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“Pray for the DREAM” Events

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Justice for Immigrants (JFI) Campaign will be holding its “Pray for the DREAM” events from September 18th through October 9th.  Dioceses, parishes and other faith groups will be planning events and/or incorporating petitions, homilies, and prayers into the Sunday Masses in support of DREAM Act eligible students and youth.

Secure Communities

Throughout the month of August, the Task Force on Secure Communities held a series of four public meetings in Dallas, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL; and Arlington, VA.  CLINIC staff and/or affiliates were in attendance at each, and many who were not able to attend a Task Force meeting shared their concerns in response to the call for public comments.  The Task Force is expected to release its report and recommendations by the end of September.


On August 18, 2011, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) held a telephonic meeting announcing the process for exercising prosecutorial discretion in the 300,000 immigration removal cases currently pending in the United States.

Federal Courts Block Parts of Georgia’s and Indiana’s Immigration Enforcement Laws

By Karen Siciliano Lucas

Part 1: Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Part of Georgia’s HB 87

On Monday, June 27, 2011, federal Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr. temporarily blocked the implementation of two sections of Georgia’s controversial immigration law, House Bill 87.  He did so by issuing a preliminary injunction, which prevents the state of Georgia from enforcing these sections of the law until a final determination can be made by a federal court as to their constitutionality.

Ninth Circuit Expands the “Categorical Approach” to Evaluating the Immigration Effect of State Court Convictions

By Nadine Wettstein

In a deeply split decision, with separate concurring and dissenting opinions, the en banc Ninth Circuit significantly expanded the reach of its “modified categorical approach” for deciding whether a conviction was an aggravated felony or a crime involving moral turpitude.   The court overturned a prior en banc decision, Navarro-Lopez v. Gonzales, 503 F.3d 1063 (9th Cir. 2007), which had governed immigration cases arising in the Ninth Circuit since 2007.

USCIS Issues Proposed Regulations Pertaining to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

By Sarah Bronstein

On September 6, 2011, the USCIS issued proposed regulations implementing changes to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) relating to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) (76 FR 54978) (Sept. 6, 2011).  SIJS is an immigration benefit available to children who have been the victims of abuse, abandonment or neglect.   The proposed regulations incorporate several legislative amendments culminating in the significant changes that were made by the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization act of 2008 (TVPRA 2008). 

New USCIS Policy Memos Implement VAWA 2005 Self-Petitioning Amendments

By Susan Schreiber

VAWA 2005, signed into law in January 2006, extended self-petitioning eligibility to (a) abused parents of adult U.S. citizens, and (b) abused sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents over age 21 and under 25, who may apply as self-petitioning children if the abuse was a central reason for the delay in filing.   Recent policy memoranda issued by USCIS provides new guidance on eligibility to self-petition in each of these categories