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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

Debate over birthright citizenship intensifies

Published on Wed, May 11, 2011

Since 1857, when a man named Dred Scott fought for his constitutional right to remain free after standing on free soil, the question of the Fourteenth Amendment and its citizenship provision has been brought to the table many times by others who also question when exactly they are free and citizens of the United States.

Even in the 21st century, this is not a decided issue.

Current public debate and even some pieces of proposed legislation in various states and in Congress are questioning whether the U.S. Constitution should be altered to deprive U.S. citizenship of those who are born on U.S. soil to undocumented parents. The Fourteenth Amendment, adopted in the wake of the Civil War, grants U.S. citizenship to anyone born in the United States and forbids states from depriving U.S. citizens of “privileges and immunities.”

The Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR) is a non-profit citizens’ organization centralized in Washington, D.C., whose mission statement declares it dedicated to the cause of reforming immigration politics to serve a national interest. They said the only way to fix this issue is to start over.

“What we have said for a long, long time is that our current immigration policy doesn’t make any sense,” said Ira Mehlman, media director for FAIR. “It’s not serving the interest of the country. We keep trying to apply all kinds of different types of patches and add-ons. What we need to do is shut down the policy that exists and design one from scratch that actually serves the interest of the country.”

This includes changing the Fourteenth Amendment, or at least its current interpretation, especially with respect to the Citizenship Clause that overruled the Dred Scott decision. It declares, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”Read more...

Published in the BYU Daily News



This Litigation Issue Page provides information about developments in immigration-related mandamus actions, with particular emphasis on cases seeking to compel the adjudication of applications that are delayed because of security checks.

USCIS Revisions of FBI Name Check Policy and Practice|Anticipating the Government's Answer and Preparing to Respond|What Type of Relief Should I Expect from the Court?|Attorney's Fees|Decisions in Mandamus Cases|Additional Resources

USCIS Revisions of FBI Name Check Policy and Practice

In a June 22, 2009 press release, USCIS stated that, in partnership with the FBI, it had eliminated the FBI name check delays - officially described as the FBI National Name Check Program (NNCP) backlog. USCIS stated that it had met the goals set forth in a joint business plan between USCIS and the FBI announced on April 2, 2008: to achieve a sustainable performance level by the NNCP of completing 98 percent of name check requests submitted by USCIS within 30 days, and the remaining two percent within 90 days. USCIS stated in its press release that this performance level will become the new agency standard.Read more...

‘Green card lottery’ blunder comes as program’s future is in question

Published on Fri, Jul 15, 2011

For Olivier Millogo, there was one last chance to hit this year’s jackpot.

He’d been lucky the first time in May, winning a prized slot in the State Department’s “green card lottery” and a chance to live and work legally in the United States.

But 12 days later, the 36-year-old from Burkina Faso was crushed when federal officials discovered a computer problem with the drawing and canceled the results. A second drawing on Friday brought no good news for him.

“I’m not selected,” said Millogo, who lives in Alexandria and is attending DeVry University on a student visa. “There is nothing to do.”

A class-action lawsuit was filed to block the new drawing, but a federal judge dismissed the case, clearing the way for it. The decision dashed the dreams of 22,000 would-be winners from around the world who had hoped the lottery’s initial results would be reinstated.

The program they had applied for, the Diversity Visa Lottery, attracts millions of applicants worldwide and each year provides about 50,000 immigrants a legal route to permanent residency in the United States. The mix-up over this year’s drawing comes as some lawmakers question whether it should continue.

Begun in 1995 with the backing of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), the lottery is unknown to many Americans but has stood as a symbol of hope for millions seeking the opportunity to transform their lives. But it has been pulled into the larger debate over immigration, with critics saying it is rife with security risks and brings no benefits to the United States.

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to discuss a bill to drop it.

“If you’re a terrorist organization and you can get a few hundred people to apply to this from several countries . . . odds are you’d get one or two of them picked,” Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who introduced the bill, said in an interview.Read more...

Published in the Washington Post

RICO Claim for Hiring Undocumented Workers

Mohawk Indus. v. Williams, 547 U.S. 516 (2006)

  • In a per curiam opinion dated June 5, 2006, the Supreme Court held that certiorari was improvidently granted and remanded the case to the Eleventh Circuit for reconsideration in light of Anza v. Ideal Steel Supply Corp., another RICO case the Court decided the same day.

America Through Sonja Haenzelmann’s Lense

November, 2010

The International Exchange Center is proud to announce Sonja Haenzelmann as this month’s Exchange Visitor of the Month. Each month, we select an exchange visitor who has made an effort to get involved in his/her community and explore American culture. Sonja is also the winner of last month’s photo contest on our Facebook page!


State poised to restrict use of E-Verify database

Published on Fri, Sep 16, 2011

California is poised to nullify immigration enforcement ordinances in about a half dozen Inland Empire cities – and to continue to buck a national trend – by restricting the use of E-Verify, the national online database used to check the immigration status of workers.

Under the Employment Acceleration Act, passed by the state Senate last week and currently awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature, state and local governments could not require California businesses to use the database to ferret out undocumented employees.

California’s approach is an anomaly. States and cities across the country have passed laws that mandate use of the E-Verify system as part of a strategy to curb illegal immigration and ensure that scarce jobs go to U.S. citizens and legal residents.

The act conflicts with the Legal Workforce Act [PDF], a bill pending in the U.S. House of Representatives that would require the use of E-Verify by all American employers.

The California bill has been cited as a reason that the national legislation, which is being marked up this week in the House Judiciary Committee, is necessary.

“California has the second-highest unemployment rate in the U.S., yet elected officials in Sacramento just sent a bill to the Governor’s desk that will further diminish job opportunities,” bill sponsor Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said in a statement. “California’s E-Verify opt-out bill shows exactly why we need a federal E-Verify law.”

If the Employment Acceleration Act becomes law, it would create ripple effects at the local level, trumping city ordinances adopted in a number of Inland Empire cities – including Temecula, Lake Elsinore, and Lancaster – that currently mandate the use of the E-Verify system as a prerequisite to running a business.

Citing the importance of local control, state senators representing these communities have opposed the bill.Read more...

Published in the California Watch

LAC Wins Release of H-1B Fraud Documents for AILA

For Immediate Release

LAC Wins Release of H-1B Fraud Documents for AILA

November 9, 2012

Washington, D.C.—USCIS released in full the four remaining contested documents in a FOIA lawsuit brought by the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) and Steptoe & Johnson LLP on behalf of AILA. The documents plainly describe - in more detail than documents previously released in this lawsuit - “fraud indicators” that result in greater scrutiny of certain H-1B applications. These documents are troubling evidence of a near presumption of fraud in H-1B applications submitted by small and emerging businesses and for certain types of positions at these businesses.  The following documents were released:

Background of the Lawsuit