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Advocacy

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The Advocacy section tackles problems faced by low-income immigrants and CLINIC member agencies that can only be resolved through advocacy, education, pro bono representation, litigation, and media. The section identifies legal trends and issues affecting immigrants and pursues responsive solutions. The section prioritizes its advocacy agenda in concert with its member agencies. It also collaborates with Migration and Refugee Services of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). At the national level, the Advocacysection focuses on administrative advocacy with officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). At the local level, the section supports the efforts of advocates working to combat state and local anti-immigrant measures. To increase representation to detained immigrants, the Center coordinates the Board of Immigration Appeals Pro Bono Project. Because documentation and media coverage of the human impact of U.S. immigration polices are crucial to advocacy efforts that seek to create a more just immigration system, the section documents and facilitates media coverage of the challenges facing immigrants served by its network. It also provides support to its member and colleague agencies engaged in media outreach.

Prosecutorial Discretion Toolkit

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.

Position Openings

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

Nebraska Service Center Teleconference on Asylee and Refugee Issues

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.

CLINIC Needs Your Input

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. 

New Members - Subscribers

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.

Administrative Closure: New BIA Standards

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).

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