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Immigrants add richness to America's tapestry, Friends students write

Published on Thu, May 21, 2009

Imagine what it would be like if everyone looked the same, ate the same food, wore the same clothes and liked to do the same things

Published in the SOUTH COAST TODAY

Agreement Reached in National Class Action Lawsuit on Work Authorization for Asylum Seekers

Released on Mon, Apr 15, 2013

Washington D.C. - The Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security have agreed to settle a nationwide class action lawsuit challenging the denial of work authorization to asylum seekers who have been waiting six months or more for a decision on their asylum applications. If approved by a federal judge, this agreement 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 settlement agreement represents the culmination of years of advocacy by the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) and other groups on behalf of deserving asylum seekers.

The agreement stems from a case filed in December 2011 by the LAC and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP), with co-counsel from the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and the Seattle law firm Gibbs Houston Pauw.  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.Read more...

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Latin American Business Expo presented by the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce

Published on Tue, Dec 01, 2009

According to a recent report from the Immigration Policy Center, businesses owned by Latinos and Asians in the state of South Carolina had combined revenues of $2.8 billion and provided over 20,000 jobs throughout the state in 2008. The Center also reported that Latinos and Asians living in South Carolina had a combined purchasing power of $5.2 billion. weather the economic recession has her beaming with enthusiasm.

Published in the Charleston S.C. 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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Report shows positive impact of remittances on U.S. economy

Published on Wed, Feb 10, 2010

States like California with large immigration populations likely benefit from remittances abroad because of an increase demand in U.S. exports, a report released today shows.

The Immigration Policy Center released the report. The center is the search policy arm of the American Immigration Council in Washington D.C., whose mission is to shape the national conversation on immigration..

Published in the The Desert Sun

Second Circuit Narrowly Interprets Aggravated Felony Bar Under INA § 212(h)

Released on Tue, Jan 27, 2015

Washington, D.C.—Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a precedent decision that will allow a greater number of lawful permanent residents (LPRs) to avoid deportation if they can demonstrate to an immigration judge that their removal will result in extreme hardship to close family members in the United States. The Court held that the bar to a waiver under § 212(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) applies only to those persons with an aggravated felony conviction who became LPRs at the time that they lawfully entered the United States. The American Immigration Council (Immigration Council) filed an amicus brief in the case with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

The Immigration Council applauds the ruling and repeats its call for the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to overturn its contrary decision in Matter of Koljenovic, 25 I&N Dec. 219 (2010). With this decision, the Second Circuit joins the seven other Courts of Appeal—an overwhelming majority—to have rejected Matter of Koljenovic. To date, the Eighth Circuit stands alone in upholding the BIA’s decision. The First and the Tenth Circuits have not yet ruled on the issue, although the Council and AILA have filed amicus briefs in two pending cases in the Tenth Circuit. The Second Circuit case is Husic v. Holder. Michael P. DiRaimondo was lead counsel in the case; Thomas E. Moseley was co-counsel. 

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DHS Analysis Finds That 287(g) Program Is a Big, Fat Flop

Published on Wed, Apr 07, 2010

A report out of the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) last week doesn't mince many words when it comes to the failure of 287(g), a 1995 law that allowed local and state law enforcement to assume some of the federal prerogative of immigration enforcement.

Published in the Change.org

Council Statement of CBP's Body-Camera Policy Announcement

Released on Thu, Nov 12, 2015

Washington D.C. – Ben Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, responded to the announcement that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) staff will expand the agency’s camera review with the following statement:

"Today's decision to not broadly implement body-worn cameras is a significant step backwards for CBP. For an agency that has significant problems with transparency and accountability, the excuses provided to not move forward in a bold and comprehensive way will only deepen that perception. CBP is the largest law enforcement agency in the country, and it seems they are out of step with other agencies that are moving forward to implement body cameras in an effort to protect both officers and those they serve.

“The first phases of CBP’s assessment of cameras were focused on body-worn cameras and had clear start and end dates. Today’s announcement has no timeline for moving forward, and it attempts to shift the focus away from body-worn cameras to looking at “mobile,” “fixed,” and “maritime cameras” along with body-worn cameras. This appears to be nothing more than an attempt by Customs and Border Protection to run down the clock on this administration and pass the buck.”

To view other resources on publications related to CBP policies and activities see:Read more...

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Immigration Control Program Morphing Into Prisoner Screening Program

Published on Wed, May 05, 2010

The 287(g) program, a lightning rod for criticism, is slowly and quietly melting into an expanded version of Secure Communities, a different and more under-the-radar government program.

Advocates and experts have noticed the switch, as the line to sign up for 287(g), a program that deputizes local police officers to enforce immigration law, has slowed, and the support for Secure Communities, a program screening prisoners for immigration status, grows.

Published in the Latin American Dispatch

Our Melting Pot: Meeting, Eating and Growing Together

The goal of Our Melting Pot is to develop knowledge and appreciation of the diversity of nations from which our students' ancestors came. By creating his/her own Immigration cookbook, students will appreciate their ancestry and learn about how certain foods are incorporated in to life in the United States.

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