AILA in the News

Article: Biden Taps Lawyer to Help Rescind Trump Immigration Policy

Politico reports Lucas Guttentag will serve as senior counselor on immigration policy at DOJ after a six-month delay in hiring for the position frustrated advocates. AILA Executive Director Ben Johnson said anxiety was high in terms of trying to undo what was done by former President Trump.
AILA Doc. No. 21080361

Article: A Black Immigrant's Mission to Center Black Migrants at the Southern Border

Forbes highlights the advocacy work of Guerline Jozef, who describes the many barriers faced by Black migrants seeking asylum. AILA President Allen Orr hopes to change this dynamic and ensure migrants, especially Black asylum seekers, get a fair shake through the immigration court system.

Article: What to Know About Texas Governor's COVID Order Targeting Migrant Transport

CNN reports on an executive order issued by the governor of Texas targeting the transportation of migrants released from custody. Past AILA President Kathleen Campbell Walker says questions remain about how eager Texas's Department of Public Safety will be to enforce the order.
AILA Doc. No. 21073063

Article: DACA Court Ruling Puts Weight of Immigration Reform on Democrats

The Hill reports a recent court decision on DACA puts urgency behind a congressional effort to use the budget process to deal with immigration. AILA Senior Director of Government Relations Greg Chen says the decision "puts more pressure on Congress overall to provide a permanent solution."
AILA Doc. No. 21073062

Article: Permanent Residents Who Left the U.S. During the Pandemic Worry They Can't Come Home

NPR reports on LPRs facing difficulties returning to the United States after they left during the pandemic. AILA President Allen Orr said that, while it's not clear how many green card holders are still abroad, the number is likely in the thousands.
AILA Doc. No. 21073061

Article: Biden Faces Narrow Path to Aid Dreamers Without Congress, Courts

Bloomberg reports both procedural questions and core legal issues must be addressed in the DACA policy after a district court ruling. AILA President-Elect Jeremy McKinney said rulemaking would give the administration a chance to fix certain aspects of DACA.
AILA Doc. No. 21072161

Article: Garland Strikes Down Trump-Era Immigration Court Rule, Empowering Judges to Pause Cases

The Hill reports the attorney general overturned a decision barring immigration judges from pausing low priority cases. AILA Senior Director of Government Relations Greg Chen estimates that 460,000 people on the docket have pending USCIS applications but must still regularly appear in court.
AILA Doc. No. 21071662

Article: U.S. Bid to Attract Talent: 'Specific Visa Needed for Startup Founders,' Says Fiona McEntee

The Times of India reports on AILA Media Advocacy Committee Chair Fiona McEntee's testimony at a recent House Judiciary Committee hearing about how U.S. immigration laws and policies push foreign talent to other countries.
AILA Doc. No. 21071661

Article: Garland Lets Immigration Judges Put Off Deportation Cases

The Associated Press reports the attorney general tossed a Trump-era policy barring immigration judges from pausing deportation cases for immigrants awaiting green cards and visas. AILA President-Elect Jeremy McKinney said the move restores the judges' autonomy over how they manage their dockets.
AILA Doc. No. 21071660

Article: High Court Ruling Gives Immigrants Facing Deportation Hope

The Associated Press reports on Niz-Chavez v. Garland. AILA President-Elect Jeremy McKinney said, "It's the second time in less than three years that the [Supreme] Court has had to remind the government that a notice to appear actually has to notify a person when and where to appear."

Article: High Unemployment, Openings, Ignite Seasonal Worker Visa Debate

Bloomberg Law reports the Biden administration and Congress are facing pressure to increase the flow of legal immigration to remedy perceived labor shortages. Regarding calls to increase the number of H-2B visas, former AILA President Bill Stock said H-2Bs represent "a drop in the bucket."
AILA Doc. No. 21070764

Article: AILA Proposes 10-Point Plan to Reopen America

American Bazaar reports that AILA has proposed a 10-point plan to reopen America and reestablish the United States as a welcoming nation. Noting DOS's visa backlog has exploded during the pandemic, AILA's policy brief outlines how to reduce delays and eliminate backlogs and inefficiencies.
AILA Doc. No. 21070763

Article: Garland Strikes Down Trump-Era Asylum Decisions

The Hill reports Attorney General Garland struck down two Trump-era immigration opinions, reversing limits on who is eligible for asylum. AILA Senior Director of Government Relations said the move restores "asylum protections to people who are victims of domestic abuse and gang persecution."
AILA Doc. No. 21070762

Article: U.S. Reopens Asylum Access for Victims of Domestic Violence, Gang Violence

Reuters reports the attorney general rescinded a Trump-era decision that made it harder for victims of domestic and gang violence to win asylum. AILA Senior Director of Government Relations Greg Chen tweeted that Trump used the decision "to close America's doors to those fleeing persecution."
AILA Doc. No. 21070761

Article: Skepticism Abounds of Biden Moves to Reform ICE, Immigration Courts

The Hill reports that advocates are expressing skepticism that the Biden administration's steps to address the immigration court backlog will have much impact. AILA Senior Director of Government Relations Greg Chen noted that a similar memo under Obama produced "mixed results."
AILA Doc. No. 21070760

Article: With a Backlog of Over 1.3 Million Cases, the 500 Immigration Judges in the U.S. Feel Overburdened and Pressured to Deport

Business Insider reports the ability for immigration judges to rule independently has been compromised. According to AILA, the wait time for some backlogged cases is more than four years, including "cases that require urgent attention, such as those seeking asylum and humanitarian relief."

Article: 'I Advocate for Immigrants Who Face Innumerable Obstacles'

The Irish Times features a profile of Fiona McEntee, Chair of the AILA Media and Advocacy Committee. Ms. McEntee is originally from Knocklyon, Dublin, and first came to the United States in 2002 as part of a student exchange program. She returned in 2005 to attend Chicago-Kent College of Law.
AILA Doc. No. 21061561

Article: India Travel Ban Leaves Hundreds of Employees Stranded

Documented NY reports on U.S. residents stuck overseas due to visa issues and President Biden's India travel ban. A lawsuit brought by AILA and three private firms, in response to Trump-era travel bans that weren't being lifted by President Biden, has been amended to include the India ban.
AILA Doc. No. 21061064

Article (Opinion): The Origin of U.S. Immigration Courts Is Stunning. They Need to Be Overhauled

An op-ed in El Paso Matters delves into the origin of the U.S. immigration court system, including how it came to be part of DOJ. AILA has filed complaints with DOJ charging El Paso immigration judges with displaying a "culture of hostility" toward asylum seekers.
AILA Doc. No. 21061063

Article: Courts Drowning in Backlog Pose Lingering Immigration Challenge

The Hill reports that the bloated immigration court backlog threatens the Biden administration's efforts to reform U.S. immigration. AILA Senior Director of Government Relations Greg Chen explains that a large number of low-priority cases could be removed from the docket.
AILA Doc. No. 21061061

Article: Indians Join Lawsuit Challenging COVID-related Travel Ban to U.S.

The Times of India reports that a few Indians have joined other plaintiffs in ongoing litigation challenging the COVID-related travel ban to the United States. The lawsuit was filed by AILA and members of AILA's Board of Governors.
AILA Doc. No. 21060264

Article: Debate over H-1B Lottery Revamp Heats Up as Cases Go Forward

Bloomberg Law reports on litigation challenging the creation of a wage-based selection process for H-1Bs. AILA Director of Federal Litigation Jesse Bless said, "It's easy to blame Trump on this one, but at the same time President Biden included a similar provision in his immigration bill."
AILA Doc. No. 21060262

Article: Haitian Refugees Celebrate Biden's Decision to Protect Them from Deportation

USA Today reports on DHS's decision to authorize Haiti for Temporary Protected Status for 18 months. AILA President-Elect Allen Orr explained, "For Haitians who are in this country, now they get a reprieve from having to return to an unstable situation."
AILA Doc. No. 21060261

Article: New “Rocket Docket” Process for Immigration Hearings Compromises Justice, Advocates Say

El Paso Matters reports on plans to speed up cases of certain immigrant families. AILA Senior Director of Government Relations Greg Chen called on the president to "provide families put on [this] rocket docket with legal counsel, paid for by [the] government if they can't afford [their own]."
AILA Doc. No. 21060263

Article: New H-1B Rule Favoring High-Wage Workers 'Kneecaps' Nonprofits — Lawsuit

Reuters reports on a lawsuit filed by AILA and AILA Board members challenging a rule creating a wage-based selection process for H-1B visas. The lawsuit alleges the rule makes it difficult for nonprofits to compete with private companies for high-skilled foreign labor.
AILA Doc. No. 21052763

Article: Advocates See Biden Order as New Tool in Eviction, Immigration Fights

The Hill reports on President Biden's access to justice order. AILA Senior Director of Government Relations Greg Chen said programs offering counsel to those facing deportation could be expanded slowly, starting with asylum seekers, people in immigration detention, and rare-language speakers.
AILA Doc. No. 21052761

Video: How the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act Afects the AAPI Community

ABC News Live features an interview with AILA Senior Director of Government Relations Greg Chen in which he discusses how the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act affects the AAPI community and how hate crimes are prosecuted.
AILA Doc. No. 21052762

Article: Lawsuit Against Biden Admin Challenges Proposed Allocation of H-1B Visas Based on Wages

The Times of India reports that five nonprofit organizations and businesses have filed a lawsuit challenging a USCIS rule that would allot H-1B visas based on wages. The plaintiffs are represented by AILA and AILA Board members Jeff Joseph, Charles Kuck, and Greg Siskind.
AILA Doc. No. 21052765

Article (Subscription Req'd): Outgoing SF Immigration Judge Blasts Courts as 'Soul-Crushing,' Too Close to ICE

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that recently retired Assistant Chief Immigration Judge Bill Hanrahan says he encountered a "soul-crushing bureaucracy" in the immigration court system. A 2020 AILA policy brief discusses "the detrimental effects of a politicized immigration court system."
AILA Doc. No. 21052764

Article: "Is Stephen Miller Still in Charge?": Biden's First Immigration Court Appointees Are All Trump Picks

Slate reports that DOJ hired 17 new immigration judges. Nearly all of them have backgrounds as prosecutors or at ICE. AILA Executive Director Ben Johnson tweeted, "It is a threat to the pursuit of fairness and justice and an insult to the fundamental principles of our system of justice."
AILA Doc. No. 21051264

Article: There Can Be No Immigration Reform Without Fixing the Broken Immigration Court System

Al Día reports on the need for immigration court reform, noting that AILA has called for the creation of an independent, Article I immigration court.
AILA Doc. No. 21051263

Article: Biden Fills Immigration Court with Trump Hires

The Hill reports the Biden administration has hired 17 immigration judges initially selected during the Trump era. AILA Senior Director of Government Relations Greg Chen said, "All but one of these new judges were former prosecutors, law enforcement, or in other branches of government."
AILA Doc. No. 21051262

Article: Why an Estimated 100,000 Americans Abroad Face Passport Problems

The New York Times reports that consular appointments for U.S. citizens overseas are nearly impossible to come by as many embassies. AILA President Jennifer Minear explained that "the reduction of staff as a result of COVID at the consular posts has really thrown [DOS] for a loop."
AILA Doc. No. 21051261

Article: 'You Can Be Kicked Out Any Time': U.S. Immigrants' Lives Upended by COVID

The Guardian reports that many high-skilled foreign-born workers have been losing their jobs in the United States amid the pandemic. AILA President Jennifer Minear said, "Losing your job is a big deal, and if you're an immigrant it also means losing your status."
AILA Doc. No. 21050763

Article: How Police "Gang Databases" Are Being Used to Wage War on Immigrants

In These Times reports that the wrong hat or wrong tattoo can get somebody listed in a gang database and eventually deported. Former Chair of AILA's New England Chapter Kerry Doyle says gang databases often contain unreliable information, but "immigration judges take it as the truth."
AILA Doc. No. 21050761

Article: Biden's First 100 Days on Immigration: A Test of Leadership

Just Security features an op-ed by AILA Senior Director of Government Relations Greg Chen, in which he argues that, while President Biden took several swift actions on immigration in his first week as president, 100 days later, no headway has been made on any major immigration reform.
AILA Doc. No. 21050760

Article: Biden Administration Announces End to Trump-Era Rule that Rejected Certain Immigration Applications with Blank Spaces

CNN reports that the Biden administration will not automatically reject certain applications for asylum or immigration benefits when a blank space is left on the forms. Examples of fields that might be left blank include middle name and "other names used," according to AILA.
AILA Doc. No. 21042366

Article (Subscription Req'd): Biden Administration to Allow Work-Visa Ban to Expire

The Wall Street Journal reports the White House won't renew a ban on certain work-based visas that is set to expire today. AILA Director of Government Relations Shev Dalal-Dheini noted, "Visa processing won't pick up as quickly as everyone will want."
AILA Doc. No. 21033160

Article: The U.S. Asylum System Is Broken. How Could It Be Reimagined?

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports on how the incoming Biden administration can break with the past and reimagine the U.S. asylum system. AILA First Vice President Jeremy McKinney explains, "It's time for the Department of Justice and the immigration court system to get a divorce."
AILA Doc. No. 20122861

Article: How the Trump Administration's 'Midnight Rulemaking' Could Leave a Big Mark on Government

NBC News reports that the Trump administration is pressing forward to cement new regulations the end of his term. AILA Director of Government Relations Shev Dalal-Dheini explains, "Even if it hasn't taken effect, it becomes a lot harder to overturn a regulation once it's been published."
AILA Doc. No. 20111661

Article: 19 Women Allege Medical Abuse in Georgia Immigration Detention

The Los Angeles Times reports that, according to medical experts, at least 19 women at Georgia's Irwin County Detention Center were pressured into overly aggressive or medically unnecessary surgery. The medical team conducted its review in tandem with a coalition of advocates including AILA.
AILA Doc. No. 20102300

Article: Lawsuit over H-1B Specialty Occupation Denials Moves Forward

Bloomberg Law reports on a lawsuit filed by AILA and partners challenging denials of H-1B petitions for market research analysts. AILA Director of Litigation Jesse Bless said, "USCIS approved our first two plaintiffs in an attempt to pick them off … [but] there's more left to be done."
AILA Doc. No. 20091663

Article: Whistleblower Alleges 'Medical Neglect,' Questionable Hysterectomies of ICE Detainees

NPR reports on allegations of detainees being subjected to questionable hysterectomies at an ICE detention center. AILA Executive Director Ben Johnson said, if the allegations prove true, "all measures must be taken to seek justice for the victims and hold DHS leadership fully accountable."
AILA Doc. No. 20091662

Article: Biden Pledges to Dismantle Trump's Sweeping Immigration Changes — But Can He Do That?

NPR reports that Joe Biden is pledging to dismantle President Trump's sweeping immigration changes if he wins the election in November. Angela Kelley, Senior Adviser to AILA, said "You can't change culture within an organization that vast overnight … it's going to be a long, long road."
AILA Doc. No. 20091661

Article (Subscription Req'd): Feds Says Immigration Application Fee Hikes Are Lawful

Law360 reports on a lawsuit filed by AILA and Sidley Austin LLP in a California federal court to stop USCIS from increasing immigration application fees. Nineteen states and 10 immigration nonprofit organizations expressed support for the plaintiffs' request to block the fee increases.
AILA Doc. No. 20091160

Article: Immigration Agency Cuts of 800 Kansas City Jobs Expected to Trigger Backlogs, Delays Nationwide

The Kansas Reflector reports that USCIS intends to furlough 800 of its Kansas City private contractors. AILA Associate Director of Government Relations Diane Rish said furloughing private contractors will only make things worse for a system experiencing longer and longer processing delays.
AILA Doc. No. 20091062

Article: Pandemic May Disrupt Compliance with Diversity Visa Order

Law360 reports on the district court ruling shielding thousands of diversity visa (DV) winners from the Trump administration's visa ban. AILA Director of Federal Litigation Jesse Bless warned that the approximately 45,000 DV applicants will need to navigate "a lot of moving parts."
AILA Doc. No. 20091061

Opinion: We Are Repeating History by Preventing Asylum Seekers from Pleading Their Cases Inside the U.S.

The San Diego Union-Tribune features an op-ed by AILA member Tammy Lin about "the Trump administration's concerted efforts to chip away at the long-held legal precedent of allowing asylum seekers to enter our nation." She calls for Americans to "push against the weaponization of asylum law."
AILA Doc. No. 20091060

Article: NJ Lawyers Sue over In-Person Immigration Court Hearings in Newark

WNYC reports that the AILA New Jersey chapter sued the federal government, arguing that Newark's immigration court is putting lives at risk by forcing hearings to take place in person during the COVID-19 pandemic. The judge asked EOIR to explain why videoconferencing isn't an option.
AILA Doc. No. 20090466

Article: NJ Immigration Attys Can't Stop In-Person Hearings for Now

Law360 reports that a federal judge was sympathetic to the concerns expressed by AILA's New Jersey chapter in a lawsuit it filed challenging mandated in-person hearings in Newark Immigration Court during the pandemic, but said he needed more information from the government before ruling.
AILA Doc. No. 20090465

Article: How Trump Made It That Much Harder to Become a U.S. Citizen

Vox reports on how President Trump's policies created a naturalization backlog. AILA Director of Government Relations Shev Dalal-Dheini told Congress in July that USCIS had mismanaged a budgetary surplus it inherited at the beginning of the Trump administration.
AILA Doc. No. 20090464

Article (Subscription Req'd): Biden Immigration Plan Focuses on Undoing Trump Actions

Law360 reports on Joe Biden's immigration plan. AILA Senior Director of Government Relations Greg Chen also sees Biden's running mate Kamala Harris as a voice for change, noting that as a senator, she has introduced bills to correct problems implemented by the Trump administration.
AILA Doc. No. 20090463

Article: Ex-Immigration Judges Say NJ Court Risking Public Health

Law360 reports that more than 30 former immigration judges voiced support for a lawsuit filed by the AILA New Jersey Chapter that seeks to stop in-person hearings at Newark Immigration Court during the COVID-19 pandemic.
AILA Doc. No. 20090462

Article: A Year After Admitting He Smoked Pot, Green Card Applicant Still Stuck in Mexico

The OC Register shares the story of Jose, who has been in Mexico separated from his family for over a year. His consular processing appointment in June was canceled due to COVID-19. AILA Southern California Chapter Chair Scott Emerick explained that DOS "closed everything in March."
AILA Doc. No. 20090461

Article: ICE Can't Move Detainees in or out of Coronavirus Hot Spot

Law360 reports that a judge forbid ICE from transferring anyone in or out of its Farmville, VA, detention center, where more than 80 percent of the population has tested positive for COVID-19. According to AILA, the decision follows the death of 72-year-old Canadian citizen at the facility.
AILA Doc. No. 20081261

Article: D.C. Court Orders Feds to Turn Over Diversity Visa Ban Docs

Law360 reports that as part of four consolidated lawsuits, the government was ordered to hand over documents concerning the COVID-19 travel ban. AILA, Justice Action Center, Innovation Law Lab, the Law Office of Laboni A. Hoq, and Mayer Brown LLP represent plaintiffs in one of the suits.
AILA Doc. No. 20081360

Article (Subscription Req'd): Three Immigration Judges Picked to Top Off Expanded BIA

Law360 reports DOJ appointed three immigration judges to the BIA. AILA Senior Policy Counsel Laura Lynch said the appointments reflect a pattern of promoting judges with high asylum denial rates to "set precedent-setting decisions that will negatively impact asylum seekers for many years."
AILA Doc. No. 20081163

Article: Restrictive Immigration Policy Hurts Michigan's Economy

Crain's Detroit Business reports on the economic impacts of the administrations restrictions on immigrants coming to the United States, noting that AILA, Justice Action Center, and the Innovation Law Lab have sued to challenge the entirety of the president's immigration bans.
AILA Doc. No. 20081161

Article: Court Case Against Trump Immigration and Visa Ban Moves Forward

Forbes reports on AILA and partners' lawsuit seeking to enjoin the president's immigration and visa ban. AILA Director of Litigation Jesse Bless said this includes "enforcement and implementation" by DOS, "which has interpreted the suspension of entry as precluding the issuance of visas."
AILA Doc. No. 20081160

Article: ‘A Naturalization Crisis’: 10,000 Would-Be Voters in Mass. Might Miss Out in November

WBUR reports on increasing naturalization wait times in Mass., a crisis driven by USCIS policies, which, said AILA’s Sharvari Dalal-Dheini, “deliberately decrease USCIS efficiency, drive up the cost of adjudication, slow down case processing and discourage individuals from applying.”
AILA Doc. No. 20080601

Article: Why Is Immigration Court Still Being Held in Person as Pandemic Continues, Lawyers Ask in Lawsuit

8/4/2020 reports on AILA New Jersey Chapter’s lawsuit “seeking to prevent Newark’s immigration court from holding in-person hearings” during the pandemic. “You are forcing a group of organizations to go back to work without proper protocols,” said Cesar Estela, a member of NJ-AILA.
AILA Doc. No. 20080433

Article: Immigration Attys Sue to Stop NJ Court’s In-Person Hearings

Law360 reports on a lawsuit filed by AILA’s New Jersey Chapter “seeking to halt in-person, nondetention hearings in the Newark Immigration Court” alleging that DOJ “is unnecessarily forcing them to go to court amid the coronavirus pandemic.” The Chapter is bringing its suit under the APA.
AILA Doc. No. 20080432

Article (Opinion): New USCIS Immigration Fees Hit Businesses, Citizens and Students

Forbes provides an analysis of the new USCIS fee rule and USCIS’s projected budget shortfall, citing both AILA’s submitted comments to the proposed rule and the testimony of AILA’s Director of Government Relations, Sharvari Dalal-Dheini, at a congressional hearing on USCIS oversight.
AILA Doc. No. 20080337

Article: Immigration Lawyers Seek Video Court Appearances Amid Virus

AP News reports on a lawsuit filed by AILA’s New Jersey Chapter seeking to stop in-person appearances at the Newark Immigration Court and to allow the use of videoconferencing until the pandemic “no longer poses ‘an unreasonable risk’ for the health of those who appear at hearings.”
AILA Doc. No. 20080335

Article (Subscription Req'd): New Relief Possible as Justices Revisit Deportation Notices

Law360 reports that SCOTUS will decide whether DHS must include all required information on a single NTA to trigger the stop-time rule. AILA Second Vice President Jeremy McKinney said a ruling that it must could allow individuals to argue that a deficient NTA robs the court of jurisdiction.
AILA Doc. No. 20060962

Article: Immigration Attorneys Worry ICE Rules Will Take Away Needed Medical Supplies

The Texas Tribune reports that ICE is requiring attorneys to wear protective gear at detention facilities. AILA Second Vice President Jeremy McKinney said the requirement would deny detainees access to counsel "unless [attorneys] rob health care providers" of desperately needed equipment.
AILA Doc. No. 20032460

Article (Subscription Req'd): The Invisible Wall — The Trump Administration Doesn't Like High-Skilled Immigrants Either

The Economist reports that under the Trump administration, legal migrants are finding themselves shut out of the United States, noting that AILA calls this the president's invisible wall.
AILA Doc. No. 20022862

Article: Deloitte Top Participant in H-1B Foreign Worker Program—By Far

Bloomberg Law’s analysis of FY2019 DOL data shows that Deloitte LLP was the top H-1B seeker in the United States. AILA’s President Marketa Lindt said, “Big companies, small companies depend on the H-1B visa to help fill critical workforce gaps” both as direct hires or on a contract basis.
AILA Doc. No. 20020439