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Legalization

Legal Action Center Welcomes Ninth Circuit’s Decision on Child Status Protection Act

Released on Fri, Sep 28, 2012

An en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of young adults who, due to long delays caused by visa backlogs, lost the opportunity to obtain their green cards before they turned 21. In accordance with arguments made in an amicus brief submitted by the Legal Action Center and the National Immigrant Justice Center, the court held that Congress specifically remedied this problem in the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) of 2002, by allowing children who were listed on their parents’ visa petitions, but who turned 21 before a visa became available, to retain the earlier filing date of their parents’ visa petitions when new visa petitions are filed for them as adults. As the court explained, “This ensures that visas are available quickly, rather than requiring the now-adult aliens to wait many more years in a new visa line.”

The court’s ruling overturned a precedent decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals, Matter of Wang, 25 I. & N. Dec. 28 (BIA 2009), which interpreted the law as benefiting only one visa category of “aged-out” children.

The court issued its decision in two cases, one of which is a national class action. The petitioners in the two cases were represented by Reeves and Associates and the Law Offices of Carl Shusterman.

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

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White House Plan on Immigration Includes Legal Status

Published on Fri, Nov 13, 2009

The Obama administration will insist on measures to give legal status to an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants as it pushes early next year for legislation to overhaul the immigration system, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Friday.

Published in the New York Times

Legalizing 11 Million Aspiring Americans

Day Four of Senate Mark-Up Will Address New Legalization Program

Released on Mon, May 20, 2013

Washington D.C. - Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee continues mark-up of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. The Committee is expected to complete work on Title Three and then begin considering amendments related to the legalization component of Title Two.

Creating a pathway to citizenship is one of the fundamental principles of S. 744, but many of the amendments offered in Committee appear designed to weaken the bipartisan program put forth in the bill by limiting eligibility, creating more hoops to jump through, and undermining procedural safeguards. The Senate Judiciary Committee should evaluate such proposals by asking what is necessary to achieve a workable plan for legalization of 11 million people—one that ensures the program has integrity, but that is also designed to succeed. The Gang of 8’s proposal is not perfect, but it was crafted with this goal in mind.

Amendments that would deter many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants from applying for or remaining in the program, or that would make it a bureaucratic nightmare to implement, must be avoided. Instead, if we wish to ensure that we are not repeating the mistakes of the past, we must strive for a generous and fair program that recognizes the contributions already being made by undocumented immigrants to this country.

In order to create a successful legalization program, Senators should keep in mind the following principles when considering the amendments offered under Title Two:Read more...

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Immigration and the Economy

Published on Thu, Jan 07, 2010

Panelists talked about a report on the effects of allowing illegal immigrants to gain legal status in the U.S. Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda summarized the contents of the report, Heather Boushey and Daniel Griswold debated its findings, and Benjamin Johnson made closing remarks. Topics included the impact of previous legalizations on the U.S. economy. Following their remarks, the panelists responded to questions from members of the audience.

Published in the C-SPAN

American Immigration Council Urges Court to Rule that TPS Recipient Is Eligible to Adjust Status

Released on Thu, Mar 13, 2014

Last week, the American Immigration Council and Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) filed an amicus curiae brief urging the court to find that noncitizens granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) are eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence (i.e., adjustment of status), even if they originally entered the United States without being admitted or paroled.  This is because the grant of TPS qualifies a noncitizen as having been “admitted” to the United States—one of the requirements for adjustment of status.  In 2013, the Sixth Circuit found that the grant of TPS permits a person who initially entered without being admitted to become a lawful permanent resident, and amici urge the District Court for the Western District of Washington to reach the same result.

The case is Ramirez v. Dougherty, No. 13-1236-TSZ (W.D. Wash. amicus brief filed March 6, 2014). 

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For more information, email clearinghouse@immcouncil.org.

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Pushback over border busts Texas judge tells prosecutors to keep illegal entry cases out of court.

Published on Mon, Mar 01, 2010

After warning federal prosecutors for two years, Judge Sam Sparks was fed up with the parade of nonviolent illegal aliens in the overburdened courtrooms in his Texas division. What he did next, said lawyers across the country, was astounding and unprecedented.

While other judges simply complained about a prosecution policy initiated by the Bush administration, the Republican-appointed judge in Austin issued an order challenging the U.S. attorney's office to justify each illegal re-entry case brought before him.

 

Published in the National Law Review

Unprecedented Coalition Ask Court to Reverse Texas Ruling Blocking Immigration Initiatives

Released on Tue, Apr 07, 2015

Washington D.C. - The Texas federal district court order that blocked parts of President Obama’s executive action on immigration was based on unproven or incomplete presentations to the court and should be reversed, civil rights and immigration advocates argue in an amicus (“friend-of-the-court”) brief in the case of State of Texas v. United States. Texas and 25 other states have sued the federal government to stop the implementation of initiatives that will provide temporary relief from deportation, but advocates maintain the president’s actions are legally sound.

Multiple legal briefs defending the deferred action initiatives were filed Monday with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals by a range of advocates, leaders, and elected officials. One of these briefs will be filed on behalf of more than 150 civil rights, labor, and immigration advocacy groups, led by the American Immigration Council, National Immigration Law Center (NILC), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
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Secret Deportation Quotas, Program Failures and High Budget Costs from Local Immigration Enforcement Revealed in Recent Reports

Published on Thu, Apr 08, 2010

Recent reports have raised serious concerns about program failures, secret deportation quotas and the high costs of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)'s controversial 287(g) program, which trains and authorizes state and local police departments to enforce federal immigration law.

Published in the Progressive States Network

Unaccompanied Children: A Resource Page

In the midst of the humanitarian situation on the U.S.-Mexico border, it is important to understand why unaccompanied children and women are making the treacherous journey from their home countries. The American Immigration Council has compiled the following resources that explains why there has been a recent influx and what the U.S. should do to protect children and their families.Read more...

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Central American Mothers Targeted in Immigration Raids and Still Detained Pen Letter to Obama

Released on Thu, Jan 28, 2016

DILLEY, Texas -- Seven women picked up and detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in early January in widely publicized raids have made a direct and personal plea to President Barack Obama to allow their release while they pursue ongoing appeals of their deportation orders.

The women and their children, representing 33 people in 12 families, were picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in raids over New Year’s weekend. The families obtained temporary stays of their deportation orders with the help of attorneys from the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project based at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas.

Some of the 121 people ICE picked up were brought to the Dilley facility for processing The majority have been deported to their home countries. But the 12 families who received stays remain in detention, some at Dilley and others at the Berks Family Residential Center in Leesport, Pennsylvania.

Despite the fact that all of these women and children appeared at their hearings and consistently abided by the conditions of their release, DHS refuses to release them from custody while the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) considers their legal claims.

Now in their fourth week in detention, the women expressed their frustrations in a handwritten letter to President Obama, pleading with him to release them from detention and allow their children to return to their schools while their legal appeals proceed.

"Why did you choose us to…frighten other Central American families, with no regard for the suffering it causes us and our children?” they ask.
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