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Legal Action Center Issues Updated FAQ on the Asylum Clock Class Action Settlement

Released on Tue, Dec 03, 2013

The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) is pleased to announce an update of Frequently Asked Questions About the Asylum Clock Class Action Settlement.  This updated FAQ answers questions about the benefits provided under the settlement of the nationwide class action, ABT v. USCIS, which challenged policies related to employment authorization for asylum applicants.  For more information about the ABT case, see the LAC’s Asylum Clock webpage.  The FAQ is released in coordination with co-counsel in the lawsuit, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and Gibbs, Houston and Pauw.  

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For more information, contact asylumclock@immcouncil.org or call 202-507-7516.

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Alaska immigrants' economic role grows

Published on Thu, Feb 18, 2010

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - An immigration policy reform group says Alaska's foreign-born and minority populations have a growing presence in Alaska and its economy.

In a new publication, the Immigration Policy Center based in Washington, D.C., says one in 10 Alaskans are Asian or Latino, and those communities have more than $2 billion in buying power. It says the information comes from Census data and economic information from other research.

 

Published in the Associated Press

Groups File Lawsuit Challenging Failures of CBP to Respond to FOIA Requests

Released on Fri, Mar 13, 2015

Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, a class action lawsuit was filed by three immigration attorneys and eleven noncitizens challenging U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) nationwide practice of failing to timely respond to requests for case information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). FOIA gives an individual the right to access information that the federal government possesses about him or her within 20 business days of making the request. CBP routinely fails to provide requested documents within 20 days, but instead takes months—and in many cases more than a year—to provide documents. Plaintiffs and others like them are forced to delay filing applications for lawful permanent residence while they wait for necessary documents from their own case files. By bringing this case as a class action, the plaintiffs seek to remedy CBP’s system-wide failures in its management of FOIA requests. The case was filed by the Law Offices of Stacy Tolchin, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and the American Immigration Council.

The complaint in Brown et al. v. U.S. Customs and Border Protection alleges that such routine and excessive delays are unjustified from CBP, the agency with the largest budget within the Department of Homeland Security. The lawsuit was filed on Friday, March 13, in federal court in San Francisco.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs are asking the Court to issue a nationwide injunction ordering CBP to respond to pending FOIA requests within 60 business days of the Court’s order and to respond to future FOIA requests within the statutory period. Read more...

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New Report on the Benefits of Legalization Comes Up Short

Published on Sun, Apr 11, 2010

A new report released by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) this week attempts to assess the economic benefits of a legalization program on immigrants and native born workers. The report, Immigrant Legalization: Assessing the Labor Market Effects, however, falls short on research and methodology. While the report accurately concludes that legalization would not have a negative impact on native workers’ wages and employment, the report takes a myopic approach to legalization’s impact on wages and mobility of the newly legalized. A wide range of economic studies—studies which consider legalization’s impact in both the long term and in context to comprehensive immigration reform—conclude that legalization does in fact benefit both native-born and immigrants alike.

Published in the New American Media

Arizona's Message to Immigrants: Take Your Billions and Run

Published on Thu, May 06, 2010

Many proponents of Arizona's harsh new immigration law cite rampant crime and violence at the border as the impetus behind the push to turn police into immigration agents and undocumented workers into criminals.

But immigrants are less likely than native-born residents to commit crimes, and presence in the US without papers is a civil, not a criminal offense. As the Immigration Policy Center points out, Arizona's crime rates have been steadily falling in recent years despite increased flows of undocumented immigration. It is unclear how directing police officers, under threat of lawsuit, to target these residents will make Arizona safer. In fact, law enforcement officials from across the country warn that SB 1070 may have the opposite effect, and compromise public safety by diverting scarce police resources away from targeting criminals, regardless of citizenship status.

Published in the Huffington Post

Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Innovation, and Welcoming Initiatives by State

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Browse our state fact sheets on the impact of immigrant entrepreneurs and state Welcoming Initiatives.

Should local police get involved in immigration enforcement?

Published on Sun, May 30, 2010

Some police departments argue federal immigration enforcement undermine their core missions, said Wendy Feliz Sefsaf of the American Immigration Council.

"It [Arizona's law] goes against all the goals of community policing," she said. "There's definitely law enforcement out there saying this kind of thing doesn't work."

In fact, last week police chiefs from Los Angeles, Tucson, Houston, Philadelphia and other cities, met with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and said laws like Arizona's would lead to increases in crime.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has said Arizona's law "will likely hinder" federal efforts to detain and remove "dangerous criminal aliens." Calling for immigration reform on the national level, she said "this issue cannot be solved by a patchwork of inconsistent state laws."

Published in the Orlando Sentinel

How to get Judicial Relief Under 8 USC 1447(b) for a Stalled Naturalization Application

Section 336(b) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. § 1447(b), gives a district court jurisdiction to intervene in a case where USCIS has failed to make a decision on the naturalization application within 120 days of the applicant’s “examination” by USCIS. This Practice Advisory discusses the nuts and bolts of bringing a suit under INA § 336(b). It also discusses when attorneys fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act are available.

Published On: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 | Download File

Digital Natives = Digital Storytelling

The goal of Digital Natives=Digital Storytelling is to have students identify their own ancestry and understand the important role immigrants have in developing our nation. By using the latest technologies and literacy-based activities, students will become cognizant of what issues caused people to leave their former lives behind, the problems involved in adapting to a new world, the cultural richness they brought to this country and how these characteristics have endured time to enrich our lives.

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What's the Cost of Educating Children of the Undocumented?

Published on Wed, Jul 07, 2010

The Immigration Policy Center, the research and policy arm of the Washington-based American Immigration Council, put out a statement saying the report was "highly misleading" because FAIR "completely discounts the economic contributions of unauthorized workers and consumers."

Published in the Education Week