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President Declares Ongoing Commitment to Immigration Reform

Released on Wed, Jan 27, 2010

 
Washington D.C. - In the State of the Union Address this evening President Obama made clear his ongoing commitment to immigration reform noting "we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system - to secure our borders, enforce our laws, and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation." Some may continue to argue that immigration reform is too politically risky to move on this year and that we should focus instead on rebuilding our economy. However, comprehensive immigration reform is compatible with economic reform as it would generate needed economic growth, create jobs and increase tax contributions by ensuring that everyone working in the United States is doing so legally. In fact, immigration reform would allow us to take full advantage of the opportunities for economic growth that immigrants bring.

 Immigration Yields Tremendous Economic Benefits to AmericaRead more...

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DACA and Prosecutorial Discretion

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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Texas

Council Resources for AILA Texas Chapter:

Policy Resources       Education Resources      

The Council in the News      Practice Advisories       Immigration Impact Blog

 

Your Council Ambassador: Rick A. Gump, Jr.
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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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Insurance Requirements

INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS and FAQs

1. How long should I be covered by insurance?
J-1 and J-2 visa holders are required to have insurance coverage the entire time in the United States. This includes the 30-day grace period allowed both prior to and after the internship or training program.

2. What are the minimum insurance requirements for J-1 participants and J-2 dependents?

• Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
• Repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500
• Expenses associated with the medical evacuation to home country in the amount of $10,000
• A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
• The insurance may require a co-payment of no more than 25% of the covered benefits per accident or illness

3. What rating must a policy, plan, or contract have?
At a minimum, it must be underwritten by an insurance corporation having either:

• A.M. Best rating of “A–” or above or
• Standard & Poor's Claims-paying Ability rating of “A–” or above

4. What are the options for purchasing insurance?

• Through the host organization
• Through a private insurance policy
• Through a policy negotiated by the American Immigration Council

5. What is the insurance policy negotiated by the American Immigration Council?
The International Medical Group (IMG) sickness and accident insurance policy meets all of the minimum J visa requirements. It is not a comprehensive health care policy. For more comprehensive health coverage insurance, consider purchasing an additional policy.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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Laying groundwork on immigration

Published on Wed, Aug 19, 2009

While President Obama has put off sweeping changes in immigration policy until probably next year -- after health care and energy -- he also pledged to start laying the groundwork.

Published in the Boston Globe

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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