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.
Experts Welcome New Guidance, But Agree the Devil is in the Details
Released on Mon, Aug 22, 2011
Washington D.C. - Today, the American Immigration Council hosted a briefing to discuss the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) announcement last week that it would issue agency-wide guidance to make certain that prosecutorial discretion is exercised in a manner that ensures the agency's enforcement resources are used to remove those who pose the greatest risk to public safety. DHS also announced the creation of a joint committee with the Department of Justice (DOJ) that will review nearly 300,000 cases currently in removal proceedings to determine which ones are low priority and can be administratively closed in order to begin unclogging immigration courts. While it is unclear how these proposals will play out in practice, the federal government must continue to assert its authority over immigration given the rise of state legislative initiatives that seek to impose different priorities on immigration enforcement.
Melissa Crow, Director of the Legal Action Center at the American Immigration Council discussed the practical implications of the use of greater prosecutorial discretion and had a warning for immigrants not in removal proceedings:
“Prosecutorial discretion is not a new concept, and is exercised on a daily basis by law enforcement agencies. It refers to the authority of a law enforcement agency or officer to decide whether – and to what extent – to enforce the law in a particular case. Prosecutorial discretion can take a variety of forms, depending on the nature of the case involved.Read more...
Washington D.C. - The American Immigration Council is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 American Heritage Awards. The Awards celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of immigrants to America and this year we recognize immigrant achievement in music. The Council will celebrate the honorees and enjoy live performances on Friday, June 15, 2012, in Nashville, Tennessee during the Council’s Annual Benefit and as part of the American Immigration Lawyers Association's Annual Conference. Read more...