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On Jan. 25, 2021, CLINIC filed an amicus brief to the Board of Immigration Appeals, or BIA, in response to an invitation to file amicus briefs. The primary issue in the case is whether a noncitizen who is apprehended 50 miles beyond the U.S. border can be considered an "arriving alien" who is subject to the misnamed Migrant Protection Protocols. CLINIC responded that, although MPP itself is not lawful, even under the rules that bind the BIA, an individual who is 50 miles away from the border cannot be considered "arriving." CLINIC was represented on the brief by pro bono counsel at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis.

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On Jan. 22, 2021, CLINIC, along with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Charities USA, filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, condemning the misnamed "Migrant Protection Protocols," or MPP, as unlawful and contrary to Catholic Social Teaching. The brief, filed in Wolf v. Innovation Law Lab, urges the Court to uphold the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision which found that MPP was not authorized under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

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On Sept. 4, 2020, the Board of Immigration Appeals posted an invitation for amicus briefs asking whether due process is satisfied when the record does not indicate that asylum seekers subject to the Migrant Protection Protocols have received advisals about when and where to present themselves at the border. CLINIC and other immigration legal service providers working at the border wrote a brief that argued that a proper advisal (tear sheet) is critical for those subject to MPP to understand when and how to present themselves to attend their court dates.

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In July 2020, the Board of Immigration Appeals issued a precedential decision, Matter of M-D-C-V-, 28 I&N Dec. 18 (BIA 2020), upholding the Department of Homeland Security's practice of subjecting individuals inside the United States but near the border to the "Migrant Protection Protocols." In this amicus brief filed on behalf of CLINIC and other nonprofit legal service providers, we argue that there is no legal authority to return asylum seekers on U.S. soil to Mexico.

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CLINIC, together with several other nonprofit organizations and law school clinics, appeared as amici curiae asking the Ninth Circuit to block a rule preventing people who transited through a third country from obtaining asylum.

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On Nov. 12, 2020, CLINIC joined the National Immigration Litigation Alliance, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, and Public Counsel in appearing as amici curiae in Pham v. Guzman Chavez. In this case, the Supreme Court will consider whether people in proceedings to determine their eligibility for withholding of removal may be released from immigration detention on bond. CLINIC is represented by WilmerHale.

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On Nov. 3, 2020 CLINIC and the University of Minnesota Law School’s Immigration and Human Rights Clinic filed an amicus brief in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the immigration judge's reliance on a Department of State Human Rights Report in denying the applicant's asylum claim from Honduras.

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CLINIC joined partner organizations in filing an amicus brief in Matter of A-M-R-C-, an asylum case that the attorney general certified to himself for possible termination nearly 13 years after the applicant won asylum. The brief focuses on the importance of finality in asylum grants and the chilling effect a decision allowing reopening after more than a decade would have on all asylees.

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CLINIC co-authored an amicus brief seeking rehearing in Scarlett v. Barr, a Second Circuit decision that makes it more difficult for asylum seekers to win in cases involving persecution by non-government actors.

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CLINIC joined an amicus brief in support of plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction in Casa de Maryland v. Wolf, a case challenging the new asylum EAD rules.

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CLINIC joined an amicus brief in Bollat Vasques v. Wolf, a First Circuit case in which five families are challenging the government subjecting them to the so-called Migrant Protection Protocols.

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CLINIC, and nine other non-profit partners, filed an amicus brief in Benitez v. Barr, a case in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the attorney general’s decision in Matter of Castro-Tum 27 I&N Dec. 271 (A.G. 2018) that stripped immigration court judges of their authority to administratively close cases.

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CLINIC filed an amicus brief in the De Pena-Paniagua v. Barr case in the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit arguing that restrictions on asylum for victims of private actor harm could harm those seeking asylum on religious grounds. In a decision critical of Matter of A-B-, the First Circuit granted the petition for review, allowing Ms. De Pena to pursue her domestic violence-based asylum claim.

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CLINIC joined the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and other Christian organizations in an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court urging the Court to not allow the administration to rescind DACA. The brief focuses on the arbitrariness of the decision to rescind DACA as well as the catastrophic effect the rescission will have on families.

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CLINIC, together with 10 other nonprofit organizations that serve immigrant children, filed an amicus brief with the Ninth Circuit in defense of critical protections for minors detained by the federal government pending their immigration proceedings.

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The Mercer Law School Immigration Appeals Clinic filed an amicus brief on CLINIC’s behalf on March 11, 2020. The amicus brief lays out how the particular social group of “Honduran transgender women” meets the three-prong test laid out in Matter of M-E-V-G-.

Update: After submission of this, and other amicus briefs, the Department of Homeland Security stipulated to remand the case to the immigration judge.

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The Board of Immigration Appeals, issued calls for amicus briefs in two cases where the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appealed immigration judges’ decisions to terminate cases, where the Notices to Appear did not specify the admission status of the respondents.

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The Recognition & Accreditation, or R&A, program governs how nonprofit organizations provide charitable immigration legal services. Nonprofits that meet certain requirements apply for recognition, and non-attorney staff members may apply for accreditation after completing rigorous training focused on immigration law. Accredited individuals can help clients with immigration matters before government agencies, including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the asylum office. Certain accredited representatives may represent clients in immigration court.

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Asylum can be granted to noncitizens if they have a well-founded fear of persecution on account of their membership in a particular social group. But in recent years the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Attorney General have imposed increasingly complex requirements for proving a “social group.” In 2018, the Board of Immigration Appeals announced a policy that asylum applicants must give the Immigration Judge an “exact delineation” of the particular social group that their case is based on.

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CLINIC joined with 17 other organizations that serve asylum seekers to urge the Ninth Circuit to uphold a preliminary injunction in favor of asylum seekers affected by Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) so-called “metering” policy.

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Represented by O’Melveny and Myers, LLP, CLINIC and twenty other faith-based organizations, including other Catholic groups, protestant groups, Jewish groups, and Muslim groups, have filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to strike down a federal criminal law that could lead to prosecutions for faith-related speech.

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In response to the June 9, 2016 amicus invitation by the Board of Immigration Appeals on the definition of a minor for purposes of the asylum one-year filing deadline, CLINIC and Public Counsel submitted this briefing arguing that a minor should be defined as youth under 21.   

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The Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., filed an amicus brief April 27 challenging Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ effort to insert himself into a settled immigration case, the Matter of A-B. The attorney general’s unusual move could result in changes to long-settled immigration policy, making it harder for many asylum seekers -- notably those fleeing religion-based persecution – to obtain protection in the United States.

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CLINIC has joined with Muslim Advocates and other faith partners as Amici Curiae, or friends of the court, in the Texas. v. Nielsen case challenging the constitutionality of the DACA program. The brief asks the court to deny Texas’s motion for preliminary injunction which would halt adjudication of all DACA cases. The case is scheduled to be heard in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on August 8, 2018.

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CLINIC, along with Public Counsel, filed this amicus brief on March 7, 2016 in Doe v. Sessions before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. This brief provided the court with a framework, drawn from our experience working with young asylum-seekers, to decide whether the coerced actions of a child can trigger the "serious nonpolitical crime" bar to asylum.

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Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher, LLP, represented CLINIC on an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs-appellees in Inland Empire – Immigrant Youth Collective, et al., v. Kirstjen Nielsen, et al. The plaintiffs-appellees challenge the government’s unlawful termination of their DACA without process on behalf of a class of DACA recipients.

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On July 31, 2019, CLINIC joined eight other organizations that serve survivors of gender-based violence to submit an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C.

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Attorney General Sessions requested briefing from amici in the case of Matter of Castro-Tum, 27 I&N Dec. 187 (A.G. 2018).  In response to this request, CLINIC and Matthew Hoppock filed this amicus brief on February 16, 2018.