By: Wendy Rhein
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Wendy Rhein
202 635 5825
CLINIC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NAMED CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES OMBUDSMAN
Washington, D.C. (September 14, 2012) - [En Español] -The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) is honored to announce that Maria M. Odom, CLINIC's executive director, has been appointed as the next Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Ombudsman. As CIS Ombudsman, Ms. Odom will lead the Ombudsman's Office in providing assistance to the public, while also recommending ways USCIS can improve the delivery of immigration services and benefits.
Ms. Odom has served as CLINIC's executive director since September 2009. During her tenure the organization has grown to support a network of over 200 charitable legal programs; innovated its legal training to offer e-learning courses on immigration law; and participated in large scale national initiatives impacting the lives of thousands of immigrants in the U.S.
DHS and DOJ 's August 18, 2011 Announcement on Prosecutiorial Discretion: What It May Mean for Your Client
On August 18th, the Obama administration's Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that they will review all cases that are in removal proceedings in order to prioritize those involving individuals who have committed crimes or are identified as potential security risks. This is not a new amnesty program. This is not a benefit for which an application can be submitted. Instead, it clarifies how Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton's June 17, 2011 prosecutorial discretion memo will be implemented. DHS and DOJ together will conduct a thorough review to ensure that cases in removal proceedings meet the "high priority" standard as described in the June 17 memo. DOJ and DHS intend to ensure that new cases placed in removal proceedings will similarly meet the priorities for removal.
The announcement indicates that cases at all stages, including those before immigration judges, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and federal circuit courts of appeal will be reviewed. It is estimated that 300,000 cases will be examined in this process.