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03/31/14 | New Report from Center for Immigration Studies on Deportation Data Misleads and Misinforms

Washington D.C. – Today the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released a new report that makes a range of false claims about deportation data.  Following is a statement from Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, in response to “Catch and Release: Interior Immigration Enforcement in 2013”

“A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) makes a range of false claims about deportation data. First their claim that out of 722,000 “potentially deportable aliens” encountered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement only 195,000 were charged is completely misleading.  As a result of dragnet programs like Secure Communities, any foreign-born individual that that comes into contact with law-enforcement likely falls into 722,000 number cited by CIS.  Thus, this number includes immigrants (including long time permanent residents) whose interaction with law enforcement was so minor that they are not even legally subject to removal.  In fact, that data likely includes U.S. citizens as well.  CIS is essentially asserting that a legal-permanent resident or a recently naturalized citizen with a broken tail light should be charged by ICE and removed from the country although there is no basis in law for such action. 

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03/26/14 | HoldCBPAccountable.org Launched to Expose Border-Related Abuse and Litigation

An alliance of immigration advocacy groups announces the launch of HoldCBPAccountable.org, a website that catalogues lawsuits and administrative complaints brought against U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The American Immigration Council, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties have joined forces to document litigation that exposes CBP abuses, including unlawful searches and seizures, removals based on coercion and misinformation, and the use of excessive and sometimes deadly force by Border Patrol agents and CBP officers.

Among the cases included on the website:

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03/13/14 | American Immigration Council Urges Court to Rule that TPS Recipient Is Eligible to Adjust Status

Last week, the American Immigration Council and Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) filed an amicus curiae brief urging the court to find that noncitizens granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) are eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence (i.e., adjustment of status), even if they originally entered the United States without being admitted or paroled.  This is because the grant of TPS qualifies a noncitizen as having been “admitted” to the United States—one of the requirements for adjustment of status.  In 2013, the Sixth Circuit found that the grant of TPS permits a person who initially entered without being admitted to become a lawful permanent resident, and amici urge the District Court for the Western District of Washington to reach the same result.

The case is Ramirez v. Dougherty, No. 13-1236-TSZ (W.D. Wash. amicus brief filed March 6, 2014). 

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For more information, email clearinghouse@immcouncil.org.

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The Council in the News

Astrid Silva, the 2014 receipent of the American Immigration Council’s Immigrant Youth Achievement Award, was recently featured in a Las Vegas Sun article titled "Las Vegas immigration advocate Astrid Silva earns national honor".

"A prominent immigration reform advocate and community organizer from Las Vegas who has helped influence Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid garnered more national recognition this week.

The American Immigration Council’s Immigrant Youth Achievement Award winner is Astrid Silva, an organizer for the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.

Silva has been on of the most visible faces of Las Vegas’ immigration reform movement, going public with her undocumented status before getting a work permit through the deferred action for childhood arrivals program."

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Las Vegas Sun | 04/08/14

Ben Johnson, the Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, was recently featured in a Fox News Latino article titled "Think Tank Says DHS Releases Criminal Immigrants, But Critics Counter Numbers Are Skewed". 

Johnson highlighted the misleading methodology used in a recent publication from the Center for Immigration Studies that stated 68,000 undocumented immigrants with criminal records were released from detention instead of being deported.

"Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, said that the people released were not all actually 'set free.'

'Being released from ICE custody often means being issued a notice to appear in court, released with an ankle bracelet or released under an order of supervision,' he said. 'These details were conveniently left out of the CIS analysis.'

Also, Johnson said, 'the 195,000 [of people charged] is completely misleading. Sadly, it isn’t necessary to be 'charged' by ICE in order to be removed from the country.'

He further explained: 'For instance, this 'charged' number does not include the 160,000 people who were removed based on the reinstatement of a prior removal or the 23,000 that were voluntarily returned to their country of birth,” he said.

'And, the number likely does not include the additional 101,000 that were removed from the U.S. based on an expedited removal order, where they were summarily removed without ever having a chance to take their case before a judge or receive any meaningful due process.'"

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Fox News Latino | 04/01/14

Ben Johnson, the Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, responded to the misleading deportation numbers in a recent Washington Times article titled "68,000 Illegal Aliens with Criminal Records Caught and Released".

"The American Immigration Council, though, said the numbers were 'completely misleading' and that many of those ICE agents encountered were likely kicked out of the country even if they weren’t officially put into deportation proceedings.

The AIC said the more than 720,000 immigrants ICE encountered also likely included many legal immigrants whose 'interaction with law enforcement was so minor that they are not even legally subject to removal.'

'CIS is essentially asserting that a legal-permanent resident or a recently naturalized citizen with a broken tail light should be charged by ICE and removed from the country although there is no basis in law for such action,' said Benjamin JohnsonAIC’s executive director."

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Washington Times | 04/01/14