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Prosecutorial Discretion: How to Advocate for Your Client

This Practice Advisory, updated following the issuance of Secretary Johnson’s November 20, 2014 memorandum on Policies for the Apprehension, Detention and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants, explains what prosecutorial discretion is, who has authority to exercise it, and how it is exercised most often in immigration cases. It also suggests ways that attorneys can influence the favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion by ICE, CBP and USCIS officers. 

Published On: Wednesday, March 18, 2015 | Download File

Toward A Better Life

Author:  Peter Coan

Coan's collection of 'new beginning' stories captures the spirit of new Americans.  Each story frames a different period of history but the drive, dreams, passion and pride of the subjects hasn't changed over time. Immigrants often leave so much behind in order to bring so much forward.  The author organized the stories by decade and included a background of each era.  With the perfect dose of history the book moves forward and the readers will feel like they get to know the storytellers. This book is the perfect companion to any educator who is teacing their students about immigration to the United States because it puts both the historic and contemporary issues of immigration into perspective.

Year released: 2011
Grades 7-Adult

Arizona Sheriff Not Relenting After Court Ruling

Published on Fri, Jul 30, 2010

"Sheriff Joe Arpaio and some other folks there decided they can make a name for themselves in terms of the intensity of the efforts they're using," said Benjamin Johnson, executive director of the pro-immigrant American Immigration Council. "There's no way to deny that. There are a lot of people getting caught up in these efforts."

Published in the CBS News

"Arriving Aliens" in Removal and Adjustment of Status

In 1997, the former INS adopted a regulation that barred all "arriving aliens" who were in removal proceedings from adjusting status. See former 8 C.F.R. § 245.1(c)(8) (1997). At the same time, INS adopted a regulation broadly defining the term "arriving alien." As a result, almost all parolees in removal proceedings were barred from adjustment of status. This regulation was withdrawn by the government in 2006 following litigation spearheaded by the LAC and was replaced by a regulation that gives USCIS jurisdiction over these adjustment applications.



Challenges to the 1997 Regulation

The LAC filed amicus briefs in nine courts of appeals in which we challenged the regulatory bar to adjustment of status for “arriving aliens” in removal proceedings. Ultimately, three courts accepted our arguments that the regulation violated the statute. Succar v. Ashcroft, 394 F.3d 8 (1st Cir. 2005); Zheng v. Gonzales, 422 F.3d 98 (3d Cir. 2005); Bona v. Gonzales, 425 F.3d 663 (9th Cir. 2005). A fourth court followed the lead of these three courts.  Scheerer v. U.S. Attorney General, 445 F.3d 1311 (11th Cir. 2006). Two other courts rejected our arguments and upheld the regulation. Mouelle v. Gonzales, 416 F.3d 923 (8th Cir. 2005); Momin v. Gonzales, 447 F.3d 447 (5th Cir. 2006). In response to this litigation, the government withdrew the challenged regulation and adopted an interim regulation that provides USCIS with jurisdiction to adjudicate an adjustment application of an “arriving alien” who is in removal proceedings. 71 Fed. Reg. 27585 (2006).

Challenges Brought Under the Interim Regulation

Educate, Celebrate, and Empower: Build an Inclusive School Community

The one-week immigration community outreach project and lesson plan meets three objectives: 1) to educate students on the experiences of the immigrant population; 2) to celebrate and welcome immigrant students; and 3) to empower all students to implement a social justice project. Read more...

Year Released: 2015

Middle School 6-8 and High School 9-12

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What the Drop in Illegal Residency Means for Immigration Reform

Published on Fri, Sep 03, 2010

But Mary Giovagnoli, director of the more liberal Immigration Policy Institute, sees the Pew study as extra motivation to pass comprehensive immigration reform, including a legalization program for those already in the country. "I think it overall provides us with a healthy reality check on the fact that despite the claims that the country's being overrun and that all of these problems are the result of illegal immigrants, the amount of illegal immigration is, in proportion to the overall population and even in terms of overall numbers, declining," she says. "We need to seize upon that and build a smart immigration overhaul where now, with these statistics in play, we can figure out how to get it right."

The number of illegal immigrants has historically vacillated alongside the country's economic fortunes, Giovagnoli points out. "One of the overall best ways to ensure that we don't have continued loops of illegal immigration is to ensure that we have a combination of improvements to our permanent legal system and to our guest worker programs," she says. "We know that enforcement alone can't handle the situation."

Published in the Atlantic Monthly

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.



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...

The Next Arizona

Published on Thu, Oct 28, 2010

After Arizona passed its crackdown law on illegal immigration, SB 1070, politicians across the country said they planned to introduce similar legislation in their states — even after the Justice Department sued Arizona for overstepping its authority to police immigration. Via Immigration Impact, pro-immigration business coalition Immigration Works USA released a report on which states are most likely to go through with their plans. Based on past enforcement policies and Republican support, four states were deemed likely to pass copycat laws: Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Carolina.

Published in the The Washington Independent

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