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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).

State & Local Immigration Policy Map Training

State & Local Immigration Policy Map Training
March 1, 2012 2:00-3:00 pm EST  

A Toolkit for Communities to Advocate Against ICE Partnerships with Local Law Enforcement Agencies

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.

Important Changes to I-601 Waiver Processing

Important Changes to I-601 Waiver Processing

Open Letter in Response to the Closing of the Berks County Family Shelter Care Center and Solicitation of New Family Detention Beds

"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

Comments on Special Immigrant Juvenile Regulations

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

DHS Ends Enforcement Agreement with Maricopa County

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. 

CLINIC's 2012 Annual Convening

"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.

Update from Cd. Juarez

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

Requests for Information about Prosecutorial Discretion

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 to share your experiences regarding the merits of your clients’ cases and how the government responded to your reques