Skip to Content

Programs:

Legalization

Ishwinder Kaur Explores the United States

January, 2010
Ishwinder Kaur

Ishwinder Kaur, 23, hails from New Delhi, India. She is currently training in Chicago in the field of business research and administration. She feels welcome in the US, and affectionately refers to Chicago as “a city of cold winds and warm hearts." Read more...

Process to review 300,000 deportation proceedings leaves room for doubts

Published on Tue, Aug 23, 2011

The implementation of a case by case review of at least 300,000 deportation proceedings, announced by the Department of Homeland Security last week, has left room for questions among immigrant advocate groups.

With this announcement, Homeland Security said it will implement prosecutorial discretion measures laid out in a June 2011 memo issued by John Morton, director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (aka ICE).

Melissa Crowe, director of the Legal Action Center at the American Immigration Council, said on a conference call Monday, ”We are not sure how” Homeland Security’s commitment “will play out in practice” and what recourse individuals will have “if they believe their cases have been mischaracterized as high priority.”

Crowe added that in an ideal world, Homeland Security “officers throughout the country would stop issuing charging documents on low priority cases so they never enter the system to begin with.”

Mohammad Abdollahi of DREAM Activist writes in an email that “the decision from [Homeland Security] and Obama was nothing new, it pretty much just spelled out what they already had on the books.”

Last week’s announcement, based on the June 2011 memo issued by Morton, lays out a path to implement immigration law enforcement priorities put forward in a 2010 memo also issued by Morton that prioritized the detention and deportation of three groups: “aliens who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety,” “recent illegal entrants” and “aliens who are fugitives or otherwise obstruct immigration controls.”Read more...

Published in the Florida Independent

Court Holds that Padilla v. Kentucky Does Not Apply Retroactively to Certain Convictions

Chaidez v. United States, 568 U.S. ___, 133 S. Ct. 1103 (2013)

In a 7-2 decision written by Justice Kagan, the Court held that Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356 (2010), does not apply retroactively to collateral review of convictions final at the time of that decision.  Padilla found that a noncitizen could raise a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel under the Sixth Amendment if his criminal defense attorney failed to advise him of the immigration consequences of a guilty plea. In Chaidez, the Court found that its previous decision went beyond applying the existing standards for ineffective assistance of counsel claims in Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984). Because the preliminary question answered by the Padilla Court – whether the Sixth Amendment right to counsel encompassed advice about collateral consequences of convictions – was not settled at the time of its decision in 2010, it held that Padilla created a new rule of criminal procedure and thus did not apply in collateral challenges to past convictions under the principles set forth in Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288 (1989).

The case left many issues and arguments unresolved.

Justices Sotomayor and Ginsberg dissented.

Immigrant advocates protest deportation of young student, call for prosecutorial discretion

Published on Tue, Oct 25, 2011

South Florida immigrant advocates will be at the Broward Transistional Center today to take part in a national day of action to protest the deportation of Shamir Ali.

...

ICE recently announced that it had deported 396,000 people during fiscal year 2011. The agency’s own numbers indicate that, “of these, nearly 55 percent or 216,698 of the people removed were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors” and “this includes 1,119 aliens convicted of homicide; 5,848 aliens convicted of sexual offenses; 44,653 aliens convicted of drug related crimes; and 35,927 aliens convicted of driving under the influence.”

However the Immigration Policy Center argues that, “while the raw number is not in doubt, its meaning is far from clear,” adding that, according to ICE, 55 percent of those deported (approximately 218,000) were “criminal aliens,” but the definition of ‘criminal’ is overly broad.”

The Policy Center adds that ICE numbers show that “40% of criminal deportations were convicted under the four categories of homicide, sexual offenses, drug-related offenses, or driving under the influence (DUI). The other 60% of ‘convicted criminals’ fall into other categories including immigration crimes and traffic crimes.”

According to the Policy Center, “the real dilemma” for the Department of Homeland Security “is how it plans to reconcile its criminal deportation statistics with its new initiatives on prosecutorial discretion.”

Published in the The Florida Independent

Northern, Southern Border Residents Unite in Detroit

Published on Fri, Feb 24, 2012

A few days ago I wrote a blog about life along the border since 9/11, calling it a “Constitution-free zone”—a term coined by the ACLU. Life in the “Zone”—defined as a 100-mile wide area that wraps around the external boundary of the United States—is like living in an occupied zone, border residents tell me. Where the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects Americans from arbitrary stops and searches, doesn’t always apply.

Unfortunately, the voices of residents living along the international borders seldom penetrate the Washington echo chamber. Today, in Detroit, more than 100 delegates from the northern and southern borders are meeting to “form a national picture of what’s happening along the border,” according to Ryan Bates, an organizer for the newly formed Northern Border Coalition. The goal of the two-day conference, which began February 23, is to hammer out a political strategy so that border residents can lobby Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to rein in U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents whom they say are out of control.

As the number of Border Patrol agents has skyrocketed, so has the confusion about their role in border communities. Residents are unsure of their rights when border agents stop them. Lawyer Ben Winograd, a staff attorney with the American Immigration Council in Washington D.C. wanted to clarify in an email the notion of a “Constitution-free zone” I’d written about in my previous blog.Read more...

Published in the the Texes Observer

Supreme Court Update

The Supreme Court Update provides information about recent Supreme Court decisions in immigration cases, immigration cases where the Supreme Court has granted a petition for certiorari, and selected pending petitions for certiorari. The site features case summaries, dates for oral argument and additional resources related to each case such as amicus briefs and practice advisories.                                                                           
        Supreme Court

Certiorari Granted | Petition for Certiorari Pending | Cases Decided | Supreme Court Resources

Contact Us! Please contact the Clearinghouse at clearinghouse@immcouncil.org if you know of any additional resources or changes in the status of cases that are not indicated here.

Quick Fact: Americans want Reform

67% of voters said “We would be better off if people who are in the United States illegally became legal taxpayers so they pay their fair share,” vs. 28% who said “We would be better off if people who are in the United States illegally left the country because they are taking away jobs that Americans need.”