Immigration Benefits and Relief

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Publication Date: 
October 3, 2013
One requirement of the age-preservation formula of the CSPA is that the beneficiary must have “sought to acquire” lawful permanent resident status within one year of the visa becoming available. INA § 203(h)(1). The Council’s amicus brief argued for a more expansive interpretation of “sought to acquire” than the BIA’s interpretation in Matter of O. Vasquez, 25 I&N Dec. 817 (BIA 2012). On July 23, 2014, the court issued a decision upholding the Board’s interpretation but remanding the case after finding that, under the facts presented, the retroactive application of Matter of O. Vasquez to the petitioner would work a manifest injustice. Velasquez-Garcia v. Holder, 760 F.3d 571 (7th Cir. 2014).
The complaint, co-filed with the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project, Gibbs Houston Pauw, and the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, was submitted on behalf of a class of untold numbers of asylum applicants wrongfully denied work authorization due to unlawful agency policies and practices. The settlement agreed to by the parties was approved by the Court and applies to the entire class.
Publication Date: 
September 3, 2008
Following DHS's adoption of an interim regulation that gave USCIS jurisdiction over the adjustment application of an "arriving alien" in removal proceedings, the Council filed amicus briefs with the BIA and Federal Courts challenging the BIA's general refusal to reopen removal proceedings so that an "arriving alien" with an unexecuted final order could adjust with USCIS. The BIA rejected our arguments in Matter of Yauri, 25 I&N Dec. 103 (BIA 2009). Meanwhile, however, USCIS made clear that it retained jurisdiction over these cases despite the final order.
Publication Date: 
February 24, 2005
The Council filed amicus briefs in numerous courts of appeals challenging the pre-2005 regulatory bar to adjustment of status for “arriving aliens” in removal proceedings. Several courts accepted our arguments that the regulation violated the adjustment of status statute. Succar v. Ashcroft, 394 F.3d 8 (1st Cir. 2005); Zheng v. Gonzales, 422 F.3d 98 (3d Cir. 2005); Bona v. Ashcroft, 425 F.3d 663 (9th Cir. 2005). Ultimately, DHS withdrew the challenged regulation and replaced it with one providing USCIS with jurisdiction to adjust the status of an "arriving alien" in removal proceedings. 71 Fed. Reg. 27585 (2006). The amicus brief filed in Bona v. Ashcroft is representative of the briefs filed in other circuits.
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.

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 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.

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 ...

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.
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.
December 1, 2021

A lesser-known group of young people who grew up in the United States with immigration status—typically the children of noncitizens who entered the U.S. on temporary work visas—is increasingly at...

November 12, 2021

U.S. workers are losing their jobs due to bureaucratic delays at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), despite an economy desperate for workers. Asylum seekers wanting to renew their...

November 5, 2021

Annual limits on immigrant visa numbers, combined with processing delays and wasted numbers, mean even longer waits for people to become U.S. permanent residents. In November, the “cut off” date...

September 27, 2021

The Biden administration followed through on its Day One promise to create a new regulation to “preserve and fortify” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative (DACA) on September 27....

July 19, 2021

Nearly a decade after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to provide protections to undocumented immigrants brought here as...

July 16, 2021

Attorney General Merrick Garland vacated Matter of Castro-Tum on July 15, reviving a key tool to help judges prioritize cases in the overburdened immigration court system and allow people facing...

June 15, 2021

My name is Hali Calzadillas-Andujo and I’m originally from Chihuahua, Mexico. I first came to the United States with my mother and siblings when I was eight years old. I didn’t even know what it...

April 29, 2021

When President Biden took office, he inherited a legal immigration system that was teetering on the brink of collapse. Delays within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have reached...

March 25, 2021

By the end of the Trump presidency, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) was all but destroyed. The former administration had attempted to end crucial protections for the hundreds of thousands of...

March 18, 2021

The U.S. House of Representatives passed two immigration bills on March 18, signaling that Congress might finally enact major immigration reform for the first time in over three decades. These...

February 21, 2018
The American Immigration Council, joined by several other immigration groups, submitted an amicus brief that argues that due process requires an impartial adjudicator and that Sessions’ anti-immigrant statements and actions prevent him from acting as one. The brief lays out Sessions’ decades-long public record of anti-immigrant statements, including specific statements evidencing prejudgment of issues in the case, and urges Sessions to either vacate the referral order or recuse himself from the case.
October 8, 2017
The White House released its long anticipated, "Immigration Principles and Policies," which lay out many of the already-stated aspirations of the Trump administration on immigration. The laundry list represents a wholesale attack on immigration and immigrants. It includes not only limits on immigration generally, but enables mass deportations and envisions bypassing necessary procedures that protect children and asylum seekers.
July 19, 2017
U.S. District Court Judge James Robert granted a motion to certify a nationwide class in Northwest Immigrant Rights Project v. USCIS, recognizing that USCIS must adjudicate asylum seekers’ employment authorization applications within 30 days if they are submitted in a timely manner.
January 30, 2017
The lawsuit is filed on behalf of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents who have filed visa petitions for their immediate family members who are nationals of the seven countries.
June 23, 2016

Washington D.C. - Today, the Supreme Court issued a 4-4 decision in United States v.

April 18, 2016

Washington D.C. - Today, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in United States v. Texas.

June 10, 2015

Washington D.C.– Last Friday, three immigrants and two immigration service providers filed a nationwide class action lawsuit against U.S.

May 26, 2015

Washington D.C. - In a disappointing decision, a divided panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals today  denied  the federal government’s request for an emergency stay of a preliminary in

February 23, 2023

A recent policy change by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) should reduce the number of children who age out of green card eligibility. For immigration purposes, a “child” means...

January 26, 2023

Many families in the United States live in a frightening limbo when processing delays prevent one family member from becoming a lawful permanent resident.  A lawsuit was recently filed against U.S...

January 24, 2023
A group of immigrants filed a federal class action lawsuit in Seattle against U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), challenging bureaucratic logjams that have left them in a multi-year limbo.
This Lawsuit seeks an end to processing delays that prevent immigrants from becoming lawful permanent residents. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has already approved these immigrant petitions filed by their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family member.
January 17, 2023

On January 3, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) finally published a new proposed fee schedule for immigration benefits—which is to say, it took an important step to becoming a...

December 5, 2022
In response to news of a new bi-partisan framework of immigration reform compromises from Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) —the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Immigration Council issued the following statement.
November 1, 2022

While it seems like all eyes are on the states that could determine the outcome of this year’s midterm elections, it’s important to remember that the consequences of November 8 will extend beyond...

October 20, 2022

After months of waiting for decisions on the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth are back to where they started—waiting...

October 11, 2022

On September 28, Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) introduced a bill in Congress that would allow millions of immigrants who have lived in the United States for many years to become Lawful Permanent...

October 7, 2022

Written by Jorge Loweree and Raul Pinto of the American Immigration Council More than a decade after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) first created the Deferred Action for Childhood...

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