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Immigration - A 50-State Issue: A Focus on State and Local Immigration Initiatives

CLINIC and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops are hosting a conference on state and local immigration issues!  The conference will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah from January 11 through13, 2012.  We will discuss methods for opposing enforcement initiatives and supporting comprehensive immigration reform. Workshops will include:

  • strategies for communications and messaging;
  • coalition building; and
  • parish organizing and education

On topics such as:

Practice Advisory: Representing Clients with Mental Competency Issues under Matter of M-A-M

A new practice advisory on working with clients with mental competency issues has been released by the American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center (LAC) in collaboration with The University of Houston Law Center Immigration Clinic.

In May, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued a precedent decision in Matter of M-A-M.  The respondent was represented by the University through CLINIC’s BIA Pro Bono Representation Project.  The decision set forth a framework for immigration judges to follow in cases involving individuals with mental competency issues.

Change to Process of Filing Citizenship and Naturalization Forms

In order to centralize and streamline receipting of citizenship and naturalization forms, USCIS has made changes to the filing locations of certain forms. 

On Oct. 30, 2011, USCIS began accepting Forms N-336, N-600 and N-600K at its Phoenix Lockbox facility and Form N-300 at its Dallas Lockbox facility.  Until Dec. 2, 2011, applications filed at field offices were forwarded to the appropriate lockbox.  After December 2, all applications erroneously filed at field offices will be returned to applicants to re-file with the proper lockbox.

Changes to EOIR Case Information System (800#)

In response to stakeholder feedback, EOIR has announced that it will reinstate the ability of callers to check the status of multiple cases in one call.  Starting on December 12, callers will be able to press the “pound” key (#) to return to the main menu and enter additional alien registration numbers.   In addition, callers will be able to press the “star” key (*) to skip the maintenance message at the beginning of the recording. 

DHS Ends Enforcement Agreement with Maricopa County

Dec 16, 2011
Karen Siciliano Lucas

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.