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Alabama’s Dangerous New Anti-Immigrant Law

Released on Thu, Sep 29, 2011

Washington D.C. - Yesterday, Judge Sharon Blackburn failed to enjoin major portions of Alabama’s extreme anti-immigrant law, HB 56, leaving many dangerous sections open to implementation. Local police, for example, are required to act as federal immigration enforcement agents by demanding proof of legal status from anyone who appears to be foreign. Other provisions—that go further than Arizona’s law—insist public school administrators check the legal status of students and their parents and create confusing and burdensome new restrictions on contracts between the state government and immigrants and between private citizens and immigrants. It’s unclear how far the restrictions on contracts will go, but at a minimum they will limit access to housing and utilities for anyone who cannot produce the proper documentation.

Although supporters claim the law will solve the state’s economic problems and reduce crime, HB 56 will inflict greater economic damage to Alabama, costing the state millions to implement and defend. And the crime argument simply doesn't hold water. Since 1990, Alabama’s unauthorized population has risen from five thousand to 120 thousand.  Yet the violent crime rate in the state has fallen by more than a third. Restrictive immigration laws have proven to reduce, not maximize, law enforcement effectiveness.Read more...

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Laying groundwork on immigration

Published on Wed, Aug 19, 2009

While President Obama has put off sweeping changes in immigration policy until probably next year -- after health care and energy -- he also pledged to start laying the groundwork.

Published in the Boston Globe

Supreme Court Limits Arizona’s Overreach on Immigration, Leaves Door Open to Future Challenges

Released on Mon, Jun 25, 2012

Washington D.C. - In a blow to the state anti-immigration movement, the Supreme Court ruled today that the authority to enforce immigration laws rests squarely with the federal government, limiting the role that states may play in crafting state-level answers to immigration enforcement. By a 5-3 margin, the Court struck down three of the four provisions of SB 1070 that were challenged by the Obama administration as pre-empted under federal law. While the Court agreed that Arizona’s attempt to limit immigration by creating new laws and new penalties to punish undocumented immigrants was pre-empted, it found that a provision requiring local police to investigate the legal status of suspected undocumented immigrants was not pre-empted on its face. The court read this provision very narrowly, however, leaving open the door to future lawsuits based on racial profiling and other legal violations. Read more...

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Davy Brown Discovers His Roots

Published on Thu, May 14, 2009

"Velani Mynhardt Witthöft and Keely Alexander, authors of Davy Brown Discovers His Roots will be signing copies of their book in Las Vegas on Wednesday, June 3, during the opening of the AILA exhibit hall and on Saturday morning, June 6 at the AILF booth."


LAC Issues Practice Advisory on Reinstatement of Removal

Released on Tue, Apr 30, 2013

For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C.—The Legal Action Center (LAC) is pleased to announce the issuance of a new practice advisory, Reinstatement of Removal. A person who has been removed and illegally reenters the United States may be subject to reinstatement of removal under INA § 241(a)(5). This Practice Advisory provides an overview of the reinstatement statute and implementing regulations. It also addresses federal court review of reinstatement orders and potential arguments to challenge the legality of reinstatement orders, including challenges to the underlying removal order.

This practice advisory includes a sample reinstatement order, a sample letter to DHS requesting a copy of the reinstatement order, a checklist for potential challenges to reinstatement orders, and an appendix of published reinstatement decisions. The LAC issued this advisory jointly with the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.

All of the LAC’s Practice Advisories are available on the LAC website.


For more information, contact or call 202-507-7516.

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Immigration bill backers try again despite jobless rate

Published on Tue, Dec 15, 2009

Arizona tops the list, with unemployment at 293,000 as of October and with 300,000 illegal immigrants either working or seeking work as of 2008, according to a 2009 Pew Hispanic Center report. New Jersey, Nevada, Maryland and Texas round out the top five states.

Published in the Washington Times

Lawsuit Seeks to Learn How Government Responds to Complaints of Misconduct by Immigration Judges

Released on Thu, Jun 06, 2013

Washington, DC - The public has a right to know whether the government adequately investigates and resolves complaints alleging misconduct by immigration judges, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) said in a lawsuit filed today in federal district court in Washington, D.C.

The lawsuit, filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), challenges the refusal of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) to disclose complaints alleging misconduct by immigration judges and records that would reveal whether the agency adequately investigates and resolves those complaints. Public Citizen (PC) and the American Immigration Council (AIC) represent AILA in the lawsuit.

Each year, in immigration courts around the country, immigration judges conduct more than 200,000 formal court proceedings to determine whether noncitizens are subject to removal from the United States. In recent years, numerous observers have documented misconduct by immigration judges and weaknesses in the integrity of our nation's immigration courts.

Yet formal discipline of immigration judges is rare, and EOIR, the agency responsible for overseeing immigration judges, is not transparent about its process for resolving complaints. Based on aggregate statistics released by EOIR, in Fiscal Year 2012, formal disciplinary action was taken in response to only 1 percent of complaints resolved by EOIR against immigration judges. In contrast, nearly half of the complaints ended in what EOIR has vaguely termed "informal action."

AILA, a national association of more than 12,000 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law, submitted a FOIA request to EOIR in November 2012, asking that the agency disclose complaints against immigration judges and records that indicate how the agency resolves those complaints. To date, EOIR has failed to provide the documents, prompting today's lawsuit.Read more...

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Immigration policy should reflect our best values

Published on Sat, Jan 23, 2010

“Immigrants don’t want to learn English.” “Immigrants don’t pay taxes.” “Immigrants increase the crime rate.” “Immigrants take jobs away from Americans.” “Immigrants are a drain on the U.S. economy.” “Illegal immigrants are a burden on the U.S. health care system.”

Americans have been using these generalizations for 150 years to stigmatize members of every ethnic group that has traveled to these shores seeking a better life for themselves and their children.

Published in the Kansas City Star

President Provides Immediate Relief, Creates Architecture for Reform

Released on Thu, Nov 20, 2014

Washington D.C. - After decades of congressional neglect, tonight President Obama took a crucial and courageous step toward reforming our immigration system. He announced that he will provide immediate relief for many of those impacted by of our broken system, and he is offering Congress an architecture for the permanent reforms that our country desperately needs.

Under the new policies announced, the Obama Administration will build on the successful Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by providing temporary relief for the parents of U.S. Citizens and lawful permanent residents. The new program, to be called Deferred Action for Parents (DAP), will ensure that millions of U.S. Citizen and lawful permanent resident children will remain unified with their parents. The President also announced new enforcement policies and steps to improve the adjudication of business and family visas.  

Mindful that the full impact of the President’s announcement will reveal itself in the months ahead, the American Immigration Council will keep a close watch over how the agencies administer these new policies. We will work to ensure that they are implemented in a way that respects fundamental principles of fairness and due process. Read more...

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U.S.: Audit Finds Major Problems in Immigration Policing

Published on Tue, Apr 06, 2010

NEW YORK, Apr 5 (IPS) - A controversial government programmeme that enlists local police officers and sheriff's deputies to help enforce U.S. immigration laws is verging on being out of control and unable to assess whether it is meeting its stated goals.

Published in the Australia News