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Innocent Until Proven Immigrant" - Wisconsin Joins Secure Communities

Published on Sat, Feb 05, 2011

According to an Immigration Policy Center report, around 30% of those deported through the program between Oct. 2009 - Sept. 2010 were non-criminals. Other Immigration and Customs Enforcement sources have placed the number at almost half of those arrested. Previous efforts to focus on high-level criminals have seen Immigration and Customs Enforcement arresting and likely deporting up to 83% of folks convicted of minor traffic violations or no crime at all, says IPC.

Published in the Change.Org

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 2, No. 11

This issue covers litigation challenging USCIS's fee increase, developments in the social security no-match letter case, the reversal of a Fifth Circuit decision on natz delay litigation, new raids lawsuits, surviving spouse litigation, and the Hutto detention facility settlement.

Published On: Sunday, September 16, 2007 | Download File

Is immigration policy killing the American Dream?

Published on Fri, Apr 01, 2011

It's a story repeated throughout American culture, in theatre, film and novels: the penniless immigrant arrives on American shores seeking a new life and, through hard work and determination, prospers and thrives.

Such tales are a quintessential part of the "American Dream", the idea that anyone willing to work hard and think big can come to the US and "make it".

But, at a time when immigration is a divisive, hot-button political issue, is that dream still possible?

The dream itself is alive and well, says Ben Johnson, the executive director of the American Immigration Council.

"The spirit of the people who have the drive to uproot themselves and pursue this dream across the world is powerful. It continues to shine through," Mr Johnson told the BBC.

But the spirit is not sufficient if the system won't allow it. And America's immigration system does not make it particularly easy to start a new life on its shores.

Quotas reached

American immigration policy is largely family based, meaning residency is most commonly granted to the immediate family of existing residents or citizens.

For others, visas are granted mostly based on skill levels, with highly skilled immigrants having a much easier time getting work permits than unskilled labourers.

So-called skilled workers - usually people with a university education or professional training - have a range of visa options. The most common visa, the H1B class, currently has a ceiling of 65,000 each year.

That quota is easily filled every year. Before the recession, it was filled in the same month the visas were released.

At the moment, Mr Johnson says, it gets filled in eight or nine months, meaning that for several months of the year, H1B visas simply are not available regardless of the demand for them.

For unskilled labourers, the US grants just 5,000 work visas each year to people employed in fields other than agriculture.Read more...

Published in the BBC News

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 1, No. 1

This is the inaugural issue of the Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter.

Published On: Tuesday, December 6, 2005 | Download File

Homeland Security extends Temporary Protected Status for Haitians

Published on Wed, May 18, 2011

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Tuesday that the department would extend temporary immigration protections for an additional eighteen months for Haitians currently residing in the United States.

In a press release Napolitano announced the extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti beneficiaries effective July 23, 2011 and for an additional 18 months.

The protections were offered in January 2010, in response to the tragic earthquake that the struck the country. Thousands of Hatians who fled the disaster sought refuge in the United States, and many of them settled in South Florida. According to the release, there are now 48,000 Hatians living in the U.S. under the temporary protections.

The release also notes that the department is actively turning away Hatians who try to enter the country illegally, and that the protections will not apply to people who arrive in the country after that time.

The Immigration Policy Center stated that the extension of TPS decision by the Secretary is evidence of the power of the Executive branch to shape the implementation of existing immigration law.

The IPC contends that Napolitano could have declined to extend TPS or make more people eligible, because the law did not require her to do so. But because she had the discretion to revisit the original determination, and ultimately used it to expand the range of people eligible for this protection, the U.S. will be able to help thousands of people who might otherwise have faced deportation to Haiti and enormous suffering.

According the 2009 American Community Survey (pdf.) at least 376,000 people of Haitian ancestry live in Florida; an estimated 830,000 live in the U.S. The survey adds that 59 percent are foreign born.

Published in the Florida Independent

Motions to Suppress in Removal Proceedings


Long used in criminal trials, motions to suppress seek to exclude evidence obtained by the government in violation of the Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, or related provisions of federal law. While the immediate purpose of filing a motion to suppress is to prevent the government from meeting its burden of proof, challenges to unlawfully obtained evidence can also deter future violations by law enforcement officers and thereby protect the rights of other noncitizens.

The Supreme Court held in INS v. Lopez-Mendoza, 468 U.S. 1032 (1984), that motions to suppress under the Fourth Amendment should be granted only for “egregious” violations. Immigrants in removal proceedings can also use motions to suppress for violations of the Fifth Amendment, as well as certain provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act and federal regulations relating to the collection of evidence. The Legal Action Center has published a practice advisory offering guidance on filing motions to suppress in removal proceedings.

Federal Circuit decisions | BIA decisions | Immigration Judge decisions | Resources


First Circuit

Westover v. Reno, 202 F.3d 475 (1st Cir. 2000) (upholding denial of motion to suppress for asserted violations of Fourth Amendment and INA § 287(a)(2) arising from warrantless home entry)Read more...

A Look Through Milan Simic’s Lens

June, 2009
Milan Simic

The Exchange Visitor Program is proud to announce Milan Simic as June’s Exchange Visitor of the Month. Each month, we select an exchange visitor who has made an effort to get involved in his/her community and explore American Culture. Milan is featured this month for being the winner of the EVP Photo Contest! The winning entry, Rush Hour in Times Square, is pictured above. Read more...