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Habeas Corpus

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, noncitizens may file habeas actions if they are held in immigration “custody” by the federal government in violation of the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States. Noncitizens face many practical hurdles in filing habeas petitions, including detention in remote locations and the government’s practice of transferring detainees between facilities. These problems are exacerbated when courts adopt the inflexible “immediate custodian” rule—which requires naming the person with immediate, day-to-day control over the petitioner as the respondent—since the case always must be filed where the person is detained. The LAC has appeared as amicus curiae in cases before the federal courts of appeals to urge the adoption of a more flexible approach allowing either the Attorney General or the Secretary of DHS to be named as the proper custodian in habeas petitions.

CASESRESOURCES

CASES

Bell v. Ashcroft, Nos. 03-2737, 03-2977 (2d Cir. amicus brief filed May 7, 2004) (case settled without a decision from the court).

Roman v. Ashcroft, No. 02-3253 (6th Cir. amicus brief filed Oct. 10, 2003) (court issued a precedent decision finding that the Attorney General was not the proper custodian in this case, but noting that the Attorney General may be a proper custodian where the detainee would not otherwise have a “realistic opportunity for judicial review of his executive detention”). Roman v. Ashcroft, 340 F.3d 314 (6th Cir. 2003).Read more...

Birthright Citizenship’s Unlikely Road to Supreme Court

Published on Wed, Dec 22, 2010

“Those children can’t petition for their parents to become U.S. citizens until they are 21 years old and it most cases, the parents would be barred from getting a visa to the United States for 10 years,” said Michelle Waslin, senior policy analyst at the American Immigration Council's Immigration Policy Center in Washington, D.C. “So that’s a 31-year plan. It doesn’t seem like it’s a very good plan to legalize your status here in the U.S. It doesn’t protect them from deportation.”

Published in the Hartford Guardian

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 3, No. 9

This issue covers updates to two naturalization delay cases; a circuit split on the interpretation of aggravated identity theft -- a development of heightened relevance because of recent immigration raids and prosecutions; and a successful challenge to a NY state licensing law.

Published On: Tuesday, August 5, 2008 | Download File

Houston Students Take Part in Naturalization Ceremonies

Published on Thu, May 05, 2011

District Director Sandra Heathman will introduce three award winning essay writers at an N-600 Oath Ceremony that will be attended by 20 new citizens. The fifth grade winners wrote an essay, sponsored by the American Immigration Council on the theme, “Why I am Glad America is a Country of Immigrants.” The winners will read their winning essays. The new citizens have already had their N-600 Application for Certificate of Citizenship granted, and will obtain their Certificates.

Published in the USCIS Houston | View PDF

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 1, No. 14

This issue covers the government's cert petitions in theft offense cases, BIA procedures for remanded cases, favorable decisions on adjustment of status after reentry without admission, and litigation support in VAWA cases.

Published On: Thursday, July 13, 2006 | Download File

Undocumented Immigrants Pay More In Taxes Than Wealthy

Published on Tue, Apr 19, 2011

A new study released by the Immigration Policy Center for tax day shows that at least half of the undocumented immigrants in this country pay income taxes. Add that to the sales and property taxes that those undocumented persons also pay and undocumented immigrants pay more in taxes than most wealthy Americans.

The total amount of tax revenue collected in state and local taxes is approximately $11.2 billion, including $1.2 billion in personal income taxes, $1.6 billion in property taxes and $8.4 billion in sales taxes.

The numbers don't come as much of a surprise to those who track immigration policy. According to Wendy Sefsaf, communications director for the American Immigration Council, the current political movement to restrict, criminalize and punish immigrants will come at a steep price to states.

According to Sefsaf "[t]he restrictionist movement in the U.S. spends all their time letting everyone know how much [undocumented immigrants] cost us, and they try to ignore the fact that they contribute. We are not trying to say there are not costs associated with people. There are costs associated with everyone. But we are trying to balance out the debate."

States like Florida, for example, which collects about $806.8 million from unauthorized immigrants and does not have a state income tax would certainly feel the impact should a significant amount of that population leave. That revenue comes from immigrants buying groceries, rent and other necessities subject to sales and property taxes.

The bottom line is to suggest that undocumented immigrants are nothing but a revenue suck on states is simply wrong. While that will likely not change the conversation for those who have committed to making attacking immigrants the wedge issue of the moment, as Sefsaf notes, the only way to have an honest conversation about changing immigration policy is with a full set of facts.

Published in the Care 2.com

Family Unity: Escutia v. Reno

This lawsuit challenges INS' failure to timely adjudicate applications under the Family Unity Program.

This lawsuit challenges INS' failure to timely adjudicate applications under the Family Unity Program.

  • AILF and the INS have reached a final agreement to settle Escutia v. Reno, a case addressing the INS's failure to timely adjudicate applications under the Family Unity Program.
  • AILF has filed a national class action lawsuit against the INS for its failure to timely adjudicate applications under the Family Unity Program. Click here to see the complaint and press release.