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Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

Noncitizens facing removal must have a meaningful opportunity to present their cases to an immigration judge.  On occasion, noncitizens are deprived of this opportunity due to their lawyers’ incompetence or mistake.  Although the government has recognized the need for a remedy for ineffective assistance of counsel, see Matter of Lozada, the framework currently used to evaluate whether ineffective assistance has occurred is severely flawed. The LAC has long worked to protect the right to effective assistance of counsel for noncitizens in removal proceedings.

CASES | ADVOCACY

CASES

Matter of Compean, 24 I&N Dec. 710 (A.G. 2009), vacated by 25 I&N Dec. 1 (A.G. 2009)

On January 7, 2009, the Attorney General issued the first Matter of Compean decision, which reversed decades of precedent securing the right to effective assistance of counsel.  Subsequently, the LAC (joined by numerous organizations and individuals) urged the Attorney General to reconsider the case. On June 3, 2009, the Attorney General issued the second Compean decision, vacating the prior decision.  The June 3 decision directs the immigration judges and BIA to apply pre-Compean standards to motions to reopen based on ineffective assistance of counsel.  It also directs EOIR to initiate a rulemaking procedure to evaluate the Lozada framework and to determine what modifications should be proposed for public consideration.  To date, EOIR has not published a proposed rule for comment.


LAC Amicus Brief, filed October 6, 2008Read more...

Appreciating America's Heritage: 2005 Edition

The American Immigration Law Foundation (AILF) is pleased to present this 2005 edition of its 'Appreciating America’s Heritage" teacher resource guide.In these pages educators will find the latest lesson plans and book reviews developed by AILF for primary, intermediate, and secondary level classrooms. Each curriculum is designed and books have been selected to introduce students, especially those who may not be exposed directly to ethnically diverse populations, to the important and timely topic of immigration.

View the 2005 "Appreciating America's Heritage" Teacher Resource Guide

Run for the Border, Steve King's Coming!

Published on Wed, Nov 10, 2010

Immigration advocates say that King simply intends to create more rabble-rousing political theater and inflame the masses—particularly as nearly all of his proposals stand little chance of passing the House, let alone the Senate or the president's desk. "A lot of it is theatrics, really using the bully pulpit of committee majority position to push these things out there and stir things up. It wouldn't necessarily result in legislative [victories]," says Mary Giovagnoli, director of the Immigration Policy Center. She adds that the oversight hearings are meant to hammer home the message that "Obama has failed to enforce the law" on immigration—even though the current administration is deporting even more immigrants than under Bush, according to figures from the Department of Homeland Security.

Published in the Mother Jones

American Immigration Council v. ICE

Entire Document Production, August 13, 2012

Key Documents:

Pages 430 – 432, Pages 805 – 816, Pages 845 – 847, Page 859, Pages 876 – 879: 2010 Letter from immigration attorney, ICE response, and ICE redacted emails regarding Miranda warnings during 287(g) jail screenings

Pages 447 – 448: Talking points on right to counsel in ICE examinations prepared for then-Acting Principal Legal Advisor Barry O’Mellin in advance of the 2009 AILA Annual Conference; addresses access to counsel during 287.3 interrogation and the right to counsel during a worksite enforcement operation

Pages 736 – 747: Office of the Principal Legal Advisor power point: Interviewing Aliens of Interest in National Security Cases, 2009

Pages 782 – 783, Pages 788 – 789, Pages 830 – 831, Page 841: ICE redacted emails regarding right to counsel in I-213 examinations, in response to a question from AILA’s ICE Liaison Committee in 2009

Pages 817 – 820: ICE redacted emails regarding lack of access to counsel for workers arrested in a February 8, 2008 ICE worksite raidRead more...

Deferred Action Q&A

Do you have questions about deferred action.  Use this resource from NILC before applying.  Please seek the advice of an immigration attorney should you have ANY questions go to to find an immigration attorney http://www.ailalawyer.com/.  Beware of scam artists and any body who promises fast processing or guaranteed acceptance.

Year Released: 2012

View Link

Pueblo Politics: Flake hopes to exempt skilled workers from visa quotas

Published on Tue, Jan 25, 2011

Wendy Sefsaf, a spokeswoman for the D.C.-based Immigration Policy Center, which supports comprehensive immigration reform, commended the idea. “We don’t want to lose skilled workers after we’ve educated them. That’s crazy. Particularly when we’re talking about ways to stimulate the economy.”

Sefsaf said there’s long been concern on the part of immigration reform advocates to piecemeal out more politically palatable items, whether that be addressing the needs of highly-skilled workers, agricultural workers or college students.

But now, she said, “It’s hard to say what will happen in this new Congress and whether there will be more of an appetite for piecemeal. If Flake had the wind at his back and lots of people supporting him, we would bring to bear what we could to make those things happen.”

Published in the Arizona Daily Star

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 3, No. 2

This issue covers recently filed lawsuits involving access to counsel at immigration interviews, abuse of minors in detention, and the border fence between the U.S. and Mexico. The newsletter also includes updates on the Duran Gonzales class action in the Ninth Circuit (involving 245(i) and I-212s), Matter of Blake litigation, and the class action suit to restore SSI benefits for refugees and asylees.

Published On: Tuesday, February 26, 2008 | Download File

Immigration Policy Center reports stable unauthorized immigrant population

Published on Wed, Mar 23, 2011

As Republicans in the Florida legislature move forward with immigration-enforcement bills, new data shows that the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States has remained stable.

According to a report released on Monday by the Immigration Policy Center:

Recent estimates from the Pew Hispanic Center and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) indicate that the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States has remained unchanged at roughly 11 million since 2009. This comes after a two-year decline of approximately one million that corresponded closely to the most recent recession, which ran from December 2007 to June 2009.

The report also shows that three-fifths of unauthorized immigrants have been in the United States for more than a decade, and that unauthorized immigrants already in the U. S. have approximately 5.5 million children. Around 1 million of those children are unauthorized immigrants, while the remaining 4.5 million are native-born U.S. citizens who have at least one unauthorized parent.

Nationwide, unauthorized immigrants represent about 28 percent of the total foreign-born population. Naturalized U.S. citizens make up about 37 percent and legal permanent residents 31 percent.

The data used by the Immigration Policy Center report indicates that Florida has the third highest unauthorized population in the U.S. (825,000).

Citing Pew Hispanic Center data, the report indicates that the current unauthorized population accounts for roughly 1-in-20 workers: around 5 percent of the U.S. labor force.

“Unauthorized immigrants who are already in the country have become integral to U.S. businesses, communities, and families,” according to the report.

Published in the American Independent

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 1, No. 7

This issue covers Supreme Court arguments in reinstatement case, filing fee increases at the court of appeals, and REAL ID Act's effect on jurisdiction over APA actions in district court.

Published On: Wednesday, March 22, 2006 | Download File