Washington, D.C. - Today, Penn State Law’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights and the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center released a new study, "Up Against the Clock: Fixing the Broken Employment Authorization Asylum Clock." The report examines the laws, policy, and practice of the “Employment Authorization Document (EAD) asylum clock”— a clock which measures the number of days after an applicant files an asylum application before the applicant is eligible for work authorization. The law requires asylum applicants to wait 150 days after filing an application to apply for a work permit and in some instances, permits the government to extend this waiting period by “stopping the clock” for certain incidents caused by the applicant. Nevertheless, the report reveals that applicants often wait much longer than the legally permitted timeframe to receive a work permit.
Washington D.C. - Today, the Senate voted 56 to 43 against proceeding to the Defense Authorization Act. This procedural vote, which basically followed party lines, ends consideration of critical social issues that affect the military and were to be offered as amendments to the bill. Among the amendments not considered is the DREAM Act, an immigration bill that would provide legal status to young people who graduate from high school and pursue college or military service.
The following is a statement from Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center:
"The political gridlock that has immobilized the Senate has resulted once again in a lost opportunity for the American people. By refusing to allow the Defense Authorization Act to proceed, America will not see, at this time, an up or down vote on the DREAM Act, which would have been a first legislative step in resolving our immigration crisis. The Senators who voted "no" today are ignoring unequivocal evidence that the DREAM Act is good for military readiness, the American workforce and the U.S. economy.
The energy and enthusiasm of thousands of young people who have poured themselves into promoting the DREAM Act has not been wasted, however. Because of their efforts, more people today understand the importance of DREAM to our economy, our military, and the future of our country than ever before."
AILA and AIC, joined by dozens of other organizations, submitted letters to DHS, EOIR and OIL urging the adoption of interim measures in immigration cases involving same-sex marriages pending final judicial or legislative resolution regarding Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Among the interim measures proposed, the letters ask the agencies to hold in abeyance all petitions and applications that are based upon a same-sex marriage and to administratively close or otherwise continue all removal cases in which relief may be available based upon a same-sex marriage.
Washington D.C. - Last week, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) issued new guidance addressing the “asylum clock.” The asylum clock calculates a mandatory 180-day waiting period before an asylum applicant can receive work authorization. Any delay caused by the asylum applicant will stop the clock and prolong the waiting period for work authorization. However, delays are often incorrectly attributed to the applicant and asylum seekers are unjustly prevented from working for long periods of time.
EOIR’s new guidance provides some much-needed clarity and addresses certain longstanding problems. In particular, it clarifies that the asylum clock should not stop in the event of a delay caused by a government attorney or the court, and that immigration judges must indicate on the record the reason for postponing a case.
Unfortunately, EOIR fails to resolve more systemic problems through its new guidance including:Read more...
An en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of young adults who, due to long delays caused by visa backlogs, lost the opportunity to obtain their green cards before they turned 21. In accordance with arguments made in an amicus brief submitted by the Legal Action Center and the National Immigrant Justice Center, the court held that Congress specifically remedied this problem in the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) of 2002, by allowing children who were listed on their parents’ visa petitions, but who turned 21 before a visa became available, to retain the earlier filing date of their parents’ visa petitions when new visa petitions are filed for them as adults. As the court explained, “This ensures that visas are available quickly, rather than requiring the now-adult aliens to wait many more years in a new visa line.”
The court’s ruling overturned a precedent decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals, Matter of Wang, 25 I. & N. Dec. 28 (BIA 2009), which interpreted the law as benefiting only one visa category of “aged-out” children.
The court issued its decision in two cases, one of which is a national class action. The petitioners in the two cases were represented by Reeves and Associates and the Law Offices of Carl Shusterman.
Today, the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) released the third and final installment of a three-part report, Untying the Knot, which seeks to debunk the frequently misrepresented relationship between immigration and unemployment.