constituencies. Furthermore, the dysfunctional system that we have developed over the past two decades is in dire need of deep and precise reforms. While there will be fair criticisms of some of the bill’s contents it is important to keep the spirit of the debate productive and to ensure room for compromise. Read more...

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Latin American Business Expo presented by the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce

Published on Tue, Dec 01, 2009

According to a recent report from the Immigration Policy Center, businesses owned by Latinos and Asians in the state of South Carolina had combined revenues of $2.8 billion and provided over 20,000 jobs throughout the state in 2008. The Center also reported that Latinos and Asians living in South Carolina had a combined purchasing power of $5.2 billion. weather the economic recession has her beaming with enthusiasm.

Published in the Charleston S.C. News

Immigration Advocacy Groups Urge Supreme Court to Interpret Child Status Protection Act Broadly

Released on Wed, Nov 06, 2013

Washington, D.C.—This week, the American Immigration Council filed an amicus curiae brief urging the Supreme Court to rule in favor of young adults who, due to long delays caused by visa backlogs, lost the opportunity to obtain their “green cards” before they turned 21. The brief was filed in collaboration with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, National Immigrant Justice Center, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

The case, Cuellar de Osorio v. Mayorkas, involves a provision of the Child Status Protection Act of 2002 (CSPA).  The amicus brief argues that in the CSPA, Congress specifically remedied the problem of children who, due to long delays caused by visa backlogs, turned 21 and lost the opportunity to immigrate with their families before a visa became available.  Specifically, the brief argues that children listed as beneficiaries on all types of visa petitions – and not simply those filed by lawful permanent residents, as the government argues – are entitled to retain the earlier filing date of their parents’ visa petitions when new visa petitions are filed for them as adults.  As a result, they do not have to wait as long for new visas. The brief presents compelling case histories illustrating the hardship that these families have suffered as the result of the government’s narrow interpretation.    

The amici were represented on a pro bono basis by Lori Alvino McGill and Nicole Ries Fox of Latham and Watkins, LLP.  Read more about this case and the Child Status Protection Act on our website.

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Report shows positive impact of remittances on U.S. economy

Published on Wed, Feb 10, 2010

States like California with large immigration populations likely benefit from remittances abroad because of an increase demand in U.S. exports, a report released today shows.

The Immigration Policy Center released the report. The center is the search policy arm of the American Immigration Council in Washington D.C., whose mission is to shape the national conversation on immigration..

Published in the The Desert Sun

Second Circuit Narrowly Interprets Aggravated Felony Bar Under INA § 212(h)

Released on Tue, Jan 27, 2015

Washington, D.C.—Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a precedent decision that will allow a greater number of lawful permanent residents (LPRs) to avoid deportation if they can demonstrate to an immigration judge that their removal will result in extreme hardship to close family members in the United States. The Court held that the bar to a waiver under § 212(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) applies only to those persons with an aggravated felony conviction who became LPRs at the time that they lawfully entered the United States. The American Immigration Council (Immigration Council) filed an amicus brief in the case with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

The Immigration Council applauds the ruling and repeats its call for the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to overturn its contrary decision in Matter of Koljenovic, 25 I&N Dec. 219 (2010). With this decision, the Second Circuit joins the seven other Courts of Appeal—an overwhelming majority—to have rejected Matter of Koljenovic. To date, the Eighth Circuit stands alone in upholding the BIA’s decision. The First and the Tenth Circuits have not yet ruled on the issue, although the Council and AILA have filed amicus briefs in two pending cases in the Tenth Circuit. The Second Circuit case is Husic v. Holder. Michael P. DiRaimondo was lead counsel in the case; Thomas E. Moseley was co-counsel. 

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DHS Analysis Finds That 287(g) Program Is a Big, Fat Flop

Published on Wed, Apr 07, 2010

A report out of the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) last week doesn't mince many words when it comes to the failure of 287(g), a 1995 law that allowed local and state law enforcement to assume some of the federal prerogative of immigration enforcement.

Published in the Change.org