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Immigration Enforcement: A Resource Page

The United States v. Arizona: Drawing a Clear Line Between Federal and State Immigration Authority

Released on Tue, Jul 06, 2010

Washington, D.C. - Today, the United States Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the state of Arizona in federal court. The lawsuit, prompted by passage of SB 1070 in the Arizona legislature, will argue that federal law trumps the state statute and enforcing immigration law is a federal responsibility. The Department has requested a preliminary injunction to delay enactment of the law, arguing that the law's operation will cause "irreparable harm."
"The federal government is taking an important step to reassert its authority over immigration policy in the United States," said Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council. "While a legal challenge by the Department of Justice won't resolve the public's frustration with our broken immigration system, it will seek to define and protect the federal government's constitutional authority to manage immigration."
Although states have always played a role in federal immigration enforcement, over the last 10 years more and more states have chosen to impose their local policies, priorities, and politics on our national immigration system. America can only have one immigration system, and the federal government must make clear where states' authority begins and where it ends. The federal government must assert its authority to establish a uniform immigration policy that it can be held accountable for. In the current environment it is unclear who is responsible for setting immigration enforcement priorities and who is responsible for their success or failure.Read more...

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Motion to Reopen Process Provides Aliens With Protections on Par With Habeas Review

Released on Fri, Mar 25, 2011

LAC Deputy Director Beth Werlin is quoted in this Law Week article regarding post departure motions to reopen.

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LAC Docket | Vol. V Issue 2

Board of Immigration Appeals Guts Legal Protections for Immigrants Under Arrest

Released on Mon, Aug 15, 2011

Washington, D.C.—The American Immigration Council strongly condemns last week’s ruling from the Board of Immigration Appeals holding that immigrants arrested without a warrant are not entitled to certain Miranda-like warnings prior to questioning by immigration officers. In a precedent decision, the Board held that noncitizens need not be informed of their right to counsel or warned that their statements can be used against them until after they have been placed in formal deportation proceedings.

For decades, immigrants placed under arrest have been entitled to these critical advisals. Like “Miranda” warnings for criminal suspects, such notifications help to ensure that statements made during questioning are not the product of coercion. As a result of last week’s ruling, noncitizens under arrest will now be even more vulnerable to pressure from interrogating officers, and immigration judges will face greater difficulty determining whether statements made during questioning were truly voluntary.

“This decision epitomizes the substandard system of justice that’s been created and imposed on immigrants in the United States,” said Melissa Crow, Director of the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center. “The Board’s ruling renders the advisals practically meaningless and makes immigrants less likely to remain silent when questioned and less likely to assert their right to counsel.”

The Board of Immigration Appeals is the highest administrative tribunal on immigration and nationality matters in the United States. Decisions of the Board may be subject to review by federal courts or by the Attorney General. The ruling came in Matter of E-R-M-F- & A-S-M-, 25 I&N Dec. 580 (BIA 2011).

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Homeland Security revises immigration partnership with local jails

Published on Sat, Aug 22, 2009

The Department of Homeland Security is requiring counties that participate in its illegal-immigration enforcement program to agree to a new focus on violent criminals.

Published in the Washington Examiner

Practice Advisory on Seeking a Judicial Stay of Removal

Released on Wed, May 30, 2012

Washington, D.C.—The Legal Action Center (LAC) is pleased to announce the issuance of a new Practice Advisory, Seeking a Judicial Stay of Removal in the Court of Appeal. This Practice Advisory provides background information about requesting stays of removal from the courts of appeals, discusses the legal standard for obtaining a stay, and addresses the implications of the government’s policy with respect to return of individuals who win their appeals. The LAC issued this advisory jointly with the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, the Boston College Post-Deportation Human Rights Project, and the Immigrant Rights Clinic, NYU School of Law.

All of the LAC’s Practice Advisories are available on our website at


For questions contact Geena Jackson at or 202-507-7516.


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Keely Alexander publishes children's book

Published on Mon, May 25, 2009

Keely Alexander, from Superior, has co-authored a children’s book on immigration. "Davy Brown Discovers His Roots" will debut June 3 in Las Vegas at the American Immigration Lawyers Association Annual Conference.

Published in the Clark Fork Chronicle

Two Systems of Justice: How the Immigration System Falls Short of American Ideals of Justice

Released on Tue, Mar 19, 2013

For Immediate Release

Two Systems of Justice:
How the Immigration System Falls Short of American Ideals of Justice

Washington D.C. - Today, the American Immigration Council issued Two Systems of Justice: How the Immigration System Falls Short of American Ideals of Justice. This new report explores how the justice system for immigrants falls far short of the American values of due process and fundamental fairness. In fact, the immigration system lacks nearly all the procedural safeguards we expect in the U.S. criminal justice system.  Given the high stakes involved in immigration cases and the increasing criminalization of immigration law, the report concludes that we must no longer tolerate a system that deprives countless individuals of a fair judicial process.Read more...

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