Advocacy

September 26, 2017

The American Immigration Council, in collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC), and others...

May 25, 2017
This petition, jointly filed by the Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, seeks to provide access to legal counsel for the following individuals.
January 13, 2017
A coalition of immigrant and civil rights groups filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on behalf of numerous adult men and women, families and unaccompanied children who, over the past several months, were denied entry to the United States at ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border despite having asserted a fear of returning to their home countries or an intention to seek asylum under U.S. law.
Regarding the departure bar to motions to reopen, ineffective assistance of counsel, fair removal procedures for noncitizens with mental disabilities, and asylum clock problems.
February 14, 2012
The Council and AILA submitted comments on the USCIS Interim Memo “The Role of Private Attorneys and Other Representatives; Revisions to Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) Chapters 12 and 15; AFM Update AD11-42.” The comments recommended, among other things, that USCIS take additional steps to clarify the role of attorneys and the treatment of attorneys’ written submissions; to address continued limitations on attorney seating; to expand the requirements related to waivers of representation; and to improve the complaint process.
Addressing the BIA's affirmance without opinion process, three-member panel decisions, and precedent decisions, as well as exhaustion of administrative remedies and the scope of administrative review
August 8, 2011
In this letter, the Council and AILA urged ICE to address reports of restrictions on access to counsel in a range of interview settings. These restrictions, documented in a nation-wide survey of immigration attorneys, included complete bars to attorney presence during ICE interviews and limits on participation when attorneys are permitted to be present. Attorneys also reported that ICE officers often were antagonistic toward attorneys.

Following the Obama Administration’s February 2011 announcement that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional, AILA and the Council, joined by dozens of other organizations, urged the Administration ...

Discussing efforts in S. 744, “The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act,” to restore a measure of discretion and flexibility to the immigration system.
In this May 11, 2011 letter, the Council and AILA urged CBP to address restrictions on access to counsel. These restrictions - documented in a nation-wide survey of immigration attorneys - included limitations on attorneys’ access to their clients in secondary and deferred inspection. In instances where attorneys were able to accompany their clients, CBP officers limited the scope of representation. Attorneys also reported that CBP officers prevented attorneys from providing relevant documentation and sometimes adopted an adversarial approach.
Following the Obama Administration’s February 2011 announcement that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional, AILA and the Council, joined by dozens of other organizations, urged the Administration to adopt interim measures in immigration cases involving marriages to a lesbian or gay noncitizen. Such interim measures are needed to maintain the status quo until there is a final judicial or legislative resolution regarding Section 3 of DOMA.
In November 2009, the American Immigration Council sent a letter to the Executive Office for Immigration Review recommending steps the immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals can take to protect the right to effective assistance of counsel and help ensure that noncitizens in removal proceedings are afforded a fair hearing.
October 1, 2014
The synopsis provides a summary of CBP policies related to access to counsel, based on documents obtained through the Council’s FOIA request and litigation. The summary addresses access to counsel in inspections and CBP detention, and policies on advisals of rights and the treatment of children.
Following the Obama Administration’s February 2011 announcement that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional, AILA and the Council, joined by dozens of other organizations, urged the Administration to adopt interim measures in immigration cases involving marriages to a lesbian or gay noncitizen. Such interim measures are needed to maintain the status quo until there is a final judicial or legislative resolution regarding Section 3 of DOMA.
Urging Attorney General Holder to vacate Matter of Compean, 24 I & N Dec. 710 (A.G. 2009), which he later did in Matter of Compean, 25 I&N Dec. 1 (A.G. 2009)
The American Immigration Council and the American Immigration Lawyers Association submitted suggestions to USCIS regarding the effective implementation of the renewal process.
The Council submitted a Petition for Rulemaking to the Department of Justice and the Executive Office for Immigration Review, urging the Department to rescind the regulation barring post-departure motions to reopen.
The American Immigration Council along with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, Educators For Fair Consideration, the National Immigration Law Center, United We Dream, and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. offered comments in response to DHS’s proposed new DACA application form and instructions.
This sign-on letter expresses concerns about DHS’s implementation of the new prosecutorial discretion policy, including the agency’s failure to grant work authorization to those who receive a favorable exercise of discretion. The letter also makes recommendations to ensure that DHS fulfills its pledge to implement an effective and fair prosecutorial discretion policy nationwide.
The American Immigration Council along with American Immigration Lawyers Association, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, National Council of La Raza, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and United We Dream, submitted proposals to USCIS seeking certain modifications to the DACA Frequently Asked Questions page.

This letter to several Administration officials was submitted in response to the DHS/White House announcement on August 18, 2011 that it would form a "Prosecutorial Discretion Working Group" to...

The American Immigration Council along with American Immigration Lawyers Association, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, National Immigration Law Center, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, New York Immigration Coalition, and United We Dream, submitted proposals to USCIS seeking certain modifications to the DACA Frequently Asked Questions page.
This memorandum, which was released by the American Immigration Council and co-signed by two general counsels of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, offers an overview of the scope of executive branch authority and outlines specific steps the Administration could take to forestall removals in sympathetic cases.
The American Immigration Council, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and the National Immigration Law Center welcomed changes made by USCIS, but encouraged several additional changes to Form I-821D and the accompanying instructions to make it more understandable and accessible to DACA requesters, particularly those requesters who are unrepresented.

This letter requests written guidance setting forth detailed criteria for the favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion and the assignment of a high-level officer to monitor implementation of...

The American Immigration Council, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. jointly submitted comments addressing numerous aspects of the Form I-131 instructions including revisions to the instructions that provide guidance to DACA recipients on their eligibility for Advance Parole.
The Council, in collaboration with AILA, inter alia, urged EOIR to amend regulations pertaining to telephonic and video hearings (see page 4).

Recommendations that DHS promulgate new regulations that ensure more effective oversight over the issuance of detainers and better protection for those subject to detainers.

The Council commented on several issues addressed by the draft report, including video hearings (see page 4). ACUS’s draft report and the final recommendations, included that EOIR should consider more systemic assessments of the use of video hearings.
Reducing Regulatory Burden; Retrospective Review Under Executive Order 13563, 76 Fed. Reg. 13526 (Mar. 14, 2011)

The Council submitted comments on June 12, 2006, on the interim regulations that lifted the ban on “arriving aliens” being able to adjust their status if they are in removal proceedings.

Pertaining to regulations on motions to reopen, stays of removal, bond hearings, telephonic and video hearings, filing and service of documents and decisions, and stipulated removal orders.
January 29, 2015
The Council submitted comments in response to a request by DHS and the Department of State (DOS) for input on streamlining and improving the U.S. immigrant and nonimmigrant visa systems. In the comments, the Council recommended that DHS amend 8 C.F.R. § 292.5(b) to ensure that individuals in secondary inspection are provided with a regulatory right to counsel during their examinations, and that DOS promulgate regulations in 22 C.F.R. Part 40 to provide for meaningful access to counsel during interviews at consular posts.
Addressing representation, stipulated removal orders , prosecutorial discretion, video hearings, and the asylum clock.
In this March 24, 2011 letter, the Council and AILA urged USCIS to address reports of widespread and recurrent restrictions on access to counsel. These restrictions, documented in a nation-wide survey (http://www.aila.org/infonet/final-results-attorney-representation-before-dhs) of immigration attorneys, included limitations on attorneys’ ability to communicate with their clients, restrictions on attorney seating during USCIS interviews, and limitations on attorneys’ ability to submit documents to the interviewing officer.
Addressing access to counsel, effective assistance of counsel, protections for noncitizens lacking mental competency, the employment authorization employment clock, and the departure bar to motions to reopen.
June 14, 2011
The Council and AILA provided recommendations for changes to the USCIS Adjudicator's Field Manual (AFM) to better safeguard the attorney's role in USCIS interviews. These recommendations were in response to a request from USCIS to present specific recommendations for changes to USCIS guidance on access to counsel.
April 29, 2011
President Obama’s insistence that his “hands are tied” by Congressional inaction on immigration has raised questions about how much executive power the President has when it comes to immigration. To...
December 17, 2010
It Is Time For Congress To Take Action And Reform Our Nation’s Immigration Laws: A Plea From America’s Scholars

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