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ICE Introduces Community Hotline

By Allison Posner

Individuals can now contact Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) through its new Community Hotline at 888-351-4024.  The hotline will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time. This effort from ICE’s Office of the Public Advocate will transition the hotline developed for questions regarding Deferred Action for Certain Childhood Arrivals (DACA) into a toll-free hotline for members of the public and ICE stakeholders on any enforcement issue, including:

DHS Guidance on Hurricane Sandy

Oct 27, 2012

Click here for the original letter.

To the extent that Tropical Storm/Hurricane Sandy (Sandy) impacts law enforcement operations and/or the storm triggers the need for an officially ordered evacuation or an emergency government response, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) highest priorities are to promote life-saving and life-sustaining activities, the safe evacuation of people who are leaving the impacted area, the maintenance of public order, the prevention of the loss of property to the extent possible, and the speedy recovery of the impacted region.

As such, to the extent that Sandy impacts law enforcement operations and/or the storm triggers the need for an officially ordered evacuation or an emergency government response, there will be no immigration enforcement initiatives associated with evacuations or sheltering related to Sandy, including the use of checkpoints for immigration purposes in impacted areas during an evacuation. If a state or local law enforcement agency determines that individuals in their custody should be transferred or released due to Sandy, the state or local law enforcement agency should not decline to do so solely on the basis of an immigration detainer issued by ICE or CBP.

Comments on the Department of Health and Human Services' DACA/Lawfully Present Amendment

On October 23, 2012, CLINIC and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services in response to the Department’s amendment of the definition of the term “lawfully present.”  The amendment will prevent those granted deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program from accessing affordable health insurance coverage options.  Excluding DACA recipients from this program is inequitable and undercuts the spirit of the Administration’s DACA policy.

Asylee Resource Hotline Closes After 11 Years

Oct 19, 2012
Wendy Rhein

Washington, DC (October 19, 2012) - The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) regretfully announces today the termination of its National Asylee Information and Referral Hotline.  The 11-year-old, toll-free hotline, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), has provided vital information and resources to more than 39,000 asylees since its inception.  ORR did not award funding to renew this project for 2013.    

The asylee hotline, provided by CLINIC and ran in partnership with Catholic Charities Community Services of the Archdiocese of New York, provided one-on-one support to those granted political asylum in the United States. It offered referral services to local refugee resettlement programs in 18 languages.  The hotline operators fielded more than 400 calls monthly from a diverse body of asylees representing about an average of 67 nationalities.

“Over the years the hotline has been an

CLINIC’s Acting Executive Director on What the Next President Needs to Do on Immigration Day 1

Oct 17, 2012
Donald Kerwin

Click here for the HuffPost blog.

On Jan. 22, 2013, President Romney or President Obama should take a dramatic step to stabilize, strengthen and promote the integration of hundreds of thousands of American families. The president should issue an Executive Order that would allow persons who have passed the first hurdle in qualifying for a family-based visa to seek a waiver before they leave the United States that would permit their return after they secure a visa. To understand the significance of this step requires a primer on our nation's family-based immigration system.

The United States awards most of its "green cards" -- roughly two-thirds -- to persons who enjoy close family ties to U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPRs). This process begins with the filing of a petition by a U.S. citizen or LPR for a non-citizen family member. By approving the petition, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) formally recognizes the existence of a qualifying family relationship. The agency then assigns a "priority date" or number based on the petition's filing date. When the date becomes "current" or advances to the front of the visa queue, the qualifying family member can apply for an immigrant visa. However, backlogs for persons

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