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AILA Policy Briefs

Guiding Principles for an Electronic Service of the Notice to Appear

Recent developments in technology and increased migration encounters have generated interest in creating electronic systems for processing and serving NTAs. AILA provides a policy brief that outlines the parameters electronic systems and electronic service must have in order to preserve due process.
AILA Doc. No. 23071200

High-Stakes Asylum: How Long an Asylum Case Takes and How We Can Do Better

AILA released a first-of-its-kind report on asylum timelines, High-Stakes Asylum: How Long an Asylum Case Takes and How We Can Do Better. The report is based on a survey of over 300 asylum attorneys about how much time it takes to prepare an asylum application.
AILA Doc. No. 23061202

Policy Brief: H.R. 1325, Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act of 2023

AILA, Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, American Business Immigration Coalition, and Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project provide a summary and analysis of H.R. 1325, Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act of 2023.
AILA Doc. No. 23041102

Practice Brief: The Proposed Asylum Transit Ban Creates Access to Asylum in Name Only

AILA issues this initial response to the proposed regulation “Circumvention of Lawful Pathways.” This proposed regulation adds unnecessary complexity to the asylum process that will become insurmountable barriers to asylum, especially to those who do not have legal counsel.
AILA Doc. No. 23022211

Policy Brief: What Does Effective Border Management Look Like?

To ensure lasting and meaningful change at the border, border security reforms must happen in tandem with other improvements to the immigration system. AILA offers recommendations for efficient, fair border processing, and managing migration.
AILA Doc. No. 22122790

Policy Brief: Timing Considerations for Effective Representation in Asylum Cases

AILA provides a policy brief on how mandating asylum processing times tread into territory that imperils our nation’s commitment to due process by creating inflexible timelines that on a practical level do not allow meaningful access to counsel for asylum seekers. s
AILA Doc. No. 22120501

AILA Policy Brief: Case Management: An Effective and Humane Alternative to Detention

AILA summarizes current DHS alternative to detention options and urges Congress to fund a new approach. Case management programs are a more humane and effective approach to obtaining compliance with immigration requirements while also helping migrants navigate complex removal proceedings.
AILA Doc. No. 22110305

Making Headway: An Update on DOS’s Progress toward Addressing Inefficiencies and Delays Created by COVID-19

AILA provides a policy brief on the status of our June 2021 recommendations to DOS for reducing backlogs and delays resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as additional recommendations that might help the agency.
AILA Doc. No. 22100305

Policy Brief: Use of Virtual Hearings in Removal Proceedings

AILA and the American Immigration Council make detailed recommendations on the use of virtual technology in immigration hearings, describing the challenges of video teleconferencing and recommending agency standards and guidance.
AILA Doc. No. 22050500

AILA Policy Brief: Recommendations on the Expansion and Implementation of Immigration Legal Representation Programs

AILA provides recommendations on the implementation of immigration legal representation programs based on the findings of the AILA Legal Representation Task Force.
AILA Doc. No. 22040504

AILA Policy Brief — Righting the Ship: The Current Status of USCIS Processing Delays and How the Agency Can Get Back on Course

AILA provides an update on the current state of USCIS processing delays and offers 11 recommendations for how USCIS and members of Congress can right the ship and get the agency back on course toward efficient processing of benefits.
AILA Doc. No. 2202285

Policy Brief: Reopening America - How DOS Can Reduce Delays and Eliminate Backlogs and Inefficiencies to Create a Welcoming America

AILA provides sensible recommendations for policies and procedures that the Department of State and Biden administration can implement to overcome the hurdles created by the COVID-19 global pandemic, while reestablishing America as a welcoming nation.
AILA Doc. No. 21062930

Policy Brief: Moving the Nation Forward by Leaving Immigration Detention Behind

AILA issued a policy brief calling on Congress and the Biden administration to move away from the nation’s harmful and grossly overused detention system. The brief provides recommendations for reducing and phasing out immigration detention, including community-based case management support.
AILA Doc. No. 21032532

Policy Brief: How USCIS Can Dismantle the Invisible Wall Slowing Case Adjudication

AILA offers a policy brief with recommendations for actions that USCIS can take to improve its efficiency in adjudications, including eliminating mandatory in-person interview requirements for routine cases, reusing biometrics and waiving the biometrics requirement for certain groups, and more.
AILA Doc. No. 21032530

Walled Off: How USCIS Has Closed Its Doors on Customers and Strayed from Its Statutory Customer Service Mission

Over the last four years USCIS has strayed far from its customer-oriented mission. AILA highlights many of the measures responsible for this shift and offers smart, sensible solutions for the agency to rebuild its public services and ensure efficiency and transparency in its operations.
AILA Doc. No. 21021236

Policy Brief: Why President Biden Needs to Make Immediate Changes to Rehabilitate the Immigration Courts

In just four years, President Trump implemented radical changes that fundamentally compromised the integrity of the immigration courts. This policy brief explains the most critical and urgent changes President Biden should make to the immigration court system to ensure fairness and impartiality.
AILA Doc. No. 21021232

Policy Brief: The Biden Administration and Congress Must Guarantee Legal Representation for People Facing Removal

AILA and the Council issued a policy brief calling upon the Biden administration to expand federally-funded legal representation programs for people facing removal, arguing that legal representation ensures due process and efficiency, reduces the detention of immigrants, and reduces court backlog.
AILA Doc. No. 21011501

Policy Brief: Increase in Indefinite ICE Detention Without Foreseeable Removal Dates During COVID-19 Pandemic

AILA and the Council released a policy brief on the increase in indefinite ICE detention during the pandemic. The brief outlines how ICE has failed to comply with limitations on its authority to indefinitely detain people, thus violating due process and endangering public and detainee health.
AILA Doc. No. 20122802

AILA Policy Brief: USCIS’s “No Blank Space” Policy Leads to Capricious Rejections of Benefits Requests

This AILA policy brief describes how USCIS upended long-standing practice, without notice, and began rejecting forms that left questions blank or did not use specific terminology to indicate that a question was inapplicable, leading to capricious rejections.
AILA Doc. No. 20101990

AILA Policy Brief: Crisis Level USCIS Processing Delays and Inefficiencies Continue to Grow

AILA’s analysis of USCIS data from FY2019 reveals a continued rise in USCIS processing delays for applications and petitions for immigration benefits. The results of this analysis underscores the importance of robust congressional oversight of USCIS to ensure transparency and good governance.
AILA Doc. No. 20022502

AILA Policy Brief: Restoring Integrity and Independence to America’s Immigration Courts

The U.S. immigration court system suffers from profound structural problems that have severely eroded its capacity to deliver just decisions in a timely manner. This policy brief outlines how the courts have been pushed to their breaking point, and what it will take to fix them.
AILA Doc. No. 18092834

Policy Brief: Questions Remain After AILA Joins Laredo Tent Court Tour

On January 24, 2020, at DHS invitation, an AILA delegation attended a tour and briefing of the tent facility in Laredo. This policy brief addresses what AILA learned during that tour of the processes and procedures for migrants, attorneys, and observers.
AILA Doc. No. 20013031

AILA Policy Brief: Proposed Asylum Rule Blocks Asylum Seekers from Humanitarian Protection

AILA issued a policy brief on the Trump administration’s notice of proposed rulemaking on bars to asylum eligibility, noting that it would undermine the protections currently available to people who flee to the United States to escape persecution, torture, or even death in their home countries.
AILA Doc. No. 20012236

AILA Policy Brief: Public Access to Tent Courts Now Allowed, but Meaningful Access Still Absent

AILA issued a policy brief following DHS’s announcement that it has opened the Laredo and Brownsville tent courts for court observers. DHS and DOJ have operationalized this directive in a way that fails to allow meaningful access to the tent court facilities and imposes new hurdles to transparency.
AILA Doc. No. 20011061

AILA Policy Brief: DHS and DOJ Are Opening Secretive Port Courts Along the Southern Border

AILA issued a policy brief that shares the little information regarding the DHS and DOJ port courts that has been made publicly available by media reports and elevates the outstanding operational issues of concern that have yet to be addressed by agencies.
AILA Doc. No. 19090631

AILA Policy Brief: Effective Border Management Begins with Improving the U.S. Asylum System

AILA issued a policy brief with solutions to the recent increase in migration at the U.S. southern border, which will prove to be more effective in providing a fair, orderly, and efficient system for processing asylum seekers and other migrants.
AILA Doc. No. 19060701

AILA Policy Brief: Florida Senate Bill 168 Contains Anti-Immigrant Provisions

On 5/2/19, the controversial Florida Senate Bill (SB) 168 passed 22-18 in the Senate and 68-45 in the House. Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, is expected to sign SB 168 into law. The law will take effect on 7/1/19, except for the section establishing penalties which will take effect on 10/1/19.
AILA Doc. No. 19052236

AILA Policy Brief: Facts About the State of Our Nation’s Immigration Courts

AILA issued a policy brief in response to EOIR’s Myths vs. Fact memo that was disseminated on May 8, 2019. AILA explains that EOIR’s skewed portrayal only demonstrates the urgent need for Congress to create an independent court, separate from DOJ.
AILA Doc. No. 19051438

AILA Policy Brief: Seven Ways USCIS Is Defying the Will of Congress

This policy brief examines seven ways in which USCIS is transforming from the immigration benefits service that Congress intended, into another DHS enforcement arm.
AILA Doc. No. 19022570

AILA’s Policy Brief: FOIA Reveals EOIR’s Failed Plan for Fixing the Immigration Court Backlog

AILA issued a policy brief analyzing EOIR’s failed plan for reducing the immigration court case backlog. Contrary to EOIR’s stated goals, the agency’s “Strategic Caseload Reduction Plan” exacerbated the due process crisis in the immigration courts and in some instances, contributed to the backlog.
AILA Doc. No. 19021900

AILA Policy Brief: “Remain in Mexico” Plan Sows Chaos, Puts Asylum Seekers at Risk

This policy brief examines how the administration’s cruel and likely illegal “Remain in Mexico” policy will make it nearly impossible for asylum seekers to access the protections they are entitled to under the law and explores the solutions that the administration should implement instead.
AILA Doc. No. 18122112

AILA Policy Brief: USCIS Processing Delays Have Reached Crisis Levels Under the Trump Administration

AILA’s analysis of USCIS data reveals crisis-level delays in its processing of applications and petitions for immigration benefits under the Trump administration. This brief examines how current USCIS policies lengthen the delays and what steps USCIS and Congress can take to remedy this crisis.
AILA Doc. No. 19012834

AILA Policy Brief: Trump Shutdown Bill Full of Extreme Restrictionist Provisions

The “End the Shutdown and Secure the Border Act” bill should be rejected as representing hardline restrictionist views, rather than a genuine attempt at compromise. It would provide weak DACA and TPS protections, ramp up funding for enforcement, and all but eliminate asylum for certain minors.
AILA Doc. No. 19012241