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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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06/15/12 | Dream Come True: Obama Administration Announces Relief for DREAMers

Washington. D.C. - The American Immigration Council applauds today’s announcement by the Obama administration that it will grant deferred action to undocumented youth who were brought to the United States as small children and who have been raised and educated in communities around the country. Today's announcement builds on the prosecutorial discretion initiatives already undertaken by the White House and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and was done to ensure that eligible young people do not fall through the cracks, that resources are used wisely, and that humanitarian factors are considered when enforcing our immigration laws.

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06/13/12 | LAC Practice Advisory on Dent v. Holder and Obtaining Documents While in Removal Proceedings

Practice Advisory on Dent v. Holder and Obtaining Documents from
the Government While in Removal Proceedings

Washington, D.C.—The Legal Action Center (LAC) is pleased to announce the issuance of a new Practice Advisory, Dent v. Holder and Strategies for Obtaining Documents from the Government During Removal Proceedings.

In Dent v. Holder, the Ninth Circuit found that the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires the government to turn over copies of documents in a respondent’s Alien File (A-file) in cases where removability is contested. Significantly, the court held that the respondent’s access to his or her records is not conditioned on filing a request under the Freedom of Information Act. This Practice Advisory discusses the Ninth Circuit’s decision and offers strategies for making document requests pursuant to the INA and due process, both in the Ninth Circuit, where Dent is binding authority, as well as outside the Ninth Circuit. 

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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06/11/12 | The American Immigration Council Honors Immigrant Achievement in Music at the 2012 American Heritage Awards

Washington D.C. - The American Immigration Council is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 American Heritage Awards. The Awards celebrate the remarkable accomplishments of immigrants to America and this year we recognize immigrant achievement in music. The Council will celebrate the honorees and enjoy live performances on Friday, June 15, 2012, in Nashville, Tennessee during the Council’s Annual Benefit and as part of the American Immigration Lawyers Association's Annual Conference.

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