AILA in the News

Article: Advocates frustrated by shrinking legal migration under Biden

10/9/2021
The Hill reports on immigration advocates frustrated with the Biden administration’s inefficient handling of immigration opportunities. AILA government relations director Shev Dalal-Dheini says, failure to issue visas leads to people stuck in green card backlogs for decades.
AILA Doc. No. 21101168

Article: The Heartbreaking Work of Resettling Afghan Refugees When You’ve Been an Afghan Refugee

10/7/2021
Mother Jones reports on an immigration attorney who fled Afghanistan as a child and now aids current Afghan refugees arriving in the United States. She explains that AILA is “holding legal orientation at military bases, basically informing people of their different legal options.”
AILA Doc. No. 21100861

Article: United States Cannot Stop Issuing Visas during Travel Bans, Federal Judge Rules

10/6/2021
NorthJersey.com reports on the recent federal ruling that declares it unlawful to stop processing visas for eligible travelers during travel bans. The relevant lawsuit, Kinsley v. Blinken, was filed by private individuals and a coalition of immigration law firms with AILA’s support.
AILA Doc. No. 21100663

Article: Lengthy Processing Times Keep Indian Green Card Seekers Waiting

10/5/2021
Roll Call reports on how delayed green card processing affects Indian immigrants. To process the backlog, AILA government relations director Shev Dalal-Dheini said USCIS needs more staff, streamlined procedures, and statutes that prevent green card slots from being lost.
AILA Doc. No. 21100662

Article: What America Owes Haitian Asylum Seekers

10/4/2021
The New York Times presents an opinion piece on the history of asylum for Haitians in the United States. The author, once an expert witness in litigation, describes asylum in the 1980s, and how he and AILA committed to finding volunteer lawyers for roughly 2,200 Haitian detainees.
AILA Doc. No. 21100561

Article: Border Officials Can Continue to Expel Migrant Families under COVID Restrictions, Court Rules

10/1/2021
The Tucson Sentinel reports on continued use of Title 42 by CBP officials. AILA President Allen Orr said, “Until this policy is terminated, we will continue to see images of families being expelled, without the meaningful chance to claim protection required under our laws.”
AILA Doc. No. 21100461

Article: DeSantis Announces Lawsuit Against Biden Administration Over Immigration Policy

9/28/2021
CNN reports on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ lawsuit against the Biden administration over “catch and release.” AILA director of federal litigation Jesse Bless said he sees no evidence attached to the complaint and explained how difficult it is for a state to take on federal government over federal law.
AILA Doc. No. 21092962

Article: The Debate Over Immigration Often Relies on Murky Assumptions about the Law

9/22/2021
The Washington Post reports on the centuries-old immigration debate and the history of immigration law in an effort to contextualize current migration at Del Rio. AILA’s past president David Leopold described how applications for asylum do not require a person to enter the states legally.
AILA Doc. No. 21092362

Article: Biden Channels Stephen Miller to Deport Haitian Asylum Seekers

9/21/2021
Rolling Stone reports on the deportation of Haitian migrants at the border under Title 42. AILA policy council Jennifer Ibanez Whitlock noted that despite initial plans to stop broadly applying Title 42, the Biden administration is now appealing a court order to maintain it.
AILA Doc. No. 21092361

Article: Democrats look for Plan B after blow on immigration

9/21/2021
The Hill reports on the effort by Democrats and immigration advocates to define a pathway to citizenship for millions. AILA Director of Government Relations Greg Chen proposed a change to 245(i) in INA: a much simpler change and smaller impact on what’s already codified in law.
AILA Doc. No. 21092260

Article: DHS chief blames 'sudden' Haitian surge for border chaos, but says it's under control

9/20/2021
The Washington Times reports on migrants from Haiti at Del Rio, where expulsions are occurring under Title 42. AILA President Allen Orr said the expulsion “....not only deprives people of the opportunity to apply for asylum but also endangers their lives.”
AILA Doc. No. 21092080

Article: Biden Administration Will Continue Challenging ‘Remain in Mexico’

8/25/2021
Roll Call reports on the Biden administration’s vow to challenge “Remain in Mexico,” or MPP. AILA Policy Counsel Jennifer Ibañez Whitlock said the administration could apply MPP with room for exceptions, but “will continue to press the case that they were right to terminate MPP.”
AILA Doc. No. 21082641

Article: Struggling to Get Out of Afghanistan: Military Interpreter Tear Gassed, Beaten

8/21/2021
USA Today reports on the uncertain and often violent experience of leaving Afghanistan. AILA member Parastoo Zahedi described the inability of her clients to even enter the airport. AILA Board member Mahsa Khanbabai said, “It’s the most depraved situation we can imagine.”
AILA Doc. No. 21082345

Article: Biden Administration Seeks to Speed Review of Asylum Cases

8/18/2021
The Hill reports on DHS/DOJ’s proposal for USCIS officers to grant asylum to those subject to expedited removal. AILA Policy Counsel Jennifer Whitlock said, “There is a world of difference” between USCIS officers trained in trauma-informed questioning and prosecutors who challenge statements.
AILA Doc. No. 21081961

Article: Biden Administration Struggles to Find Coherent Message on U.S.-Mexico Border, Critics Say

8/12/2021
VOA News reports on the Biden administration’s conflicting policies and messaging on migrants at the border. AILA President Allen Orr said AILA appreciates efforts to improve humanitarian protection, but that moves like expanding “expedited removal” undermine due process and fairness.

Video: U.S. at Risk of Losing 100,000 Employment-Based Green Cards Due to Pandemic Backlog

8/9/2021
Scripps News Service features an interview with AILA Director of Government Relations Sharvari Dalal-Dhein, in which she discusses how the pandemic backlog is impacting more than a million immigrants who have already been waiting months or even years for a green card.
AILA Doc. No. 21081062

Article: Biden Railed Against Trump’s Immigration Policies, Now Defends Them in Courts

8/10/2021
Politico reports on frustrations with the Biden DOJ’s slow pace in tackling the Trump-era immigration portfolio. AILA Executive Director Ben Johnson expressed concern that another administration won’t “care enough to dedicate the political time and energy to undo all of these little things.”
AILA Doc. No. 21081061

Article: Biden Taps Lawyer to Help Rescind Trump Immigration Policy

8/2/2021
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

7/29/2021
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

7/29/2021
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

7/25/2021
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

7/24/2021
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: How Police "Gang Databases" Are Being Used to Wage War on Immigrants

4/29/2021
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

4/29/2021
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

4/1/2021
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

3/31/2021
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?

12/27/2020
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

11/16/2020
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

10/22/2020
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: ‘A Naturalization Crisis’: 10,000 Would-Be Voters in Mass. Might Miss Out in November

8/6/2020
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
NJ.com 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

8/3/2020
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

8/3/2020
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

7/31/2020
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

6/8/2020
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

3/24/2020
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

2/29/2020
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

2/4/2020
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