Today is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. At CLINIC, we are ever mindful of the need to advocate for the protection of the most vulnerable immigrants. Those who are detained face significant barriers to asserting their legal claims to remain in the United States. People living with mental disabilities are doubly vulnerable and face an impossible task when the government seeks to expel them from the country. Indeed, disabled immigrants often merit humanitarian protection precisely because of their heightened vulnerability, but may be unable to articulate their need for protection to the authorities.
On August 5, 2013, CLINIC's Executive Director Jeanne Atkinson sent a letter to USCIS Director Mayorkas highlighting CLINIC’s concerns about the agency's improper use of the "reason to believe" standard in adjudicating provisional waiver applications. Prompted by CLINIC affiliates' reports of recent denials of provisional waivers, CLINIC asked that Director Mayorkas instruct adjudicators to employ the proper standard and reopen cases that have been wrongfully denied.