On May 15, 2013, the Legal Action Center issued a fact sheet titled Providing Noncitizens with their Day in Court that explains some of the critical policy proposals found in the 2013 Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act ("S. 744").
On May 8, 2013, the federal district court for the Western District of Washington issued an order preliminarily approving a settlement agreement in A.B.T. et al. v. USCIS, et al., a nationwide class action lawsuit challenging the denial of work authorization to asylum seekers who have been waiting six months or more for a decision on their asylum applications. The lawsuit was filed by the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC), the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP), the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI), and the law firm Gibbs Houston Pauw.
The ABT Settlement Agreement creates several important changes to the “asylum clock,” the method by which USCIS and EOIR calculate the 180-day waiting period before which an asylum applicant can apply for work authorization. These changes will be phased in over two years, with many of the changes to be implemented within six months. The Notice to Class Members describes who is an ABT class member, what benefits are provided to ABT class members and basic information about how to bring a claim under the settlement agreement.