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Board of Immigration Appeals Guts Legal Protections for Immigrants Under Arrest

Released on Mon, Aug 15, 2011

Washington, D.C.—The American Immigration Council strongly condemns last week’s ruling from the Board of Immigration Appeals holding that immigrants arrested without a warrant are not entitled to certain Miranda-like warnings prior to questioning by immigration officers. In a precedent decision, the Board held that noncitizens need not be informed of their right to counsel or warned that their statements can be used against them until after they have been placed in formal deportation proceedings.

For decades, immigrants placed under arrest have been entitled to these critical advisals. Like “Miranda” warnings for criminal suspects, such notifications help to ensure that statements made during questioning are not the product of coercion. As a result of last week’s ruling, noncitizens under arrest will now be even more vulnerable to pressure from interrogating officers, and immigration judges will face greater difficulty determining whether statements made during questioning were truly voluntary.

“This decision epitomizes the substandard system of justice that’s been created and imposed on immigrants in the United States,” said Melissa Crow, Director of the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center. “The Board’s ruling renders the advisals practically meaningless and makes immigrants less likely to remain silent when questioned and less likely to assert their right to counsel.”

The Board of Immigration Appeals is the highest administrative tribunal on immigration and nationality matters in the United States. Decisions of the Board may be subject to review by federal courts or by the Attorney General. The ruling came in Matter of E-R-M-F- & A-S-M-, 25 I&N Dec. 580 (BIA 2011).

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Struggling Over Words in Immigration Reform

Published on Sun, Aug 23, 2009

Detractors of immigration reform legislation managed to defeat an effort to get it through Congress in 2006 and 2007 partly through publicly deriding the proposals as "amnesty bills," defining the legislation as efforts to give illegal immigrants a penalty-free opportunity to remain in the United States.

Published in the Homeland Security Today

Practice Advisory on Seeking a Judicial Stay of Removal

Released on Wed, May 30, 2012

Washington, D.C.—The Legal Action Center (LAC) is pleased to announce the issuance of a new Practice Advisory, Seeking a Judicial Stay of Removal in the Court of Appeal. This Practice Advisory provides background information about requesting stays of removal from the courts of appeals, discusses the legal standard for obtaining a stay, and addresses the implications of the government’s policy with respect to return of individuals who win their appeals. The LAC issued this advisory jointly with the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, the Boston College Post-Deportation Human Rights Project, and the Immigrant Rights Clinic, NYU School of Law.

All of the LAC’s Practice Advisories are available on our website at http://www.legalactioncenter.org/practice-advisories.

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For questions contact Geena Jackson at gjackson@immcouncil.org or 202-507-7516.

 

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American Immigration Law Foundation Announces Creative Writing Contest Winners

Published on Fri, May 09, 2008

The American Immigration Law Foundation announced the winners of the 11th annual "Celebrate America" Creative Writing Contest this week.

Published in the CALIFORNIA CHRONICLE

Two Systems of Justice: How the Immigration System Falls Short of American Ideals of Justice

Released on Tue, Mar 19, 2013

For Immediate Release

Two Systems of Justice:
How the Immigration System Falls Short of American Ideals of Justice

Washington D.C. - Today, the American Immigration Council issued Two Systems of Justice: How the Immigration System Falls Short of American Ideals of Justice. This new report explores how the justice system for immigrants falls far short of the American values of due process and fundamental fairness. In fact, the immigration system lacks nearly all the procedural safeguards we expect in the U.S. criminal justice system.  Given the high stakes involved in immigration cases and the increasing criminalization of immigration law, the report concludes that we must no longer tolerate a system that deprives countless individuals of a fair judicial process.Read more...

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ICE audit targeting 1,000 companies

Published on Thu, Nov 19, 2009

U.S. immigration officials put an unprecedented 1,000 businesses — including 42 in the Houston metro area — on notice Thursday that their paperwork would be inspected to make sure they don't employ illegal immigrants.

Published in the Houston Chronicle

House Democrats Unveil Comprehensive Immigration Reform Proposal

Released on Wed, Oct 02, 2013

Washington D.C. - Today, in an important effort to keep the conversation and momentum on immigration reform moving forward in the House, a group of centrist Democrats introduced their version of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. Although the full text has not yet been made available, it is said to be a modification of the bipartisan Senate bill of the same name adopted earlier this year. Among other reported changes, the House bill takes a different path on border security, incorporating a bill introduced by Republican Congressman Mike McCaul which passed unanimously out of the House Committee on Homeland Security in May of 2013. The House sponsors—including Representatives Garcia, Chu, Polis, DelBene, and Horsford—adopted provisions of the McCaul-Thompson bill as a replacement for the costly, controversial “border surge” strategy adopted by the Senate under the Corker-Hoeven amendment.  

Substantively, the comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced today reflects a series of bipartisan policy and political compromises made during deliberations in the Senate. The original co-sponsors represent diverse interests from within the Democratic Party, including the New Democrats Coalition, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

The following is a statement from the American Immigration Council’s Executive Director, Benjamin Johnson:Read more...

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MA election's impact on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Published on Sun, Jan 24, 2010

Congress has a 41st Republican senator, but Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is challenging that notion. Yes, Graham does gain a new Republican colleague on Capitol Hill very soon (Senator-elect Scott Brown, of Massachusetts). In response to that, though, Graham announced on Friday his “willingness to tackle tough issues, including immigration” by breaking from partisan politics and finding a way to cooperate with the Democrats.

Of the Senator’s announcement, Immigration Impact’s Travis Packer quoted Graham as saying:

“Is the message that Democrats shouldn’t take on anything controversial and is the message that we should not work with them on anything controversial? … How much risk aversion does it create in the United States Senate to deal with tough issues like energy independence, climate change and immigration? … I hope that’s not the message. It’s not the message to me. The real reason we’re all here is to govern the country and do hard things.”

Published in the The E xaminer

Immigration Council Strongly Reaffirms Research on Reagan-Bush Family Fairness Policy

Released on Fri, Dec 05, 2014

Washington D.C. - This week, the Washington Post issued another editorial in its campaign against President Obama’s decision to authorize temporary deportation relief for several million undocumented parents of U.S citizen children. In particular, the Post argues that there is no historical precedent for President Obama’s action, discounting the parallel that the President and many others have drawn between past executive actions, such as the Family Fairness program instituted by Presidents Reagan and Bush, Sr. In fact, the Post called this analogy indefensible, essentially arguing that supporters of the Immigration Accountability Executive Action were attempting to recast history in an exaggerated attempt to justify the President’s overreach. The opposite is true. As the first organization to publicly lay out the case for the strong precedent for executive action in immigration, we believe it is important to set the Post, and the record, straight on the political significance of the Family Fairness program and why actions from almost a quarter of a century ago matter today.
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Internet tool helps employers check workers' immigration status

Published on Fri, Apr 02, 2010

You might not realize it when you get a new job, but soon your name may be checked against a government database to answer the question: Are you an illegal immigrant?

Thousands of employers in Florida and tens of thousands nationwide have enrolled in a voluntary government program known as E-Verify, which allows them to find out whether their new hires are entitled to work in the U.S.

Published in the Orlando Sentinel