Washington, D.C.- Today, an en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit rejected the government’s attempt to bar noncitizens from seeking to reopen their cases from outside the United States. This is the seventh appellate court to find the “departure bar”—a regulation barring noncitizens from pursuing their cases after departure or deportation—unlawful and is a step forward in protecting the right to a fair immigration hearing. The decision is particularly significant because the Tenth Circuit had been the only court at odds with the majority. The court had granted rehearing en banc to reconsider its prior decision.
Despite the overwhelming rejection of the departure bar, the government continues to defend the regulation and apply it to cases outside the circuits that have invalidated the bar. The American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center (LAC) and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG), which filed amicus briefs in the Tenth Circuit and argued before the court, renew their call for the agency to strike this unlawful regulation.
In a new report released yesterday, Restriction or Legalization? Measuring the Economic Benefits of Immigration Reform, the Cato Institute seeks to quantify the Benefits that would flow to the U.S. economy from comprehensive Immigration Reform which grants some form of legal status to unauthorized immigrants already living In the United States.
This week, a federal district court issued an opinion highly critical of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) handling of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted by the American Immigration Council (AIC) for records relating to noncitizens’ access to counsel. The Court ordered USCIS to turn over records that it previously had refused to produce.
Most decisions about immigration status—including whether to grant lawful permanent residence, asylum or citizenship—are made by government officials outside the courtroom. Given the significant impact such decisions have on the lives of noncitizens and their families, it is critical that they be allowed to have their private attorneys with them during complex administrative proceedings.
Historically, USCIS has imposed unwarranted restrictions on access to counsel, though in recent months the agency has made significant progress toward addressing these problems. Through its FOIA request, the AIC hopes to shed light on USCIS policies about counsel.
After waiting almost a year for USCIS to respond to the request, the AIC’s Legal Action Center and co-counsel Dorsey & Whitney LLP filed a FOIA suit on behalf of the AIC, alleging that USCIS had failed to turn over records responsive to the FOIA request. After filing suit, USCIS determined that it had over 2042 pages of documents responsive to the request. However, it withheld 1169 pages and released 418 pages with redactions, claiming FOIA exemptions protected the records from disclosure. In response to the government’s motion for summary judgment, the AIC argued that USCIS had not demonstrated the adequacy of its search and had improperly withheld numerous documents not protected under the FOIA exemptions. Read more...
LAC Releases Updated Practice Advisories on the Child Status Protection Act and the Administrative Procedure Act
The Child Status Protection Act. The CSPA was enacted to provide relief to children who “age-out” as a result of both visa backlogs and delays by USCIS in processing visa petitions and asylum and refugee applications. This practice advisory provides an overview of the CSPA, its effective date, and its interpretation and implementation by USCIS, the U.S. Department of State, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the courts.Read more...
Immigrants - Latinos and Asians - are a growing segment of Wisconsin society and integral to the state's economy, providing tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue and consumer purchasing power, according to a study released Thursday.
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.
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.
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.
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."