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CLINIC Welcomes Revised Waiver Guidelines, Seeks Revisions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Wendy Rhein
202-635-5825 wrhein@cliniclegal.org   CLINIC Welcomes Revised Waiver Guidelines, Seeks Revisions Washington, DC (April 2, 2012) - [En Español] - The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) is pleased that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued its proposed rule related to pre-adjudication of unlawful presence waivers for certain family members. The proposed rule permits spouses and minor/unmarried children of U.S. citizens to apply for and receive a provisional waiver of their unlawful presence in the U.S. before leaving this country for the processing of their immigrant visas. Prior unlawful presence in the United States is one of the most common grounds of inadmissibility under our nation’s immigration laws. Individuals seeking to legalize through a family petition have been able to apply for a waiver, but only at the time of their consular processing abroad. For that reason, the current process has caused prolonged family separation as individuals await adjudication of their waiver application in their home country.

Recognition and Accreditation

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) announced in February that it is reviewing and considering amending the regulations governing the process of recognition of immigration services organizations and accreditation of representatives.  CLINIC submitted its initial comments and participated in person at public meetings hosted by the agency.  CLINIC will submit further comments by the end of March and urges all of CLINIC’s affiliates to share their comments and concerns with EOIR as well.

11th Circuit Court of Appeals Blocks More of Alabama’s Enforcement Law

  On March 8, 2012, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocked two more sections of Alabama’s harsh immigration enforcement law, HB 56. 

ICE Revises Standards for Immigration Detention

ICE announced revised its detention standards on February 27, 2012.  CLINIC participated in a working group to develop the standards, known as PBNDS 2011 (Performance Based National Detention Standards 2011).  Special attention was paid to standards that improve medical and mental health services, increase access to legal services and religious opportunities, improve communication with detainees with limited English proficiency, improve the process for reporting and responding to complaints, reinforce protections against sexual abus

BIA Accreditations

CLINIC congratulates the following program staff on receiving initial and renewed Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) credentials as accredited representatives: Paula Read, Catholic Charities Diocese of Albany, Albany, NY received partial accreditation on February 22, 2012. Carolina Farvour received initial partial accreditation; Laurie Martinez and So Thao were re-accredited with partial accreditation on February 17, 2012; all are from Catholic Charities of Green Bay, Inc., Green Bay, WI.

Lockbox Filing of Forms I-601 and I-212

By Jennie Guilfoyle The USCIS recently announced that it will soon change the filing and adjudication locations of waiver applications that are currently filed overseas.  Once this change goes into effect, all I-601s and associated I-212s and I-290Bs that were previously filed at U.S. embassies or consulates abroad and then forwarded to a USCIS overseas office will be filed at the Phoenix Lockbox and adjudicated at the Nebraska Service Center.  On March 9, 2012 the USCIS held a stakeholder engagement call to discuss the specifics of this lockbox filing program.

Comments Regarding Proposed Changes to Regulations Governing Recognition and Accreditation

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.

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