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Immigrant myth, busted

Published on Sun, Aug 23, 2009

There's no time like a recession to find scapegoats, and immigrants are always a popular choice. Blame immigrants, legal and illegal, for the high unemployment rate. If they weren't here, the complaint goes, millions of great jobs would open up for native-born Americans who are ready and willing to do the work. Get rid of the country's 11 million illegal immigrants and you would solve the unemployment problem. Or would you?

Published in the Palm Beach Post

AIC Challenges BIA Decision Denying Miranda-like Warnings to Immigrants Under Arrest

Released on Mon, Apr 23, 2012

Washington, D.C.—On Friday, the American Immigration Council challenged a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) ruling that immigrants who are arrested without a warrant do not need to receive certain Miranda-like warnings before being interrogated.  

Under federal regulations, immigration officers must advise such noncitizens of the reason for their arrest, of their right to legal representation, and that anything they say may be used against them in a subsequent proceeding. Last August, however, the BIA ruled that these warnings are not required until after questioning has ended and charging papers are filed with an immigration court. 

In an amicus brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Council argued that the BIA misinterpreted both the text and purpose of the regulation.  

“As a matter of law and fundamental fairness, people placed under arrest should be advised of their rights before questioning, not after,” said Melissa Crow, Director of the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center. “The BIA’s ruling renders the notifications virtually meaningless and will subject countless immigrants to coercive questioning by federal officers.” 

The brief was joined by the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, the National Immigration Law Center, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project. 

The Ninth Circuit case is Miranda Fuentes v. Holder, No. 11-72641. The BIA ruling under challenge is Matter of E-R-M-F- & A-S-M-, 25 I&N Dec. 580 (BIA 2011).  

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b-activists: New children's book reminds us that we all have immigrant pasts (see authors read in NYC!)

Published on Mon, Sep 14, 2009

One part of childhood everyone remembers are their favorite books; the characters, the story, and the lessons they taught

Published in the Blisted

Carmen A. DiPlacido – A Champion and a Friend

Released on Tue, Feb 05, 2013

The American Immigration Council mourns the loss of Carmen A. DiPlacido, an extraordinary lawyer known as much for his kind and gentle spirit as for his singular expertise in citizenship, naturalization and consular practice.  He had superb intellect, enormous practical knowledge, huge institutional memory, and unstinting and consistent generosity in sharing it all.

Before joining the private bar in 1997, Carmen had a distinguished 27-year career in the U.S. Department of State, where he served in numerous positions, including Director, Office of Citizens Consular Services and Director, Office of Policy Review and Interagency Liaison, Overseas Citizens Services, as well as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Passport Services and Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Overseas Citizens Services.  A singular contribution of his was the landmark Child Citizenship Act of 2000, which Carmen authored to imbue derivative citizenship with his trademark fairness and compassion.

In addition to his long-time support for our work here at the Immigration Council, Carmen was an ardent supporter of individuals with special needs, and was the president of the board of directors of Porto Charities, Inc., a charitable organization dedicated to actively assisting people with developmental or intellectual disabilities; their community and their environment.  

Carmen is survived by his wife, Ann, and his daughter, Christie.

Carmen was a colleague and a dear friend to us all.  He will be missed by all those who had the pleasure of knowing him.

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Senate Democrats want U.S. residency for kin of immigrant service members

Published on Sat, Nov 14, 2009

Six Senate Democrats have introduced a bill to grant permanent residency to family members of immigrants actively serving in the U.S. military — even in cases where the service member has died.

Published in the The Hill

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

Coercion and Intimidation of Detained Mothers and Children Must Stop

Released on Wed, Sep 30, 2015

Today, Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), the American Immigration Council, Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), partners in the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project, submitted the latest in a series of formal complaints to the Department of Homeland Security Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG), this one documenting intimidation, misinformation and violations of the right to counsel at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas.

The complaint describes how Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers are using coercive tactics to force detained mothers to accept electronic ankle monitors as a condition of release and forfeit their right to pursue bond hearings before immigration judges. The complaint documents case after case of ICE employing unlawful tactics to intimidate detained mothers and thereby prevent them from asserting their rights. These tactics include blocking attorneys from accessing their clients during compulsory ICE questioning, threatening to withhold medical care for children if mothers choose to seek bond hearings instead of accepting ankle monitors, and threatening mothers with deportation if they raise concerns or inquire about the status of their cases.

The affidavits recount instances where ICE officers:

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