Advocacy

 

CLINIC's Advocacy Guide

CLINIC wants to remind members of how its Advocacy Section can provide support and assistance.  This document outlines the advocacy related services CLINIC can provide as well as the channels through which CLINIC works with officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to resolve individual case and systemic problems. 

Have you ever had trouble contacting consular posts or the visa office? Learn what you need and get tips. 

In just over a year, Dana Davenport has emerged as a standout immigration advocate in Maryland. Driven pointedly by her faith and her genuine desire to help others, Davenport reflects on the 2016 legislative session, specifically highlighting which strategies worked best and how support from CLINIC led to many successes.

With only 12 states in regular session, positive legislative trends related to education and professional licensing have emerged in recent months. North Carolina proposed the Tuition Fairness Act (HB 1081) that would offer in-state tuition rates to students that have either completed three years of high school or obtained high school diploma in the state.

The National Visa Center (NVC) recently offered a preview of the NVC’s new Online IV Module to CLINIC affiliates. In a special session at Convening, participants had the opportunity preview the pages of the online module, learn how an applicant may establish an account, pay fees, and see how civil documents may be uploaded, tracked and submitted to NVC.

In late May- early June, the CARA Pro Bono Project assisted 21 families who were picked up by DHS in the latest round of enforcement actions targeting Central American women the children. The stories of the 21 families and the due process obstacles they have encountered were captured in a report produced by the CARA project.

On June 23, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its tie (4-4) decision in the United States v. Texas litigation.  The Court’s split decision means that the preliminary injunction issued by the U.S. District Court in Texas remains in effect and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) remain on hold while the case is returned to the lower court.

What is the National Visa Center? The National Visa Center (NVC) functions as the centralized processing agent before an immigrant visa application is processed by a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Specifically, NVC handles the following petitions: I-130; I-140; I-730; I-129F; I-600/A; I-800; I-360; and I-526.

 

Infographic about fee changes

Fees for more than three dozen immigration and naturalization applications or related services are proposed to increase by as little as $15 to as much as hundreds of dollars for some common categories.

New USCIS field offices coming soon in the southeast region

After more than 15 years of lobbying by CLINIC and its affiliates, USCIS has announced plans to open additional field offices in the Southeast. Currently, there are only a couple of USCIS offices in the Southeast: Memphis, Tennessee; Atlanta and Jacksonville, Florida.

Nearly 200 immigration reform advocates from 27 states gathered outside of Washington Feb. 3-5 for the Committee for Immigration Reform Implementation (CIRI)’s second Ready America Conference. The advocates came from 27 states, representing immigration legal service providers, labor unions, community organizers, consulates, philanthropy and social service providers. CLINIC co-chaired the five-track conference, which included a plenary session with USCIS Director Leon Rodriguez and six open forum sessions organized by CIRI’s Advocacy Working Group.

March marked the one year anniversary of the CARA Pro Bono Representation Family Detention Project, which focuses on ending family detention and ensuring representation for immigrant families who are processed through the family detention facilities. Nearly 8,000 families had a CARA volunteer attorney help them start the process of seeking asylum. More than 700 volunteers from all over the country -- lawyers, paralegals, translators, social workers, medical professionals, teachers and more -- put their lives on hold for a week or more and traveled to Texas to help protect families. Combined, they contributed more than $6.75 million in volunteer hours.

In early January, the Department of Homeland Security began targeting for removal Central American families and unaccompanied children who had turned 18. CLINIC engaged in extensive national and local advocacy, with staff from the Advocacy and TLS offices participating in national webinars about the actions. The CLINIC advocacy team conducted webinars for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina, and provided advocacy support for communities in Arkansas, California, Ohio and Virginia. DHS continues to target immigrant families and unaccompanied children who have turned 18 while in the United States.

Leading up to the Supreme Court’s April 18 oral argument in U.S. v. Texas, CLINIC was one of more than 325 immigrant-serving agencies joining an amicus (friend of the court) brief. Selected stories highlighting the benefits of permitting implementation of DAPA and expanded DACA were featured in the brief filed March 8 by CLINIC and civil rights, labor and social service organizations. The brief urged the court to uphold the Obama administration’s executive actions.

CLINIC continues to fight against the government’s practice of detaining immigrant mothers and their children. CLINIC, through its work in the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project has been especially active in the national fight to eliminate large scale family detention centers. CLINIC and CARA have been leading advocacy efforts to challenge unlawful asylum, detention, and deportation policies of DHS. Such advocacy activities have included submitting a complaint to the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) regarding inadequate language access for indigenous language speakers and filing a letter to high-level DHS officials about glaring due process violations that have occurred since the court order of October 23rd.

The Obama Administration appealed the 5th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals ruling from Texas v. U.S. to the Supreme Court on November 20, 2015. The Supreme Court announced on January 19th, that it will take up the case which will likely be argued in April and decided by the last week in June. While the outcome of the case is pending, CLINIC recommends that qualified legal immigration practitioners continue client screenings to assist those eligible for other immigration benefits. Please see CLINIC’s useful timeline on the President’s Executive Action on Immigration

From January 2- 4, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) conducted enforcement actions targeting immigrants who arrived to the United States after January 1, 2014, and had final orders of removal. DHS picked up 121 individuals in local communities in Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas. CLINIC responded to these action by writing a a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, condemning the targeting of Central American women and children and urging an end to the practice, putting together a a backgrounder explaining the recent actions and what to do in your community, and, through its partnership with the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project, help receive stays of deportation from the Board of Immigration Appeals in twelve cases, affecting thirty-three women and children. CLINIC continues to monitor this issue and will appreciate hearing what is occurring in your community.

Calling USCIS’s National Customer Service Center (NCSC) can be time consuming. Here are some tips, for CLINIC affiliates only, on making your communications with the NCSC productive.

CLINIC’s team regularly meets with the DHS, USCIS, ICE, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and other related agencies to address problems faced by low-income immigrants and their representatives by resolving policy issues. As opportunities arise, CLINIC facilitates public engagement with key agencies. 

On September 30th, 2015, Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR), a stop-gap measure which continues funding the government at current levels and keeps the government open until December 11, 2015. The CR reauthorized the Special Immigrant Non-Minister Religious Worker Program as well as three other immigration-related programs, the Conrad 30 Program, the EB-5 Program, and the E-Verify Program until December 11, 2015. Finding a more permanent extension for the Special Immigrant Non-Minister Religious Worker Program remains an ongoing issue for CLINIC Advocacy.

Read updates on: Fee Waivers (Form I-912), Expansion of the Provisional Waiver Program, Board of Immigration Appeals Recognition & Accreditation, USCIS Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, Draft Extreme Hardship Policy Guidance for Waiver Applications.

In connection with the State of Texas v. U.S. litigation, USCIS began recalling over 2,600 grants of Deferred Action Childhood Arrival (DACA) and work authorization in May 2015. USCIS increased its recall efforts dramatically following a Court Order issued on July 7. CLINIC officially registered its opposition to the recall and any resulting terminations. CLINIC worked closely with affiliates to support, advise, and assist them and their clients to understand and take necessary actions as well as to responsibly spread the word in the community. CLINIC and its affiliate efforts helped result in 99.2 percent compliance with the recall. Of the 22 terminations of status issued, 12 were reinstated.

Despite continued efforts by advocates, the government’s practice of detaining immigrant mothers and their children continues. CLINIC has been especially active in the national fight to eliminate large scale family detention centers. In late March 2015, CLINIC partnered with four other networks to form the CARA Pro Bono Project.Through this project CLINIC has been providing legal services for detained families while leading advocacy and litigation efforts to challenge unlawful asylum, detention, and deportation policies.

CLINIC welcomes Jill Marie Bussey as Advocacy Attorney. Her efforts will engage CLINIC affiliates, other advocates, and government agencies to guide the implementation of President Obama’s executive orders on immigration. Jill focuses on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA), enforcement priorities, and other topics.

 

How have you been involved in immigration advocacy?

Why are state and local policymakers increasingly taking immigration matters into their own hands?

I recently participated in trips to two of the family detention centers currently managed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): the Artesia Temporary Facility for Adults with Children in New Mexico and the Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania.

Last December, at CLINIC’s Southeast Legalization Planning Conference in Atlanta, we dedicated a morning to discussing immigration advocacy on the state and local levels.  Legal service providers and advocates shared troubling stories about local law enforcement engaging in immigration enforcement efforts in their communities.

As a response to the humanitarian crisis of children arriving at our Southern border, Congress considered legislation that would strip the protections created by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2008. These changes would allow the United States to return Central American children to their home countries without meaningful screening to determine whether they are victims of trafficking or fear persecution.

By Kelly Kidwell Hughes, Advocacy Intern

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) allows undocumented minors who have suffered abandonment, neglect, or abuse by a parent to become lawful permanent residents.  To qualify, the child must have an order from a juvenile court demonstrating that he or she is dependent on the state and cannot be safely reunited with parents.  Federal law allows children under the age of 21 to qualify, but many potential beneficiaries between the ages of 18 and 21 are left out.  Their state courts only have jurisdiction over children younger than 18, so they cannot obtain the necessary court order to app

This webinar is for current and aspiring immigrant advocates on a grassroots level. This webinar provides an overview of the role each level of government plays in regulating the lives and livelihoods of immigrants.

Taking the opportunity to submit further comments to USCIS about the DACA application and renewal process, CLINIC commended the agency for the changes it did make, including extending the DACA renewal application window to 150 days, simplifying the education-related questions, and streamlining the application requirement for renewal applicants.  CLINIC also encouraged USCIS to make additional changes to the form and instructions to help both initial and renewal applicants better navigate the application process.  Among the chief concerns for CLINIC and its affiliates is ensuring that DACA

S1696 would establish driving privilege cards for New Jersey residents who cannot prove lawful presence in the United States. It was introduced in the New Jersey Senate on March 17, 2014 by Senators Joseph Vitale and Teresa Ruiz and referred to the Senate Transportation Committee. It is identical to A2135, introduced in the New Jersey Assembly on January 16, 2014.  

Dear affiliates,

 

USCIS recently revised its form N-400, Application for Naturalization.  The agency will now only accept the newest version of Form N-400, dated 09/13/13.

Supreme Court Leaves Lower Court Decisions on Anti-Immigrant Housing Regulations Intact

Offering in-state tuition rates to all residents benefits the state’s economy.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Maura Moser, Director of Communications

(301) 565-4830 or Email: mmoser@cliniclegal.org

 

By Allison Posner

On January 16, 2014, USCIS’s Nebraska Service Center (NSC) held a stakeholder engagement on issues related to processing of refugee and asylee petitions. Select questions and answers from the teleconference are below.  Please note that this teleconference was part of a series of informal monthly stakeholder calls held by the NSC.  If you wish to participate in the monthly calls, email CEO.NSC2@USCIS.DHS.GOV  with your contact information, and you will be added to the center’s mailing list.

 

By Allison Posner

The following are the unofficial minutes from a teleconference with the Nebraska Service center on February 13, 2014. Please note that this teleconference was part of a series of informal monthly stakeholder calls held by the NSC.  If you wish to participate in the monthly calls, email CEO.NSC2@USCIS.DHS.GOV  with your contact information, and you will be added to the center’s mailing list.

 

I-131 RP/RTD

Why States Should Provide Access to Driver’s Licenses to All Residents

 

Granting driver’s licenses to all residents improves public safety on our roads.

Bill/Statute: Wash. Rev. Code § 46.20

Year Law Enacted: 2004

Effective Date: June 10, 2004

Name of Document Issued: Driver’s License

 

Bill/Statute: 23 V.S.A. § 603

Year Law Enacted: 2013

Effective Date: January 1, 2014

Name of Document Issued: Operator's Privilege Card

 

Bill/Statute: UT ST § 53-3-207

Year Law Enacted: 2005

Effective Date: July 1, 2005

Name of Document Issued: Driving Privilege Card (DPC)

 

Bill/Statute: P C0900

Year Law Enacted: 2013

Effective Date: August 7, 2014

Name of Document Issued: Licencia de conducir provisional (Provisional Driver's License)

 

Bill/Statute: SB 833

Year Law Enacted: 2013

Effective Date: December 4, 2014 (assuming that Oregon voters decide to uphold the law in the November 2014 ballot measure seeking to repeal the law)

Name of Document Issued: Driver Card

 

Bill/Statute: NM ST § 66-5-9

Year Law Enacted: 2003

Effective Date: 2003

Name of Document Issued: Driver's License

 

What are the eligibility requirements?

Bill/Statute: SB 303

Year Law Enacted: 2013

Effective Date: January 1, 2014

Name of Document Issued: Driver Authorization Card (DAC)

 

Bill/Statute: MD TRANS § 16–122

Year Law Enacted: 2013

Effective Date: January 1, 2014

Name of Document Issued: Driver's License

 

     Driver’s licenses play a critical role in American society and enable us to participate more fully and productively in our communities. Most of us rely on cars to get ourselves and our families to work, school, the hospital, the grocery store, and church.  In addition to facilitating transportation, driver’s licenses enhance public safety by ensuring that all drivers are trained, tested, and qualify for automobile insurance.

Bill/Statute: SB 957

Year Law Enacted: 2013

Effective Date: November 28, 2013

Name of Document Issued: Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL)

 

Bill/Statute: B 20-275

Year Law Enacted: 2013

Effective Date: May 1, 2014

Name of Document Issued: Driver's License

 

What are the eligibility requirements?

Bill/Statute: Public Act No. 13-89

Year Law Enacted: 2013

Effective Date: January 1, 2015

Name of Document Issued: Motor Vehicle Operator's License

 

Bill/Statute: SB 13-251

Year Law Enacted: 2013

Effective Date: August 1, 2014

Name of Document Issued: Driver’s License

 

Bill/Statute: AB 60

Year Law Enacted: 2013

Effective Date: January 1, 2015 (Possibly sooner if DMV is ready)

Name of Document Issued: Driver’s License

 

For over three years, Jason Dzubow, of Dzubow & Pilcher, PLLC, has volunteered as a screener for CLINIC’s BIA Pro Bono Project, which matches vulnerable asylum-seekers and lawful permanent residents with pro bono counsel to bring their cases before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). This month Jason was recognized as one of Washingtonian Magazine’s Top Immigration Attorneys in the Washington, D.C. area for the second year in a row.

January 16, 2014

 

The Honorable Jeh Johnson

Secretary

Department of Homeland Security

 

The Honorable Alejandro Mayorkas

Deputy Secretary

Department of Homeland Security

 

Dear Secretary Johnson and Deputy Secretary Mayorkas:

By Bradley Jenkins*

On December 31, 2013, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) released guidance to the nation’s immigration judges entitled “Phase I of Plan to Provide Enhanced Procedural Protection to Unrepresented Detained Respondents with Mental Disorders.”  This guidance is the latest chapter in EOIR’s ongoing effort to reform how the agency handles the cases of persons with mental disorders who are placed into removal proceedings.

By Allison Posner

 

On November 6, 2013, USCIS held a stakeholder engagement on its new 2D barcode technology.  The new technology is part of the agency’s Forms Improvement Initiative, intended to enhance the agency’s ability to conduct intake at the lockboxes quickly and accurately.

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.

With the support of the Four Freedoms Fund, and in conjunction with other immigrant right organizations,[1] CLINIC is tracking trends in immigration enforcement abuse in order to form a litigation strategy.  To support this goal, CLINIC is asking affiliates to share information about cases that may be in need of litigation before state, local, and federal court systems. 

CLINIC supports the legislative advocacy efforts of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office of Migration and Refugee Services, including the priorities outlined below. 

 

1. Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Each year CLINIC presents its Administrative Advocacy Priorities for the coming year to the board of directors for review and approval. These priorities serve as a guide for the work of CLINIC’s Advocacy section and the Executive Office in its dealings with USCCB, the federal government, and nongovernmental partners. The full list of Administrative Advocacy Priorities follows.

 

Webinar held on 11/1/13
This webinar will look at the legislation and politics which will shape the debate on immigration reform in the House of Representatives, explaining the Church’s position on individual bills and the strategy for winning final legislation the Church can support.

 

On Thursday, October 10, 2013, the Nebraska Service Center held a teleconference.  Please see CLINIC’s notes from the call that touched on the following topics:

I-765:

1.  Can you please cover reinstatement and STEM OPT?  The specific scenario is this – Student on OPT forgot to mail the application for STEM OPT extension in a timely manner (the application was one week late).  USCS denied the STEM OPT extension.  Is there such a thing as reinstatement of OPT status?

These webinars are for immigrant and social justice advocates, legal service providers, faith leaders, community organizers, and others working with and on behalf of immigrants.

In 2010, Arizona passed a law called “SB 1070.”  But Arizona’s police officers were not allowed to enforce some sections of this law because courts prevented them from doing so.  This week, the U.S. Supreme Court decided whether those sections of SB 1070 should stay blocked.

The U.S. Supreme Court BLOCKED the following parts of SB 1070:

On April 25, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Arizona v. United States, a case involving the legal challenge to Arizona's restrictive state immigration enforcement law "SB 1070."  The U.S.

On Monday, June 25, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its 5-3 ruling on Arizona's state immigration enforcement law, SB 1070.   What did the Court hold? What does it mean? What are the potential ramifications for "copycat" laws in other states? What's next for advocacy?    

Featured Panelists:

Welcoming the Stranger through Immigrant Integration discusses five state-level legislative initiatives that promote the integration of immigrants into our states and communities.  The integration measures discussed include legislation that creates tuition equity for all; strengthens human trafficking laws; invests in English language instruction; uses the budget process to integrate immigrants; and enhances access to financial aid and protection against immigration consultant fraud.

As members of Congress prepare to return to Washington, D.C. from the summer recess, the future of U.S.

Overview:  HB 1175 creates state-level penalties (suspending and revoking business licenses) for state employers who knowingly or intentionally hire undocumented workers; it also requires employers in the state to use E-Verify starting July 1, 2013.

 

Section 1

On August 5, CLINIC sent a letter to Director Mayorkas regarding what we believe to be the improper implementation of USCIS's regulations governing the provisional waiver for unlawful presence.

Click Here to read the letter.

Circuit Court Split on Constitutionality of Local Anti-Immigrant Housing Ordinances (August 2013)                                                         

The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) is encouraged by today’s 5-3 Supreme Court decision to strike down three of the four provisions of Arizona’s immigration law that were challenged earlier this year.

More than eight months after hearing testimony in the civil trial, a U.S.

Last August, the Obama Administration began implementing its Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program – a policy through which certain undocumented individuals receive temporary permission to stay in the U.S. for two years as well as the right to apply for employment authorization. After some initial resistance to issuing driver’s licenses to DACA grantees, most states eventually decided to do so. At this time, only two states – Arizona and Nebraska – continue to deny state driver’s licenses or identification cards to DACA recipients.   

Advocacy Day is Tuesday, May 21, 2013.

Get ready for your day on Capitol Hill!  Kevin Appleby, Director of USCCB's Office of Migration Policy and Public Affairs and Allison Posner, CLINIC's Director of Advocacy will speak about the Church's position on immigration reform and how to frame your "asks" when speaking with your representatives.  We will also review the agenda for Advocacy Day and provide practical tips about getting around the Hill and what to expect from the day.   

Held on May 7, 2013.

On January 10, 2013, CLINIC shared comments on USCIS’s policy memo, “Age-Out Protection for Derivative U Nonimmigrant Status Holders: Pending Petitions, Initial Approvals, and Extension of Status.”  CLINIC welcomes the issuance of the guidance, as this policy will provide much needed security for the immigrant crime victims and their families that CLINIC members serve.  We are encouraged by USCIS’ statement that the preservation of family unity is a benefit to law enforcement.  The policy provides important protections for U visa derivatives who age out after the approval of the principal’

On January 10, 2013, CLINIC shared comments with USCIS on its guidance entitled “Eligibility for Employment Authorization upon Approval of a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Self- Petition; and, Eligibility for Employment Authorization for Battered Spouses of Certain Nonimmigrants.”  CLINIC’s comments addressed concerns regarding the employment authorization process for approved VAWA beneficiaries, as well as the eligibility for employment authorization for battered spouses of A, E (iii), G, and H nonimmigrants.  To read the full comments,

 CIS has just released interim guidance on age-out protection for U derivatives. Per the guidance:

  • U-3 derivatives will be approved for the full four-year eligibility period, allowing the U-3 to remain in status past his or her 21st birthday
  • CIS will promulgate regulations to "provide protection" for U derivatives who age-out while the 918-A is pending. In the meantime, aging-out derivatives will be considered for deferred action, which allows for work authorization
  • U derivatives whose status expired upon turning age 21 may now file for an extension of status to receive enough time in U status to allow them to apply for adjustment 

The interim guidance does not address derivatives who age-out abroad while the application for derivative status is pending. The guidance is effective immediately.

Click here for the original letter.

To the extent that Tropical Storm/Hurricane Sandy (Sandy) impacts law enforcement operations and/or the storm triggers the need for an officially ordered evacuation or an emergency government response, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) highest priorities are to promote life-saving and life-sustaining activities, the safe evacuation of people who are leaving the impacted area, the maintenance of public order, the prevention of the loss of property to the extent possible, and the speedy recovery of the impacted region.

As such, to the extent that Sandy impacts law enforcement operations and/or the storm triggers the need for an officially ordered evacuation or an emergency government response, there will be no immigration enforcement initiatives associated with evacuations or sheltering related to Sandy, including the use of checkpoints for immigration purposes in impacted areas during an evacuation. If a state or local law enforcement agency determines that individuals in their custody should be transferred or released due to Sandy, the state or local law enforcement agency should not decline to do so solely on the basis of an immigration detainer issued by ICE or CBP.

On October 23, 2012, CLINIC and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services in response to the Department’s amendment of the definition of the term “lawfully present.”  The amendment will prevent those granted deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program from accessing affordable health insurance coverage options.  Excluding DACA recipients from this program is inequitable and undercuts the spirit of the Administration’s DACA policy.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Information and Resources

 

A criminal record may disqualify you for DACA. Start with the resources on this chart to get a copy of yours. Know your criminal history before applying.

CLINIC and other organizations that help permanent residents naturalize and that promote the integration of newcomers sent the attached letter to Representative Nancy Pelosi, urging her to support appropriations funding for the U.S. Citizenship and Integration Grants Program.  Since the program began in October 2009, USCIS’s Program has helped more than 38,000 permanent residents in 30 states and the District of Columbia prepare for citizenship. Twenty-six percent of the 2012 grantees are CLINIC affiliates. 

Click here for the original letter in English, Spanish or Vietnamese.

In the event that Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isaac (Isaac) triggers the need for an officially ordered
evacuation or an emergency government response, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) highest priorities are to promote life-saving and lifesustaining activities, the safe evacuation of people who are leaving the impacted area, the maintenance of public order, the prevention of the loss of property to the extent possible, and the speedy recovery of the region

As such, there will be no immigration enforcement initiatives associated with evacuations or shelteringrelated to Isaac, including the use of checkpoints for immigration enforcement purposes in impacted areas during an evacuation. If a state or local law enforcement agency determines that individuals in their custody should be transferred or released due to Isaac, the state or local law enforcement agency should not decline to do so solely on the basis of an immigration detainer issued by ICE or CBP. If a state or local law enforcement agency does decide to release an individual subject to an ICE or CBP detainer based on Isaac, the agency should, wherever possible, contact the local ICE or CBP office prior to any such release to ensure that the release does not pose a danger to the community.

E-learning Course: 

Introduction to Family-Based Immigration

October 16 – November 27, 2012

Click here for a more detailed course outline including the dates and times of the seven webinars. 

$270 per person for CLINIC affiliate agencies

September 24, 2012
Immigrating Through Marriage: Fiancé(e)s and Conditional Residents 

2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time 

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time
Cost: $50; $25 for CLINIC Affiliates paying annual dues

On August 14, 2012, USCIS issued the DACA "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" application form, posted a new FAQ, and held a stakeholder call that provided additional information on DACA program. The FAQ and stakeholder call, led by USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas, reviewed basic eligibility requirements for DACA as well as the education requirements, disclosure provisions and filing procedure.

This update will discuss the information released on August 14th and review details of the program previously reported in CLINIC's August 6th article on DACA. The DACA application form, Form I-821D, is available here and the FAQ is posted here

Additional resources on DACA may be found on the CLINIC website and include:

  • DACA Workshop Toolkit (working document)
  • Updated Materials  on CLINIC's DACA website including previous CLINIC webinars
  • August 23rd Webinar on Capacity Building for DACA and DACA Updates (register here)

E-learning Course:
Grounds of Inadmissibility

September 26-November 7, 2012

Click here for a more detailed course outline including the dates and times of the seven webinars. 

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) signed onto this letter July 23, 2012 urging members of Congress to support the Help Separated Families Act, legislation introduced by Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA-34). The bill aims to improve the likelihood that children placed in the child welfare system as a result of immigration enforcement actions against their parents can ultimately reunify with their parents.

On Monday, June 25, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its 5-3 ruling on Arizona's state immigration enforcement law, SB 1070.   What did the Court hold? What does it mean? What are the potential ramifications for "copycat" laws in other states? What's next for advocacy?    

Featured Panelists:

This document addresses ten immigration myths. It provides information from a variety of  resources in order to clarify these common misconceptions.  Click here to view Ten Immigration Myths.

Friday, July 13, 2012
Arizona's SB 1070 at the U.S. Supreme Court

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT

Space is limited.

On Monday, June 25, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its 5-3 ruling on Arizona's state immigration enforcement law, SB 1070.   What did the Court hold? What does it mean? What are the potential ramifications for "copycat" laws in other states? What's next for advocacy?    

Helpful Links

Select Topics in Family-Based Immigration Law Training
and Visit to National Visa Center

Co-Sponsored by
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)
and
New Hampshire Catholic Charities

July 10-11, 2012
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

July 12, 2012
Optional Tour of National Visa Center, Portsmouth, NH

On April 25, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Arizona v. United States, a case involving the legal challenge to Arizona's restrictive state immigration enforcement law "SB 1070."  The U.S.

April 27, 2012
The Supreme Court Considers Arizona v. United States

 
 
2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time 
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time

The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) submitted these comments on March 30, 2012 in response to the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s (EOIR) proposal to amend the regulations governing the recognition of organizations and accreditation of representatives who appear before EOIR.

CLINIC and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops joined other faith-based organizations in asking Congress to permanently extend the Religious Worker Visa Program.  See the letter here.

CLINIC hosted a webinar to train users of CLINIC's new web-based State & Local Immigration Policy Map. The Map offers CLINIC's many state-specific resources on policy proposals affecting immigrants and their families. This webinar will be free and open to the public. During this fully interactive training, participants experienced a real-time demonstration of the Map's capabilities, received step-by-step instruction in finding materials, asked questions of CLINIC's State & Local Advocacy Attorney Karen Lucas and CLINIC's Communications

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, along with other faith-based, human rights, immigrant advocacy, and legal service organizations expressed thir support for expanding the Legal Orientation Program (LOP), a program within the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). Since its launch in 2003, LOP has generated bipartisan support because of its proven track record in reducing court processing times and making the detention and immigration court process more efficient.

The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) submits these comments in response to the request for public comment by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) in advance of its two public meetings on the agency's proposal to amend the regulations governing the recognition of organizations and accreditation of representatives who appear before EOIR.

On November 20, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced new immigration enforcement priorities in a memorandum entitled Policies for the Apprehension, Detention, and Removal of Undocumented Immigrants. The guidance sets forth factors DHS should consider when deciding whether an individual is an enforcement priority or warrants a favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion. The government documents, articles, sample requests and motions, and other materials contained in this toolkit will help advocates understand prosecutorial discretion policies ---- who can benefit, what is the process, and how to assist clients both before and after the issuance of the Notice to Appear.

West Coast Mennonite Central Committee, a CLINIC subscriber, has two position openings immediately available for and Legal Services Advisor and.. Staff Associate for Immigration (caseworker) (both Bilingual).

Immigration Legal Services Advisor

By Charles Wheeler

If you are an undocumented alien who is arrested by the police and during booking you lie and state you were born in the United States, is that a false claim of citizenship for immigration purposes?  The Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that it was not and overturned the BIA and immigration judge, who held that it was.

On February 9, the USCIS Nebraska Service Center held a stakeholder teleconference on Asylee and Refugee Issues.  Questions raised by stakeholders and responses from the Service Center are below.

Refugee Issues:

Q. How is a newly arrived follow-to-join refugee who is joining a spouse who has been to the US for more than two years treated?  Are they classified as refugees or a different status?

A. Classification is not affected by the amount of time the spouse has been in the US.

This month, CLINIC's Advocacy staff is working on several issues with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and we need to hear from you!  Is there a detention facility in your area that doesn't allow detainees to make telephone calls to 800 numbers?  Do you have examples of ICE conducting enforcement actions in "sensitive locations" such as schools, places of worship, funerals or others places where children and families are present?  Contact me at aposner@cliniclegal.org or 202-635-2567. 

By Allison Posner

On February 6, CLINIC launched its new, interactive web feature highlighting state and local immigration initiatives across the country. This feature is publically available for free, thanks to a grant from the Ford Foundation.

CLINIC welcomes the following new subscribers to its network:

IMPORTA – Center for Immigrant Integration, Santa Barbara, CA.  Russell Trenholme,  Executive Director, is in the process of applying for BIA agency recognition and staff accreditation for staff Patricia Carlyon and Vanessa del Toro.

International Club of Southwest Louisiana, Lake Charles, LA. The agency is applying for BIA recognition and staff accreditation for Dalia R. Matheus, Executive Director, and Ann Simien, paralegal.

CLINIC congratulates the following programs and staff on receiving Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) recognition and accredited representative status respectively:

On February 2, 2012, the Apostle Immigrant Services (Affiliate), New Haven, CT, received agency recognition and Sister Doreta D’Alberto was granted partial BIA accreditation.

The Atlantic City Sub-Office of Catholic Charities of Camden (Affiliate), Atlantic City, NJ, was granted agency recognition on December 1, 2011.  Staff Truc Tang and Kim Ngon Tran received partial BIA Accreditation.

By Debbie Smith

What can be done to temporarily stop removal proceedings while awaiting the adjudication of a visa petition, naturalization application, TPS application, or other benefit?  An individual in removal proceedings can request a brief rescheduling or continuance of the hearing or the administrative closure of the case.  The Board of Immigration Appeals recently revised the rules affecting administrative closure in a decision issued on January 31, 2012, Matter of Avetisyan, 25 I&N Dec. 688 (BIA 2012).

Thank you for participating in the BIA Pro Bono Appeals Project!  The benefits of your time, legal background, and research skills will have a significant impact on an immigrant who would otherwise face a complex legal struggle alone.

What happens next: decision by the Board

When will you get a decision back from the Board?

Scan or fax a redacted copy of the brief to the Project

As part of this Project, we are continuing to develop our brief bank.  Therefore, we ask that once you submit your brief to the BIA, please send a redacted version of the brief as an e-mail attachment to lsullivan@cliniclegal.org or via fax at 202-756-5537.

The attorney files the brief with the Board

  • Serve the DHS trial attorney with one copy of the brief.
  • File one copy of the brief with the BIA, with proof that you have served the DHS trial attorney with a copy of the brief.  (See Chapter 3.2 of the BIA Practice Manual for “Proof of Service” samples). 

    The attorney formats the brief in accordance with the BIA Practice Manual


    BIA PRACTICE TIPS

    Please note the following essential practice points:

    Time to write the brief (Brief Bank)

    CLINIC provides full legal support for BIA Pro Bono Project cases.  We also have volunteer mentors from around the country who have offered to answer any substantive legal questions about the cases and offer legal guidance to our volunteers. Please contact the Project Coordinator at lsullivan@cliniclegal.org if you would like additional guidance.

    Attorney should contact his/her client and review the Record of Proceedings (ROP).

    The Board resets the briefing schedule.

    Once the attorney receives the respondent’s consent, the attorney files the entry of appearance with the BIA

    Upon receipt of the respondent’s packet, please review the documents to ensure the respondent consented to representation and signed the indigency checklist.

    CLINIC sends a packet to the Respondent requesting consent

    CLINIC will send a packet to the respondent that explains the BIA Project.  The packet includes: 1) a letter explaining the project; 2) a consent checklist; and 3) a notice for respondent to update us of any address changes. 

    State & Local Immigration Policy Map Training

    March 1, 2012

    2:00-3:00 pm EST  

    Important Changes to I-601 Waiver Processing

    "We call on the administration to prioritize release of immigrant families in all cases. We
    urge the administration to assign social workers to manage familiesʼ cases rather than
    placing them in detention. For families without housing, the administration should
    partner with non-profit shelter or child welfare organizations experienced in supporting
    asylum-seeking and immigrant families to resolve any issues preventing the direct
    release of families. Social workers with proven track records providing family and child

    The undersigned members of the ICLN and other interested parties are writing in response to the regulations proposed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) on September 6,
    2011, regarding Special Immigrant Juvenile Petitions. While we applaud the proposed
    regulations’ provisions reflecting the statutory language updated by the William Wilberforce
    Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, we have significant concerns about
    much of the proposed regulatory language, as well as the commentary accompanying the

    This week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) chose to sever its 287(g) immigration enforcement partnership with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) based on extensive findings by the Department of Justice (DOJ) that MCSO had engaged in a pattern and practice of civil rights violations.  The Department of Justice found overwhelming evidence of discrimination against Latinos in this jurisdiction.  Sadly, these findings demonstrate the potential of these federal/state partnerships to serve as a conduit for racially-biased policing that devastates families and communities.  “Tying federal civil immigration enforcement to local criminal law enforcement is misguided.  It makes our communities less secure, endangers parental rights and family unity, and undermines the federal government’s ability to focus enforcement on truly dangerous criminals,” said Maria M. Odom, CLINIC’s Executive Director.  This is particularly true in states like Alabama, which have sought to criminalize the everyday lives and activities of immigrants.  Programs like 287(g) and Secure Communities can operate as a force-multiplier for these state efforts. 

    "Standing for Truth, Calling for Justice"

     May 23-25, 2012
    Omni Austin Hotel Downtown
     Austin, TX

    From the basics of immigration law to the most advanced issues that arise in filing petitions, CLINIC's 15th Annual Convening will offer workshops for legal services providers and immigration advocates at any level.

    CLINIC's three-day conference offers excellent updates on immigration law, insightful trainings, and opportunities for networking.

    Come meet fellow advocates and learn new strategies for fundraising, program management, and advocacy.

    December 9, 2011
    Update from Cd. Juarez

    2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time  
    11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time
    Cost: Free for CLINIC affiliates paying annual dues

    In August, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would exercise prosecutorial discretion in 300,000 pending immigration removal cases.  And it recently announced plans to implement that plan and train DHS staff.  CLINIC’s Advocacy staff is interested in hearing from you about your experiences with requesting prosecutorial discretion in your cases.  Please contact me at aposner@cliniclegal.org to share your experiences regarding the merits of your clients’ cases and how the government responded to your reque

    By Susan Schreiber and Charles Wheeler

    The highlight of CLINIC’s annual family immigration law training in El Paso on November 16-17, 2011 was a presentation by consular and USCIS officials.  Catherine Holt, Chief of the Immigrant Visa (IV) Section, and Yolanda Miranda, Field Office Director at the USCIS office located at the consulate, each spoke and then answered questions for over two hours.  The following is a summary of the information they provided at the conference and during the consular tour on November 18th.

    Washington, DC (October 24, 2011) - The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) celebrated the ten-year anniversary of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) Pro Bono Project through which nearly 800 vulnerable immigrants have received free  representation in their appellate cases.  Washington DC law firm Fried Frank hosted the reception with special guests in attendance, including the Honorable Immigration Judge Paul Schmidt, Acting Director of EOIR Juan Osuna, and Acting Chairman of the BIA David Neal.  

    Back to State and Local Immigration Project Page
     
    Click here to meet CLINIC’s Alabama Affiliates (in Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile, Robertsdale and Hoover)

     

    Congratulations to the following programs and staff:

    Sr. Janet Yurkanin, Program Director at Migration and Refugee Services in the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey, renewed her full BIA accreditation status on August 16.

    Jennifer Zurek of Catholic Charities of Allentown, Allentown, PA, received BIA partial accreditation on July 13, 2011.

    St. Brendan Parish, Shallotte, NC, branch office of Catholic Charities of Raleigh, NC was granted BIA recognition on September 2, 2011.

    The Nebraska Service Center held a teleconference on September 15, 2011 that was hosted by Sean Allen.  The following are unofficial minutes from that meeting.

    The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Justice for Immigrants (JFI) Campaign will be holding its “Pray for the DREAM” events from September 18th through October 9th.  Dioceses, parishes and other faith groups will be planning events and/or incorporating petitions, homilies, and prayers into the Sunday Masses in support of DREAM Act eligible students and youth.

    Throughout the month of August, the Task Force on Secure Communities held a series of four public meetings in Dallas, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL; and Arlington, VA.  CLINIC staff and/or affiliates were in attendance at each, and many who were not able to attend a Task Force meeting shared their concerns in response to the call for public comments.  The Task Force is expected to release its report and recommendations by the end of September.

    DHS

    On August 18, 2011, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) held a telephonic meeting announcing the process for exercising prosecutorial discretion in the 300,000 immigration removal cases currently pending in the United States.

    Introduction to Immigration Consequences of Crimes

    Co-Sponsored by

    Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), and
    Catholic Charities of Portland

    November 15 - 16, 2011

     8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. – Day One
    9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Day Two

    Location:

    CLINIC offers our faith-based perspective to recommend improvements to the Secure Communities program.

    This tool kit provides an overview of the Criminal Alien Program, the Secure Communities Program, and the 287(g) Program. It also recommends strategies to advocate against the implementation and halt the continuation of these programs in communities.

    Click on the links below to view our most recent posts (organized by state).

     

    National

    The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) submits these comments in response to the request for public comments by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Policy Memorandum, PM-602-0039, The Role of USCIS District Directors in the Board of Immigration Appeals Recognition and Accreditation Process; Revisions to the Adjudicator’s Field Manual, New Chapter 12.6, AFM Update AD 11-34. Click here (pdf) for the full letter. 

    Esta grabaciόn contiene una serie de preguntas y respuestas acerca de la ley migratoria de Indiana.

    This podcast is a short Q & A on Indiana’s immigration law PL 171.