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Legal Action Center Pursues Campaign to Protect Judicial Review

Released on Wed, Mar 30, 2011

Washington D.C. - In a continuing effort to protect the right to judicial review and promote greater federal court oversight of immigration decisions, the American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center (LAC) recently submitted an amicus brief in another case involving a sua sponte motion to reopen. A three-judge panel in this case, Salado-Alva v. Holder, No. 10-73142 (9th Cir.), said that the Board of Immigration Appeals' denial of the sua sponte motion was not reviewable. The panel relied on prior cases holding that decisions on sua sponte motions "are committed to agency discretion." The LAC is urging the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear the case en banc.

The LAC argues that under the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Kucana v. Holder, the Board of Immigration Appeals cannot shield its decisions from judicial review by labeling decisions on sua sponte motions "discretionary." Only Congress can limit court review of motions to reopen, and it has not done so. Moreover, the result in this case is irreconcilable with other Ninth Circuit decisions. The petitioner is represented by the U.C. Davis Immigration Law Clinic.

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For more information contact Brian Yourish at 202-507-7516 or byourish@immcouncil.org.

 

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More Fear and Loathing in the House Judiciary Committee

Committee to Take Up Reps. Smith and Goodlatte's Restrictive Immigration Bills

Released on Wed, Jul 13, 2011

Washington, D.C. – Tomorrow, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to take up two immigration bills that supposedly address community safety, but in reality are simply the latest attempts to restrict immigration and limit due process for immigrants. Neither Chairman Lamar Smith’s (R-TX) “Keep Our Communities Safe Act of 2011,” or Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s (R-VA) “Security and Fairness Enhancement for America Act of 2011” (SAFE Act) offer solutions to the immigration crisis. Instead, Chairman Smith’s bill would authorize indefinite detention for a wide range of immigrants, while Rep. Goodlatte’s bill would eliminate the diversity visa—a lottery that offers 50,000 visas per year to immigrants from countries that send few people to the U.S. Once more, the House Judiciary Committee is using fear to restrict our immigration system.

While studies have repeatedly shown that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans, “The Keep Our Communities Safe Act of 2011” attempts to exploit the public’s fear of crime to advance an anti-immigration agenda. The bill would expand the authority of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to subject certain immigrants to indefinite—that is, potentially life-long—detention, even though the Supreme Court has held that such detention raises serious constitutional concerns. The bill relies on the continued detention of immigrants—many of whom have never committed a crime—as a stand-in for fixing the underlying problems of our broken immigration system. Similarly, the deceptively titled SAFE Act simply eliminates 50,000 visas that currently go to immigrants from many countries in Africa and elsewhere that have less of a tradition of immigrating to the U.S. 

Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center, noted:Read more...

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South Florida figures remember Sen. Ted Kennedy

Published on Wed, Aug 26, 2009

On Wednesday, South Floridians from the University of Miami president to elected officials weighed in on the passing of U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, praising him for his lifetime commitment to public service.

Published in the Miami Herald

Departure Bar to Motions to Reopen and Reconsider: Legal Overview and Related Issues

Released on Wed, Nov 20, 2013

This practice advisory discusses the "departure bar" to motions to reopen and arguments adopted by circuit courts that have rejected or upheld the bar.

 

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Senate makes Sotomayor first Latina on U.S. Supreme Court

Published on Thu, Aug 06, 2009

The Senate confirmed Judge Sonia Sotomayor yesterday as the nation's first Latina Supreme Court justice, concluding a 10-week battle with a resounding victory for the White House.

Published in the Columbus Dispatch

The American Immigration Council Mourns the Passing of Senator Daniel Inouye

Released on Tue, Dec 18, 2012

Washington D.C. – The American Immigration Council mourns the passing of Senator Daniel Inouye. As the most senior member of the U.S. Senate, he was a stalwart supporter of immigration reform and spoke eloquently about his support for giving young undocumented youth the opportunity to become fully American.

The American Immigration Council was pleased to award Senator Inouye our “Stephen K. Fischel Distinguished Public Service Award” in the Spring of 2011 - an award given to individuals who exhibit a commitment and dedication to our heritage as a nation of immigrants and to the struggle to create fair and humane immigration policies in the United States.

In December of 2010, Senator Inouye made the following statement after the Senate’s failure to pass the DREAM Act during the lame duck session of Congress:

“The comprehensive immigration reform we claim we want in this country will not occur if we do not allow for the basic education of children and if we do not nurture the patriotic spirit of those brave enough to put on the uniform and fight for this country.  I was once labeled an enemy Alien by this country but we petitioned the government to allow us to fight and by the end of World War II the 442 Regimental Combat team had suffered the most casualties in the European campaign but was also the most decorated unit of its size in the history of the United States military.   By allowing the DREAM Act to sit idle, we extinguish hope for a lot of people and deny too many the opportunity I was given.”

The American Immigration Council sends its condolences to those who knew and loved Senator Inouye. We are a better nation for his service and will stand with those who work to advance the issues he most cared about.Read more...

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Immigrants Vital to U.S. Military, Report Finds

Published on Wed, Nov 11, 2009

With Veterans Day and the tragic events of Fort Hood fresh in the public mind, a new report from the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) entitled Essential to the Fight: Immigrants in the Military, Eight Years After 9/11 should provide some perspective. One of the main points of the report is that "Without the contributions of immigrants, the military could not meet its recruiting goals and could not fill its need for foreign-language translators, interpreters and cultural experts."

Published in the The San Fernando Sun

American Immigration Council Commends Decision Expanding Availability of Hardship Waivers to LPRs

Released on Fri, Aug 09, 2013

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a unanimous decision that will allow more lawful permanent residents (LPRs) to avoid deportation if their removal would result in extreme hardship to family members in the United States.  The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center, which collaborated with the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) on an amicus brief in the case, applauds today’s ruling and repeats its call for the Board to overturn its contrary decision in Matter of Koljenovic, 25 I&N Dec. 219 (2010).

With this decision, the Seventh Circuit joined the Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuits in holding that Section 212(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) precludes a waiver only for those persons who, at the time they lawfully entered the United States, had become lawful permanent residents.  For many LPRs facing removal, such waivers are the only means to avoid separation from U.S. family members.  In their amicus brief, the Council and NIJC argued that the Board ignored the plain language of the INA, which distinguishes between applicants who entered the country as LPRs and those who gained LPR status post-entry.

The case is Papazoglou v. Holder, No. 12-2372.  Maria Baldini-Potermin of Chicago represented the petitioner.

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For more information, contact clearinghouse@immcouncil.org or 202-507-7516.

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Why legal aliens don't drag down the wages of the native-born

Published on Wed, Jan 13, 2010

IF CONGRESS has any sense, it will pass immigration reform this year. That's the topic of this week's column.

A new report from the Centre for American Progress, an Obamaphile think-tank, finds that comprehensive immigration reform would add $1.5 trillion to America's GDP over ten years.

Not everything that raises GDP is a good idea. Reihan Salam, a conservative writer, pointed out to me yesterday that annexing Canada would raise GDP by a lot. But it would have serious downsides, such as Americans having to find out where Canada is.

Published in the The Economist

Groups Sue U.S. Government over Life-Threatening Deportation Process Against Mothers and Children

Released on Fri, Aug 22, 2014

Washington D.C. — The American Immigration Council, American Civil Liberties Union National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and National Immigration Law Center today sued the federal government to challenge its policies denying a fair deportation process to mothers and children who have fled extreme violence, death threats, rape, and persecution in Central America and come to the United States seeking safety.

The groups filed the case on behalf of mothers and children locked up at an isolated detention center in Artesia, New Mexico — hours from the nearest major metropolitan area. The complaint charges the Obama administration with enacting a new strong-arm policy to ensure rapid deportations by holding these mothers and their children to a nearly insurmountable and erroneous standard to prove their asylum claims, and by placing countless hurdles in front of them.

"These mothers and their children have sought refuge in the United States after fleeing for their lives from threats of death and violence in their home countries," said Cecillia Wang, director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project. "U.S. law guarantees them a fair opportunity to seek asylum. Yet, the government's policy violates that basic law and core American values — we do not send people who are seeking asylum back into harm's way. We should not sacrifice fairness for speed in life-or-death situations."

According to the complaint, the Obama administration is violating long-established constitutional and statutory law by enacting policies that have:Read more...

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