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Federal Advocacy

On November 23, 2015 CLINIC submitted comments to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regarding its proposed guidance interpreting the term “extreme hardship” as it is applied to certain waiver of inadmissibility applications. CLINIC’s comprehensive comments and suggestions focused on several key areas previously discussed in our summary of the draft guidance and below.

On September 30th, 2015, Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR), a stop-gap measure which continues funding the government at current levels and keeps the government open until December 11, 2015. The CR reauthorized the Special Immigrant Non-Minister Religious Worker Program as well as three other immigration-related programs, the Conrad 30 Program, the EB-5 Program, and the E-Verify Program until December 11, 2015. Finding a more permanent extension for the Special Immigrant Non-Minister Religious Worker Program remains an ongoing issue for CLINIC Advocacy.

Read updates on: Fee Waivers (Form I-912), Expansion of the Provisional Waiver Program, Board of Immigration Appeals Recognition & Accreditation, USCIS Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, Draft Extreme Hardship Policy Guidance for Waiver Applications.

In connection with the State of Texas v. U.S. litigation, USCIS began recalling over 2,600 grants of Deferred Action Childhood Arrival (DACA) and work authorization in May 2015. USCIS increased its recall efforts dramatically following a Court Order issued on July 7. CLINIC officially registered its opposition to the recall and any resulting terminations. CLINIC worked closely with affiliates to support, advise, and assist them and their clients to understand and take necessary actions as well as to responsibly spread the word in the community. CLINIC and its affiliate efforts helped result in 99.2 percent compliance with the recall. Of the 22 terminations of status issued, 12 were reinstated.

Despite continued efforts by advocates, the government’s practice of detaining immigrant mothers and their children continues. CLINIC has been especially active in the national fight to eliminate large scale family detention centers. In late March 2015, CLINIC partnered with four other networks to form the CARA Pro Bono Project.Through this project CLINIC has been providing legal services for detained families while leading advocacy and litigation efforts to challenge unlawful asylum, detention, and deportation policies.