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Press Releases and Statements

AILA: Ending NSEERS Closes Dark Chapter in U.S. History

12/22/2016
AILA welcomed the rescission of the regulatory framework for the discriminatory National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), with AILA President William A. Stock noting that it “wasted millions of taxpayer dollars and caused unnecessary harm to thousands.”
AILA Doc. No. 16122203

Lawsuit Seeks Transparency in CBP Admission Procedures

12/19/2016
AILA, represented by the American Immigration Council and Foley & Lardner LLP, filed a lawsuit to compel U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and to request release of the CBP Officer’s Reference Tool (ORT).
AILA Doc. No. 16121953

AILA Welcomes Bipartisan Bill to Protect DREAMers

12/9/2016
AILA welcomed the introduction of the “Bar Removal of Immigrants who Dream and Grow the Economy” or BRIDGE Act, a bipartisan bill authored by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) intended to offer temporary protection from deportation and a work permit for DACA-eligible individuals.
AILA Doc. No. 16120901

CARA Family Detention Project Lauds Ruling to Deny Child Care Licensing to Immigration Detention Centers

12/8/2016
The CARA Family Detention Project highlights Texas Judge Karin Crump’s ruling that childcare licenses could not be issued for the Karnes City and Dilley, Texas, family detention centers. While the government has appealed her decision, the CARA project partners call for the end to family detention.
AILA Doc. No. 16120830

Concerns Raised Regarding Attorney General Nominee’s Positions

11/18/2016
AILA raised concerns about the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, with AILA President Bill Stock noting that the role “has a tremendous impact within our justice system, including responsibility for administration of the immigration courts throughout the United States.”
AILA Doc. No. 16111815

AILA: The Time is Now to Move Away from the Negative Rhetoric and Commit to Real Immigration Reform

11/9/2016
AILA called upon President-elect Trump to unify our nation, turn away from the divisive campaign rhetoric on immigration, and work together on immigration reform. AILA also affirmed its commitment “to defending the Constitution and standing up against laws and policies that violate due process.”
AILA Doc. No. 16110960

Federal Government Must Adopt Own Advisory Committee’s Recommendations and End Family Detention

10/8/2016
AILA, the Council, and CLINIC welcomed the unanimous conclusion from the DHS Advisory Committee on Family Residential Centers that “detention is generally neither appropriate nor necessary for families” and urged DHS to adopt the recommendations immediately.
AILA Doc. No. 16100800

AILA: SCOTUS Denies Rehearing in Deferred Action Case Leaving Millions of Immigrants Out in the Cold

10/3/2016
AILA is disappointed with today’s Supreme Court decision denying the request for a rehearing in United States v. Texas; AILA President Bill Stock noted, “the Supreme Court has once again allowed state governments to block federal policy initiatives with which they disagree.”
AILA Doc. No. 16100304

AILA: Government’s Plan to Resume Haitian Removals Could Endanger Asylum Seekers and Vulnerable Immigrants

9/22/2016
AILA expressed serious concerns about the decision by DHS and ICE to resume regular deportations of Haitians; AILA President Bill Stock noted that “the decision to recommence removals to Haiti is impossible to reconcile with recent official recognition of the ongoing humanitarian crisis there.”
AILA Doc. No. 16092206

National Academies Report Underscores Immense Economic Importance of Immigrants to America

9/22/2016
Welcoming a new report on immigration from the National Academies, AILA President Bill Stock noted it confirms decades of research, and “what most Americans have always known” that immigrants who come to America “share our ideals and values and contribute to our communities, society, and economy.”
AILA Doc. No. 16092202

AILA’s 10th Annual Citizenship Day Will Help Thousands

9/14/2016
AILA is proud to sponsor the 10th annual Citizenship Day on 9/17/16; the event, a partnership with the NALEO Educational Fund, brings together AILA attorneys across the country, along with other advocates, to provide assistance as lawful permanent residents seek to naturalize.
AILA Doc. No. 16091499

AILA: Trump Immigration Policy Unworkable and Inhumane

9/1/2016
AILA expressed deep concern over Donald Trump’s immigration platform which “reflected a lack of understanding of immigration law, a disregard for fundamental rights of due process guaranteed by the Constitution, and a failure to appreciate the valuable contributions that immigrants make.”
AILA Doc. No. 16090164

AILA: New Business Immigration Rule Takes Step Toward Welcoming Entrepreneurs

8/26/2016
AILA welcomed the issuance of a proposed rule from USCIS on immigrant entrepreneurs with AILA President Bill Stock noting that this step is one that “AILA has been advocating for years as we saw countless missed opportunities for entrepreneurs due to outdated immigration laws.”
AILA Doc. No. 16082676

AILA Urges DHS to Follow DOJ Lead and End Use of Private Prisons

8/18/2016
In light of the Department of Justice’s announcement that it will sharply scale back the use of private prisons, AILA President Bill Stock urged the Department of Homeland Security to follow suit, saying “there is no justification for continuing their use in the immigration system.”
AILA Doc. No. 16081830

As Detained Mothers Continue Hunger Strike, AILA Urges Administration to End Family Detention

8/12/2016
Twenty-two mothers being held with their children for months in the Berks family detention center began a hunger strike this week; AILA President William A. Stock urged an end to family detention, noting, “These brave mothers are putting their health at risk to draw attention to injustice.”
AILA Doc. No. 16081214

Court Rejects Government Attempt to Categorically Redact Names of IJs

8/1/2016
AILA President William A. Stock hailed an appellate court ruling in a FOIA lawsuit against EOIR, saying “This case has always been about ensuring that any allegations of misconduct are addressed in a meaningful way and that judges are held accountable for their actions.”
AILA Doc. No. 16080104

AILA Welcomes Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver Expansion

7/29/2016
AILA welcomed USCIS’ final rule expanding the class of individuals who are eligible to apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver; AILA President Bill Stock said that AILA “will continue to work with our 14,000 members and with USCIS to ensure that the program lives up to its intended spirit.”

AILA: U.S. Expands Protection for Refugees South of U.S. Border But Continues Harsh Treatment of Asylum Seekers at the Border

7/26/2016
AILA welcomed the Obama administration’s announcement expanding opportunities for refugees in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to seek protection, but continued to challenge the White House to stop the aggressive enforcement, detention, and deportation of asylum seekers arriving at U.S. borders.
AILA Doc. No. 16072610

AILA: Government Requests Rehearing of Deferred Action Case

7/18/2016
AILA commented on the Department of Justice’s request for the Supreme Court to rehear the United States v. Texas case when a ninth Supreme Court justice is confirmed, urging that the Court rehear the case.
AILA Doc. No. 16071808

AILA Welcomes Legislation Designed to Protect Refugees

7/14/2016
AILA welcomes the introduction of the Refugee Protection Act of 2016 in both the House and Senate; the bill includes provisions to address many of the severe, longstanding problems in the U.S. refugee and asylum systems.
AILA Doc. No. 16071402

Court Again Rules Against Federal Government’s Efforts to Detain Children

7/7/2016
AILA and the American Immigration Council commented on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision affirming that the Flores Settlement Agreement governs the custody and release of all immigrant children, and that the Obama administration’s family detention practices violate that agreement.
AILA Doc. No. 16070705

AILA: Senate Retread of Bad Legislation Would Undermine Public Safety and Harm Communities

7/6/2016
AILA President William A. Stock urged lawmakers to oppose two bills, S. 3100 and S. 2193, noting, “At a time when our country desperately needs bipartisan leadership from Congress on immigration reform, these two bills are emblematic of why we still don’t have a workable system.”
AILA Doc. No. 16070603

AILA Welcomes Senate Introduction of the Secure the Northern Triangle Act

6/29/2016
AILA welcomes the introduction in the Senate of the Secure the Northern Triangle Act, S.B. 3106, a bill designed to provide a plan to manage the humanitarian crisis in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras and to improve access to asylum and other protections for those fleeing violence in the region.
AILA Doc. No. 16062933

AILA Elects New Officers; William A. Stock to Serve as President of Association

6/23/2016
AILA today elected new officers to its Executive Committee for the 2016-2017 term during AILA’s Annual Conference in Las Vegas, NV. William A. Stock was installed as AILA’s President.
AILA Doc. No. 16062337

AILA Releases Fourth Edition of Essentials of Immigration Law

6/23/2016
AILA is proud to release the fourth edition of Essentials of Immigration Law by Richard A. Boswell at the 2016 AILA Annual Conference, a resource that AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson notes offers “solid grounding in an extremely complex area of law.”
AILA Doc. No. 16062335

AILA Releases New Edition of Kurzban’s Immigration Law Sourcebook

6/23/2016
On the release of the 15th edition of Kurzban’s Immigration Law Sourcebook, AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson noted, “This reference is the foundation upon which entire practices are built.”
AILA Doc. No. 16062333

AILA: Divided Supreme Court Leaves Millions of Immigrant Families in Limbo

6/23/2016
AILA responded to the Supreme Court’s 4-4 deadlock in United States v. Texas with AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson noting, “Though today’s decision is disappointing, we must remember that this is not the end of the road for these incredibly important programs.”
AILA Doc. No. 16062332

Free Legal Consultations from Immigration Attorneys During AILA’s Annual Conference in Las Vegas

6/21/2016
On June 25, 2016, AILA and its partners will offer free immigration law consultations in Las Vegas, NV, at AILA’s sixth annual Pro Bono Clinic; dozens of immigration attorneys will be available to answer questions and assist immigrants with the naturalization process.
AILA Doc. No. 16062135

AILA Presents Thomas Edward Moseley with the 2016 Jack Wasserman Memorial Award

6/20/2016
AILA will award Thomas Edward Moseley, of Newark, NJ, with the 2016 Jack Wasserman Memorial Award for excellence in litigation in the field of immigration law.
AILA Doc. No. 16062039

AILA Recognizes Alexandra Kennedy with the 2016 Sam Williamson Mentor Award

6/20/2016
AILA will recognize Alexandra Kennedy of Seattle, WA, with the 2016 Sam Williamson Mentor Award in acknowledgment of her outstanding efforts and excellent counsel to immigration attorneys by providing mentoring assistance.
AILA Doc. No. 16062038

AILA Presents Howard “Sam” Myers, III, with the 2016 Susan D. Quarles AILA Service Excellence Award

6/20/2016
AILA will award Howard “Sam” Myers, III, of Minneapolis, MN, with the 2016 Susan D. Quarles AILA Service Excellence Award in recognition of his outstanding service, over a period of years, in advancing the mission, development, and value of AILA for its members and the public it serves.
AILA Doc. No. 16062037

AILA Presents Elanie Cintron with the 2016 Joseph Minsky Young Lawyer Award

6/20/2016
AILA will award Elanie Cintron, of Denver, CO, with the 2016 Joseph Minsky Young Lawyer Award for her outstanding contributions in the field of immigration and nationality law.
AILA Doc. No. 16062036

AILA Presents Agencia EFE reporter Paula Diaz with the 2016 Media Leadership Award

6/20/2016
AILA will award Agencia EFE reporter Paula Diaz, with the 2016 Media Leadership Award in recognition of the individual whose efforts in the media most accurately depict immigration and immigrants.
AILA Doc. No. 16062035

AILA Presents the 2016 Michael Maggio Memorial Pro Bono Award to the Mesa Verde Pro Bono Project and to Adam Rosser

6/20/2016
AILA will award the 2016 Michael Maggio Memorial Pro Bono Award for outstanding efforts in pro bono representation in the immigration field to the Mesa Verde Pro Bono Project for services to detainees held at the Mesa Verde Detention Facility, and to Adam Rosser, for his work with Syrian refugees.
AILA Doc. No. 16062034

AILA Presents Karen T. Grisez with the 2016 Edith Lowenstein Memorial Award

6/20/2016
AILA will award Karen T. Grisez of Washington, DC, with the 2016 Edith Lowenstein Memorial Award for excellence in advancing the practice of immigration law.
AILA Doc. No. 16062033

AILA Presents Mitra Ebadolahi and James Duff Lyall with the 2016 Arthur C. Helton Memorial Human Rights Award

6/20/2016
AILA will award Mitra Ebadolahi and James Duff Lyall of the ACLU Border Litigation Project with the 2016 Arthur C. Helton Memorial Human Rights Award for outstanding service in advancing the cause of human rights.
AILA Doc. No. 16062032

AILA Presents Hiroko Kusuda with the 2016 Elmer Fried Excellence in Teaching Award

6/20/2016
AILA will award Hiroko Kusuda of the Loyola Law Clinic in New Orleans, LA, with the 2016 Elmer Fried Excellence in Teaching Award for outstanding professor in the area of immigration law.
AILA Doc. No. 16062031

AILA Presents Kathleen M. Vannucci and Sandra Feist with the 2016 Advocacy Award

6/20/2016
AILA will award Kathleen M. Vannucci of Chicago, IL, and Sandra Feist, of Minneapolis, MN, with the 2016 Advocacy Award for outstanding efforts in support of AILA’s legislative agenda.
AILA Doc. No. 16062030

AILA Details Necessary Steps to Guarantee Due Process to Refugees and Asylum Seekers

6/15/2016
In a statement highlighting the release of AILA’s new Due Process Denied report, AILA President Victor Nieblas Pradis noted, “The response thus far from the Obama Administration to the refugee situation in Central America has been abysmal...We can, and must, do better than this.”
AILA Doc. No. 16061567

AILA Statement on “The H-2B Temporary Foreign Worker Program: Examining the Effects on Americans’ Job Opportunities and Wages” Hearing

6/8/2016
AILA submitted a statement regarding a Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest hearing entitled “The H-2B Temporary Foreign Worker Program: Examining the Effects on Americans’ Job Opportunities and Wages.”
AILA Doc. No. 16060808

AILA Welcomes Torey Carter-Conneen as Deputy Director of Finance and Operations

6/1/2016
Torey Carter-Conneen will join AILA as Deputy Director of Finance and Operations on June 6, 2016; he will serve as a critical member of the senior management team and will work with AILA’s elected leadership in implementing the strategic vision and planning for the organization.
AILA Doc. No. 16060108

Federal Government Steps Up Efforts to Deport Central American Mothers and Children without Due Process

5/25/2016
In this statement, CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project Managing Attorney Katie Shepherd highlights one of the 16 families picked up by ICE in recent arrests and slated for removal; sadly this family was deported before having had a meaningful chance to make claims for protection.
AILA Doc. No. 16052511

AILA Statement on the Markup of H.R. 5203 in the House Judiciary Committee

5/25/2016
AILA submitted a statement regarding the markup of H.R. 5203, the “Visa Integrity and Security Act of 2016” in the House Judiciary Committee highlighting the fact that the bill “would bring our immigration visa system to a grinding halt.”
AILA Doc. No. 16052500

Lawsuit Seeks Transparency in H-1B Lottery Process

5/23/2016
The American Immigration Council and AILA have teamed up on a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) seeking information about the government’s administration of the H-1B lottery.
AILA Doc. No. 16052301

Mothers and Children Detained in Violation of Court Order Plead for Freedom

5/19/2016
Pleading for an end to their imprisonment, 69 mothers who have been detained with their children at the South Texas Family Residential Center, an immigration detention facility in Dilley, Texas, wrote a public letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
AILA Doc. No. 16051907

AILA: Shameful Escalation of ICE Raids is Misdirected at Vulnerable Families and Engenders a Culture of Fear

5/12/2016
Responding to confirmed reports that immigration authorities are planning another surge of arrests aimed at families and unaccompanied children across the nation, AILA President Victor Nieblas Pradis joined AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson in condemning the raids.
AILA Doc. No. 16051205

CARA: Government Continues to Undermine Access to Counsel and Due Process for Children and Mothers Seeking Protection in the U.S.

5/12/2016
The CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project shared additional evidence that the federal government and private prison companies are failing to provide child care adequate to ensure access to counsel and meaningful representation as a Texas agency considers licensing the Dilley center.
AILA Doc. No. 16051203

Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Executive Branch’s Immigration Powers

4/18/2016
AILA President Victor Nieblas Pradis commented on the oral arguments heard today in United States v. Texas noting, “AILA is confident that on the law and facts at issue in this case, it is increasingly clear that there is ample authority and precedent for the president to take these steps.”
AILA Doc. No. 16041830

AILA: Despite Avalanche of H-1B Petitions, Outdated Cap Means American Economy is Still Missing Out

4/7/2016
AILA President Victor Nieblas Pradis commented on the H-1B visa cap being reached and that a lottery will be held again noting, “Each petition not selected is a business need unfulfilled and a growth opportunity that is delayed or thwarted.”
AILA Doc. No. 16040731

One Year Later - Immigrants’ Rights Groups Providing Pro Bono Legal Services to Families Detained in Texas Continue Vital Work

3/31/2016
The CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project marked its one-year anniversary and highlighted the generosity of more than 700 volunteers who combined donated more than $6.75 million in pro bono work in the past year helping nearly 8,000 families start the process of seeking asylum.
AILA Doc. No. 16033162

Obama Administration Continues to Detain Traumatized Mothers and Children Who Fled Violence

3/29/2016
The CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project filed a formal complaint and called for a comprehensive investigation into the psychological and physiological impact that family detention is having on children and mothers, as well as the due process violations that occur as a result.
AILA Doc. No. 16032962

CARA OCRCL Complaint: Ongoing Concerns Regarding the Detention and Fast-Track Removal of Detained Children and Mothers Experiencing Symptoms of Trauma

3/29/2016
The CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project filed a formal complaint with the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and the Office of Inspector General to register ongoing concerns regarding the detention of traumatized mothers and children in ICE family detention centers.
AILA Doc. No. 16032961

AILA Commends Reintroduction of Family Reunification Bill

3/17/2016
AILA commends Congressman Mike Honda (D-CA) for reintroducing the Reuniting Families Act which would recognize the longstanding and cherished American value of family unity.
AILA Doc. No. 16031760

AILA: Federal Government Continues Unnecessarily Harsh Enforcement Tactics Harming Families and Communities

3/11/2016
AILA President Victor Nieblas stated, “DHS enforcement policies involving women and children seeking asylum at our borders violate due process, repudiate our fundamental values of fairness and justice, and have sown widespread fear and turmoil in communities, schools and churches nationwide.”
AILA Doc. No. 16031107

AILA Joins Brief Urging Supreme Court to Uphold Executive Branch’s Immigration Powers

3/8/2016
AILA joined a multitude of stakeholders urging the U.S. Supreme Court to affirm the executive branch’s authority over immigration issues; oral arguments in the case, United States vs. Texas, are scheduled for April 18, 2016, and a decision is expected later in June 2016.
AILA Doc. No. 16030871

AILA Applauds House Access to Counsel Legislation

2/26/2016
In response to the introduction of the “Fair Day in Court for Kids Act” in the House of Representatives, AILA President Victor Nieblas Pradis noted that the bill would, “stop the injustice of forcing vulnerable individuals to face deportation without counsel.”
AILA Doc. No. 16022600

Immigrant Rights Organizations Argue Against Government’s Inhumane Family Detention Policies

2/25/2016
The four CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project partners joined with other immigrant rights organizations in an amicus brief explaining how the government has misinterpreted the Flores settlement and failed to comply with Judge Dolly Gee's August 2015 ruling in the case.
AILA Doc. No. 16022500

AILA Welcomes Introduction of Access to Counsel Legislation

2/11/2016
AILA welcomed the introduction of the “Fair Day in Court for Kids Act of 2016” AILA President Victor Nieblas Pradis noted, “This legislation would go a long way toward ensuring a measure of fairness and due process in the immigration system for the most vulnerable.”
AILA Doc. No. 16021103

Families Detained for Months on End Plead for Their Freedom

2/10/2016
Thirty mothers detained with their children at the Berks Family Detention Center in Pennsylvania wrote a letter to the media pleading for their freedom. The mothers write that they came to the U.S. seeking refuge, and that they want their prolonged and cruel detention to be known.
AILA Doc. No. 16021014

Eight of Twelve Families Targeted by ICE Have Been Released

2/9/2016
After being held in detention for more than a month by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), eight families rounded up by ICE at the beginning of January have finally been released from detention while their cases proceed.
AILA Doc. No. 16020960

Media Advisory: Lawsuit Filed to Uncover Government Policies on Deportation Procedures for Recent Central American Refugees

2/2/2016
Immigration organizations, including AILA, filed a FOIA lawsuit to force the Obama administration to release policy documents about its practice of fast-tracking the cases of recent Central American refugee families and children.
AILA Doc. No. 16020315

CARA: Central American Mothers Targeted in Immigration Raids and Still Detained Pen Letter to President Obama

1/28/2016
Seven women picked up and detained by ICE in early January in widely publicized raids have made a direct and personal plea to President Obama to allow their release while they pursue ongoing appeals of their deportation orders.
AILA Doc. No. 1612960

AILA Urges Supreme Court to Affirm Constitutionality of Executive Branch Immigration Powers

1/19/2016
AILA President Victor Nieblas welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision to take up Texas vs. United States, noting that the final ruling “will go far beyond immigration. No single state should be empowered to thwart the federal government’s nationwide policy decisions.”
AILA Doc. No. 16011900

CARA: 33 Mothers and Children Protected from Immediate Deportation

1/13/2016
After successfully halting the removal of 33 Central American mothers and children rounded up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project called on the Obama administration to release the families confined at Dilley.
AILA Doc. No. 16011330

After Successfully Delaying the Deportations of Four Central American Families, Groups Demand Meeting with DHS Secretary Johnson

1/6/2016
AILA and the American Immigration Council sent a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson criticizing raids to remove asylum-seeking Central American families and calling for a meeting to discuss how to guarantee due process and the necessary humanitarian protections for those families.
AILA Doc. No. 16010608

CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project Succeeds in Winning Stays of Deportation of Four Mothers and Their Children Recently Rounded-Up by ICE

1/6/2016
Last night, the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project succeeded in halting the deportation of four Central American families apprehended by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) over the weekend, who had been scheduled for deportation this morning.
AILA Doc. No. 16010601

AILA Condemns Raids on Vulnerable Central American Families

1/4/2016
AILA President Victor Nieblas Pradis condemned reports of ICE raids targeting Central American families saying, “Rounding up mothers and children who have fled the most violent region in the western hemisphere and are trying to find refuge abrogates our legal obligations.”
AILA Doc. No. 16010409