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Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 1, No. 2

This issue covers "Arriving Aliens" and Adjustment of Status, Drug Possession Cases at the Supreme Court, and Jurisdiction to Review Asylum One Year Bar Decisions.

Published On: Tuesday, December 20, 2005 | Download File

Budget hogs up Congress’ attention

Published on Sun, Apr 24, 2011

The 112th Congress had a full plate to start the year.

Debates and votes were expected on energy, climate change, education, national security, immigration, trade agreements and transportation. And there was the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

But for the most part, lawmakers have been consumed with cutting the federal budget deficit – which might top $1.6 trillion this year – since convening in January.

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., said the focus on all things fiscal began with the November elections, when voters gave Republicans control of the House and a larger minority in the Senate.

“The overwhelming interest of citizens in this country in these budget matters … almost impelled that this would likely be the case, that we would be spending almost all the time discussing some part of spending, taxes, budget stability, debt and the future of all this,” Lugar said in a recent interview.

Freshman Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, blames the previous Congress, which failed last year to approve a budget for fiscal 2011. After a series of short-term spending extensions, legislators finally passed an appropriations bill April 14, more than six months into the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.

The 2011 budget, which spends about $3.8 trillion, “took up an awful lot of our time this year. We could have been dealing with next year’s budget, energy, tax policy,” said Stutzman, a member of the House Budget Committee.

After a two-week spring recess, Congress will reconvene in May and dive back into the fiscal fray. It must soon vote on whether to raise the $14.3 trillion national debt ceiling that the government is about to reach. Lawmakers also will be tussling over a half-dozen budget proposals for fiscal 2012, including a version approved April 15 by the House. They will battle over whether to cut spending for the military, Medicare and Social Security.Read more...

Published in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

Freedom of Information Act

ARCHIVED ISSUE PAGE (LAST UPDATED JUNE 2012)

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides that "any person" may request agency documents, see 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(3), and agencies may only withhold information from a FOIA requester under certain exceptions outlined in 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(1)-(9). These exceptions are to be narrowly construed, and the burden is on the agency to show why non-compliance with a FOIA request clearly falls under one of these exceptions. 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(B). FOIA also requires that an agency determine whether it will comply with an initial FOIA request within 20 days of receiving the request. 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(A)(i). If the agency withholds information or is nonresponsive, the requestor may file an administrative appeal and then file suit in district court.

This Litigation Issue Page summarizes and discusses recent developments in immigration-related FOIA lawsuits. The page also provides information about attorneys' fees, non-litigation related FOIA developments, and links to FOIA resources.

Active Cases|Closed Cases|Non-Litigation Related Developments|Attorney Fees|Additional Resources

Active Cases

FOIA Suit Seeks Release of Prosecutorial Discretion Directives and Guidelines for Removal Proceedings

National Immigrant Justice Center v. DHS, et al., No. 12-04825 (N.D. Ill. filed June 18, 2012)Read more...

John Patrick Leyba Can Now Call Himself a Cowboy

April, 2008
John Patrick Leyba

The Exchange Visitor Program is pleased to announce John Patrick Leyba as April’s Exchange Visitor of the Month. Each month, we select an exchange visitor who has made an effort to get involved in his/her community and explore American Culture. Read more...

DREAM Act supporters publish self-help deportation guide

Published on Thu, Jun 16, 2011

The record level of deportations being carried out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement includes an unknown number of immigrants who came to the U.S. at a young age, call this country home and are not aware that they are eligible for deferred action.

While deferred action is not limited to youth, according to the Immigration Policy Center, “Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Richard Lugar (R-IN), for instance, last year asked the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to defer the removal of young people who qualified for legal permanent residence until such time as their legislation, the DREAM Act, became law.”

Many young people who now face deportation proceedings would be eligible for the DREAM Act, which would grant unauthorized immigrants who entered the U.S. before the age of 16 conditional legal-resident status for a period of six years, after which they would be eligible to become legal permanent residents, if they obtain at least an associate-level college degree or serve two years in the military.

DREAM Activists — a resource network for undocumented students — has been working on deportation cases of students for a long time, along with law students and immigration attorneys.

“As we started getting more cases we realized we don’t have the resources to handle all cases and they will fall through the cracks,” Mohammad Abdollahi of DREAM Activist tells The Florida Independent, “so we sat down and came up with a guide so people can figure it out by themselves.”

The Asian Law Caucus, Educators for Fair Consideration, the National Immigrant Youth Alliance and DREAM Activist together released a Removal Defense Guide (.pdf) earlier this month.

“With over 60 pages of legal and organizing support from various successful public cases, the guide aims to provide undocumented youth, families, and lawyers with the essentials for deportation defense,” according to a press release issued by the Asian Law Caucus.Read more...

Published in the Florida Independent

Adjustment of Status for Arriving Aliens in Removal Proceedings

Mouelle v. Gonzales, 548 U.S. 901 (2006)Read more...

  • In a summary order dated June 26, 2006, the Supreme Court vacated the Eighth Circuit’s judgment and remanded the case for further consideration in light of 71 Fed. Reg. 27,585, the interim rule regarding adjustment of status for arriving aliens.

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.

Download File

Big Breakthrough on Binational Gay, Lesbian Couples

Published on Thu, Aug 18, 2011

BY PAUL SCHINDLER

In a significant reprieve for the same-sex partners of American citizens facing the threat of deportation, the Obama administration on August 18 announced that such actions would no longer be pursued against foreign nationals unless they are identified as security threats, convicted criminals, or repeat immigration law violators.

The policy was rolled out in a letter from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

In a telephone conference call with reporters, a senior administration official explained that the focus on those “high-priority” categories represents the latest in the government’s efforts to un-“clog” a deportation system that currently has 300,000 cases pending.

The Obama administration has already made a significant dent in shifting deportations toward priority cases, the official said. In fiscal year 2010, more than half of those deported were security risks or criminal convicts –– up from just 30 percent before the president took office –– and two-thirds of the remainder were repeat immigration law offenders, including deported individuals who had reentered the country.

The new policy was announced in response to a letter sent to President Barack Obama from 22 senators earlier this year asking that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) categorically stop deportation proceedings against young people who would have been covered had the Dream Act been approved by Congress. That bill aims to offer permanent residency to college students and military service personnel who are undocumented immigrants that arrived in the US as minors.

Like same-sex partners and other law-abiding undocumented immigrants, these young people should now largely be in the clear.Read more...

Published in the Chelsea Now

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