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LAC Seeks Greater Safeguards in Removal Proceedings for Immigrants with Mental Disabilities

Released on Thu, Sep 16, 2010

Earlier this week, the American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center (LAC), the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center filed an amicus brief with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) urging the government to protect the rights of immigrants whose mental disabilities prevent them from participating meaningfully in their own removal hearings.  "This is particularly disturbing given that these immigrants are not granted court-appointed counsel in removal proceedings" said Melissa Crow, Director of the Legal Action Center.

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Iowa/Nebraska

AIC Resources for AILA Iowa/Nebraska Chapter:

Iowa Policy Resources     Nebraska Policy Resources      Education Resources

International Exchange Center Resource

The Council in the News      Practice Advisories       Immigration Impact Blog

 

Your AIC Ambassador: Amanda Bahena
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AILA/AIC Letter to Secretary Napolitano on DHS' Use of Prosecutorial Discretion

Released on Wed, Apr 06, 2011

AILA and AIC submitted a letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano expressing concerns and offering assistance and perspective with respect to implementing a well-balanced policy on the exercise of prosecutorial discretion.

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Entrepreneurship and Innovation Update - April 14, 2014

Read our previous Entrepreneurship and Innovation Newsletters here.

Latest Research

Study of U.S. metros with most high-tech immigrant entrepreneurs provides lessons for other regions. A recent post on Immigration Impact highlights a new report from the Kauffman Foundation. The report examines geographic factors that intersect with metro concentration of high-skill immigrant entrepreneurs. According to the report, “an open and culturally diverse environment helps promote high-tech entrepreneurship among both immigrants and the U.S.-born.” As the study notes, “immigrant-owned businesses are more likely to locate in ethnically diverse metro areas that have high foreign-born populations. That’s important for metro areas hoping to attract and retain this fast-growing pool of high-impact founders.” Dane Stangler, vice president of Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation, stated, “Because immigrants are far more likely to start businesses—particularly high-tech companies—than the native-born, their importance in the U.S. economy is increasing.”Read more...

DHS Issues Awaited Guidance on Prioritizing Deportations, Law Enforcement Letter Praises Approach

Released on Thu, Nov 17, 2011

Washington D.C. - Today, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Principal Legal Advisor directed all ICE attorneys to begin a systematic review of immigration cases to determine whether pursuing deportation in each case is consistent with the Administration’s enforcement priorities. This directive follows last summer’s announcement that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to review 300,000 immigration cases to assess whether they fall within the enforcement priorities and suspend those cases which do not.  ICE also provided more detailed guidance to ICE attorneys regarding criteria for determining when it is appropriate to exercise prosecutorial discretion to close or dismiss a case.

These directives are important steps toward reforming the culture of immigration enforcement within the agency and aligning its resources with its enforcement priorities. They empower ICE attorneys to take into account the individual circumstances of each case when deciding whether it is appropriate to pursue removal.  Although DHS needs to refine its overly-broad definitions of criminality, this new guidance, if fully implemented, should mean that the government can focus its resources on deportations of those who pose a real threat to public safety. It should result in fewer deportations of low priority immigrants, such as DREAM Act students or individuals with strong family and community ties and more.  Importantly, prosecutorial discretion does not mean that a person is granted legal status in the United States; rather, a person whose case is dismissed or closed will remain in the status they were in prior to the initiation of deportation proceedings.Read more...

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Struggling Over Words in Immigration Reform

Published on Sun, Aug 23, 2009

Detractors of immigration reform legislation managed to defeat an effort to get it through Congress in 2006 and 2007 partly through publicly deriding the proposals as "amnesty bills," defining the legislation as efforts to give illegal immigrants a penalty-free opportunity to remain in the United States.

Published in the Homeland Security Today

American Immigration Council Applauds Ruling Allowing Immigration Judges to Consider Evidence of Hardship

Released on Mon, Sep 17, 2012

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a unanimous ruling that will allow immigration judges to exercise discretion in cases involving lawful permanent residents (LPRs) whose removal would cause extreme hardship to family members in the United States. The ruling marks the fourth opinion from a federal appellate court to reject a contrary decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals. The American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center, which filed an amicus brief in the case and participated in the oral argument, applauds today’s ruling and calls on the Board to overturn its decision in Matter of Koljenovic, 25 I&N Dec. 219 (2010).

The case involved a 1996 amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act that prevents immigration judges from considering evidence of hardship in certain cases involving immigrants who were “admitted” to the United States as LPRs. For many LPRs facing removal, the ability to obtain such a hardship waivers is the only means to avoid separation from U.S. family members. In its amicus brief, the Council argued that the Board ignored the plain language of the statute and improperly conflated applicants who entered the country as LPRs with those who gained LPR status post-entry.

The beneficiary of today’s decision, Zaman Hanif, has resided in the United States for more than 25 years. The Department of Homeland Security initiated removal proceedings against him in 2009 based on a criminal conviction that resulted in four months’ incarceration.  Hanif sought a waiver of inadmissibility on account of the hardship his removal would create for his immediate family members, including his wife, two elderly parents, and U.S. citizen children.Read more...

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American Immigration Law Foundation Announces Creative Writing Contest Winners

Published on Fri, May 09, 2008

The American Immigration Law Foundation announced the winners of the 11th annual "Celebrate America" Creative Writing Contest this week.

Published in the CALIFORNIA CHRONICLE

Hawaii senator co-sponsors bill to aid WWII vets

Published on Sun, Oct 11, 2009

A U.S. senator is co-sponsoring legislation that would allow the children of Filipino World War II veterans living in the United States to become permanent U.S. residents.

Published in the Taiwan News

Court Approves Settlement in National Class Action Lawsuit on Work Authorization for Asylum Seekers

Released on Tue, Nov 05, 2013

Washington, DC – On Monday, November 4, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones ordered the final approval of a nationwide class action settlement agreement. The settlement will help ensure that asylum seekers, who have fled persecution in their home countries, are not unlawfully prevented from working and supporting their families while the government adjudicates their cases.  The changes will commence on December 3, 2013.

The agreement stems from a case filed in December 2011 by the American Immigration Council and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP), with co-counsel from the Seattle law firm Gibbs Houston Pauw and the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute.  The complaint challenged widespread problems with the “asylum clock”—the system government agencies use to determine when immigrants who have applied for asylum may obtain permission to work lawfully in the United States.

The case, filed on behalf of asylum seekers around the country, alleged that the current system unlawfully denies asylum applicants the opportunity to obtain employment authorization if their asylum applications have been pending for six months or more. Some end up waiting several months or years for the government to make a decision on their asylum applications.  Indeed, one plaintiff from China had been waiting nearly 10 years for his case to be resolved.Read more...

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