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Tens of Thousands March for Workers’ Rights, Immigration Reform

Published on Mon, May 02, 2011

Across the country, tens of thousands marched and rallied May 1, May Day, to call for national immigration reform and to support all workers’ rights. Just as we did on April 4, working people declared: “Somos Unos—Respeten Nuestros Derechos” or “We Are One—Respect Our Rights.”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told a crowd of about 100,000 in Milwaukee that “May Day is our day to stand together shoulder to shoulder for immigrant and worker rights.”

Gov. Scott Walker…has declared war on Wisconsin workers and, like you did before, you joined in a peaceful protest to say “No! No!” We reject the idea that America can no longer be a great nation and that we’re too broke to treat people fairly. We reject the notion that America can’t be the land of shared prosperity.

The crowd marched 2.5 miles across Milwaukee chanting, “this is what democracy looks like,” “sí, se peude,” “Walker eschuca estamos en la lucha” and “Wisconsin no es Arizona.”

Read Trumka’s entire speech here and click here to read more about the Milwaukee march.

On the other side of the country, nearly 10,000 people in Los Angeles rallied for good jobs that include a path to citizenship for 12 million undocumented immigrants.

According to a recent report by the Center for American Progress and the Immigration Policy Center, if federal immigration reform included a path to legalization, California would add 633,000 jobs and increase tax revenue by $5.3 billion.

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler spoke at a mass rally in Chicago and Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker spoke at a rally in New York City.

Cory McCray, president of the Young Trade Unionists in Baltimore, spoke to Young Democrats from Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia and Pennsylvania about the importance of collective bargaining. Check out a video of some of the discussion here.

Here are some other major May Day events:Read more...

Published in the AFL-CIO Blog

Regulations for Healthcare Workers: Abraham v. Reno

This LAC lawsuit successfully compelled the INS to issue long-awaited regulations implementing § 343 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act for certain healthcare workers who were waiting to become lawful permanent residents.

This LAC lawsuit successfully compelled the INS to issue long-awaited regulations implementing §343 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act for certain healthcare workers who were waiting to become lawful permanent residents.

  • AILF and INS reached a settlement in Abraham v. Reno.
  • AILF filed a lawsuit to compel the INS to issue regulations implementing IIRIRA §343 for Medical Technologists, Medical Technicians, Physicians Assistants and Speech/Language Pathologists applying for permanent residence.

ICE issues memo on ‘prosecutorial discretion’

Published on Thu, Jun 23, 2011

John Morton, executive director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (aka ICE), issued a memo (.pdf) last Friday that provides ICE personnel “guidance on the exercise of prosecutorial discretion to ensure that the agency’s immigration enforcement resources are focused on the agency’s enforcement priorities.”

The memo is one among several issued over the past 30 years by federal immigration authorities on how to exercise prosecutorial discretion. This latest memo explains that “the term ‘prosecutorial discretion’ applies to a broad range of discretionary enforcement decisions” that can include deferred action but also the execution of a deportation order. It offers guidelines on how to use discretion on a case-by-case basis and states that “decisions should be based on the totality of the circumstances, with the goal of conforming to ICE’s enforcement priorities.”

According to the Immigration Policy Center, there are factors that lead to the use or exercise of prosecutorial discretion in an immigration case, “with respect to investigations, arrests, detention, parole, the initiation of removal proceedings, continued litigation of removal proceedings, and even the execution of final removal orders. Examples of the favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion in the immigration context include a grant of deferred action; a decision to terminate removal proceedings; a stay of removal; or a decision not to issue a charging document in the first place.”

The Morton memo adds that “when weighing whether an exercise of prosecutorial discretion may be warranted for a given alien, ICE officers, agents, and attorneys should consider all relevant factors.”

The memo lists a series of factors that would allow ICE officials to use discretion:

• If the alien came to the United States as a young child.

• Whether someone has graduated from a U.S. high school or has successfully pursued or is pursuing a college or advanced degree.Read more...

Published in the Florida Independent

Particularly Serious Crime and Jurisdiction; Case Dismissed

Ali v. Achim, 551 U.S. 1188 (2007)

The Supreme Court granted certiorari to determine whether the Seventh Circuit erred 1) when it concluded that an offense does not need to be an aggravated felony to be classified as a “particularly serious crime,” and 2) when it construed the scope of the court’s jurisdiction to review the BIA’s particularly serious crime determinations under 8 U.S.C. §§ 1252(a)(2)(B)(ii) and (a)(2)(D). On December 21, 2007, the petitioner filed a motion for voluntary dismissal asking the Court to dismiss the writ of certiorari pursuant to a settlement agreement. The motion states that the petitioner and the government entered into a settlement agreement and petitioner has agreed not to pursue his claims for asylum and withholding of removal. The Court dismissed the case on December 27, 2007. Read more...

Jo Oyanagi Pedals Toward Success

December, 2009
Jo

Jo Oyanagi, 23, of Tokyo, Japan is a J-1 trainee at Trek Bicycle Corporation in Waterloo, Wisconsin. Jo works for Trek in Japan and is taking part in a J-1 exchange program in order to learn an American perspective on customer service and sales techniques that he will bring back to the Japanese side of the company when his training in the US is complete. Read more...

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month: Latinos Are The Majority In Federal Prison

Published on Thu, Sep 15, 2011

This year, we’re kicking off Hispanic Heritage Month with the disheartening news that Latinos, for the first time in American history, comprise the majority of inmates in federal prison. One reason for this, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, is the unprecedented amount of undocumented immigrants being arrested and charged rather than deported. The trend is a tactic on the part of the Obama administration, (and the Bush administration before them), says Walter Ewing, senior researcher at the Immigration Policy Center, to butter up conservative litigators for immigration reform.

“It’s a losing strategy because it’s never going to be enough for them,” Ewing told political watchdog site Colorlines, referring to members of Congress who demand “a secure border” before they can consider immigration reform.

Meanwhile, those sneaking into the United States to willingly perform labor for minuscule wages are finding themselves involved in a far more diabolic system than they bargained for. Namely, privatized prisons motivated by profit.

Corrections Corp. of America, (it sounds like something out of a Monty Python skit, but it’s sadly very real), runs more than 60 prisons and immigrant-detention centers across the country. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan organization that tracks the effect of money on U.S. politics, CCA has spent more than any other corrections company–$17.6 million– lobbying politicians, contributing to their campaigns and hiring their former staff. They also lobby the Department of Homeland Security and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement division which just so happens to contract with CCA and other private companies for immigration-detention centers.

Though CCA says they only lobby to educate policy makers, one can’t help but notice that what they lobby for is tougher prison sentences. After all, it’s how they make their money.Read more...

Published in the Texas Observer

Understanding the Final Rule for J-1 Trainee and Intern Programs

New final rules became effective Sept. 9, 2010 for J trainee and intern programs 22 C.F.R.§ 62 (2010). With few exceptions, the final rule will produce little change to the way J trainee and intern programs have been administered since the interim-final rule of 2007.

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