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BIA Rules on Municipal Ordinances and Drug Trafficking Aggravated Felonies

By Sarah Bronstein In a recent decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals, the court revisited the issue of what constitutes a conviction for immigration purposes.  The court also looked at the circumstances under which a conviction relating to possession of a controlled substance can trigger the drug trafficking aggravated felony ground of deportability.   Matter of Cuellar-Gomez, 25 I&N Dec. 850 (BIA 2012).

Update from the National Visa Center

By Kristina Karpinski Last month CLINIC held its annual visit to the National Visa Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  During the visit, NVC Director Kimberly Kelly and staff gave participants a tour of the facility and held an informative question and answer session.  Summarized below is information obtained during the visit. Electronic Processing Program

Know Your Rights: The Anti-Discrimination Provision of the INA

By the Staff of the Office of Special Counsel The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division has an office dedicated to ensuring that employers are not discriminating against work-authorized individuals based on their national origin or immigration status.  It is unlawful to fire or refuse to hire certain workers because of where they are from or because they are not U.S. citizens.  The law also protects workers where employers discriminate against them by asking for too many work-authorization documents or by rejecting valid documents. 

USCIS “SAVE” Program Will be Used to Verify Voters in Florida

Despite the lack of evidence of widespread voter fraud by immigrants, several states recently have implemented policies to remove ineligible voters from registration rolls and to prevent them from voting on election day.  Many advocates consider these restrictive policies to be efforts to suppress minority voting.  Recently, the USCIS granted the state of Florida access the federal electronic Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements program (the “SAVE” program) to verify its voter registration rolls.

How will the Supreme Court’s Decision in Arizona v. U.S. Affect Other States’ Legislation?

On July 6, the civil rights organizations challenging both Alabama’s “toughest-in-the-nation” immigration enforcement law (HB 56) and Georgia’s similar enforcement law (HB 87) had the opportunity to explain to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals how the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Arizona’s SB 1070 should apply to these cases.

Developments in State and Local Pushback Against Detainers

California.  On July 5, California’s state Senate passed the “TRUST Act” (AB 1081).  This bill has been called the “Anti-Arizona Act” because instead of expanding the role of state and local police in the enforcement of immigration violations, it seeks to curtail it.  It was designed as a state effort to push back against the federal/state partnership known as “Secure Communities,” which the U.S.

What’s Next After Arizona v. U.S.?

On July 17, the civil rights organizations challenging Arizona’s immigration enforcement law “SB 1070” – which include the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF) – asked a federal district court in Arizona to block the law’s “show me your papers” provision (Section 2B) before it has a chance to go into effect.  In June, the U.S.

Family Reunification

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) signed onto a July 23, 2012 letter urging members of Congress to support the Help Separated Families Act, legislation introduced by Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA-34).