Most Recent Practice Advisories

September 14, 2016

This Practice Tip demystifies mandamus by explaining how and when to ask a court for this remedy when a client has been waiting too long for USCIS to make a decision.

July 27, 2016
This Practice Tip analyzes the pros and cons of appealing to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) following the denial of an employment-based visa petition.
May 25, 2016
This Practice Tip explains how practitioners can turn a Request for Evidence (RFE) into an opportunity to strengthen the administrative record through a thoughtful and thorough response.

Most Recent Litigation

The class-action lawsuit complaint alleges that Tucson Sector Border Patrol holds men, women, and children in freezing, overcrowded, and filthy cells for days at a time in violation of the U.S. Constitution and CBP’s own policies.
By regulation, USCIS must either adjudicate EAD applications within a fixed time period or issue interim employment authorization. Yet, USCIS regularly fails to do either, leaving noncitizens in a precarious position, unable to work legally and at risk of losing their jobs, related benefits and, in some states, their driver’s licenses. Since 2013, AILA has repeatedly tried to address these delays with USCIS. Nonetheless, at a meeting with USCIS headquarters in April 2015, agency representatives indicated that “USCIS no longer produces interim EADs.” Faced with increasing reports from immigration lawyers of EAD adjudication delays, the Council and several partners filed this lawsuit against USCIS and DHS.
In March 2015, the American Immigration Council, in collaboration with the Law Office of Stacy Tolchin, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, filed a class action lawsuit against CBP over its nationwide pattern and practice of failing to timely respond to requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The plaintiffs included both immigration attorneys and individuals, all of whom had FOIA requests pending for over 20 business days.

Most Recent Amicus Briefs

October 19, 2016
The Council, along with amici the University of Houston Law Center, AILA, and others, submitted a brief in response to a request from the Board of Immigration Appeals, arguing that lawful permanent residents who were initially admitted to the United States after being waved through a port of entry were eligible for cancellation of removal on the grounds that they had been “admitted in any status,” a requirement of the cancellation statute.
A waiver of removal under INA § 212(h) is not available to an individual who committed an aggravated felony within five years of having previously been "admitted" to the United States as a lawful permanent resident. The Council, with AILA, filed amicus briefs in numerous Courts of Appeals, successfully arguing that the § 212(h) bar to waiver eligibility applies only to noncitizens who were admitted in LPR status at a port of entry, as distinct from those who adjusted to LPR status post-entry.
Long used in criminal trials, motions to suppress can lead to the exclusion of evidence obtained by the government in violation of the Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, or related provisions of federal law. While the immediate purpose of filing a motion to suppress is to prevent the government from meeting its burden of proof, challenges to unlawfully obtained evidence can also deter future violations by law enforcement officers and thereby protect the rights of other noncitizens. The Supreme Court held in INS v. Lopez-Mendoza, 468 U.S. 1032 (1984), that motions to suppress evidence under the Fourth Amendment in immigration proceedings should be granted only for “egregious” violations or if violations became “widespread.” Despite this stringent standard, noncitizens have prevailed in many cases on motions to suppress.

Most Recent FOIA

These fifteen video stills were submitted as exhibits in litigation filed against Border Patrol by The American Immigration Council, the National Immigration Law Center, the ACLU of Arizona, the...

Beginning in the mid-1990s, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) began using video hearing equipment in immigration courts across the country. As a result, frequently a noncitizen facing removal is deprived of the opportunity to appear in person before an immigration judge. Video hearings are more common where a noncitizen is detained, though many non-detained individuals are subjected to video hearings as well. EOIR uses video hearings for both preliminary hearings (“master calendar hearings”) and merits hearings (“individual hearings”). In February 2012, the American Immigration Council submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to EOIR asking for records related to video teleconferencing (VTC). EOIR produced two sets of records.
On August 22, 2014, the American Immigration Council, in collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, the National Immigration Law Center, Van Der Hout Brigagliano & Nightingale LLP, and Jenner & Block, filed this lawsuit in the federal district court for the District of Columbia. The case was a systemic challenge to the policies denying a fair deportation process to mothers and children detained in the Artesia Family Residential Center who had fled extreme violence, death threats, rape, and persecution in Central America and come to the United States seeking safety.

Most Recent Advocacy

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.

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