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The American Immigration Council is Born

Released on Thu, Oct 29, 2009

Today the American Immigration Law Foundation announced a name change to accompany a more ambitious mission for the organization. The new name, American Immigration Council, reflects the expansion of the organization to assume a larger role and greater involvement in the immigration policy, education, and exchange communities. It is also recognition that the organization has grown both in size and stature over the last five years as our program work has expanded beyond the courtroom and into the halls of Congress and the public square. The American Immigration Council will continue to serve existing constituencies, but will expand its reach to new partners and programs.


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Disentangling Unauthorized Immigration and Border Violence

Presidents Obama and Calderon Must Move Beyond Words

Released on Wed, May 19, 2010

Washington, D.C. - Judging from his remarks today with President Felipe Calderón of Mexico, President Obama understands that the horrific violence which currently afflicts our southern neighbor is a complex problem that requires a multi-faceted solution.  President Obama reaffirmed his administration’s commitment “to stem the southbound flow of American guns and money” which fuel the lion’s share of Mexico’s violence, as well as to develop “new approaches to reducing the demand for drugs in our country.”  The President also pledged to keep up law-enforcement pressure on the criminal gangs that “traffic in drugs, guns, and people.”

A notable aspect of the President’s remarks is that his discussion of violence in Mexico was separate and distinct from his discussion of comprehensive immigration reform and the need to create a pathway to legal status for unauthorized immigrants already living in the United States.  The distinction reflects the fact that unauthorized immigrants are not the cause of the violence which plagues so many communities in Mexico.  This distinction stands in marked contrast to the supporters of “get tough” anti-immigrant laws, such as Arizona’s SB 1070, who frequently cite scattered episodes of violence spilling over the border from Mexico as a justification for their legislation.  But cracking down on unauthorized immigrants in the United States is not going to diminish violence in border communities because unauthorized immigrants aren’t the perpetrators, criminal cartels are.Read more...

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Washington DC

Council Resources for AILA Washington DC Chapter:

Washington DC Policy Resources       Education Resources      

The Council in the News      Practice Advisories       Immigration Impact Blog


Your Council Ambassador: Brenda Oliver
Fragomen Worldwide
About Brenda:




Federal Court Upholds Immigrants' Right To Reopen Cases From Outside the U.S.

Released on Thu, Feb 03, 2011

Washington, D.C. - Today, a federal appellate court chastised the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) for preventing noncitizens from reopening their cases from outside the United States. This important ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit repudiates the government's view that immigration judges and the BIA lack "jurisdiction" over such cases.

The American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, which filed a joint amicus brief in the case, applaud the Sixth Circuit's ruling. The Legal Action Center and National Immigration Project have coordinated litigation on this issue nationwide and call on the BIA to abandon its misguided regulation barring review of motions filed by noncitizens outside the United States.

"The Sixth Circuit recognized that the regulation deprives noncitizens of their statutory right to present new evidence in their cases. The decision corrects the government's unlawful attempt to separate families and opens the door for them to return to the United States," said attorney Trina Realmuto of the National Immigration Project. Beth Werlin of the Legal Action Center said, "A motion may be a person's only chance to present his case to the immigration judge. The government should take immediate steps to withdraw this unfair and outdated regulation rather than proceed with continued, unnecessary and costly litigation."Read more...

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Entrepreneurship and Innovation Update - October 31, 2014

Read our previous Entrepreneurship and Innovation Newsletters here.

Latest Research

Almost 40 percent of Minnesota’s Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant. A new report from America’s Society/Council of the Americas and the Partnership for a New American Economy notes that these Minnesota-based companies employ more than 264,000 people globally and bring in more than $100 billion in revenue each year. Additionally, the report finds that the overall role of immigrants in Minnesota’s economy has resulted in GDP gains, with immigrants contributing more than $22.4 billion to the state’s GDP in 2012, accounting for 7.5 percent of total GDP in Minnesota that year.

News Updates

Immigrants make up outsized share of small business growth. An October 15 article for notes that, “over the last two decades, immigrant-owned businesses have made up 30 percent of the growth in the small business economy, a significant chunk given that immigrants only account for 13 percent of the US population.” Furthermore, “their businesses also performed better than your average American. Employees within these small companies earned over $55,000 a year over the median earned income of $41,000 a year.”Read more...

LAC Issues Updated Practice Advisory on Prosecutorial Discretion Discussing June 17, 2011 Morton Memoranda

Released on Tue, Jun 28, 2011

Washington, D.C.— The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) is pleased to announce the release of an updated practice advisory: Prosecutorial Discretion: How to Advocate for Your Client.

On June 17, 2011, John Morton, Director of ICE, issued two new memoranda encouraging the expanded use of prosecutorial discretion by ICE officers, agents, and attorneys in all phases of civil immigration enforcement. The first outlines in detail how ICE employees should approach a wide range of opportunities to apply prosecutorial discretion in line with ICE enforcement priorities; the second describes specific protections for certain crime victims, witnesses, and plaintiffs.

This practice advisory discusses these memoranda in detail. It also explains what prosecutorial discretion is, who has authority to exercise it, and how it is exercised most often in immigration cases. In addition, the advisory suggests ways that attorneys can advocate for the favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion by DHS officers, whether from ICE, USCIS or CBP.

For a complete list of all LAC Practice Advisories, please visit our website.

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Kennedy and immigration: He changed the face of America

Published on Thu, Aug 27, 2009

The next round of immigration reform promised by President Obama will be the first in more than 50 years that does not involve Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Published in the Christian Science Monitor

En Banc Court Reverses Adverse Holding, Says Immigrants Can Pursue Cases from Outside U.S.

Released on Mon, Jan 30, 2012

Washington, D.C.- Today, an en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit rejected the government’s attempt to bar noncitizens from seeking to reopen their cases from outside the United States. This is the seventh appellate court to find the “departure bar”—a regulation barring noncitizens from pursuing their cases after departure or deportation—unlawful and is a step forward in protecting the right to a fair immigration hearing. The decision is particularly significant because the Tenth Circuit had been the only court at odds with the majority. The court had granted rehearing en banc to reconsider its prior decision.

Despite the overwhelming rejection of the departure bar, the government continues to defend the regulation and apply it to cases outside the circuits that have invalidated the bar. The American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center (LAC) and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG), which filed amicus briefs in the Tenth Circuit and argued before the court, renew their call for the agency to strike this unlawful regulation.

Read more about the LAC and NIPNLG’s challenges to the departure bar on our website, Motions to Reopen from Outside the Country.


For more information contact

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CNN Airs Anti-Immigrant Front Group

Published on Mon, Aug 10, 2009

CNN is once again airing an incendiary ad by the an anti-immigrant front group, Coalition For The Future Of The American Worker, which warns that the US government is letting in 1.5 million foreign workers a year to take jobs from the 15 million unemployed Americans. Roy Beck, Executive Director of the anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA and principal spokesperson for the Coalition, called on supporters to discuss the ad at town hall meetings and declared the need for an

Published in the Think Progress