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Immigration Reform as Economic Stimulus

Published on Tue, Sep 01, 2009

La estrategia basada en s

Published in the Radio Bilingue

USCIS Takes Steps to Improve Noncitizens’ Access to Legal Counsel

Released on Thu, Jan 19, 2012

Washington D.C. – During its nine-year history, issues have arisen with respect to restrictions on counsel by the Department of Homeland Security’s immigration agencies. Tuesday, in response to calls from the American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued immediate, comprehensive changes to their policies to ensure an appropriate role for attorneys in the immigration process.

Many noncitizens are forced to navigate the immigration process without representation because they cannot afford an attorney.  But even persons who can afford one, or are represented by a pro bono attorney, have at times faced severe restrictions on their representation.  This is particularly troublesome given the significant power USCIS officers wield.  For example, they decide whether a noncitizen is entitled to stay in the U.S. or not.  The assistance of an attorney well versed in the complexities of immigration law can help safeguard the rights of these noncitizens and ensure just outcomes.   

By revising its guidance, USCIS has responded to some of the most serious access concerns.  For example, the new guidance provides that an attorney generally may sit next to his or her client during an interview, may be permitted to submit relevant documents to the USCIS officer, and may raise objections to inappropriate lines of questioning. Read more...

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Anti-immigration activists see opportunity in health care debate

Published on Thu, Aug 13, 2009

When President Obama showed up for a town hall meeting in New Hampshire on Tuesday, he heard more than just protests against health care.

Published in the Minnesota Independent

Thankful for a New Conversation on Immigration Reform

Released on Fri, Nov 23, 2012

Dear Friend:

Two weeks ago, many national leaders awoke to a new political and demographic reality—one that they had long suspected and been warned about, but couldn’t quite believe until the election results were in. The unmistakable lessons of this political season are that national elections are won by uniting a diverse coalition of American voters and promoting positive solutions to the challenges that face our nation. 

The good news for our political system is that neither party has a monopoly on the ability to meet this new demand. These lessons reflect a need and an opportunity to break through the partisan gridlock that has crippled the nation and to build broad coalitions in support of real solutions that are driven by messages that unite us rather than divide us.   Nowhere is this clearer than in the immigration debate.   Misguided and mean-spirited ideas like “self-deportation” no longer have credibility on the national stage. The strategy of ignoring the human and economic toll of “enforcement only” policies and refusing to reform an outdated and dysfunctional immigration system must be put to rest once and for all.   The shrill voices of the nativist fringe must give way to the chorus of conservative and progressive voices that have long called for a path towards citizenship for the 11 million undocumented (including the courageous DREAMers who helped to shape this new political reality) and the creation of a 21st century immigration system that allows families and businesses to flourish and succeed.Read more...

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New Report Finds Legalization of Immigrants Substantially Improves Economic Status

Published on Thu, Nov 05, 2009

A new report prepared for the Immigration Policy Center finds that illegal immigrants who gained legal status in the 1980s via the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) went on to earn substantial gains in their socioeconomic status. The report suggests that, contrary to the idea that legalizing immigrants will increase competition for scarce jobs in the U.S., legalization of many of the 11 million or so current undocumented immigrants would actually yield economic benefits, not only for the immigrants but for the U.S. economy as a whole.

Published in the The Washington Independent

Court Says ICE Failed to Satisfy FOIA Requirements in Council’s Suit to Compel Disclosure of Records on Access to Counsel

Released on Fri, Jul 12, 2013

Court Says ICE Failed to Satisfy FOIA Requirements in Council’s Suit to Compel
Disclosure of Records on Access to Counsel

A federal district court recently issued an opinion addressing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) failure to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  According to the court, ICE did not show that it had conducted an adequate search for records in response to the American Immigration Council’s (Council) FOIA request regarding noncitizens’ access to counsel in interactions with the agency.  The court also rejected ICE’s justifications for withholding numerous records. 

Under the U.S. immigration system, many decisions impacting the lives of noncitizens are made by ICE officers at field offices, detention centers and arrest sites nationwide.  Reports from immigration lawyers across the country indicate that the actions of ICE officers routinely impact attorneys’ efforts to represent their clients.  Yet, ICE’s policies about access to counsel have not always been easy to ascertain and appear to vary by location.  Through its FOIA request, the Council hopes to shed light on these policies.

After waiting more than a year for ICE to respond to the request, the Council’s Legal Action Center and co-counsel Dorsey & Whitney LLP filed a FOIA suit on behalf of the Council, alleging that ICE had failed to turn over records responsive to the FOIA request.  After filing suit, ICE released 1084 pages, many of which were heavily redacted or withheld entirely.  It subsequently released several thousand records related to detention facilities, which the Council is not challenging. Read more...

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Study: Immigration Reform Would Boost US Economy

Published on Fri, Jan 08, 2010

If the United States were to create a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants currently living in the country, it could boost its gross domestic product by $1.5 trillion in just 10 years, a new study claims.Conducted by a U.C.L.A. economist and released by the Immigration Policy Center and the Center for American Progress, a nonpartisan research institute based in Washington, the study argues that if comprehensive immigration reform were passed it would result in higher wages, which would lead to a rise in consumption that, in turn, would create more jobs and generate more tax revenue.

Published in the Sphere

The U.S. Must Not Lower the Bar on Protecting Children Fleeing Violence

Released on Wed, Jul 30, 2014

Washington D.C. - The humanitarian challenge posed by the arrival of thousands of unaccompanied children and young families at our southern border has once again ignited passions over the role immigration plays in our country. Rather than respond to the arrival of children and young families as refugees fleeing violence and crime, and appropriately fund our ability to prioritize the health and well-being of these individuals, Washington has yet again become mired in anti-immigration rhetoric. As the Senate and House take up supplemental funding bills, this debate is likely to involve numerous attacks on existing protections for children, including rolling back the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), accelerating court proceedings to limit the due process available to children, and other measures that will in essence blame the children for needing protection. Read more...

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Immigration status not a question on 2010 Census, despite push by some to ask it

Published on Fri, Mar 19, 2010

To the chagrin of some, that’s not one of the questions included in the 2010 Census forms that have been arriving at homes across the country over the past few weeks.

Census officials said it should not come as a surprise, because the U.S. Census’ 1790 mandate does not require that a person completing the Census reveal their legal status.

 

Published in the Naples News

Will Arizona's Immigration Law Pass Legal Muster?

Published on Fri, Apr 23, 2010

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a controversial bill Friday that makes it a crime for illegal immigrants to be in the state. The new law will require local police to seek proof of immigration status if there is reason to suspect individuals are illegal immigrants.

Earlier Friday, President Obama had criticized the bill as "misguided." He said that the federal government's failure to overhaul immigration law had been an invitation for other jurisdictions to act "irresponsibly." Now that Brewer has signed the bill into law, however, the question is whether it can survive inevitable legal challenges.

Published in the NPR