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The LAC Docket | Volume IV, Issue 2

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

April 16, 2014
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Systemic Reforms

        Systemic Reform

 

 

Court Preliminarily Approves Settlement in Duran Gonzalez LitigationRead more...

LAC Issues Updated Practice Advisory on Prosecutorial Discretion Discussing June 17, 2011 Morton Memoranda

Released on Tue, Jun 28, 2011

Washington, D.C.— The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) is pleased to announce the release of an updated practice advisory: Prosecutorial Discretion: How to Advocate for Your Client.

On June 17, 2011, John Morton, Director of ICE, issued two new memoranda encouraging the expanded use of prosecutorial discretion by ICE officers, agents, and attorneys in all phases of civil immigration enforcement. The first outlines in detail how ICE employees should approach a wide range of opportunities to apply prosecutorial discretion in line with ICE enforcement priorities; the second describes specific protections for certain crime victims, witnesses, and plaintiffs.

This practice advisory discusses these memoranda in detail. It also explains what prosecutorial discretion is, who has authority to exercise it, and how it is exercised most often in immigration cases. In addition, the advisory suggests ways that attorneys can advocate for the favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion by DHS officers, whether from ICE, USCIS or CBP.

For a complete list of all LAC Practice Advisories, please visit our website.

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Immigration Reform as Economic Stimulus

Published on Tue, Sep 01, 2009

La estrategia basada en s

Published in the Radio Bilingue

En Banc Court Reverses Adverse Holding, Says Immigrants Can Pursue Cases from Outside U.S.

Released on Mon, Jan 30, 2012

Washington, D.C.- Today, an en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit rejected the government’s attempt to bar noncitizens from seeking to reopen their cases from outside the United States. This is the seventh appellate court to find the “departure bar”—a regulation barring noncitizens from pursuing their cases after departure or deportation—unlawful and is a step forward in protecting the right to a fair immigration hearing. The decision is particularly significant because the Tenth Circuit had been the only court at odds with the majority. The court had granted rehearing en banc to reconsider its prior decision.

Despite the overwhelming rejection of the departure bar, the government continues to defend the regulation and apply it to cases outside the circuits that have invalidated the bar. The American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center (LAC) and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG), which filed amicus briefs in the Tenth Circuit and argued before the court, renew their call for the agency to strike this unlawful regulation.

Read more about the LAC and NIPNLG’s challenges to the departure bar on our website, Motions to Reopen from Outside the Country.

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For more information contact clearinghouse@immcouncil.org.

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Anti-immigration activists see opportunity in health care debate

Published on Thu, Aug 13, 2009

When President Obama showed up for a town hall meeting in New Hampshire on Tuesday, he heard more than just protests against health care.

Published in the Minnesota Independent

Federal Judge Orders USCIS to Release Records on Access to Counsel

Released on Thu, Nov 29, 2012

This week, a federal district court issued an opinion highly critical of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) handling of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted by the American Immigration Council (AIC) for records relating to noncitizens’ access to counsel. The Court ordered USCIS to turn over records that it previously had refused to produce. 

Most decisions about immigration status—including whether to grant lawful permanent residence, asylum or citizenship—are made by government officials outside the courtroom. Given the significant impact such decisions have on the lives of noncitizens and their families, it is critical that they be allowed to have their private attorneys with them during complex administrative proceedings.  

Historically, USCIS has imposed unwarranted restrictions on access to counsel, though in recent months the agency has made significant progress toward addressing these problems. Through its FOIA request, the AIC hopes to shed light on USCIS policies about counsel. 

After waiting almost a year for USCIS to respond to the request, the AIC’s Legal Action Center and co-counsel Dorsey & Whitney LLP filed a FOIA suit on behalf of the AIC, alleging that USCIS had failed to turn over records responsive to the FOIA request. After filing suit, USCIS determined that it had over 2042 pages of documents responsive to the request.  However, it withheld 1169 pages and released 418 pages with redactions, claiming FOIA exemptions protected the records from disclosure. In response to the government’s motion for summary judgment, the AIC argued that USCIS had not demonstrated the adequacy of its search and had improperly withheld numerous documents not protected under the FOIA exemptions.  Read more...

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New Report Finds Legalization of Immigrants Substantially Improves Economic Status

Published on Thu, Nov 05, 2009

A new report prepared for the Immigration Policy Center finds that illegal immigrants who gained legal status in the 1980s via the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) went on to earn substantial gains in their socioeconomic status. The report suggests that, contrary to the idea that legalizing immigrants will increase competition for scarce jobs in the U.S., legalization of many of the 11 million or so current undocumented immigrants would actually yield economic benefits, not only for the immigrants but for the U.S. economy as a whole.

Published in the The Washington Independent

LAC Releases Updated Practice Advisory on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Released on Mon, Jul 29, 2013

For Immediate Release

LAC Releases Updated Practice Advisory on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Washington, DC-The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) is pleased to announce the release of an updated practice advisory, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.  This advisory includes the latest information about DACA adjudication trends and agency policies contained in the DACA Standard Operating Procedures Manual. It also offers strategic advice for attorneys representing potential DACA requesters whose cases involve potential gang-related issues and certain drinking and driving offenses. The LAC issued this advisory jointly with the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.

All Legal Action Center practice advisories can be found on the LAC website.

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For more information, contact clearinghouse@immcouncil.org or call 202-507-7516.

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Study: Immigration Reform Would Boost US Economy

Published on Fri, Jan 08, 2010

If the United States were to create a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants currently living in the country, it could boost its gross domestic product by $1.5 trillion in just 10 years, a new study claims.Conducted by a U.C.L.A. economist and released by the Immigration Policy Center and the Center for American Progress, a nonpartisan research institute based in Washington, the study argues that if comprehensive immigration reform were passed it would result in higher wages, which would lead to a rise in consumption that, in turn, would create more jobs and generate more tax revenue.

Published in the Sphere

Groups Ask Court to Block Deportation Hearings for Children Without Legal Representation

Move Comes as Immigration Courts are Speeding Up Deportation Hearings Against Children, Raising Serious Concerns

Released on Fri, Aug 01, 2014

Washington D.C. – The American Immigration Council, American Civil Liberties Union, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Public Counsel, and K&L Gates LLP have asked a federal court to immediately block the government from pursuing deportation proceedings against several children unless it ensures those youth have legal representation. The move comes as immigration courts are speeding up deportation hearings against children in an expedited process sometimes referred to as a "rocket docket."
Read more...

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