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08/01/14 | Groups Ask Court to Block Deportation Hearings for Children Without Legal Representation

Washington D.C. – The American Immigration Council, American Civil Liberties Union, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Public Counsel, and K&L Gates LLP have asked a federal court to immediately block the government from pursuing deportation proceedings against several children unless it ensures those youth have legal representation. The move comes as immigration courts are speeding up deportation hearings against children in an expedited process sometimes referred to as a "rocket docket."

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08/01/14 | Groups Ask Federal Court to Block Deportation Hearings for Children Without Lawyers

Washington D.C. – The American Immigration Council, American Civil Liberties Union, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Public Counsel, and K&L Gates LLP have asked a federal court to immediately block the government from pursuing deportation proceedings against several children unless it ensures those youth have legal representation. The move comes as immigration courts are speeding up deportation hearings against children in an expedited process sometimes referred to as a "rocket docket."

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07/30/14 | The U.S. Must Not Lower the Bar on Protecting Children Fleeing Violence

Washington D.C. - The humanitarian challenge posed by the arrival of thousands of unaccompanied children and young families at our southern border has once again ignited passions over the role immigration plays in our country. Rather than respond to the arrival of children and young families as refugees fleeing violence and crime, and appropriately fund our ability to prioritize the health and well-being of these individuals, Washington has yet again become mired in anti-immigration rhetoric. As the Senate and House take up supplemental funding bills, this debate is likely to involve numerous attacks on existing protections for children, including rolling back the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), accelerating court proceedings to limit the due process available to children, and other measures that will in essence blame the children for needing protection.

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07/29/14 | Court Approves Settlement in Duran Gonzalez v. DHS; Webinar Tomorrow

Last week, the federal district court issued its final approval of a settlement agreement in a long pending Ninth Circuit-wide class action, Duran Gonzalez v. DHS.  This case involves eligibility for adjustment of status under INA § 245(i) (with an accompanying I-212 waiver application) for individuals who previously were removed and subsequently entered the country without admission.  After nearly eight years of litigation, we are pleased to announce that certain individuals with longstanding ties to the United States will have the opportunity to apply for lawful permanent resident status in the United States.  The class is represented by the American Immigration Council, along with co-counsel from Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, the Law Offices of Stacy Tolchin, and Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP.

The settlement agreement provides remedies for certain individuals with retroactivity claims who applied for adjustment of status in the Ninth Circuit on or after August 13, 2004 and on or before November 30, 2007, including some class members with reinstatement orders and/or who are outside the United States. 

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07/09/14 | Groups Sue Federal Government over Failure to Provide Legal Representation for Children

Washington D.C. –  The American Civil Liberties Union, American Immigration Council, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Public Counsel, and K&L Gates LLP today filed a 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.

Each year, the government initiates immigration court proceedings against thousands of children. Some of these youth grew up in the United States and have lived in the country for years, and many have fled violence and persecution in their home countries. The Obama Administration even recently called an influx of children coming across the Southern border a "humanitarian situation." And yet, thousands of children required to appear in immigration court each year do so without an attorney. This case seeks to remedy this unacceptable practice.

"If we believe in due process for children in our country, then we cannot abandon them when they face deportation in our immigration courts," said Ahilan Arulanantham, senior staff attorney with the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project and the ACLU Foundation of Southern California. "The government pays for a trained prosecutor to advocate for the deportation of every child. It is patently unfair to force children to defend themselves alone."

The plaintiffs in this case include:

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06/30/14 | New Practice Advisory Regarding Notices to Appear

The American Immigration Council, ABA Commission on Immigration and Penn State Law’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights are pleased to announce the release of the practice advisory, Notices to Appear:  Legal Challenges and Strategies.

The Notice to Appear is the charging document used by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to notify a noncitizen about immigration charges and a future immigration court hearing. Filing a Notice to Appear (“NTA”) with the immigration court places an individual in a removal proceeding before a judge and is a significant step in the removal process. Various officials within the three major immigration-related components of the Department of Homeland Security — Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) — are empowered to issue NTAs, which trigger removal proceedings in immigration court. At various points after an NTA is issued, an attorney may negotiate with DHS to obtain a favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion. DHS has discretion either to file the NTA with the court, thus going forward with removal proceedings, to drop or revise certain charges, or to cancel the NTA and thus end the removal proceedings. After the NTA is filed, DHS can exercise discretion through a joint motion asking the judge to administratively close or terminate proceedings. The decisions made by DHS about Notices to Appear are not just ministerial, but can impact the lives of noncitizens and their families in significant ways.

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06/30/14 | America Must Uphold Its Obligations to Protect Children and Families Fleeing Persecution

Washington D.C. - As the numbers of unaccompanied minors and mothers with children crossing our southern border grows, the U.S. government faces a critical test of its historic commitment to protect those fleeing violence and persecution. How we respond will signal to the world whether our commitment to due process and the protection of refugees is real or illusory, and it could have a profound effect on how other countries around the world respond to our call to deal fairly and humanely to refugee crises in places like Syria and the Sudan.

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06/05/14 | District Court Rules Grant of TPS Is an Admission for Adjustment of Status Purposes

Washington, D.C.The American Immigration Council welcomes last week’s ruling by the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, which held that a noncitizen’s grant of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) qualifies as “inspection and admission” into the United States. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, inspection and admission are eligibility requirements for lawful permanent residence (LPR). Jesus Ramirez, the plaintiff in Ramirez v Dougherty, was granted TPS in 2001 following the devastating earthquake in El Salvador, his home country, and has renewed this status ever since. He now seeks to become an LPR on the basis of his marriage to a United States citizen. The American Immigration Council and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) filed an amicus curiae brief in the case, and subsequently NWIRP became counsel for the plaintiff.

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05/30/14 | Customs and Border Protection Releases Long-Awaited Review and Use-of-Force Policy

Washington D.C. - Today, after numerous formal and informal requests from border advocates and a lawsuit, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released a 2013 report by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a nonprofit research organization, analyzing the agency’s use-of-force policies and practices. CBP commissioned the report after receiving inquiries from sixteen Members of Congress following a series of deaths during encounters with CBP personnel. CBP also released its new Use of Force Policy, Guidelines and Procedures Handbook. 

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05/22/14 | Immigration Council Urges Broad Interpretation of § 212(h) Hardship Waiver

On May 19, 2014, the American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) filed an amicus curiae brief urging the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to rehear Roberts v. Holder, 745 F.3d 928 (8th Cir. 2014). In that case, the court narrowly interpreted the hardship waiver found in INA § 212(h), thus depriving many lawful permanent residents (LPR) of the opportunity to apply for this waiver.  The Immigration Council and AILA urge the court to withdraw this decision and instead, to join the six other courts of appeals which have interpreted the waiver more broadly.  In doing so, the court would ensure that the class of deserving LPRs whom Congress intended to benefit are able to apply – and be considered – for the waiver.  Read more about the Immigration Council’s work on this issue here.

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For more information, email clearinghouse@immcouncil.org

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