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American Immigration Council Sues U.S. Immigration Agencies Over Asylum “Clock”

Published on Tue, Dec 20, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Last week, the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center filed a nationwide class action lawsuit against U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Executive Office for Immigration Review in federal court in Seattle. The lawsuit alleges widespread problems with the asylum “clock”—the system that the government uses to determine when immigrants with pending asylum applications become eligible to obtain work authorization in the United States. The class certification motion describes the nationwide impact of these policies.

The complaint, co-filed with the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project, Gibbs Houston Pauw, and the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, was submitted on behalf of untold numbers of asylum applicants wrongfully denied work authorization due to unlawful agency policies and practices. The named plaintiffs include asylum seekers who have pursued their cases for years without work authorization—including a man from China who initially filed his asylum application in 2003.

With limited exceptions, federal law requires USCIS to grant work authorization to any person with an asylum application pending for 180 days. In calculating this period, however, USCIS relies on determinations made by immigration judges who work for EOIR. As a result, arbitrary EOIR policies on when the “clock” should start and stop—combined with growing backlogs in U.S. immigration courts—have unlawfully prevented asylum seekers from working. The suit alleges these policies violate the Constitution, federal statutes, and governing regulations.
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Published in the New American Media

Stephen Colbert Mentions IPC Blog in "Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger"

Published on Mon, Dec 12, 2011

Last night, Stephen Colbert gave a shout out to the Immigration Policy Center's blog in a segment called "Tip of the Hat/Wag of the Finger." Steven Colbert gave a shout out (video below), in his own unique way, to the IPC for lifting up the problems with the original definition of “anchor baby” released in the latest edition of the American Heritage dictionary.

Watch:

Published in the Colbert Report

The LAC Docket | Volume I, Issue 4

The Newsletter of the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center

September 8, 2011
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OUR WORK

Access to Courts

Circuit courts continue to target departure bar on motions to reopen
Prestol Espinal v. Attorney General
, --- F.3d --- (3d Cir. 2011)
Contreras-Bocanegra v. Holder
, No. 10-9500 (10th Cir. rehearing en banc granted Aug. 2, 2011)

In August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit became the latest federal court to reject the government’s efforts to prevent noncitizens outside the United States from having their cases reopened or reconsidered. In a unanimous ruling, the court held that the regulations underlying the “departure bar” violate the plain text of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which sets deadlines for filing motions to reopen or reconsider but says nothing to limit such rights for noncitizens already outside the country.Read more...

Fingerprints to go to feds to flag illegal immigrants

Published on Tue, May 15, 2012

New Hampshire quietly fell under the realm of Secure Communities last week, the federal program looking for potential immigration violations that checks the fingerprints of anyone who has been arrested.

According to the website of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Secure Communities was activated throughout New Hampshire on May 8. On Tuesday, the program went into effect in Massachusetts and New York, where some political leaders have said it is not needed and unwanted.
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Published in the New Hampshire Union Leader

Dr. Nadia Krupnikova

Nadia Krupnikova was born in Moscow, Russia and immigrated to Columbia, MO when she was 14 years old. As with many Soviet Jews, Nadia's family came to escape religious and political persecution of the Soviet Russia. They left Russia with ninety dollars and two suitcases per person, feeling lucky to have escaped as opportunities began to close. Along with her mother, Nadia worked odds jobs, including cleaning homes, looking after children and alterations to help support the family. At 18, she entered medical school in Kansas City, MO, with the intention of becoming a psychiatrist. Through the plethora of scholarships, grants and loans this dream was realized after she completed her residency at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Upon graduation she became director of inpatient psychiatry at GW, where she worked and taught until 1997. While there, she also co-authored a behavioral science review book.

From then until 2000, she worked at the world-renowned Chestnut Lodge Hospital in Rockville, MD, that was founded on psychiatric principles that Nadia respected. Nadia wanted to work with severely ill patients who required hospitalization. Certainly, medications were used in treatment of the mentally ill, but Chestnut Lodge advocated a very humanistic approach that paralleled Nadia's view. It was a "labor-intensive" psycho-therapy which required intensive patient-therapist interaction. The world fame of Chestnut Lodge was well deserved, and Nadia thrived while practicing medicine there. With the closure of Chestnut Lodge, Nadia began a private practice in Rockville treating patients who are often severely mentally ill.Read more...

Immigrant Integration: How Foreign-Born Workers Compare To U.S. Citizens (INFOGRAPHIC)

Published on Tue, Aug 28, 2012

An article in the Huffington Post yesterday cited IPC statistics in an article about immigrant integration.  Check out the interesting graphic by the National Immigrant Integration Conference at the bottom of the article: Read more...

Published in the The Huffington Post

Garrett Epps

Garrett Epps, a former reporter for The Washington Post, is a novelist and legal scholar. He lives in Washington, D.C., and teaches courses in constitutional law and creative writing for law students at the University of Baltimore. His two most recent books are Peyote vs. the State: Religious Freedom on Trial and Democracy Reborn: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Fight for Equal Rights in Post‐Civil War America. This article is adapted from an article published in the American University Law Review, Vol. 60, Number 2, December 2010.

IPC Report Featured on Huffington Post

Published on Thu, Jun 06, 2013

An article in the Huffington Post highlighted a recent special report done by Cecilia Menjivar and Olivia Salcido in cooperation with the Immigration Policy Center.  The report, titled "Gendered Paths to Legal Status:  The Case of Latin American Immigrants in Phoenix, Arizona," focused on inequalities within U.S. immigration law over how men and women are treated. The article said:

"Gender inequalities seep through immigration law in the United States, making women go through a different experience than men when attempting to gain a legal status in the U.S., a new study reveals.

"'Immigration law, which on its face appears gender neutral, actually contains gender biases that create barriers for many women trying to gain legalization within the current immigration system,' stated the authors of a study released last week by the Immigration Policy Center."

Published in the Huffington Post

Susan Pierce, Ph.D.

Susan Pierce, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, East Carolina University.  

Reena Tandon teaches South Asian Studies at University of Toronto and has been affiliated with Ryerson University to teach at School of Social Work and to integrate Curricular Service Learning in the Faculty of Arts.

Elizabeth Clifford is Associate Professor of Sociology at Towson University and Director of American Studies and Coordinator of the Baltimore Immigration Summit.