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The Council In the News

The New York Times recently highlighted a lawsuit filed by the American Immigration Council and other groups challenging the governments policies of 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 article states:

"The lawsuit, brought in Federal District Court in Washington, says that immigration authorities created a system to rush deportations from the temporary center holding about 600 mothers and their children in the isolated desert town of Artesia, N.M. The suit accuses officials of raising numerous legal and practical hurdles to discourage migrants from seeking asylum, after deciding in advance that few petitions would succeed.

'By locking up women and babies, the Obama administration has made it their mission to deport these people as quickly as possible,' said Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, one of the groups bringing the suit. 'Our message to the government is simple: Follow the law,' she said during a conference call with reporters. 'We must ensure that every person who interacts with our legal system has a fair hearing.'

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New York Times | 08/22/14

Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center at the American Immigration Council, was recently quoted in a Caller Times article about efforts by Congress to revise the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) in order to speed up the return process for unaccompanied children from Central America.

“I think the HUMANE Act is a little bit inaptly titled,” said Mary Giovagnoli, policy director at the American Immigration Council.

Giovagnoli said federal officials are likely telling children about the advantages of voluntary return and that if they don’t have any problems, they can just go home and won’t be detained.

“A lot of these Mexican kids are probably being voluntarily returned without having any full screening that they are required to get under law to see whether or not they are a trafficking victim,” Giovagnoli said.

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Caller Times | 07/30/14

Beth Werlin, Deputy Legal Director for the American Immigration Council, discusses the recent nationwide class-action lawsuit on behalf of thousands of children who are challenging the federal government's failure to provide them with legal representation as it carries out deportation hearings against them with EbruNews.

Watch the clip below.


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EbruNews | 07/11/14

On MSNBC, Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council, pushes back against the idea that America should not protect children and women crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Watch the clip below.

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MSNBC | 07/05/14

The Immigration Policy Center's report "Two Years and Counting: Assessing the Growing Power of DACA" was cited in the NBC article "White House To Honor DACA Recipients As Champions of Change." The data from this report examines the gains made by DACA recipients over the two year since the program was announced.

"The Obama Administration issued deferred deportation as an executive order two years ago. Since that time tens of thousands of undocumented young immigrants known as DREAMers have applied and just recently became eligible to renew their two-year deportation deferments.

study released Monday by Harvard researchers Roberto Gonzálesand Angie M. Bautista-Chavez for the American Immigration Council found almost 60 percent of deferred deportation (DACA) recipients surveyed had been able to obtain new jobs, 45 percent had increased their earnings, and almost six-in-ten had obtained driver's licenses, broadening education and employment options."

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NBC | 06/16/14

The New York Times published an editorial calling for more transparency within Customs and Border Protection based on the Immigration Policy Center's report "No Action Taken: Lack of CBP Accountability in Responding to Complaints of Abuse".

The editorial stated: "If a Border Patrol agent beats, kicks, threatens or otherwise abuses you, you can file a complaint. What you can’t count on, evidently, is anything being done about it.

That is the sorry conclusion of a study released last week by the American Immigration Council, an advocacy organization in Washington. The council sought to collect data about abuse complaints against the Border Patrol — a difficult task, given the lack of transparency at Customs and Border Protection, the agency within the Department of Homeland Security to which the Border Patrol belongs.

The council had to sue under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain records of 809 complaints between January 2009 and January 2012. The accusations varied widely — of migrants kicked and stomped after being detained, struck in the face and head with flashlights and other objects, sexually groped, improperly strip-searched, verbally abused."

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New York Times | 05/11/14

The New York Times article "Complaints of Abuse by Border Agents Often Ignored, Records Show" features the Immigration Council's "No Action Taken: Lack of CBP Accountability in Responding to Complaints of Abuse" report, which examines one of the few avenues available for people to report mistreatment by Border Patrol agents - namely, the complaint system.

The report found that among cases in which a formal decision was issued, 97 percent resulted in “No Action Taken.”

“These stark findings exemplify the culture of impunity that prevails at C.B.P.,” said Melissa Crow, director of the council’s Legal Action Center. “Given the tremendous resources appropriated to C.B.P., the agency must do a better job of holding its officers accountable.”

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New York Times | 05/07/14

The Latin Times recently cited the IPC report "Understanding Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Law" in an article titled "ICE Data Says Agency Rarely Uses ‘Prosecutorial Discretion’ To Close Cases Against Immigrants".

"The Immigration Policy Center notes that discretion can be used at any stage of an immigration case, from the apprehension phase – when it comes to stopping, questioning and arresting particular people, focusing resources on certain violations or conduct, or detaining people already in police custody or under supervision – to referring cases to courts to begin deportation proceedings.  In most of the country, it appears that authorities rarely practice such discretion after proceedings are already opened: between October 2012 and March 2014, the group reports, ICE intervened to close only 6.7 percent of cases they’d earlier referred to the courts.  The percentage varied widely by region; in Tucson and Seattle, it was around 30 percent."

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Latin Times | 04/24/14

AIC Executive Director Benjamin Johnson was recently quoted in the New Republic article "Who's the Real Deporter-In-Chief: Bush or Obama?" Johnson emphasized the need to not only review deportation numbers but the results of current enforcement policies.

I don’t know why we’re having a conversation about the numbers—the question is, what are the results?” said Benjamin Johnson of the American Immigration Council. “As somebody who cares about immigration policy, it’s a weird and unfortunate construct. I think the people calling him deporter-in-chief are doing it because he’s punishing them through the immigration system.”

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New Republic | 04/17/14

An editorial by The Detroit News recently highlighted an IPC report on immigrant entrepreneurship in Michigan from a report titled "Michigan: Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Innovation, and Welcoming Initiatives". The editorial stated:

"Between 1996 and 2007, foreign-born Michiganians were three times as likely as nonimmigrants to start a new business, according to the Immigration Policy Center. And they’re six times as likely to start a high-tech firm."

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The Detroit News | 04/12/14