Register for AILA’s National Day of Action (NDA) on April 11, 2019, to meet with members of Congress and share how the administration’s immigration policy changes are harming American families, businesses, and communities.
WNYC/The Gothamist reports that in Manhattan, DHS attorneys are appearing in newly opened immigration courtrooms by video instead of in person despite their office being a 30-minute trip away. AILA's New York Chapter Treasurer Cory Forman called the practice "insulting."
CNN reports on the decision in Matter of M-S- issued by Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday. Former AILA President David Leopold said, "It's an extension of the Jeff Sessions campaign to further strip the immigration courts and immigration judges of their authority."
Politico reports the attorney general issued a decision that will deny a bond hearing to a large class of undocumented immigrants. AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen called it “a devastating blow to those seeking protection from persecution.”
Newsweek reports on Matter of M-S-, a decision issued yesterday by the attorney general. AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen said it would result in “many, many people who are not going to even have the opportunity to apply for release."
The San Antonio Express-News features an op-ed on the need for an independent immigration court system. The ABA and AILA have argued that immigration courts should be remade into an independent judiciary so that decisions can be made fairly without undue influence.
Courthouse News reports DOJ is considering changes to the authority of appellate immigration judges that would give them power to issue decisions binding on the entire immigration system. AILA Treasurer Jeremy McKinney said the move could actually hamper DOJ's goal of speeding up cases.
Arizona Central reports Vice President Pence is calling on Democrats to loosen restrictions related to detaining children and families. AILA President Anastasia Tonello said this would lead to “more families, including young children, being detained for longer periods of time."
The San Francisco Chronicle reports Attorney General William Barr is planning major rule changes for the immigration court system. AILA Senior Policy Counsel Laura Lynch said efforts to improve efficiency shouldn’t be “at the expense of fundamental principles of due process and fairness.”
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that some U.S. border agents are refusing to process petitions for readmission in L-1 status presented by Canadians pursuant to NAFTA. Ron Matten, Chair of AILA’s Canada chapter, said the unannounced change began a couple months ago.
Reuters reports the Senate majority leader wants to address immigration problems with bipartisan legislation that would include asylum law changes. AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen said some of the changes being discussed could put migrant children in danger.
Voice of America reports the president wants to reinstate family separation to deter migrants. Chair of AILA's Asylum and Refugee Committee Dree Collopy suggested that administration policies may in fact be contributing to recent increases in the number of migrants arriving at the border.
Courthouse News reports on AILA and the American Immigration Council's complaint regarding due process violations at the El Paso immigration court. Some of the court's judges treat immigrants with contempt, the complainants say, alleging a "culture of hostility."
The New York Times reports on a recent worksite raid. Former AILA President Kathleen Campbell Walker explained employers must verify employees' documents are legitimate using the standard: “To a reasonable employer, on their face, do [the documents] appear to be valid?”
The El Paso Times reports on the complaint filed by AILA and the American Immigration Council on behalf of immigration lawyers and their detained clients regarding the "near-impossible obstacles to accessing a fair day in court" at the El Paso immigration court.
U.S. News reports on the complaint filed by AILA and the American Immigration Council about systemic due process violations at the El Paso Service Processing Center immigration court. The allegations come as the number of immigrants crossing the border near El Paso has skyrocketed.
The Los Angeles Times features an op-ed in which the author notes that instead of working with Congress on comprehensive immigration reform, the Trump administration has, according to AILA, radically slowed the processing of immigration applications and other forms.
Splinter News reports on the uncertainty faced by immigrants with different statuses at this time. According to AILA, USCIS processing times have reached record-high levels. AILA Media Advocacy Committee member Matt Maiona said the delays aren't linked to more petitions being filed.
The ABA Journal reports on the impact of immigration decisions issued by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. AILA Treasurer Jeremy McKinney said, "It's all part of what our association has referred to as 'the deportation machine.'"
Commercial Appeal reports on pregnant women in ICE detention and the health and safety dangers they face. AILA called ICE's 2018 decision to begin detaining more pregnant women "an egregious human rights offense."
The Texas Tribune reports DHS expanded the Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the Remain in Mexico plan, to the El Paso port of entry. AILA Executive Director Ben Johnson said, “Whether or not a person is forced to remain in Mexico could mean the difference between life and death."
Forbes reports on the H-1B visa, recent trends in its use, and upcoming changes to its processing. A recent survey found 47 percent of employers feel the H-1B process has become more difficult. According to AILA, the average case processing time has increased by 91 percent since 2014.
Reuters reports asylum seekers due to be returned to Mexico after appearing in U.S. immigration court asked permission to stay in the United States, citing safety concerns in Mexico. AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen said major concerns exist about the Remain in Mexico policy.
NBC News reports on USCIS’s plan to close its international offices and concerns that doing so will further exacerbate the agency’s backlog. AILA analyses show there has been a 91 percent increase in the overall average case processing time at USCIS since FY2014.
The Wall Street Journal reports on USCIS’s plans to close its international offices. The move comes as policy changes have created “crisis-level delays” at USCIS offices in the U.S., according to a report from AILA.
The New York Times reports USCIS plans to close its international offices. Transferring their workload to already overburdened DOS staff and USCIS domestic offices could lead to longer delays at an agency where, according to a report from AILA, processing times have already recently surged.
CNN reports that ICE officers improperly signed warrants on behalf of their supervisors and supervisors gave officers pre-signed blank warrants. AILA Treasurer Jeremy McKinney said, “If there’s evidence of that, that’s a big deal…that’s the root of an illegal arrest.”
Law360 reports on the impact that increased visa denials and Requests for Evidence are having on employers. AILA President-Elect Marketa Lindt explains how she is altering her filing strategies to improve the odds of an approval for her clients.
The Dallas Morning News features an op-ed about the current situation at the southern border. AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson explained that “like previous generations of immigrants,” Central American families fleeing violence are “coming here seeking hope and opportunity.”
Maui Now reports on the package of immigration bills introduced yesterday by Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and colleagues. AILA Associate Director of Government Relations Kate Voigt and representatives of other organizations joined the senators for their public event to introduce the bills.
CBS News reports that as of Tuesday, one detained infant remained in ICE custody in Dilley, TX. Fifteen other infants were released from the same detention center soon after AILA, the American Immigration Council, and CLINIC filed a complaint calling for all of the infants’ immediate release.
Bloomberg reports on the immigration court system's backlog of cases. AILA Senior Policy Counsel Laura Lynch said, “For years the immigration courts have been underfunded, and there has been more emphasis on funding the DHS enforcing agencies.”
The Colorado Sun reports 357 individuals in ICE detention in Aurora, CO, are in quarantine due to exposure to contagious illnesses. AILA and the American Immigration Council previously filed a complaint accusing the Aurora center of failing to provide adequate medical and mental health care.
The Nation reports on USCIS’s dysfunction. Former Chair of AILA’s Chicago Chapter Michael Jarecki is unsure USCIS wants to improve based on recent policy changes. He said, “Part of my cynical response…would be an invisible wall type of thing, where the agency wants to slow things down.”
Buzzfeed News reports that according to a complaint filed by AILA, the American Immigration Council, and CLINIC, at least nine infants under the age of 1, and some as young as 6 months, have been detained by ICE at a Texas detention center where they lack adequate medical care.
Buzzfeed News reports ICE has been accused of detaining “alarming” number of infants at a rural Texas detention center without providing the legally required level of care. A complaint filed by AILA, the American Immigration Council, and CLINIC urged officials to “intervene immediately.”
CBS News reports on a complaint filed by AILA, the American Immigration Council, and CLINIC regarding infants held in ICE detention in Dilley, TX. The complaint states, “We have grave concerns about the lack of specialized medical care available in Dilley for this vulnerable populations.”
The Guardian reports on a complaint filed by AILA, the American Immigration Council, and CLINIC that warns of an “alarming increase” in the numbers of detained infants and requests immediate release of detained infants.
USA Today reports on women experiencing miscarriages and stillbirths while in ICE detention. Advocacy groups have long complained about poor medical care in immigration detention, where at least 34 people have died since December 2015, according to AILA.
NBC News reports on DHS’s plan to end work permits for H-4 spouses of H-1B visas holders. Past AILA President William Stock said that once OMB reviews the proposed regulation, it could be sent back to DHS or cleared for publication in the Federal Register as a proposed rule.
The Los Angeles Times reports that EOIR’s backlog reduction plan has failed, with average wait times for a hearing now two years. According to AILA, the administration “has not only failed to reduce the backlog, but has eroded the court’s ability to ensure due process.”
The National Law Review reports on AILA’s policy brief about crisis-level case processing delays at USCIS, as well as the letter that more than 80 members of Congress sent to USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna that cited AILA’s policy brief and expressed “grave concerns” about the delays.
Law360 reports on a letter sent by AILA Executive Director Ben Johnson and AILA President Anastasia Tonello to EOIR Director James McHenry expressing concerns that a memo he issued “perpetuated” the “continued imbalance in the treatment of counsel” appearing in immigration courts.
Law360 reports on the spending bill that Congress passed and President Trump is expected to sign. AILA said the budget needed “critical checks on reprogramming and transfer authority” that would bar ICE from spending more money on detention than authorized by Congress.
The Regulatory Review reports on former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s lasting impact on immigration courts. AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson said, “Congress can delay no longer in conducting rigorous oversight of the courts and establishing an independent immigration court system.”
HuffPost reports on the president's warnings that he will declare an emergency to fund the wall. AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen commented that the law doesn't give him "authority to throw a tantrum just because Congress chooses not to give him the toys that he likes."
The Washington Post reports on the president’s long history of using lax hiring practices to employ undocumented workers at his businesses. AILA President Anastasia Tonello explains details of an employers’ responsibility to determine employees are eligible to work in the United States.
The Wall Street Journal reports on President Trump’s recent expressions of support for legal immigration and employers’ concerns about USCIS’s growing backlog. A recent AILA report states there are “crisis-level delays” in USCIS case processing under the Trump administration.
The Hill reports the Congressional Hispanic Caucus questioned DHS about the Remain in Mexico policy. AILA, the American Immigration Council, and CLINIC recently sent a letter to DHS saying asylum seekers would face “significant harm” if kept in Mexico and calling for a reversal of the policy.
Houston Public Media reports that USCIS delays have nearly doubled since 2014. AILA Policy Counsel Jason Boyd said, “Throughout the nation, these delays are harming families, vulnerable populations, and U.S. businesses that depend on timely adjudications.”
The Tucson Sentinel reports that CBP is prepping for lawsuits over the administration’s new Remain in Mexico policy. According to AILA, the new policy will “prevent most, if not all, returned asylum seekers from receiving a fair day in court.”
Quartz India reports on AILA’s finding that USCIS case processing delays have reached crisis levels. According to AILA, “Other agency data lays bare a USCIS ‘net backlog’ exceeding 2.3 million delayed cases at the end of FY2017.”
The Los Angeles Times reports the process of applying for an H-1B has become murkier and more difficult. AILA First Vice President Jennifer Minear said immigration policy changes are inhibiting efficiency and Past AILA President William Stock said USCIS “is creating more work for themselves.”
Minnesota Public Radio reports on USCIS processing time delays. Tammy Lin and Matthew Maiona of AILA’s Media Advocacy Committee share how delays are impacting their clients. AILA Policy Counsel Jason Boyd notes that case processing times increased in FY2018 as case volume receipt decreased.
Mother Jones reports that ICE ordered many immigrants to appear in immigration court on January 31, but their hearings weren’t actually scheduled. AILA Senior Policy Counsel Laura Lynch said immigration attorneys have been seeing these Notices to Appear with fake dates since the summer.
The Washington Post reports ICE ordered people to appear in immigration court for hearings that weren’t scheduled. AILA received reports of more than 1,000 incorrect court dates issued in Arlington, VA; Atlanta, GA; Dallas, TX; Miami, FL; Omaha, NE; and San Diego and San Francisco, CA.
CNN reports that AILA tracked over 1,000 people who showed up in immigration court on January 31 to find out their hearing notices contained a fake date. AILA Senior Policy Counsel Laura Lynch said, “The immigration courts have reached a new crisis point.”
Forbes reports on USCIS processing time delays. AILA Policy Counsel Jason Boyd’s research found the average case processing time increased by 46 percent the past two fiscal years and employment-based green card delays have undermined U.S. businesses’ ability to “fill critical workforce gaps.”
CBS News reports many immigrants received NTAs with a hearing date for Thursday, January 31, that turned out to be fake, leading to chaotic scenes at immigration courts. AILA issued a practice alert warning members “the next upcoming date on NTAs that appears to be fake is this Thursday.”
Mother Jones reports on AILA’s finding that USCIS processing time delays have reached a crisis level. AILA Policy Counsel Jason Boyd said the impacts are “serious and sweeping…families struggle to make ends meet, survivors of violence and torture face danger, and U.S. companies fall behind.”
The Texas Tribune reports on AILA’s analysis of USCIS processing time delays. AILA First Vice President Jennifer Minear said various policy changes “inhibit efficiency, and they act as, essentially, bricks in the Trump administration’s invisible wall against legal immigration.”
The Associated Press reports on AILA’s finding that USCIS processing delays have reached crisis levels. According to AILA’s report, “Throughout the nation, these delays are harming families, vulnerable populations, and U.S. businesses that depend on timely adjudications.”
Newsweek reports on the Remain in Mexico policy. AILA branded the policy a “due process disaster for asylum seekers” that would “prevent most, if not all, returned asylum seekers from receiving a fair day in court.”
Bloomberg Law reports on USCIS reopening premium processing for FY2019 H-1B cap petitions. Past AILA President William Stock said it’s a “helpful sign that further processing improvements are on their way” and would allow some of the “most critical” delayed cases to be decided quickly.
Law360 reports asylum seekers will undergo a new screening without the presence of counsel. AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson said, “By blocking access to counsel, USCIS will prevent many families and individuals with legitimate claims for asylum from having a fair shot at protection.”
CNN reports on the government’s plan to return certain Central American asylum seekers to Mexico. AILA Senior Policy Counsel Laura Lynch raised due process concerns with the plan, explaining, “It would be incredibly difficult to prepare an asylum case when your client is in another country.”
CBS News reports on the Remain in Mexico policy. Ruby Powers of AILA's Media Advocacy Committee said the "sharp reduction" in the number of asylum seekers accepted at the San Ysidro port of entry would "continue to exacerbate an already intense backlog of asylum seekers waiting in Mexico."
CNN reports on the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, which DHS announced it would begin implementing. AILA Senior Policy Counsel Laura Lynch tweeted that the plan “will make it nearly impossible for #asylum seekers to access the protections they are entitled to.”
CBS News reports the Trump administration will begin implementing its “Remain in Mexico” policy. AILA called the policy a “due process disaster for asylum seekers,” noting asylum seekers waiting in Mexico “would encounter substantial barriers to accessing U.S. attorneys.”
The Washington Post analyzes the president’s proposed changes to U.S. asylum law. AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen said, “This is a major change to asylum law that will block tens of thousands of children who are now showing up at our borders from ever getting protection.”
Bloomberg Government reports on the president’s proposed immigration bill. AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen said the bill “does a bait and switch” and is “actually a strategy to cut out people and deport more individuals.”
NPR reports on opposition to the president’s proposal to end the government shutdown. AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen said the proposal includes a “historic change in asylum law [that] would categorically block tens of thousands of children from ever applying for asylum.”
CBS News reports on how the government shutdown is affecting immigration judges. AILA Associate Director of Government Relations Kate Voigt explained that forcing judges to rush through their quotas could have a devastating impact on immigration hearings.
The New York Times reports on a Senate bill promoted as a compromise that is drawing fierce opposition from immigrant rights groups. Greg Chen is quoted, “The effect of the law will be to send people back into harm’s way, which would be a violation of international law.”
Politico discussed the Senate Republican bill with hard-line changes that make it unlikely to generate bipartisan support. “Any senator who is genuinely concerned about maintaining America’s commitment to protecting asylum seekers and refugees cannot support this bill,” said Greg Chen.
CBS News reports on how the shutdown is affecting immigration courts across the country. AILA Associate Director of Government Relations Kate Voigt said, “Every day the shutdown continues, the immigration court backlog gets worse and people’s lives are unfairly held in the balance.”
USA Today reports on how the shutdown is impacting security and immigration controls. AILA Treasurer Jeremy McKinney said that one by one, he’s watched as his clients’ long-awaited hearings have been canceled due to the shutdown.
The Washington Post reports on federal courts striking down many Trump administration efforts to remake the immigration system. AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen said, “President Trump has rolled out unlawful and unconstitutional policies so frequently that it becomes the norm.”
CNN reports on the shutdown’s impact on the immigration court backlog. AILA Senior Policy Counsel Laura Lynch noted that “as soon as the court reopens,” a case that was cancelled due to the shutdown “won’t be put on the calendar until there’s a date available, likely two to three years.”
CBS News reports that nearly 43,000 immigration court hearings have already been cancelled due to the shutdown. AILA Treasurer Jeremy McKinney, AILA Media Advocacy Committee member Ruby Powers, and former AILA South Florida Chapter Chair Sui Chung explain the impact of these cancellations.
The Miami Herald reports on how the government shutdown is affecting immigration courts. Tammy Fox-Isikoff of AILA’s Board of Governors and AILA South Florida Chapter Secretary Karla Lammers share about the situation on the ground at Miami immigration court and Krome Detention Center.
CBS News reports on how the government shutdown has led to postponed hearings in long-delayed immigration court cases. Sui Chung, former President of AILA’s South Florida Chapter said, “Everyone’s on edge…It’s mentally, emotionally, and financially disruptive to everyone involved.”
The Associated Press reports on the administration’s plans to change the H-1B program. Regarding a proposal to prioritize visas for individuals with advanced degrees, AILA cautioned that using an advanced degree as a sole method of determining the value of a worker could hurt some industries.
Yahoo News reports on the administration’s immigration-related funding requests. AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen said, “The administration has continued to increase use of detention in thousands of cases, when it has been demonstrated that detention is not necessary.”
WNYC features an interview with AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen about how the lapse in appropriations is affecting U.S. immigration courts, migrants with cases in the immigration courts, and immigration attorneys.
The ABA Journal interviews immigration law experts on what’s to come in 2019. AILA Associate Director of Government Relations Diane Rish discusses what the Democratic majority in the House will likely prioritize, as well as regulatory and policy changes expected from the Trump administration.
AILA Associate Director of Government Relations Kate Voigt told Roll Call that the shutdown “will undoubtedly make the immigration court backlog worse.” AILA Second Vice President Allen Orr said this means the courts “are going to be looking to hit numbers rather than administer justice.”
NPR interviews AILA Treasurer Jeremy McKinney about how the government shutdown is impacting immigration courts. “The situation was already dire, and now this shutdown is just making it all the worse,” said Mr. McKinney.
CNN reports that the government shutdown is interfering with U.S. immigration enforcement. AILA Treasurer Jeremy McKinney said, “It’s a lose-lose for the government and our clients,” who will now face “the anxiety and the uncertainty of potential deportation” for even longer.
CBS News reports on how the government shutdown is impacting the immigration court backlog. AILA Associate Director of Government Relations Kate Voigt noted that “holding the government hostage for a border wall” won’t make the country safer, “but it will make the immigration courts worse.”
The Wall Street Journal reports on new National Detention Standards (NDS) proposed by ICE that were made available to AILA and other organizations for feedback, as well as the comments that AILA submitted to ICE in response to the proposed revisions.
Law360 reports on a federal court overturning a policy barring asylum claims based on domestic or gang violence. AILA President Anastasia Tonello said the ruling cements that the attorney general doesn’t have the authority “rewrite asylum law.”
The Guardian reports on the impact the proposed public charge rule is having in immigrant communities. Alma Rosa Nieto, Vice Chair of AILA’s Media Advocacy Committee said, “The fear is quite great, and I’ve heard of many saying they’re terminating their benefits.”
CBS News reports that a Yemeni woman who was denied entry to the United States under the travel ban has been granted a waiver so she can enter the country to say goodbye to her dying son. According to AILA, the travel ban allows for waiver applications for undue hardship if entry is denied.
CBS News reports that a woman who was teargassed with her children at the border has been allowed into the United States to apply for asylum. AILA confirmed that she and her family as well as eight unaccompanied children were admitted near San Diego.
The Associated Press reports on a suit filed by AILA and others over ICE detainees’ access to counsel at four California detention centers. AILA Associate Director of Government Relations Kate Voigt said similar problems exist elsewhere, but are “particularly serious” at these facilities.
The LA Times reports on CBP data showing an increase in asylum claims during FY2018. AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen said, “We are at an all-time high of resources being devoted to the border…For us not to be able to afford to process people at the border is laughable.”
NBC News reports that many of the members of the migrant caravan who DHS claims are criminals have only ever been charged with illegal entry. AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen said, “Many people who cross the border between ports of entry have valid asylum claims.”
The Mercury News reports on the proposed H-1B rule change. In 2011, AILA stated that a similar registration requirement proposal would create “a flood of unnecessary or unqualified registrations, potentially numbering in the thousands, that will ultimately be abandoned or denied.”
CBS reports on Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker certifying Matter of L-E-A-. AILA Associate Director of Government Relations Kate Voigt said, “These types of certifications basically allow the AG or acting AG to unilaterally rewrite immigration law with little to no oversight.”
AZCentral.com reports on prospects for immigration reform in Congress. Past AILA President David Leopold said, “I would be very surprised if there were any positive changes in the asylum law in this lame-duck Congress,” adding that Democrats may take on the issue in the House in January.
AZFamily.com reports on local churches who are supporting asylum-seeking families. Ruben Reyes, of the AILA Board of Governors, explained that many of the families will likely wait years to find out if they will be granted asylum because of the asylum backlog.
The Washington Post reports on Baltimore’s lawsuit challenging changes to public charge provisions in the DOS Foreign Affairs Manual. AILA says it has seen a surge since April in denials of visa applications on public-charge grounds at the U.S. Consulate in Juarez, Mexico.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports on decisions issued by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In a filing in a case that Sessions had referred to himself, AILA questioned whether acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has authority to handle the case.
The Tucson Sentinel reports on an injunction blocking the ban on certain individuals applying for asylum. AILA Executive Director Ben Johnson stated, “The separation of powers delineated in our Constitution is not an annoyance the Trump administration can push aside when it gets in the way.”
The Dallas Morning News features an editorial on the administration’s attacks on legal immigration, including asylum. AILA Executive Director Ben Johnson said the Central American gangs asylum seekers are fleeing are “as violent and in control of an area as al-Qaeda is in the Middle East.”
Bloomberg reports that USCIS is denying H-1B visas to former international students. According to AILA First Vice President Jennifer Minear, “There’s definitely been a laser-like focus on F-1 students changing status to H-1B” after they graduate.
The Daily Beast reports ICE agents posed as local police to arrest a DACA beneficiary. Heather Prendergast of AILA’s Board said this practice is becoming “more brazen.” ICE has since denied him his medication in detention. Past AILA President David Leopold said this violates ICE’s own policy.
Yahoo News reports on the president’s proclamation on asylum and a lawsuit filed that challenges its legality. AILA Policy Counsel Jason Boyd said, “It’s not hyperbole to say that [the proclamation] will put the lives of vulnerable asylum seekers at risk.”
Law360 reports on a proposed rule to allow employers to satisfy the American worker recruitment requirement for H-2A and H-2B visas using online job postings. The notices of the proposed rule cite comments submitted by AILA in 2015 that advocated for a switch to online recruitment.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the 1898 Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark. Past AILA President William Stock explained, “The case set a bright-line rule: When you’re born here, you’re part of us.”
The Nation reports on how Jeff Sessions changed asylum policies by issuing his own decisions. In one case, AILA and others argued that decades of case law affirmed domestic violence victims’ eligibility for asylum; nevertheless, Sessions held that they would generally not qualify.
Buzzfeed News reports on how the former attorney general shaped immigration policy. AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen said Jeff Sessions oversaw “dramatic changes” that “undermined the integrity of the immigration court system and the independence of judges.”
The Marshall Project reports on how Jeff Sessions changed immigration policy. AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen said, “The aggressive nature of his actions infringing on the independence of the courts has made the need for a new court system even more urgent.”
The Los Angeles Times reports on President Trump’s plans to stop asylum seekers from entering the country. Lindsay Harris, Vice Chair of the AILA Asylum and Refugee Committee, noted that most families seeking asylum do attend their court hearings, contrary to the president’s claim.
The Associated Press reports on the president’s speech about his plans for responding to migrant caravans. AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen said the president is “trying to scare the American public” in a “classic strategy that goes back to 19th century nativist thinking.”
Newsweek reports on the president’s speech about the border, migrant caravans, and his plans to restrict who can apply for asylum. “The law and our treaties have been very clear,” said AILA Executive Director Ben Johnson, “You don’t send people back to be tortured or killed.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on ICE detaining immigrants in a privately operated prison near Atlanta after the city’s mayor banned ICE from holding detainees in Atlanta’s jail, with insights from AILA Georgia-Alabama Chapter Chair Eli Echols, who advised the mayor on the issue.
Business Insider reports on the president’s announced plans to end birthright citizenship by executive order. Matthew Kolken of AILA’s Board of Governors said, “there might be nine separate opinions explaining why Trump can’t do that” if such an executive order went before the Supreme Court.
IRIN reports on the Trump administration restricting people’s ability to file asylum claims. AILA Policy Counsel Jason Boyd said that “turnbacks” of asylum seekers at the border are part of the policies and practices that appear “aimed at shutting out asylum seekers from the United States.”
The Denver Post reports on a chickenpox outbreak at an Aurora, CO, immigrant detention center. In June 2018, AILA and the American Immigration Council filed a complaint demanding an investigation into “woefully inadequate medical and mental health care,” at the same facility.
The Atlantic reports on attacks on judicial independence at EOIR. AILA Treasurer Jeremy McKinney said the Attorney General’s September comments to immigration judges would be normal if made to attorneys to “set prosecutorial policy,” but “that doesn’t translate to immigration judges.”
Fox News reports on the E-Verify system and proposals to mandate its use for all employers. AILA Second Vice President Allen Orr said heightened policing of law-abiding immigrants “does not solve the problem.”
Buzzfeed reports on a 2017 ICE OPLA memo. AILA Past President David Leopold explained that it “all but forb[ade] ICE prosecutors from using their commons sense or showing any compassion.” AILA Senior Policy Counsel Laura Lynch said attorneys now rarely see immigrants granted reprieves.
Law360 reports on the new trade deal reached between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Former AILA President Kathleen Campbell Walker said the new deal largely represents a continuation of the status quo for TN visas, but noted, “We’re worried what may happen in the future procedurally.”
NBC News reports on nationwide delays in processing times for marriage-based green cards. AILA President Anastasia Tonello said the administration’s policy changes are responsible, explaining, “You’ve got hundreds of thousands of more people coming through the immigration offices.”
The New York Times reports on a DHS OIG report that found USCIS failed to effectively screen the civil surgeons who examine immigrants seeking green cards. Alma Rosa Nieto, Vice Chair of AILA’s Media Advocacy Committee, called the report’s findings “very troubling and frightening.”
Axios reports on the Trump administration’s proposed rule on inadmissibility for public charge grounds. AILA Policy Counsel Jason Boyd explained that the proposed rule would “endanger the well-being of families throughout the nation while placing all too many of them at risk of separation.”
The Washington Post shares the story of the Reverend David Boase, who likely would not be facing deportation if it weren’t for a new USCIS policy that, in a July 2018 policy brief, AILA warned would “tie the hands of officials and eviscerate the concept of prosecutorial discretion.”
ABA Journal reports on the Attorney General’s (AG) ruling forbidding IJs from dismissing cases as an act of judicial discretion. AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson said the AG’s actions show that “an immigration court system housed under [DOJ] cannot be one that guarantees due process.”
Bloomberg Law reports on the expected release of several regulations affecting businesses that employ foreign workers. AILA Director of Government Relations Betsy Lawrence called USCIS’s regulatory agenda “very ambitious,” particularly for employment-based immigration programs.
A Las Vegas Sun editorial criticizes recent DOJ actions that undermine immigration judges’ independence. AILA Secretary Jeremy McKinney explained the administration’s true goal with these actions is to “transform [EOIR] into a deportation machine.”
A Dallas Morning News editorial calls for due process to not be sacrificed for expediency in immigration court. AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson explained that recent DOJ actions will both undermine judicial independence and worsen the immigration courts’ “backlog and dysfunction.”
The Boston Globe Editorial Board calls for for taking immigration courts out of the Justice Department, citing AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson, who explained that by undermining judicial independence in immigration courts, “Jeff Sessions gets to be the Supreme Court of immigration.”
HuffPost reports on recent policy changes at EOIR. AILA Associate Director of Government Relations Kate Voigt said the changes show the immigration court system can be manipulated too easily, adding, “We really can’t have a neutral arbiter until its is taken out of the Department of Justice.”
Bloomberg reports that hundreds of thousands of immigrants may lose their temporary work visas while waiting for green cards. AILA First Vice President Jennifer Minear said, “a whole puzzle with multiple pieces” created the situation, including a decades-long backlog and new USCIS policies.
The Hill reports on the Attorney General placing new limits on immigration judges' ability to dismiss cases. AILA Associate Director of Government Relations Kate Voigt called the move part of an effort to "undermine judicial independence and minimize the role of judges in immigration court."
The New York Times reports on undocumented immigrants affected by Hurricane Florence who fear seeking help or evacuating to shelters. AILA Treasurer Jeremy McKinney, said last-minute assurances from authorities made little difference because “they’ve already created this climate of distrust.”
BuzzFeed reports on the Attorney General’s decision in Matter of S-O-G- & F-D-B-. AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson said the decision was “part of a systematic effort to marginalize the role of immigration judges in their own courtrooms.”
Reuters reports on the Attorney General’s (AG) decision in Matter of S-O-G- & F-D-B-. AILA Associate Director of Government Relations Kate Voigt called it part of “a concerted effort by the AG to undermine judicial independence and to minimize the role of judges in immigration court.”
CNN reports on two decisions recently issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. AILA Executive Director Ben Johnson called them “part of a systematic effort to marginalize the role of immigration judges in their own courtrooms.”
Law360 reports on the Trump administration’s proposal to eliminate the Flores Settlement Agreement. AILA President Anastasia Tonello said, “Stripping away these fundamental humanitarian protections will only benefit private prisons and waste billions in taxpayer money.”
Mother Jones reports on actions taken by the Attorney General (AG) that are undermining judicial independence and severely limiting migrants’ due process rights. AILA Senior Policy Counsel Laura Lynch said the AG is “tak[ing] advantage of the structural flaws in our immigration court system.”
The Nation reports on the 700 families who remain separated despite a court ordering they be reunified and AILA and the American Immigration Council’s complaint regarding DHS’s “pervasive, and illegal, practice” of coercing parents into signing documents they may not have understood.
Forbes interviews former AILA President William Stock about USCIS extending and expanding its suspension of premium processing for certain H-1B petitions. Mr. Stock said, “USCIS just reduced substantially the number of H-1B petitions eligible for premium processing for the next five months.”
Quartz reports on how the administration is changing U.S. immigration policy and the concrete impacts of those changes. AILA Associate Director of Government Relations Diane Rish explained that, among other impacts, “there’s not enough workers to fill jobs that desperately need to be filled.”
The Telegraph reports on Britons having difficulty obtaining U.S. visas. AILA Associate Director of Government Relations Diane Rish said, “Brick by brick, the administration is building an invisible wall against legal immigration through a myriad of policies and procedures.”
Yahoo News reports that changes to the public charge rule may especially disadvantage black immigrants. AILA Second Vice President Allen Orr noted, “The U.S. is not welcoming to immigrants in general. So anything that happens to the general population is exacerbated for people of color.”
CNN reports on the slow progress in reunifying families separated at the border and allegations that the government illegally coerced parents into signing away rights. AILA Executive Director Ben Johnson said children were held “hostage in order to sabotage their right to seek asylum.”
NPR reports on a complaint filed by AILA and the Council regarding DHS officials coercing separated parents. One mother gave testimony that when she asked an official what she was being asked to sign, he hid it and said she wouldn’t speak to her daughters again unless she signed it.
BuzzFeed reports on a complaint filed by AILA and the Council regarding DHS officials coercing separated parents. Katie Shepherd of the Immigration Justice Campaign said the “coercive environment created by government officials really started at the moment these families entered U.S. soil.”
Slate reports on a complaint filed by AILA and the Council regarding DHS officials coercing separated parents. AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson said DHS’s actions amounted to separating children and “hold[ing] them hostage in order to sabotage their right to apply for asylum.”
Vice News reports on a complaint filed by AILA and the Council regarding DHS officials coercing separated parents. Many parents interviewed for the complaint said they could not concentrate during credible fear interviews as they were pleading for information on their children.
The Associated Press reports on a complaint filed by AILA and the Council detailing a pervasive practice of DHS officials coercing parents to sign documents they didn’t understand. Attorneys spoke to 76 parents who were asked to sign forms affecting their right to reunify with their children.
The Atlantic reports on the challenges unaccompanied migrant children face in securing a lawyer, with insights from AILA members. The challenges are greater in California’s Central Valley than in the state’s coastal cities, with only 28 AILA members listed within a 50-mile radius of Fresno.
Houston Public Media reports on the Attorney General’s decision in Matter of L-A-B-R-. AILA President Anastasia Tonello said, “The Attorney General has tightened the vise on immigration judges even further by interfering with an important case management tool.”
In an op-ed in The Hill, AILA Policy Counsel Jason Boyd writes about Matter of Castro-Tum and the “8,000 cases this fiscal year that immigration judges had temporarily removed from the court docket” through administrative closure that ICE now seeks to reopen.
The Hill features an op-ed by AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen. He writes, “The Trump administration is closing our nation to asylum seekers, blocking them from humanitarian protection and endangering their lives,” and calls for an independent Article I immigration court.
The Texas Tribune reports on the immigration court system. AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen said, “The structural problems with our immigration court system being housed within the DOJ have been longstanding,” but administration policies have made them “all the more stark.”
The Wall Street Journal reports on efforts to reduce legal immigration. AILA Associate Director of Government Relations Diane Rish said, “Brick by brick the administration actually is making it more difficult for higher-skilled individuals to come to work in the United States.”
The Washington Post reports on NAIJ’s labor grievance against EOIR and DOJ. AILA Senior Policy Counsel Laura Lynch said, “We’re very concerned the immigration judges are simply being turned into law enforcement officers.”
HuffPost reports on the National Association of Immigration Judges’ (NAIJ) grievance against EOIR and DOJ. AILA Senior Policy Counsel Laura Lynch expressed concern that the recent removal of a high-profile case from a judge’s docket is “a slippery slope of where the agency’s heading.”
The Hill reports on the National Association of Immigration Judges’ (NAIJ) grievance against EOIR and DOJ. AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson said, “The decisions and behavior by the attorney general have shone a spotlight on the fundamental flaws of the system as it exists now.”
The Texas Tribune reports on the Trump administration’s rollback of its zero tolerance policy. According to AILA Senior Policy Counsel Laura Lynch, “The procedures that we’re seeing at the border are those that were previously conducted, prior to the announcement of zero tolerance.”
Bloomberg Law reports on changes in consular interviews for those seeking L-1 visas. AILA President Anastasia Tonello said the increased scrutiny at consular interviews has been a "big shift for a lot of Europeans," who were accustomed to just getting their passports stamped at the consulate.
USA Today reports on Congress’ review of the administration’s family separation policy. AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson said that Congress needs to put aside its long history of inaction and get to work.
The Washington Times reports on the Trump administration’s claim that it met a court-ordered deadline for reuniting immigrant families. AILA President Anastasia Tonello said, “The government’s conduct calls into question whether any of these parents understood what they were agreeing to.”
Mother Jones reports that the House Appropriations Committee voted across party lines to block DHS from using funds to implement the attorney general’s decision in Matter of A-B-. AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen called the committee vote “a significant step.”
Daily Mail reports that ICE has tripled its worksite investigations. Allen Orr is quoted, “This is just another political ploy by the administration… at a time when they should be using their resources to reunite these families that were separated at the border.”
NBC News reports on efforts to reunify migrant families, Ben Johnson is quoted, “Under the best of circumstances, the immigration detention system is often rigged against people who face deportation… These are not the best of circumstances."
The Hill reports on USCIS efforts to curb legal immigration, including recent memos on issuance of NTAs and issuance of RFEs and NOIDs. AILA President Anastasia Tonello said, “The memos are really, layer by layer, going after people who are in line doing the right things.”
CBS News reports on recently released USCIS policy memos on issuance of NTAs and issuance of certain RFEs and NOIDs. AILA President Anastasia Tonello said, “The big picture here is they’re attacking legal immigration.”
Bloomberg reports on how USCIS’s new guidance on issuance of certain RFEs and NOIDs could affect adjudication of H-1B applications. AILA President Anastasia Tonello said the new policy could mean applicants will no longer have a chance to explain minor errors in their applications.
Mother Jones reports on recent policy changes that will push more legal immigrants into deportation proceedings, with insights from AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen, AILA Associate Director of Government Relations Diane Rish, and AILA First Vice President Jennifer Minear.
CNN reports on USCIS’s recent policy memo that gives adjudicators greater discretion to reject applications without first issuing an RFE or NOID. Former AILA President William Stock noted that the memo returns USCIS to a “culture of ‘no.’”
WGBH tells the story of how the studies and travel of a Northeastern University student from Syria have been affected President Trump’s travel ban. AILA First Vice President Jennifer Minear described the advise she and other attorneys are offering to individuals affected by the ban.
CNN reports that Matter of A-B- is causing unprecedented numbers of credible fear interview denials. AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen and former AILA President David Leopold offer insight on whether USCIS guidance for applying the decision could be challenged in court.
The Texas Tribune reports on new DHS asylum guidance. Laura Lynch, Senior Policy Counsel at AILA, explained how the credible fear screening and asylum process has worked until now, stating that the new guidance “is effectively shutting off access to asylum in the U.S.”
USA Today reports on new DHS guidance on asylum. AILA President Anastasia Tonello said, “the administration has turned U.S. asylum law on its head” and that the guidance “incorrectly instructs asylum officers to deny domestic violence and gang-related claims as a matter of course.”
HuffPost reports on new guidance issued by USCIS on asylum. AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen said USCIS is “effectively pre-judging domestic violence and gang cases,” adding, “this means a possible death sentence for those who fled from violence and persecution.”
The Texas Tribune reports on Trump administration efforts to narrow who can qualify for asylum. Dree Collopy, Chair of AILA’s Asylum and Refugee Committee, said, “The opportunity to seek protection in this country is becoming less and less realistic.”
Bloomberg Law reports on Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination, and his positions on immigration, with insight from former AILA President David Leopold on longstanding positions of the Supreme Court that relate to immigration and executive power.
Bloomberg Law reports on USCIS’s update to its Notice to Appear (NTA) policy. AILA President Anastasio Tonello said the new policy could “discourage businesses from sponsoring employees” and Matthew Kolken of AILA’s Board of Governors discussed how the policy could play out.
Slate provides an explainer on the roles that ICE and CBP play in enforcing immigration laws in the United States. Kate Voigt, Associate Director of Government Relations at AILA, contributed to the article.
Time reports that student interest in immigration law has increased at many schools in recent years, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association says its student membership has doubled in the past 18 months.
Newsday reports on the Supreme Court decision upholding the president’s travel ban. AILA Secretary Jeremy McKinney said attorneys must “dig deeper into this waiver process,” since the majority of waiver applications “should be granted because these individuals pose no threat to our country.”
The Wall Street Journal reports on the asylum process in the United States. AILA Secretary Jeremy McKinney explained that the Attorney General’s recent decision in Matter of A-B- may not have an immediate impact on pending asylum cases because it “did not change the test for asylum.”
Huffpost reports on President Trump’s tweets calling for immediate deportation of immigrants and asylum seekers without due process of law. AILA Secretary Jeremy McKinney said the tweets “further expose this administration’s lack of interest in democratic norms.”
Talking Points Memo reports on President Trump’s call for immediate deportation of immigrants and asylum, “with no Judges or Court Cases.” AILA Secretary Jeremy McKinney explained that the right to due process “extends to every person in the United States, irrespective of immigration status.”
TIME reports on alternatives to family detention, such as GPS tracking and home visits while a family’s case makes its way through the legal system, and cites an AILA fact sheet about the effectiveness and benefits of alternatives to detention.
The Guardian reports on concerns that Trump’s Executive Order won’t stop family separations. AILA Treasurer Jeremy McKinney explains the Executive Order “provides wiggle room for the administration” to continue separating families.
NBC investigates the veracity of DHS’s claim that traffickers pose as families to avoid arrest. AILA Past President Annaluisa Padilla explained that children apprehended at the border frequently are traveling with a relative who has “been acting as a de-facto parent.”
AILA and its members have been speaking out against the Trump administration’s policy of separating parents and children. Check out these selected clips chronicling the work of AILA and the volunteers from national outlets to local press. A big thank you to all of our volunteers and donors.
San Francisco Chronicle reports on yesterday’s decision issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that narrowed criteria for asylum seekers. AILA National Secretary Jeremy McKinney said Sessions had “inappropriately prejudged probably most of the asylum claims that are pending in our courts.”
NBC interviews AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen about the large numbers of children stuck in border stations after being forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S. southern border.
NBC reports that migrant children separated from their parents at the U.S. border are spending extended periods in short-term border facilities as officials run out of space to house them, a situation AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen called “highly inappropriate” and “unsafe.”
Los Angeles Times reports on the growing numbers of migrant children in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson said HHS’s “workload has grown significantly” and criticized plans to house migrant children on military bases.
The Arizona Republic reports on ICE’s plans to increase deportations of family units with final orders of removal, with insight from AILA President Benjamin Johnson about why some of these families facing removal may have never had the “day in court” that ICE claims they have had.
The Wall Street Journal reports on the U.S. immigration court system’s backlog increasing 25 percent since President Trump took office, with insights on the situation from AILA National Secretary Jeremy McKinney.
HuffPost reports on AG Sessions’ decision holding immigration judges don’t have authority to administratively close cases, with AILA Secretary Jeremy McKinney calling it “the epitome of bad docketing practice” to allow cases that could be resolved other agencies to “sit and linger.”
The New York Times reports on the Attorney General’s decision in Matter of Castro-Tum regarding administrative closures, with commentary from AILA President Annaluisa Padilla and AILA Executive Director Ben Johnson about how the move undermines judicial independence and due process.
Vox reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has referred an unprecedented number of BIA cases to himself for review, with commentary from AILA Associate Director of Government Relations Kate Voigt and AILA National Secretary Jeremy McKinney.
AZ Republic reports on the Attorney General’s plan to separate family units who cross the border without authorization and prosecute the parents. AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson called the plan the administration’s “latest push” to “undermine America’s asylum system.”
Texas Monthly reports on DOJ and DHS’s plans to prosecute all cases of illegal entry and forcibly separate families. Given illegal entries are at a 40-year low, AILA Secretary Jeremy McKinney called the policy “yet another solution in search of a problem.”
Government Executive reports on DOJ’s plans to use case completion quotas when evaluating immigration judges’ job performance, which appears to contradict recommendations made in a 2017 report that was commissioned by the Immigration Review office and obtained by AILA through a FOIA request.
Want to see the impact our volunteers have made on families in detention? Check out these selected clips chronicling the work of the volunteers and the plight of the mothers and children detained there, from national outlets to local press. A big thank you to all of our volunteers and donors.
In this opinion piece, which first appeared in the Christian Post, AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen explains what the Trump administration’s plans for legal immigration would mean for American families and the economy.
AILA Doc. No. 18021235
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