In response to the Department of Homeland Security’s request for comments in connection with a review of its existing regulations, the American Immigration Council highlighted several issues of concern. We urge the Department to: (1) promulgate additional regulations to clarify that the right to counsel applies in all DHS proceedings; (2) expand existing regulations to clarify the types of delays that justify stopping the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) asylum clock and distinguish the EAD asylum clock from EOIR’s asylum adjudication clock; and (3) promulgate new regulations that ensure more effective oversight over the issuance of detainers and better protect those subject to detainers. Our letter describes these three requests and provides additional details regarding the need for regulatory reform.
American Immigration Council Seeks Disclosure of Records Regarding Access to Counsel
Released on Wed, Nov 09, 2011
Washington, D.C.—The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) this week filed two lawsuits against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to compel the release of records relating to noncitizens’ access to counsel before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The LAC pursued disclosure of these records, as well as records from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed last March. To date, USCIS has failed to turn over any documents, and CBP has turned over only a few excerpts from its practice manuals. ICE has informed the LAC that it conducted a search for records, but that it is “unable to locate or identify any responsive records.” The LAC has filed an administrative appeal of ICE’s determination and will pursue litigation if necessary.
These FOIA requests were prompted by the results of a survey conducted by the LAC and the American Immigration Lawyers Association that revealed widespread restrictions on access to counsel before USCIS, ICE and CBP. Such limitations include bars on attorney presence at CBP inspections, limitations on the ability to consult with attorneys in ICE detention facilities and during questioning by ICE, and restrictions on attorneys’ ability to participate in interviews before USCIS. The survey also highlighted significant variations in policies and practices in DHS offices throughout the country.Read more...
In order to better serve our clients, we are changing the way we process J-1 visa applications. Effective January 1, 2014, we will no longer accept the paper version of our application.
We will be eliminating non-expedite service, and changing our processing times to 5 business days to review your application materials after you have submitted the completed online application and made payment. All applications will now be processed on an expedited timeline. This change in application processing corresponds with an increase in our fees. Our program fee will increase to $1,450, and we will charge an additional $450 as a non-refundable review fee that will be paid regardless of whether or not we issue the DS 2019. As is our current policy, if we deny your application and do not issue the DS 2019, we refund you all program fees ($1,450), insurance fees ($57/month per person), or the SEVIS fee ($180), but as of January 1, 2014 we will NOT refund the $450 application review fee.
We are also making several changes to the group insurance policy we offer to our J-1 participants and their dependents. Read the Insurance Group Policy Changes section below for more information.
Below is a summary of the different changes that will go into effect on January 1, 2014:
The IPC estimates that roughly 936,930 undocumented youth between the ages of 15 and 30 might immediately qualify to apply for the new program. The new report breaks down the deferred action-eligible population by nationality and age at the national and state level, as well as by congressional district.
Because potential applicants reside in all states and every congressional district, today’s announcement clarifying the application process sets the stage for an intense period of preparation around the country, as communities wait for the request form to be released on August 15. The DACA program is designed for young people who are under the age of 31; entered the United States before age 16; have resided in the country for at least five years as of June 15, 2012; have not been convicted of a felony, a “significant” misdemeanor, or three other misdemeanors; and are currently in school, graduated from high school, earned a GED, or served in the military.
New voter data shows Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill) is facing a major challenge in his run for President Obama's former Senate seat. Immigrant advocacy groups say Kirk will have to make changes to his stance on immigration reform if he wants a fighting chance at gaining Illinois' growing immigrant vote.
Washington D.C. – Today, the Heritage Foundation released a report which attempts to assess the fiscal costs associated with legalizing the 11 million unauthorized individuals living in the United States. The new report is similar to a 2007 study, which was widely criticized at the time of publication and continues to be re-rejected todayby conservatives. As such, this report serves as a reminder of why fiscal cost analyses cannot replace broader economic analyses.
The following is a statement by Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council:Read more...
Undocumented Mexican migrants who won their legalization during the 1986 amnesty showed a marked improvement in their economic status, education levels increased substantially and thousands visibly moved out of poverty without relying on public assistance.
The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) is pleased to announce an update of Frequently Asked Questions About the Asylum Clock Class Action Settlement.This updated FAQ answers questions about the benefits provided under the settlement of the nationwide class action, ABT v. USCIS, which challenged policies related to employment authorization for asylum applicants. For more information about the ABT case, see the LAC’s Asylum Clock webpage. The FAQ is released in coordination with co-counsel in the lawsuit, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and Gibbs, Houston and Pauw.