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10/17/12 | Employment Authorization and Asylum: Strategies to Avoid Stopping the Asylum Clock

LAC Practice Advisory on Employment Authorization and Asylum:
Strategies to Avoid Stopping the Asylum Clock

 

Washington, D.C.—The Legal Action Center (LAC) released an updated practice advisory, Employment Authorization And Asylum: Strategies To Avoid Stopping The Asylum Clock.  This practice advisory provides an overview of the work authorization process for asylum applicants, addresses the operation of the “asylum clock,” which is used to track the 180-day waiting period during which an applicant cannot apply for work authorization, and discusses possible solutions to several common asylum clock problems.  The practice advisory also discusses the policies and practices the LAC and co-counsel are challenging in a class action filed on behalf of asylum applicants harmed by the asylum clock process. 

For additional resources related to the LAC’s work on employment authorization for asylum applicants, including information about the class action, visit our Asylum Clock webpage.

For a complete list of all LAC practice advisories, please visit the LAC’s website.

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For more information contact clearinghouse@immcouncil.org.

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10/01/12 | Fifth Circuit Joins Other Courts in Holding That Immigrants Can Pursue Cases From Outside the United States

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rejected the government’s ongoing attempt to bar noncitizens from seeking reopening and reconsideration of their cases from outside the United States.  Ruling in two companion cases, the court found that the “departure bar”—a regulation barring noncitizens from pursuing their cases after departure or deportation— is unlawful.  In so doing, the court adopted arguments offered by the American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center (LAC) and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) in an amicus brief to the court.  These decisions are an important step toward ensuring that all noncitizens are afforded the opportunity to fully present their cases to an immigration judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals.

In the first of the two cases, Lari v. Holder, the court struck down the departure bar in the context of a motion to reconsider.  Mr. Lari was represented by Matthew Hoppock of Dunn and Davison, LLC.  The LAC and NIPNLG filed an amicus brief and argued in support of Mr. Lari.  In the second case, Garcia Carias v. Holder, the court struck down the departure bar in the context of a motion to reopen.  Mr. Garcia Carias was represented by Boston College’s Post-Deportation Human Rights Project and Nixon Peabody LLP. 

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09/28/12 | Legal Action Center Welcomes Ninth Circuit’s Decision on Child Status Protection Act

An en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of young adults who, due to long delays caused by visa backlogs, lost the opportunity to obtain their green cards before they turned 21. In accordance with arguments made in an amicus brief submitted by the Legal Action Center and the National Immigrant Justice Center, the court held that Congress specifically remedied this problem in the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) of 2002, by allowing children who were listed on their parents’ visa petitions, but who turned 21 before a visa became available, to retain the earlier filing date of their parents’ visa petitions when new visa petitions are filed for them as adults. As the court explained, “This ensures that visas are available quickly, rather than requiring the now-adult aliens to wait many more years in a new visa line.”

The court’s ruling overturned a precedent decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals, Matter of Wang, 25 I. & N. Dec. 28 (BIA 2009), which interpreted the law as benefiting only one visa category of “aged-out” children.

The court issued its decision in two cases, one of which is a national class action. The petitioners in the two cases were represented by Reeves and Associates and the Law Offices of Carl Shusterman.

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For more information contact clearinghouse@immcouncil.org or 202-507-7516

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09/25/12 | Border Patrol Agents as Interpreters Along the Northern Border: Unwise Policy, Illegal Practice

Washington D.C. – Today, the Immigration Policy Center released Border Patrol Agents as Interpreters Along the Northern Border: Unwise Policy, Illegal Practice by Lisa Graybill, Esq.

Advocates along the Northern Border report a recent, sharp increase in the use of U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) agents to provide interpretation services to state and local law enforcement officers and emergency responders. This most often occurs when an officer or responder encounters an individual who does not speak English and proactively reaches out to USBP for assistance. But it has also occurred when USBP agents respond to an incident report in lieu of, or in addition to, local law enforcement officers.

Immigrants, their advocates, and community members are reporting—and official statistics confirm—that there are simply too many USBP agents on the ground, apparently with too much time on their hands, who lack adherence to stated priorities.

This special report lays out the problems with border patrol agents serving as translators and make recommendations intended to promote Title VI compliance, maintain the integrity of the USBP mission on the Northern Border, and protect the rights of immigrants and their families who call the Northern Border home.

To view the report in its entirety, see:

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09/17/12 | American Immigration Council Applauds Ruling Allowing Immigration Judges to Consider Evidence of Hardship

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.

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09/17/12 | AIC Applauds Ruling Allowing Immigration Judges to Consider Evidence of Hardship

American Immigration Council Applauds Ruling
Allowing Immigration Judges to Consider Evidence of Hardship

Washington, D.C.—Last Friday, 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.

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08/13/12 | Updated Practice Advisory on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

For Immediate Release

Updated Practice Advisory on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

August 13, 2012 

Washington, D.C.— The Legal Action Center (LAC) is pleased to release an updated Practice Advisory, Deferred Action for Childhood ArrivalsThis Practice Advisory analyzes DHS guidance regarding the eligibility criteria and application process for the Obama administration’s new initiative to grant deferred action to certain individuals who came to the United States as children.  It also offers strategic advice for attorneys representing individuals who may qualify for deferred action under this initiative.  The LAC issued this advisory jointly with the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.

For additional resources related to the deferred action announcement, visit the Immigration Policy Center’s website

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08/03/12 | DHS Announces Application Process for Deferred Action, IPC Provides Data on Where Eligible Individuals Reside

August 3, 2012

Washington D.C.
- Today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released important details about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process, which will temporarily allow some eligible youth to go to school and work without fear of deportation. A recent Immigration Policy Center (IPC) report, Who and Where the DREAMers Are: A Demographic Profile of Immigrants Who Might Benefit from the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action Initiative, provides the most detailed look to date at who is likely to benefit from the new program and where they are located in the country.

The IPC estimates that roughly 936,930 undocumented youth between the ages of 15 and 30 might immediately qualify to apply for the new program. The new report breaks down the deferred action-eligible population by nationality and age at the national and state level, as well as by congressional district.

Because potential applicants reside in all states and every congressional district, today’s announcement clarifying the application process sets the stage for an intense period of preparation around the country, as communities wait for the request form to be released on August 15. The DACA program is designed for young people who are under the age of 31; entered the United States before age 16; have resided in the country for at least five years as of June 15, 2012; have not been convicted of a felony, a “significant” misdemeanor, or three other misdemeanors; and are currently in school, graduated from high school, earned a GED, or served in the military.

Among the key points shared by USCIS:

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07/25/12 | How the Supreme Court Ruled on SB 1070 and What It Means for Other States

Washington, D.C.—One month ago today, the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Arizona v. United States, which invalidated three provisions of the immigration law known as “SB 1070” and left a fourth open to future challenges. More than any matter in recent history, the case settled a range of important questions regarding the role that states may play in the enforcement of federal immigration law. As a result, the ruling will affect not only SB 1070, but the fate of other state immigration laws being challenged in court and the odds of similar laws passing around the country.

Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases an updated version of its Q&A on Arizona v. United States, which discusses how the Supreme Court decided the case and what the ruling means for immigration laws in other states. As debates over the ruling continue, understanding the basis for the Court’s opinion will prove critically important in furthering a rational discussion on the implications of the decision. 

To view the Q&A Guide in its entirety, see: 

 For more information, contact Wendy Sefsaf at wsefsaf@immcouncil.org or 202- 812-2499.

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06/25/12 | Supreme Court Limits Arizona’s Overreach on Immigration, Leaves Door Open to Future Challenges

Washington D.C. - In a blow to the state anti-immigration movement, the Supreme Court ruled today that the authority to enforce immigration laws rests squarely with the federal government, limiting the role that states may play in crafting state-level answers to immigration enforcement. By a 5-3 margin, the Court struck down three of the four provisions of SB 1070 that were challenged by the Obama administration as pre-empted under federal law. While the Court agreed that Arizona’s attempt to limit immigration by creating new laws and new penalties to punish undocumented immigrants was pre-empted, it found that a provision requiring local police to investigate the legal status of suspected undocumented immigrants was not pre-empted on its face. The court read this provision very narrowly, however, leaving open the door to future lawsuits based on racial profiling and other legal violations.

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