Resource Library | CLINIC

The project’s primary objective is to increase the number of fully accredited representatives and attorneys who are qualified to represent immigrants in immigration court proceedings. To accomplish this, the Defending Vulnerable Populations Project will conduct court skills training for both nonprofit agency staff (accredited representatives and attorneys) and pro bono attorneys; develop practice materials to assist legal representatives; advocate against retrogressive policy changes; and expand public awareness on issues faced by vulnerable immigrants. Below are a collection of resources that can also be found on the project's page.     

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 Resources for legal practitioners | Help us gather information | Recorded Webinars | Resources for the public | News | Amicus Briefs | FOIA Disclosures | DACA Practice Advisories


 

Resources for legal practitioners

The USCIS Asylum Office’s Credible Fear Lesson Plan is designed to train asylum officers and set forth standards to be followed when conducting credible fear interviews. CLINIC analyzed changes to the 2019 USCIS Asylum Office’s Credible Fear Lesson Plan and added them to a comparison chart AILA had previously created outlining changes among the 2006, 2014, and 2017 Lesson Plans. The comparison chart includes analysis from all three lesson plans with a summary of the 2019 changes.

Page last updated: October 4, 2019

On August 16, 2019, the Executive Office for Immigration Review issued a memo limiting the types of cases that an immigration judge may place on a status docket while a noncitizen is waiting for some event to occur that will impact the removal proceedings. The policy may make it more difficult for some respondents to seek immigration relief while in removal proceedings, especially relief before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. This practice advisory provides background on status dockets, describes the new policy, and provides tips for practitioners with clients whose cases are currently on a status docket or who would otherwise have pursued status docket placement but may now be found ineligible for status docket placement.

Page last updated: October 1, 2019

On July 29, 2019 the attorney general issued a decision, Matter of L-E-A-, 27 I&N Dec. 581 (A.G. 2019), overturning the part of the 2017 Board of Immigration Appeals decision in this case discussing whether Mr. L-E-A-’s proposed particular social group is cognizable. While the attorney general’s decision uses sweeping language about family-based particular social groups, the holding essentially states that each claim must be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. This practice pointer summarizes the decision and gives practitioners tips on how to represent asylum-seekers with family-based claims going forward.

Page last updated: August 21, 2019

Practitioners are increasingly seeing requests by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), consular officers, and immigration judges (IJs) for their clients’ arrest reports. Requests for these reports are being made even where the client was never charged or convicted of a crime. This practice advisory explains how arrest reports can impact immigration adjudications, how advocates can challenge the consideration of arrest reports, and practical considerations to keep in mind when deciding how to respond to a request for an arrest report.  

Page last updated: August 9, 2019

The goal of this resource is to provide practitioners who represent Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, or SIJS, beneficiaries with ideas for advocating in immigration court to prevent the removal of SIJS beneficiary clients who are awaiting a current priority date. This sample brief provides arguments for seeking termination of removal proceedings or, in the alternative, a continuance or transfer to the status docket for respondents with approved I-360 SIJS petitions who are awaiting a current priority date.

Page last updated: July 23, 2019

Pursuant to directives from the Trump Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been shutting its doors to asylum seekers who present themselves at ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border. These directives have resulted in thousands of individuals seeking asylum under U.S. law stranded on the Mexican side of the border. Practitioners should therefore consider and prepare for potential DHS firm resettlement arguments against asylum seekers who are forced to remain in Mexico before ultimately gaining access to the U.S. asylum system. This practice advisory takes practitioners through those firm resettlement considerations and potential arguments.

Page last updated: April 24, 2019

Currently under review by the attorney general, Matter of L-E-A- could potentially affect the cases of thousands of people who are seeking asylum because they are at risk in their home country based on their family membership. This backgrounder answers common questions surrounding the case and its prospective impact.

Page last updated: February 21, 2019

On November 9, 2018, the Trump administration issued rule changes that would prevent asylum seekers who enter the United States between ports of entry along the southern border from being eligible for asylum. While a federal court has temporarily prevented those rule changes from going into effect, CLINIC has prepared a FAQ on how asylum eligibility would change if the rules are allowed to go into effect.

Page last updated: December 7, 2018

As the future of DACA recipients remains uncertain, practitioners who work with DACA recipients should explore permanent relief options for this vulnerable population.

Page last updated: July 12, 2019
Rebecca Scholtz

On August 16, 2018, Attorney General Jefferson Sessions issued Matter of L-A-B-R-, 27 I&N Dec. 405 (A.G. 2018), a precedent decision about how immigration judges (IJs) should decide certain motions for a continuance “to await the resolution of a collateral matter.” The decision uses the term “collateral matter” to refer to filings with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) and other matters pursued outside of immigration court that could affect the outcome of the removal proceedings. Many noncitizens in removal proceedings are eligible for immigration relief that is adjudicated by USCIS, and that, if granted, would provide them with lawful status and a basis for terminating the removal proceedings.

Page last updated: September 26, 2018

This index provides a catalogue of unpublished decisions by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) reviewing decisions on petitions for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). The authors reviewed the decisions available on the USCIS website, from 2005 to March 2019. The goal of this index is to assist practitioners who represent children and youth seeking SIJS.

Page last updated: July 23, 2019

Sample Respondent’s Brief Regarding Particular Social Group Formulation Requirements Under Matter of W-Y-C- & H-O-B-

Page last updated: August 14, 2019

This practice pointer provides practitioners guidance on the Attorney General’s Matter of Castro-Tum decision issued on May 17, 2018. Matter of Castro-Tum revokes immigration judges’ and the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (BIA) general authority to administratively close cases, or temporarily close cases without deciding them, with some exceptions.

 

Page last updated: June 27, 2018

This guide provides strategies for practitioners seeking a client’s release from immigration detention. It focuses on the nuts and bolts of preparing for and representing a client during immigration court bond hearings.

Page last updated: May 9, 2019

As the future of DACA recipients remains uncertain, practitioners who work with DACA recipients should explore permanent relief options for this vulnerable population.

Page last updated: October 29, 2018

The Trump Administration’s September 5, 2017 DACA rescission has left DACA recipients in limbo and prompted many questions on what comes next for this vulnerable population. 

Page last updated: October 26, 2018

The Trump Administration’s September 5, 2017 DACA rescission has left DACA recipients in limbo and prompted many questions on what comes next for this vulnerable population. 

Page last updated: October 26, 2018

The Trump Administration’s September 5, 2017 DACA rescission has left DACA recipients in limbo and prompted many questions on what comes next for this vulnerable population. 

Page last updated: October 26, 2018

The Trump Administration’s September 5, 2017 DACA rescission has left DACA recipients in limbo and prompted many questions on what comes next for this vulnerable population. 

Page last updated: October 26, 2018
Ilissa Mira and Jen Riddle

This practice advisory, written for legal service providers, answers common questions about applying for DACA in light of the Regents of the University of California V. DHS court order and ongoing litigation.  It includes current practice tips and will be updated as we learn more.

Page last updated: September 7, 2018

As more noncitizens are targeted for the initiation of removal proceedings under the Trump administration’s broadened enforcement priorities, immigration court dockets will likely become even more backlogged. Given these strains and the reality of human fallibility, there will continue to be instances in which practitioners observe inappropriate and problematic immigration judge conduct.

Page last updated: August 10, 2017

This practice advisory is designed for practitioners representing child clients in removal proceedings or advising family members of child clients in removal proceedings. As reports of ICE arresting parents and family members emerge, the goal of this advisory is to provide guidance and suggestions to practitioners on best practices for mitigating the risk of civil immigration enforcement or criminal prosecution of family members of children in removal proceedings.

Page last updated: July 20, 2017
Kiyanoush Razaghi

President Trump’s Jan. 27, 2017 executive order, known as the travel ban, has been challenged several times in districts across the country. Here are the newest updates.

Page last updated: July 23, 2019

What is the definition of an unaccompanied child (“UC”) under federal immigration law and what protections are afforded to such children? This practice advisory is intended to educate advocates on important UC protections and assist them with starting-point strategies for combating Department of Homeland Security efforts to strip vulnerable children of protections afforded to them as unaccompanied children. The practice advisory also discusses other steps advocates and communities can take to ensure that vulnerable children’s rights are protected.

Page last updated: November 15, 2018
Michelle Mendez

In a three-page April 11, 2017, memorandum, Attorney General Jeff Sessions called for increased criminal prosecution of noncitizens. Living up to his pro-prosecution, anti-immigrant reputation, Sessions’ memo directs federal prosecutors to prioritize bringing criminal charges to “further reduce illegality.”

Page last updated: July 23, 2019
Rebecca Scholtz

The Board of Immigration Appeals issued a precedent decision about administrative closure, on April 18, 2017. Administrative closure is a procedure that temporarily removes a case from an immigration judge’s active calendar. It is usually done due to the possibility of some event that is “relevant to immigration proceedings but is outside the control of the parties or the court and may not occur for a significant or undetermined period of time.”

Page last updated: July 23, 2019

The “Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law (UPIL): A State-by-State Overview of Legal Mechanisms to Combat these Deceptive Practice” resource is intended for immigration attorneys, recognized and accredited representative, and community-based organizations assisting noncitizen clients who have been victims of unauthorized practice of immigration law. 

Page last updated: July 6, 2017

This guide provides attorneys and fully accredited representatives with strategies and best practices for representing asylum seekers with in absentia removal orders. The guide was originally released in 2016 and updated in July 2019. CLINIC and the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project (ASAP) prepared the guide in 2016 after representing dozens of families who received in absentia removal orders and successfully reopening their cases in the wake of increased enforcement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Page last updated: July 12, 2019


Volunteer and help us gather information

This survey will refer to the person targeted for enforcement as “the family member” throughout and will refer to the child for whom the family member was caring, or intended to care for once the child was released, as “the child.”

Page last updated: June 18, 2018

CLINIC continues to monitor and is considering advocacy and litigation strategies to assist refugees and nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen affected by the “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” Executive Order. If your organization is serving an affected individual, CLINIC asks that you share the following information to help inform our strategies:

Page last updated: March 7, 2017

Recorded webinars

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, was expressly available to people with prior removal orders, as long as they met the policy requirements.

Page last updated: June 19, 2018

CLINIC, along with allies, filed a request for a hearing with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights arguing that DOJ EOIR violates the human rights of asylum seekers because certain immigration courts within the U.S. system have virtually denied all asylum claims before them. 

Page last updated: July 5, 2017

This webinar covered some best practices in informing your client communities about exposure to enforcement, protection against enforcement, and potential eligibility for immigration benefits.  It addressed: current enforcement priorities (as of 3/13/17); what to cover in a Know Your Rights presentation and how to cover it; what materials to distribute; the potential integration of self-screening or onsite screening by legal providers; and safety planning information. 

Page last updated: June 18, 2019

Learn about what makes Maryland  unique when it comes to contingency planning. Those participating in this webinar will learn how to properly advise resident Maryland families who are facing potential family separation and what measures they should take to care for their children. It considers custody, guardianship, powers of attorney and kinship care affidavits. Ethical issues will also are discussed. Featured speakers are Maryland attorneys Van Doan, Jon Greene, and Michael Stelmack.

Page last updated: June 18, 2018

Resources for the public

Stanford Law School Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, University of California Davis School of Law Immigration Law Clinic, and CLINIC’s Defending Vulnerable Populations Program collaborated on this factsheet summarizing how foreign nationals who have bonded out of ICE detention may reclaim their immigration bond money. This factsheet is based off of CLINIC’s article, “Immigration Bond: How to Get Your Money Back.”

Page last updated: April 10, 2019

Are you considering sponsoring a child out of federal immigration custody? This fact sheet gives some information about the risks of this process and where to find more resources.

Page last updated: May 24, 2019

This fact sheet explains how the Trump Administration carried out family separation and the recent federal court ruling in Ms. L v. ICE

Page last updated: August 9, 2018

This report highlights the high rate of unrepresented families with valid asylum claims, features clients’ stories, discusses the obstacles families face in attending their immigration court hearings, explains how the immigration system fails families seeking asylum, and provides policy recommendations for how the Trump Administration and Congress can address these shortcomings.

Page last updated: August 19, 2019

Como el Servicio de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE, por su sigla inglés) del Departamento de Seguridad Interna (DHS, por su sigla inglés) sigue a hacer cumplir las leyes de inmigración y un creciente número de inmigrantes están sujetos a detención, los defensores no solo tienen que representar a sus clientes en procedimientos de fianza, pero también tienen que asistirlos a recuperar la fianza. Also available in English.

Page last updated: August 27, 2018

Are you expecting a friend or family member to arrive from one of the "travel ban" countries? Tell Airport Lawyer about their planned arrival. Airport Lawyer will share this information with teams of volunteer lawyers.

Page last updated: February 13, 2017

How to get a client’s bond money back, once they’ve been released or deported is just one of the questions arising in the cases of families who have had their asylum merits cases scheduled on a fast track.

Page last updated: April 30, 2019

News

CLINIC submitted comments addressing a series of questions posed by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (immigration court) in response to the NWIRP v. Sessions litigation.

Page last updated: April 25, 2019

CLINIC is among the thousands of organizations and individuals that submitted comments in response to the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) entitled “Apprehension, Processing, Care, and Custody of Alien Minors and Unaccompanied Alien Children.”

Page last updated: August 23, 2019

SILVER SPRING, Maryland - The decision May 17 by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Matter of Castro-Tum, is deeply troubling, upending decades of settled practice whereby immigration judges used their discretion to “administratively close” some deportation cases in the interest of fairness.

Page last updated: June 14, 2018

CLINIC, along with allies, filed a request for a hearing with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights arguing that DOJ EOIR violates the human rights of asylum seekers because certain immigration courts within the U.S. system have virtually denied all asylum claims before them. 

Page last updated: July 5, 2017

SILVER SPRING, Maryland - A new program under CLINIC’s Defending Vulnerable Populations Project will provide immigration legal advice and representation to people from countries covered by the Trump administration’s travel ban.

Page last updated: June 19, 2018

Amicus Briefs

As co-counsel to Mr. L-E-A-, CLINIC attorneys filed this brief with the Justice Department on Feb. 19, 2019. The client’s name and other identifying information has been redacted.

Page last updated: March 13, 2019

Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher, LLP, represented CLINIC on an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs-appellees in Inland Empire – Immigrant Youth Collective, et al., v. Kirstjen Nielsen, et al. The plaintiffs-appellees challenge the government’s unlawful termination of their DACA without process on behalf of a class of DACA recipients.

Page last updated: January 17, 2019

The Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., filed an amicus brief April 27 challenging Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ effort to insert himself into a settled immigration case, the Matter of A-B. The attorney general’s unusual move could result in changes to long-settled immigration policy, making it harder for many asylum seekers -- notably those fleeing religion-based persecution – to obtain protection in the United States.

 

Page last updated: June 12, 2018

Attorney General Sessions requested briefing from amici in the case of Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I&N Dec. 187 (A.G. 2018).  In response to this request, CLINIC and Matthew Hoppock filed this amicus brief on February 16, 2018.

Page last updated: June 13, 2018

In response to the June 9, 2016 amicus invitation by the Board of Immigration Appeals on the definition of a minor for purposes of the asylum one-year filing deadline, CLINIC and Public Counsel submitted this briefing arguing that a minor should be defined as youth under 21.   

Page last updated: June 13, 2018

CLINIC, along with Public Counsel, filed this amicus brief on March 7, 2016 in Doe v. Sessions before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Page last updated: June 13, 2018

The Board of Immigration Appeals is currently considering the circumstances under which a person may qualify for asylum if they fear persecution on account of their family relationship to another person. CLINIC and Justice for Our Neighbors have offered an amicus brief arguing that family, standing alone, is a ‘particular social group’ as used in asylum law. 

Page last updated: December 19, 2018


FOIA Disclosures

EOIR’s R&A Program accredits non-attorneys to represent noncitizens before the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), which includes the immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Once accredited by EOIR, “Accredited Representatives” may only provide immigration legal services through recognized organizations, which are non-profit, federally tax-exempt entities. According to EOIR, the R&A Program aims to increase the availability of competent immigration legal representation for low-income and indigent persons, thereby promoting the effective and efficient administration of justice.

 

Page last updated: October 16, 2019

In December 2018, CLINIC submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) seeking statistics on immigration court adjudications of motions for telephonic and video appearances of attorneys, respondents, and witnesses.

Page last updated: October 2, 2019

On May 22, 2018, CLINIC requested statistics related to SIJS Petitions Form I-360, including approvals, denials, and revocations, from 2008 to 2018. On August 12, 2018, CLINIC received these disclosures.

Page last updated: August 23, 2018

Beginning October 2017, various media outlets, including the Washington Post, reported that immigration judges would be subject to new “numeric performance standards.” On April 2, 2018, CLINIC requested records on performance metrics for immigration judges from the DOJ Executive Office for Immigration Review Office of the General Counsel. On July 24, 2018, CLINIC received these disclosures.

Page last updated: July 30, 2018


DACA Practice Advisories

This practice advisory provides practitioners guidance on Matter of L-A-B-R-, a decision issued on August 16, 2018. In L-A-B-R-, former Attorney General Jeff Session addressed the factors that an IJ must consider when a respondent requests a continuance in order “to await the resolution of a collateral matter.” This practice advisory suggests strategies practitioners may use to fight for continuances for their clients.

Page last updated: December 6, 2018

As the future of DACA recipients remains uncertain, practitioners who work with DACA recipients should explore permanent relief options for this vulnerable population.

Page last updated: July 12, 2019

As the future of DACA recipients remains uncertain, practitioners who work with DACA recipients should explore permanent relief options for this vulnerable population.

Page last updated: October 29, 2018

The Trump Administration’s September 5, 2017 DACA rescission has left DACA recipients in limbo and prompted many questions on what comes next for this vulnerable population. 

Page last updated: October 26, 2018

The Trump Administration’s September 5, 2017 DACA rescission has left DACA recipients in limbo and prompted many questions on what comes next for this vulnerable population. 

Page last updated: October 26, 2018

The Trump Administration’s September 5, 2017 DACA rescission has left DACA recipients in limbo and prompted many questions on what comes next for this vulnerable population. 

Page last updated: October 26, 2018

The Trump Administration’s September 5, 2017 DACA rescission has left DACA recipients in limbo and prompted many questions on what comes next for this vulnerable population. 

Page last updated: October 26, 2018