Washington, D.C.— The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) is pleased to announce the release of an updated practice advisory: "DHS Review of Low Priority Cases for Prosecutorial Discretion." On August 18, 2011, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the establishment of a joint DHS-Department of Justice (DOJ) working group charged with reviewing the approximately 300,000 cases pending before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) to identify candidates for administrative closure. Subsequently, on November 17, 2011, DHS issued three documents detailing how the agency will implement the review process, which includes the launch of two pilot projects. This practice advisory summarizes information that is known to date about the review and discusses some of the ambiguities and contradictions that the recent announcements have created.
For a complete list of all LAC Practice Advisories, please visit our website.
New voter data shows Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill) is facing a major challenge in his run for President Obama's former Senate seat. Immigrant advocacy groups say Kirk will have to make changes to his stance on immigration reform if he wants a fighting chance at gaining Illinois' growing immigrant vote.
American Immigration Council Applauds Ruling Allowing Immigration Judges to Consider Evidence of Hardship
Washington, D.C.—Last Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a unanimous ruling that will allow immigration judges to exercise discretion in cases involving lawful permanent residents (LPRs) whose removal would cause extreme hardship to family members in the United States. The ruling marks the fourth opinion from a federal appellate court to reject a contrary decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals. The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center, which filed an amicus brief in the case and participated in the oral argument, applauds today’s ruling and calls on the Board to overturn its decision in Matter of Koljenovic, 25 I&N Dec. 219 (2010).
The case involved a 1996 amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act that prevents immigration judges from considering evidence of hardship in certain cases involving immigrants who were “admitted” to the United States as LPRs. For many LPRs facing removal, the ability to obtain such a hardship waivers is the only means to avoid separation from U.S. family members. In its amicus brief, the Council argued that the Board ignored the plain language of the statute and improperly conflated applicants who entered the country as LPRs with those who gained LPR status post-entry.
The beneficiary of today’s decision, Zaman Hanif, has resided in the United States for more than 25 years. The Department of Homeland Security initiated removal proceedings against him in 2009 based on a criminal conviction that resulted in four months’ incarceration. Hanif sought a waiver of inadmissibility on account of the hardship his removal would create for his immediate family members, including his wife, two elderly parents, and U.S. citizen children.Read more...
Undocumented Mexican migrants who won their legalization during the 1986 amnesty showed a marked improvement in their economic status, education levels increased substantially and thousands visibly moved out of poverty without relying on public assistance.
And Adhere to Certain Principles to Ensure A Workable System
Released on Tue, Jun 11, 2013
Washington D.C. – Today, the long-awaited opportunity to reform the country’s dysfunctional immigration system moves one step closer to reality as the full Senate begins consideration of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act. The Senate Judiciary Committee set a high standard for civility and transparency during its markup of the bill last month, and we urge the full Senate to continue in this vein. The bill that emerged from committee offers a workable plan that takes a balanced approach to immigration reform. Evidence, rather than grandstanding and rhetoric, should drive the debate on the Senate floor. Common sense and good policy can trump political one-upmanship, as long as Senators keep the following principles in mind.Read more...
New immigration rules go into effect this week for people seeking asylum in the United States. It's part of the overhaul of the US detention system announced by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano last summer. Previously, many asylum seekers were put into detention - sometimes for many years - while their cases were pending. Mary Giovagnoli is the Director of the Immigration Policy Center and specializes in asylum law.
Washington D.C. - Understanding the complexities of immigration law and its intersection with criminal law is not easy. Over the past month, a flood of reports about enforcement policies and deportation data have compounded the confusion. Some of these reports were clearly designed to derail genuine and productive conversations around immigration policy reform. Case in point, this week the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) issued a paper that claims over 36,000 “criminal aliens” were released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody.
From listening to the more vigorous critics of illegal immigration, our porous borders are a grave threat to safety. Not only can foreign terrorists sneak in to target us, but the most vicious criminals are free to walk in and inflict their worst on innocent Americans.
In xenophobic circles, this prospect induces stark terror. Fox News' Glenn Beck has decried an "illegal immigrant crime wave." A contributor to Patrick Buchanan's Web site asserts, "Every day, in the United States, thousands of illegal aliens unleash a reign of terror on Americans."
Immigration reform needs to happen immediately. For too long, too many have lived under fear of deportation, their families being separated, and employers increasing hours while decreasing wages. There have been studies that suggest that an immigration bill will not only help immigrant families and communities, but the country as a whole.
Last week, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a statewide law forcing local police officers to question and potentially detain anyone they "reasonably suspect" to be an undocumented immigrant. If you believe our local law enforcement agencies, who will be required to implement the mandates of this law, it will lead to mistrust between police and the people they have sworn to protect. The law violates due process, civil rights, and federal sovereignty over immigration policy. While I believe the courts will quickly overturn it, I am concerned that the damage to my home state's credibility has already been done.