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DOJ Responds Forcefully to Civil Rights Disaster in Alabama, What Will DHS Do?

Released on Fri, Nov 04, 2011

Washington D.C. – This week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it was filing suit in South Carolina to block Act No. 69 (formerly SB 20), South Carolina’s new anti-immigrant law—modeled on Arizona’s SB1070. DOJ argues—like it did in Utah and Alabama—that the law is unconstitutional and interferes with the federal government’s ability to set and enforce immigration policy and is likely to result in civil rights violations. Following the legal challenge, the DOJ Civil Rights Division also sent a letter to Alabama’s public schools reminding them of their duty to provide public education to all children in the state regardless of immigration status. 

The DOJ is challenging state legislatures that pass immigration enforcement laws that interfere with the federal government’s role in enforcing immigration laws and setting priorities. The DOJ’s effort on this case reflects their commitment to protecting constitutional principles and individual rights, a commitment that should extend to pursing vigorous challenges in other states that have passed similar laws, including Utah, Georgia, and Indiana.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also has a strong role to play and should respond to the civil rights crisis taking place in the states and make good on Secretary Napolitano’s assurance that her agency will not be complicit in enforcing Alabama’s new law through federal immigration enforcement actions. Read more...

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Laying groundwork on immigration

Published on Wed, Aug 19, 2009

While President Obama has put off sweeping changes in immigration policy until probably next year -- after health care and energy -- he also pledged to start laying the groundwork.

Published in the Boston Globe

How the Supreme Court Ruled on SB 1070 and What It Means for Other States

Released on Wed, Jul 25, 2012

Washington, D.C.—One month ago today, the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Arizona v. United States, which invalidated three provisions of the immigration law known as “SB 1070” and left a fourth open to future challenges. More than any matter in recent history, the case settled a range of important questions regarding the role that states may play in the enforcement of federal immigration law. As a result, the ruling will affect not only SB 1070, but the fate of other state immigration laws being challenged in court and the odds of similar laws passing around the country.

Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases an updated version of its Q&A on Arizona v. United States, which discusses how the Supreme Court decided the case and what the ruling means for immigration laws in other states. As debates over the ruling continue, understanding the basis for the Court’s opinion will prove critically important in furthering a rational discussion on the implications of the decision. 

To view the Q&A Guide in its entirety, see: 

 For more information, contact Wendy Sefsaf at wsefsaf@immcouncil.org or 202- 812-2499.

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Davy Brown Discovers His Roots

Published on Thu, May 14, 2009

"Velani Mynhardt Witthöft and Keely Alexander, authors of Davy Brown Discovers His Roots will be signing copies of their book in Las Vegas on Wednesday, June 3, during the opening of the AILA exhibit hall and on Saturday morning, June 6 at the AILF booth."

Published in the GLOBAL BUZZ SOUTHERN AFRICA

Moncrieffe v. Holder: Implications for Drug Charges and Other Categorical Approach Issues

Released on Fri, May 03, 2013

Washington, D.C.—Last week, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Moncrieffe v. Holder, holding that a state drug conviction is not an aggravated felony when the statute of conviction extends to the social sharing of a small amount of marijuana.  The case has important implications not only for noncitizens charged with drug trafficking, but also for the application of the categorical approach in immigration proceedings. 

Yesterday, the Legal Action Center, the Immigrant Defense Project, and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild issued a Practice Advisory, “Moncrieffe v. Holder:  Implications for Drug Charges and Other Issues Involving the Categorical Approach.”  The advisory discusses the holding of the case, the decision’s potentially broader implications, strategies for representing noncitizen criminal defendants, and steps that lawyers should take immediately in pending or already concluded removal proceedings affected by Moncrieffe.

All of the LAC’s Practice Advisories are available on the LAC website.

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

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Immigration bill backers try again despite jobless rate

Published on Tue, Dec 15, 2009

Arizona tops the list, with unemployment at 293,000 as of October and with 300,000 illegal immigrants either working or seeking work as of 2008, according to a 2009 Pew Hispanic Center report. New Jersey, Nevada, Maryland and Texas round out the top five states.

Published in the Washington Times

Speaker Boehner Ignores the Costs of Doing Nothing

Released on Thu, Nov 14, 2013

Washington D.C. - Yesterday, Speaker of the House John Boehner reassured the far-right wing of the Republican Party and anti-immigrant activists that he would never agree to a conference to hammer out an agreement on a House immigration bill and S. 744, the Senate’s bipartisan immigration bill that passed in June. While that statement may have been reassuring to a few die-hard anti-immigration reform activists, it had the opposite effect for the vast majority of Americans. The Speaker’s statement does not stop the clock on the economic, social, and societal costs of doing nothing on immigration. It also does not honor the hard work of Democrats and Republicans who have worked in good faith to pass the Senate bill and negotiate on various fronts in the House.  

However, what Speaker Boehner's statement does do is open the door to more protests and public outrage, encourage states to continue to take the lead on immigration policy and leave the administration in the difficult situation of deciding how long they will let Congressional inaction continue before they will intervene. When Congress refuses to act they make themselves less relevant and reinforce the idea that they cannot work constructively to fix our nation's most pressing problems.

Thus, rather than tamp down the flames of reform, the Speaker’s statements will embolden those who will work to fix immigration policy on their own - for better or worse. It’s inevitable that immigration reform will happen it’s just a matter of how much our economy, communities, and the Republican Party will lose in the meantime

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For press inquiries contact, Wendy Feliz at wfeliz@immcouncil.org or 202-812-2499

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Program that IDs jailed illegal immigrants sought for deportation gets high marks

Published on Mon, Feb 22, 2010

For nearly a year, Fairfax County's Adult Detention Center has quietly helped pilot a far-reaching program designed to identify criminal illegal immigrants and assist the federal government in removing them from the United States.

For nearly a year, Fairfax County's Adult Detention Center has quietly helped pilot a far-reaching program designed to identify criminal illegal immigrants and assist the federal government in removing them from the United States.

Published in the Washington Post

Texas Decision at Odds with Legal Precedent, History and Facts on Immigration Enforcement

Released on Tue, Feb 17, 2015

Washington D.C. - Late last night, a Texas judge issued a preliminary injunction that temporarily blocks the implementation of President Obama’s new deferred action initiatives. These initiatives, announced last November, came in response to more than 10 years of political stalemates and failure by Congress to address America’s broken immigration system and alleviate the pain endured by millions of families around the country. The President’s announced initiatives will provide temporary relief from deportation to approximately 5 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States. 

The new deferred action initiatives, which include Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and an expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), are based on the well-established authority of Presidents and other executive branch officers to allocate and prioritize finite enforcement resources. This practice is used by prosecutors and other law enforcement personnel on daily basis. The judge’s order, issued just two days before the government was set to begin the DACA expansion, bars federal immigration officials from implementing “any and all aspects” of the new deferred action initiatives.

The following is a statement by Melissa Crow, Legal Director at the American Immigration Council:

“Today’s decision is only the first round in what will clearly be a much longer legal battle. Already, the White House has promised that the Justice Department will appeal the judge’s decision, and we urge them to do so in an expedited manner. We expect higher courts to overturn the judge’s decision based on well-established precedent.Read more...

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Migrant filing of taxes up, Illegal immigrants can file returns with ITINs

Published on Sat, Apr 10, 2010

Alondra Velasco is part of the underground economy, but she's a legitimate taxpayer in the eyes of Uncle Sam.

The 22-year-old Rialto resident works at a Mexican restaurant. She gets paid in cash because she's in the country illegally and doesn't have a Social Security number.

Like millions of Americans, Velasco will file a tax return this year, reporting her income and earnings to the Internal Revenue Service.

Published in the Contra Costa Times